Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas 1914

The Princess Mary Christmas Tin 1914

Today I'm joining Joan over at Anything Goes Here for Vintage Christmas Monday. Joan has asked others to share their vintage Christmas items, so today I'm sharing a special gift I received from a friend a few years ago. This is a beautiful brass Christmas tin that was produced in 1914. I have it sitting on a table in my living room during the holiday season.

This tin and thousands of others just like it were a gift from their nation for those men and women serving in the British armed forces on Christmas Day 1914. Princess Mary, the seventeen year old daughter of King George V and Queen Mary, wanted to do something special for the men and women serving their country on the battlefield. She created the "Sailors and Soldier Christmas Fund" to provide a gift for those serving in the war on Christmas Day. The response was so great that the plan eventually included all those in the King's uniform both at home and abroad.

The brass boxes about 3" x 5" x 1.5" deep contained a variety of gifts. For the men on the front lines, the boxes contained tobacco related items. Those who did not smoke received tins with sweets, and the tins for the nurses contained chocolates. Most of the tins also contained a pencil within a bullet case holder.

The polished brass tins were embossed with IMPERIUM BRITANNICUM, Princess Mary's profile surrounded by a laurel wreath with the monogram M on either side, and the names of Britain's allies: France, Russia, Japan, Belgium, Serbia, and Montenegro.

My little tin is in excellent condition. I wonder to whom it might have once belonged and what the original contents might have been. It's a sweet remembrance of those who sacrificed so much during the first World War.

Perhaps you have a family member who served in the British forces during this time and one of these tins is in your possession. Thank you for stopping by today. Please leave a comment to let me know you were here. I always appreciate your notes.

Deana @ Alchemy fine Living has recently posted about the Pay It Forward gift that she received from me. Deana owns a store that sells a unique blend of antiques and vintage home decor items. She is always sharing a great design idea or a fabulous makeover of a vintage item. Deana is one talented lady! If you would like to play the game, hurry on over to Deana's. The first three to respond will receive a PIF gift from Deana.

Then visit Joan @ Anything Goes Here for a list of participants who have vintage Christmas treasures to share.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Goodbye to the Warm Colors of Fall - Welcome to the Pinks of a New Season

Pink Peonies, Sunflowers, & Tulips

This lovely arrangement was a "thank you" from one of dinner guests Thursday evening. These pink peonies are luscious and fill the room with perfume. I absolute adore the fall season and the rich, earthy colors that we all associate with autumn, but I'm ready to welcome the pinks and brighter colors of the holiday season ahead.

Wooden Tom Turkey

So I said good-bye to the browns and oranges of turkeys, pumpkins, and fall leaves as I packed things up until next year. I don't know about you, but having Thanksgiving late in the month makes me feel pushed into the Christmas season. I like a bit of time to savor one holiday before rushing headstrong into the next. But with December just days away, I'm packing up the fall decor and readying the house for the sparkle of the Christmas season.

Lemon Cyprus Topiary with Acorns

I took the lemon cyprus topiary with its accent of little acorns that were scattered around the base out of the brown cachepot . . .

Lemon Cyprus Topiary with Pink Cyclamens

and put the topiary into an antique French faience jardiniere by Geo Martel. Then I surrounded it with hot pink cyclamen plants. It instantly took on a whole new look. I will eventually plant the little 4 inch pots of cyclamen outside in the garden, but for now they brighten our dining room table.

Cyclamen plants are by far my favorite winter annual for my garden. They bloom well into spring, and a few even continue on into the summer months. The leaves have a silvery mottling pattern and the blooms can be quite fragrant. I've just planted some of this hot pink variety in the pots on our front porch, and I delight in the fresh fragrance as I walk up the steps. I planted white ones in the beds along the walk and around the base of a pot of purple fountain grass that is by the front door. I like to use white blooming plants near the house because they reflect the light at night.

More Pink Cyclamen in Handpainted Italian Planter

I was still satiated from Thursday evening's Thanksgiving celebration, and spent some time Friday afternoon with a cup of tea while visiting some of my favorite blogs. After my stop at 1st Floor Flat, Susie's art work had me craving a bit of something sweet. Do go by Susie's and have a look at her "Kitchen Collection"; new work that she has hanging in a Gallery Show. I think you'll find it a delightful treat. Susie is a freelance artist and designer based in London and works in mixed media.

Thank you for stopping by today. Please leave a comment below. I love to hear from each of you.

And "Thank You" to Beverly @ How Sweet the Sound for organizing Pink Saturdays for all of us who want a little PINK in our lives.

