Saturday, July 31, 2010

Celebrating ~ Giving Back

Calligraphy by Kay Johnson, 1985

In the spring of last year, my good friend Maggie @ Normandy Life and also the blog mistress for Quimper Club International recruited me to be guest blogger on the QCI blog for the month of September. At the time, I honestly didn't know what a blog was, so I went about cruising blogs to see what Blogville was all about. It wasn't long before I discovered Between Naps on the Porch and Susan's weekly Tablescape Thursday. That in turn led to Confessions of a Plate Addict. With Susan's irresistible porch settings and Debbie's Quimper tablescapes (and other French inspired posts), I was totally hooked. I had spent months visiting what was becoming a long list of favorites. So with the encouragement and guidance of Maggie, Susan, and Debbie, Hyacinths for the Soul became a reality, and I took the leap and jumped in with my very first post on August 2, 2009.

~Twelve Months ~

~More than 120 Posts ~

~Almost 300 Followers~

It's been an amazing year. I had no idea how much pleasure this thing called blogging would offer. HFTS has provided a creative outlet that has led to hours of fun and a whole new circle of friendships, not to mention that I've become much more tech savvy along the way. I follow and read your blogs with great admiration. The amazing number of individuals who generously and graciously share their talents and creativity continually amazes me. I learn from each of you every day. So thank you to all who visit, comment, encourage, correspond, and share your individual talents and creative spirits. You, to me, are unique in all the world.


Detail of Original, Signed By Ange, 2010

Recently, a very special blogging friend sent me a piece of her original art. Earlier in the year Ange of Signed by Ange had invited her readers to leave a comment with their favorite quote. I was the incredibly lucky individual whose name was drawn for a special gift.
Ange took my favorite quote, worked her calligraphic magic, and created a uniquely charming piece of art . . .



Which traveled across the Atlantic from Ange's home in Toulouse, France . . .



And now has a place of prominence in my little office, where I can see it as I work on creating posts for HFTS. (Please excuse the odd color variations in the above photos. Not sure why the same wall looks two different colors.)



Of course, Ange, being the dear that she is also sent along a delightful assortment of bits and pieces for me to use in my own art projects ~ all little jewels of French ephemera from the countryside in Toulouse, France.



Included in the package was this delightful little card.



And this very thoughtful note.



Meet Ange ~ wife, mom, long-distance runner (across glaciers, deserts, & oceans), educator, calligrapher, artist, blogger, wordsmith, friend ~ I hope you'll stop by to visit Signed by Ange. Her blog posts this summer are few as she is taking a bit of a holiday, but look for her to be back soon. I think you will be charmed by her talent, her sense of humor, her joie de vivre.



Ange, I treasure this unique piece of your work with its cool shades of blue, beautiful calligraphy, and the special 1996 French stamp with Madame de Sévigne and her quill pen.



I've been the recipient of several wonderful gifts from friends in Blogville, so in celebration of the first anniversary of HFTS and in appreciation of each of you who give me inspiration and encouragement daily there will be a drawing for a give-back gift at the end of the August.

~Just follow the usual routine ~
~
To be entered leave a comment on this post.
~
For a second chance, leave a separate
comment telling me you are a follower .
~
If you post the celebration button
on your sidebar or share it in a post,
leave another comment for a third opportunity.


~The gift ~

a package containing

something old,

something new,

something French,

and most certainly, something blue.

Visit often in the coming weeks for more clues. Winner will be announced September 1, 2010. I hope you'll like the gift package I'm putting together.

Feel free to grab the button below and link it back to this post to help me get the word out.


Thank you to the ladies hosting the following weekly memes.
A click on the link will take you to others participating this week.
More information about each of these events on my sidebar.





Sarah
Sarah

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.

131 comments:

  1. Sarah,
    What a lovely post and a big Happy Anniversary to you. Know that your words are read and enjoyed by many here each week.
    I, for one, enjoying following what you have to share.
    ´*•.¸(´*•.¸♥¸.•*´)¸.•*´
    ♥•.*.Thank you.*.•♥
    ♥•.*.from Vicki.*.•♥
    ¸.•*´(¸.•*´♥´*•.¸)´*•.¸

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  2. My dear Sarah...Happy Blog Anniversary! I've enjoyed reading your blog posts very much and it has been so nice learning more about you!

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  3. Of course I've been a follower since first reading your blog :)

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  4. I love the saying you chose, how perfect. And I know you will love this piece of art!

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  5. I put your celebration tag on my sidebar. I hope it brings you more happy visitors!

    Thanks for all you do!

