Thursday, December 29, 2011

Never gonna grow up... not never! Oh and Happy New Year!

I hope you all had the best holidays.  I am sending you a singing Christmas telegram via the elves (I hope you speak elvish...  oh dear).

We had a lovely quiet couple of days, lazing around with the kitties.  It was wonderful!  I wanted to finally show you our Christmas decorations before the holidays are completely over.  It seems like they just flew by this year!
Normally we buy a real tree but both of us have been feeling guilty about cutting down a live tree each year so this time we bought a flocked tree.  Boy they sure make them better than when I was a kid...  I guess that was a long time ago...LOL!

 I love the way the snow sets off the ornaments...

I also wanted to show you our Christmas present to ourselves...   TA DA  a lovely cast iron stove!!!!!  

The house we lived in before as well as the ranches we grew up on all had fire places.  We have missed them so.  It was the only thing that kept the house we are in now from being perfect (that and the fact that we don't own it, but seeing as how it's on a 2000 acre ranch and is worth about 100 million I don't thing we will be buying it anytime soon...  unless they will take a check... hmmm...)
Every night in our old home if it was even remotely chilly we had a fire going.  There is just something so magical and comforting about it!    Now our home is perfect!

I am soooooo happy we have this wonderful addition.  Needless to say every night since we got it is has been working.  We even spent Christmas Eve night in the living room on a mattress of quilts and comforters so we could enjoy it!  It was like being a kid again and having a sleep over!  Isn't it super cute?  I have several miniature caste iron stoves that I placed around it which looks adorable.  It has been wonderfully cold here in the evenings too (thank you to the powers that be!).  Even the cats love it.  At first they couldn't figure out what it was with its' crackling and popping and were very tentatively sniffing around it with low slung bellies.  It was rather funny.  Now they all gather around on the furniture and the floor vying for the warmth.  Here is Nipper snuggled in the quilts on the back of the couch.
Here are the kittens snuggled together in the chair next to the stove... 
giving each other a bath, so cute!
"Hey man can't we take a bath in private?!?"
Here is the old patriarch of the cats... Tiger enjoying a snooze on the chaise next to the stove...

I had lots of Christmas cheer tucked in here and there...  the Nutcrackers where hanging out in the china cabinet with a couple of elves.

As I was taking pictures it struck me how even my day to day decor is very whimsical and child like.  At Christmas it gets even more that way.  As you know if any of you have followed me for any length of time I am faerie obsessed so I have my many handmade faerie wings scattered around throughout the year.

 Then also being a florist I love flowers and branches and garlands and such.  So of course I have a garland of Birch twigs up year round laced with faerie twinkle lights.
At Christmas I tuck elves throughout all of it.   Some are playing, some are singing and playing instruments.  I think they have a jolly party when we go to bed at night.   My hubby thinks the mess in the morning is from the cats, I think it's the elves and the faeries!
The little drummer...  elf!
My Mom was a major holiday decor lady (yes I come by it naturally!) so these little guys are vintage just like me as they are from my childhood.  

I guess that makes me vintage too!!!  Can I command a higher price?
My girlfriend gave me this wonderful paper reproduction of Shakespeare's Globe theatre which I put out from time to time, not just at Christmas.   It looks great though during the holidays mixed with my snow globes and the faeries and elves.

On stage is of course a production of...  A Mid Summer Night's Dream which is simply loaded with faeries as well as the Queen and King Faerie themselves!

That's Bottoms as the Donkey on the stage.

Also being a bohemian at heart and possessing tons of great props for my design business I have the house simply stuffed with colorful vintage goodies.
This is a BEAUTIFUL French wedding wreath for a bride set on a velvet pillow...
I believe it was the custom to after the celebration place the Brides wreath on a pillow and set it under a glass dome as a family heirloom.  I think this is a bit more vintage than even yours truly...  LOL!

I imaging if people walked into the house not knowing us they wouldn't know if there was an eccentric Victorian living here, a precocious child or a hippie or what.  They would definitely know the people were cat lovers...  LOL!   And that they loved faerie tales.
All my life Peter Pan has been one of my favorite stories so I have a little vignette that is Peter Pan inspired up year round.
There is a top hat, a teddy and a snow globe of Peter and the kids flying around London and Big Ben.  
That is a copy of a faerie drawing by Brian Froud that I did and though it is not Tinker Bell by a long chalk it is a faerie.  I think the little scene ties in nicely with the Christmas decor.

