Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter lights coziness

We had a marvelous Christmas and extra marvelous long weekend last week! Did you take some time off work too? Oh I hope you did! Waking up to a wonderfully peaceful shadowy house was extra special. I always love this time of year when I get to stay home during the holidays. Even when I don’t have to wake up early, I still do! I’m a morning child and would never ever miss the wee hours of the morning to slept, ever! Are you this crazy about early mornings too? I feel as if I'm not awake to welcome the morning I would miss something wonderful that would hardly come my way again... you know, sort of like what Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant friendly party; but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts they bring, they carry them as silently away”.
So here I am worshiping those wee small hours of morning, before the dawn of day! And this is the marvelous part of it all! Not having to leave the coziness of home! I just love it when I get to stay home!

It's been super cold and gloomy here. Curls of ghosts like fog unfurl and travel the garden floor breathing in the austerity of winter... dark clouds during the day dress themselves in gray, and if it isn’t snow it’s rain. From blustery and cold mornings to afternoon rain pelting the windows to cold nights accompanied by high winds... That's how it's been. But I love the extra coziness winter imparts the house!

I can hear the wind from my bed early in the morning, moaning lonesomely outside, and I can hear the soothing song of rain tapping our window... snow, wind, drizzling rain, sun for a moment, more wind and an occasionally glorious sky, then more rain... but inside the house is always warm and cozy and I never want to leave this refuge of mine I call home. Do you feel this way about your home too?

Truth is, I don't like winter, but I can certainly keep the sweet calmness that winter conveys, the feeling of peaceful seclusion and shelter... glowing candles, a mug of hot cocoa and a blazing fire... in the wee hours of the morning (when I don’t have to go to work) the quieted house is a perfect cozy nest... I wove around the place, turning on little lamps in several corners, lighting candles, lifting up shadows...

I love the feel of clean wood floors under my feet and the soft light of lamps as I go around my house cleaning, arranging and rearranging things; always enjoying, always appreciating my little life and its surroundings...

Do you love lamps, or do you prefer overhead lights? Oh I do love my lamp-laden house in the roses! Something about the ambiance, the warmth and sense of belonging just captivate me!

Lamp light, candle light, soft light is much more romantic, provides a cozy, welcoming ambiance. Ah yes, a beautiful home is more than meets the eye; ultimately, it’s a matter of the heart... but you already knew that! Right? It's 8:49am as I write, and is still dark outside... cold, and raining the rain of the tropics. I cannot believe how much rain we'd had this winter. Is it dark and raining or snowing in your part of the world? Let's turn on our lamps; light up some candles!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Show Off Your Cottage Monday - celebrating new beginnings

Welcome to "SHOW OFF YOUR COTTAGE MONDAY", a blog party I host at the beginning of each week to celebrate the things we love about our homes and how we live.
The House in the Roses
Is the day after Christmas an ending or a beginning to you? Something almost magical happens to me each year right after Christmas day. Although another year is fast approaching its end, I can't help but see beginnings all around me!
New beginning, new thoughts, new life, new me! Many people look forward to the New Year for a new start, I look forward to the birth of Christ. I think that Christmas should be every man's birthday! We’re reborn through our Savior’s birthday. Isn’t this the most magical thought ever!
Ah yes, light has pierced the darkness, there has been a pause in the march of the universe, a breathless moment of silence among all created things! My soul yearns for the greatest of miracle... The Son of God in my life, in my house, in my gardens and all around me! Ready access to a power beyond our wildest imagination! And it can be yours too! Do you believe this?
Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true. ~Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1850
What about you? What are you celebrating in your home and life? We'd love to hear it! Link and tell us!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to you all!

There is excitement in the house in the roses, and the scent, oh the scent of the season is alive. Vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, eggnog, pumpkin pie and apple spice. There are so many wonderful scents of the season! Let's not forget the pine trees themselves. Do you love the scent of fresh cut Christmas trees? Oh I do! I want to retain the fresh, clean, natural pine scent of the holidays in my house forever!
Had a slight change of plans for my table centerpiece this year. Usually it's decked out with greens, but like I’d mentioned before, I’ve been craving some pastel vintage ornaments for my decorations this year. I was lucky enough to find these lovely pink ornaments at a thrift store.

Just love the soft colors... they blend so well, and the combination adds to the peaceful feeling I so love around my house.

What have you been up to these days aside from decorating your home for the holiday? I’d love to hear it! I can hardly believe three whole years have gone by since I created this space!—this delightful space I like to think of as a wondrous and magical forest where I can always come to dream. And what a marvelous journey it has been, what a lot of fun and inspiration, what a lot of lovely folks, like you, I have met. I am so thankful to have had your company and experienced your kindness! Seeing you wandering my magical woods, skipping a river’s pebble as you leave me a breadcrumb trail (in the form of a comment or two) so that I can follow you and play, have given me so much joy! Thank you. May you and yours have a joyful and blessed Christmas and... may your day be filled with blessings, like the sun that lights the sky...


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Do angels visit your garden on cold winter nights? Ah yes, they do that sometimes!
It must have happened while I was asleep... if I knew they were coming, I would have stayed up, like a child waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve! I have no idea how they got here, or if in fact, you could have seen their shadow magically moving across the starlit sky. All I know is that when I woke up the other day, I received a gift... roses in a garden sprinkled with frosted sugar! Ah yes, it must have been the angels...

It's hard to believe how lovely my Trumpeter roses are; although dried by now, still holding their vivid summer colors after the amount of snow we have had! This is certainly a joyful sight for me... a vision of hope if you may!

