#CIJCookieExchange – Saint Lucie Cats

Contributor post by Megha of byTheArtBug

Let’s make Saint Lucie Cats with Kristin Frøyland Jørgensen from Vamperstein  

1. What is your recipe?

Saint Lucie Cats

150 grams butter (melted)
5 deciliters milk (luke warm)
50 grams fresh yeast (or one single pack of dry yeast)
½ teaspoon turmeric
150 grams sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tea spoons ground cardamom
13 deciliter all purpose flour

1 beaten egg for brushing
Raisins for decorations (optional)

Mix the butter, yeast and the milk in a bowl. Add sugar, salt, cardamom, turmeric and flour until a bit firm. Let the dough rest until double size (somewhere between half an hour and an hour).

Set the oven temperature on 250 degrees Celcius.

Split the dough into about 30 small pieces and make them into finger thick sausages. Then you shape them into figures like shown here:

Saint Lucie Cats

Saint Lucie Cats

Let them rest for 15 minutes and brush the egg on top and decorate with raisins. They should be in the middle of the oven for about 5-8 minutes until golden.Saint Lucie Cats 2

2. What is it about this recipe that you love?
For me, these “cats” is basically Christmas. There is something about the scent and the taste of them.

3. How did you learn to make this cookie?

My grandmother has made them as long as I can remember and it is from her I learnt to make them.

4. Please share a story or memory to go along with the cookie.
It’s also often a tradition to make them around the day of Saint Lucie, December 13th. In some places, there is also a “Saint Lucie procession” with the person in front symbolizing St Lucie herself and the whole procession sing “St. Lucia”. I remember that when I was in kindergarten, we did those processions each year at the primary school next door and a lot of the girls wanted to be Lucia (as we call her in Norway). Just in case anyone is curious about the song and the St. Lucia tradition, here is a Youtube clip from Sweden.

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/Vampersteins-Shop/106327117163
Instagram: http://instagram.com/gothicvamperstein

Multicoloured Handknit Hat for Teenage Girls From Vamperstein

Multicoloured Handknit Hat for Teenage Girls From Vamperstein

Memories Of A Lifetime – #CIJRoadTrip

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

We spent the month of August traveling the world on the first Christmas In July Road Trip! Since the CIJ team is worldwide we held a virtual #CIJRoadTrip right here on our blog!

The Road Trip began on Friday – August 1st, 2014 and concluded on Sunday – August 31st. As I mentioned the team is international and we went to visit many countries along the way!

We wanted to include as many of our talented team members as possible! The participation was fantastic! Our itinerary was filled as we traveled all over the world!

Each team member shared with us their country, as well as a little bit about themselves and their shops. I personally made many new friends and the world feels smaller to me now! Please join me to enjoy the memories of a lifetime!

Here was our itinerary:

1. August 1 – Canada / ElizabethLovesGlass – Elizabeth
2. August 2 – Chile / JuguetesEloisa – Valentina
3. August 3 – US / ClaudiaMarieFelt – Claudia Marie
4. August 4 – Australia / ColourscapeStudios – Kel
5. August 5 – UK / DetolaAndGeek – Tola
6. August 6 – Greece / fifirixtra – Ifigeneia
7. August 7 – Singapore / byTheArtBug – Megha And AngsanaSeedsPhoto – Ivy
8. August 8 – New Zealand / TangerineToes – Kaz
9. August 9 – Lithuania / feltinga – Ingrida
10. August 10 – Norway / Vamperstein – Kristin
11. August 11 – Israel / liatib – Liat
12. August 12 – Russia / KittyAprilHandmade – Katya
13. August 13 – Italy / Ghirlandiamo – Lia
14. August 14 – India / byTheCrochetBug – Natasha And bytheArtBug – Megha
15. August 15 – Belgium / cyberwezz – Wezz 
16. August 16 – Indonesia / DonBiuBali – Katrina
17. August 17 – Dominican Republic / TheLarimarShop – Angie
18. August 18 – Ireland / Gigi82Knits – Gigi
19. August 19 – Malaysia / whimsywhimsical – Yee Von
20. August 20 – Croatia / LAURELISjewelry – Zlatka
21. August 21 – Ukraine / 100Crochetnecklaces – Svitlana
22. August 22 – France / Sandra Ovono – Sandra
23. August 23 – Bulgaria / ElegantJewelryRMM – Rositza
24. August 24 – Estonia / Nalmandra – Astrida
25. August 25 – The Netherlands (Holland) / LizKnijnenburg – Anneleis
26. August 26 – Japan / KimonoPonchoCom – Yukiko
27. August 27 – Sweden / ReDesignedandRecycled – Linda
28. August 28 – Bosnia and Herzegovina / DeepSilence – Sonja
29. August 29 – Spain / Divantias – Patricia
30. August 30 – Germany / MermaidsHatBox – Barbara
31. August 31 – Turkey / Bloomed Flower – Zeynep

A special thank you to the blog contributors who escorted us on our travels!

