Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Winter's Gifts and A New Year's Day In New Mexico

Snow on New Year's Day here is almost a tradition it is so consistent. But it never ceases to thrill.

Like snow anywhere, it makes everything more beautiful. I know some of you get more than your share, but our snows are rare. Maybe once or twice a year in Albuquerque which is at a lower elevation than Santa Fe, Taos, or most any where else in northern New Mexico. It doesn't last either, so I quickly grabbed a camera while everything else was going on.

The last of the Christmas ham grilling with onions . . .

And waiting for the black-eyed peas to boil.

We just got the last of our train of family visitors in, so the festivities go on for a few more days. But it has mostly been a day for sleeping in and staring out of the windows. With the snow, what could be a more promising start for the new year?!

We tried the Scandinavian method of keeping greens for Christmas, roots and all! So there is still a bit of live green after days inside.

But the rest of our Christmas trees were all outside. This small one on the patio has survived for several years in a pot!

I always love the look of gardens in snow with all their interesting shapes and forms. That boxwood is a long time staple on this patio too.

I might have tried to bring in the asparagus fern with the drop in temps, (I actually forgot about it until I got to taking pictures.) but we have precious little space for plants inside. It might be okay under the eaves.

Ready to roll! Just have to add everything else and let it simmer awhile.

I read the good suggestion somewhere that we embrace winter instead of dreaming of spring. I'm going to do that in this brown town this year, and already took my first freezing long walk in the fields. Geese flying directly overhead in the waning light and a coyote crossing the road was my reward. 

On Christmas day an enormous flock of cedar wax-wings hung out with the robins and red-winged blackbirds in our cottonwood trees all day, swooping down to the feeders and sipping from the water bucket. I had never even seen a cedar wax-wing in person before. I had to keep borrowing my binos back from the youngsters all day. It felt like both a blessing and an omen. 

With the snow, it feels doubly so. Starting fresh with the promise of winter, and the start of a new year, and who knows what else. Glad for longer days and the return of light. For little birds right outside the window to brighten the day. For warm fires and simple food.

For loved ones to share it all and remind you of all simple joys.

My Texas grandgirls so rarely get snow. I know it is also rare for a fifteen year old to say out loud how much she loves to visit our house for New Year's Eve, and how much she likes my "aesthetic." Almost the best gift a granny could get. 

And I'm wishing all of the best gifts of the season to you too!

And the Happiest New year!


Monday, December 24, 2018

The Christmas Nursery

With all the young folks coming through for the holidays, the nursery got a little update. Since everyone is much older now, the decor is growing up a bit too. Fortunately just a few small changes can make a big difference.

First I switched out the pastel quilts and bedding for some quieter versions. The cabbage rose curtains were exchanged with white linen from Ikea. And almost all of the rose print pictures were taken down. I chose this single floral pillow case to compliment the bit of red that will accent the room just for the holidays.  

All that was left was to add a few Christmas elements like the twiggy wreath (inside one of my vintage picture frames) and a few pillows. Layering a few wooly blankets always cozies things up.

Most of the baby gowns are stowed away, but since I love them so much some of my favorites are still included. I like the softness that they add, and the interest they have without feeling cluttered.

Our young grandson is now nine years old and chose this bed for his own when he arrived with his sister. I designed it with him in mind. It's the first time for the flying geese patterned quilt in this room.

Empty picture frames are one of my favorite ways to make a quick change in a room, and I added a vintage dog picture inside this one with a bit of evergreen. A festive new woodsy pillow tops things off.

The floral wreath that used to hang here got a cheery substitute for a while.

Another dark frame with ice skates anchors the head of the bed. In fact Henry learned to skate over the last two days at the local skating rink! (This view of the former nursery look is on the side bar.)

The darker elements have changed the character of this space quite a bit.

A cheery vintage red striped coverlet dresses up one of the beds.

And Mr/Ms Teddy still keeps nursery watch. . . .

One of my most exciting recent finds was a stash of lovely antique doll clothes for my nursery friends, like this knitted vest with covered buttons. The knitted ivory wool sweater was probably made for the layette of a new baby.

Everybody knows the "nursery" is more for Nanny than anyone else! LOL! Merry Christmas to me!

Wool is not supposed to be washed in hot water or it shrinks, but when it does it makes for a lovely felted texture like this. I so admire the handwork involved in making these small treasures. And my bears will never grow bigger!

My nine year old granddaughter and I still enjoy playing with dolls so they still have a presence here. Easy to whisk away the basket when the bed is needed. This one Victorian rose painting remains. No one can ever outgrow that!

The dolls have their own furry friends that get wings at Christmas.

Pooh is a handmade flea market find with well worn flannel and a little eye trouble this year. He is a visitor favorite among the guests.

Another felted hand knit sweater gets a show for the season.

This flannel frock is not vintage, but also one of my dolly faves.

And Miss Helen models a new vintage velveteen hat and coat with fur trim that came in the new stash. Very festive for the holidays! Seems made just for her!

A family heirloom red lamp is tucked in just for the duration. The stillness here will not last once everyone arrives.

A lovely white gown is always welcome.

And an antique hand worked lace valance adorns the plain white curtains. 

All of the changes took very little time or effort do up, but make a big impact.

And finally, a picture change up in the main guest room makes all the difference for Christmas. All we did in here is add a bit of a festooning and a red plaid comforter into the mix. A small lighted tree across the room is reflected in the glass.

So we are all ready for one of the most special nights of all the year!

 Welcome all!

Merry Christmas!

 And a very Happy New Year to all of you!


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