Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Waes Hael

 Here we come a-wassailing

Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a-wand'ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,

And God send you a Happy New Year.

We are not daily beggers
That beg from door to door,
But we are neighbors' children
Whom you have seen before
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Good master and good mistress,
As you sit beside the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Who wander in the mire.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year

We have a little purse
Made of ratching leather skin;
We want some of your small change
To line it well within.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Bring us out a table
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a cheese,
And of your Christmas loaf.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

God bless the master of this house,
Likewise the mistress too;
And all the little children
That round the table go.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail, too,
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year,
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Waes Hael

Wassail comes from the Old English words waes hael, which means "be well," "be hale," or "good health." A strong, hot drink (usually a mixture of ale, honey, and spices) would be put in a large bowl, and the host would lift it and greet his companions with "waes hael," to which they would reply "drinc hael," which meant "drink and be well." Over the centuries some non-alcoholic versions of wassail evolved.

Wassail Punch
Serves 6
6 cups apple cider
1 cup orange juice
4 cinnamon sticks, plus additional for garnish
6-8 whole star anise, plus additional for garnish
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of allspice
Juice of one lemon
In a large dutch oven, bring all of the ingredients to a low boil. 
Reduce heat and allow to simmer for a few hours. 
Serve hot. Garnish with whole cinnamon sticks and star anise.

Traditional Wassail Recipe

Makes 1 pitcher (6-10 Servings)

This traditional wassail recipe features hard cider, sugar-roasted apples, brandy and sweet spices. It is a simple, old-fashioned recipe.


4 small apples
1 cup unrefined cane sugar
1 medium orange
13 whole cloves
2 quarts hard apple cider
1/2 cup brandy
1 tbsp powdered ginger
1 tsp grated nutmeg
allspice berries
cinnamon sticks
6 large eggs (separated)
toast (optional, to serve with)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scoop out the core of the apples without fully penetrating the apple – a melon baller works well. Fill each apple with about a tablespoon of unrefined cane sugar. Place the apples in the baking sheet. Stud an orange with thirteen cloves and place it in the baking sheet. Bake the apples and orange together for forty minutes.

While the apples and orange bake, pour apple cider and brandy into a heavy-bottomed stock pot and warm over moderately low heat. Whisk in powdered ginger and grated nutmeg. Do not bring the wassail to a boil.

Cut a small square of the butter muslin and place allspice and cinnamon into the square; tie with 100% cotton cooking twine and float this sachet of spices in the wassail as it warms.

Beat egg yolks until light in color and set aside. In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg yolks into whites, then temper the eggs by slowly pouring one-half cup wassail into the eggs. Remove the spice sachet from the wassail and pour in eggs. Transfer to a punch bowl. Float baked apples and oranges in the wassail and serve by the mug, topping each much with a small slice of toast if desired.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

Celebrating an Old English Christmas
Inglewyck Hall   December 804

The Preparations for the great Winter feast had begun some days ago.  The girls went into the woods and gathered branches of holly and mistletoe.  These we used to decorate the great hall hanging them above the door and from the beams, they would ensure that green plants would always abound and spring would bring the sun and warmth back to the land.  The days keep getting colder and shorter, and the nights seem to have no end, so we will welcome King Winter to our home and hearth this eve that he might make the cold months pass quickly.  

Father Christmas  
While St Nicholas customs were developing in Europe
as eary as the 9th century. he did not arrive in
England until much later. 
 Instead the Saxons welcomed King Frost,  also called Father Time or King Winter.  King Winter, represented by an individual dressed the part, wearing a crown or fancy hat,  would go from house to house where he was taken to the fireside and show hospitality.  They believed that if they welcomed Winter as a person, He would be less harsh, not overly cold or wet but just enough to replenish the land.

