Tuesday, December 08, 2015


Welcome to Day 8 of the 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop hosted by Wendy of 

 Our three daughters and their families come to our home Christmas Eve.  The women and children all wear pajamas but we haven't been able to talk the 'menfolk' into the tradition that just started three years ago.  We don't have  a large 'meal' but we always have finger foods, hoagie ring, shrimp,tuna cheese ball, different kinds of dips and chips that vary year to year.  Egg nog plain and spiked is a must as well as wine and beer and pop for the kids. 
The kids try to rush the eating so they can open presents from Gramma & Poppy and their aunts and uncles. For many years our youngest daughter Nicki would hand out the presents, she's now 34.  Then the job went to granddaughter Jordyn who is now 15.  Last year Ayden now 9 and Bella now 6 played Santa and that was a hoot, as Bella couldn't read yet and it started off pretty well, they took turns handing out gifts, then one would hand out another one before the last one was opened  and it got CRAZY...Bella would be in tears and Ayden would pout.  Not sure how this year will go.  All I know is I will be enjoying my spiked egg nog and my grandma's traditional Christmas Raisin Spice Bar (Recipe Below).

The Christmas recipe that I would like to share was handed down from my maternal grandmother, to my mom, and then to me and my three sisters.  It just wasn't Christmas without Grandma's raisin spice bar for dessert.  I don't have a photo as I haven't made this this year yet.


You make this on a greased cookie  sheet so you should get approx. 24 bars from this.

4 C. flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. ground cloves
2 C. sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 C. raisins*
3 C. water
1 stick margerine  
chopped nuts ( optional)

Add raisins to the 3 C. water. When it starts to boil, cook for 10 minutes.
 Mix dry ingredients together, add eggs.  
In saucepan or bowl add stick of butter.  Drain the juice from the raisins into the butter.  Stir til margerine melts.  Cool, then add to flour mix and stir.  Now add cooked raisins and mix with spoon.
Pour batter evenly into greased cookie sheet and bake @375 for 30 minutes.
When cake cools, top with buttercream frosting.   Add nuts if desired.
*(Grandma used to use Golden raisins but over the years my mom switched to regular raisins)
1# box confectioners sugar
1 stick margerine, softened
3-4 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients and beat at medium speed about 2 minutes until creamy.  If it seems to thick for you, add another T. of milk.

Homespun Rag Tree Tutorial
by Denise Bailey - KKL Primitives & The Krazy Kraft Lady
Oct. 2015 

You will need:
1/4 yd. green homespun fabric
1/4 yd. contrasting green homespun fabric
freezer paper
pen or marker
2-4 straight pins
hot iron
hot glue & glue sticks
11" stick from tree, does not have to be straight (if you are going to insert into spool, make sure stick is thin enough to fit into the spool's hole)
wooden thread spool

Trace tree template (scroll down for template) onto freezer paper.  Cut around freezer paper tree about a 1/2" so you can still see outline.  Press 1/4 yard of your fabric and fold in half.  Place freezer paper template on top, iron on.  Cut along tracing line, but leave freezer paper attached to fabric.  You will now have 4 layers of 'tree'.    With freezer paper still attached, stick a couple straight pins through all layers to hold them secure and  sew down the center dashed line through all layers.  Peel/rip paper away.  If some paper gets stuck in the seam, just use your fingernail to scrape it out.
Repeat all steps with your second  1/4 yd. contrasting fabric piece.

Starting at the narrow end of your fabric tree, cut 1/4" strips all the way down one side being very careful not to cut into center seam. 

 Repeat cuts on other side. 
When you hold it up, it should curl somewhat.

Repeat all steps with 2nd fabric tree.

Take your first rag tree and add some hot glue to one end of the flat side ( this is where your seam is) and wrap around the top of your stick.  Loosely wrap the fabric around the stick, with seam toward stick, fluffing out the trimmed fabric.  If too much stick is showing rewrap.  End of the fabric should come to more or less half way down your stick, so you have a 'trunk' showing.  Hot glue the end piece into place.

 Repeat with your 2nd tree piece, hot glue onto the top but this time when wrapping, let some of the 1st tree 'branches' alternate with this one (refer to photo).  No need to glue again until you get to the end.

You can use these trees as 'holders' for your snowman/Santa dolls, or place into empty thread spools and set up on mantle, table or shelf.  They look great with 2-3 in a grouping.
Leave spools as they are for a more prim look or paint and decorate them as you wish.  I've also wrapped the spools with jute string and love how they look.

Click on tree template to view full size and print off.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and that you will try Grandma's cake, maybe it will be a new tradition in your own family!



  1. Wonderful post and I love the tree, hopefully I can get gifts done this week and make a few things for me.


  2. That's a very cute tree! I love it. I will definitely make some -- Thank you so much and have a wonderful Christmas!

  3. Love your traditions, Denise! The cake sounds wonderful. Will have to give it a try as well as the Rag Tree. Your Tutorial is very easy to follow. Thanks for sharing!

  4. What a delicious sounding recipe Denise, adding that one to my baking list. And thanks so much for your rag tree tutorial, it is adorable! Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season and enjoy that spiked eggnog!! Deb xo

  5. Hello,

    What a lovely Blog you have. The Raisin Spice Bar recipe sounds wonderful. I will be baking them this week without fail. I love your raggedy tree, what a cute idea.

    Merry Christmas. (Don't forget to make extra eggnog this year - giggle).

  6. Yes, wonderful traditions. 'Love the rag tree and the recipe. Thank you for sharing with us :)

  7. The bars sound yummy and the rag tree is adorable. It looks like fun to make.
    I bet after a few spiked nogs you can be really creative with the pattern!
    Thank you for sharing.

  8. I love this post! I love reading about your special traditions, love the recipe and the rag tree. Thank you for sharing!
    Be blessed,

  9. I'm more of a baker and the spice cake sounds perfect for this time of year. Coffee is on me.

  10. Oh my - how cute are those trees! Easy too! Great tutorial. Those raisin bars look oh so tasty - another must make! Thanks for taking part in the Blog Hop!

  11. Hi Denise, Love hearing about your family tradition. I want to try your raisin bars and make one of your trees. Thanks for sharing the recipe and tutorial. Wishing you a Merry Christmas! Hugs, Lecia

  12. I had to laugh at the passing out of presents. We have the youngest pass them out too and he's five so you can imagine how that went. :0) The raisin bars look amazing going to have to bake those and the rag tree is on my to make list. Merry Christmas!!!

  13. Thanks for sharing your yummy recipe....I'm gonna have to try those. And your wonderful tutorial for the rag tree. Love it!


  14. Love your prim tree! The recipe looks delish! Thank you & Merry Christmas....