A Mountain Quiltfest

The 16th Annual A Mountain Quiltfest opens tomorrow, March 10th, here in Pigeon Forge, with the quilts remaining on display through Sunday, March 14th.  The Quilt Show and Vendor Hall are free and open to the public at the Music Road Convention Center and Smoky Mountain Convention Center venues.

On Friday night, there’s a Show-and-Tell event at the Grand Majestic Theater, where quilters are invited to bring their projects and discuss the inspiration behind their unique creations.

Instructors from all over the United States are giving quilting lessons for students of all skill levels, covering every topic and technique you can imagine.  Professional quilt appraiser Sandra Palmer is here again this year for private appraisals.

Door prizes, meal lectures, Antique Quilt Bed Turning (highlighting pre-1960 quilts), and of course all the fabulous original creations entered into the juried quiltfest show in ten categories – there will be an abundance of beauty, creativity & inspiration on display this weekend!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

We’re really excited about the expansion of the Ne’Qwa Art ornaments line to include collegiate styles this year!  Here’s a sampling of the large ornaments: 

NeQwa Collegiate Ornaments


Naturally, we’re featuring the SEC teams in this area!  The ornaments are also available in a smaller size.  No, I’m not favoring LSU, why do you ask?? 

LSU Ornament


Ne’Qwa has also added some new themes such as Cowboy and Fly Fishing. 

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day next week, how about one of these clever and unique ornaments – the leprechaun is definitely fit for display year round! 

Irish Snowman


Leprechaun Ornament

Did you also notice the new ornament display stand in my top picture, that offers you the opportunity to display three ornaments on one stand – I just happen to have three signed Ne’Qwa ornaments in my collection, and this will be a great way to show them off at Christmas. 

There are many more new ornaments in the collection in both sacred and secular Christmas themes – be sure to check them all out. 

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Food for Friday

I found this pretty little cook book in the gallery this afternoon, Best of the Holidays, by Dot Gibson.  It’s a best-of collection from three other volumes, and it’s all about sweets and treats for holiday celebrations and gift giving.  No main dishes here, just great choices for parties and snacking, heavy on the appetizers, cookies, and candies, with beverages, breads, cakes, pies, and muffins for good measure.  Have you ever had “Better Than Robert Redford”?  It’s in here, under an assumed name, of course.

Many of the recipes are quite easy and elegant, and this would really be a go-to cook book if you like to entertain – even year round.  Why use all those pans only in November and December?

I thought I’d share two recipes, one because I’ve never heard of the idea; the other, because it’s one of my favorite sweet treats.

Mayonnaise Biscuits

1 C self-rising flour
1/2 C milk
1 T mayonnaise
2 T butter, divided

Put 1/2 teaspoon of butter in each muffin tin.  Place in oven until melted.  Mix flour, mayonnaise, and milk; pour into tins.  Bake at 450 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Have you ever heard of such a thing?  Sounds so easy and kind of interesting ~ I really wonder what shape and texture they have.

The next recipe requires a candy thermometer ~ luckily I happen to have one ~ to go along with my sweet tooth .. like this new elf from Mark Roberts’ collection.

Louisiana Pralines

1-1/2 C granulated sugar
1-1/2 C light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 C corn syrup
1/8 t salt
1 C evaporated milk
4 T margarine
1 t vanilla
1-1/2 C pecan pieces

Combine the sugars, corn syrup, salt, milk, and margarine in a large, heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.  Stir frequently until mixture reaches 236 degrees on candy thermometer or until it forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water.  Remove from heat and cool for 2 or 3 minutes.  Add vanilla and nuts and beat with wooden spoon until mixture begins to thicken.  Quickly drop by spoonfuls onto greased foil.  Allow to cool.

Yuuuummmmmmm .. I have nothing more to say.  I once took a pralines tour of all the sweet shops in downtown New Orleans.  That was a great day!

C = Cup; T = Tablespoon; t = teaspoon

We’re looking at some really sweet weekend weather here – hope you are, too.  Spring is coming!

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Titanic Museum Coming to Pigeon Forge

I just came from a “hard hat tour” of the new Titanic museum that opens up the street here next month.  I think you’ll definitely want to go, and take the whole family with you!

The front portion of the ship is nearing completion now, built at about 1/2 scale to the real ship.  There’s an iceberg tearing into the prow on the other side of the ship, and soon there will be waves breaking across her bow.  The museum will house around 400 artifacts valued at $4 million, some on display for the first time ever.  Photographs and film footage comprising the only original images in existence will be on view as part of the interactive museum exhibit.

Our brief tour took us through the third class (steerage) deck, where you’ll experience flood waters rising through the ship (but stay dry, never fear); through first class, and  into the only, and very grand, parlor on the ship.  The grand wooden staircase you remember from photos and recreations will be installed next week.  There is even a room depicting the sight of the wreckage on the ocean floor, with images that will place you right inside the explorer’s submarine.  John Joslyn, museum owner, spent over 30 days at the site of the wreck and made several submarine trips to the ocean floor.

Our hostess for the tour, Mary Kellogg-Joslyn, explained that each visitor will be assigned the name of a person who was on the ship, and at the end of the tour you’ll learn whether your character (passenger or crew member) lived or died.  Children will be involved in the experience by being assigned tasks to perform along the way, such as shoveling coal into the boilers.  There is also a scaled-down, hands-on activity area for kids called Tot-tanic (I may not have the right spelling, but that’s the pronunciation).  One of the activities is a game recreation of the crash in which the player has 37 seconds to try to avoid hitting the iceberg, as happened on that fateful night.

The crew will be well-trained to help complete your immersion experience by interacting with one another like a typical ship’s crew.

We’ve been watching the ship take shape over the past year, those enormous stovepipes rising in the sky ~ how neat to get a glimpse inside.  I think it’s going to be a spectacular attraction, something you’ll want to tour more than once, and an experience that will linger with you afterwards.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Produce Pets Follow-Up

Here are the last two pets I promised to show you .. Wise Apple Owl and little Potato Piggie (he just slays me!).

Our associates were wondering if these would help interest kids in eating their veggies ~ but I’m not so sure.  Could you take a bite after seeing these adorable faces?

~Janet @ The Christmas Place

Two for Tuesday

Do you love your veggies?  Do you especially love them when they are cute veggies?  Do you love farm animals?  Do you love house pets?  Do you especially love them when you aren’t the one that has to clean up after them?

I think we have the veggies and pets you need – and they’re packaged together in one charming and creative assemblage.  Check out our newest collection in the store ~ Produce Pets!  Okay, that’s not really their technical name, but they don’t seem to have one.  And we think it’s cute.  But we’re open to your naming suggestions, too.  Check them out!


These wonderful little figurines are filled with so much personality ~ especially the imperious attitude of that Onion Cat!  They are around 3″ to 4″ in size, and I have two more to show you tomorrow – an apple owl and a potato pig.  Heartbreakers, I tell ya’!

Sure hope they’ve put a smile on your face today.

~Janet @ The Christmas Place