Christmas Trees and Evergreens
There are many folktales that cite the origin of the Christmas Tree, but no true and definitive source. 
 One tale states that St Boniface (an English monk who brought Christianity to Germany around 700AD)  interrupted a pagan ceremony taking place beneath a mighty oak.  Boniface felled the oak with one blow and pointing to an evergreen bade the people to take it into their homes as a sign of endless life, the tree of the Christ Child.
Another legend tells that St Boniface made use of the fir trees triangular shape as a symbol of the Trinity; Father , Son and Holy Spirit.  Thus his converts adopted the fir tree as God's tree, and by the 12th century it was being hung upside down in homes as a symbol of  Christianity.
For centuries prior to Christianity cultures have revered the evergreen.  There was great mystic significance tied to plants that remained green or bore berries even
in the darkest season of winter. The Egyptians treasured and worshiped evergreens like the palm, 
bring the leaves into their homes at the winter solstice.
 Laurel and palm were sacred to the Greeks. The Romans decorated their houses with greens and lights and exchanged gifts during Saturnalia, their winter solstice festival.
The Scandinavians honored the woodland spirits believed to inhabit trees by hanging ribbons and brightly colored objects from them during winter solstice.
Druids used holly and mistletoe as symbols of eternal life in their solstice rituals.  They placed branches of evergreen over doorways to ward off evil spirits. 


Irene Chalmers, The Great American Christmas Almanac,
Viking Penguin; New York, 1988

Miles Hadfield and John Hadfield, The Twelve Days of Christmas,
Little, Brown and Co.; 1961
John Matthews, The Winter Solstice: The Sacred Traditions of Christmas,
Quest Books, Theosophical Publishing House; Wheaton Il, 1998
Phillip Snyder, The Christmas Tree Book,
Viking Press; New York, 1976


Christmas Music
History of Christmas Traditions

Yes I know that the pictures are not Saxon, but they are some of the gifts and decorations from my Christmas this year. 
Hope everyone has a very blessed Holiday.
Huggs ~Iantha~

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Still Life and a New Project

Hello everyone!!! Just wanted to share a bit of my creative space at the Library where I work. I have some shelves that I store craft supplies on and the top shelf I have a bit of a still life assembled. The bottle with the paper flowers are from my craft program in May. The decorated Starbucks bottle is from last fall. The large spool of lace was donated by one of the lovely ladies that comes to my Going Green programs. I have put it to good use and still have plenty left over. The picture below is a sample for the ladies to get inspiration from for the program at the end of this month. We are altering picture frames. 

Isn't it just super fun, don't you just love the shabby vintage look of it. So perfect for a special romantic picture. I will leave you with a close up of one of the tissue pattern paper carnations.
Thanks for stopping by,
Huggs ~Iantha~

Monday, December 2, 2013

Going Green ~ CD Ornament


Sheet of music
Elmer’s glue
silver glitter
Skate Stamp
Bird stamp
To/From stamp
black ink
Off white paper
red ribbon
3” circle punch
or glass the correct size to draw
a circle to stamp on for front
of ornament and for the tag.

Lay the CD on the Sheet music and draw around it, do this again for a second circle. These will be the front and back of the ornament. Lay the CD on the sheet music so only half of it is overlapping on the outside edge, this will make the pocket for the to/from tag. Cut out the circles, one just inside the pencil line and the other a little further in. You want the back circle to line up with the edge of the cd and the front circle to be a bit smaller. Use double stick tape to adhere the circles to the CD making sure that the sheet music is going in the same direction on both sides. Run a thin line of Elmer’s glue on one side of the half circle of music (do not put glue on the straight edge) and adhere to one side making sure that the straight edge runs in the same direction of the music. Stamp skates on off white paper and punch out with 3” circle punch or use glass to draw around image and cut out. Stamp bird stamp and to/from stamp on off white paper and punch out. You can color in the images with colored pencils if you would like. Put tag in pocket. Use the crop-a-dile to punch a hole in the top of the ornament. Use double stick tape to attach skate image to the front of CD ornament making sure that the top is lined up with the punched hole.  Outline the image and the edge of the ornament with Elmer’s glue and sprinkle with silver glitter. Allow glue to dry before adding ribbon.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's a Robot ~ Baby!


Hello All,

Going Green Cards


Disney Day 5 ~ Magic Kingdom

For our last day at Disney we decided to revisit The Magic Kingdom. Out first stop was to get up close with Cinderella's Castle.

I just love the mosaics.The pictures don't do them justice.

We thought it would be fun to eat here but you have to make your reservations about 18 months in advance.

There is a little village that you don't get to see unless you venture through the castle entrance.

Love the details.

More highlights.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The wait wasn't too long and there was plenty to look at, though Tiff and Craig did pull out their phones a couple of times. Reading and Games.

We got another great vantage point for another great parade.