Blooming Rose

Blooming Rose

Friday, December 31, 2010

A French State Of Mind

If you have your speakers turned on you can probably hear Edith Piaf singing
La Vie En Rose.  I am in a French state of mind this weekend.  The reason for this is
a friend just returned from her first trip to Paris and has been regaling me with wonderful
tales of her trip.  I have had the good fortune of having been to Paris and other parts of
France a few times and I am thrilled to hear her first time stories.  Before she left she
asked me what I most wanted to see on my first trip many years ago and I of course
replied “Everything”!!!  She laughed when I told her that I had a great, great, great (I
actually don’t know how many “greats” back) uncle who was a well known painter in
Paris in the 1800’s and has a couple of paintings hanging in the Louvre,  but that became
last on my list of things to search out.  It started at the top of my list but once I arrived in
that exquisite city, his paintings moved lower on the list because I wanted to see every
single thing I could possibly see in Paris and France...and then, finally his paintings.
I have traveled often with work and I have been fortunate enough to have made a few
more trips to France since my first trip many years ago, and I must say...each time I go
to Paris it is as if I am there for the very first time. 

So given my French state of mind this weekend, I will read (for the 100th time) the
wonderful book by Vicki Archer, French Essence...

Enjoy a few French macarons...I took this picture at Madame Paulette’s shop in Los
Angeles.. She also has a shop in Paris that I have pledged to visit one day!

Listen to a little Edith Piaf...

And, sip a little French Champagne to celebrate the New Year....

I also want to take this time to wish all of you a safe and Happy New Year filled with
much love, joy, good health and prosperity.  I thank you all for welcoming me into the
blogging world. You have made it a wonderful experience. You have blessed my life.
It has been a pleasure getting to know all of you and sharing so many wonderful ideas
and experiences.  I thank you and I wish you all many, many blessings in the New Year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Starting To Get Ready For Christmas

I have been working long hours on a project (a good thing).
I have not been home very much (a bad thing).

With less than a week until Christmas, last night in the wee hours was the first
chance I had to start putting out some Christmas things.

I think this golden bird has been patiently waiting...

And, it wouldn't be Christmas without the Dove...

And roses from the garden...

A few run-away silver ornaments will add a bit of sparkle...

 The blush from the candle casts gentle shadows of a lovely bird...

And, the candle's brilliance turns silver to gold...The magic of Christmas!

Crystal sugar and creamers prove ideal vessels for small rosemary trees...

And roses...

The candle's radiance celebrates the reflection of a silver tray beneath the
floating candles and adds just the right amount of sparkle and glow...

Floating roses on silver...

It is beginning to come together...

It will change several times in the next couple of days...


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Beautiful Sounds Of Christmas

One of the best things about the Christmas season is the wonderful music.  There are
Christmas carols, Christmas songs, choral music, and classical music just to name a few.
In fact, there are even country music, jazz and rock and roll Christmas songs.

Usually we start to hear them on the radio just after Thanksgiving and then they abruptly
end at midnight on Christmas night.  Leaving us to wait for another year to pass before
we hear them again.
I love them all.  I am especially fond of traditional carols and also what has become
traditional Christmas songs like “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole or
“Happy Christmas” by John Lennon.
It would definitely be difficult for me to choose a favorite carol or song in any category.

I think many carols or songs bring back lots of memories of a Christmas from our youth
or a family gathering.  Most of us knew how to sing “Jingle Bells” by the time we were
three years old and “Deck The Halls” was probably the next Christmas song we learned. 
And when I hear “Silent Night” it brings back sweet memories of my father because
that was his favorite carol which now brings tears to my eyes.  My mother’s favorite
song was “Silver Bells” and when I hear it I have to smile just thinking about her.  
The season and the music has so many memories for everyone. 

By any chance did your school chorus always perfom Handel's Hallelujah Chorus at
Christmas?  It was a standard Christmas program for many school choruses.

Maybe you  had to sing a solo at school or in your church choir...I had to sing "Up On
The Rooftop" at a party when I was four...I couldn't carry a tune then and I still can't

How about you?  Do you have a favorite Christmas carol or song?   And, do you have
any special memories connected to any particular carol or song?  Please share them!

I can't imagine this season without the beautiful sounds of music, can you?

