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Kitchen Leftovers That Sparkle!

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Dear Friends,

Because I promised, I am sharing the last of the photos of my holiday decor this past Christmas in our kitchen. I know, I know.  It’s February already! You’re probably saying, “Give me a break!” But I did promise to share them and a blogger friend reminded me of that, so here they are. And, I suppose it’s better late than never.  If you love Christmas like I do, and you do happen to find some little bits of inspiration here for your own decorating, well, you can file it away until Christmastime rolls around again.
I think my friend Madelief, author of a beautiful blog by the same name, will be surprised to know that the Christmas card she sent me all the way from Rotterdam in the Netherlands a few years ago, has had a place of honour on my tree every year since.  I just love the fairy image and romantic Dutch language, too.
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 It’s like hanging a miniature work of art on the tree!
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What do you think, Madelief? Dutch translation, please!
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The vibrant orange and amber hues of the tree are quite cheerful in this tiny corner of our kitchen room and Madelief’s precious card is a perfect complement.
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Honestly, I feel a bit sheepish about sharing these photos at this late date.  I hope they don’t keep you up all night with nightmares that  it’s Christmas again already! My last post, Be My Valentine, was a little shot of spring, but I’m afraid this post will bring you back to reality! If you are trying to escape winter, perhaps, then you might want to exit now. Lol  (I have to admit, though, I do love seeing again the reflection of our little kitchen tree in the mirror from this angle.)
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Here is the kitchen dresser when it was decked out with the most amazing gingerbread creations. If you want to see more photos of this amazing gingerbread house, you can check it out here at Gingerbread Dreams.  Do you like tin framed-mirrors?  I picked up this one at a lovely shop, Tin Roof Mercantile, in Nova Scotia a few years back. They were kind enough to ship it to me and it arrived safely. Thank goodness! It’s tremendously heavy.

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I just can’t get over these cute little footprints leading to the front door of the gingerbread house! Great job, Jindra! You are the gingerbread master!IMG_0725

All the gingerbread is edible but looked too pretty to eat. It did taste divine, though!IMG_0723

It made for such a sweet display.  The Portmeirion “The Holly and the Ivy” teapot was a gift from my husband years ago. The lush antique artistry is inspired by the 17th century English carol.IMG_0971

The little holiday tree sits in an urn on a table near the patio door and is trimmed with lovely baubles and sparkly twigs.  A mischievous elf peeps out from behind the tree!  Can you see him?IMG_0980

A winged creature up close… I love decorating with birds at Christmas.IMG_0979

 A little black always helps ground a room, even if it’s a Christmas ornament!

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A bountiful garland twines around a multi-tired shelf/wine rack in a corner of the room.IMG_0656

This luxe stocking came from a shop at Blomidon Inn’s House of Gifts in Nova Scotia. I’m always thinking Christmas, even on vacation! So, many holiday things seem to find their way into my suitcase or carry-on when I’m travelling.IMG_0653

“What is Christmas?  It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace.”  Ahnes M. PharoIMG_0631

More bird motifs…IMG_0695

A spray of glittered branches at the top of the tree gives it oomph and extra height!IMG_0694

Elf is happily decorating the tree!IMG_0689 Don’t you love this old-fashioned ornament with the wreath in the centre!  It reminds me of the ones that hung on my parents’ tree when I was a little girl.

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This cute Bethany Lowe snowman always puts a smile on my face.  I think I brought him back in my suitcase from Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia when hubby and I visited there in 2012 for the Grand Illumination in December that year.  You can see photos of the town of Williamsburg decorated in its holiday finery here at It’s Christmas Naturally.
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He is adorable, isn’t he!

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“Mr. Lady Killer” on the wall is my favourite thing in the kitchen!  My mom jokes that when she sees him, she craves an egg! Lol  Oh, well!IMG_1001

Pretty porcelain for a Christmas tea…IMG_0999

I enjoy the soft glow of lamplight from this corner of the room, especially late at night when the house is quiet, and I can sip leisurely on a glass of eggnog (non alcohol) before bed.  Thank goodness eggnog can’t be found on the store shelves here after Christmas! All those yummy calories!

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Eggnog cups…

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Festive fairy!

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Each of these amber glass jugs has a story.  You can see more of this collection at Christmas is Coming.

