Before the year is over I wanted to take a moment and tell my wonderful new friends how much I appreciate your comments and how much I enjoy visiting your Blogs. They are all beautiful and unique in their own way.
It took me a long time to decide to join the world of blogging, I am so glad I overcame my doubts! Blogging really is the only way to make friends from all over the world. Beautiful people with beautiful ideas that, had it not been for these posts, I would have never had the fortune of meeting. And so, as a token of friendship I have made this humble gift:
I used a small wine bottle as a canvas for my art
The bottle has been painted and embellished with yarn, sequins and other trims
The fairy's wings are made of four different layers, paper, tulle and a wire armature covered with a gorgeous lace in a beautiful shade of copper
The fairy's crown is made of a thin lace band adorned with sequins and small beads
Silk leaves and tiny pebbles have been glued to the back of the bottle.
By the way, in case you were wondering, the bottle is empty. Sorry, I could not help myself! :0)
For your chance to win you must be a "follower" and just a leave a comment on this post. A winner will be chosen on Monday, December 21st. (will send to any country)
Again, thanks for making my days so much more interesting and brighter. Wishing you all a Magical and Merry Christmas.
This post is especially dedicated to all my short/small friends out there. I am a small person. Mind you when I say small, I mean small! Being carried by short legs is no easy task, but one gets used to not ever reaching the top shelf at the supermarket and having to ask a perfect stranger to get you the box of whatever it is one needs. Luckily, tall people are always willing to help and they do it with a smile on their face and a slight shake of their heads. You can almost hear what they are thinking: “Ah, this poor short woman, how cute!”
I’ve always been the shorter/smaller in my family and so all my life I’ve been awarded with sweet nicknames (said with love and affection, of course) such as “half-pint” “little one” “midget…” well, you get the picture.
To be honest, in spite of all the setbacks, such as never finding pants or coats that really fit and must always be altered, I like my height (or lack of). It’s got definite advantages. I am ever so comfortable flying on Economy Class, and while everyone else is suffering from cramps, I can even cross my legs! If I fall I can’t really get too hurt since I’m already close to the ground. In case of an emergency I can hide under a large flower pot… well, there are just too many advantages to mention.
When one is short/small, wearing high heel shoes is not a choice. It's a way of life, at least to me. In a society where looks are so important, I find that more respect is given to taller people. For example, there are two policemen wearing the same uniforms, one is short the other tall. Who will be more intimidating? Believe you me, it will not be the “half-pint”! I don’t know why this is but on the rare occasions when I wear flat shoes I do not get half the attention as when I wear high heels (this could be due to the fact that I am not really visible standing amidst everyone else) whatever the reason, high heel shoes are the main staple in my wardrobe and yes, they are always uncomfortable and make my feet hurt but who cares? A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do :0)
Aside from Napoleon Bonaparte, I truly believe most short men are not happy with their fate and they go through great lengths to camouflage…so glad I am a woman! Standing in high heel shoes is a lot sexier than standing on a box!
Stools and step ladders? Yes, I confess. I own an entire collection and they are scattered throughout every room in my house
And so to make a long story short, (no pun intended) I just want to say that while I wish to have been born with longer legs, I am perfectly happy to be just cute-little-old-me, after all, great things come in small packages... so I’ve been told :0)
First of all I want to make clear that I am not a feminist. I am not offended when a man opens a door for me or when I'm offered a seat in the bus. However, I do find it offensive when women are expected to fulfill certain requirements, which are not only unrealistic, but also unfair. The majority of females have been (and still are) the most common target for these unrealistic expectations. Models and daughters are good examples of these misconceptions.
A model has duties to perform, and due to the great amount of time consumed tending to external appearances, they are expected to be simple minded, vain, and essentialy non-intellectual.
Daughters also have a role to perform. As females, a daughter is burdened with the unrealistic expectations to always be available to help the parents, as well as her own family. Sometime this means giving up an education, or a career.
It is a common human trait to play roles in order to gain acceptance from others. This usually means doing unwanted chores, like answering a telephone call or attending a reunion when solitude is desired. As noted by Joan Didion in her essay titled On Self Respect, "the fear of rejection overcomes the need to find self-respect".
Ms. Didion also claims that "innocence ends when one is stripped ofthe delusion that one likes oneself." Like a slap on the face, it becomes clear that no matter how many good deeds are performed, there is no guarantee of approval or acceptance from others. The roles that are played to please everyone else become the very delusion of liking oneself, but, are they genuine? Important? Necessary? According to Didion, a person must determine what really is important to oneself, and not to anyone else.
