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Archive for November, 2011

The Jolliest Man, A Glad Gathering

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.  ~Norman Vincent Peale

Dearest Friends!

The teapot’s at the ready offering a brew of orange spiced tea. Hmmm…I do hope that you will join me in a cuppa.  Let’s share a little of heart and hearth, shall we?

Since Christmas is the season for giving, is it any wonder that I chose to trim our mantle in the TV room in tribute to the most merry and generous gift giver of all – Santa himself?!  I thought I’d indulge in a little holiday bliss and share with you some photos of the end result.  

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.  ~Roy L. Smith

As some of you may know, I will be hosting “A Christmas Tea for Lucas” on December 11th, so there are some treasured teapots in honour of the occasion among my collection of merry men.  

As promised in an earlier post, I thought I’d show you the  new addition to this legion of charming fellows. He is called a ‘Possible Dreams’ Santa. Riding in his magic sleigh, he has been christened ‘World Traveller’ and is made of something called ‘clothtique’ and is a mixture of cloth and resin. 

Aren’t these fun and festive fellows so handsome all dressed up in their holiday best?! It’s no wonder that Santa’s robes are brilliant red – it is the most glamorous colour against the white snows of December.  His cheery red robes just seem to evoke instant grins…

Do you have a treasured collection of festive fellows that conjure up childhood memories of laying awake, wide-eyed well into the wee hours of  the night before Christmas, excitedly anticipating the arrival of Santa?!  I was once convinced that I could hear the reindeer on the roof and would keep jumping out of bed and running to the window to have a look…

Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.  ~Laura Ingalls Wilder

Twinkling white lights, loops of exquisite sparkly ribbons (I tend to use those that are sheer to let the light shine through), shiny ornaments, and strings of shimmering beads evoke the magic of the Yuletide season and capture the imagination…Varying heights add interest – I use a wooden box wrapped in a taffeta runner that serves as a perch for this season’s focal Santa – the World Traveller. He travels with his map, compass and blanket on his lap while he navigates through the skies using his magical telescope.  

The gift giver in all his forms, dressed in rich ruby robes, lend lush texture to the manteltop.  

I am enjoying the mantel this evening. Its happy colour energizes the room and lends a cozy feeling throughout  – some real comfort and joy…

Wishing you a little holiday cheer and happy decorating!  Thanks so much for dropping in and I hope to see you again very soon…

Linda

I’m joining The Shabby Creek Cottage for Transformation Thursday where there is lots of inspiration!

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.  ~Peg Bracken

I am joining these wonderful blog parties for the very first time 🙂

French Country Cottage for Feathered Nest Friday

A Thoughtful Place for Christmas Cheer Link Party

Sally Lee by the Sea for 24 Days of a Coastal Christmas

No Minimalist Here for Open House Linky Party

Sue Loves Cherries for Rednesday

Shabby Art Boutique for Simply Christmas Inspiration Party

Very Merry Vintage Style for Share The Love Wednesday

Tiaras and Bowties for 25 Days of Christmas

I hope you will visit there and join the holiday fun. 🙂

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From Canada to Holland…Christmas Wishes Across the Miles

Happy Christmas, Madelief!

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home!  ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

November Greetings,

You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been a little lazy with the blog lately – so much has been going on here and it’s been hard to find the time most days. I was in Toronto last week (I’ll tell you a little about that next post), and this week I’m trying to gather myself to do all that is needed to be done around here readying for the holidays (including a small reno).  And, of course, we are gearing up for a fundraiser, “A Christmas Tea for Lucas” on December 11th. We are really looking forward to it – but more about that later, too.  There’s so much to tell!

When I realized the date on the calendar (yikes! time is flying by), I thought I’d better hurry up and post about my blog give-away.

Thank you all for your lovely comments.  When I first announced the give-away in October, I was celebrating reaching upwards of 15,000 visits, and already we are climbing to 20,000 quickly.  I can’t thank you all enough for caring and your interest to take time out of the precious moments in your own day to stop in for a visit. Your comments keep me motivated and lift my spirits always, no matter what is on the day’s agenda.  Thank you for this!

Well, I am thrilled to tell you (if you haven’t already guessed by the top line of this post) that Madelief is the lucky winner of my special give-away. She has a beautiful blog and I hope you will visit here to learn about her wonderful life in the Netherlands.

I am about to post Madelief’s gift in the mail to her.  I am hoping that it arrives in time for her family’s celebration of Sinter Klaas – the Dutch exchange gifts on December 5th. Madelief tells me it is after this celebration, that her Christmas decorating will begin in earnest.  Madelief’s decorating style is minimalist – very sophisticated and  stunningly gorgeous!

The festive contents of my holiday give-away to Madelief include a set of four quality linen table napkins in the most fantastic cherry-red colour I’ve ever come across, festively printed paper napkins (love the vibrant bird and flowers on these), a box of delicious Rogers Victorian creams, a set of four tins of hot chocolate in a variety of flavours (in a sweet series of collector tins) and a darling little porcelain ‘Peace’ star to wish upon and hang anywhere your heart desires…It was so much fun gathering these items for this special give-away!

