Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year From My Cottage To Yours!


Waking up to just a kiss of snow on the last day of the year. . . . The sun is out, and it will all be gone in a flash. Almost as though it never happened. Somewhat reflective of the year of 2012. Come and gone so fast, but so glad for the few beautiful moments we managed to capture for all time.


My little trees are decorated at last with a lovely dusting of white powder. A perfect end to the glistening season. . . . 

May your New Year also begin and end with a fresh and simple beauty! Here's to shine and sheen in 2013! A Happy, Happy New Year, my friends!

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Year of Bare Branches

It's the day after Christmas. Always a quiet day, it seems. More so this year because our big celebration was all last weekend when the family gathered like a great whirlwind.
When I was a girl we put up the tree a week before Christmas. Visiting began on Christmas Eve and went on through until New Year's day. We saw all of the many aunts and uncles and cousins, and at every home was offered posole and tamales, the traditional New Mexico Christmas feast. It was a week long celebration after which the tree came down and the season was over until the next year.
The lead up is so much longer now. And the finish seems much more final after December 25th. There is a crush and wake of peace and silence. A small eddy in time for rest and reflection before the New Year flits in and takes over. 
This Christmas was the year for bare branches, and softer music, and a slower pace. A lot of our usual traditions were passed by. Ornaments left in boxes. Even still, I am wrapping a few gifts and am reverting to the old way of stretching the yuletide a few days longer. With everyone gone there is time to savor the sights and sounds and smells. There is a healing in the winter cold. Comfort in the wood fires.  
I usually dislike the barren winter season, but am going to embrace it for awhile yet. This Windham Hill CD has the perfect music for it. The Celtic harp and fiddle of unfamiliar tunes lends the mood I'm after.
And this disc by Sting from a year or two ago has struck the right mellow chords this year too. ( I don't know where the case got to...)
Since I bought a few live trees this season even the bare evergreen can stay around for awhile longer. I'm feeling so woodsy this winter!


Yes, a few more gifts to finish up to the glow of candlelight and soft music. The only thing left is for me to show you the best gift wrap I found with my DIL only a few days ago at my corner stationary shop. A delightful whimsical pattern of woodland animals from a UK company that I'm sure I will never use on a package. . . .




None of the scenes are repeated on the full panel. It's a delight just to discover all the different vignettes!

Red on the reverse. The paper is a Roger la Borde design.


Such a surprise. I thought I would be ready to stow it all away. . . .
 But I hope you're still enjoying the season too!
Thanks so much for all the good wishes!
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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!


Wishing You A Merry Christmas
 & A Happy New Year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

'Twas The Week Before Christmas. . .

 A little gold and white dresses up a corner of our sitting room. I found a frame around here that hadn't gotten the whitewash treatment yet that gives off a bit of a glint in the firelight.
 The bottle brush forest has moved from the table centerpiece to the cabinet with the little glitter church. I also covered the inside of the cabinet doors with a bit of vintage lace curtain that hangs from a spring rod (photo below). Quick and easy. It lightens up the space even more and changes the focus from what's inside to what's on top.
We finally have cold, and real winter weather. I'll make a run for fresh greens. On Wednesday our local theater will have a showing of It's A Wonderful Life on the big screen. We're going to make a night of it.
It's time to play my favorite Christmas music, buy the egg nog, and stoke up the fire. My new annotated Dickens is waiting by the chair. This year's list of things left undone seems longer than usual. It's all okay. The days of pulling all nighters wrapping, etc. before the big day comes are long gone. It's a week before Christmas, time to slow down and savor, reflect, and just be. Every year is different. This year is for finding peace and joy in the season.
And I hope you do too.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Missing Pages

Dear Friends,

I just can't go on without a word even though I have at first been stunned speechless. And I do want to go on. To move past and forward. Maybe with my eyes averted somewhat, and holding on to a friend's shoulder along the way as we saw young innocents do. I am wanting to touch many shoulders today.

After all what else is there to do? For the present I can only reach out in consolation and feeling to try to compensate for an act for which there is no possible compensation. But as the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay said, "love is not all."  Love may sometimes be a cure, but it is most often just a balm to reduce the sting and pain and get us moving again. And just for this day, and perhaps many days to come, that may be enough.

I take solace in friends and family, and in the millions of good and kind-hearted souls that are also everywhere with us in troubled times. Our society. And I want to pass on an email from a stranger that I got today that made me feel good.

I’ve been on a mad quest to find the Meta Given’s soft sugar cookie recipe from the volume 1 cook book that my grandmother has.
She asked me to make them for her for Christmas and sadly, after finding her cookbook and putting all of the pages in order, I found that 2 pages were missing, 493-494. I told her that I bet the recipe I was searching for was on one of the missing pages. When I found your website and the recipe, the ingredients sounded just like what I was looking for and then I saw another picture on your site showing the next page with Holiday Cookies as the title. I looked in the book and sure enough! The Holiday Cookies are listed on page 495. She’s 90 years old and this is probably going to be our last Christmas with her as her health is failing so I really want to be able to make these for her and I want them to taste like when she made them.
I wanted to thank you so very much for posting the ingredients.
I was emailing in the hopes that you would be willing to email me the directions.
I’ve printed out the ingredients.
I just want to be sure I mix it correctly and bake it at the right temperature and for the right amount of time.
I thank you in advance and Merry Christmas!
Such a small effort to make when so much matters for which so little can be done. But a welcome task nevertheless. Thank you, Kellie, for asking me to do something for you. It's always essential, but it now feels so urgent that we help to find the missing pages for one another. . . . 
Love and Blessings,

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Woodsy Buffet

I love a woodsy theme this time of year and knew I would be using these ornaments on the table instead of a tree this season.

Antlers seem to be everywhere, but I love the antique prints of these regal animals too. I have seen a few versions of these around. Mine are from a few seasons ago.

I have this cabin inspired vintage pine cone print topper that I've wanted to use, and decided to layer it on a tablescape to show it off.

The script napkins emphasize the script in the background of the ornaments, and the brown transferware seemed like a nice complement too.

I love the print that Pottery Barn is using for a few of their current products including this shopping bag and gift wrap. I asked if I could have some paper and they gave me a bit for free!

The white Rose Point embossed plates by Steubenville make a nice background. I'm also using a few Wedgewood saucers to secure and manage the ornaments too. I had no idea how tricky it would be to photograph these ornies when I started!

Love these little vintage hand painted dipping bowls.

Vintage fish knives and forks left in their tarnished state.

I wanted to feature this small moose pitcher that I discovered at a flea market a few years ago. It make me feel so British! 

I'm using a ring of lichen gathered from a fall outing to bring the woods to the table.

More birds layered underneath!

Now all we need is snow!
(Not likely!)

Good cheer, my friends! Thanks so much for coming by!


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Savvy Southern Style~Christmas Past