You see, up here where we live, during the winter months our sun rises at about 8:30am, and sets at 4:45pm. When I leave home to go to work is dark, and when I return home is already dark. The sun starts its slow descent like a round apricot in the blue twilight before five o’clock. Early darkness shifts colors, and darkness bears down on us way too soon. So I only get to see my gardens on the weekends. What happens here during the week is sorts of a mystery to me. I cannot begin to tell you how much I miss my 'daylight' home and gardens. So discovering these colorful roses on Saturday was extra special to me! Serendipity, if you ask me, is a happy word. It's your big chance just waiting around the corner!

I like to believe I have an enchanted garden... odd things happen here all the time. On some summer evenings, a strange scent wafts down the air, like a phantom perfume... I have never been able to discover from just what flower it comes. It is elusive and haunting, wonderfully sweet, and just as magical as the shadows you see here on this picture, taken last summer... I like to fancy they're angels passing on a little visit through the garden.

Extraordinary winged friends come down to visit too! True! I had the most beautiful bird visit the garden this Sunday. Was it a hawk with blue feathers? I don’t know. Cooper's Hawks and Sharp-Shinned visit our garden often every winter. They look fairly similar, but this one was particularly lovely. Hauntingly beautiful and so majestic looking... unfortunately, my old camera broke and I need to get lenses for long distance for my new one; so I wasn’t able to get a picture of this lovely bird. Maybe he will come back again real soon? Oh I so hope so!

Ah yes, this is fairy land! We talk with angels, owls, and Marygolds! A little bit childish, perhaps? Certainly, but what would life be without a bit of magic to charm and enchant? Not much, if you ask me! ;) Remember: Magic is not a practice. It is a living, breathing web of positive attitudes together with a bit of faith. A "Serendipitous Attitude" if you may! A serendipitious attitude can cause good things to happen... just like magic! The magic comes into play when we realize our lighter approach to life can cause something good and unexpected to happen.

Have a wonderful day, everyone! Update: Wednesday, 7:51 a.m.
Hi friends and hola amigos! Since some of you have emailed me asking me about these roses, I’d like to explain that these are NOT new blooms by any means. No roses could survive our winters here. These are roses from last summer that, for some inexplicable reason, have retained their deep gorgeous red color regardless the amount of snow we have had thus far in the season. The blooms are intact, the petals are intact, and although dried by now, these roses are like gems in the otherwise colorless winter garden. Truly a gift! It amazes me, and I have no explanation for it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Show Off Your Christmas tree Monday!

Welcome to "SHOW OFF YOUR COTTAGE MONDAY", a blog party I host at the beginning of each week to celebrate the things we love about our homes and how we live.
The House in the Roses
“Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven . . .” Hans Christian Andersen". Isn't that the most magical quote ever? Ah yes, excitement and joy are filling the air; the lights add special decor, and today we're showing off our Christmas trees! So sit, relax and enjoy!
Christmas tree from Kathy, at A Delightsome Life Christmas tree from dear Gayla, at Oatmeal and Whimsy Christmas tree from Wendy (doesn't have a blog). Christmas tree from Kit, at A mountain life Christmas tree from Paulette, at Summerland Cottage Christmas tree from Ricki Jill Christmas tree from Brenda, at Cozy little house Christmas tree from Sandra, at The veranda house
Christmas tree from Sheila, at Note Songs Christmas tree, from Cathy at Acorn hollow
And of course, I too had to show you around my house! We don't decorate much for Christmas and our tree is small, but we're never too grownup to feel a thrill as we light the Christmas tree!
The Christmas Gift of Knowing You

The Christmas season fills our hearts with joy; Bright, happy days bring special kinds of pleasure. We're wrapped in the excitement of it all, The sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes we treasure. Yet when we have some quiet time to think About our finest blessings all year through, We focus on our family and our friends, And appreciate the gift of knowing you! (By Joanna Fuchs)

What are you celebrating? Take me to your cottage AND show me! Link, and take us there!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I’m in the romantic mood today.... I wish I could just beam myself anywhere instantly; wiggle my nose like Samantha in Bewitched and presto! - I’m in a little English village somewhere lost in time. How wonderful it would be! For some inexplicable reason, I’ve always associated romantic decorating with England and the English cottage.

Ancient stones, famous battlegrounds, romantic seaside places; William the Conqueror! Ah, to soak up the atmosphere "so British", to hike from village to village, for shopping, to relax and live the pace of the past... Well, let’s imagine we are there and let’s decorate our cottage just the way we love! Want to come along?

I want white in my cottage; lots of it! Light and airy, white opens up the smallest spaces and brings cohesion to large rooms filled with furnishings.

Lovely ivory china on a pale blue backdrop to set off the monochromatic scheme.

Snuggle up! There’s nothing like vintage chenille to dress up a country bedroom.

And don't forget to toss a crocheted cloth over a table! Candles and windows and glass objects can become lacy confections too!

And of course, I'd have to have pink roses on the table!

Curl up on an antique daybed in front of a window. Layer on the romance with pillows covered in vintage broadcloth and a colorful vase of fragrant peonies.

A table in the back porch decorated with fresh flowers... pure bliss!

And a guest room in shades of sunny pink! Layers of pink in different shades include the pale wall color, a preppy lampshade, and striped chair fabric. How lovely!

And mirrors... lovely mirrors around the house!

What else would you add to our imaginary cottage?

Well, if you'd excuse me now, I'm about to hitch a ride on Harry Potter's magical broom! Where would I go? Is usually Hollow Woods, of course! If you haven't been there lately, I have a new design for you to enjoy! So come with me to magic land!
And oh, don't forget to send me your photograph! Beautiful Christmas trees are already falling down on my blog like snow flakes, and I would love to see yours here too! So hurry!
We're showing our Christmas tree on our next SHOW OFF YOUR COTTAGE MONDAY, send me your pic and we'll add it to our collection!

See you super soon!