Sunday, 29 November 2020

The first Sunday of Advent

 I observe the countdown to Advent & the 4 Sundays that lead up to Christmas. 

Last year Ms M & I were enjoying the delights of the Winter Christmas markets in Munich, Salzburg & Innsbruck - something we can only dream of this year. 

We loved seeing the beautiful Advent Candle Wreaths seen all about that region - it is traditional to mark it with 4 candles.  I have some of the beautiful ones on this post from last year .... 

My 4 candle stick holder has been dusted down & filled with candles & it is ready to be lit in the 4 weeks up to Christmas. I love these traditional images I used on a previous post. 

I decorated the tray under my Advent candle holder with holly & ivy, the traditional Christmas combination. 

Today I found some little easy peel oranges in the fridge that were less juicy than I like so I decided to turn them in to pomander / Christingles (meaning Christ light) 

When I taught in mainstream education, we used to make Christingles in class then walk our classes to the local church for the Christingle service. 

The tradition originated in Germany in 1747 when Bishop Johannes de Watteville used an orange with a candle attached to it to remind children of the light Jesus brought in to the world during Advent. 

The orange represents the world 

The candle is for Jesus as the light of the world

The red ribbon reminds us of the blood of Christ

The 4 cocktail sticks are for the 4 seasons or 4 corners of the world

The dried fruit represents the gifts from God

The candle in the centre is lit & children carry them in to the church at a special Christingle service. It has only been adopted in England since 1968. 

I adapted mine with cloves studded in & the red ribbon pinned to a candle placed between the oranges. 

I love making spicy pomanders for the house as they fill the air with a delicate fragrance. 

However you observe the run up to Christmas, it is a good time to just p a u s e and be thankful. I will light the first of my 4 Advent candles on Sunday then every night from 1-24th December, I light an Advent candle with numbers on (something my late Mother used to do) and I love watching the candle flicker each night while we eat - it is a reminder to just enjoy the time without being caught up in the commercialism that takes over ... 

Have a blessed Advent Sunday. Thank you for your company, each & every visit & comment is much appreciated, 
Dee ~💕~

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Welcoming the festive season to our home

 I am acutely aware that November is drawing to a close & Winter & the festive season is approaching. I always welcome Winter, the frosts that make everything glisten & glow, the feeling that the garden is resting, the approach to the festive season, the feeling of community when neighbours are out & about, dropping cards through letterboxes, the anticipation of time with nearest & dearest ....  

This has been such an upside down year that I wanted to bring light, warmth & hope in to my space. I have made a start to the decorations about the home, a gentle rhythm moving things in to place in an unhurried, purposeful way, aware that Covid_19 has taken so much away from us this year already so we have to do what we can do to keep an even keel. 

I love the warmth of candle & fairy lights & the glow from the warm colours of winter - the metallics, greens, reds, gold. I bring in winter foliage too - the traditional holly & ivy as immortalised in the carol, as well as while hellebores, also known as Christmas roses - these herald winter time. 

Many of you will know from previous years, that one of my Elective Home Ed Mums has made & gifted me a front door wreath / garland for years. I always really look forward to its arrival because it is a welcoming sign that it is time to prepare for the season ahead. 

A second one for the back garden, it is on the chimnea & it can be seen from the conservatory, the dining room & kitchen. I am so blessed to have two gorgeous ones ... 

I used some of the extra holly branches to prepare a tray for my Advent candles - 4 candles, 1 for each Sunday in the run up to Christmas. Holly & Ivy - so traditional ... 

I am so blessed to have these wonderful handmade gifts again. It feels festive. I will be misting them regularly with water to keep them looking good & once a week, the front door one is taken off & placed on the lawn where it is watered then put back on. I find this keeps it looking fresh for weeks ... 

Have you started your preparations or are you trying to stay traditional & waiting for at least Advent? Tell all ... 

Thank you for your company, each & every visit & comment is much appreciated, 
Dee ~💕~

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Warm heather & berry colours for our winter decor

 One of my winter jobs is to change the dining room curtains for the heavier tartan ones because they make it feel warm & cosy. 

Over the summer, I bought some lovely light heather coloured ones to use at the door to the conservatory. I have only just opened them & put them up & are so pleased with how well they go with the tartan. They are light enough to allow light through but tie in beautifully with the pure wool tartan ones.

The living room usually just has its cream curtains but earlier this year, I saw these curtains online & just had to have them because it is a pattern I have long loved. They too have been folded up & I decided it was time to do both rooms. 

The colours go well with my proteas too & those are my favourite colour combinations ... 

I love this corner ... 

These beaded proteas that I bought in South Africa at a market I visited with my late Mother on several occasions, are very special & they give me pleasure to look at them. They are also the perfect colours to match the new curtains ... 

I love the new curtains - they are just perfect 

This corner is just so warm & cosy when the lamp goes on at night ...

Corners of my home in my favourite colours. What is your favourite colour palette? Do you change things around with the different seasons? Tell all ... 

Thank you for your company, each & every visit & comment is much appreciated, 
Dee ~💕~

240 days of lockdown & thinking festively ...

240 days of lockdown today ... 

A national newspaper has helpfully kept a headline tally of the days since our Covid Lockdown began - 240 days today. Somehow the big numbers give a reality check. 

Hubby & I have stuck to the guidelines & the latest National lockdown has deprived us of visits by the new grandson & his family while their major house renovations are going on. We have a daily FaceTime chat which is lovely, even when he grabs their phones & kisses the screen we are on. We miss his cuddles & development. 

While the vaccine news is encouraging, ministers are still planning the way our Christmases will look with Covid still lurking in the sidelines. It does not feel right that we have so little control over our own lives & how we live them. 

On Monday, a free morning prompted me to open our loft & to poke around in the many Xmas storage boxes. I hope many of you are like me with various themes, colours & bits up there which tracks how we celebrate Christmas. 

Some years it is woodland / deer themes which I love but they are staying up there.  I do not feel like bringing down all the beautiful glass ornaments that need special care - they are fragile yet so pretty. Red is out because I changed the curtains in the living room & dining room to the winter purples / berry colours which are warm & cosy. What to use? 

GOLD - I spy the box (yes, I colour code boxes to make it easier) of the various gold decorations & that decides my colour. 

The golds (matt, shiny, reflective, large, small, glittery, various shapes) will do just fine as they add the warmth & light. 

I KNOW, it is not even the first Sunday of Advent but this year has been so incredibly trying that I think we can wing it & be far more random. I always light candles on the four Sundays of Advent leading up to Christmas & my decorations usually go up after early December but with shops closed, it is not easy to just pop out for anything so more planning is needed. 

I have started on the sideboard in the conservatory - it always contains the things we will use like our lovely Christmas china .... a sneak preview 

I bought this length of fabric ages ago & have only just hemmed it as a rather colourful Xmas cloth. What do you think? 

I will reveal more soon but I feel a bit happier having some special things around again,  with lots of candles to bring light in to the darkness of winter. Stay safe, stay sane, stay alert ... 

Thank you for your company, each & every visit & comment is much appreciated, 
Dee ~💕~