A Smidgen of Glad Tidings

Smidge’s won!

20121stplace Top Blog

Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote!

Thanks to my family who patiently waited
for their cold suppers while I cooked, wrote
and photographed their food…
and for being willing advisers and  taste testers in the kitchen
{ like that’s a tough job! }

I haven’t won “one” , but won “two” times in both nominated categories:

For the Best Blog about Art, Crafts, Cooking and Other Creative Activities
and Best Food and Drink Blog.

My family wanted to know what my prize was,
no trips to Europe, no pink, er red and white Cadillac await,
not even a politically incorrect beaver-tail hat!

But, I am gratefully basking in the glow of your vote of confidence
and I think it’s time to buy a lottery ticket!

I’ve been away from your blogs because
I’ve worked like mad on another new project:

A Year of Smidge

It’ll be in print soon.. not coming to a store near you, lol.

I’m only making one copy
and the lucky recipient will be, well, my family.
I  thought it would be great fun to have a print version
of favorite recipes and poems from 2012.

It was very cool to look back through the past year and reminisce,
nothing conjures up memories more vividly
than food.

I’ve also just received my lovely copy ofIna Gartenin the mail!
{ Who doesn’t love getting packages in the mail? }
Barb at Profiteroles and Ponytails
and have a little something to share with you if you scroll down…

In the meantime..

I’ve made a little craft.
{ It’s so easy to make, it’s almost a “non-craft” craft. }
It’s so adaptable to colors of ribbon and accent pieces.

I expect many of you have begun Christmas baking and cooking..
I can’t wait to swing round and see what you’ve been up to while I was away!

xx Smidge xx

Christmas Candles

candle (s), dripless are best
wide burlap ribbon
colored ribbon
wide or medium width lace
kitchen string
faux berries, Christmas tags, small ornaments, chains, pearls, etc

Candle 1

Cut the burlap, just so it will overlap around your candle.
If your lace is too wide, just cut it in half lengthwise to get the width you need for your candle.
Wrap the burlap around the candle and lay down on your surface so it holds in place.
Wrap the lace around the center of the burlap, overlapping and lay down again.
Wrap a length of string around and tie to hold the fabric in place.

Candle 3

Snip a small bit of faux berries and just tuck them in the string.

Candle 4From there, create a collection of candles to suit your own home and inclination.

I really love the juxtaposition of the more delicate with the unpolished and rugged,
it makes things so much more interesting, don’t you think?

Candle Collection 1

Like this rustic star..

Candle Collection 2This vintage tag..

Candle Collection 6A sleighbell..

Candle Collection 3Or a vintage string of beads..

Christmas Candle 7

{ Printable Copy }

It’s no wonder I love the Barefoot Contessa’s books..
they’re filled with recipes that remind me of, well, my own.
She must have seen my Year of Smidge Book!
I was smitten by her Mexican Hot Chocolate Recipe,
but decided to lighten it up by using skim instead of whole milk,
a full pinch of cayenne for heat
and the surprise smidgen of cardamom to perplex your palates!

{ One wee cup of this was enough.. it’s so dulcetly sweet. }

Hot Chocolate 2


East Meets West Hot Chocolate
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • Pinch ground cardamom
  • Long cinnamon sticks for stirring (optional)
  1. Add milk and brown sugar to a large saucepan and bring to simmer over medium heat, do not boil, whisking constantly. This won’t take long.
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in the chopped chocolate. Once the chocolate has melted and blended in, add the vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne and cardamom. Adjust the spices to personal taste. Perhaps begin with a smaller pinch of cayenne and add until the desired spiciness is attained.

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  • Congrats!! 🙂 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Smashing creations.ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations Barb! Well deserved too, your blog is spectacular!! Love the Chrissie candles! xxReplyCancel

  • Congrats!! Your blog is beautiful! I love all the candle decorations. I, too, love doing crafts and sewing. It’s my other huge passion!! Lovely recipe and presentation on everything! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • This post is absolutely brimming with awesome tidings!
    Congrats on your much deserved wins my friend, honestly you are brilliant! Also congrats on creating such stunning candles 🙂

    Choc Chip UruReplyCancel

  • Congratulations 🙂ReplyCancel

  • I saw this post’s title in my inbox and rushed over to see if you’d won. Congratulations on both counts! Yours is a wonderful blog, Barb, and now you’ve got the votes to prove it!ReplyCancel

  • Could I possibly be happier? I could not!!! Could I possibly be more surprised? Anything, absolutely anything, would surprise me more than Smidge’s successes!!! (now, try imaging YOUR face on that book’s cover – WE all have! And it was easy as pie!)
    Joy joy joy Smidge!! Beaming from ear to ear!
    So happy for you! xxooReplyCancel

  • Congratulations Smidge – twice! Unbelievable you took out the prize in both categories. I’m so happy for you as it’s so well deserved. I bet your family is very proud of you. You sound like you’ve been very busy and your book will be such a great family record – what a keepsake! And I love your candles – yes, irregular shaped ones all slightly different do look best in a group. And these would make beautiful Christmas gifts xxReplyCancel

