01 December 2014

1st. December - time for a little decorating.

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Nothing fancy, one or two  candles slipped in here & there
amongst  some of your favourite things and add a few pine cones




Candles are always my favourite ways to decorate.




Candles and a little touch of the forest.





Now for some country style ways to decorate, 
taken from this French magazine I sometimes treat myself to.


I'm sure it will give you a few ideas with a different twist .







A window and steps leading to the entrance, decorated with
just a few branches of pine, with pine cones and a splash of colour from some apples.




For those who find it daunting to make their own wreath, 
this is an easy way to make the front door welcoming
Use some of the  branches from the bottom of the tree, some twigs covered in lichen,
 tie it with some thick red cord and attach a  few pine cones.
 If you live in the country these are all easy to find.




Bring a little of the outside into your home
 to spruce up a shelf or window ledge.




This is my country style decoration for my window ledge during the week-end .




A wreath using a straw base and then  covered with pieces of pine
 from your Christmas tree, small stems wired to the inside 
and the the larger stems on the outer edge.





I love this angel made from red stems of wood 
and bits of spruce pine.



A basket of cones and presents  wrapped in brown paper 
tied with simple cord with a sprig of dried berries.




This candle is wrapped in bark from a silver birch  tree.
On my next walk, I'll be looking for fallen branches to peel off some bark.




Some pretty ways to wrap those special homemade gifts for friends.




I hope I've given you a few ideas from France for you to try.



à bientôt
Barbara Lilian





30 November 2014

Advent Calendar idea.

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I've often mentioned my love of Danish decorating
These photos of my grandchildren were taken a good few years ago
when they were little toddlers, during one of our Christmas holiday visits.
and the wreath I previously showed you here





Are you looking for a new and original idea for an advent calendar ?
 I've just had this idea shared on my face-book page from Monica a Danish friend
 so if you're stuck for ideas how about trying this.
A little parcel for everyday wrapped and numbered,
then hung on the wall, simple but original.



She has a lovely boutique in Copenhagen
and also sells on line here
there is a special 20 % offer on during the advent period.
Take a look for gifts a little bit different and all Danish products.



I'm looking forward to the Christmas fair....
I wonder if we'll have a white Christmas this year ?




This is where I get to taste warm Glogg and
æbleskiver ( warm doughnut balls, served with icing sugar and a strawberry sauce.






As I will be spending Christmas in Denmark this year
my decorations will be just a little something here and there.

Similar to this.





Recently I was doing some re-arranging and brought this cup & saucer set out from a cupboard
where it's been hidden for years, I put it on display in the entrance hall. I know it's delicate
but it's so pretty I've decided I should use it.
If I was at home this would be  the cup I'd choose for Christmas morning breakfast.



Some gifts to share.





An advent wreath, picture from
Isabellas Christmas magazine








à bientôt

Barbara Lilian














21 November 2014

My 100th Post

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I can't believe I've just written that.
If Blogger didn't count them and inform me 
 I would have let this special day pass me by without knowing.

If you don't mind I need to write it again only in bigger numbers
100 th. post.

I promise I won't mention it again.

 I created my blog in 2012. If you weren't reading me then take a look at my first post.

Except for my family, I really didn't know who would want to read about my daily life, 
but 99 posts later and just past the 40,000 number of views.
I'm feeling quite pleased with myself.
 I'm still here and when I don't enjoy writing and sharing I'll stop.

I thank every one of you who take the time to read about me, 

If you don't write a comment  I don't know you are reading it, but thank you anyway.

Finally a special thank you to all my blogging friends
who leave such lovely encouraging comments.

 A sketch from my journal of the back view of our house from the grazing field.

What better subject to share with you than the beautiful countryside I enjoy where I live, 
and what a stunning time of the year when the trees are exploding with such beautiful colours.


If you would like to join me on my walk, we will start from 

Our summer visitors have gone. the vine has been trimmed




                         but it still looks inviting with the lovely red leaves on the Virginia Creeper.






During my recuperation time I sat most days on our terrace 
and sketched this view of the ruined barn 




Now the Berberis is looking at its best, so many shades of red.
  



We could take this lane.




But I think we'll go  this way.



 We will walk the  'Le Route Forrestier' 

 I haven't taken this pathway for quite some time as it was too hilly for me, but now I'm able to walk much further again, it's the best route for views.  We will be able to see the many species of trees which grow in our region  some of them are already bare and others are still showing off  their colourful robes. This particular day started with heavy showers then the sun came out which lit up the trees making their colours even more beautiful, 

I climbed the first hill to see the lovely big Oak tree
 which stands alone in the field where the Limousin cows feed,
 This oak always look splendid whatever the season, it hangs onto
it's leaves almost until the new Spring leaves begin to appear.





