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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly...

Over the past weeks I've been busy decorating our home in the Cotswolds! This sounds lovely, doesn't it! At least to my ears :)

I hope you'll love seeing some of my arrangements and decorations this Holiday Season.

For me, it should be Christmas all year round! I so love and feel it, so very deeply and so strongly.
Truth is, I actually want to live like it's Christmas any day of the year, and in fact you can find me painting and making Christmas stuff (and singing Christmas tunes) always, July and August included! :) I have tried to write a post about Christmas from a HSP perspective over the past week or so, but my energy is needed elsewhere at the moment (see at the end of this post) and I end up being so drained when I write those inspirational posts from the heart, that preferred to postpone. For now, I hope you'll enjoy an "easier" post as well.

While I was unpacking, I found lots and lots of boxes full of Christmas stuff. A few things I donated, but most of it was a keeper, with warm and happy memories attached. So while joking with my hubby, told him that I should make 5 trees to use all that we have! Imagine my surprise when he said I could do how many trees my heart desired (first time ever in our marriage this happens!:=O). So you can now count 11 in our little barn... between real and fake, big and medium and small, adorned and ready- made. I may have pulled out all of the stops and decorated at my heart's content! :) I truly feel like a child in a toy store!

And this year, is the first time that we have a real tree in our home, actually 3 of the trees are real (one flocked and very small, but anyway...). I know that the Norway Spruce is going to drop needles, but I wanted to try anyway. They're well watered, and we don't have heating at all in our home during the night, so I hope this helps in preserving them a little longer.

Our (rented) home is simple and decorated on a budget. I have bought very little and instead used all that we had. Many pieces belonged to my Grandparents, like this mirror and chest of drawers in the kitchen,  and the big wardrobe in the living room (both repainted with Old Linen by Annie Sloan). The rest I have collected over the years at thrift stores, made- over, or created from scratch. I'm so happy with how it turned out!

I simply love having this chest of drawers, made but my Grandfather, in our kitchen! The mirror belonged to my Grandparents on the other side of the family.
Teddy bears are one antique, a present from my hubby years ago, one made by me, and so is the Santa (see better below) and I also made nearly all of the ornaments on this little real tree.

The gingerbread baking tray is vintage and I bought in Boston, the flour container
I found at the charity shop for close to nothing. The cookie molds have been passed along generations in my family.

Made this Santa last month, using an antique quilt scrap.
I simply love Christmas dolls and all kind of folk art, and I feel the urge of making more myself!

On the kitchen windowsill, I always have fresh arrangements of flowers or hearbs I pick in the countryside.

Crackers are typical of the British traditions, and I added fresh evergreens and pinecones. And a pewter soup toureen belonged to my Grandmother on my Dad's side.

The mantel is all decked with a natural/woodland theme. Glittery bunnies, birds, nests, candles in DIY lanters, yarn balls I made. The snowflakes ornaments are all hand- carved out of wood by my Dad.

Two of my old bears and a bauble wreath I made years ago (free tutorial in my Tutorials page)

Angel by my dear friend Margaret, over at The French Bear.

My hubby is going to have urgent surgery at the vocal cords this week. We just discovered a few days ago, after he has had problems all year round. This means that for Christmas, and all over the Holidays, he will be in discomfort. He won't be able to eat at all for 5 days, and to speak for quite a while, plus all of the annoyance of surgery in such a delicate part. The recovery is usually one month and a half. He is always very reserved, but this time, as he was a bit worried, I asked him permission to share, bercause I really believe in the healing power of collective prayers and positive energy, and he gladly accepted.

So in the end, it will be a very quiet Christmas, very solitary (but we're encircled in love and our loved ones are with us even if not physically), but strongly felt and very meaningful anyway.

Monica x


  1. Monica, such decadence! But, oh so lovely!
    Love the art work of the snowman, must have missed that if you showed it to us last year?

    Your Hubby and you will be be in my thoughts and prayers for a good and speedy recovery.
    Blessings to you both at this most wonderful time of the year xxx

  2. thank you, dear monica, for sharing what is near and dear to your heart this xmas. such lovely words. i will keep your hubby in my prayers...merry xmas to you all.

