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?

The Last Day of November


The air is crisp and a cold wind has been blowing lately.
A walk downtown in the early evening with a companion.
We wanted to eat roasted chestnuts and drink a goblet of mulled wine.
We stopped in the area of this church called St. François.
I did like the illuminated leaves against the dark blue sky.

There were still leaves on the surrounding trees, also illuminated by Christmas lights
which have now been installed across town.

Market day is one of my favourites.
I usually go on Saturdays, but occasionally on Wednesdays too.

When I was downtown, I passed by the barber's and saw this lovely scene.
I liked the striped capes and the smart barbers in black and white wearing waistcoats.
The young lady barber saw me with my camera behind the big glass window.
She smiled and put up the v-sign with her fingers! So friendly!

In my neighbourhood, I saw this elegant lady all in white
holding a very large Poinsettia plant and waiting to pay.

One day, I visited the lakeside village of St. Prex, in the Morges area.
The weather wasn't beautiful enough that day to take likeside pictures,
but I did love the village shop which sells cheese and also groceries.
I'll be returning to this lovely place on a sunny day.

My aroma-diffuser which changes colours constantly
 I made a collage of them here so that we may enjoy
some of them which I took in a darkened room.
Today, I'm diffusing Eucalyptus and it smells wonderful in my home!

As the trees have nearly lost all their leaves, I picked up the most beautiful
and took a picture of them. 
They were mostly from my own street, but the dark pink and green one
slightly to the right of the middle is a vine leaf picked up in the vineyards.

The title of this book in English is: 'A Rose and a Broom'.
I heard the author speaking on the news. He is a road sweeper who writes books.
He sounded really interesting so I decided to order his first book above.

You can listen to him talk HERE
in German, with English sub-titles.

You can also read about Michel Simonet in this article in English

As anyone who does crafting or handiwork knows, to make things for specific
events, we need to start well in advance.
This is some of my Christmas crochet. 
On the upper left is a partial view of a large table-top mandala 
which measures 50 cm across.
Can you see the heart shapes?

This collage shows smaller doilies.
The pattern at the top is called 'Christmas Rose Coaster'
I find it so pretty. I bought the pattern on Etsy.

"One of the reasons crochet is so relaxing is because it allows us to achieve mindfulness,
the state of being in which we are fully immersed in the present moment.
This gives the mind a much-needed break from worries about the past and future,
allowing the brain and body to both rejuvenate themselves."

Tomorrow is the first day of December
and I love to prepare seasonal decorations, both to give as gifts and to create
a festive atmosphere in my own home.
Do you have special decorations that you like to put up at this time of the year?

Autumn's Splendour

My daughter and I decided to visit the beautiful Arboretum in Aubonne
Many of the leaves were falling, but there were still  enough for us to .
enjoy the splendour of autumn.
I especially liked walking along the water.

We crossed a bridge which had beautiful and different scenes on either side.

We followed a pathway lined with trees.
The yellow arrows on the tree-trunk show us the way.

It was so quiet and beautiful and the air felt fresh and healthy after the town.

An opening in the trees revealed a pond with pretty evergreen reflections
in the water and burnished beech leaves overhead.

Don't you love shuffling through the crisp, fallen leaves?

We come to an open area on our path with orange-red trees brightening up the scene.

There's another pond

with beautiful reflections.

Those brightly coloured trees have unusual leaves 
which look more like pine needles.

Here is a close-up to see their structure.
(click on the photo so it will fill your screen)

This is the botanical name of the tree.
It's a type of Sequoia which comes from China.

We walked underneath a covered bridge before climbing higher to get a better view.

A Tulip Tree was already losing a lot of leaves

A water feature captured the water tumbling down a steep slope.

Capturing the flow of water.

One last look at the colourful Beech leaves before returning home. 
I think it would be lovely to visit this Arboretum again next spring! Don't you?

Nearer to home, some Cherry Tree Leaves still hang on to the branches.

Many of them have already fallen, like this beauty here.

I liked the contrast of the fresh white chrysanthemums against the fallen leaves.
The season is changing and the cold autumn winds have started to blow.

We shall soon be admiring bare tree silhouettes and maybe even a sprinkling of snow.
We often have a little snow in November.

I hope that autumn is wonderful where you live
and that you are able to go out for invigorating walks and fresh air.
It feels so good to come home again afterwards, 
make a warm drink after enjoying to the full the season we are in.