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  6. What a beautiful quote and an extraordinary piece of art from Ange. She sounds very special and all the little goodies she sent you were awesome. I love the unique little card. My fav. Happy Anniversary and glad you found your way to the blog world.
    Have a Wonderfully Mad and Curious Day...
    Wendy from Wonderland

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  7. I have been a follower and I am happy to be one. Thank you so much for all the inspiration.
    Wendy from Wonderland

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  8. you are just one of the sweetest ladies in blogsville, i am so happy your friends coaxed you out to play! congrats on a fun filled year, i love to see all you share~

    no need to put me in line for your gift, I ALREADY GOT MINE! you know i am over the moon, don't tell me life is not a bowl of cherries!

    thanks for EVERYTHING!

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  9. Congratulations, Sarah.

    Happy Blue Monday.

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  10. Hi Sarah...

    My friend, I seen your post pop up and just had to come over! It's been way too long since I have been by for a visit and I do apologize! The summers get much busier at my place. Anyway, I do hope that my note finds you well, my friend!

    I'm sooo glad that I stopped by! I would like to Congratulate you on your one year of blogging!!! Your delightful blog has been such an inspiration to me! Thank you, Sarah! I'm sending my very best wishes for another year of blogging success and much blogging bliss, sweet lady!!!

    Now, to speak a little of that beautiful gift that your friend Ange sent to you! It's simply exquisite! Thank you for sharing it with us! Ange is a very creative and talented lady...I will have to go by and meet her! I also want to thank you for doing a special gift giveaway for us...it sounds divine! I'm crossing my fingers, my friend! hehe!

    Congratulations, Sarah!
    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

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  11. Hi Sarah...

    Just lil' ol' me again! Wanted to leave a second comment as you requested! I have been a joyful follower of Hyacinths for the Soul for some time now...and have enjoyed every minute of it! Thank you!!!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

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  12. Happy Anniversary! I am so glad I got to know you this past year. I enjoy each and every visit to your blog and from you to my blog!
    xo
    Penny

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  13. And I also put your button on my Lavender Hill Studio blog!
    xo
    Penny

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  14. Congratulations on your 1st year blogging anniversary! I have enjoyed getting to know you through your blog.
    Jane

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  15. Hi Sarah - congratulations on the accomplishments of the past year. I was nodding my head as you listed the things that have come to you through blogging. I enjoy your posts - every one!
    You have me intrigued with your package!

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  16. ............and of course, I'm a follower.

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  17. Oh Sarah I'm so very touched. There are days when I find blogging overwhelming - particularly in the generosity of spirit and goodness that I always find. Sometimes it's so hard to find the time to write - and when I come back, I kick myself for having been so long away. It's not right to spend so long away from people like you.
    The quote suits you perfectly and it's an honour to have a piece of my work in your studio.
    Much love and may we keep in touch for many years to come.
    Congratulations on your first year blogging. Looks like it's been very full and you've won many hearts.
    xxx

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  18. and you're on my side bar! Hope you get lots of new followers! I'm one already!!

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  19. Dear Rooster Party Participant,

    Just a reminder that this coming Friday, August 6th is the Rooster Party. I am so looking forward to seeing your post.

    Thanks for joining and I hope you have a wonderful time.

    Hugs, Barb

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  20. Happy 1st Anniversary Sarah,
    and thank you for being so sweet and crediting me with having something to do with how HFTS came into being.
    I've enjoyed your blog from the very beginning, it has been a source of inspiration in so many ways. Here's to many more years of blogging!
    bisous
    Maggie

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  21. It goes without saying that both Normandy Life and QCI blogs follow you!
    Maggie

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  22. Proudly posting your button on both NL & QCI Sidebars.
    Spreading the word!
    Maggie

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  23. I follow you in a scary kind of way. I'm mostly a lurker. Mwahahahaha!

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  24. Congratulations Sarah on your blogging anniversary as well as 300 followers!! You are well loved in bloggerville. :D

    I'd be honored if you would enter me in your give-away drawing & will get your button up on my sidebar just as soon as I hit 'submit'. I saw it on Penny's "Comforts of Home" first!! She beat me! LOL

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  25. Back to say I've been a follower of yours from the get-go! ;-)

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  26. Hi Sarah,
    I agree, this blog land has many, many kind souls (you one of them, as well!). Your original piece of art from Ange is beautiful. Have a super duper week!
    xo~Tracie

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  27. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I ALWAYS look forward to your posts and enjoy how you share~ with your encouraging comments & your knowledge and collections! Thanks for making the blogosphere brighter just by being in it :-)

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  28. Congratulations on one year of blogging. I love to visit you because I always know I will be met with beauty and creativity. Thanks for the giveaway. I am already a follower. Pick me!! LOL
    Hugs, Rhondi

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  29. Happy Blogaversary!!
    I love your blog - it is unique!