  3. Everything looks so peaceful and pretty..
    a calm and soothing setting for your husband's recovery..
    I wish him well..both of you..

    Take Care..

  4. Dear Monica,

    I was seriously missing your Lovely posts! Thank you for sharing all these wonderful creations of yours, and decorations. You are not only very special, but also inspiring!

    It is so wonderful to recognize many of your special ones, like Priscilla, Thomas, and Daisy, the Snowman (main character of your Snow-people paper-products collection), Kim, your polka dots mug that you Love so much! Bottom line, this is like getting to know you through your sincere, friendly, warming posts. Thanks for sharing yourself with all of us. You truly inspire!!!!!!

    We will keep your husband and you, too, in our prayers.

    Infinite blessings,

  5. Monica, every detail is charming! I smiled the whole way through this post. You are so talented and so sweet to share your home with us. Rented or not, it is delightful! And I loved seeing things passed down through your family. Those are the best!



  6. Hi Sweet Monica,
    Everything looks so simply sweet and nostalgic! Just love it. That Santa you made from a quilt is so charming! Hmmm...I need to make some things with the old quilt I have! Love all of your special touches, and the lovely greenery. Love how you think!

    I am soo sorry hubby needs surgery...especially right now. I will be praying for you both, Monica. May your holidays be peaceful and filled with little joys, and strength and healing for your hubby.

    Merry Christmas, my friend!

    Hugs and love,

  7. It's wonderful, Monica! LOVE the teddies & Santa doll! And there are so many beautiful treasures from your family bringing love into your home this Christmas.
    I haven't visited in quite a while, but have returned to blogging once again, no longer using my pen name, 'Zuzu', but using my first name, Lin.
    Sending positive thoughts for your husband, and much comfort & joy to you and yours at Christmastime.

  8. your decorations are stunning, Have a great Christmas

  9. Christmas at your home: memories , the beauties of countryside , joyful decorations ...where there is great Love, there is Positivity .

  10. Wowww Monica !!! your home look great !!!...wishing you all the best for your husband...my prayers are for him these days......and for you of course !!!...love from me...enjoy christmas...!!...x !

  11. Hermosos detalles navideƱos, preciosas ambientaciones!!
    Un fuerte abrazo.

  12. Monica,
    I hope Hubby's surgery & recovery go well. I have been playing nurse myself as my Hubby had surgery last week. We're having trouble getting his blood thinned again after being off the thinners for his surgery (he has to take thinners the rest of his life due to heart valve replacement 3 years ago). But, I know you'll be a good nurse & all those beautiful Christmas trees & displays will cheer him. I smiled with a sad smile when I saw the last photo with you work table... Sweet Kim there with you. I still miss her & my Reba. Remember the swap we did & they swapped too? Sweet memories! Merry Christmas! HUGS! Charlene

  13. It all looks so special Monica, your trees are wonderful and I love that you have made so many of your ornaments and decorations. Your studio looks like a fun place to be. It must be magical to have Christmas in the cotswolds :)
    I'm so sorry to hear about your husbands surgery. I hope all goes well and you and him will be in my thoughts.
    Wishing you well
    Merry Christmas

  14. Such a lovely Christmas post, Monica !
    Love your decorations and of course those cute teddy bears !
    Sorry to hear about your husband's surgery, my positive thoughts for him and you ...
    wishing you both a lovely Christmas time ...

  15. Everything is lovely, but what stayed with me was the cute little bears. I have a bear collection - now relegated to the attic. You make me want to run upstairs and bring down all the bears to put around the tree. Alas, Christmas baking and 2 final gifts to make allow me only to enjoy yours.

    Merry Christmas

  16. You and your husband are in my prayers. I hope his recovery is swift.

    Merry Christmas my sweet friend. I smile thinking of surrounded by your beloved treasures.

  17. I have so very much catching up to do! I hope your husband is recovering well from his surgery - the holidays cannot have been much fun, but I do hope he will have a better time of things this year!
    Your decorating in the charming barn cottage is wonderful - it looks so warm and cozy and natural Monica... my favourite "decoration" is the his and her's boots, side by side...

  18. All your christmas touches are lovely. I love the gingerbread tree, such a sweet idea. And the handmade Santa, very special! Hope your hubby is well into his recovery now. Heather x


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