Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday Christmas Scenes. . . . . . . .

Fiona, my cute penguin, is loving the arrival of cold weather but I
thought she required a soft muffler to be fashionable for the season.

As I'm still knitting scarves whilst watching TV in the evenings, it was easy 
to pull out some leftover yarn and get the needles clicking.
 This was a quickie done during an episode of The Crown, Part I - fabulous
 show and I'm now anxiously awaiting the chance to view Part II.  

Yesterday I actually bought some rich red yarn so will also be knitting up

a few more miniature scarves - perhaps the reindeer should also have
 mufflers and I have to keep my fingers moving whilst binge watching
 TV without guilt on these chilly days.

A dear friend arrived at our Christmas luncheon last week with this 
very attractive wreath, a belated Birthday gift  - I'm thrilled with it!
Today the sun is brilliant and the temperature is slowly climbing to a high
 of around 51F - the Christmas shoppers will be out in force.  
Meanwhile, I completed the outdoor vignette by the front door. 
The greenery is in water and later this coming week I will use it on the
 fireplace mantel. I just couldn't bring myself to dump the still solid pumpkins - had
 four left so roasted one and grabbed the nickel and bronze spray paints for these three!
The red vintage looking lanterns I found at ALDI, perfect for this spot with
safe candles set to turn on and off automatically - one of life's more acceptable 
modern inventions, right?

It will get even warmer during the coming week - up into the low 70's, 
doubtful we will see a White Christmas around here!
The sweaters and boots are being worn though. . . . . . . . . . and 
yesterday, during a visit to REI, I found a Christmas present to myself,
something special to wear on my expedition trip early next year. 
More on that another time. Perhaps I'll do a 'travel to where?' guessing game again.
 You, my wonderful readers and friends, always seem to enjoy participating. . . . .
. . . . and we'll all have more time hopefully to catch up with each other in the
New Year. I'm reading and loving your great posts but often just can't find time
 to comment so beg forgiveness.

Enjoy your weekend - busy I'm sure!


Thursday, December 14, 2017

From the December garden. . . . . . . . .

. . . . . a few pretty things caught my eye outside yesterday.
Prior to more leaf raking - never ending until into the New Year - I spent 
time cutting evergreens for the mantel and, as always, taking photos of the 
visiting birds and squirrels. The greenery consists of Southern Magnolia,
 red-berried Nandina, Camellia and English Ivy. All have been rinsed clean and
 are soaking in water before being bought into the cottage.

~ Beautiful female Eastern Bluebird - her mate was close by ~

~ Gentle rummaging Mourning Doves ~

~ Handsome male Northern Flicker in the now leafless fig tree ~

~ Burying acorns - a grey squirrel's busy time of year ~

. . . . . . and I found these dried seed pods which I brought inside to use in the
 dining room Christmas decor - I love a touch of Nature such as this.

I'm never finished with the holiday decor, always adding, tweaking or
 moving something to a new spot - do you do that?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Scribble Picnic. . . . . . . . . Spinning Top!

Life's not only bouncing along at this time of year "like a rubber ball" 
(Bobby Vee we loved you!), it's also much like a "spinning top" as we run
in circles the closer we get to Christmas. 
Didn't wall have some version of one of these - either in our own childhood
 years, or those of our kids?

Today's challenge from Michael revolves (sorry couldn't resist that!), around
spinning tops/dreidels etc.

I photographed a traditional plunger top, reverted it to a sketch, then added
 a little watercolor to the action.

Please take a break from running around and visit Michael today

Happy Holidays To All.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Getting to look a lot like Christmas . . .
. . . around here.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

The season of light. . . . . . . . .

As mentioned previously, the cottage had a face lift this autumn.
We addressed the needed wood repairs and re-painting with a total
 re-siding with HardiePlank - and are thrilled with the fresh look.
Of course the shrubs had to be cut down and it will be a while before
 they fill in again around the foundation - another spring/summer
 without the beautiful blue hydrangeas perhaps.
Leaves, from mostly oaks, continue to fall. We've raked tons and have
 tons more to come down over the coming weeks.

The pots contain spring blooming tulip bulbs topped with pansies - those hardy
lovelies which over-winter so well.
This photo is just at dusk so you can see the Christmas decor a little better. . . . . . 
once darkness takes over the flood lights we have installed on the grass are
 rather bright for good photos.

The restoration of the back deck and gazebo was, as I've moaned and
 groaned about a lot lately, a job which was not expected to last so long!
All the cedar was replaced around the gazebo and deck base, the three  
sets of steps were re-built, a couple of deck posts replaced, everything
washed, sanded back to raw wood, then re-stained - he even sanded all
 the edges of the cedar roof shakes so they would look smooth again.
A thorough job by a very good carpenter.
It's now completed, and just in time as much colder weather has arrived,
 including some rain which turned to a light snow today - but nothing
stuck and tomorrow the sunshine should return.

The Christmas tree is up and decorated. . . . . . all looks really bright
 and cheery for the holidays.

I missed my cottage Christmas last year when we traveled to Europe. . . . . . so this
 year I'm enjoying having time to do all the traditional things which make Christmas
 at home so special.
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