Friends, Food, and Fun

A French Thanksgiving?  

Yes, I know the French don't celebrate Thanksgiving, 

but one of our dinner guests is French. 

 This was in her honor!

Designs by Gollum: Foodie Friday is also labeled, Friends, Food, and Fun. That pretty well sums up our Thanksgiving evening. We definitely had a delightfully fun evening with friends as we enjoyed a delicious meal, so I decided to link some of the photos of our meal to Foodie Friday. It's the first time I'm participating in this weekly party, though I'm a faithful visitor each week.

We started our evening by popping a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and nibbling on appetizers.

Liver Paté 

with Herbed Crostini

More Paté. . . Paté with 

Truffles and Paté de Campagne

Artichoke Spread 

with Cayenne

Served on 

Heart Shaped Lahvosh

We started dinner with a salad of baby spinach 

with fresh grapefruit and blue cheese crumbles.

The main meal was served from the sideboard.

My husband is the chef in our home, and he likes to march to his own drum. Though he has roasted a turkey for Thanksgiving at times, he often likes to cook a different bird for our Thanksgiving meal. We've had pheasant, quail, cornish game hens, and this year he selected to serve duck. He actually bought it smoked, and it was delicious!

Smoked Duck

Garnished with 

Cherry Tomatoes

Wild Rice with Dried Sour Cherries 

and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Haricots Verts 

with Bacon and Onions

Country Bread

Sweet Cream Butter

A nice Chardonnay from Chateau St. Michelle

A Cru Du Beaujolais. . . 

Perfect Pairing for the Duck!

After dinner we moved into the living room 

around the cozy fire to enjoy coffee and dessert.

Expresso with a Touch of Irish Whisky 

and a Topping of Whipped Cream

A Bite of Chocolate

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

Just so you don't think 

I'm totally worthless in the kitchen, 

this little birdie wanted me to tell you 

that I get the credit for baking the pies.

Pumpkin Pie Topped with Fresh Whipped Cream 

and Honey Glazed Pecans

Thank you for joining me for Foodie Friday. You can view the table setting for this meal here . It was posted for Tablescape Thursday this week.

Please leave a comment below. I always enjoying hearing from each of you who stop by for a visit. Then click here to visit Designs by Gollum to see a list of others participating in today's Foodie Friday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Give Thanks - Thanksgiving 2009

We celebrate Thanksgiving with thankful hearts 
for the bountiful blessings of our life.

Our table is set awaiting the arrival of our guests.

Salad plates in 
Olde Avesbury by Royal Crown Derby.

Dinner plates in 
Palerimo Brown by Richard Ginori.

Italian Pewter chargers by Cosi Tabellini and 
Talisman enameled silver flatware by Christophe.

Crystal stems in rich amber by Denby.

Antique sterling French napkin rings 
collected through the years.

Some are monogramed 
in beautiful scripts.

The heirloom napkins were a gift from my mother-in-law. 
Each have been monogramed by hand and were
stitched by my husband's grandmother.

The table cloth is by Yves Delorme 
in shades of green and subdued teal blue.

My Tuesday Morning acorns have 
been pulled into service as place card holders. 
Fallen leaves from a Red Oak are inscribed 
with each guest's name using a silver paint pen.

Small initialed treat boxes 
are favors to be taken home.

Inside are 
honey glazed Texas pecans.

The center piece is a single pillar within 
a crystal hurricane lantern, a recent thrift find. 

It is flanked on either side by small white pumpkins, 
and all sits on a pewter tray.

Dinner will be served from the nearby 
sideboard in white French porcelain dishes. 
The antique silver and mother of pearl serving pieces 
are all individual pieces that I've purchased piece by piece.

A simple glazed container holds a bouquet of tulips, 
gerber daisies, hypericum berries, and golden thryallis.

Red ware pottery, acorns,

squirrels, horn votives,

candles, an amber glass 
turkey container,

vintage candy containers,

pumpkins, gourds, and more turkeys 
set the mood for Thanksgiving.

After dinner. . .

dessert will be served 
in the adjoining sun room.

A lemon cyprus topiary and 
pumpkin shaped gourds are the centerpiece.

Coffee and dessert will be 
served on Richard Ginori china.

Come back tomorrow to see what the chef prepared for our dinner. I'll be joining Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday. But for now, click here to go over to Susan's @ Between Naps on the Porch for a peek at her delightful whimsical Christmas setting.

Enjoy Your Day!

Thanksgiving Blessings to All!