Saturday, December 9, 2017

Snow in Texas, Y'all!

Yes, Mother Nature surprised us 
Thursday night with snow in Texas.

We had only a dusting here at Hyacinths for the Soul,
but for my family in and around Texas, 
many woke to a winter wonderland.

My niece lives near Houston and took this 
video of her horses on this snowy day.
They don't seem to mind at all!

Sadie, on the other hand, 
didn't much care her morning walk.

Back in the warmth of our home, I decided to reach back into the archives and share a previous snowy day tablescape.
This post was previously shared here in 2014.

It's cold and blistery outside,
so come on in and warm up by the fire.

I've set a table for us on the sun porch
where we'll be warm and comfortable.

These cheerful fellows are so 
happy you have joined us today.

They've actually been patiently waiting
for their turn to be featured on a tablescape.

Salad plates, designed by Williraye Studio, 
are called "Snowy Smiles". 

To pull out the red and yellow colors 
of "Snowy Smilies" I used a yellow dinner plate 
for one setting and a red one for the other. 
The Courtly Check chargers mimic 
the border of the salad plates.

The snow people thought these colorful glasses
with etched "snowballs" were a good choice.

Along with the "Treble Clef" 
flatware with its curled shape.

White winter berries ring 
the napkins which are edged in lace.

The delicate lace designs remind me of
the little snowflakes of the "Snowy Smiles" plates.

I layered various textiles 
to give the table a cozy feel.

These are actually vintage tea towels 
which are large enough to use as 
 tablecloths on my small drop leaf table.

Both have fringed ends, and the largest of the two
has rows of red check details at either end.

The other has wonderful textural details 
and end borders of this red design.

The napkins are actually 
beautiful little hand towels.

I wanted you to feel warm and cozy, so 
I pulled in a couple of my French provencal 
pillows to use as chair cushions.

Layers of rich colors
highlighted with my favorite
black and white checks
warm my heart.

Even the snow people 
are happy to be inside today.

So pull up a chair and join me
for a light lunch and a little conversation.

We can talk about your plans
for the holidays and the new year.

Perhaps you have a few garden tips to share, 
a fun new project in the works, 
or travel plans to some fabulous destination.
Have you finished your holiday shopping and cooking?
If you celebrate Christmas, is your tree up and decorated?

I'm eager to hear all your news!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Cozy at Christmas Holiday Blog Tour 2017

2017 Cozy at Christmas Holiday Blog Tour
Welcome to this year's Holiday Blog Tour
where you will find over 20 bloggers sharing 
inspiration for a cozy Christmas.
My mom has been busy decking the halls.
Listen and I just bet you can hear her singing,
"Fa la la la, la la la la".
With a recent cold front, it's chilly here in Texas.
Good thing I have my cozy Courtly Check sweater!

We keep a basket of wool throws close by.
Help yourself and get cozy.

Tradition is the cornerstone of our Christmas holidays
with lots of tartan and Courtly Checks.
Decorations are treasures that come out year after year,
like the big tartan balls in the bowl above which
hung on my tree when I was single and living in an apartment.
Everything has a story!

Come sit by the cozy fire, and I'll share
a few of my collected Christmas treasures.

This Santa is one of my all time favorites 
and a very special piece among the Christmas decor.
He is one of a kind, hand crafted by a local doll artist, Judi Tasch.
Created in 1985, it was a gift from my forever friend, Kay.

Two other very special Santa figures are much older.
The jolly one in the middle is plastic and was always on our
family's Christmas tree when I was a child. 
The one to his right is made from plaster of Paris
 and belonged to the chef when he was a child.
The other little guy is from the same vintage, 
but one I purchased from a vendor at Round Top.
I tuck my small Santa figures in among the French faience
that sits on the shelves of the Irish pine cupboard in our kitchen.

The Quimper tray with Christmas motif was a gift 
from a friend who lives in Quimper, France.
It's the perfect spot to gather together the mini figures 
that were collected over time, mostly in the 1980s.
I think the trend at the time was miniatures, and many were gifts from friends and my sweet first and second grade students.

Across the top of the large pine cupboard is where I like to display 
my vintage plaid lunch boxes and Mary Engelbreit tins.
I add faux greens and mix in some larger Santa figures.
The tins, mostly from the 1980s and 1990s, were student gifts, usually filled with some delicious homemade goodie.
They definitely give me a cozy feeling!

Back in the living room, a cozy
mood prevails with the glow of a fire.   .   .   .

And the twinkle of the lights on our
Christmas tree dressed in plaid and Courtly Check.
Cozy at Christmas Blog Tour 2016 here.
Christmas in Texas Blog Tour 2015 here.

Merry Cozy Holidays, my friends!
Thank you to Katie @ Let's Add Sprinkles 
for organizing this year's tour.
Follow the links below for more holiday inspiration.

Cozy At Christmas 


Friday, December 1, 2017

Tales of Traveling Tote #13 - Birds of a Feather

Welcome to Tales of the Traveling Tote #13

They say birds of a feather like to flock together
so Miss Merri Mac and I boarded a plane 
mid October to fly up to meet my collector
QCI friends on the east coast.