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  30. Oh how fun Sarah!
    Enter me please, I just know it will be fabulous~

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  31. I am a follower and enjoy your blog so much! Happy Blogaversary to you!
    Cindy

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  32. I'm a follower, and I'm adding your button to my sidebar now! Congrats on your Anny and thanks for the chance!

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  33. Hi Sarah!

    Happy Blog-versary to you! I'm surprised at how many of the blogs I follow that are celebrating 1 year. I enjoy my visits here and wish you many more lovely bloggy years. I am a follower and will happily add your cute button to my blog! I'm intrigued by your French give-away!

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  34. What a lovely blog; and a great piece of art work from your friend. Thanks for giving me an opportunity to enter.

    I'll be back!

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  35. Congrats--I just last night started my first blog (scary, scary) and am very intimidated! Your blog is very lovely and I hope to be in your position in a year!

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  36. Sarah:

    Congratulations on you blog-a-versary. It is an amazing journey, isn't it? You are so creative and have so manyinteresting possesions, I can't imagine what your give away will be.

    - The Tablescaper

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  37. Of course I'm a Follower!

    - The Tablescaper

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  38. I am very late in congratulating you Sarah-I am so sorry! Well done and congratulations!

    I love that beautiful sign that Ange made and aren't the other little things gorgeous!

    Thanks for hosting this give away-I would love to be included if I may? Don't worry if Australia is too far away though!

    Best wishes always,
    Natasha.

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  39. I am late making my blog rounds! Congratulations dear lady! I will put your give away on my sidebar, and of course I am a follower.

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  40. How special! You are indeed lucky Sarah! But you deserve it.

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  41. Sweet Sarah, thank goodness you did decide to just "jump in" on August 2 last year!! Enjoy all your lovely posts and am so glad we have been able to become blog friends. I'm hoping to come back to Texas one of these days and we have to get together!

    Warm hugs dear friend.
    Mary X

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  42. Happiest Anniversary, dear heart.
    I have so enjoyed visiting with you this year. I love all the pretty things you blog about and all the wonderful information I have learned from you.

    Your gifts from your friend are amazing. I look forward to visiting her blog.
    'xo bj

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  43. I am taking your button home with me.

    Thanks, so much, for this chance to win something pretty.
    xo bj

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  44. Sarah, congratulations on your blogversary! I do enjoy your blog! Joni

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  45. Sarah, I have looked at your blog many times, but had to check to see that I wasn't a follower! I rectified that now! I am a follower! Joni

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  46. Sarah, I posted your giveaway on my sidebar. Joni

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  47. Hi Sarah and happy one year bloggin anniversary it has opened up a new world to me, also.
    I would love to be entered in your giveaway!

    Barb

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  48. Hi Sarah, I am a new follower!

    Barb

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  49. Sarah, I just posted your giveaway button on my blog at
    http://dogmomdiva.blogspot.com/

    Barb

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  50. Loved find your site today. Looking forward to getting to know you. Thanks for this great giveaway
    Maggie
    grandmayellowhair@gmail.com

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  51. I am now a new follower of yours
    Thanks
    Maggie
    grandmayellowhair@gmail.com

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  52. and my comment ... you have a delightful blog ... i have enjoyed every visit! thanks you for sharing bits of you with all of us!

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  53. I've been a follower ever since I met you at FFT! I wanted to tell you that I feel guilty about throwing my name in the pot for your wonderful giveway, since I've already received an adorable "giveaway" from you! I did add your button to my sidebar~ sorry for the delay. Vacation has me behind!! I look forward to hearing about & seeing the goodies you include :-)

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  54. Oh this sounds like fun.I love surprises please count me in!~~Becky

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  55. Ive become a new follower as well.Keeping fingers and toes crossed LOL

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  56. Sarah,
    Your blog is richly enjoyed, entertaining and just plain wonderful. Congrats on a great 1st year. Well done.

    Lizn

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  57. Sarah, HOW DID I MISS THIS POST? Your art gift is so pretty. Congratulations on that and on your blogging anniversary! So glad to find this post, so I can be in the running for the giveaway. I know if you are putting together a package, it will be wonderful. laurie

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  58. Of course, I am a follower of your lovely blog. laurie

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  59. Congratulations on your lovely gift and your blogging anniversary! And thank you for sharing this special time with a giveaway :o)

    Blessings & Aloha!

