Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Cozy January

January is NOT my favorite month, although it really does give a cozy vibe that I enjoy. But the weather is less than desirable, what with the gray skies and cold weather. We didn't even get our first snow of the season until January was nearly over, and even then, it didn't last long. You see, during winter, I prefer snow, simply because it's so much prettier than the bare landscape. Even though it's not the prettiest of months, I must admit that it's nice to hunker down at home with a good book and a cup of tea. I've been trying to increase my book reading, and  January is just the time to start that off with a bang. 



I have various methods of staving off the winter blues, but one of the main ones is keeping fresh flowers in my vases. I used to think fresh flowers were an expensive luxury, but it turns out that stores keep prices low on the simple flowers that I prefer. I don't need an elaborate arrangement of mixed flowers, a small bunch of tulips or mums will do nicely. And maybe sometimes, I might use a Lego bouquet, since the kit was a fun Christmas gift! 







To pass the time indoors in the winter, I depend on my books and crafts. I haven't completed any crochet projects lately, but I did start yet another blanket for my collection, just because I liked the neutral color scheme. I also tried out watercolors, drooled over seed catalogs, purchased seeds, changed out my tiered tray, and decorated for Valentine's Day. I must have cooked or baked something, but apparently I didn't find it photo worthy. 








Since the garden isn't much to look at, I took a look around my home, and decided to highlight a few of my favorite things. Sometimes decorative objects are chosen to fit a decorating vibe, but I usually choose things that mean something to me. Many times, I've wished for a professional to help me decorate, but I know they'd probably choose things just because they are on trend. That's not my style. I want to look around my home, and see my stories brought to life. For instance, this is the niche over my fireplace, which takes the place of a traditional mantel. I found the pom pom stems years ago at the craft store, and loved them so much that I bought them in several colors. I love how the orange pops against the black and white wallpaper we installed there. Next to it, you'll see a small statuette of a young girl sitting on a boy. I spotted this in a gift shop years ago, shortly after my children had copped a pose just like it. It always makes me smile. 


On these shelves, I rotate various seasonal objects. Right now, I'm showing off a few Talavera pottery pieces. I have a fondness for this pottery, but most of it is used outdoors. 


I spotted this small jug at a trendy home decor shop while I was out exploring with my sister. It's smallish, but I just can't get enough of it. I often move it around, then choose different objects to put on top of it. It just pleases me. But then again, I do have a fondness for black and white. 


Long ago, loved ones visited Africa, and brought home these hand carved ebony figures. They always have a place of honor in my home. Right now, they're on a wine cork tray that I made from a kit given to me by my daughter. 

It's January, so I never expect to have anything to see in the garden. However, I know I showed these pansies last month, but I wanted to show that they are STILL hanging in there, despite a couple weeks well below freezing. I did cheat a little, and protected them in the garage during the coldest temperatures. 


I was quite giddy when we finally got some snow, and it actually stayed for a week or so. These are popular winter photo spots in my nest, but I just had to snap them again. I get into a scenery drought during the winter, and a decent snowfall gives me a chance to actually SEE something again. 



But my favorite snowy day activity is to hit the parks that I frequent during fall colors. Just to crunch through fresh snow in my warm boots makes me smile. I always wish that I could figure out how to capture the diamonds in the snow with my camera, but I haven't yet been successful. 










I might say that there isn't any scenery this time of year, but it isn't really true. You see, the skies provide most of the best views in the winter. Because of the angle of the sun this time of year, I can often get my best shots right out the upstairs windows. One of the following pix is actually a sunrise instead of a sunset, can you spot it? 









Thanks so much for coming to see my Nest in the quiet month of January, and I hope to see you here again next month! 



Sunday, December 31, 2023

December Holidays

 It doesn't seem much like December this year, there's still no sign of snow. But the holidays came and went without the snow. Whatever holiday you celebrate, or none at all, I hope you were able to be with loved ones. I know it can be a tough time of year for some. And I hope the New Year is good to you! We'll have a quiet night at home, as we usually do. We've already had our New Year's lunch date, to avoid the crowds. Our beloved family has already been here to celebrate the season, so all is quiet.  



Despite the mild weather, the only life I see outdoors is this pot of pansies, and a single scabiosa, better known as pincushion flower. Perhaps this will be the year that my pansy pot lives through the entire winter. Personally, I'd like a bit of real winter, particularly some pretty white snow. But most people here don't agree with me. 


Christmas keeps me busy with preparations, but I did finish one crochet project, this matching set of colorful wrap shawls. One is for my own use, and one was gifted to a friend. The dolls are something I made LONG ago for my daughter. But they were recently rescued from the basement, and refurbished. I kept one for myself, but the rest were returned to my grown daughter. I had forgotten how much detail I put into my handmade dolls! Besides giving them as gifts, I used to sell them at craft fairs, along with handmade teddy bears. They were always such fun projects to complete. 


I always start my holiday decorating with the outdoors.  I think the reason that I enjoy decorating outside so much is because it feels a little like gardening, at a time when there's no gardening left to do. I'll leave most of this greenery in place until March, although the red touches will have to go. 





I'm one of those people we loves her Christmas decorations, but loves even more when it's time to put them away! I find holiday decorations to be cluttered, even though I remove the regular items before putting them out. But once I put them all away, the whole house feels fresh and clean, and ready for the new year. I completed this task just yesterday. Ahhhhh. 

















And so we say goodbye to 2023 by admiring a few sunsets and sunrises. May the coming year be filled with magic, and an endless stream of beautiful skies to watch! I appreciate those of you who come to visit my little blog each month. Hope to see you here again next year!