Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Winners Are …

On Thanksgiving Day the Holiday Giveaway was drawn from the bloggers who had entered the giveaway, which ended at 10 p.m. Wednesday night.

I placed the slips with each entrant’s name in a footed bowl. I asked my sister to mix the slips around and then to draw one.

Melissa of Melissa’s Heart and Home was the first name drawn. Of the two prizes, she chose the nativity Advent calendar.

Ann of Life at Ann’s Place was drawn next. She will receive the blue and white nativity plate.

Both packages were mailed on my way home on Friday afternoon, since I had wrapped the packages and brought them with me late on Wednesday. All I had to do Friday was to write address labels and affix them to the correct package.

Many thanks to all who participated in the giveaway. Watch for a second giveaway coming soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday - Angel Hair Pasta

I'd like to share a recipe from Jeff Smith’s Book, The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas.* This cookbook was listed in my post, “Books About Nativity Scenes.”

In the front of the book are recipes which go along with one character in the nativity story. Here is a recipe in honor of the angels:

“Angel Hair Pasta with Whipped Cream and Porcini”

Serves 4-6

½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped shallots
¾ pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
½ pint (1 cup) whipping cream
¾ pound angel hair pasta
¼ cup grated Parmesaan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

“Place the porcini in a small bowl and add ½ cup warm water. Allow to soak 45 minutes. Drain, reserving the liquid. Heat a large frying pan. Add the oil and shallots, and saute a minute. Add the fresh mushrooms and saute until tender. Chop the porcini coarsely and add to the frying pan, along with the reserved liquid. Simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil along with a pinch of salt. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it holds soft peaks. Refrigerate the whpped cream until the past is cooked. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. Drain well. Return the drained pasta to the pot and add the mushroom mixture, cheese, whipped cream, and salt and pepper to taste.
Using a large spatula, fold all of the ingredients together. Do this quickly, yet carefully, so that the whipped cream doesn’t collapse entirely. You may want to save a bit of the whipped cream to dollop on top of the pasta as a garnish. Serve immediately.”

For more Tempt My Tummy Tuesday recipes please go to Blessed With Grace, hosted by Lisa.

*The Frugal Gourmet Celebrates Christmas: The History of the Season’s Traditions, With Recipes for the Feast by Jeff Smith. Photographed by Louis Wallach. Woodcuts by David Frampton. New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., c1991.
297 p. illus. Hardcover.
Recipe is on p. 39.

Holiday Show And Share - A Nativity in Every Room

The American Homemakers Holiday Show and Share

The American Homemaker sponsors Holiday Show & Share: "The holidays are quickly coming upon us. Do you have a favorite holiday tradition? A favorite holiday recipe? A great holiday party idea? A holiday decoration you’d love to show off? How about a favorite holiday picture of your family? Let’s show and share our favorites. Each Tuesday from November 4th until December 23rd blog about something you love about the holidays and add your link to Mr. Linky."

Want to be reminded of the "Reason for the Season" every time you walk into a room in your home? Why not place a nativity item in each room. For this post I’ll share come photos from previous Christmases. They show nativities on display in several rooms at Oak Rise Cottage.

In the entry hall is a large nativity set given to me as a gift from my youngest sister.

On the landing is a display of Department 56 lighted "little Town of Bethlehem".

In the living room the mantel displays a pastel stained glass nativity set.

On a lamp table, also in the living room, is another nativity set.

The angel tree in the living room has a ceramic nativity underneath.

In the kitchen a tiny Hallmark nativity rests in a holiday tray, while on the plate stand another is in the top dish.

In the dining room the tree has nativity figure ornaments.

In the hallway an crewel embroidery picture adorns a door.

In the guest room a skirted table holds a painted tin nativity set.

On the bed another nativity is made of embroidered plastic canvas.

This one wall in the guest bathroom displays three nativity plates.

In the bedroom on dresser, is a tabletop tree and creche underneath.

Of course, as a collector, I have multiple nativity sets all around. But you might place a nativity plate in one room, a small one-piece creche in another, one under a tree, a framed card on a table, and so on...there are many ways of incorporating a nativity in your holiday decor, as a way to "keep Christ in CHRISTmas."

Do visit the American Homemaker for a listing of more Holiday Show & Share participants.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Giveaway

I have truly appreciated all those who have come to my new blog since it started on October 14. Your comments have been very encouraging. So here is my very first giveaway.
As a collector one often ends up with duplicate items. I would like to share some of these in a holiday giveaway or two.

1 vintage but new-in-package Advent calendar with a nativity theme. Printed in Western Germany.

1 vintage blue and white nativity plate by Kaiser Porcelain Co. "The Three Kings." Christmas Plate. Made in Staffelstein, Bavaria, West Germany. Dated 1977. "8th issue in the series." Artist, Toni Shoener. 7 ¾" in diameter. Three Wise Men on Camels approach stable with Holy Family. Star above. This is a very beautiful plate.
This is the original package -- though it is pretty battered.

This Holiday Giveaway is open to any blogger from one in the lower forty-eight United States.
Just leave a comment to this post on one of the questions below. Write you comment between now and 9 p.m. ET Wednesday November 26, 2007. Please include your name and a way to reach you if you win.

