St. Lucia Day Blog Procession


    HAPPY ST. LUCIA DAY!
   Welcome to my second "St. Lucia Blog Procession" here at Audrey Eclectic! I'm so glad you could stop in to visit--- and please join us in the procession if you'd like to! (you can add your blog link to the linky tool at the end of this post)


      Something about the story and tradition of St. Lucia and Scandinavian Christmas in general has always spoken to me. Blame it on the Kirsten Doll I got in the second grade, but I've always loved the home spun sweetness of a Scandinavian Christmas!
   
    Here in the US, where we are very far from the land of reindeer and the Northern Lights, we still have our Scandinavian elements. Many Scandinavian immigrants came out to the prairie that I call home, bringing with them their customs of straw ornaments, good food, and tales of a beautiful saint bringing light and sweet goodies on a dark winter's night.


   A couple of years ago we were able to visit Lindsborg, Kansas for their St. Lucia Festival (you can read all about it in my 2012 Saint Lucia Procession Post!) and it was so magical to see the Scandinavian culture and heritage through the lens of American pioneers.

   The simplicity and love of nature inherent in a Scandinavian Christmas are also very appealing to me--- and I love gathering recipes and craft ideas for things to do during the holidays from my favorite Scandinavian Christmas books--- like these by Trine Hahnemann and Hege Barnholt:


    One thing that I LOVE about Scandinavian Christmas is that nature is so close at hand. In Lindsborg we bought sheaves of wheat to leave out for the birds, according to custom. But this year-- far from Lindsborg and no wheat fields to gather from, we took inspiration from the book Handmade Scandinavian Christmas to make ''bird cakes" for our feathered friends this winter.


    Audrey was very eager and willing to help out with this project--- she loves watching the birds outside our windows just as much as I do, and this was a great project to get a little gooey and creative with.
   The ingredients for the bird cakes were simple; we used birds seed and lard. Yep, lard. Or you can say 'rendered fat' if that makes you feel fancier. I know it does for me ;)


 
    Making these little bird cake ornaments were so easy and so fun. All we did was put some big dollops of lard in a bowl, mix in some bird seed so that the lard was pretty well covered in seeds, then we rolled out the 'dough' to cut with cookie cutters, or roll into shape like play dough.
   To be honest, the rolling method was easiest. The concoction was just a little too fluid to work well with the cookie cutters, although we had more success with some shapes than others.
   In the end, the best ways to make the cakes were to roll the dough into balls, or mold it into hearts.
  With some of the ornaments, I poked a hole through the middle with a wooden skewer, although some I just left whole.
    When we had all the ornaments we needed, we put them on a tray and stuck them in the freezer. When they'd set (they were harder but still a bit sticky) we tied them with string to make into ornaments!


    Once we had them all secure with the string (I used cotton yarn you can find for just a couple of dollars at the craft store) we took them outside and hung them on our little maple tree to entice our little feathered friends!


We had so much fun making these ornaments--- and it was a pretty quick and easy project, that are good for nature as well! Since its so cold in the winter, these ornaments will keep their shape, yet they remain soft enough that the birds will be able to pick out the seeds.
   The lard (or suet if you'd rather use beef fat instead of pork) is actually very good for birds during the winter. It will help them keep warm and give them an extra energy boost that is so important in keeping them healthy during the cold winter months.
   You can use these little ornaments all through the winter and cool part of spring, but they are not recommended to be used during hot summer months.
 
   So perhaps if you have a gray winter day that needs a simple and fun activity, I highly recommend this one-- the birds will thank you for it!

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And so....thus concludes MY St. Lucia Blog Procession Post- but we're just getting started!
    I have many friends who are joining in the fun--- and you're welcome to join in too! There is a linky tool at the end of this post where other participating blogs are listed, please take a moment and give them a visit! Perhaps with some coffee and a Lucia Bun in hand? I know my friends out here on the internet have some wonderful things to share! And please, feel free to join in the fun!
Thank you for stopping by today!~!
God Jul,
Heather

19 comments

  1. I commented before but I don't think it saved. If I double comment the same thing feel free to delete one lol. I was just saying how I contemplated including a section on Kirsten in my post as well because she was my first exposure to this holiday as well. Too funny! I love your beautiful bird snacks hehe, they don't look like they're made of lard they almost look like donuts! Have a lovely day, and Happy St. Lucia day! Thank you for hosting this procession!

