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.