Saturday, March 6, 2010

H Is For . . .

is for

House which one makes into a Home,

a safe Harbor for one's family~

and for the gracious

Host and Hostess who open their door

to offer outstretched arms of

Heartfelt Hospitality

as they welcome all who may enter their


Books about Homes seem to accumulate here at HFTS. Ever since I was a young child I've been fascinated with the architecture and interiors of homes. I never tire of seeing how others live within their homes and gardens. Whether it weekend neighborhood Open Houses, holiday Home Tours, Heritage Home Tours, or the annual AIA and ASID home tours, I'm an eager participant. There is always something to be learned from exploring these venues.

So it's only logical that home and garden magazines have also long been favored reading material for me, and I often find it difficult to part with some of these publications. I've stacks of back issues that I just couldn't let go of. But with recent efforts to curb my magazine subscriptions, I, like many others, am reading more on-line these days. And we all know that there is no shortage of blogs that rival the best professional publications when it comes to sharing amazing photos of home interiors and gardens.

Across the Pond is the perfect example of just such a blog. As a journal of Mary's daily life in her NC cottage and her frequent travels, her blog invites the reader to share the loveliest of images of architecture, interiors, gardens, and travels both stateside and abroad. Mary, a transplanted Brit, has lived in the states for 47 years but frequently returns to Europe and beyond. Fortunately for those who follow her blog, each new posts is filled with the essence of true hospitality and charm. And I, was the fortunate individual to directly benefit from her gracious hospitality and generosity.

Not long ago, Mary celebrated 3 years and her 800th post with a GIVEAWAY. This dear individual decided to send one lucky reader a celebratory vintage gift. And I was that lucky individual! From the moment I opened the package, I knew this was no ordinary gift. For gently resting beneath a nest of delicately imprinted tissue and bits of shredded vintage sheet music . . .

were not one, but three beautiful gifts wrapped with love and oozing charm. At first sight was a fragrant sachet de Fleurs de Lavande, that offered a whiff of one of my fragrance here at HFTS. Two more gifts elegantly wrapped in bronzed tissue that glistened with golden flecks were gently encased in sleeves of vintage sheet music.

One was tied with a ribbon of silver satin and a poetic African proverb attached. Between the fragrance of lavender and the visual of these beautiful words, a song of joy filled my heart.

The beautiful script and words of the African proverb delighted my senses as I read the words of inspiration, and then found yet another thoughtful note inscribed to me on the reverse. In this day of email and unlimited long distance phone minutes, the handwritten note has become a lost art. How sad, for with all this convenience we've almost abandoned the joy of putting one's thoughts and feelings onto beautiful papers with one's own script.

Within these packages were gifts obviously selected with much thoughtfulness and care.

A set of vintage Macassar spoons from Singapore lay cradled within a velvet lined box. Mary had purchased two boxes of these spoons from one of her favorite antique stores, one for herself and one for her celebration giveaway.

Within the other tissue wrap were tea bags from Harrods of London, and this pair of gorgeous vintage linen napkins.

The finely stitched embroidery and pulled thread work on these fine linen treasures made my heart skip a beat. Oh, how I love vintage linens!

At the very bottom of Mary's blog page is a quote:
"Home is where your story begins."

Visit Mary @ Across the Pond, and I think you'll agree that she definitely exemplifies the meaning of Home, Hostess, and Heartfelt Hospitality. Thank you, Mary, for your gracious hospitality through Across the Pond, and thank you for the gift of your beautiful friendship and these thoughtful treasures.

I've been away from home the past few days attending an out of town workshop. When I arrived home this evening, I shared the feelings of Dorothy, "There's no place like home!"

"Home is where my Heart is."

You'll find more Lessons on the letter H here at Jenny Matlock's.


The summer we married, my husband was in graduate school, and I was employed as a teacher. We took a portion of our savings that summer and purchased a sailboat. We christened our Catalina 22, “Hyacinths For The Soul” after Saadi’s poem. Our "Hyacinths" provided years of pleasure.


  1. Oh, Sarah! Those are absolutely stunning gifts! Absolute perfection.

    I'm so delighted for you that you won! :-)

    I missed you on Tablescape Thursday, but I'm delighted to see you blogged on Jenny's Alphabet event. I want to join you one Thursday. I will have to think of a fun post and jump in. I have an idea for one, but it's a "V". LOL!


    Sheila :-)

  2. What a delightful surprise waiting for you at home. I so enjoy reading your blog and I agree with you about the importance of the handwritten note. My best friend and I send cards and notes to each other and it is so special. many times they are hand made and that makes it even more precious!

