Wishing You All the Best in 2012

Happy New Year Friends!

{This is the original photograph ~ unretouched.}

I always love the beginning of a New Year.  It's a little like the beginning of Spring to me...a rebirth of sorts. 

Starting fresh

Whatever happened in the last year may be put behind and we can move forward...I don't want to sound like a cliche, but I do want to wish you all a very Happy New Year full of creativity, blog friendships, beautiful photography, and special stories shared.

So no matter how you celebrate...

...stay safe and have a great weekend. 

I'll be back next year!

Buon anno,

~ ~ ~

I made this photograph while at my close friend Jennifer's home on the evening of Christmas {a wonderful new tradition we started with our families a couple of years ago}.  We were celebrating with a glass of champagne and her beautiful old fashioned Christmas tree was in the background when I said, "What a great photograph that would make..." {or did she say that?  Now I do not remember...it must have been the champagne...and good company, of course.}  When the two of us get together there is never a moment when we are not thinking of something creative!  {For that matter, she may be sharing her version of this same Kodak moment on her blog ~ different eyes see different beauty.}

~ ~ ~

Celebrating with some of these friends this week.

The Best Gift of All

Late last night on Christmas Eve,
this note was left for Santa...

...for me it was the best gift of all.

Santa wrote back and that was the best gift too for my littlest angel.  So my son says, Momma, I guess I need to write Santa an e-mail.  {Does anyone know Santa's e-mail address?}

Wishing all of you the happiest Christmas

Buon Natale,

Vintage Wonderland Under Glass

Meet Twinkle Toes...

In the glow of the warm winter afternoon sunlight, pouring through our windows, these petite frosted angels dance on the top of a luminous silver and gold glittery tree...

{Those stars at her toes are not man made in any which way.}

...which if I lived alone, might just be enough for me.

And certainly what is under the tree, is just enough for me.

I found the cone shaped ornament while shopping this season, and thought if I turned it upside down that it would make a perfect retro style tree for this Christmas project I wanted to create ~ a vintage winter wonderland under a glass cloche.

After removing the hook from the cone, I glued it to an old tarnished tin cookie mold which I used as the base of the tree.  Then of course, there had to be presents...

...lots of sparkly presents.  And flowers.  So I gathered my collection of vintage rhinestone gems and tucked them under the tree.  Some of my pretty creamy white porcelain flowers fit perfectly too.

You know the song, "Santa Baby...decorate my tree with Tiffany..." or something like that.  Here's my version ~ vintage style.  {Someone must think that I have been very nice.}

As the afternoon sun set, the light in the room changed to a beautiful warm tone and this precious garland of glass blooms created a luminous light.

My very own grown up snow globe.

Have a wonderful holiday week friends.  See you soon.  Be nice.

Ciao amici,

~ ~ ~

Joining some of these friends for holiday cheer this week.

Countdown to Christmas

Enjoying every day.

I hope you are too.

I made this whimsical advent calendar using a vintage clip art image I found {on Pinterest, I think} and then layered large numbers {1 through 25} in Photoshop on the image.  Then I cut them to fit a collection of mismatched ivory and white envelopes and glued them on to each envelope.  We filled the envelopes with surprises and clipped them with wooden clothes pins to a red twill ribbon garland on our stair banister.  A few extra red bows, our old Christmas stockings, cranberry sprays tied with twine, and the countdown to Christmas has begun with fun!

Ciao amici,

Winter Wonderland

I have been enjoying reading many of your blogs this month and seeing your Christmas creations and decorations.  I have also been so inspired to work on new projects and create new ornaments, yummy treats, decorations, gifts...it's hard for me to stay focused these days ~ there are so many things that I want to do this holiday season.  {I've got some ideas up my sleeve right now as I write this...I'll show you soon.}

But of course, I have set aside some time decorate our home for the holidays which I always enjoy doing ~ changing the arrangements from year to year, using the same decor from the previous years.  I love the challenge of creating new vignettes with the same old stuff with just a few new touches.

So, I began with our living room.  I love this room, done in blues and whites {with a cobalt blue ceiling}  which has a stunning ornate Carrera marble fireplace as the main focal point.  When we moved in, the marble was charcoal grey ~ so covered in soot that it took me five days to sand and polish it and bring it back close to its original condition. 

With a mix of vintage Victorian bird cages {and our Sock Monkey family portrait gracing this stage},

white berry wreaths and twinkle lights,

lacy white Moroccan votives,

the most special Nativity of all {when my son was two years old, he bought this for me}, and

my transformed silvery blue gourds {from our autumn holidays} adorned with golden tassels, beads, and hand painted wooden crosses...

my little winter wonderland is created. 
One of my terra cotta angels pops out of vintage embellished shoe... 

with a halo of a golden glittery snow flake,

while the queen of angels watches from a beautiful wrought iron filigree castle,

gazing through heart shaped scrolls.

