Sunday, February 10, 2019

Star Quality For a Valentine Table

It's the week of Valentine's.

I'm glad you've stopped by for a touch of February inspiration.
This post is about an amazing winter star for your garden along
with inspiration for an easy meal and a simple 
table for your special valentine.

~ White By The Gate ~
I planted this camellia japonica years ago, 
and I selected it specifically for its double white blooms.
Camellias are considered the rose of winter
in southern gardens.  The dark green glossy foliage 
is a beautiful contrast to the pure white.

This winter stalworth produces continuous displays 
of perfectly formed pure white flowers.

 This has to be one of the most perfectly
formed pure white flowers I've ever seen.

~ White By The Gate ~
I've added several to our garden and plan to include
more in a new garden area we have planned for the future.

Our bushes are full of buds and blooms, so
I've been cutting them to bring into the house.

  The stems are short, and a shallow container works best.
Our Courtly Check gravy boat is a perfect choice.

This pretty pink camellia is 
from a friend's garden.

Pink Camellias

This time of year, my friend's camellia trees 
offer up a cheerful pink treat for cold winter days.

These lush pink petals were the
stars of a tablescape some years ago,
 and I share as inspiration for a Valentine's meal.

Pink paired with 
my favorite Courtly Check
is perfect for a Valentine's table.

More fresh flowers filled a small 
Courtly Check flower pot.

The arrangement complimented the 
pink stars of the evening.

Crisp White Linen

Layers of Shiny Black, 
Courtly Check, and a Ruffled Woven Mat

Antique Ivory Salt and Pepper

Tasty Daube a la Provençal Made with Lamb
You'll find the recipe here at Dean and Deluca.

Fresh Spinach with Citrus, 
Beets, Red Onions, and Olives

Tri-colored Roasted New Potatoes

Pink, Purple, and Cream

A Tower of Corn Muffins

This all made a delicious winter meal and
likely one your valentine would appreciate.

The simple black and white isn't too girly for the man in your life,
and the touch of pink adds a a delightful feminine touch.

Hope you have camellias 

blooming in your garden this winter.
Definitely Star Quality


Friday, February 1, 2019

Where in the World?



Rabbit, Rabbit!
February1st, and it's cold outside!

Miss Merri Mac and I love to travel and enjoy being a part of
the Traveling Tote group of ladies.
As much fun as it is to travel with our totes,
they are not always practical for some excursions.

When Debbie @ Mountain Breaths traveled to Italy in the fall
and couldn't take Miss Aurora, she cleverly took a traveling mug. 
We all thought it would be fun to do the same 
and have a bit of a guessing game.

 Miss Merri Mac and I also took an international trip last fall.
If you are regular reader of my blog, 
you likely already know our destination.

One of my Courtly Check mugs tagged along.
It was an overnight flight with dinner, so after dinner,
I pulled out my travel mug for coffee with dessert.
Chocolate sundaes are the perfect tonic to help one sleep.

Shortly before landing, breakfast was served.
The hostess had washed my mug and
delivered it with hot tea on my breakfast tray.
She was fascinated with my Courtly Check mug
and intended to place an order for a set of her own.

Hot tea with a tasty mini cinnamon roll
was the perfect morning wake up!

The evenings of my trip always included the best 
cappuccinos ever and a variety of rich desserts.


Outdoor markets were part of our days' activities, and food
vendors offered wonderful options to fuel our energy.
Orangina, anyone?

Evenings often consisted of light meals.
Any guesses where we traveled?

If you guessed France, 
you would be correct!
You can read all about the trip here.

 Much of the US is in the grips of the Polar Vortex.
Texas may not be in the extremes of low temps, 
but all the same, you'll find me staying indoors by a cozy fire.

No travel plans here!
Just a trip to and from the kitchen to retrieve
a hearty cup of cheese soup and a healthy salad
with apples, pecans and goat cheese.
You'll find me snuggled in by a cozy fire at home.

Wing your way on over to the other travelers linked below.
They are sure to have much more exciting times to share.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Hello 2019

HELLO 2019!

We rang in the New Year 
quietly here at home.

A bottle of our favorite champagne was chilled, and
we popped the cork as the clock struck midnight.

How did you welcome in the New Year?

Have you given thought to 
what will be in 2019?

Later, on our morning walk, Sadie reminded me, 
"It's the first of January and time to turn over a new leaf!"

She thinks more walks around 
the neighborhood is a good goal.

~ 2019 ~
I've given lots of thought this past week as to
what's on the horizon for me this year.

 I intend to turn over a new leaf with my needlepoint habit.
There are many WIP in my stitching basket that need my attention.
Each of these Christmas pieces are so close to being completed.
2019 is the year!!!

I picked up these three petite hearts at a local thrift. 
They were too cute and too inexpensive to pass up.
Hopefully they will be stitched in time for Valentine 2020.

An avid stitcher friend suggests I thread up three needles 
and at least stitch that every day.  I'm currently at work on these.
So far I've stitched everyday this year and fully intend to
have these darling eggs finished for my Easter basket come April.

Reading more is another focus for the year ahead.
I've become too lax about spending time reading on
line instead of reaching for good literature.
That is about to change, starting with Kate Williams'
AMBITION AND DESIRE, THE DANGEROUS LIFE OF JOSEPHINE BONAPARTE.
A fan of historical fiction, I'm enchanted!
What is on your reading list?

That brings me to Hyacinths for the Soul.
I began HFTS in 2009 as a creative outlet in my retirement.
HFTS has brought me much joy these past nine years, mostly
because of the amazing friendships formed along the way.
I hope to continue this creative process, but like many,
I find myself blogging less and sharing more often on IG.
In between blog posts, you can find me on Instagram as SJPA48.
Hope to see you there as well.

❤️ ~ ❤️ ~ ❤️ ~ ❤️ ~ ❤️


Let's all count the bubbles and let 2019 sparkle!

Thank you to Nancy Thomas Gallery for allowing 
me to share this clever annimation.
You can find more of Nancy Thomas' creative art here.
You can also find her on IG as nancythomasgallery.
Joining