After three canceled flights and a lost day,
we finally arrived in Boston!

This year's QCI Annual Meeting was a cruise
from Montreal to Boston and NYC.
 Though I didn't take the cruise, I did meet up with my friends 
for after cruise visits to four homes in 
Connecticut and along the Hudson River.
 The collage above is just a peek at the lovely homes,
delicious lunches, and gorgeous pottery that greeted us.

There were even some MacKenzie-Childs 
treasures within the homes we visited.
 "Designed to camouflage into the rustic backdrop to Aurora Farm,
the Forest Fish Chair stands out in the great indoors."  

"Each chair is a one-of-a-kind treasure . . . with a scenic landscape of rolling hayfields and the still, deep waters of Cayuga Lake."

New York City ~ Always A Favorite Destination
After our farewells to the QCI group, Miss Merri Mac
and I drove into NYC with a friend.
I've many fond feelings about this city and time
spent in the Big Apple when the chef and I enjoyed
a NYC  pied-á-terre for a few years.
My friend and I spent our days criss-crossing the city to take in
favorite museums, shops, and restaurants.

Friday morning, Patti and I had breakfast at Ellen's Stardust.
A new experience for me, this fun diner is home to a
singing waitstaff who aspire to be future stars of stage and screen

After, we hiked the High Line down to 
Chelsea Market, again, new experiences for me.

Rainbow Room, Bar Sixty-Five  ~  Rockefeller Center
Perfect spot for evening cocktail, light dinner, 
and incredible night time views of the city.

Next up and the grand finale of my NYC visit ~
a much anticipated meet up with some 
of the girls of Traveling Tote fame.

With many of us arriving during the week,
we decided to get a jump on the gathering by 
meeting at Fonda for a Happy Hour Friday evening.
Double treat to meet some of the men behind the totes.

On Saturday, the famed Russian Tea Room was
the venue for our first meet up of the Traveling Tote girls.  
What fun it was to actually meet this group 
of amazing ladies, most of whom I'd only corresponded 
with through our blogs, email, and texts.

Following the excited conversation over a delicious lunch,
the group headed down 57th Street to mecca.
The nice folks at MacKenzie-Childs NYC welcomed us 
with champagne and sweets upstairs in the mezzanine
before we all descended downstairs to shop our favorite brand.

Take a look at the video above for an
 overview of the fun shared by this group.
We are already planning more fun with hopes
of all eleven of us meeting up for a shared adventure.
With this edition we welcome two new travelers,
Jackie and Miss Madi K Purple Chocolat Home
Ricki Jill and Countess de Monet @ The Sketchy Reader

Back home in Texas, I packed Miss Merri Mac once again
and off we went for a November weekend 
in Houston to attend a wedding.

The Saturday morning of the wedding, I joined a
few friends to view the fabulous Oscar de la Renta 
exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Closer to home, Miss Merri Mac and I spent a delightful
Sunday afternoon at another museum, 
the LBJ Presidential Library,
 to tour the Madeleine Albright exhibit, Read My Pins.

"The Madeleine Albright Collection features more than 200 pins, most of the costume variety, which Secretary Albright wore to communicate a message before, during, and after her years of public service, including when she led the Department of State from 1997 to 2001.  Sometimes demure and understated, sometimes outlandish and outspoken, these pins were used as gentle implements of statecraft.  Their stories and messages reflect the Secretary's sense of humor and her humanity, and are visual educational tools of cultural diplomacy." Albright Stonebridge Group

The exhibit shares the story of how the former secretary of state
used her jewelry to make personal and diplomatic expressions and has been on tour the past nine years to over 22 museums and presidential libraries.  LBJ Library is the last stop before
Read My Pins: The Madeline Albright Collection
will soon be part of the permanent collection of the
US Diplomacy Center.
You can read more about the exhibit here.

To round out this edition's travel log, Miss Merri Mac and I
ventured to a local urban farm with a group of friends, where
we learned about the two acre organically maintained farm and
met up with the donkeys, geese, chickens, ducks, and bunnies.

Enjoy this adorable video of the love 
between the owner's mother and Gustavo the goose.
You can follow HausBar Farm on FaceBook to view more videos.

 More Adventures With the Traveling Totes ~ Links Below
Debbie with Miss Aurora @ Mountain Breaths 
Emily with Miss Courtney ChildsThe French Hutch
 Patti with Miss Kenzie @ Pandora's Box
Jenna with Miss Coquille @The Painted Apron
Katie with Miss Daisy @ Preppy Empty Nester
Linda with Miss Rosie @ More Fun Less Laundry
Linda with Miss Lola @ Life and Linda
Rita with Miss Luna C Panoply 
Sarah with Miss Merri Mac @ Hyacinths for the Soul
and our new traveler: 
Jackie and Miss Madi K Purple Chocolat Home
It's beginning to look like Christmas here at
Hyacinths for the Soul.  
Come back December 6 for a
Cozy At Christmas Holiday Blog Tour 2017.

Also joining