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  2. Happy St. Lucia Day everyone!! I don't have a blog but I have my AE poster set up with a candle and my few scandinavian figurines of a wooden reindeer from Finland, Dala Horse, Straw pony, Troll from Norway, and a small candelabra from my husband's Norwegian Aunt. Instead of making saffron buns, I found some Lingonberry Jam so I decided to make Nana Olsen's Norwegian pancake recipe and serve with the jam and bacon. I'm pretty sure Nana would be pretty happy we are keeping it Norwegian in spirit today!

    Heather, I love your wonderful bird ornaments! They turned out so cute and I bet the birds are going to be very happy for their treats! I'm off to see what the others are sharing and then get out in the kitchen to finish the pancakes. Have a wonderful day everyone!!

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  3. We have a busy day, but I can't wait to come back and read through all the other posts! Just wanted to say that I love your art. Thanks for hosting the link-up!

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  4. Hello Dearest Heather!!
    Oh I just LOVED my visit here today!! All of the images are so delightful and colorful. I just so enjoyed watching Audrey in the birdseed cake making, so much!!! She is a real CUTIE!!!
    Thank you for giving me a warm smile!!!
    Blessings hugs and love, Linnie

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  5. Love Audrey's little bird cakes. She is getting to be such a big girl. As always, your blog presents us with such a cozy experience! Your Scandi straw ornaments and sweet Lucia Procession painting are perfection. Happy St. Lucia Day!

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  6. What a lovely post about Saint Lucia Day! I wished for one of those Kirsten dolls in my "advanced adulthood," but they were phasing them out and were no longer available at the American Girl site. I've tried to motivate myself to bake a Saint Lucia Crown cake, but never have done so, nor is it in my plan for today, though I did picture it on my own blog today.

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  7. I love the handmade ornaments for the birds. Such a lovely way to celebrate today! Your daughter is just the sweetest thing and looks to take after her momma quite a bit. :)

    I, too, am very taken with the Scandinavian Christmas traditions and am adding those books above to my amazon list. Honestly, most European feast celebrations speak to me. I think it is how they incorporate so much of the natural world out of doors into their homes...defying the bitter cold in our need to connect with nature.

    Happy St. Lucy's Feast to you and yours!!

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  8. btw- we'll be celebrating today in a simpler manner than usual (with hot cocoa/coffee and sweet buns after dinner tonight), but I wanted to participate in your blog procession today and so reposted our celebration from 2011. Thanks for hosting, Heather!

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    1. Good grief!! I forgot the link-back. Fixed now! It's been too long I've been out of the blogging mode. Sorry for any confusion. O.o

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  9. Very beautiful! Love the birdseed cakes.

    We have a battered original Kirsten now, but she still needs a Lucia gown and wreath. I will have her stuff next year. That's my plan! :)

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  10. I think we're going to try similar birdfeeders for the New Year! Love all your decorations. =)

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  11. These birdseed cakes look perfect! Sounds like an easy and useful project. I will definitely try to make them!
    And now I need to write my post for your St. Lucy Blog Procession:)
    Happy St. Lucy day!!!

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  12. I hope you had a wonderful St. Lucia Day! I loved the little bird treats- I definitely think Alice and I need to try making those this coming week. It's been a lot of fun clicking on the links to the other blogs and reading how others celebrate St. Lucia Day. Thank you for having this blog procession, Heather!

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  13. Thank you for doing this, Heather. I find it strange and interesting that this saintly girl became to popular in Scandinavia.

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  14. Thanks for hosting the link party! Your tree looks terrific! I've been a fan of all things Scandinavian ever since I visited Sweden and Denmark on a school trip in 1982. No Lucia Day festivities within thirty miles of my home, but further away, in Seattle, is one of the nation's largest Scandinavian heritage communities. Some day I will make it over there to attend and enjoy the sights. I discovered your artwork on etsy a few years ago and I was excited to find you had a blog too. God Jul!

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  15. Thank you for hosting the St. Lucia link-up! We really enjoy celebrating St. Lucia Day.

    By the way, I love your artwork, you do beautiful work and are very talented.

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  16. Thank you for hosting this! So lovely to peek into so many families and homes and see all the different celebrations. St. Lucia, pray for us!

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  17. your blog photos are a good deal more cozy than mine, which reflect the sub zero temperatures of Lapland in Sweden. Feel chilly just looking at them.

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  18. Heather, this is great. I've just sent your link to my granddaughter's other grandmother because she has Norwegian and Italian heritage on that side of her family.

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Each and every comment is appreciated! Thanks for coming to visit me :) ~Heather

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