lifestyle

Valentine’s Day Cards and Cake

Valentine's Day Cards and Cake, the artyologist

I can finally share the cards I made this year, now that Valentine’s Day is over! (I didn’t want to share these pictures before, as I didn’t want people to see the cards here before they received them.)

This year I decided to really simplify my cards, as I didn’t have a lot of time to dedicate to making them, so I decided to do some Valentine themed drawings, and then colour them with watercolour. I used heavy cardstock, rather than watercolour paper, so the ink would come out smooth and crisp. After letting the ink dry, I went over with the watercolour, then trimmed them and that was that. I made sure to take some scans of them as I might turn them into some card designs in the future. I think that some of them would work OK for “just because” cards, not just for Valentine’s Day, what do you think?

valentines cards-and-cake, the artyologist

And of course, I had to share this delicious coconut and chocolate tart that I made in honour of the day. I decided to do some food photography, because it turned out so pretty! Of course that cocoa powder made a huge mess all over the place, but it was worth it for some photos ūüėČ

Anyways, I have nothing else to really say, so I wish you all a great weekend! Here in Alberta it is a long weekend, so I am looking forward to that extra day off. See you all next week!

Valentine's Day Cards and Cake, all cards, the artyologist

valentines cards, the artyologist

valentines day cake, the artyologist

scattered valentines cards, the artyologist

valentines cards, the artyologist

valentine's day cards, the artyologist

valentine's day cake, the artyologist

A Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to You

nativity, the artyologist

Well, here we are only a few days away from Christmas now. . . I can’t believe how quickly 2017 has gone by! I’m going to be taking a bit of break this week to spend time with friends and family, although I do have a New Year’s post planned for next Friday. Today I thought I’d just share some pictures of my Christmas decorating. This was the first year decorating in my own new home, and I had a lot of fun with it. I love collecting ornaments, especially vintage ones, so I enjoyed being able to finally display them all in my new place. (And my nativity, which I made in kindergarden, and¬†is still going strong! ūüėČ haha)

Anyways, as this is my second to last post for this year, I would like to say thank-you so much to everyone who has been following along this year! All of your comments and support for my blog have been wonderful and have made this hobby entirely worth it. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour!

‚ÄúFor to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David‚Äôs throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.‚ÄĚ

Isaiah 9:6-7 

bookshelf-decorations, the artyologist

ornaments-over-window, the artyologist

wreath, the artyologist

china-cabinet-decor, the artyologist

peacock, the artyologist

top-of-bookshelf, the artyologist

branches-and-ornaments, the artyologist

ornaments-over-window-closeup, the artyologist

presents, the-artyologist

side-table-decor, the artyologist

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tea table, the artyologist

I am beginning to think that the second weekend of June is marked for rain. For the second year in a row now, I have planned to host a¬†Ladies Garden Tea, in our backyard, and though we have had sun in the days leading up to, and sun in the hours and days that follow, during the hours of the party itself, it has rained. We have decided that it will now be called simply, “The Ladies Tea”, and have given up on hoping that gardens will have anything to do with it at all!

I’m not too worried about it though, because this year we planned to host it indoors, and made our preparations accordingly, so there was no last minute scramble to move the party indoors when the day dawned with grey clouds. An added benefit of holding¬†the party indoors, is that even if it doesn’t rain, you sometimes must contend with wind, sun in your eyes, sunburn, flies in the lemonade and mosquitoes that refuse to leave you alone. By setting up¬†the party indoors, you avoid all these problems, and you can always open the windows to let the fresh air in (and the bugs¬†out) ūüôā

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teapot, the artyologist

We changed things around this year, (because we were thinking ahead for once) and set up the sideboard and a table along the side of the living room, so the food and drinks would be close at hand. It worked so much better, rather than having the food in the kitchen like we did last year, as people didn’t have to break up the party in order to go in search of sweets. Last year we had so many leftovers of desserts that hardly even got touched, and this year we had very few leftovers. On second thought, maybe we should have the food in the kitchen again next year; I wouldn’t have minded a few leftovers. . . ūüėČ

