Sunday, 31 December 2017

Hello 2018

I always seem to be more reflective when faced with the brand new slate of another year.

What possibilities will it bring?
Which new chapters will open?
Who will we gain & who will we lose?
Which friends will remain steadfast in their support?
Which challenges will we face & will we be up to them?

I am an optimist; a glass half full type of person so I have already decided that 2018 will be amazing. I love looking at beautiful images, of living with things & people who bring out the best in me.

I wish for all of you that 2018 brings many blessings & that you will be bold & brave enough to face whatever challenges it brings too.

Think of the concept of T I M E as the New Year draws near.

From my home to yours, I send you blessings for everything you wish for yourself!

Thank you for your company & for spending time reading & commenting on my blog - I appreciate each & every visit & comment!
Dee ~💕~

Getting ready for 2018 ...

Hi everyone,

Do you find that you have a period of transition between Christmas & the New Year. I always seem to be more reflective when faced with the brand new slate of another year.

Our home always  transitions too from its festive splendour to brighter colours to welcome in a New Year.

I like bright colours to welcome in a New Year

I like to think of the concept of T I M E  during this transition

This is how I welcome 2012,

Brightness always brings in a New Year  - the sideboard / dresser is changed to favourite plates ....

I hope you are ready to welcome in a New Year too.

The T I M E plates remind me that time is different for each of us & that it waits for none of us.

May you have all the T I M E you need in 2018, along with all the blessings you need to enjoy it! 
Dee ~💕~

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Pantone's Color of the Year 2018 - ultra violet

Pantone's colour of the year always has us surprised or mortified -  they have recently announced that the colour for 2018 is .....

Ultra violet

Shock, horror - flashbacks to the old family home that had a purple bedroom that provided hours of heartless fun for us all - with its seventies wallpaper, purple carpet & curtains which all competed in a riot of colour!

However, the more I looked at ultra violet, the more I realised that I was ahead of the trend already ...

Just recently, I had changed our accent colour at home to what I called 'lavender' - ultra violet tones!

Our dining room has purple - heather tones - pure wool tartan curtains that influenced my decision to adopt 'lavender' tones in the living room.

So perhaps the way forward for ultra violet is to turn our sights north & bring in some more of the amazingly beautiful 'heather' tartan colours?

These colours were again shown as I am transitioned to wintery colours at home with framed fabric in the perfect colour (and I rather like deer & the armorial look of it) 

This is how our dining room looks this winter - heather hued tartan curtains, purple (or should that be ultra violet) table cloth & picture ....

How to do ultra violet in small measures  ...

Little touches against colours you already have - like I did in our living room with touches of lavender  to bring about a change you can live with.

Add it in a bold accent - like a painting, throws or even cushions, use shades of it for interest

Shades of the colour will soften the look

Think about the beautiful purple colours in orchids, thistles that we all love so much & bring the colour in through flowers & texture.

Lavender is the perfect colour - real or faux 

Shades & texture is good in fabrics

I love the heather hues in clothing too - my colours are summer colours in this palette 

These are  the colours that I love & that love me ...

So perhaps I will embrace ultra violet. Will you or have you already? Thanks for the visit & for taking the time to read & comment.
Dee ~♥~

Monday, 25 December 2017

Christmas wishes from our home to yours

hi everyone

Just stopping by to wish everyone a very blessed Christmas.

Special thoughts always turn to those remembering loved ones not with us in the festive season. My Mom was a Christmas babe & I'm sure there is a party going on up there with the others who have gone on before us.

We started our Christmas with a Midnight Mass in a local church - I love Christmas carols & the sense of community. The Bishop of Shrewsbury, our county town, led a lovely service - a peaceful & reflective way to see in Christmas.

Back home in the wee hours, we enjoyed a home made mince pie & a little glass of sherry before retiring for the night.

We have a tradition at home of having a healthy Christmas breakfast of little pancakes, fruit & yoghurt - this is how we started today - an energy boost!

This just sets us up for the day until our late Christmas lunch which we eat mid afternoon ...

Blessings from our home to yours - have a peaceful, blessed family time.

Thank you for your company, especially those who are so supportive of my modest blog. I appreciate each & everyone of you.

Dee ~💕~

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Cinnamon & nutmeg cakes ....

You might have seen these little cakes in their IKEA baklad silicon baking moulds in our baking with the lads post. I thought I should share the recipe in case anyone wants to try it too.

I took a photo of the recipe that was alongside the cake moulds in our IKEA -  when it came to making them we were surprised that some of the measurements were in ml instead of g but we followed it as seen.

They took about 25 minutes to bake ... 

Once they were baked, they turned out quite easily which was a relief ...

Don't they look sweet? 

The little moulds will be used again - I am glad that I bought two sets (each containing one of each animal) because the recipe filled all 4. It was a lovely evening with an interesting new recipe. The spices are just right for the festive season. I hope you have enjoyed our baking time. Thank you for stopping by & spending time here at your busy time. 

Dee ~♥~

Friday, 22 December 2017

Time for baking with the lads ....

