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.