nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Posts Tagged ‘Christmas

a moment of beautiful – blooming plants for Christmas

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the space – the east-facing window in our dining room

the beautiful – brilliant red flowers of the Lipstick Plant

A couple of my houseplants have given me an early Christmas gift.  I had a hearty blooming of my Christmas Cactus early in December, and then, last week, my Lipstick Plant (Basketvine) (Aeschynanthus pulcher) burst into brilliant red blooms.  Aeschynanthus is a subtropical genus from the same family as African Violets.  This is the second time it has bloomed for me in the last two years.

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I am sure this plant is wishing me, and you, a Merry Christmas !!!

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Lipstick plant in bloom

Lipstick plant in bloom

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Copyright  2013   Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

December 23, 2013 at 7:12 am

getting ready for Christmas #4 – vintage postcards

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For a few years, I have hung examples from my collection of postcards on a string above the fireplace.  I have postcards for all the major holidays – New Years, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving, Halloween and, of course, Christmas.

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This year, when I hung my Christmas postcards, I could only find six.  I need more, I decided, and went on eBay to find just three more.

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By the time I finished my bidding and winning, I had 14 postcards to add to my collection.

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After I had hung some of the postcards over my fireplace, I discovered 7 other postcards from a collection that belonged to my grandmother.  So now I have 27 vintage Christmas postcards.  The eBay extravaganza was not necessary at all, but, oh, it was fun!

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three of my new postcards – notice, I now have two of a set of ‘robin’ postcards – will I go out to find three more I know are in the set????

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Vintage postcards, mailed in 1922 (left) and 1926 (right)

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

December 18, 2013 at 6:27 am

getting ready for Christmas #3 – a countdown to Christmas

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In our house, we usually do a countdown to Christmas.  Ours is a countdown through Advent, beginning on the first Sunday in Advent and marking off the days, one at a time.

Most years, I have a Jesse tree, a tradition in some Christian homes.  This celebrates the long genealogy of Jesus who was of the house of Jesse, the father of David.  When my son was little, we had bread-dough ornaments each illustrating Biblical events.  When he grew older, and as the ornaments started to show their age, I put red and green ribbons on our Jesse tree.  The Jesse tree itself is a two to three foot tall branch from a birch tree.  A memory I have through the years is of ironing those ribbons to remove the wrinkles of the year gone by.

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We also have a fabric Advent calendar with pockets for small treats.  Most years we put mint sticks in each pocket.  This year we couldn’t find our usual mint sticks, so we wrapped sticks of chocolate, one for each day in the calendar.

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This year, I decided to create something new to use for our countdown.  On Pinterest, I have seen several examples of countdown ornaments created from tags embellished with various trinkets.  So I made twenty-five of these, since this year Advent and December both began on December 1st.

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I printed tags with the numbers spelled out and fixed a small memento to each one.  Most of these are trinkets I have kept in odd drawers over the years – mismatched earrings, buttons, acorns, feathers, shells, Christmas pins and so on.  I threaded a ribbon through a hole punched in the tag.  Each day since December 1, I have hung a new ornament, tying them to the bar of a drying rack we have in the living room.

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The ornaments are pretty and remind me of the days ahead and the days that have come and gone.

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Do you count down the days until Christmas????

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

Written by jane tims

December 16, 2013 at 7:37 am

Christmas lights in Cornwall (day 56)

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As I continue my virtual bike trip along the Cornwall Coast, I am heading towards Day 60 when I will reach Lizard and the southern-most point of England.

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map 7-56

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7-56  December 9, 2013  30 minutes  3.0 km  (from Coverack to Ponsongath)

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On the 56th day of my bike trip, I could not seem to find an image to paint.  Then I took a side road northward and was inspired by a string of coloured lights across a walled courtyard.  Perhaps they were not lights at all, but brightly coloured clothespins on a line.  In any case, I saw my painting in my mind’s eye!

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It was only after I painted this and showed it to my husband, I realised I had painted a string of Christmas lights!  The lights in the Street View image could have been patio lanterns, but my paint brush was thinking Christmas!!!

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December 10, 2013  'lights near St. Keverne'   Jane Tims

December 10, 2013 ‘lights near St. Keverne’ Jane Tims

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One of the light bulbs in my painting has burned out and has not been replaced.