How soon the festive season is upon us.

The Godsons & I have a long tradition of spending an afternoon baking before Christmas & this year is no different.

This is some of our other efforts - our baking in 2011

Christmas baking in 2013  when our mince pies had lovely marzipan stars on them

Our baking in 2014 

Chocolate gingerbread baking in 2015

Some good biscuits in 2016 

A selection of Christmas cutters in an old family baking bowl

I made up a batch of chocolate gingerbread dough again

The lads iced some details then packaged them beautifully in boxes & cellophane from Hobby craft. How beautiful is this?

While the lads were baking,  I made some cinnamon & nutmeg cakes from an Ikea recipe that I saw alongside these cute fox & bear silicon moulds ...

Ellie made up a batch of peanut butter bon bons for the festive season. Don't they look fab? 

While this was going on, I finished off a supper for us all, to give us the time to catch up with each other before we have our separate festive plans. Supper in the conservatory is always relaxed with a candles & other festive bits at hand. 

I hope you have enjoyed our traditions & that your own festive plans are relaxed too. Thank you for taking time to stop by & say 'hi' ahead of the celebrations.

Dee ~♥~

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Happy Winter Solstice - the light returns ...

I am a look at the sunrise / sunset / moon / rain type of person - I love the way we interact with nature & events & how their rhythm punctuates our life.

Today marks our astrological event of the Winter Solstice - our shortest day & the start of our winter in the northern hemisphere.  It is a pagan holiday that coincides with our festive season & it includes many familiar observances of yule logs, mistletoe, evergreen trees,  holly & ivy as symbols of everlasting life to Druids.

This is how I have observed it at home in 2011,  in 2012in 2013, in 2014

Our nights have drawn in & the darkness is very evident  as our sun will rise at 8: 03 & set at 15:53 - 7 hours & 50 minutes on daylight only.

Many cultures celebrate the Winter Solstice in various ways.  Many use the winter solstice to reconnect & reflect as the season darkens & changes. Our tree glows warmly in the darkness.

I think this is what I will be doing again this winter solstice:

Fire releasing day

Everyone writes a note on what wish they would like to release & then everyone gathers around a fire & throws their paper on to burn 'release' their wish, while participating in quiet reflection & gratitude.

We all wrote something we would like to change & on the reverse, something we wished for & then gathered around the chimnea to release our wishes  before joining together to eat .... 

However you choose to observe the solstice, consciously or otherwise, know that the rhythm of life continues & you are an important part of it.  It is a good time to just reconnect with nature, to just breath & step back from the commercialism of the holiday season, to reflect on what is really important.  Light a candle, or a few to ward off the darkness of the Winter Solstice & reflect ...

May you feel the warmth of the light of the Winter Solstice, take a moment to just breath & enjoy the silence of the darkness.

Be blessed friends, thank you for your company at this busy time of the year,
Dee ~♥~

Sunday, 17 December 2017

The third Advent Sunday is upon us ...

I describe myself as quietly spiritual & religious -  I still observe the traditions of my childhood & they punctuate the seasons in a familiar & comfortable way!

Our home reflects Christmas as both a religious & normal celebration.

I love this corner of our home - my grandfather clock reminds me constantly of the passing of time (I love the hourly chimes more than everyone else at home ...).

The cardinal painting was inherited (I am the only one who liked it ...)

The Ethiopian crosses were all personally collected over the many visits to Ethiopia when we visited due to work over more than 5 years. They each hold a memory of the remarkable Coptic Christians there.

We have had these fabric East of India advent holders for many years - they are always filled & they go out to the girls homes ahead of the start of December. This tradition was started by my late Mother when A wondering Star was a baby & I have always continued it.

Their advent calendar went to their lovely Oxfordshire cottage ready for the festive season

Today, the third Sunday of Advent marks the passing of a beloved Grandmother a quarter of a century ago - I marked it with my large metal angel in the fireplace (I have put some led lights on it to lighten the darkness). My late Mom was a Christmas baby so the festive season is always reflective for me ...

We have also always had an advent candle in my youth & in my own home. I love to light it when I am cooking or while eating - it is just a calming reminder that Christmas is coming ....

I bought this German church some years back & I love it with its little lights twinkling ...

Our large inglenook fireplace always has its large garland with lights on. It is also a good place to display cards as they arrive ...

I will show you more of our dining room this week - it just has touches of Christmas - the little tree there has our beaded & hand painted South African decorations (newly gifted by the girls after a visit to their grandfather)

My Christmas sideboard / dresser is ready too - we use things straight from the shelves so I  love having them handy & because they are pretty too 

Our front door has its garland at last, The snow disrupted my usual gifted one but I have bought a fresh hanging bunch to adorn the door ...

I like to think that we have the balance between the religious & commercial parts of Christmas. May your third Sunday of Advent be blessed & peaceful.  Thank you for stopping by at such a busy time, 

Dee ~♥~

Ps for Jaybird - this is the lovely advent wreath of my Austrian friend - she lights the candles during each week too & I think it is a beautiful symbol that I might adopt in future x