Christmas Eve

…just one homey photo…none too fine or picturesque…but catching the moment when the Christmas Spirit finally arrived for me. The hamper full of our ornaments, wrapped in brown tissue, and still lovingly searched through by my sons before they hang them upon the wild pine that is our tree. The most delicious egg nog that comes from a local dairy, drunk from tea cups. The tradition of It’s a Wonderful Life on the telly as we adorn the tree each year. Out of sight of this picture, there are dogs asleep by the fire and young men sprawled on the rug, a grandmother cosy on the sofa and ,me, appreciating it all and awaiting the home-coming of the man of the house who is still at work.

It is a bit later now, and the Roches are playing on the kitchen radio, and most of the stockings are filled and I am thinking of this dear community online and wishing for each of you a generous helping of these peaceful and contented moments.

With so much to be thankful for….I am wishing you a Happy Christmas!

“May the blessing of light be on you, light without and light within.”

-traditional Irish blessing

My Calendar

The House Beautiful
R.L. Stevenson”To make this earth, our hermitage,
A cheerful and a changeful page,
God’s bright and intricate device
Of days and seasons doth suffice.”

I have loved this poem for so long, and it and other lines from Stevenson have been flowing through my mind as I have worked on my calendar these past few weeks. Stevenson had such a love for home, and Nature-how those two are intertwined and all the small details of domestic life…and the rhythms of Life. Those connections are what make the calendar such a special thing to me. I could go on and on!

But I wanted to share some images from my calendar (fresh from the design process, if not the presses) and explain how I am going to handle the filling of calendar orders in the next few weeks. Of course I would have wished that the calendar had been ready for my holiday shows…or even in time for the filling of holiday orders….but it is ready now instead. So I will fill the calendar orders (and only calendar orders!) in the next few weeks as I am able. They take a long, long time to print and I hope to weave that task in and amongst all the long-anticipated Christmas preparations that are finally beginning in my home.

Another challenge with my calendar this year is that the large paper and cardstock I use for it is not available anymore….well, it is available, but they are using virgin timber in their formulation now so I won’t buy it. So I must use only what I already have on the shelf in my paper closet. I think it will be enough to make all the calendars that are usually ordered. If I need more, I can use a whiter shade I have of the same papers to fulfill those orders. So I am trusting it will all work out well.

Here is one of the pages from February. The quote begins: “Where thou art…”

I would appreciate your help on a little dilemma I am having with the month of June. This is the image I chose and it resides in the lower right corner of the month, following this quote:

“Go where he will, the wise man is at home,
His hearth the earth, his hall the azure dome.”

-R.W. Emerson

My fourteen-year-old son, who is sometimes my sounding board for design questions, proclaimed that this lass looked as tho’ she were dead. I was going for more the “resting upon
the earth for refreshment and restoration”-sort-of-idea. In the children’s storybook from whence she came, she is simply napping on the green earth after a tiring time gathering flowers. But I can see my son’s point of view and wonder what your is? This is the alternate image, which will fit nicely in the right-hand border and will also match the pale blue swallows that adorn the left page of June.

I would just leave th quote out, if I use this one. So please leave a comment in the next few days and let me know what you would want to gaze upon in June. It would be lovely to hear from you, in any case…it has been awfully quite here lately. I wonder if everyone else is feeling as I am….accomplishing a bit, but with so much more I would like to do. I am breathing, but if feels as tho’ I am holding my breath sometimes-unconsciously a bit strained at the thought that I might not get to create all that I would like to around this good time-of-year.

Time to go and finish the Christmas cards I am making for my sweet parents-in-law and then deliver them to Williamsburg. I am going to have to do some errands and even take my boys to Target so they may buy some presents for their friends. I usually try to stay out of stores after Thanksgiving…but I am hoping that this time will be as others have sometimes been-rather jolly and festive-feeling and not crowded and overwhelming. We shall see!

After errands I am going to go to one of the taverns in Colonial Williamsburg and listen to my husband play music and visit with some dear people. That will be a nice reward after a huge grocery shop and all the other errands, don’t you think?
And when I return home to the countryside, I will look forward to seeing what your opinions are about my June dilemma!

A Happy and Productive Week to all….