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  60. OH! I thought I was already a follower! I guess, since I have been by through the Alphabe-Thursday meme, I feel that I had done this already. But I went to make sure and found that I hadnt. So, here I am your newest follower #284 :o)
    Blessings & Aloha!

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  61. I have enjoyed gettin gto know you over this past year and visiting your beautiful blog. This is to tell you I am a follower.
    Hugs, Rhondi

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  62. Sarah,
    I am a follower. Thanks for a wonderful chance at your giveback!
    Sherry

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  63. Congratulations, Sarah! You are a real asset to the Blogging World. You are one reason we bloggers enjoy blogging so much. Your creativity and all the stuff that you own and share with us are always a joy to see. I am glad I got to know you...Christine

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  64. And of course, I have been a follower!...Christine

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  65. Happy Anniversary to you Sarah!!~ And yes I am a follower. This is an ironic giveaway as I was just on line looking at old post cards and card, this is a beautiful giveaway and I hope to win:)

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  66. Hello, just found your blog through Ange! Love the print she sent you, such a generous spirit she has. Looking forward to reading each day . . .thanks!

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  67. What a wonderful post and I enjoy stopping in as often as possible to see what is going on here. Took a break from blogging for a very busy month. Glad to be back for a visit.

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  68. Hello Sarah, so glad you stopped by La Bella Vie, it is lovely to meet you! Thanks for your sweet comments and for becoming my latest follower:)
    I', now yours too!
    I love you description of what blogging has done for your life, I couln't have said it better myself! Isn't this a wonderful world!
    Terry

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  69. Happy Anniversary!
    Blogging is my daily journal!!!

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  70. Hi Sarah,

    Congratulations on your blog-averisary! I have enjoyed reading your blog and just getting to know you...what wonderful people are in the blog world..I've enjoyed your posts and your sweet comments and support of my blog! Love the artwork from your friend! Of course I'm a follower!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    Miss Bloomers

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  71. Oh gosh! I left a nice comment and I got an error message and it looks like it didn't get saved. But happy anniversary and please enter me in your giveaway.

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  72. And I have also become a follower.

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  73. Congratulations Sarah! Your posts are always thoughtful and informative. I have enjoyed reading them and getting to know you over this past year. Here is to more posts in the upcoming year!

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  74. Good Day Sweet Sarah,
    It is always a pleasure to visit and be educated at the same time, your prose and photos bring joy to me each and every visit.
    A big congratulations on your blogaversary!!
    I am proud to call you a friend that brightens my day with your posts and your thoughtful comments in my little world!!
    Blessings, Peace and Big Hugs for many years to come xOxO Nerina

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  75. Hi there, me again!
    I have followed you for sometime and will continue as it brings me great joy!! xOxO Nerina

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  76. Congrats on your blogiversary Sarah, I know I don't get to pop in as often as I would like but I always love catching up on your posts. Beautiful giveaway too, such pretty things :)
    Have a blessed Sunday
    Hugs Denise

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  77. I am not sure how in the world I missed signing up for this earlier but I am here now (if I did and forgot, please forgive me). Your give-back is so gracious and fun and I would be very lucky to win it. If not...just getting to come here and visit is give-back enough. xoxo Lynn

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  78. What a lovely gift for one of your blogging friends. Of course, you lovely blog in itself is the real gift. So congratulations on such a nice first year and best wishes on the coming one.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  79. Oops, forgot to mention that I have been a follower for some time now.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  80. Sarah, you are so sweet to give away all this stuff. I love those glasses and the toile blue plates are gorgeous and I want them. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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  81. Sarah I can't believe I missed your original post! Happy Anniversary of your wonderful blog. Such a fabulous gift you are giving!!

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  82. I have been a follower of you blog for quite awhile now and love it!

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  83. I added your button to my side bar!! Thanks for the chance to enter your wonderful Anniversary Giveaway!

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  84. What a sweet giveaway. Happy Blogiversary!

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  85. Oh My...your giveaway is extremely generous...and might I say very very fabulous...Please add my name to the mix...

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  86. I became a follower as well....Can you tell I love this giveaway...did I happen to say how terrific it is...I love those dessert plates!!

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  87. Hello Sarah...

    Well my friend, I am just coming over from leaving you a note on your Sunday Favorites post. Again, Congratulations on the one year anniversary of Hyacinths for the Soul!!! I have sooo enjoyed your delighful blog, my friend!

    I am sooo excited about your giveaway! What a sweet thing to do for us!!! I would just adore being the recipient of these sweet gifts!!!