Congrats Madelief!  I hope you enjoy your holiday gift!  I have never before posted anything to the Netherlands and am curious to know how long it will take to arrive to you all the way from Newfoundland, Canada to Rotterdam! We’ll be tracking the parcel all the way until it arrives in Holland, and it will be so interesting to see its path…

Do you know the intriguing story of Canada’s relationship with Holland?  The post JOYFUL FALL BULBS will give you some idea…

For those of you who know me personally, you know that it has been a long-time dream of mine to visit Europe in early December to tour the enchanting Christmas markets there. Sigh. I have had this dream since I first read about the Christmas markets when I was just a little girl. I hope one day it will come true…

I hope you enjoy the photos of these little Christmas treasures.

Wishing you all a beautiful week ahead.  Thanks again for visiting!

Linda

May

Peace

be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!  ~Author Unknown

Categories: CHRISTMAS, CONTESTS

Angels Among Us…

Ever felt an angel’s breath in the gentle breeze?  A teardrop in the falling rain?  Hear a whisper amongst the rustle of leaves?  Or been kissed by a lone snowflake?  Nature is an angel’s favorite hiding place.  ~Terri Guillemets

Dear Friends, Welcome!

I haven’t posted in awhile – I was away last week on a special mission but I’ll tell you a bit about that in my next post. And, I’ll announce the winner of my give-away then, too!

I am thankful that you are here now to share some tea with me and pre-Christmas spirit.  It’s nice to be together.  The holiday season is, after all, just around the corner, and I thought you might enjoy seeing these ‘heavenly’ photos of our living room mantel and tree.  These photos are from a Christmas past, so when you see the room next time, it will look a little different as I’ve been making some changes…

How do you like to decorate for the holidays?  Do you generally pick a theme and stick with it throughout the entire house? Or, do you like to mix it up from room to room?  There are so many beautiful things to choose from nowadays! I enjoy romantic decorating at Christmastime.  In these photos, our living room was decorated in warm hues: pinks, greys, browns, taupes, and gold and silver in celebration of the holidays!  I think it’s important to not pay too much attention to the ‘rules’ and just to do whatever it is that you love.  Then you are sure to be happy with whatever you create.  Wouldn’t you agree?!

These  pics were taken late at night by the glow of the Christmas lights.  The  result is equivalent to the “squint test”, a soft look that is almost magical.  I hope you can experience at least a little of the feel of the room’s ambience through them…

You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them if you’d like to see more detail…

Specially treasured ornaments that might otherwise be lost among those on the tree are given a place of honour high up on the mantel.  I like to sit them snugly in old-fashioned crystal wine goblets.  They fit perfectly for my purposes! And, I love how the twinkling faerie lights woven through the flocked garlands beneath are refracted in the crystal facets and cast dancing patterns all along the walls…so pretty in the quiet evening hours.  Glass candlesticks do duty as pedestals to also support precious ornaments.

These glorious angels were made for me many years ago by my friend Jean, whom you might remember from a previous post The Santa Lady of Farm Road. The figurines and Grecian columns that grace our mantle are ceramic, as well as the sweet cherubs that adorn our tree every year.  I think they add a certain magic to our holiday decor, and I love how the room looks when they are perched high up in the snowy branches.  I look forward to unwrapping them year after year and sharing them with family and friends through my holiday decorating. Jean doesn’t make these anymore, so I feel lucky to have them.  Sheer ribbons, glittering twigs, and sparkly stars, berries and pinecones are delicately woven through the flocked garland beneath the angels’ feet and act as fillers, offering  lots of fascinating texture. Strands of chandelier prisms strung across the front of the garland create a luxe look. Won’t you come on in for a closer look?

In the photo below, a small, inexpensive department store angel chosen solely for her sweet face is made splendid with a new skirt of glistening rose taffeta. A gilded twig star hangs directly overhead, illuminated with twinkling faerie lights and adorned with roses of frosted velvet, together with the most beautiful wired ribbons that twirl all the way down to the tree below.  A teeny wooden heart (one of more than a half dozen made by my friend Joan) rests on the face of the star shape and  is handpainted in custom colours to herald the season of  Peace. Its fellows can be found scattered here and there throughout the tree branches – they bring messages of Faith, Hope, Charity, Love, Joy and Eternity.  There are many objects on my tree collected through the the years and are cherished, which make it all the more meaningful at Christmas…

Friends are kisses blown to us by angels.  ~Author Unknown

Anyone can be an angel.  ~Author Unknown


Authentic Venetian masks are clustered near the flocked treetop.  I brought them home with me all the way from Italy especially for our tree!  Whenever I travel I am thinking of something that I can bring home with me to use at Christmastime. My friend Gail also brought me masks from New Orleans when she visited there during Christmas several years ago.  I also like to incorporate a mask or two in a companion garland that is normally draped overheard from the ceiling near the treetop!

