Friday, December 31, 2010

Wishes for the New Year

Lynda with me at a New Year's Celebration two years ago

This has been a year of mixed emotions. I watched my best friend willow away from cancer and die in May. Only ten days later my Daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. The roller coaster of emotion has played out all the way through as I've thought of my friend Lynda's vivacious smile so many times in the recent days - and I've enjoyed the fresh beauty and million watt grin of my Granddaughter.

Life is full of unexpected journeys and they all touch our hearts in different ways.

To my beautiful friend Lynda :: I miss you so much. My life and heart is richer because of you. I love you.

To my incredible Daughter :: I can never thank you enough for sharing with me your experiences as you became a Mother, the absolute joy of watching the birth of your Daughter and the bond that we have shared grow stronger every day. You are an incredible woman. I love you beautiful.

To my baby Granddaughter :: I love being a Grandma because of you. I'm looking forward to watching you grow and explore. You make my heart sing. I love you baby Kya.

To my Son :: you are awesome. A gentleman - smart, noble, sensitive and kind. The world is yours to grab by the horns and you are going to rock the world at your new business venture. I love you sweetie.

To my Honey - Richard :: YOU are everything I ever dreamed of and I'm so excited about sharing a brand new year with you. I love you Honey.

Being a Grandparent has been the highlight of the year.

 Wishes to everyone for a joyous New Year filled with love, happiness and good health. Happy 2011.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Past

What is it about Christmas that makes us think of the celebrations we had as children? Every year when I start unpacking the lights and decorations I remember when I was a little girl and the magic that was our Christmas tradition.
My Mother was a Girl Guide Leader, so we made many craft ornaments and gifts for give away at the local seniors home.

We made snow shakers like this from old jars.

Crackers made from empty paper towel holders and wrap.

The traditions and crafts continued with my own children. My Daughter earned her bakers badge at Brownies making 'Chocolate Thumbprints'; and they are still her favourite cookies to make.

We had an aluminum silver Christmas tree - we were up with the trends (ok, so maybe we had a cool tree). My Mother decorated it with red and blue balls. I love a traditional old fashioned style to Christmas, but truly this aluminum tree for me evokes a special time when I was a little girl. 

The Aluminum tree was a big trend in the 60's.

Now of course I'd decorate it with a different influence ...... maybe a bit of turquoise to bring a hint of Tiffany in to the room.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Wreath

I'm trying to find among the thousand of pictures I've taken, a photo of last year's Christmas wreath. For now I've submitted the image from Martha Stewart.

I fell in love with this soft, cedar draped design and thought 'I can do that'. I was so proud that the wreath turned out like the picture. I used an over-sized soft draped B.C. cedar wreath (from Terra Nursery) to add more of a lacy effect. I bought several sizes of silver balls and wired them on to the cedar wreath, then tucked eucalyptus in among the branches and silver ornaments.

The wreath was so robust that it filled the door of the historical house we lived in last winter. People constantly stopped at the front of the house to tell me how much they loved the wreath. I could have sold it a dozen times over.

Martha Stewart Christmas Wreath

Romantic Spot

This post is for Fiona (Chateau de Lille), who I can tell is a romantic at heart. My postings of pretty spots in France seemed to have touched on her dreams to explore beautiful boutique hotels. And honestly, this gives me the chance to re-visit this pretty hotel again.

Dare to live your dreams.

Main Lounge :: Hotel Particulier

Main Lounge Area

Bath :: Hotel Particulier

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

L'Hotel Particulier

We visited a beautiful boutique hotel two years ago in Arles, France. I had discovered the spot online when we were planning our trip throughout France and was excited about staying there. L'Hotel Particulier is a romantic hotel hidden in the little cobble streets of Arles, a city that was once home to Vincent Van Gogh.
The hotel is a gem in this dark little town. Madame, who owns the pretty spot, has lovingly decorated the multiple historical buildings that link to create an elegant oasis. The large black double doors open in to a pretty courtyard that showcases traditional Parisian style windows, an oblong splash pool and abundance of greenery. The winding staircase is original stonework and leads to the second floor terrace and guestrooms where we stayed.

All photo's below are my own.

L'Hotel Particulier - Arles, France

staircase to upper terrace and guest rooms

The rooms at the hotel are decorated primarily in white creating a tranquil atmosphere throughout the buildings. Decor elements highlight the individual character of each room, but the common ground is the soft white elegance that whispers throughout the hotel.
We enjoyed the newly opened restaurant that featured the skill of a young chef who hailed from a Michelin restaurant in Cannes. The food was incredible and the ambiance of the room created a spot to linger over breakfast in the morning or another bottle of French wine with a meal.

Charcoal painted canvas adorns the restaurant wall

Old black & white films played on the wall of the restaurant during breakfast
Foyer entrance to restaurant at L'Hotel Particulier :: love the painted canvas

We visited wineries in the area and enjoyed wine with cheeses back on the terrace outside of our room. It was such a tranquil spot, I thought we could just stay there forever. Mmmmm, wonderful wine, great cheeses and candlelight with my Honey.

The main room(s) at the hotel lounge area feature white walls, soft gold gilded trims and a mixture of modern lines with antique pieces.

The etched glass staircase in the main lodge winds its way to the lower level were the cave like spa is snuggled away. The soft elegance of white continues and you are encased in a room that offers a private retreat for water therapy and massage :: one of the best massages I have ever experienced.

I must admit that the pictures of the original kitchen at the hotel are something I sneak a peak at often. I fell in love with the room and have considered modeling a kitchen for our house after the style.

Notice the monks encased in glass domes on top of the black cupboards. It's the wonderful touches that Madame inserted from the abundance of French antiques that brings warmth and whimsy to each space. 

Original kitchen at L'Hotel Particulier :: I so want this kitchen.

Looking into the reception area

View of kitchen looking into the main lounge area

It's so beautiful and elegant :: sigh!