I do believe that most of us are ever mindful of our many daily blessings, the aspects of life – the major or the inconsequential – that fill us with gratitude, our families and the people that inspire us to be better, kinder, stronger and braver in our dealings with others.
And these accountings come most to the fore during the holidays, the days that seem a mad rush but also offer times of reflection and appreciation. Year’s end, a quiet roll call of the good and fortunate occurrences and encounters that tip the scale toward happiness and allow us to ink them in on the plus side of the ledger and tally them up to a positive balance.
This year I have more reasons to be grateful for than ever and each of you that visit and comment so generously are high among them. It is a pleasure and a privilege that you welcome me into your lives.
On this eve of Thanksgiving, I thank you for your continued kind thoughts and good wishes, most recently regarding our sudden snowbound status, which is mostly unchanged tonight. We are tucked inside, editing photos and listening to an audio CD of PG Wodehouse, filling the frosty night with mirth as the moon sets the white mantled garden aglow.
And with the holiday season now well upon us, and gift wrapping a prominent activity, I thought you might like some festive gift tags to accompany your packages. I created these from a few of my rose photographs, vintage bird illustrations and scrapbook paper backgrounds that I designed last year. So, as promised, a holiday download for you, along with my gratitude to you for being who you are, for striving to be better and for sharing your unique selves with the world.
Below is what the Holiday Gift Tags look like and they can be downloaded here
. I hope you enjoy them!
(Please note, as previously, this is for personal and not commercial usage. The link will be active until 31 December 2010.)
I have also been busy putting lots of new prints in my shop
. I didn’t get a fraction of the new items completed that I wanted to, but that is what next year is for, isn’t it?
I love that I’ve gotten Thanksgiving wishes from Canada, London, Sweden, Finland, France, Italy, India, Australia, South Africa and more. We truly have an international community where holidays are shared and celebrations rejoiced by all. Isn’t that wonderful?
Happy Thanksgiving to each of you, dear friends!
Not just a poetic title, D and I are, in fact, snowbound, by an unheard-of-for-November storm, which left us with a generous helping of what the weatherman (wrongly) predicted would be a “near-zero chance of accumulation” or a “slight dusting”. Ha! With a steep and narrow drive, and icy roads below, we are, at least for a day or two, marooned on our hill.
We have plenty of provisions and are cozy and safe. But never before in my recollection has snow fallen here before the trees were bare of leaves, an uneasy foreboding of a winter not yet arrived.
My yellow rose ‘Graham Thomas’ still boasts dozens of buds.
Tonight will be bitterly cold. I’m thawing the hummingbird feeders hourly and the little hummers are gratefully drinking and drinking, their tiny bodies shivering in the wind.
Although it will all thaw in a few days, I worry that it is too extreme, too fast for the garden.
But hopefully not for our sweet wildlife friends.
While the snow is here, I’ll do my best to appreciate the beauty and record it with my camera, attempting to not fret about the plants, disrupted holiday plans, and mostly minor inconveniences.
It is, after all, nature’s way.
• • • •
I want to thank each of you for your lovely comments on D’s photos from Belgium! We are both really delighted that you enjoyed them and that they brought back happy memories for many of you. Thank you most kindly.
I do have your special holiday download ready for you as promised but quite a few plans were pre-empted by the weather so I will have it posted tonight or tomorrow am. We are about to go into the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend here in the States and we send love and wish you all a week of joy, gratitude and good cheer shared with loved ones.
xo – g
Hello and warm greetings! Our balmy, sunny autumn has flown with the leaves on strong winds – winds that cleared the skies for a magical view of a glorious, almost-full moon last night. Did you see it? At midnight, looking out from the upper windows, our property appeared as if in near daylight with deep shadows cast by the trees and all else silvered with gleaming light. And the day dawned with ice on the bird baths and a faint threat of snow.
A day to stay in and delight in armchair travel! Join me on a little surprise tour that I’ve put together for you. D (my husband David Phillips) recently returned from two trips to Belgium for a client and I thought you’d enjoy some of his photographs as I’ve been doing this weekend.
First, an entire day exploring the magnificent medieval city of Bruges with the famous Flemish light, loved by painters for centuries:
Canals, marvelous architecture, autumn color, and a sweet pup napping in the sun.
When I’m not along on these trips, D always shoots for me the details I love – doors, windows and of course, hearts!
Part of the day was rainy and murky so he processed these images in an antique style which really suits this wonderful city.
In Bruges, two prominent features are chocolate and lace.
As well as beautiful views that haven’t changed in hundreds of years.
A few images of dramatic Antwerp in early morning light:
I love how he captured the light illuminating these golden statues so that they glow.
Tall ships and bicycles.
Thank you for coming along on the tour. Yes, I admit to bias, but I fell in love with D’s photographs before I ever met him. I hope you’ve enjoyed these as I have. More of his Belgium photos can be seen here and much more of his work can be seen on his website here.
• • • •
I will return tomorrow with a little early holiday gift for you!
(Don’t forget about the sale in my shop – it includes free shipping but that is first class, not priority, so the earlier the better in that case to save you on rush shipping. And any images from my blog, Flickr or stock site are also available. Just let me know.
Wishing you a week of abundant cheer and joy!
much love, – g
p. s. In the time I took to write this – snow!