This spectacular feline mask seems to glow with Swarovski crystals.  It was in a shop window in Venice and I knew it had to come home with me for my tree…

Angels have no philosophy but love.  ~ Terri Guillemets

A series of favourite teacup prints are trimmed with velvet flowers, sparkly twigs and glittery glass ornaments.  Cherub faces, handpainted by the same dear friend who created the trio of musical angels on the mantle, hang from the teapot print at the top of the wall arrangement. The Christmas tree stands adjacent to the wall of teacups, and ribbons twine and twirl from the tree though the art prints and onto an overhead garland that is nearby! The ribbons seem as if they have a life of their own, reaching out and up to touch whatever is near! If teacups could talk…

Fantasy Santa, companion figurine to the angels on the mantle and cherubs that trim the tree, were all made by my friend Jean.  See the post below for a story about her work:
Well, I hope you enjoyed this little trip down Memory Lane with me today.  Thanks for coming by, and please leave a comment to let me know you were here.  I’d love to hear about how you decorate for the season. There’ll be lots more Christmas to see in the weeks ahead, so I hope you’ll drop by again one day soon…
Wishing you a beautiful weekend,
Linda
I am  happy to be joining Lily-Rose Cottage for Simply Sweet (January 15, 2012).

Operation Santa Cause – Sleigh bells ring, are you listening…

“You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.” ~Henry Drummond~

 Operation Santa Cause

For families working hard just to meet the basic needs, Christmas can be a time of great struggle and loneliness. With money being so tight, they simply cannot afford to buy their children that special present to place under the tree.  Do you, your workplace, social or church group sponsor a family in need at Christmastime?

At my office, we start getting underway about this time of year, dreaming up ways of raising monies to purchase household items and gifts for our Christmas Families. Fundraising events may include everything from a Halloween chili luncheon and Jeans Days to gift-wrapping services and Give-It-Up Days (where people choose to go without a coffee, chocolate bar, or maybe even lunch or dinner and instead donate the money they would have spent on these things to the Christmas Families fund).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

We are matched with our Christmas Families through our local women’s centre or single parent association.  Our Families are asked to write their Wish Lists for Santa.  Items they often include are things that we usually take for granted  like new bed linens for a child’s bedroom, bath towels and soaps, a pair of jogging pants, a new pair of winter boots, baby clothes or just a few modest toys and books.

The verses below were written as inspiration for our Santa Cause project one year. Thanks to the kind-heartedness and generosity of so many of my co-workers, we were able to raise enough funds that Christmas to help several Families get everything on their holiday wish lists and then some.  What a great feeling!

I’d love to hear how you share the love at Christmastime.  I hope you enjoy my little poem that follows, as well as the photos of our kitchen last year ready for the holidays. The Santas were gifts from my husband through the years.  These jolly men were manufactured by Roman Inc. years ago.  Each merry gent stands on a brightly painted message box with a scroll that tells the figure’s legend.  They impart a lovely touch of Christmas spirit throughout the house!

Wishing you a beautiful day!

Linda

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.  ~Roy L. Smith

“A friendly look, a kindly smile, one good act, and life’s worthwhile!”‘

“The earth has grown old with its burden of care
But at Christmas it always is young,
The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair
And its soul full of music breaks the air,
When the song of angels is sung.”  Phillip Brookes

Remember
This December,
That love weighs more than gold!
~Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon

 

Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.  ~Peg Bracken

 
 

Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!  ~Hamilton Wright Mabie

 
 

Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.  ~Author unknown, attributed to a 7-year-old named Bobby

 
 

I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.  ~Harlan Miller

 

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.  ~Janice Maeditere

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening…

 Oh, What Fun It Is!
Gingerbread and jingle bells,
sledding fun and cinnamon smells.
Wreaths upon doors and blinking lights,
church bells ring on quiet nights.
All over the world, hearts rejoice
in prayers for peace and hope for life.
 
Oh, What Fun It Is!
Glistening snow and carol voices,
eggnog, smiles and sweet surprises!
Evergreen trees in reds and golds,
nativity scenes and Santa robes.
Packages wrapped in secret places,
hidden away from curious faces.
 
Oh, What Fun It Is!
School plays and cookie swaps,
last-minute cleaning with brooms and mops.
Turkey, stuffing, and plump raisin pudding
Watching holiday movies without even moving!
Gift returns and budgets blown,
homes undressed and families flown.
  
Thoughts of those with no riches or friends,
would YOU be able to do this again –
without giving your heart and outstretching your hand,
to someone in need – whether creature or man?
For the magic of Christmas cannot be bought,
it comes deep from within us, in what we are taught.
 
It’s never too early to learn or to teach,
or to help others discover – although never to preach.
For the lessons in life that are learned the best,
come from realizing ourselves just how much we are blessed!
 

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening…

 
 
                              Thanks one and all for coming to visit!  
 
I am delighted to be sharing this post on Michelle Raven Designs for Primp Your Stuff.
 
 
 

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