Facing reality means many things. Like taking a good look at faults, mistakes, and weaknesses from within. Only by admitting the problems, an individual may become free of them. This process requires courage and determination, but without it self-respect may never be found.
In conclusion, it is clear that in order to find and retain self-respect, a person must go through different stages. Such as conquering fear, loosing a deluding innocence, and facing reality. Finding self-respect is a worthy cause, perhaps the most important one a person could achieve.
I am not really sure why but I have always been fascinated by umbrellas. Aside from their obvious service I think umbrellas lend a certain charm, they can always make a statement, and even provoke feelings...
Playful and fun
Melancholic and mysterious
Lonely and sad
"The parasol is the umbrella's daughter..." Emily Dickinson
This year, like every year, I promised myself not to buy anymore Christmas ornaments. I was doing good but this past Friday I attended a very large Craft Fair and could not resist getting this terrific treasure.
I mean, the face seems to be about to leap from the frame! The photo does no justice to the incredible details, from the stubble of the beard to the twinkle in the eyes. I just love it.
I had been toying with the idea of making a large Santa Claus and quite unexpectedly, I ended up making a Santa Bunny. Here it is, standing in my dining room.
After this, I have gone in a frenzy and the whole house has been turned upside down. My husband laughs and says he would not be surprised to find I had decorated the bathroom tissue...uhm, better not give me any ideas :0)
I made this dollhouse for my daughter when she was 3 years old. It now holds a place in our porch.
I am not really a "teal" sort of person, but this chair was just too beautiful to leave behind.
Now, I ask you, isn't wonderful to go totally overboard and run around so much that at the end of the day one barely has the strength to crawl into bed? I see a lot of heads nodding! So nice to be surrounded by so many other "nuts" :0) Enjoy!
I have never wasted my time making or even thinking about "New Year's Resolutions" simply because I know I would not follow them, however, I do like to leave time aside to take a look at the year that's about to end. I browse through my Journal (been keeping one since 1992) and it always amazes me to see how important any simple, regular day can be. I find that most of my deepest and meaningful entries are made precisely on such days when I go about the house doing chores, tending the garden, feeding the birds. There are no extravagant outings, no trips to Broadway to watch a show, no fireworks.
This morning, coffee cup in hand, I read an entry I made back in January about a friend who was having doubts about her feelings for a man she had been dating for some time. The man was gentle, thoughtful and loved her deeply. She panicked when he proposed because even though she had special feelings for him, she was afraid to make a mistake. You see, my friend thinks love is like they depict in romantic novels, where the heroine's knees buckle at the sight of her lover, where the whole room crackles with sexual tension, where rose petals are laid to indicate the path for a perfect ending. I tried to explain that most of the greatest romances are the quiet, deep running ones, and that while passion is wonderful, it can burn out because it cannot contain or hold such forces for too long. I suppose my advice was too boring and rational for her adventurous spirit because she declined the offer and is still searching for that flame, that "un n'est que..."
How about you? What's your ideal love? Are you still searching? Are you dying of thirst but can't see the glass of water right in front of you? I say take a good look. Opportunity rarely knocks twice!
Re-reading my entries give me an idea of where I was back on January 1st and where I am today. What has changed? What makes me happy? What annoys me? I find that while some of the things remain, many have evolved and I note with great joy that amongst my many blessings, one of the best is my ability to be content.
Wishing everyone a wonderful, warm, and beautiful season filled with quiet, deep love.
Several years ago I read a book titled "Paths of Desire" by Dominique Browning. The book is not only about Ms. Browning's gardening troubles, but also on her experiences on family, lost love, and renewal. Her observations are witty, deep, and quite humorous. Having children of my own made me really understand what she meant when she wrote: "Teenagers can break your heart. Only by accident will you find out what they know-and it turns you inside out."
Both my children are no longer in their teens and while we are still very close, they are often busy inmersed in their wonderful young world. Chasing his dreams, my son has moved abroad and will not be here for the holidays. I am sure that all mothers who read this post will understand what this means to me. I have been trying to stay cheerful, but even as I was putting up the tree I was also fighting back the tears. Then this morning, just when I thought he did not care, at least not the same way I do :) I found the most beautiful e-mail.
My son will not be here for the holidays, but the traces of his loving words have filled my heart.
Remember when you were happy and carefree all the time? When you had no idea what "looking good" really meant? When choosing an outfit was easy no matter your weight or shape?
Do you remember how when you were a child you lived in a world you fully and totally trusted, a world where there was no room for failures or mistakes? Remember when a painful scratch was made better by a hug and a kiss? Remember how easy it was to switch from tears to laughter?