Antique gold tinted petite pine cones are nature's flowers...

and placed in a stone pedestal bowl to resemble a topiary.

Christmastime is here.

Thank you for visiting and taking a peek inside my home during the holidays.  I will be showing more in the days ahead.  For now I am going to hide out in my "workshop" and act like an elf for a few hours.

Ciao amici,

~ ~ ~

Joining these friends for Christmas festivities this week.  You're invited too, so come along with me.

The Finer Things in Life ~ A R T

I just had to share this with you all.  My little boy, as BOY as he is, loves to paint with his Momma...and of course, I encourage it.  How wonderful for a child to be a rough and tumble boy and also appreciate the finer things in life ~ A R T !
{This is one of my favorites.  I have it framed in a bright blue frame hanging in our sun room.  It's small, just four by six inches.  He painted this one when he was four years old.}

I save the scraps of white mat board after I mat my photographs that I sell and give them to him to paint and use as his canvases.  He's got his very own set of paints and brushes and I've taught him a bit about mixing and blending colours and how to use the brushes.

{This little guy was inspired by the sea turtles we saw on the Gulf Coast this past summer.  We used this image for his birthday party invitation for a swim party this year.  I also had it printed on a mouse pad for him as a surprise this Christmas.}

All the titles are also "Made by Matthew."

One year as Christmas gifts for his teachers and our family, I made note cards from these images and packaged them with a cute tag made from a doodle Matthew did at school.

We were practicing the art of still life with this one.  Very Cézanne, don't you think?

At work.
Many of these were made when he was just about four or five years old and a couple more recently.  I have added a collection of "Children's Art" in my Zazzle shop and am offering these on posters.  Personally, and you know I am not biased, I think that these would be precious in a child's bedroom

I will be adding more fun products in my Zazzle shop with these whimsical watercolours...I have to start saving for his college education after all.

May you too, have a creative week.

Ciao amici,

~ ~ ~

Zazzle is offering great coupons this week.  Use this code upon check out for fabulous savings today ~ PERFECTPHOTO.  Thank you for your visit.

Autumn Holiday Inspiration

 {I used this beautiful Victorian image as a Christmas card one year. 
I am working on some handmade booklets using this image for the holidays and will list them soon.}

Create your very own fairy tale with this hand made woodland gift basket and inspiration kit.

I have white washed six inch natural peat pots with acrylic paint and embellished each with mossy green hydrangea blooms and creamy white pearl centers around the rims.

The pots are filled with natural green Spanish moss and two large artificial hydrangea leaves, a string of pearls, satin ribbons in a petite white organza pouch finished with a brass quilting pin and mother of pearl button.

Cinnamon coloured velvet ric rac wrapped around a wooden stick and secured with a sparkly pin pokes out of each basket, along with a three inch square hand made matchbook style petite notebook and wooden clothes pin with a cranberry bloom.

To top it all off, there is a natural brown hen’s egg filled with fairy dust confetti {which includes pearls, crystalline, silver, and gold beads, and glitter} and topped with a hand made double paper flower and rhinestone in each magical basket {which I showed you on my post about Coffee, Tea, Candles & Confetti, on My Front Porch}.  Personally, I think it would be so much fun to crack open these winter confetti sparkles on New Year's Eve!  {Either confetti eggs or champagne...your choice.  Just sayin'.}

These are available in my Etsy shop now, in a limited edition collection.  They would make darling gifts for creative friends or as I mentioned earlier, create your very own fairy tale with this collection of woodland treasures.

My shop is open every day this holiday season.  Each week I will be adding new and beautiful one of a kind gifts and photography

Hope to see you there!

Ciao amici,

~ ~ ~

Joining these friends for more inspiration.

One Fat Bird


and silvery blue pumpkins

  are on my table this autumn.

White berry wreaths on cake plates cradle the plump pumpkins

and my fat ceramic bird.

I looked and looked for white pumpkins this year, but there were none to be found in these parts...so these {expensive} sterling gourds found their place here instead...and I must say, I am hooked.  The colour is so intriguing to me.  I love the richness and old world feeling they give.

But of course they could not just sit there...I had to dress them up a bit with some hand dyed crinkly French seam binding ribbons and add some punch of colour with juicy fertile fruits...those would be the pomegranates pictured above.

Now I've got to figure out how to use these in my Christmas decor because I am not ready to part with them...I'll show you when everything is transformed next month.

In the meantime, may you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving

Ciao amici,

~ ~ ~

Joining blog friends for this week's festivities.  You're invited too, so come along!