I Bring You Flowers and Art

 

The florist's are selling their uplifiting spring bulbs already.
I really liked this watering can planter filled with pink Hyacinths.
The words on the can say:
La Vie en Rose
Bleu Ciel
Plein de Soleil

Meaning:
Seeing life through rose-tinted glasses
Blue Sky
Lots of Sunshine

That first phrase, is best described as living with an attitude or outlook of positivity.
Trying to see the beauty in the everyday,
rather like when you first fall in love!

On January 6th, which is the Epiphany, it's tradition to eat a Galette des Rois.
They come in different forms, but the most delicious one is made with flaky pastry
and a ground almond filling.
There is always a tiny 'king' statue or similar figurine somewhere in the filling.
The person who gets the slice with the tiny king gets to wear the crown
and is king, or queen, for the day!

We had a few light snowfalls at the beginning of the month
and after watching the beautiful flakes float lazily from the sky,
I noticed my little glass dish of marbles catching the reflections from
the crochet cloth below.

Early one morning, there were beautiful pink and blue colours in the sunrise
and I ran out on the end of my balcony to capture them.
Can you see the tiny bird in the distance flying high? 
It's very small, but if you click on the photo, you will see it better.

I set off for a walk to the higher part of my neighbourhood.
I love passing these tall poplar trees on the way.

The branches are still bare so early in the year, but look at that blue sky!

When I walk uphill for about half an hour, I can reach some fields.
They were quite muddy, so I only stayed at the edge to see the view on the mountains.

After a period of misty and fairly warm days, it became much colder again
bringing a big drop in temperatures, to about 2C in the daytime and below zero at night.
A few days of cold wind, blew the grey skies away and we are experiencing blue skies
and sunny days. It's so uplifting, don't you think?

A cheerful collage of yellow Primula flowers on my spring cloth.
Little sunshine flowers that remind us that days are getting longer and we shall soon
have gained a whole hour of daylight since the winter equinox on December 21st.

My deep red velvety Amaryllis gave me twelve beautiful big blooms
over a long period.
I love having these plants in my home over Christmas and the new year.

Now it is the turn of the pink striped Amaryllis.
It's so elegant and somehow feminine and delicate.
This is the very first bud.

Then a second one opened on the other side.

Here they are both together with two more buds to open up.

"Seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees"
Lawrence Weschler

I've always enjoyed creating the abstract quality of subjects to concentrate on shape and colour,
and in this case, flow.

This is the brochure of a wonderful Van Gogh Alive art exhibition
which is on show in Lausanne.
I loved it so much that I went to see it twice!
If you are a Van Gogh fan, you will love this exhibition.

Here is Van Gogh's bedroom which he painted when he was living in Arles in 1888.

His beautiful Iris

The Almond Blossom which he painted to celebrate the birth of his nephew,
also named Vincent, to his brother Theo and his wife Johanna.
Theo was an art dealer in Paris.
He was a good brother to Vincent, encouraging him in his art and helping him financially.

This was one of Van Gogh's Starry Night paintings.
It looks slightly blurred because the images are moving with shooting stars.
I'm showing it because of the sheer and beautiful intensity of the the famous blue
that Van Gogh liked to use.

The self-portrait in this collage is one of my favourite ones he painted.

The manner in which this exhibition is presented is difficult to explain, so I'm including two links
for you to see for yourself. The first one is here

The second one is a longer YouTube clip is from the

I preferred the chosen classical music in Lausanne.
The whole show lasts for 45 minutes.

It's tragic that Van Gogh remained virtually unknown until after his death.
He died, far too young, at only thirty-seven
but he painted more than 2.100 works of art.

Some of Vincent's quotations were projected onto the walls and my favourite one is this:
" I dream my paintings and then I paint my dreams."

Thank you, Vincent Van Gogh, for painting your dreams and sharing them with us.

If you like Van Gogh's paintings, 
please go and see this immersive art exhibition.
You will come out of it transformed.

A New Year and Longer Days

Golden light for the grey days at the beginning of our winter!
This charming porcelaine candle-holder with bare branches and cheeful little birds
was given to me by a good friend at Christmas.
A touch of fairy lights and a pretty reflection in the polished wood of my sideboard.

When we were going through a series of grey days with wind and rain,
I thought it would be very cheering to take photos of the candle-holders
that have come into my life over the years.
This sweet house was given to me by my grandson a few years ago.

A fine porcelaine village scene with snow-topped houses and a church
and pretty pine trees.
Many of these photos were taken either in the early morning or late afternoon.

This is a flower-shaped faceted glass candle-holder.
The glass is neutral in colour, but it has taken on a red glow because of the red candle.

More faceted glass on a crocheted red mat and illuminating a beautiful snow scene
which is my son's Christmas card this year

A warm image created by a very pretty Swarovski crystal candle-holder
which my daughter gave me.
I made the three red crocheted little bells with silver edging this year.

I bought this Art Deco style glass heart-shaped container
from a Lausanne market stall many years' ago.
I like to fill it with some marbles and a candle and a muslin ribbon gave it a soft, flowing feel!
I have also used this little dish for homemade chocolates or biscuits. to serve to company.

This is the same glass dish in which we can see the glass stem, or stand.