  • Congratulations! Cool candles too!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations! You deserve it.ReplyCancel

  • Coleen Patrick

    Congratulations! You totally deserve it. Every time I pop in here for a visit I feel like I’m getting the feeling of afternoon tea–pretty, yummy and relaxing. The candle craft is eye candy too! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • I’m so happy for you. you are an inspiration to us all. may this award open many doors for you and lead to even greater successes!ReplyCancel

  • Fantastic…congratulations! ReplyCancel

  • Emilie

    That’s amazing Smidge, and well deserved. Congrats!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations on winning!!!!! That’s fabulous!
    The candles look gorgeous. And I think your idea for giving A Year Of Smidge to your family is an absolutely wonderful memento filled with love, which I’m sure they’ll treasure forever. xxReplyCancel

  • Yippie!! Congrats, lady! So well deserved. Thanks for always inspiring me with your photographs, recipes, and prose.


  • ¡Enhorabuena! (that´s congrats!) So well deserved. And yto still have time to put together a book, show us some crafts and a recipe 🙂 You are a seriously inspiring lady!ReplyCancel

  • Hip hip hooray! Smidgey Poo won twice!!!!ReplyCancel

  • I think I’m going to come and spend Christmas in your house. It will be so beautiful. Don’t worry about the family. You can introduce me as a mad aunt and then shut me in a cupboard somewhere. I only want a look!
    Many congratulations and thanks for the inspiration.ReplyCancel

  • You definitely have a loyal following that enjoys, appreciates and utilizes what you provide. Hard work though!
    I love this candle project. It’s like a simple weeknight recipe that is totally doable but so lovely and sweet.
    ps – try a wee pinch of salt in your hot chocolate… you’d be surprised 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations!! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations! I’m do happy that you won this prestigious award. And then you go and win that really cool cookbook from my friend Barb! Those candles look great; we decided to switch our candles to only beeswax, the paraffin was giving me headaches! We get our beeswax candles from a local business and the guarantee 100% beeswax, the rules in Canada are you need only 10% to declare beeswax on your label!(http://www.canadacandle.com/). If you shop there, tell Brian I sent you!ReplyCancel

  • gastrogardener

    Hooray! How deserving…. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • What a beautiful candles dear Barbara, Thank you and congratulations, you deserve. I love you and your amazing blog. Blessing and Happiness, love, niaReplyCancel

  • Congratulations! I am so happy for your awards – well deserved, I must say.ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations Barbara and very well deserved. It is so obvious from reading your blog that you put in a lot of time, a great deal of effort and a lot of hard work to make Just a Smidgen such a lovely place to visit – it always looks so beautiful. Well done. xxx 😉ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations! Well-deserved award.ReplyCancel

  • Whoo Hoo! Can you hear me hollering with excitement from Washington State? 🙂 Congratulations, I am so happy for you Smidge and you absolutely deserve the awards. You truly have a gift and it shows in this beautiful blog of yours!!! The candles are lovely. What a beautiful gift for friends and family.
    I just have to say however, if you do decided to print extra copies of your 2012 year in review… I’d love to purchase one. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations Smidge!! I’m so glad you won 🙂 Beautiful post as usual.

  • Congrats – so excited for you:) Love the candles – thanks for sharing! Have a Great One!ReplyCancel

  • Hooray for you! And candles are a favorite Christmas memory–my mom made them every year. maybe I will revisit the tradition.ReplyCancel

  • What a happy post 🙂 I love your “A Year of Smidge” idea, very cute. Congrats on your winnings!ReplyCancel

  • Claire @ Claire K Creations

    Congratulations Barbara that’s wonderful! That’s a really great idea to print out a copy of your recipes for the year. I might do the same. Beautiful candles and what rich looking hot chocolate. I’ll have to save that one for later because it’s way too hot here at the moment!ReplyCancel

  • How fantastic! Congratulations again, and the book is such an exciting idea.ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations, Smidge! x2!! I couldn’t be happier for you…way to go! (Darling candles, too!)ReplyCancel

  • Double congrats Barbara – well deserved! I was Hoping to see a photo of you with that beaver hat as a prize – maybe next year! And the candles are lovely! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations and very well deserved! Your blog is fantastic!


  • I knew you’d win!! I am so jazzed for you congratulations!! Your craft is adorable!ReplyCancel

  • Hot chocolate and crafts! Sounds like an awesome night in!ReplyCancel

  • Eha

    Terrific: I knew all those votes from Down Under would count double as well 😀 ! And thank you for all the wonderful ideas!!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations, it is well deserved Barbara 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations on your well deserved awards. The candles are gorgeous. The one with the little sparkling bell is divine 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Wonderful news, Barb! I’m so happy for you! I’m not at all surprised, to be honest. Your blog posts are both creative and beautiful and always inspiring. What a wonderful gift “A Year of Smidge” is going to be for your family. The cocoa and candles are just another nice touch. Again, Congratulations!! oxoReplyCancel

  • Yippee, yay! Congratulations Smidge, I never doubted for one second that you would win and no less in both categories – you are a continual inspiration to us all! Your candles are exquisite and make for the most beautiful gifts for any time of the year and for any occasion. Kudos on putting your book together – your family are very lucky!
    🙂 Mandy xoReplyCancel

