Merry Christmas!


And Mary said, "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.  For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden: for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.  For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name.  And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation.  He hath showed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away.  He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; as He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed forever."

~Luke 1:46-55

May the blessings of Christ follow you this Christmas!

love, the Long ladies

Ice Box Oatmeal Cookies

IMG_2296 This is a very special recipe… our family has been using it for generations!  We make Grandma's ice box oatmeal cookies every Christmas, and in between times too.  The recipe always gets doubled, because we like to eat thick slices of dough before we ever bake the cookies.  If you mix a batch of these up today, they'll be ready to pop in the oven tomorrow afternoon!


Grandma's Ice Box Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup Crisco

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups quick oats

1/2- 1 cup nuts (we use pecans)

1/2-1 cup coconut

Cream butter and Crisco.  Add sugars, cream until smooth.  Add eggs and vanilla– beat.  Add dry ingredients, then oatmeal, nuts, & coconut.  Lay out two long pieces of waxed paper.  Place 1/2 dough on each sheet, and form into a log.  Wrap log in waxed paper, twisting ends to "seal".  Keep refrigerated overnight.


Cut log into 1/2" to 3/4" slices.  Bake at 350 degrees.  Do not over bake!  These cookies should look soft set when taken out of the oven.  (Grandma never says how long to bake them… so you'll have to figure that one out for yourself.  But trust us– the result is worth the effort!)

PS… Isn't it the cutest thing that Grandma (our great-grandmother who is 92) calls a refrigerator an ice box? 

The best cream-filled cookie ever!

IMG_2321 Hello friends! 

You are probably all so busy right about now.  Do you have time to come bake with us?  This cookie recipe is one of our favorites (even if it is time consuming).  Especially one of Mom's favorites… she hides her personal cookie stash in the cabinet above the microwave.  Don't tell!

Cream Wafers

1 cup soft butter (it must be butter, not margarine)

1/3 cup whipping cream

2 cups flour

Mix thoroughly and chill.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Roll out about 1/3 of the dough at a time on a floured board to 1/8"-1/4" thick. Cut into small circles.  (We like to use a little glass for that)

Transfer rounds to a piece of sugar-covered wax paper, using a spatula.  Turn rounds to coat with sugar.  Place on ungreased cookie sheet; prick each round with a fork three or four times.  Bake 7-9 minutes, or until just set (not brown!).


Creamy filling…

Cream together– 

1/4 cup soft butter

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla (or more– we use more)

Until smooth a fluffy.  Tint with a few drops of food coloring (unless you love color like we do… then you use more like 30 drops of food coloring).  Put cookies together in pairs with creamy filling.

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Warning:  these can be very crumbly, so ice with caution!  And, um, you'll probably need more than one batch.

While you're at it, you may as well mix up some cinnamon rolls.  They make lovely gifts!

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A Creative Christmas

IMG_2912 Apron- full with flounce 022 Quick e-mail view

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Sorry for the delay in posting.  It's getting pretty busy around here… Christmas is officially 10 days away!  We have tried really hard this year to make Christmas presents that are more personal, creative, and unique.  Here are some of our favorite ideas…

1. a handmade  pillowcase (or two!)

2. a set of knitted or crocheted washcloths (we like to bundle them in three's)

3. a cozy handmade scarf

4. some cute coasters

5. any yummy baked goodies (pies, cookies, candy)

6. a small lap quilt patched with colorful scrap fabrics (use a sheet for your backing!)

7. some handmade napkins and napkin rings

8. hot cocoa mix

9. an apron!

10. a felt or fabric corsage

11. a special Christmas ornament (preferably handmade, you know.)

12. a decorative pillow

13. a scrap book filled with hand written recipe cards

14. some comfy handcrafted slippers

15. a set of handmade potholders

16. a really great bag

Do you have anything to add to our list?   


IMG_3019 Remember these?  Back from the quilting lady, looking so lovely!  This was such a simple quilt to make… we used this free down-loadable pattern from Amy Butler (mid mod), with a couple of alterations.  We wanted our quilts to be larger (after all, how can you get 7 or 8 people under one little lap-sized blanket?), so we simply cut double the amount of strips to make twice as many blocks.  Then we organized them in a rectangular shape, as opposed to a square.  We each chose to make slightly different borders too.  Now we just need to bind them– in our spare time, of course!

There are quite a few random things we'd like to mention, so here goes…

Our gracie ruffle skirt was reviewed here.

Marie's adorable brooke bag can be seen here.

