artist advent calendar : jennifer judd-mcgee

Today we are off to Maine to visit Jennifer Judd-McGee. I love how Jennifer combines handmade and vintage objects in her winter holiday decorations. Enjoy!

Hi! My name is Jennifer Judd-McGee and I am an artist from Portland, Maine. Thanks so much to Stephanie for asking me to share some holiday traditions here on her lovely blog - I can't wait to see everyone else's contributions and traditions!

This is one of my favorite times of year for so many reasons. As an artist, November and December can feel a bit busy, but I am always so happy to sit with my kids and make holiday gifts and decorations together. We love to listen to Sufjan Stevens' holiday songs, and we are always excited to get out our collection of Christmas decorations! My hands-down favorite thing is my pink wreath of vintage Christmas balls, which was a handmade gift from my sister a few years ago.

Here is a link to some more pictures from my home over the past few years.

The following recipe is one of my family's favorite homemade holiday treats to give and to have on hand at home. The crystallized ginger is optional, but we love the slightly spicy addition!


1 egg
1 cup sugar + a wee bit more for sprinkling
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup molasses
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 rounded tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp ginger
2 3/4 cup flour
optional: 1/2-3/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg with sugar, add vegetable oil + molasses and stir until smooth. Mix baking soda into the buttermilk until slightly foamy then add to wet ingredients. Add in all the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Stir in crystallized ginger, if desired. Dust the top of the batter with a small bit of sugar before baking, if desired. Pour into a greased 9x13" pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. My family thinks this tastes best when it is still a bit soft and chewy in the middle, but if you like it drier, bake it a bit longer. Freezes well if you want to stock up for holiday gift gifting. Enjoy!

Visit my blog or my shop for more info about me if you're interested.

My wish for 2010 is to manage my online work time better and be more present with my kids. They are at such a great age, and I don't want to miss any of it.

Happy holidays!

Thank you Jennifer for sharing. I can't wait to try out your delicious gingerbread recipe myself!