I wanted something light and airy with a touch of gold to celebrate this first day of the new year.
The symbolic message I wish to share with this image is this:
Let's always rise above adversity,
 the flowing ribbons remind us to bring lightness and gaiety
into our lives and to nurture the child within us all.
The white candle makes me think of the white page in our book of life, 
waiting for us to write our continuing life story.
The flame of the candle shows us that whatever else is happening in our lives,
there is always a light shining somewhere to guide us out of the darkness.

For anyone living in the Northern Hemisphere, it's great to remember that right after the winter soltice. the days get longer by an average of 2 minutes and 7 seconds a day.
So that means between December 21 and December 31, we have gained 21.10 minutes of light!
Isn't that uplifting?

In the wise words of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who recently died:
"Do your little bit of good where you are; it is those little bits of good put together
that overwhelm the world."

I wish you all a Healthy and Happy New Year
filled with light, warmth and kindness, especially kindness.

Christmas Eve

 

Little cyclamen on my balcony under the snow!

A walk in the higher part of my neighbourhood to enjoy the delicate colours
in the sky with a hint of pink in the mist.
You can just see the lake below.

Some pale green leaves still hanging on with a little drop of ice on their tips.

Orange and pink spindle berries brightening up the leafless trees.

Now we go downtown to see the barrel organist playing cheerful music
and singing along!

I met a friend here to do some shopping.
As I was waiting, I saw this lady set up her stall with wreaths
and candle arrangements and mistletoe hanging on her striped parasol.

I went to the craft market here full of beautiful handmade objects.
I really liked the coloured crocheted blankets on the chairs outside.

A florist was selling seasonal plants displayed in the street.

I went to the hairdresser's and he greeted me in this amusing
Christmas outfit! Look at his sweet little dog called Jack
who is looking at us with a surprised expression! I liked his Christmas kerchief!

The church, called St. Laurent, with part of some Christmas lights zigzagging across.

I crossed one of the big bridges in the town and took a photo of Lausanne Cathedral
through the spokes of a big wheel put up over the Christmas period.

You can see the words 'Bô Noël'
Bô being the phonetic form of 'beau' meaning beautiful
Noël is Christmas!

Back home again and my velvety red Amaryllis plant has eight blooms
flowering at the same time!
There is one more stalk still growing and that will certainly give me another four flowers.
I can already see the red buds bursting out of their layer of green.
Such beautiful plants.

Little Miss Mistletoe
hanging against one of my snowflakes.

My tiny Christmas tree with fairy lights and smiling angels.

I have been crocheting tiny red bells with a silver edging.
They're so gratifying to make!

I had all my Christmas cards sent off by December 16th - and it would seem
that they have all arrived safely. 
I love the pretty Christmas stamps.
I put a sparkling snowflake into certain envelopes for a little surprise!

I baked some traditional Viennese Crescent Christmas cookies.
They seem to be everyone's favourite.
Here is half a batch cooling and some of them will go into the little robin tin.

In this Christmas season where many people spend lots of money on buying gifts
and luxurious foodstuffs, there are many who cannot do this.

I had the idea of making little cellophane packets containing some pre-wrapped chocolate
and a crocheted snowflake or star.
I made eleven of them with a little message inside saying:
'Celui qui trouve ce paquet,
C'est pour toi!
Joyeux Noël!'

This simply says: 
The person who finds this packet.
It's for you!
Happy Christmas!

I went out into my neighbourhood discreetly placing the little packets in 
easy to find places!
I really had fun doing this.
Some I placed near potted plants in local shops, in the post office,
pharmacy, even one yellow star next to yellow packets of coffee!
I think I giggled a little as I went around until my bag was empty!
I really hope that people will pick up these little gifts and that they will give them a smile!

To finish this pre-Christmas blog post, I give you lots of happy baubles
which I photographed in the shops when I went downtown.
I hope you like my festive antlers and big green bow!

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas!

What Does December Mean to You?

When I think of December, I think of the colour red.
Do you?
This sweet tiny Christmas angel comes out every year to decorate my home,
so do my crochet pieces that remind of us of winter.

I also think of the trees, here in the park, which have lost almost all their leaves.

The fallen leaves gather in a fenced enclosure, catching the late afternoon sun
illuminating the autumn colours
and the first snowfall reminds us that winter is really here.

The pond has frozen over

Offering us a still-life of fallen leaves and lily pads under the ice.

Pine branches are lain across the flower beds to protect the spring bulbs.

The snow melted in the daytime and then became ice overnight

Look what I found in a store downtown!
Would you wear one of these jumpers? If so which one?
I wouldn't mind one of the scarves or some fancy socks!

I like to add sparkles in my home and like to see  discreet and beautiful
seasonal decorations.
I do not like blinking or flashing lights!
I made a nest for my rose from muslin with gold and silver dots.

A walk in my neighbourhood just before sunset

When a rosy glow illuminated the mountain tops.

I caught a glimpse of the sunset through the trees with the lake and mountains.

One of the things I like to do during the month of December
is creating small gifts for others, like these sparkling snowflakes.
I'll be slipping them into certain envelopes with a Christmas card!

Do you have special things you like to do in December that are meaningful to you?