I had the pleasure of designing a Peter Pan themed event once...  It was for a private botanic gardens that are magical in their own right.  I was in Heaven!
This was the lost boys camp which the guests had to walk through on the way to their dinning tables...
This is Wendy's cottage...  want to move in don't you!
I sure did!
Though in Santa Barbara the rent would have been sky high!!!
The bar was a Pirate Ship
The centerpieces for the tables were a...  Mermaid lagoon
with mermaids...
a pirates display...
and Hang Man's Tree where Peter and the lost boys lived...

Anyway sort of got side tracked...  back to the house decorations.  Here is the garland at night.
Between it and the lights on the tree it was magical at night!
The bathroom has my year round decor of...  faerie clothes...  what else?
Along with wings and some vintage muggle clothes,
Oh... and also dolls...
Can you believe my husband lives here too?!?  And doesn't mind it?!?!
Anyway that is enough for now...  If you stuck with me all the way to the end, I am impressed!  You are either super cool and have similar tastes or super bored!  Either way thank you!
I leave you with a beautiful picture I found on Pinterest (boy can I spend hours dreaming away on those lovely collections of photos!)
I just adore everything about it!  From the imagery which congers up all kinds of wonderful dream like adventures to the message!   ("All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware") I hope you all have the most wonderful new year filled with lovely secret destinations!!!  And I hope you might find a faerie or two there!  
Tons of Love,

P.S.  An update on the mean grumpy old kitty Buster that we are trying to reform...  He's coming along nicely don't you think?  Here he is helping me with this post!  He fell asleep that way!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry, merry Christmas!!!!!!

We at our house hope you are having as good a holiday as Buster is...

PS...  Buster WAS a very angry, troubled much abused cat that we are fostering in the hopes that he will become a well adjusted happy pet and find a home that will love him.

It is amazing what listening to their needs and a little love will bring...
Much furry love from our house to yours,
Merry Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

An adobe Christmas...

This time of year has me longing for the American Southwest so strongly it is almost painful.
Monument Valley

 I used to be the proud owner of a beautiful store that sold Native American art and jewelry.

My store at it's height

In the late fall/early winter I would take a trip to Arizona and New Mexico and visit many of the reservations purchasing lots of beautiful art work to bring back to my store for the holidays.  I would take my truck, sleeping bag and all the extra money I could scrape together and off I went on a most marvelous adventure.
My truck at the end of my trip

For me the fall and winter mean the colorful ropes of bright red chili ristras as well as their piquant delicious smell, frosty mornings snuggled in my sleeping bag in the back of my truck with a thermos of hot tea and smelling the fragrant pinon wood burning all throughout the southwest.  This is perhaps one of the strongest memories I have and really it goes even further back to when I was a child and my parents would take me through Arizona and New Mexico on the way to visit family in Colorado.  To this day when I smell pinon smoke it almost brings tears to my eyes I love it so.  Most folks in the southwest burn pinon, juniper and cedar in their fireplaces so much so that that there will be a blanket of blue smoke in the valleys throughout the southwest.
Near Taos, New Mexico

I would sleep inside my truck surrounded by all my treasures and ropes of chilies, listening to the sounds of nature, and smelling that most divine incense.  I would go onto the reservations sometimes needing my four wheel drive to navigate the muddy, snowy roads, and connect with the local artisans, buying the most beautiful things.  My heart remembers the woman I would buy pottery from on the Acoma Pueblo who would give me fry bread as I poured over all her wares.
Acoma pueblo
 (Above and below) Taos Pueblo

Buying heshe necklaces from a Santo Domingo gentleman who's family have made the same style beads for generations.  Finally stopping at Maria's for soupy style pinto beans and soppapias with honey at the end of a long day.  I also love the mixed colorful history of the southwest.  The blending of 3 distinct cultures (the Indians, Spanish and the Anglos) into one unique and magical group.  The non Indian characters that settled there in the distant past were a fiercely independent and mostly respectful solitary kind.  They revered the quite desert, the scrubby pine covered surrounding mountains, the high thin clear air, and the indigenous cultures that lived there.
The Rio Grande river