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Wintry window…More view of the kitchen window can be seen at Celebrating The Twelfth Day of Christmas.IMG_1049

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I gave my mom-in-law Ethel this sweet figurine many years ago. she adored sheep and I adored Ethel.  Hours before she passed away, she gave it back to me so I could love it in my own collection. IMG_1009

I have a ‘thing’ for fairies…IMG_0996

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A hot chocolate bar in a basket sits on a marble bistro table in a corner of the kitchen near the pantry cupboards.  It came from our favourite downtown cafe when it closed its doors years ago. We sat at this table many times over great meals and memories.IMG_1267

Homemade marshmallows, toy soldier sugar cookies, and Oreo cookies dipped in white chocolate and sprinkled with crushed candy cane – what more could you want?IMG_1266

Peppermint stir sticks and hot chocolate!IMG_1267

Sit Long, Talk Much…IMG_1265

Fantasy under glass…Does this little fellow come to life when everyone’s sleeping?IMG_0733

Mason’s Pink Vista transferware is yet another favourite pattern! I love collecting these vintage pieces.

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Vintage love…the black is pretty, too!IMG_1057

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The inscription on the teapot reads:  “A cup of tea for you, a cup of tea for me, to enjoy around the Christmas tree.” The needlepoint heart was a gift this year from one of my Pink Days In Bloom garden fairies. Thank you Ann Marie, mom of ‘Invincibelle’ (a.k.a Kierstyn). I treasure it! A true ‘work of heart’.IMG_1423

This is a musical Santa.  He revolves to Silent Night and has been part of our Christmas decor for over 25 years, when we brought him back from the Williamsburg Pottery, Richmond, Virginia. Apart from a little chip of Santa’s finger, it has certainly withstood the test of time.  He is a Christmas tradition at our home.IMG_1422

Romantic candle glow and snowflake sugar cookies…They were so good! Thank you, Maria! You are the sugar cookie queen!IMG_1418

A cuppa Christmas…IMG_1412

The toy soldier cookies AND snowflake cookies were made by my friend Maria. Aren’t they sweet!IMG_1324

Since I’ve gone this far with the Christmas pictures, I thought I’d go all the way and share this beautiful carol with you – Angels We Have Heard on High by The Piano Guys, Peter Hollens and David Archuleta.  The video is lovely also.  I love hearing a beautiful piece of music at any time of year. I hope you enjoy it, too. If you have a listen, maybe you’ll forgive me for all the Christmassy photos…

Whatever you’re doing and wherever you are, I hope you are cozy and warm, of good health and spirit. Thank you for all the lovely footprints you left behind on my recent posts.  Thank you so much to Jann at Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson for featuring “Be My Valentine” at Share Your Cup Thursday!

“Let Every Day Be Christmas”
by Norman Wesley Brooks

Christmas is forever, not for just one day,
for loving, sharing, giving, are not to put away
like bells and lights and tinsel, in some box upon a shelf.
The good you do for others is good you do yourself.

Gingerbread Dreams

IMG_0156Dear Friends,
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE  me some cedar at Christmastime alll through the house. Branches snipped from the garden and some brought home from the garden centres seem to appear here and there and everywhere throughout our home at this time of year.  Mostly what I use inside to deck the chandeliers over tables, on tables and sideboards – near wherever food is served – is from the nursery or florist, just because I want to be sure there are no little bugs dropping from the branches especially onto food tables.
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This is my favourite tree this year!  It’s fashioned from gingerbread stars in graduating sizes and sits on a wooden base.
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I also love the aromatic scent of sweet gingerbread mixed with the smell of fresh winter greens.   I thought today I would share some photos of a petite gingerbread house surrounded by bits of cedar clippings that was sitting on my sideboard (an old pine dresser repurposed) in the kitchen for a few days before I gave the house away as a gift.
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The teeny house was custom-built for me to spec and pinterest inspired. A lovely new friend, Jindra, who is from Czech Republic made it for me using the old-style European recipe for gingerbread made up molasses, honey and flour.  The house sits on a 7″ diameter gingerbread cookie!
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 It smells soooo goood and is entirely edible but will keep for years if looked after properly…
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 Isn’t it adorable how the door to the house opens?  And, the tree outside and the starburst on the tiled rooftop?  And the detail surrounding the windows!  There are so many things about this creation that I admire.