 I stopped and turned around so that you could have a glimpse of my home through the bare trees.






I can see lots of  dark clouds beginning to gather so before it starts to rain again.
I think we'll take a little detour,  I don't think you'll be disappointed.
it's this winding path which has lots of ferns along the edge of the path





Look at the lovely shades of rust of these ferns, 
I'll be cutting them soon and taking them to use as a winter coat for my fragile Fuchsias.
I learnt that tip from an old man in the village where we lived when we first arrived in France.
If you'd like to read some of my happenings in that village take a peep    here




I'm so glad I took the detour even though it didn't rain
We would have missed seeing these trees.
Aren't they beautiful ?




When it snows and I write about the snow plough never passing our house, you can see why. 






         I'll be able to show you the ruined house near to where I live.which is so over grown now









We are now back, to where we started our walk.
I hope you enjoyed the beautiful colours I'm seeing at the moment.
This year we still haven't had any frost, so we're still enjoying our Autumn.

 Now for a little insight of my preparation before I actually make a post. 

I say it so many times I am not technically minded.
I forget how to do things, so have to write it down, especially doing a link.
That's why I don't join in with Link posts but I do read the blogs you all link to.

I'd never get anything done I'd still be sitting at my laptop struggling.
Oh believe me sometimes it takes me ages.
However I have managed to put two links in this post.

When I first started writing on my blog I used to get Mr France to take the photos.

But since then  I've learnt such a lot about taking photos and I'm still learning, 
Here I'm preparing for a photo shoot I wanted to show you 
the last three stems of Lavender I found this morning.

Most of the photos I take are with my aim & shoot camera,  I can master that.











It's still not right. but was the best of all that I took.
This stone jar I found buried in the barn under all the hay at our first house.






I fiddled about adding a few more bits and pieces.
I've just made some Lavender sachets as extra little gifts for Christmas
and I thought it would fit in with the theme.
But too many shadows. 





I hope you enjoyed my special post.



à bientôt
Barbara Lilian

14 November 2014

Some Ideas for the Vine wreaths.

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The wreaths I made a few weeks ago waiting to be decorated.

I always decorate the front door of our own home
 and  La Petite Maison  for the festive season,



This is a reminder of what I did a few years ago





La Petite Maison 2012


For the greenery of the base I usually give a few shrubs a trim
just before I start, then it's easy to fill in with whatever you have.
I used small pine cones which are in abundance where I live.
I also dried some apple rings
( but a word of warning, the birds will come and eat most of them )
Also with the very wet winter we had that year, they became soft.
So next time I would keep dried apple or orange rings
 for an indoor wreath.They do give a pleasant spicy aroma
especially if you sprinkle them with a little cinnamon or allspice .



This one had dried orange rings and a few whole dried lemons & tangerines.
I just leave my fruit to dry and harden off a little by our wood burner.




My home  2012




I've been doing a bit of searching for some different ideas.
Guess where I did my search ? Of course, my favorite Danish  magazine

Isabellas

Here are a few I've picked out for you

Photos shown without Barbara Lilian in France typed on them
are taken from  Isabellas 2014 Christmas magazine.

They might give you some inspiration to try.




How about one of these for your front door ?



If you're like me, when out on a walk you arrive home
with pockets full of natures treasures,
 that could fill your wreath, Fallen nuts,
pine cones & twisted branches with lichen
Or maybe a selection of berries from the trees,
but be prepared for the birds, they think it's a take away.



Any of these I would love to hang on my door and all could be made.
Give it a try,  don't say 'I could never make that'
Your first attempt might not have a professional finish to it
but it will be your own design and so much nicer than one bought from a store.



This would look very nice on a hall entrance table;
with a few of your special baubles and a little statue
all piled up in a shallow dish with a wreath just placed around it.





One of these would look very pretty in doors.





This one could be hung on the kitchen door.
It looks like the tiny cones I collect
and then spray painted white.
Now what could be easier than that ?
all you need is a reel of fine wire and some paint.







I love this dried flower one using lavender. maybe not true Christmas style,
 but could look  pretty and smell very nice in a guest bedroom.





This frothy one on a side table.
with candles in lanterns placed around it looks lovely.

 


If you have been successful drying some Hydrangea  heads
this is a very show off way for them to be seen
along with a few other dried flowers and thistles.
I  like the way it's hung with a leather belt,
a very original smart country idea .





I hope I've chosen something to suite every ones taste.


If you do decide to make a winter season wreath
I hope you enjoy making it.
I would love to see the style you choose to make yours.



à bientôt

Barbara Lilian