Friday, December 21, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

Hello!  It's been a while since I've done a post here at bleu hydrangea.  Life got a lot busier than I anticipated.  :-)  All of a sudden, it's Christmas time, and I'm sharing some of my favorite things.

This cake stand was my husband's grandmother's.  I feel very blessed to have known Jody.  She was an extra-special person.  I love to place glass ornaments and faux snow inside at this time of year, and display it on the dining room table.

In our small house, the Christmas tree needs to go in the dining room...the only place it'll fit.  We have a slim tree, and I really load on almost all the ornaments we've collected over the years.  I think if I add one more, the tree will fall over!

Since before the girls were born, I've collected snowmen.  I love their faces, especially their carrot noses.  This fella is one of my faves.

Another fave, this one carries a large sprig of frosted berries and sports a moss green jacket and scarf.

In the 1980s, a co-worker of mine made this ivory stuffed stocking for me.  She didn't know how to sew, or didn't want to, but instead used glue to create this beauty.  You'd never, ever know there isn't a stitch on here!  It's made with ivory moire fabric, lace, and pearls.  Sigh.

When my 14 YO daughter was very small, she ADORED The Wizard of Oz movie, and anything to do with it.   She owned red glittered shoes (a la Dorothy) for years in a row, and rarely took them off.  In fact, when she was a flower girl in my sister's wedding, wearing a white gown, she insisted on wearing those "Dorothy" slippers.  Thank heavens my sister thought that was fabulous and let her do it!  Back then, my daughter's Grammy bought her the Ruby Red Slipper garland, which we drape over her white eyelet window valance at Christmastime.

Another fave for me:  snowflakes.  I hung this one on a mirror with a small suction cup hook.  Faux holly and berries are swagged on this mirror, too.  The frame is special:  it belonged to my father.  When he passed away (I was 29), I took this frame and another similar one from his house, and had them made into mirrors.  I think of my dad whenever I pass them by.

This past summer, I found a vintage Delacre cookie tin at an antiques shop in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.  I filled it with excelsior for cushioning, a pale green mercury glass ornament, and assorted silver jingle bells.  I made the quilted table runner years ago.

In my kitchen, on top of the cookbook cabinet, I display some fun stacking boxes, little trees, and two very special reindeer.  They were made by my girls when they were each in Pre-K class.  They painted a terracotta pot, traced their little hands on brown craft foam, trimmed out and attached to the pot.  Googly eyes and a red pom-pom nose complete them.

I have a pewter chandelier in my dining room, and each Christmas I hang upon it all the Wallace Silver Holiday Bells I've collected since my oldest daughter was born.  There are a few crystal snowflakes on there, too.

While practicing songs for the upcoming Winter Concert, my 11 YO viola-player found Cristabel sitting in the instrument case.  I couldn't help but snap a shot of this!  She fit in there quite well.

The girls each have a hand-painted plate for Christmas Eve.  They are set out every year, with cookies for Santa and carrots for his reindeer.

I fell in love with this big sign, found at The Cotton Gin down in Nags Head, NC.  It doesn't show here, but the letters are glittery.

The bathroom is decorated in tones of silver and white.  I love the cool, icy look of it.

I made the pipe cleaner reindeer a while ago, from a craft how-to on the Martha Stewart Living website.

Pardon my silver footed dish with its unpolished appearance .  It'll have to wait until another time to be polished!

Love the sparkly snowflakes paired with rustic iron.

A grouping of lighted churches graces the hallway bookcase upstairs.

When my beloved grandmother passed away, I found a box of antique green glass ornaments in her attic.  I wanted a way to display them at Christmas to remind me of her, so I covered a Styrofoam tree form with them.

These mercury glass ornaments were all inexpensive and culled from places like Home Goods, TJ Maxx and small shops.  They sit on a silver platter which was given to my grandparents for one of their anniversaries.

I just LOVE this vintage-look Santa!  He was one of my Christmas presents a couple of years ago.  He sits by a fancy reindeer on the television stand.

I'm so glad you took the time to visit today.  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Garden Survivors

Too many months have passed since I last posted here at bleu hydrangea.  I did not intend for that to happen, but sometimes Life makes other decisions for you.  ;-)

The summer here in the Northeast was dry and hot, as it was for many other places.  Despite frequent watering by hose, many of my plants and most of the lawn succumbed to the extreme weather and browned out.

I do have a few flowering plants remaining that I dubbed my 'survivors'.  Bless their hearts for hanging in there, long enough for me to get photos before Autumn officially arrives and puts them to sleep.

I love ivy.  This tendril grew through the wicker child's rocker, and I let it be.
Coleus must have loved its protected home on the porch; it really thrived.
Purple Torenia, looking as good as it did the day I planted it months ago.
Ruby Red Pentas, an annual.  This plant did so well, I will probably put it in the garden again next year.
Sweet Autumn Clematis.  This was here when we moved in 17 years ago, and does really well every year.

Buddleia, otherwise known as Butterfly Bush.  This is a miniature variety, growing to about chest-height.
Good old geranium.  I am grateful it continues to bloom, with such bright blossoms greeting me every day.
This hydrangea sports bright purple blooms in the summer, and deep rose and pale green in autumn.  

This is what the blue hydrangea looks like in the fall.  No sign of blue at all!
Here's what it looked like back in the middle of June.  
As the summer drought went on, the blue hydrangea blossoms began to wilt
and change to brown.  I preserved some before it got too late, and
store them in a large acrylic container.

When it rains, we bring in the porch cushions.  Cristabel thinks
she's a Princess (well, she is) and loves to lay on them!

Thanks so much for joining me today!

Peace and blessings to you,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Seasons Change

Welcome!  A big 'thank you' to those of you who visited my last post and left the most encouraging comments.  I really enjoyed writing from my heart, and it pleases me that you all felt touched by it.

I love how the seasons play out in a garden.  Spring brings life to some of my most glorious flowers, like the daffodils, irises, peonies, lilies of the valley, azaleas and more.  

A peony bud, with rain drops inside.

Before the white peony bursts fully, it has the prettiest shade of light pink.


These plum irises have the briefest of days to shine.

Seems like one day each variety has its chance to dazzle, and the next, the blossoms begin to fade.

The lavender perfumes the air near my dining room window.
As Summer approaches and the weather warms, different plants come into their own.   My beloved hydrangeas make their big appearance.

Blue hydrangeas from my favorite bush.

A garden, through its seasons, reminds me of an orchestra, playing one long piece of beautiful music.  Each player contributes to the symphony.

A view of the side yard, with day lilies and a pink hydrangea.
 I love the beautiful music I see and hear in my yard.  I enjoy this progression, letting each plant do its thing.  

Lady's mantle.  I just love the way water beads up on its leaves.

Clematis had its time to bloom weeks ago.  It's done for the season.

Fuzzy lamb's ears.  I love the soft texture and the silvery green foliage.

Thunbergia continues to wind its way up the trellis.

I am so glad you dropped by today.  I hope you've enjoyed my garden photos!

Peace and blessings to you,

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