Friday, December 3, 2010

An Introduction

I was going to write a post about trying to make a decision of what to do with my
vintage footstool but have decided to tell you about that another time.  The reason
for the delay is that a friend sent me some wonderful pictures of footstools and
ottomans that she has in both her home and her antique showplace. I was so excited
to see her pictures that I wanted to share them with you right away.   Here is just a
sampling of  a few of her wonderful pieces...

Stephanie Lloyd

Stephanie Lloyd

Stephanie Lloyd

Many of you know her but for those of you who don't I would like to introduce
you to Stephanie Lloyd.  She is one of the leading purveyors of old and authentic
grain sacks and she and her husband Ken have a wonderful and thriving antique
business. Stephanie and I have a very special friendship in that we have been friends
since before kindergarden!  We were the best of friends when we were children.  We
adored each other but  then we would squabble and quickly make up because we could
never stay mad at each other for long.  As adults, we would lose contact with each other
and then find each other and then lose each other again only to find each other again. 
She is the best!   I actually consider her to be more like a sister.  You can find and enjoy
her most delightful site and blog at   Wait until you see the
pictures of her showplace!  Now that it's Christmas time she has decorated the front
window beautifully. Well, it's always beautiful but there is just something  special about
Christmas.   I know you will enjoy her blog and her pictures.  Oh, and she has supplied
lots of pieces for some of the biggest movies you have seen.  I know you will enjoy your
visit to her site and reading her blog.  I hope you will leave a comment for her and say
“Hi” from me.

Here is a tease looking in her Christmas window. Who knows, maybe in one of her
future posts she will show you her beautiful home.

Enjoy your visit with Stephanie Lloyd and I will continue my footstool story in
another post...probably after I finish decorating for Christmas.

I hope you have a great weekend!

PS...Stephanie was having some blogger issues yesterday but everything is back
to normal today.  Enjoy her site and blog and please say "Hi" for me.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Maybe You Can Solve The Mystery!

I wandered out to the backyard this morning after a night of rain.  I was delighted
to find that the roses against the back wall are still in bloom.  It certainly brought a
smile to my face and heart.

But, the mystery is that no one knows the name of this pretty rose.  I have six of
this variety in the back and four in the front yard.  My neighbors have told me the
bushes were planted sometime between 1946 and 1950! 
It certainly is a hardy rose.

Now, here’s the other mystery.  They are very fragrant but no one can define
the fragrance. When the roses first start opening they have a somewhat fruity
scent but once they are fully open the scent is of a strong floral.
My entire neighborhood loves the roses but no one knows the name or can
accurately define the scent.

Here are pictures right after the rain...

Some of the buds appear darker at first...

You can get an idea of the foliage...

As I was about to post this I noticed the sun had come out briefly so I ran out
to take a few more pictures of the rose with a little less moisture..  I know I'm
showing you too many pictures of the same roses but I really want to solve this

I have taken the roses with the foliage to a nursery(well, actually two)and the
only thing they have said is "it's definitely an old rose"...well, I already kind of
knew that!

If you have any idea as to the name of this rose, I am open to suggestions.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Textures of Autumn

All of a sudden Autumn has fallen upon Southern California.

Many leaves have already left the branches...

And are resting on the ground...

I really don’t decorate for seasons. But now and then I do add a few things here and
there to add a little interest.  Do you have a “Catch-all” table?  Well, I do and it is
directly outside of my kitchen.  I use it when I pull things out of the cupboards which
will be distributed later or to drop things at the end of the day.
As I mentioned in my last post I have had a bad cold and no energy whatsoever.
So, this year I gathered things and just put them on my “Catch-all” table until I had
more energy to distribute and add them to rooms.  But a few days ago a friend called
and was on her way over for a visit.  I really didn’t have time to move things around so
I just lit a couple of little candles. It looked very autumnal so I decided to show you my
“Catch-all” table and next time I will show you my softer autumnal lighter toned table.
Believe me, things never stay on the “Catch-all” table for long.  When these items are
not together on one table they certainly do not look quite so fall-ish.

I love autumn and I love that we are heading to my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.
I adore pumpkins and I always look for just the ones I want and I hope they last
through Thanksgiving.  This year I enjoy the look of the Musque De Provence
pumpkin from France.

 As you can see, there are also small pumpkins and gourds on the table and inside a
willow cloche...

The delectable, crisp fall fruits...Apples, Pears, Grapes, Persimmons...

The glass cloche does not want to be outdone by the willow...

Autumn is certainly a season of texture...

The Autumn Hydrangia in all it's beautiful glory...

I hope you have a wonderful week and enjoy the cool weather.