They were an eccentric group to say the least and make for some wonderful tales.  One of the more colorful personalities was Mabel Dodge Luhan, an east coast wealthy socialite of the 1920's that found herself in Taos, dumbstruck by the stark beauty of the high desert.  She eventually married a Taos Native American and lived her remaining life as an aficionado and patron of the local arts.  She hosted in her modest adobe home most of the notables of that time, everyone from DH Lawrence to Georgia O'Keeffe (before the artist settled there herself).  Mabel wrote a series of books detailing her move and subsequent life there which starts with "Winter in Taos".  It is fascinating reading and can be found on  Another author (who can also be found on I absolutely adore is Dorothy Pillsbury.  She too fell in love with the area around Santa Fe and Taos and settled there in the early 1940's.  She wrote beautiful simple essays of her lovely quiet life among the three cultures there.  Many of her short stories were published in various newspapers but also into three books starting with "No High Adobe".  I think these stories convey more beautifully than any other what it must of been like to live in Santa Fe when it really was a sleepy little Spanish town.  She also captures for me what I love about the Native American Pueblos and the smaller outlying villages not so popular as Santa Fe and Taos.  She lovingly conveys their dignified quiet way of life that is as ancient as the human story, a life that is lead more in balance with nature, respecting the rhythms of Mother Earth.  I read her stories often this time of year and remind myself of my wonderful trips and of a healthier way of being during the holidays.  I will leave you with one of her lovely short stories hopefully bringing to you a gentle peace and the flavor of the old Southwest.

From "Star Over Adobe", by Dorothy L Pillsbury
"In the midst of a changing world, we keep a three-culture Christmas in northern New Mexico.  Three peoples of us live here in the shadow of great mountains.  Out skins are bronze, or brown, or white depending on whether we live in a sun-mellowed Indian pueblo, in a remote Spanish village, or in an "Anglo" and Spanish town like Santa Fe.

Each of us keeps his own Christmas according to the traditions of our three different peoples.  But through the years there has been much mingling of customs until Christmas in northern New Mexico has become a heady mixture of all our folkways.

On the afternoon before Christmas, we look out on the wintry landscape and become suddenly stricken with nostalgia.  Most of us are in the midst of preparations for our own Christmas.  We keep thinking about huddled adobe houses in many a Spanish village back in the hills where dwarf pinon forests sparkle with snow.  We remember the aroma of an entire village where pinon smoke floats like incense from each squat chimney.  We hear the tinkle of goat's bells in corrals and the strumming of a lone guitar floating down the snowy roads.  Almost before we know it, we find ourselves in a car and headed for Truchas or Trampas or a dozen other likely places.

The village beside the little frozen stream looks like a mica-spattered Christmas card.  Weather beaten doors are shut against the cold, but in many a window blooms a forest of geranium plants in old tin cans.  Between scarlet, pink, or white blooms may stand a hand-carved saint or an angel gazing mildly at a straw-filled, doll sized manger.  

Children run back and forth between the houses, slamming doors behind them.  But not so quickly that we miss delectable odors--meet balls simmering in a sauce "muy, muy picante" and little three-cornered pies bursting their seams with apples and brown sugar!

Night has fallen darkly over old Santa Fe as the homeward-bound car tops the last ridge of hills.  Through a mesh of lightly falling snowflakes, all the buildings of the ancient capital seem etched against the sky in strokes of light.  Flat roofs and archways leading to snowy gardens, squat chimneys, and out-of-plumb walls are outlined in shadowy candle gleam from sand-ballasted paper-bag lanterns that give the effect of parchment shades.

In the ancient plaza, three peoples cluster around the Anglo Christmas tree.  Rosy-cheeked bemittened children tug at restraining parental arms.  Spanish-speaking "muchachos", shepherded by black shawled grandmothers, stand big-eyed, the snow clinging to their long eyelashes.  Indians in from nearby pueblos stalk about taking in the sights.  The women's high white boots look whiter than the snow.  Their shawls of red, purple, and green, and the men's bright headbands, make splashes of color under the lights.  Christmas in three tongues, the folkways of our three peoples unite to make beautiful the Night of Peach in old Santa Fe.
I hope you are all having the best of holidays!