I suppose we all have our own personal ways to chose the books we read. Older books call me, not necessarily "classics" but just older, off the beaten path. This preference of mine could make me feel quite lonely in the sense that no one I know has heard about any of the writers I mention.
I am constantly prowling flea markets, garage sales, and charity shops in search of something that catches my eye. I first look at the cover (yes, I know, one should never judge a book by it's cover, but who really listens to good advise?) then open the first page and read the first few words. I'd know right there and then whether or not I'll take it home with me. It's almost like love at first sight, a connection, a chemistry.
In my searches I also find that in addition to the cover and the first few words, the size of the book plays a role. I absolutely love small books that are easy to carry and rest on my chest and "still my heart."
A couple of days ago I visited our local library and just as I was passing the "newer book section" I spotted "Little Bee." The bright yellow cover caught my eye and so did the very first words.
This story is totally different from my usual preference because when I read I want to escape. I don't want to be reminded of reality, per say and yet, this writer managed to turn harsh, mundane daily living issues into sheer poetry. I finished the book last night and there were tears in my eyes. The feelings of sadness and joy have lingered all day long...
It seems almost appropriate that chance made me pick this book at precisely this time of the year when we are getting ready to sit at the table with loved ones and give thanks for all we have, and try and forget all that we don't have. I hope to hold on to the message I found in "Little Bee" not only on Thanksgiving Day, but everyday.
It's our wedding anniversary. No elaborate plans have been made. We are not big on birthdays or holidays in general, however, I can say that after 30 years of marriage I still leave and find silly romantic notes on the kitchen counter, just because. I still get flowers for no reason at all. We still enjoy to spend our evenings together watching a movie, just the two of us. These habits are perplexing to our son who swears we are "weird" LOL.
We may be weird but we are happy. It's been quite a journey, full of many obstacles and triumphs. My only wish is that God keeps us together and allows us to continue down the road for many more years. Tonight we'll raise our glasses and say: "Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be."
My daughter is a "list maker" kind of girl. Unlike her mother, she actually follows the lists she makes, while I, well, I forget to read them, never mind follow them :) Anyway, she wanted to start her holiday shopping early so we went to our most favorite store: Anthropology. Visiting that place is entering a magical, incredible world. I actually feel overwhelmed by all there is to see. So, there we were, trying to stay focused when I spotted the most incredible salt & pepper shakers tucked away in a corner inside a beautiful cabinet! Regardles the fact that I do not need another set, once they were in my hand, I HAD to get them!
Then, to make my day even more special, I discovered what I believe is, a condiment set!
I was mesmerized by the spoon.
Having breakfast this morning made me feel like I was Alice in Wonderland. How fun it was to spread marmalade on the muffin as my dear husband smiled shaking his head!
I seem to be drawn to tiny treasures and they abound throughout my home. Inside cabinets...
On the side server...
Hanging from lamps...
Atop a candle...
This coming season has a certain "pull" that makes people want to go above and beyond, to be extravagant and "large." It's an effort that makes us tired and stressed. An effort that does not allow us to truly enjoy and capture what it all really means. I say, I'm keeping my holidays simple. I will give gifts with meaning instead of a pricey tag, I will not be pulled into this insane competition. Hopefully, the tiny treasures I'll give to those I hold dear will bring them the same joy they bring me.
I am a Christmas baby. No, really. I was born on Christmas Day. In an ideal world my Christmases should have been double joyful, as it were, my holidays used to be quite sad. My mother chose that particular time of the year to reminisce about her childhood and mourn every relative that had passed away. I never had a birthday party the reason being it fell on "a too special day, nobody would come" but I always had a cake and many, many gifts.
I never really noticed how bizarre my Christmas-birthdays used to be until I grew up and had a chance to compare it to other people's but by that time I didn't care. I too, got depressed and thought of those "who were no longer with us."
It was only when I met my husband and had my first baby that I discovered the sheer joy and importance of this time of year. It was as if a thick veil had been lifted and I saw light and heard music all around.
Getting the tree, choosing the ornaments, writing letters to Santa, leaving him cookies, singing Christmas carols...I believe I enjoyed it more than my children did! and what a thrill it was to go to the Mall and see him sitting there with his beautiful red suit!
The children have grown and the celebrations are a bit different but I have to confess that on Christmas Eve, when Santa goes around our town sitting atop a Fire Engine, I still rush to the door and wave as he goes by and I still get goosebumps and teary eyed. For a brief moment, I allow myself to belief everything is beautiful, there is love for everyone and that yes, there is a Santa Claus!