Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas



Luke 2:1-14

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.






I hope everyone has a very blessed holiday filled with lots of love, laughter, and joy.  From our home to yours, Merry Christmas!



Monday, December 23, 2013

Deck The Halls

You may recall from this post that we have a very rambunctious toddler living with us at the moment, so I didn't expect to do a lot of decorating for Christmas.  But, I decided to put out a few things and I wanted to share them with you before my little tasmanian devil whirled through and destroyed them.

Our fireplace is a pass through and is made so that you can walk all the way around it from one room into the other.  I am in the process of redecorating and painting and shared my inspiration for the fireplace with you here.  But, with our current living arrangements, aka rambunctious toddler, the actual fireplace remodel has been put on hold.  Right now it is painted a deep shade of orange which I have definitely grown tired of and looks out of place in Christmas photos, but it is what it is and hopefully I will get to continue with my remodel plan soon.

Each side of the fireplace has a mantle which I have decorated quite differently.  So grab some coffee or hot cocoa, and lets take a look, shall we.

This is the dining room side.  I decided to go with a homespun country theme.

Homespun Christmas Mantle

Homespun Christmas Mantle

Homespun Christmas Mantle

Homespun Christmas Mantle

Homespun Christmas Mantle

Homespun Christmas

Homespun Christmas Mantle

The other side of the fireplace is quite different and if the wall was painted a nice neutral hue, which is the plan, it would have a very different feel.  I've tried to stay with various shades of whites, tan and browns with a pop of green.  There's some mercury glass thrown in for some sparkle.

Christmas Mantle

Christmas Mantle

Christmas Mantle

Christmas Mantle

Christmas Mantle

Christmas Mantle

Christmas Mantle

Christmas Mantle

Our tree is decorated with various bird ornaments and woodland creatures which Oliver, the kitty, has found delightful this year.  We have a slimline tree because, as you can imagine with so many people living in our home, we don't have a lot of space.

Bird Christmas Tree

Bird Christmas Tree

Bird Christmas Tree


I've set up various baskets of greenery, pinecones, etc. because I love bringing the outdoors in and the smell of the greenery, which is wonderful since we have an artificial tree.

Christmas greens

Christmas greens

Christmas greens

Christmas greens

And finally, we have part of my collection of old world Santa's.  I don't know about you, but I collect way to many things! 

Old World Santa


So, that's it, I hope you enjoyed it and I will be sure to let you know if the decorations survive the two year old and kitty.  I think they are actually plotting and scheming together to destroy them as I write this.  Have you decorated for the season?





Thursday, December 5, 2013

Please Excuse Me




Some of you already know that I lost my Father a few weeks ago, but most of you probably did not know and may have been wondering where I have been. Well, here I am, sitting in this fog of grief.

Even though my Dad's death was expected, this is so hard, I never imagined how hard it could or would be, especially for this Daddy's Girl. I am finding it hard to function other than just going through the motions of my day to day life. I put on a good front that I am ok, but deep down inside I constantly ache. I struggle to remember simple things, let alone put two sentences together in some semblance of coherency. So bare with me, please, as I struggle my way back into the land of the living. I know that I am capable, strong, and resilient, I just need time.

It would be very easy to just lie in bed, pull the covers over my head and let the world go by, but my dad would come back from the afterlife and really let me have it. I know that he would want me to go on—to live my life. Isn't that what the grieving process is about, learning to live my life, not without my dad, but with him in my memories, in the traditions and love that I pass on to my children and grandchildren, and especially through the love that I still feel for my dad.

But where do I start, how do I find my way out of this grief, my way through the holidays without my father, and the strength to help my mother, siblings, and my children do the same.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4

I certainly don't feel blessed because I am mourning. I took a hard look at the last part of the verse: "for they shall be comforted." That means God will provide comfort when I'm hurting so badly I feel like I can't take another breath. He will sustain me and carry me through this time. He will provide what I need.  So I go to Him for my comfort and am blessed for it.  And I'm truly blessed for having had a father who taught me to turn to God for my needs and comfort.

So please excuse me while I take some time to grieve the loss of my Dad.  I will still post periodically, when I feel inspired, and hope to once again be filling these pages with vintage cheer very soon.


Friday, November 29, 2013

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Themed Wedding Head Table


Today is my 22nd Anniversary with the Mister.  Last year, here on the blog, I dedicated the whole month of November to our marriage with a five part series on lasting romance.  If you missed it you can check it out by either clicking the button on the sidebar or go here for part one, two, three, four, and five.

Several years ago, for our 10th anniversary in fact, we decided to renew our vows to one another and did so with a Renaissance themed wedding.  Renaissance means rebirth so we thought it only fitting since we were celebrating the rebirth of our commitment to one another.

Our invitations were copies of an illumination that I hand painted and then they were sealed with wax and hand delivered.

I designed and made my dress.  It had three layers, the outer layer was a dupioni silk with hand beading, the inner layer was a silk velvet, and the chemise was a rayon.  I spent hours working on this dress and was quite proud of how it turned out.

We incorporated many ancient traditions, such as a handfasting ceremony, moving the ring sequentially from the thumb to the middle finger, and being encompassed inside a circle made of our guests to symbolize our eternal love.

My mother and I made our cake to look like a castle.  We decorated the Hall in a castle medieval theme and my sisters and daughter served as our serving wenches.  My youngest sons served as our Knights. Our guests also came in costume so it was loads of fun to see what everyone put together.

So, in honor of our anniversary, I thought it would be fun to share some of the photos from the event with you. 

Illumination Wedding Invitation | Retro Gran
 
Retro Gran Renaissance Wedding Dress Design

Renaissance Wedding Attire

 Renaissance Wedding Ceremony

Renaissance Wedding Ceremony
 
Renaissance Wedding Ceremony

Handfasting Ceremony

Handfasting Ceremony

Handfasting Ceremony

Renaissance Wedding Ceremony

Renaissance Wedding

 Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding Cake

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding

Renaissance Wedding