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims

getting ready for Christmas #2 – a Christmas village

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I’m in a crafty mood today.  My inspiration came from Pinterest.

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First I made some paper houses.  I copied a charming design from Pinterest and did a quick rendition with Paint.  Then I printed the house parts on cardstock, cut them out and glued them together.  The original design is shown at www.behance.net/gallery/Christmas-House/6431227 .

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Then, using wire and rope, I made three ‘bottle-brush’ trees to go with the houses.  The method of making various versions of these trees is found at http://www.fynesdesigns.com/handmade-bottle-brush-trees-yarn-twine-garland-rope/ .  Mine are rather rustic-looking.

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Then I added some Epsom salts for snow and I have my little Christmas village.

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work station

work station – I made a terrible mess and had to vacuum afterward

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Christmas village

Christmas village – two of the houses and three trees – I’d like to add a little church and some sparkles on the trees

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If you have never gone on Pinterest before, have a look at some of the Christmas decorations I have found in my explorations www.pinterest.com/jane4757/noel-2013/

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Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

December 4, 2013 at 6:33 am

a moment of beautiful – an ice lantern

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the space: our living room on a winter evening

the beautiful: an ice lantern with cranberries and periwinkle vine

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As Christmas approaches, candles are among my favorite decorations.  For the past few years, I have made ice lanterns (also called ice candles).

I use a square plastic container that freezes well.  In the center, I place a paper cup weighed down with rocks.  Then I fill the outer ring with cranberries and greenery (this year I used the green vines of Periwinkle, Vinca minor, from our garden).  Then I fill the ring with water.

This goes in the freezer, or in colder weather, out on the porch.  Once the water has frozen, I put hot water in the paper cup, to free it from the ice.  Then I run cold water over the outside of the bigger container to free the ice lantern.  I light a tealight or flat candle and put it in the center space.

The shimmering ice lantern will last several hours.  These lanterns will also last a long time outside in cold weather.

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ice lantern

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Jane Tims  2013

Written by jane tims

November 29, 2013 at 6:57 am

getting ready for Christmas #1

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For me, November began with a hurried Halloween and a week-long trip to California.  Once I returned, I promised myself full attention to getting ready for Christmas.  At the risk of behaving like the stores who run Christmas music in November, I am going to share some of my Christmas projects.

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This activity is fueled somewhat by Pinterest.  I discovered it quite recently and find so many creative ideas there!

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My first project was a paper garland for our entry.  Cardinals and white ribbon.

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Copyright  2013  Jane Tims 

Written by jane tims

November 18, 2013 at 7:41 am

toasting marshmallows and singing around the fire

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I hope you had a lovely Christmas Day.

For me, Christmas is not just a single day, but a celebration lasting until Epiphany (January 6).  So, I keep all my decorations up until then (including the tree if it doesn’t get too dry).

One of my favorite decorations is my set of Buyers Choice carolers.  These two are enjoying Boxing Day, toasting marshmallows and singing by the fire.

singing by the campfire

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Copyright Jane Tims 2012

Written by jane tims

December 26, 2012 at 7:20 am

Merry Christmas from our mouse!

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Merry Christmas everyone!

I spent some of today making a small celebration for our mouse.  Years ago, I painted a black mouse entryway on the wall at the foot of our stairs.  I always keep a little stuffed mouse beside the painted hole.

Tonight, he has his own Christmas tree (with a tree skirt and a working string of lights) and a wreath over his door.

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mouse Christmas

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Merry Christmas from our mouse!!! and from us!!!

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Copyright  Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

December 24, 2012 at 7:03 am

Christmas post cards – greetings from the past

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I’ve sent almost all of my Christmas cards.  They are pretty to send, and I love to receive them in return.

But I also love the examples of greetings from Christmas past, my small collection of Christmas post cards.

So, no matter who they were originally intended for, here are some Christmas wishes for you, from years gone by…

From little Rose Marie…

from Rose Marie

From cousin Virginia…

from Virginia

From 1913…  (the back of this one says, in part… ‘don’t forget that rabbit stew we are all to have when one of you chaps snares one.’)

1913

In 1912…

1912

And from Uncle and Auntie…

from Uncle and Auntie

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Copyright Jane Tims  2012

Written by jane tims

December 14, 2012 at 7:22 am

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