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Aren’t the cookies beautiful? The detail is just amazing on these tasty treats. I particularly love the gingerbread spheres.  They have tiny ribbons attached so you can hang them on the tree. Just precious!
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The stars are beautiful, too.
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And, the snowflakes!  There’s my little reindeer place marker.  He makes me smile! Lol
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 I used some rustic looking bird nests dusted with sparkly snow and some lace trimmed ornaments on the dresser. Somehow, they just looked ‘right’ to me alongside the gingerbread shapes.IMG_0200I nestled a teeny silver reindeer place marker inside each of the nests.
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 The ‘hot toddy’ mugs are waiting…Or, would you prefer some pretty pomegranate tea in nod to the season?
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 The ‘White Wheat’ ironstone pattern is a favourite.  I have had this jug for many years.  It has a timeless appeal.
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Darling doves are displayed on my mother’s cookie plate which belonged to her mother and is probably over a century old.
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When I last posted, I showed this dresser with a totally different look using amber glassware.  You can see it here. This is how it looked before fitted out with my vintage amber glassware…
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And, this is the after…
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 There is a beautiful decorative sparkle to the gingerbread when the light shines on it.
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Sweet message…
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 The “Holly and Ivy” Portmeirion teapot was a gift to me from my husband about 10 years ago. Ivory bottlebrush trees are also a weakness of mine. Lol
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 I often stack cake plates to add height and interest to a tablescape. Do you do this, too?  There are so many ways you can use them.
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Behind the ceramic tray, I hid a teeny photo of me sitting on Santa’s lap.  It was taken 2 years ago when hubby and I visited New York City for a week plus a day.  I spotted this wonderful Santa at The Plaza Hotel.  The last time before that I had my photo taken with Santa was 50 years earlier!  Lol  It was a special moment for me – even at my age, all these years later! Lol
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There is something very special about the inside of this gingerbread house.  Can you guess what it is?
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SURPRISE!  The house has its own teeny gingerbread tree with teeny gingerbread presents underneath it! The love is definitely in the details! Jindra has such an amazing talent! XO
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Hubby and I went to dinner recently hosted by our dear friends, Brendan and Marie, in their beautiful home.  It was a fabulous evening on all counts. We always look forward to our visits with them. I brought along the tiny gingerbread house as a hostess/Christmas gift. Our friends were thrilled.  I’m sure their grandchildren will be, too!  I was delighted to see the same look on my friend Marie’s face when I gave her the house. I surely must have had the same look on mine when Jindra first presented this sweet ‘work of heart’ to me!
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As soon as I arrived at my friend’s home, I asked for one of her many pedestal cake plates (she used to have a tea room) and went about arranging feathery bits of cedar around the perimeter of the plate and then sprinkling icing sugar over the stems to resemble newly fallen snow.  I used glass yogourt cups to hold battery-operated votives and then filled the glasses with salt, popped a few pinecones in place on the side of the plate and voila! A beautiful presentation.
IMG_0257 The gift tag was given to me a couple of years ago.  A thoughtful friend had an entire box of them custom made for me! The same friend who gave me this beautiful china and glassware you can see here at The Festive Table! There must have been a dozen or more tags in the box and so I use them for very special gifts.
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When I was sprinkling confectioners’ sugar over the cedar, some of the sugar fell on my friend’s Baby Grand piano. She really liked the look of it and so she decided to leave it just as it was…
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My friend served dinners and tea in this room for nearly 10 years up until last year.  When she closed the tea room to spend more time with her grandchildren, she converted the dining room to a cozy sitting room.
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I love the old gramaphone…Can you hear Christmas music?
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I love how this vignette turned out.  It reminds me of a beautiful Christmas card…
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Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed of having my very own gingerbread house. I just love this petite little house so much that I asked Santa to bring me one for Christmas.  Lol  We’ll see…
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I can’t wait to snap some photos of this year’s decorations on the outside of ‘the bungalow’.  I’ve plopped pineapples in most of my urns again this year.  The pineapple, after all, is the symbol of welcome so is especially appropriate during the holidays. I’m having fun with a few garden benches and birdbaths this year, too, setting up little cheerful vignettes. This is what our front door looked like last year.
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You can see more photos here at Beautiful Christmas Green.
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I’m hoping for a wee sifting of fresh snow so my photos will look Christmassy.  Last year this time, we were knee-deep in snow and had been for weeks. Although I am wanting a little snow for photos, I am more than happy that we are having such great weather.  Right now, though, it looks as though we will have a green Christmas this year, so the exterior photos can wait a few days.
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I’d like to thank Kathy at A Delightsome Life and Sherry at The Charm of Home for featuring my last post Christmas is Coming on their amazing blogs!
Thank you for stopping by, particularly at this time of year when we have so much to keep us busy with holiday preparations! I hope Santa’s good to you! Sweet wishes for a beautiful Christmas filled with peace, love, joy and a multitude of blessings…XO
Linda  
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