Friday 24 December 2010

Seasons Greetings

Wishing you all a Happy and Peaceful Christmas

Saturday 18 December 2010

Let's play in the snow

Rosy cheeks and tingling toes....... how well I remember that 'snow play' feeling.

This delightful picture is on the front cover of the 1951 Lucie Attwell Annual. Don't you just love it.

Do read this little verse as I think it speaks for children everywhere.

This little tot's wishes have certainly been answered here in Britain as Mr Forecast Man has been warning us all week about imminent 'normous falls of snow. And now the white stuff has well and truly arrived for the second time this month. Children everywhere will be whooping with joy whilst their unfortunate parents are most likely snowbound with no hope of reaching the shops for all those last minute Christmas essentials.

Fortunately I acquired my Christmas tree from a local farm yesterday before this recent snow fall but I won't be bringing it indoors for a couple of days (it's currently staying warm and dry in the garage).

I hope your Christmas preparations are going well whatever your weather.

Until next time.

Monday 13 December 2010

Images of Christmas by Ferrandiz

In 1960s Britain, Christmas cards depicting scenes by Spanish artist Juan Ferrandiz began to make an appearance and they proved hugely popular. I wonder how many of you remember pictures like this? I found them so appealing that I squirreled away any that I came across and have just rediscovered them in a box in the attic.

My Mum bought this Woman's Own magazine in 1965 and once she'd finished reading it I was allowed to remove the cover.

The picture below appeared in a Sunday Times colour supplement in the late 1960s.

The Ferrandiz style of painting children with softly lit faces is instantly recognisable.

The cards above and below date from the mid 1970s

Juan Ferrandiz was a Spanish illustrator specializing in stories for children and Christmas cards. He was also a sculptor and writer of poems and stories for children. He was born in Barcelona (Spain) in 1918 and died in August 1997 at the age of 79.

To see more Christmas pictures by this artist try searching for Jaun Ferrandiz in Google Images.

Monday 6 December 2010

The glow of candlelight

I received this Christmas card in this morning's post and was immediately transported back to Christmases of long ago. More about the card at the end of the post.

Meanwhile, I couldn't resist gathering together a few of my 'treasures' and using the card as a background for this little candlelit scene. At this time of year what could be more evocative than the glow of candle light on polished wood.

The candlestick, inkwell and wine glass are Victorian, the letter is older and dated 1779

For more Christmas inspiration I needed to look no further than the wonderful scenes created by Dutch artist Anton Pieck? He was born in 1895 and lived to the grand old age of 92. His work has always been a great favourite of mine and several of his prints hang on the walls around my house. I just love the attention to detail in every picture and the muted colours and dark interiors give each scene a very Dickensian atmosphere.


Clockmaker's shop

Bakers' shop


During Britain's current freezing conditions our poor garden birds are looking very bedraggled and are devouring any food I put out for them. Sadly my feathered friends were not prepared to pose for my camera this morning so I took a few pics of our garden plants prettily laced with frost and snow. How they survive such conditions is a mystery to me.

Finally, back to the card. Because I've been a returning customer over the years I receive a similarly beautiful card each Christmas from a company with the splendid name 'Lovers of Blue and White'.  They sell blue and white china (old and new) and their web site is well worth a visit if, like me, you are a lover of the stuff.

I couldn't go without showing you one more little scene that I put together using my early Georgian teapot and tea bowl. Accompanying the card was a blue and white 'Christmas wish list' and it definitely is!

By the way, in case you were curious, that isn't tea in the little bowl it's cinnamon and clove scented pot pourri which I like placing in the dining room at this time of year.

Friday 3 December 2010

Through the car window!

By yesterday afternoon we'd not experienced any fresh snow and as we were tired of being housebound we decided to take a trip to a nearby town. The roads were clear and the snowy hillsides made a very pretty picture.

We soon reached the motorway where driving is never pleasurable in these conditions. 

As we travelled north the skies darkened.

Clouds came down to meet the road obscuring the mountains on either side.

Thankfully we'd soon driven through the cloud and as we left the mountains behind the skies cleared and blue was visible again

In town there were Christmas decorations festooning every shop. These bright shades make a welcome change from the traditional greens and reds although I don't think I'd decorate my tree with them. 

We spent quite a while browsing but as the air grew more chill it was time to head for home.

As we drove homewards towards the setting sun the roads were quite empty.

As always, it feels good to be home.
Enjoy your weekend, wherever you are

Wednesday 1 December 2010

Dollies dilemma

Here we are again! Only a few months since the last fall of heavy snow and Britain has again ground to a halt. Admittedly it's come early this year and taken everyone by surprise so the only thing to do is stay snug and warm indoors and enjoy the prettiness outside. As you can see, unlike other areas the white stuff hasn't hit us too hard in England's Lakeland ....yet!

Needless to say I'm using my enforced confinement to work on my dolls house and am surrounded by books containing pretty pictures and fascinating information about dollies from days gone by.

This engraving dates from the 1500s. Isn't it wonderful.

And here is an eighteenth century engraving showing a doll with strings attached so that it could be taken for a walk by its young owner.

Early dolls were very precious and were only taken out on special occasions when play would have been strictly supervised.

Early wooden dolls like the one above are known as 'Queen Anne dolls' and they have always fascinated me. I'm wondering if I should have made mini replicas of these for my early Georgian house rather than the more contemporary style that I made (pictured below). What do you think?

Lady Danville of course is completely oblivious to my deliberations about whether she is the correct style of doll or not. She is spending her days choosing fabric for windows and four poster beds from a vintage pattern book of damask swatches.

Meanwhile, if you live in the northern hemisphere like me then I hope you are keeping warm. If you live in the south I'm envious as I'm sure you'll all be basking in warm sunshine.