  • Congratulations that’s wonderful !!! Wooo hooo all round ! We all know how wonderful you and your blog are, now maybe some new friend swill too !
    And yes please to your winter warmer of hot choccy 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations! Truly well deserved. Your blog is beautiful inside and out. Love the candles; especially beads; classic. And I definitely need to prepare the Mexican hot chocolate; yummy!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations! You’re so worth it – don’t drink hot chocolate … but if I did – this would be on mine tonight.
    Haven’t you got my envelop yer ????!!! Bit worried that it has gone lost.ReplyCancel

  • I’m so happy for you… You truly do deserve both. You have such a gift ! DianeReplyCancel

  • Hi Smidge, congrats on your award (which is phenomenal recognition) of your hard work indeed. I love a bit of Christmas craft (but as I’m heading overseas) for my Christmas, I’ll have to content myself with your lovely pics.

    I’m also a fan of spiced chocolates too, mmm-mm… 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations, winning both awards and Barb’s cookbook prize, yep, buying a lottery may not be a bad idea. Love your candles, you make them look so to make.ReplyCancel

  • mjskit

    Congratulations on both awards!!! That is super awesome!!! Love your candle decorations!ReplyCancel

  • You know you are overly busy when… ….. …… you cannot remember if you already left a comment on your favorite blog! Maybe I did it on Facebook? Oh, well – I say it again: CONGRATULATIONS!

    I am always in complete awe of your posts, the beauty, the care, the attention to detail… when I grow up, I want to be just a little bit like you… wait, I am grownup already! OH, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! 😉ReplyCancel

  • Awwww, congratulations Barb, I’m so happy for you! Well-deserved, to be sure. Ina would be proud of you 🙂 I am!

    Thank you, too, for the wonderful candle decorations, I’m crazy about these, and they fit perfectly into our house’s decor. Just lovely dear.

    I just made a cup of Ina’s Mexican hot chocolate myself, so cheers! And congratulations!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations! And what a great project to share 🙂 Your creativity is mind-blowing!ReplyCancel

  • You’ve been a busy gal, haven’t you? Congratulations on the much-deserved recognition, young lady! And the book sounds like another victory – no matter where it appears…ReplyCancel

  • Well done – knew you’d win!ReplyCancel

  • Bravo! Bravo!ReplyCancel

  • The world needs more of you!!! Thank you for your joyful presence on the blogosphere.ReplyCancel

  • Huge congrats on the double win!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations!!!! Good tidings, indeed. You totally deserve it, Barbara. 🙂ReplyCancel

    You won bragging rights and it is something you can put on your resume if you venture out to make more than one copy of your book! I would love a copy BTW!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations, how exciting! Of course you won: your blog is amazing, has fantastic user friendly recipes and crafts, and your writing is beautiful! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations on not one but two wonderful awards. I can think of no one more deserving than yourself. I love your beautiful idea with the candles!ReplyCancel

  • Well all I can say is that these two awards are just so well deserved…your blog always inspires, uplifts and adds so much beauty to one’s day. I’m enjoying listening to the music while reading and writing here, and am thinking of how you manage to create such a whole experience for us as readers. You are magical, Smidge! Kudos and congrats to you. Happy Holidays! And I love your candles, too. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    Oh my Goodness Smidge, seriously, the next time I’m feeling stressed (give me 10 minutes – ;0) – I’m coming right over and clicking on that peaceful music and scanning your calming, lovely craft images that seem a perfect match for the serene feeling of this post… Inhale…. Exhale… ;0). (Congrats again on your well-deserved award!)ReplyCancel

  • Congrats Smidge! I’ve been meaning to comment on this all week!!! You truly deserve it, you must be so happy. Your candles are fabulous by the way. Hope you are enjoying your holiday season 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations Smidge! You really deserve itReplyCancel

  • Love the candles and you are a star! Well done! Felicitations ! xxReplyCancel

  • Congratulations Smidge! The awards are so well-deserved!!!!! I can only imagine how busy you have been. And these crafts are too cute and simple. I love them. Congrats!!!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations!!!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations Smidge! You are quite the little busy bee. I think your idea to bind a book for your family is a fantastic idea. Your candles are very comforting and will be a nice addition to the holiday flare this year. Take care, BAMReplyCancel

  • Your photos are always stunning Barb, but I really love this picture of the hot chocolate. I was thinking that I had already written you a note, but I see here that I haven’t. It has been quite a week, so I apologize for the delay — as I really appreciated the second shout-out about the book. So delighted to hear about this well deserved recognition. You make the rest of us Canuck’s proud!ReplyCancel

  • Congratulations Barbara, you totally deserve it!ReplyCancel

  • Love the rustic stars!ReplyCancel

  • […] 6. CANDELE – potrete farle oppure semplicemente decorare delle candele semplici in vasetto (come quelle che vendono all’Ikea, per intenderci) –> http://justasmidgen.com/2012/12/04/a-smidgen-of-glad-tidings/. […]ReplyCancel

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