Choose one question for comment to this post:
1. Do you set up a nativity scene or have some other nativity item such as a plate, a framed print, music box, one-piece sculpture, or some other item to remind on the reason for the season?
2. What is your favorite Bible text about Christ’s coming as a babe to be our Savior?
3. Are you a collector of Christmas ornaments or other holiday item such as angels?
4. Do you have any suggestions for topic for future posts on this blog – Carola Nativity Gallery?

To enter this giveaway you only need to comment on one (1) of the above questions between now and Wednesday November 26 at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.

Two names will be. The person whose name is drawn first can choose which of the two items to receive. The second person will receive the item that is left.

Please contact me if you have any questions. I would appreciate your spreading the word about this giveaway.

Blue Collector Plates with a Nativity Theme II

Last week we looked at blue and white collector's plates with a nativity theme from Norway. This week the plates are from Spain and Argentina.

The Spanish plates are made in Spain by Santa Clara Porcelain. These blue and white porcelain plates are embellished with gold on the rims and on the figures. They measure 8 ¼" in diameter.

1971 We Three Kings

1972 Children Viewing Nativity in woodland scene
1973 Angel and Star

1976 Mary and Baby Jesus
(The nativity set is by Porcelanas M. Requena, made in Valencia, Spain)

The next series is made in Argentina. They are printed in blue on white porcelain and labeled "Porcelanas Verbano - Argentina/ Porcelana Granada". The series itself is titled "Pax in Terra – Peace on Earth" and each plate has the relevant Bible texts. They measure 6 ¾" in diameter.

"Road to Bethlehem" Luke 2:1-5. 1973 Third in series
"No Room in the Inn". 1974 Fourth in series.

"Shepherds in the Fields" Luke 2:8-15. 1975 Fifth in series

"Nativity" Luke 2:11-29. 1976 Sixth in series
"Three Wise Kings" Matthew 2:1-12. 1977 Seventh in series

For more blue Monday posts please visit Smiling Sally.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Sampling of Nativity Collector Plates

Christmas collector plates are great for adding to the décor at holiday time. Plates may be displayed hung on the wall, placed on a stand on a table, or set on the mantel.
This post will cover a sampling of these plates, beginning with a German series by artist Hedi Keller.

The plates were produced by Konigszelt Bayern, in Bavaria, Germany and are 9.5" diameter.
The artist presented a whimsical version of the flight into Egypt. We usually see the family fleeing with Mary and Baby Jesus on a donkey; but Keller has them all in a boat, accompanied by an angel.

1980 Flight into Egypt [Angel, Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Donkey in boat]

The next plate in the series features the Magi. It shows the wise men on various beasts of burden – an elephant, a horse, and a camel. The camel, of course, is the one we see most often carrying the magi.

1982 Following the Star [The Wise Men on elephant, horse, & camel]

From France comes the next nativity plate. This is part of the Noel Vitrail series from
D'Arceau Limoges, made in France. The plates are of white porcelain. Each plate’s design is based on stained glass windows at Chartres Cathedral. The artist is Andre Restieau. There were eight plates in this series 1975-1986.

The plate for 1979 shows the Three Wise Men presenting their gifts to Mary and Baby Jesus. Titled "L’Adoration des Rois" and is fifth in the series.

Among the many Christmas plates made by Wedgwood in Jasperware, twoseries deal with the nativity. These 7 ¼ inch plates were all made England. The Christmas Carols series were in the early 1990's - 1991-1995. "The Nativity" series ran from 1995-1999.

"We Three Kings" is the second in the "Christmas Carols" series and is dated 1992.

Tomorrow's post will continue to feature nativity plates in blue and white.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hopeful Friday – "If You Look for Me at Christmas"

Cielo at The House in the Roses is sponsoring Hopeful Friday to give blogger friends another opportunity to " celebrate God, to celebrate His mercy and unconditional love, but also a day to celebrate positive thoughts. We need hope to replace our restlessness, we need courage to replace our fear, and we need faith to replace our doubt."

For many the bustling holiday season if a time of loneliness. Nevertheless, the following poem expresses the promise that Jesus gave just before His ascension – "surely I am with you always" Matt 28:20 NIV

If You Look for Me at Christmas

If you look for Me at Christmas...
you won't need a special star,
I'm no longer still in Bethlehem,
I'm right there where you are.
You may not be aware of Me
amid the celebrations,
You'll have to look beyond the stores
and all the decorations.

But if you take a moment
from your list of things to do,
And listen to your heart,
you'll find I'm waiting there for you.

You're the one I want to be with,
you're the reason that I came,
And you'll find me in the stillness
as I'm whispering your name.

--Author unknown

Santa Clara 1972 Plate - Made in Spain

To see more of today’s "chain of positive thoughts and inspirational messages" please go here for Cielo’s list.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trim the Tree Thursday – Nativity Tree Ornaments

Trim the Tree Thursday is sponsored by Brett at The Southern Hostess.

Ornaments with a nativity motif or theme celebrate that Jesus is the Reason for the season. Here is a theme tree decorated with such ornaments. The tree is four feet tall, lighted with clear mini lights. Trimmings for the tree include a gold bead garland, glass balls in gold, ivory and peach.

The tree is topped by an angel

Under the tree is the second nativity set I got for the collection. It was bought in December 1991 at Brooks Drugstore.

Here are closeups of the various nativity ornaments. They are of blown glass, wood, spun crystal, metals, plastic, resin, and so on. Most were bought brand new, but there are also many that are vintage.

For more Trim the Tree posts see the list at Brettinsky’s blog, now titled The Southern Hostess.