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, food table

Since the party was supposed to be a Garden Tea, it had to have a summery and “gardeny” feeling to it. So, the morning of the party we went in search of flowers for bouquets. Last year we had peonies, but this year the season is late and so the peonies had not started to bloom. However, we managed to catch the very last of the dark purple lilacs. Two¬†days before the party, I thought to myself, “The lilacs are still in bloom, and should stay so until the party”, but the very next day when I looked at them again, they had started to wilt, turn brown and fall¬†off the hedges. Only one day before the party!!! We thought that we wouldn’t be able to get any for a bouquet, but fortunately the dark purple ones still had flowers. They were falling¬†fast though, and if you even looked at the bouquet, I think that petals were dropping off. We got two lovely bouquets though, and paired the purple flowers with Caragana branches. Caragana is a rather strange bouquet material, but I love how sculptural and fluid the bouquets turned out to be, and yellow and purple is such a lovely colour combination. For the rest of the smaller bouquets, which we placed on the tables, we gathered wildflowers and weeds, and came up with enough material to make several miniature bouquets. All in all, the room did have a rather summery and festive feeling to it, despite the rain.

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, lilac bouquet and menu

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacup and table

And of course, the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those who attended the party! There were sixteen of us, some of whom were new acquaintances who came with friends, and we all had a lovely afternoon of tea and sweets and conversation. I can’t wait for next year!

Do you enjoy tea parties? Have you ever hosted an event? And have you ever been rained out?

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacups

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tea-table-2

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, food

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, lemons

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, tablescape

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacups and bouquet

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, desserts

The Ladies Garden Tea (Which is not in a Garden): The Decor, teacup-collection

Taking Part in a Book Lover’s Tag

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, featureMy current book stack. 

I saw a while ago that Victoria from Ruffles and Grace¬†took¬†part in a “Book Lover’s Tag”, and though I wasn’t personally tagged in it, it sounded like a lot of¬†fun, so I decided to join in¬†as well. So read on, to find out some of my favourite books, reading habits, and what’s on my reading list.

1. Name a book you’re embarrassed to say you haven’t read yet.

Little Dorrit¬†by Charles Dickens. This one is a hefty piece of literature, at 826 pages and 2.5″ thick. I bought it two years ago, and had originally planned to read it aloud, (we started last summer, but then stopped only a few chapters in). I really do need to just start reading it again. I don’t¬†particularly¬†enjoy reading Dickens, as it’s so wordy, but I do always enjoy his stories. (And I really want to watch the movie, but I have to read the book first! I don’t know why, I just do.)

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, book-page-open
2. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark?

I often don’t use bookmarks- as I never seem to have one around when I need it, and sometimes I don’t even have a scrap of paper or other item that will serve as one. I never commit the¬†grievous¬†crime¬†of¬†dog-earing¬†pages (never!!!) but I do often commit the less terrible¬†crime¬†of placing books upside down- though I promise it is only temporarily! I don’t leave books like that for days on end- only until I find something to mark my page. Often I simply take a mental note of which page or chapter I’m in. This sometimes has dubious results, because I can’t remember what page I was on, and I end up flipping pages to find my spot.

3. Look at your bookshelf. What’s the first book you see with a yellow spine?

A biography of Jane Austen by David Cecil, called A Portrait of Jane Austen.

4. If you could have one new book from a deceased author, who would it be?

Jane Austen’s unfinished novel¬†Sanditon. I have read the few chapters that she wrote of it, and I really wish that she had been able to finish it, as her works are always so witty and entertaining.

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, top-of-book-stack
5. Name an author who deserves more readership.

Lynn Austin. I just reread her book Hidden Places and I loved it all over again. Her stories have such great depth, and are woven with themes such as secrets and misunderstandings, and haunted pasts, which her characters are confronted with and brought forward into forgiveness and reconciliation.

6. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

As outlined in #2- a piece of random anything. . . . or not ūüôā

7. Can you stop anywhere in a book or do you have to finish the chapter?

I¬†can¬†stop anywhere, though I prefer to not stop at all and just read the entire book through. This doesn’t¬†usually work though, because you know, life. . .

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, two-books-pics
8. One book at a time or several?