Megha from byTheArtBug
Alicia from AliciasFindings
Jessica from CrochetNature
Jennifer from CaffeinatedPapercuts
Michelle from EviesToolEmporium

Please use #CIJRoadTrip on social media as you visit all the lovely countries we shared with you!

Thank you so much for joining us on our #CIJRoadTrip!



#CIJRoadTrip – Bryne, Norway

Contributor post by Jennifer of CaffeinatedPapercuts

I have to say, I chose Norway for a reason; my husband’s family is from Norway and still have cousins living over there. I loved learning more about the country from Kristin!

Let’s travel to  – Bryne, Norway with Kristin Frøyland Jørgensen from Vamperstein

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I live in the slightly rural town of Bryne, Norway, about 30 minutes south of Stavanger. Bryne is a small town, with about 11,000 inhabitants and you can easily walk from one corner of the city center to the other in about 15 minutes and since it’s situated in an agricultural area, you don’t get surprised if you suddenly see a tractor on the main street. Even though Bryne doesn’t have a lot to offer, at least it’s close to some decent natural scenery, like beaches and woods, and just 30 minutes from Stavanger.

The sea, just outside Hå Old Vicarage

The sea, just outside Hå Old Vicarage

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

Some of the places people could check out are among other things Ryvarden Lighthouse (near Sveio), Utstein Monastery (at Mosterøy) and Hå Old Vicarage (near Nærbø). These three are situated near the sea and have some hiking opportunities as well. If you visit Stavanger, you’ve got places like The Archeological Museum (and it’s Iron Age Farm), Øvre Holmegate (nicknamed “The Colorful Street”) and The Norwegian Canning Museum that is worth checking out.

Breiavannet, Stavanger

Breiavannet, Stavanger

3. How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

In my photography, I get inspired a lot by nature and landscapes and some of the photo prints I’ve got for sale is shot at local places, like near the old church at Varhaug, which is situated next to the sea.

Pathway at the campus to University of Stavanger, where I do my studies for a BA degree in English Language and Literature

Pathway at the campus to University of Stavanger, where I do my studies for a BA degree in English Language and Literature

Knitting is something that has been done “for ages” in Norway and thanks to my grandmother, I learned to knit (even though I’m far from my grandmother’s level). At the moment I play around with the idea of doing some Selbu mittens and similar, but I haven’t arrived to the place where I’ve actually started doing that quite yet. I think the idea needs to mature a bit, but hopefully I’ll manage to do something sooner or later.

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

I’ll maybe do a craft show or two this fall, but I haven’t quite decided yet. I do on the other hand wear some of the knitted items I make for myself, just to self promote a bit while being at university campus. I occasionally bring along a knitting project to work on during breaks and some of the students and lecturers have started asking questions about it. That is the fun part of knitting, you can take it with you “everywhere” and there is a fair chance someone will be interested.

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook; www.facebook.com/pages/Vampersteins-Shop/106327117163?ref_type=bookmark
Twitter; twitter.com/gothvamperstein
Pinterest; www.pinterest.com/ecogoth88/

Friday The Road Trip Begins – #CIJRoadTrip

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

We are getting excited for the first Christmas In July Road Trip! Since the CIJ team is worldwide we are going to hold a virtual #CIJRoadTrip right here on our blog!

The Road Trip begins on Friday – August 1st, 2014. As I mentioned the team is international and we are going to visit many countries along the way!

As a member of the CIJ team there is a way for you to get involved today before the fun begins on Friday. Please go to the CIJ forums and there is a thread that explains all the specifics! We want to include as many of our talented team members as possible! So far the countries we are going to visit are Canada, Chile, United States Of America and Australia! Where will we go next?

If you are not a member of the team please feel free to join the team today! Otherwise you will have to wait until Friday to see what we have planned!

Please use #CIJRoadTrip on social media as you road trip with us!


Want a sneak peek of one of the countries we will be visiting? Elizabeth from ElizabethLovesGlass lives in the amazing country of Canada! Come meet Elizabeth on Friday and learn about her Etsy shop and her country. Thank you Elizabeth for participating!

ElizabethLovesGlass From Canada

ElizabethLovesGlass From Canada

Abkhazi Garden - Victoria Canada

Abkhazi Garden – Victoria Canada

So mark your calendars, invite your friends, and get ready to go on a Road Trip! A #CIJRoadTrip!