All That Glitters our home this Christmas season

...are golden mosaic baubles, glass beaded votives,

and glistening silver balls.

While fancy gilded birds float among antique gold and silver petite pinecones and

sterling nests of spun frosted wire.

Sparkly snowflakes and glass ornaments in ivory and hot pink sit on the marble mantle with cobalt glass reflecting colours like a prism.

Soft velvet and sequin paisley ornaments,

...ethereal feathered angel wings,

and snow kissed pomegranates.

My favorite lighted blooms cascade from a rustic French basket hanging from a wrought iron scroll.

Tiny ivory and silver berries hang from the branches and...

glow against our royal blue ceiling which looks like the midnight sky.

But every year my favorite treasure is this precious nativity that my little boy gave me when he was two years old.

Each year I try to find a different and special place for it in our home.

This is what glitters in our home this Christmas.

I hope your Christmas sparkled and brought you JOY.

Buon Natale Amici,

The Night Before Christmas

Stockings have been hung, pretty decorations sparkle on the mantles, the glow of candlelight fills our rooms, Santa is on his way to visit the little boy in this house...

...and this ol' elf is ready to go back to the North Pole and hibernate for eleven more months!

Merry Christmas to All...
and to all, a very good night.

Buon Natale,

The Littlest Angels

A few more angels are watching over us now.

Wishing You a Holiday Season...

...that is JUST PEACHY!

It feels as though I have been away from here long enough to drive to the North Pole and back again.

I hope you all are doing great.

During the holiday season, the local museum hosts a Festival of Trees event where designers throughout the town each create their own signature Christmas tree.  I participated this year and of course, my tree was Just Peachy.  It was a beautiful melody of glass beads, paper roses, and fuzzy peaches.

My "Just Peachy" mood board on Pinterest fueled my inspiration for the design of the tree and from there my ideas grew like a Georgia peach orchard...

I started with these delicate paper roses in shades of cream, peachy pink, and golden orange...

...and attached them to petite natural grapevine balls and added shimmery organdy bows.

I found these fuzzy navels on eBay {I bought a bushel}...

...and added seam binding ribbons which I hand dyed in soft mossy greens to some.

 Others were wrapped up in natural parchment paper and tied with more of my hand dyed and scrunched blush pink seam binding ribbons.

Glass beads dripping like raindrops...

Golden and glittery branches with crystal dew drops...

I created my tree topper from a large grapevine ball and then intertwined glass beads in and out of it, added some paper roses, and then silky ribbon streamers in shades of cream, blush, peach, and moss green that cascade from the ball.

Below the evergreen branches, willowy layers of embossed antique gold organdy, peach blossom lighted branches, a vintage wrought iron gift basket of peaches...

...and a sweet smelling nosegay of creamy vintage millinery blooms were the gifts I left under my tree.

May your gifts be of the heart this year...and always.

Buon Natale,

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for the blessings in every beautiful day...

...and hope that you are too.

Happy Thanksgiving Friends.

Ciao amici,

On My Bookshelf Now

It is always a privilege to be included in one of Stampington & Company’s publications, but even more meaningful when asked by one of the editors to write your own story.

This happened to me earlier this year and now my story is featured in the Winter 2013 edition of Artful Blogging among the pages of many other vibrant and artful bloggers.

I am so pleased with the selection of photographs that were chosen for this piece ~ so many special ones. I remember making each of these photographs and every detail surrounding each shot.  The "Yellow Wall" in Cabo San Lucas...

 One of my favorite childhood places in Capitola, California; the "Bright Blue Brick Wall" in a small Southern town; "Paradise" in Seaside; my two precious men I captured along the shore on Father's Day last year; and the soft pink peach blossoms in the orchards on the way to our lakeside cottage in rural Georgia... 

Scrumptious ruby red summer raspberries; laundry day in Cortona, Italy; a baby spring lamb nuzzled up to her momma; and the tropical colour of Charleston, South Carolina...

...and my story is straight from my heart.  I hope you will enjoy it.

Thank you Jennifer Jackson Taylor for asking me to write for you and including my story in your Winter 2013 edition of Artful Blogging. It is always a pleasure to work with you!

Other newsy news is that my work was also recently chosen to be included in a new book by Renee Rongen, titled Fundamentally Female.

This book was a collaboration of women from around the world and a collection of tender stories, provocative vignettes, and quotes that expose the soul of womanhood ~ all wrapped up in eclectic artwork by artists from around the world, including one of my photographs.

It’s a wonderful book that reminds me of the book, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, which came out many years ago and is of a similar genre. These are the type of books that you can pull down from your book shelf at any moment, read a page or two, and feel inspired by life itself.

As a contributor, I was treated to two complimentary copies of the book {and appropriately gave one to my mother}.  If you are interested in purchasing a copy just click to go to the Fundamentally Female web site. This site also lists all of the artists featured in the book ~ I am sure many of you may {as I did} recognize the names of some favorite Etsy artists on the list.  Thank you Renee Rongen for letting my work be part of this inspirational work of yours!

Happy reading and thanks for your visit, as always.

Ciao amici,

Death's Head

It's that time of year again...

...the week of Halloween.

I invite you to join me for a walk through a New England grave site and I'll tell you a little story...

These grave markers were used by the New England Puritans who were adamantly against using religious symbols, such as angels and cherubs or crosses, on their headstones or graves, nor did they use religious symbols in their meetinghouses. They did not want any human form attributed to the spiritual beings such as God or angels.

This decorative motif on Seventeenth Century grave markers was the “death’s head.

A death’s head was a stylized skull, often with wings and/or crossed bones.

Some have speculated that winged skulls were intended to symbolize a combination of physical death and spiritual regeneration.

The death’s head, a non~religious symbol, was the first imagery employed in gravestone carving.  There were many variations of the death’s head motif.  The images depended on the preferred style of the carver. 

Like other craftsmen of that era, gravestone carvers had special techniques and skill.  Their style was almost their “calling card” and over time, historians have been able to identify many of these carvers.

What is your calling card? 
Can you be identified?

Happy Halloween Friends!

Ciao amici,