Posts Tagged ‘family traditions’

Have a Homespun Holiday Season

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

We here at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop would like to share with you a collection of holiday items that offer a heartwarming theme of a Homespun Christmas. Decorating your home with a homespun feel evokes memories of Christmas as a child and reminds us of a simpler time. It is the material used that helps create the handcrafted or handmade look. Consider any of the Sturbridge products featured below to present your home this Christmas with country charm and character.

All Hearts Come Home for Christmas

Whether or not your whole family is together for the holiday season, it can be said that all hearts come home for Christmas. If you have loved ones far away, send them a little love and let them know how much you care with a sweet Heart Button Hanger, featuring various calico and check fabrics pieced together for a patchwork look, and petite buttons that add that special handmade touch. Set of plaid County Heart Ornaments is sure to warm the heart of anyone who receives them. Give a heart to each of your closest friends and family members for a charming reminder of your friendship each time the ornament is hung. Use the sweet smell of orange and cinnamon on a Scented Heart Ornament to evoke a nostalgic feel of a Christmas past.

Heart Button Hangers
Country Heart Ornament Set Scented Heart Ornament

Christmas Postcard Pillow Decorative Pillows For Use In Every Room

Bring a bit of handmade appeal into every room with pillows that will accent your style and the season. Christmas Postcard Pillow features a vintage inspired design of a feather Christmas tree, a perched cardinal, and scrolling script alluding to the magical holiday of Christmas.

Presents for Pups has bells that jingle, tails that wag, and an embroidered feather tree with ornaments and festive accents. Woodsy Owl features leather-like fabric and button eyes on a tartan plaid background with applique felt holly to bring the whole look together and offer a natural, woodland feel.

Presents For Pups Pillow Woodsy Owl Pillow

Ideas for Your Own Homespun Christmas

1. Design handmade greeting cards with extra wrapping paper scraps, felt, and buttons.

2. Replace store-bought stockings with your personal long stockings or long socks for a vintage touch.

3. Fill a mason jar with the dry ingredients to your favorite cookies or sweet treat. Write out the recipe and attach to jar with ribbon for a great hostess gift.

4. Have an evening filled with cookie making and singing Christmas carols.

Heart Button Hangers

Tall Green Felt Tree Decorative Accents With Handmade Appeal

Fill your house and charm your guests with decorative accents that look as though you just picked them up at a local craft sale. Knit stockings, felt trees, and other items such as handmade ornaments will make your entire home feel as though it was decorated by a magical handicraft fairy (and no one ever has to know that you put it all together yourself with items from Sturbridge). Hang the stockings by the chimney with care with a set of wooden stocking hooks, made right here in America from solid wood with differently colored ends on each hook to easily distinguish which stocking belongs to which person.

Red Snowflake Knit StockingWooden Stocking Hooks


What do you do with your family to create a homespun Christmas feel each year?

Post to Twitter Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

The Do’s and Don’ts of Strawberry Picking

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Harvest ColanderAh, strawberries! Only 55 calories per cup, this perfect fruit is a superb source of Vitamin C, folic acid, potassium and fiber. Picking your own berries provides a fun activity for the entire family, and the berries are fresher and healthier than what you find in your local grocery store. Here are some guidelines for getting the most out of your strawberry picking experience:

Before you go
Call your orchard. Crops can be affected by weather (both rain and cooler temperature). When strawberries are in season, a large turnout can pick a field clean before noon. Ask your orchard if containers are provided and if there is a charge for them. Leave early – it will be cooler and you will have a better chance of getting the best berries! Wear sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable shoes. Bug spray is recommended, especially after a rainy day. Pack a lunch with plenty to drink.

Picking Do’s

  • Pick only the berries that are fully red. Part the leaves with your hands to look for hidden berries ready for harvest.
  • Select plump, firm, fully red berries. The small berries are often most flavorful.
  • Watch your knees – be careful not to crush plants or fruit in or along the edge of the row.
  • Help your local farmer by also removing from the plants berries showing rot, sunburn, insect injury or other defects and place them between the rows behind you. If they are left in the plants, the rot will quickly spread to other berries.
  • Do know your measurements and do not over pick: 1 quart = 2 pints = 4 cups and is about the same as 1 liter and weighs 1.25 lbs (or 600- 625 g). 1 quart is normally enough for 4 servings. If you do end up with too many, freeze the extra. Strawberries in the refrigerator will only last about 2 days and quickly mold at room temperature.
  • Do bring a camera to capture all the fun!

Harvest ColanderPicking Don’ts

  • Do not pick an unripe strawberry. Strawberries do not ripen on their own once they leave the plant.
  • Do not pile them too high: Heaping strawberries more than 5 inches deep will bruise the lower berries.
  • Don’t place the picked berries in the sunshine any longer than necessary. It is better to put them in the shade of a tree or shed than in the car trunk or on the car seat. Cool them as soon as possible after picking.
  • Don’t wash the berries until you are ready to use them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling.
  • Pour them out into shallow pans and remove any mushed, soft or rotting berries.
  • Put a couple of days supply into the fridge, wash and cut the caps (green tops) off the others and freeze them up!

The nit-picking of picking
Grasp the stem just above the berry between the forefinger and the thumbnail and pull with a slight twisting motion.

With the stem broken about one-half inch from the berry, allow it to roll into the palm of your hand.

Carefully place – don’t throw – the fruit into your containers.

English Garden PotHaeger Deep Pie Dish

Post to Twitter Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon

An Ornamental Tradition

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Here at Sturbridge Yankee Workshop, we love tradition, but we also embrace new spins on tradition. During the winter holidays, people love basking in nostalgia—trees, greens, decorations, smells—and all families have their own special stories to go along with each thing they do. Most decorations also have stories that go with them and it’s the memories attached that make decorating every year so special.

One member of our workshop team created a tradition when her daughter, the only grandchild on both sides of the family, was born. Each year she takes a photograph of the child and mounts it into a photo ornament frame. Michael’s has a nice variety that can fit school pictures. She uses these as gift tags.

These special ornaments usually end up hanging on the trees, often lost among the other special ornaments or the branches. Another idea would be to hang them on a special ornament tree or display stand.

Post to Twitter Post to Yahoo Buzz Post to Delicious Post to Digg Post to Facebook Post to MySpace Post to StumbleUpon