    Thank you and warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

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  88. Hi Sarah...

    Just leaving a second comment to let you know that I have been a long time follower of HFTS!!!

    Thank you again, my friend!
    Chari @Happy To Design

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  89. Sarah, I have been a follower for a while, you know how much I love your photos and beautiful things. I would love to be in the running for your giveaway.

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  90. Happy blog anniversary. I have been a follower of your blog for quite a while, but made it official today. I love all your post. The art piece is beautiful, such a special gift. ~~Sherry~~

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  91. Ah, I am commenter #101. There's no shortage of savvy bloggers who know a good giveaway -- and a great blog! -- when they see one!
    Don't look back . . . I'm following you!
    Cass

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  92. Happy One Year! Time flies on the wings of passion doesn't it? What a lovely & generous give away. Take Care - Jennifer

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  93. Hi, Happy Blogversary to you! Congratulations on your 1st year Anniversary! Oh my goodness what gorgeous and very lovely pieces you've chosen for your Giveaway! How very generous and kind of you! One very fortunate person will be so thrilled! Please if you would be so kind to enter my name in your Giveaway I would appreciate it very much! Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity! I hope that you have a wonderful rest of your day!
    Hugs...
    Bobbi

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  94. Hi, I wanted to let you know that I'm a new follower of yours and very happy that I am! Looking forward to getting to know you better. You have a very lovely blog! Happy 1st year Anniversary! Have a beautiful rest of your day.
    Hugs...
    Bobbi

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  95. Hi, I posted your Giveaway on my right hand side bar at my blog. Thank you so much again for this wonderful opportunity! Have a lovely rest of your day.
    hugs...
    Bobbi

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  96. Sweet giveaway and sweeter blog!! Congratulations :)

    Blessings!
    Gail

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  97. Congratulations on your first year of blogging, Sarah! I've enjoyed having you participate in my tea party several times too. What a generous giveaway!

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  98. Sarah, I am adding your Giveaway button to my sidebar as well. Thank you for making your blog such an enjoyable read! Have a wonderful week and please stop by for tea any time. I too am having a giveaway.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

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  99. Isn't the generosity of friends sometimes so sweetly overwhelming! Happy Anniversary! Cherry Kay

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  100. Congratulations!!

    Great prizes!

    Thanks for coming by

    blessings
    barbara jean

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  101. Happy One Year Anniversary! I do love your blog! I love hearing the stories of how ladies start their blogs! Hope you have a very delightsome day,
    Kathy

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  102. Hello! I have placed your button on my sidebar!
    Kathy

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  103. I just found your blog! Lucky me!I will be following and am so glad I found you.

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  104. Nothing like bringing up the rear. I only discovered your blog during this month so I'm very behind.

    I, too, love BTOTP and the fun of seeing all the tablescapes. Yours are lovely among them!

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  105. Hi Sarah, and congratulations on your anniversary. I'm a follower and I enjoy reading your blog.

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  106. Sarah,
    Forgot to say that I am a follower of your blog. How wonderful it is at each post.
    Your giveaway will be deeply appreciated by some lucky follower.

    Congrats, again.

    Liz

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  107. Well, you now have 300 happy followers! I'm your 300th!

    Deborah in NC

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  108. Your Celebration button in on my blog!

    Deborah in NC

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  109. Such a beautiful giveaway. Congratulations on your anniversary. Please enter me. Thank you. Peggy from PA

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  110. Congratulations! Your giveaway is beautiful!

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  111. I am so glad that you told me about your give-away. It is spectacular!!!
    And, I wasn't a follower - I thought it was wrong and I went back to my site to prove that you were indeed on my list. I couldn't believe you weren't! You can bet I corrected that! I am now your newest follower!

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  112. I have your giveaway on my sidebar.

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  113. I am sure you were thrilled at such a wonderful gift!

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  114. Congratulations, Sarah!!!!!!
    One year of blogging is a wonderul accomplishment!!!!! KUDOS to you!
    I have loved visiting you. YOu add so much beauty and inspiration to the blog world.
    Please include me in your generous giveaway.
    Happy bloggiversary!!!
    xo Yvonne

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  115. Congrats on your anniversary.
    Blogging can be alot of fun for everyone involved.
    Best of luck to all who have entered. The one who wins will be very happy. You have packaged a great gift. If I had of known earlier than today I would have posted your button.
    Love your blog. I will be back.
    Pam

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  116. I am your newest follower.
    Blessings, pam

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Thank you to each of you who take the time to leave a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and will respond to any questions. Your notes are the only way I know who has stopped in for a visit.