  3. What a fun way to learn about the letter "H"

    Have a great day.

  4. What a great H post and I love your surprises. Ha ve a Happy day

  5. oh i just loved your post ... the gifts you received are so delightful!It is always so much fun to visit your blog :)

  6. There's truly nowhere like home!
    What a beautiful celebration gift you won!....and all the more special because you appreciate the care with which it was packed and sent.

  7. What a home-y and hospitable post. Thank you for cultivating these arts. Congratulations also on your gifts. They are truly thoughtful and lovely.

  8. Good Morning Sarah!

    WOW..I agree, those are wonderful gifts! I am drooling...

    You have such a gift with words. Where are the "H"yacinths? Thanks for sharing with us today.

    Have a great "H" Thursday...

  9. Holy Carp and Flounder! I'd say you had treasures galore!

    Have you noticed how people in blogland do things with such beautiful detail and flair? It's always fun to see it. Thanks for sharing!!

  10. What a beautiful gift! And the packaging was so lovely, I adore the vintage sheet music. Those linens are just gorgeous. Beautiful post for H. Kathy

  11. Sarah,

    What a happy post and what handsome gifts - given from the heart.


  12. a very lovely and heartfelt post. Mary seems like a wonderful blog friend to have and those giveaway gifts are absolutely amazing!

  13. Congratulations on winning! Very nice gifts.

    Lovely home you have!

    Happy Thursday!





  15. Those were beautiful and thoughtful gifts to receive. Really lovely. I know what you mean about the internet. There are many blogs out there to look at on anything a person wants.

  16. Hi Sarah,
    Glad you're back from your travels, safe & sound.
    Mary is a lovely generous lady and the gifts she sent you are exquisite.
    Happily looking forward to showing you some Hospitality in our Home very soon!

  17. What a beautiful post and what lovely gifts you received. I have loads of home decor magazines and books, too. I truly enjoy going on home tours. I will be going to one next week and cannot wait.

  18. You are so generous with your kind comments on the little gifts.....I'm just so happy you are pleased with them Sarah.

    I've been sorting through stacks of long kept decorating magazines, loathe to part with them......until my dear friend Susie of Suzanna's Antiques gave us a huge scare while hospitalized a couple of weeks ago! Knowing she was missing being able to go to her shop and play house, I bundled up dozens and sent them to her. She apparently has loved them and says they've helped get her through many sleepless nights since she returned home. Had to laugh when her DH told me last weekend that she actually wakes him up in the middle of the night and says "look at this Bruce, isn't it fabulous" as she leafs through pages of home decor! Luckily for me he is one fabulous guy!!!

    Happy weekend Sarah - glad you're back.

  19. What lovely gifts and lovely packaging! Those linens are gorgeous - lucky you!!!

  20. Lovely post Sarah, and congrats on your wonderful win, I love the spoons :) Are you enjoying this beautiful weather we're having?

  21. Home is such a beautiful word!
    Catherine :)

  22. Home...a marvelous place to be! Congrats on your win!

  23. Congratulations on the win. Lovely gifts. H for home was a very good choice.

  24. Hi Srah
    I am so glad you won Mary's giveaway. I know you will enjoy using that beautiful flatware. Mary is just as sweet in person as she is in her blog.
    Hugs, Rhondi

  25. Sensational....!
    I can just tell that you love, love, love your surprises :)
    And they are simply marvelous :)

    I am delighted for you!

  26. Oh, oh, oh...

    There's no place like home...

    Especially when you have lovely treasures like these waiting for your return.

    A heartfelt prize for a lovely hearted lady!


  27. A wonderful and delightful post. Congratulations on your good fortune.

    Big thanks your way as well for the nice comment you left on my overload of hats post.

  28. what lovely gifts! I love home magazines too...I have to be careful not to become a Hoarder of them.....happy h day! melinda

  29. what lovely gifts! I love home magazines too...I have to be careful not to become a Hoarder of them.....happy h day! melinda

  30. OH you won a gorgeous giveaway!! And the wrapping job was a gift in itself!

  31. What amazing gifts! Thanks for stopping by.

  32. Wow, what a beautiful prize.......

  33. Such a lovely post...and thank you for your nice comments about my Haiku Tree...good job on your Haiku! Peace and blessings

  34. Congrats on your winning Sarah!

    Beautiful H post..

  35. About the only thing that rivals my cookbook obsession is my home decorating book obsession. I really need to get a life...

  36. Oh, lucky you, Sarah! Those are wonderful gifts, indeed. I'm off to check out Mary's blog. It sounds wonderful.

  37. Hi Sarah..Love that you won such a generous giveaway..beautiful..
    Great H post too!


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