Only 5 more days for custom orders in time for Christmas.

We are shipping for free until December 20th.

New fabrics will soon appear on the site, Lord willing, and we know you will love what you see.

We're working on some gorgeous new patterns that we hope to introduce in a few short months.

And, here is a picture of some beautiful curtains made by our friend Joanna (Barefoot Roses)…


So now you know!  At last we can get rid of all of the post-it notes littering our bulletin board.

Oh, yes!  We almost forgot.  The quilt owners are, from top to bottom: Achaia, Kristie, and Apphia!

pillowcase pizazz!

IMG_2999 Well!  Here's that new project we were talking about the other day.  Pillowcases… aren't they too cute?  We like to sleep on pretty pillowcases, especially colored ones, embroidered ones, vintage ones, polka dot ones… you know?  Now you can make some, too, because they are very fast and easy.

a regular old pillowcase…

This tutorial is for a standard size pillow.  All seam allowances are 1/2".  You will need two different fabrics and matching thread.

cutting out…

For your pillowcase:: first, cut your 45" wide fabric into a piece that's 21 1/2" long.  Then cut from the fold to 22".  (You will pretty much be shaving off the selvage edge.)  You should end up with a piece of fabric that is 21 1/2" wide by 44" tall.

For the band:: cut a strip of fabric 14" wide by 21" from the fold out.  That's 14" by 42".

1. Open out your piece of pillowcase fabric and re-fold it with the wrong side out.  Stitch along the two long edges.  This will form the main body of your pillowcase.  Finish your seams using a zigzag or serge stitch.

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2. Turn your pillowcase right side out and press thoroughly, fully extending the corners.

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3. With right sides together, stitch the two short ends of your band piece together to form a "necklace".  Press seams open.

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4.  Fold your necklace in half longways, with the wrong sides together.  Slide the "necklace" over the end of your pillowcase, raw edges together.  Pin and stitch.  Finish seams.

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5.  Press the seam toward the pillowcase.  Topstitch at 1/4" along the edge of the pillowcase, right above the band.

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(Pop Garden fabrics by Heather Bailey) 

The best hot chocolate mix. Really.

IMG_2929 Our family hates coffee.  We hate it.  All of us hate it.  But we love, love, love hot chocolate.  Especially if it's cold outside, there's a fire in the fireplace, and you happen to be dressed in a flannel nightie listening to Christmas music.  It's really exceptional then!  So, that's what we've been doing as often as possible.  This is the #1 hot chocolate mix recipe, and it makes a fabulous gift!

The yummiest-chocolatiest-creamiest hot chocolate mix ever!

Mix thoroughly–

  1 cup powdered milk

  1 cup sugar

  1/4 cup hot chocolate mix (we use Swiss Miss packages)

  1/4 cup mint chocolate chips (these look like Andes mints chopped up into little pieces)

  1/2 cup mini marshmellows (but you can use more, because we've done it!)

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Store in airtight container.  Use 2/3 cup boiling water for every 1/3 cup mix.  Makes 8 servings.  We like to give a Ball jar full of mix to our friends… but first we tie a pretty fabric bow around it (with instructions for preparation on a cute little hang tag)!

The past few days around here have been pretty busy.  In typical Long fashion, we've started about 5 dozen projects that we'd love to finish in the next couple of weeks.  Ahem.  By the grace of God, we continue to plug away!  Hopefully we'll have a fun project ready to post in the near future.  

So our question to you is, what are you doing for Christmas?  Do you give a lot of handmade gifts?

seven gifts that don’t cost a cent

In honor of this being the busiest shopping time of the year, we decided to re-post our seven gifts that don't cost a cent.  


Seven Gifts Which Do Not Cost a Cent

1. The gift of listeningBut you must really listen. No interrupting, no daydreaming, no planning your response. Just listening.

2. The gift of affectionWith appropriate hugs, kisses, pats on the back, and handholds. These small actions demonstrate love in a powerful way.

3. The gift of laughterShare amusing stories, humorous cartoons, and clippings from newspapers. Laughter establishes a bond between people and is one of the most effective medicines I know.

4. The gift of a handwritten noteKind words change lives and last a lifetime.

5. The gift of a complimentA simple kind and sincere remark can change how a person feels about himself.

6. The gift of a favorEvery week try to do at least one small act of kindness outside your family. (Acts of kindness are so hard to give away bacause they are almost always returned.)

7. The gift of a cheerful dispositionThe easiest way to feel good is to extend a kind word to someone. Look him in the eye and speak kindly from the heart with sincerity.