27 December 2015

Merry Third Day of Christmas!


I just wanted to wish all of you in Blogland a very merry "Third Day of Christmas!" (Or "fourth" if you are in a later time zone.) For those of you familiar with the classic carol, an image of three French hens might seem more logical, but somehow a pomegranate felt like a fitting choice to accompany my holiday wishes & cheer. I have been finding the gorgeous red fruits & their sparkly seeds to be such a perfect festive symbol after the whiteness we surrounded ourselves with when welcoming the winter solstice earlier in the week.

My daughter & I have definitely migrated toward a preference for a low-key Christmas over the last few years; to me, celebrating the solstice (and the shift once again toward longer days) has begun to feel more in line with what I find to be a naturally introspective season. Yet there are always so many projects that entice me into the studio & kitchen as the holidays approach. Last week, when I mentioned how many things I still would like to do by the twenty-fifth, my daughter only had to say three magic words: "Twelve days of Christmas." For us, this simple phrase has become a reminder to make sure that all of our wonderful plans & wishes don't turn into some kind of impossible list. If you're anything like me, you can probably relate to facing a daily list that contains more like a week's-worth of to-do's. Twelve days certainly seems like a more realistic span of time for enjoying all of the holiday possibilities!

So, while it felt a bit strange that we didn't get around to unpacking the Christmas trunk or decorating our tree until just before the church bells marked the beginning of the twenty-fifth——and the decision to wait until the New Year to send out greetings to friends & family has slightly been nagging at me——I'm loving our leisurely way of wandering through the twelve days of Christmas.

Wherever you may be in your holiday celebrations——and whether you are just entering winter, or already in a summery frame of mind——here's hoping your days are filled with love, peace & joy!

17 December 2015

Magnolia leaf AKA golden green

My color for the ROY G BIV color challenge, which is blogger's choice this month, is a sort of natural/neutral goldish-green, inspired by the magnolia leaves that accompanied some pale roses I found at the plant market recently. It feels like the right balance of nature with a nudge toward quiet "celebration" (at least this is what I am in the mood for in these pre-solstice days). The image at the beginning of the post shows a few similarly-colored things I gathered from around the studio & the kitchen, and the next one shows the original bouquet... (Magnolia leaf closeups momentarily.)

Over the last several days, the vase has traveled between the adjacent living room & studio, and I have had plenty of time to study the beautiful shapes of the magnolia leaves & those running along the stems of eucalyptus. I have long been a fan of eucalyptus——for its scent...for the way the leaves can appear blue or green, depending on the light...for the blush of pinkish-purple that tinges the stems & the edges of the leaves.

But I don't think I ever realized just how gorgeous magnolia leaves are. They are so sturdy, and I love the contrast of the smooth, shiny texture on the top, with the comparatively rough, matte one on the underside. The variegation/patterns that develop over time are so appealing...and those edges——you can feel the tension & the strength of the gorgeous curves, and their thickness catches the light wonderfully.


I had some fun experimenting with the leaves yesterday..."blind" typing on them (the magnolia leaves took the impressions of the letters beautifully well), cutting them into book "pages," and translating the spines into the spine of a book. I love how the thick edges, with their slight waviness, will lend a lovely presence to the book's profile. The leaves stood up to quite a bit of handling, and now I am minimally pressing some to make a book using my newfound knowledge...

Next are a few more details of some of the other "golden-green" items seen in the first image of this post. The golden-green Zespri Gold kiwis will also likely be of a similar color inside; I'm looking forward to finding out when I slice them (it's my first time eating anything other than the more usual, rather obsequious, ones!). And I'm hoping the pears will be perfectly ripe for our Pear Tarte Tartin to celebrate the winter solstice...


Well, this officially concludes what I think may be a four-year run of ROY G BIV with Jennifer & Julie. It's been great fun, Ladies! I have appreciated the encouragement to be present in Blogland semi-regularly.

On that note, after a considerable absence on Blogger mid-year, I had every intention of spending more time here, but Instagram seems to be taking my online time lately. I hope you will visit me over there if you get a chance——and please let me know if you have an Instagram account as well. I will see the rest of you here next time... And happy holidays to each of you!

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