I often dedicate myself to reading one novel at a time, as I don’t like interrupting the storyline, but I will have several non-fiction books going on at the¬†same time. For example, right now I am reading¬†The Greco-Roman World but, as¬†it is a bit dry, I am breaking it up with other books. Since it is a history textbook, it¬†doesn’t¬†really matter if I read it through without¬†interruption¬†or not.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I’ve never understood why people skip ahead, because it wouldn’t make any sense- you would have isolated scenes with no context, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t know what had built up to that moment, and it would be confusing, I think. So definitely reading as I go along.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

I don’t¬†purposely¬†break the spine, but I don’t try to perfectly preserve the book either. My main concern is in reading it!

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, open-book
11. What books do you regret reading?

There are a couple of books I do regret reading, because I¬†didn’t¬†realize there would be¬†inappropriate¬†content, until¬†suddenly¬†I was right in the middle of those scenes. As it stands now, I read very few secular fiction books, because I don’t want to have to worry about what I might come across. Or I try to find reviews on the books before I read them.

12. On average, how many books do you read per year?

When I was in my teens. I used to read 50-70¬†books each year and I kept track of each book, but in the last few years I have slowed down a lot. Things get in the way- hobbies, the internet, being a grown up. . . ¬†So I would say that I probably read somewhere around 20-30 books a year now? Probably¬†somewhere¬†around¬†two books each month- although this month I have already read or re-read five books, so maybe I’m picking up the pace again!

13. What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?

The Bible, because you can¬†actually read it hundreds of times and never get tired of it. But, for books written by man, and not the Scriptures, which is what I’m sure this question is¬†actually¬†referring¬†to, well there are just too many to¬†choose from.

I have read Jane Eyre several times now, and there is just so much depth to that story. It is one of my all time favourite books; I admire the character of Jane, and I love the sections where she and Rochester have their discussions. I will definitely read it again.

Really, there are a lot of books that I read every few years, and the greatest thing about having poor reading comprehension (I’ve got to find the silver lining here) is that I can¬†actually¬†read a book several years later, and it’s all new to me. Seriously. I read¬†Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie and I couldn’t remember if I had read it before or not- until I got the end!

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, book-pics
14. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?

I don’t tend to really learn lessons, as in “the moral of the story” from books, so for this I will choose a non-fiction book, which¬†actually¬†taught me something and that would be¬†Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, by Elizabeth Cline. I recommend this book to everyone.

15. What is the most recent book you’ve read?

I just finished re-reading¬†Anna and Her Daughters¬†by D.E Stevenson. I love this book, and have read it a few times now. It is such a lovely old novel from 1958 that we inherited from my Grandma, and it’s not really about Anna and her daughters, so much as it is about one particular daughter Jane, who is narrating the story. . . anyways it’s¬†just a¬†nice story, and it¬†features¬†an¬†attic bedroom wallpapered with a pattern of birds, so really what’s not to love?

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, horizontal
16. What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant?

‘”There was a real railway accident,” said Aslan softly. “Your father and mother and all of the you are- as you used to call it in the Shadowlands- dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.”

And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.’

These are the final paragraphs of The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis from the Chronicles of Narnia. I read this book when I was a child, and this description of Heaven really just touched me, and I have never forgotten it all these years. (Though, yes, I did have to go look it up, as I am not able to quote it verbatim!)

17. How many books do you own?

Yikes, an estimate would be somewhere probably around 200? If I counted all of my sewing¬†books, novels, fashion books, and my L.M Montgomery and Agatha Christie collections. . . And let’s not start on how many books my entire family owns, or we’ll be here all day. . .

18. In the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?

I¬†can’t remember all of the books I’ve read in the past year. I did finally, after fours years on my list, get around to reading¬†The Blue Castle¬†by L.M Montgomery for the first time though. What was I waiting for!? This was a very¬†good¬†book. I always enjoy her books, and the soft and romantic world in which they abide.

So there you go. This was a fun post, and, if¬†you want to take part in this book lover’s tag, consider yourself tagged!

What’s on your reading list right now? Have you read any of these books before? What are your favourite books? (if you can narrow it down!)

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, stack-and-front-view

Taking Part in a Book Lover's Tag, the artyologist, book-top-view