About Glittermoon

I am the creator of Glittermoon Cards and Glittermoon Vintage Christmas My greeting cards are based on my photography and philosophy of life. Glittermoon VIntage Christmas is all about recycling memories from Christmas past: unique designs made from ornaments of yesteryear. Made in Richmond, Virginia USA. I am also a gardener - please visit my little guilty pleasure of a blog, Garden Reverie, where I can escape into the world of nature.

A Distraction

I should be working on taxes this afternoon but it is such a gorgeous day, I could not resist the siren song of the garden. After all, tomorrow is another day…right?

This is what’s happening right now in my shade garden, which positively glows at this time of year.

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Spring is Here

Lil Rhett with Bluebells

©Glittermoon Cards

Just popping in to wish you happy Spring!

The Hours They Do Go By

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I’ve been trying to count only sunny hours lately. It’s challenging on many fronts. I know I’m not alone in this.  But spring is on the way again, the days are getting longer and despite snow (!) warnings for this weekend, it will come. Just as it does every year.

Since I last wrote to you, I’ve been playing hooky but that doesn’t mean I’ve been idle.  I’ve just been working on things on the personal side. SO many things have been put on hold for far too long and it’s time to get moving.

Two years later and we still have a storage Pod in the driveway…I think this wave of construction is finally complete. Now comes the task of bringing everything back into the house and either getting it organized or letting it go.

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Looking at trim for new curtains

I’ve finally re-engaged with the remake of the living room, too. After 21 years, both the curtains and the furniture need rehabbing. For 2 years I have had a bolt of fabric standing in the corner, waiting for me to have the time to pick out trim and get it made into new curtains. As a closet interior decorator, this is a fun project. Except that I am having a dickens of a time finding fabrics that I actually love. I’ve been hitting all the fabric stores for 3 months now and have yet to find a combination that gets me really excited.

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Major pruning and garden clean-up is underway

I’ve also managed to get some much-needed time in the garden.  It had been so neglected for the past couple of years that I felt really sad every time I went outside.  There’s a ways to go but at least we’ve made a start. I’ve gotten all the roses pruned and we’ve cut out a lot of dead stuff from the shrubbery.  Garden beds are getting cut back and raked.  And with this crazy weather – 75 degrees one day and then 35 the next – Mother Nature is pretty confused. With this last stretch of warm weather, all the cherry trees are in full bloom, the daffodils are already on the wane, and even the hostas have broken ground.  We are about a month ahead of schedule! People love the warmer temps but, honestly, it is not a good thing. We’ve already had to cut the grass for goodness sakes!!!

The other thing I’ve done is to make 2 trips home to work on sorting my parents’ house out.  This last trip, at the end of February, was concentrated on getting their bedroom cleared out.

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This is the view from one window in my parents’ bedroom. Pretty special.

As you may imagine, it’s been a bittersweet project.  My dad has been gone since June 2011 and it is still really, really hard for me to part with his clothes.  But my sister and I managed to go through all their clothes, separating them into piles for the church rummage sale, those that were good enough to go to the hospital commission shop in town, and those which just weren’t good enough to go anywhere.

This process has taken me back to the 10 years I spent doing estate sales.  I know how to clean out a house.  But when it is a house that your parents built and lived in for more than 60 years, it’s an emotional minefield and not a task to be rushed.  I am incredibly fortunate that I have had the blessing of time.

I stumbled across some marvelous finds. In the back of a closet was a large portfolio; when I opened it, I found a cache of handmade Valentines that my grandfather LaMotte (my mother’s dad) made for my grandmother.  Every year of their married life, Grandfather made Grandmother a Valentine.  Isn’t that wonderful?  But these are not Valentines in the usual sense – they are HUGE.  Some of them measure 2 feet in diameter!

Like this one from 1957:

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Grandfather’s 1957 message of love to Grandmother

It’s in the form of a play that reads clockwise all the way around.  I love everything about it. The thought of him cutting out all this stuff and pasting it together charms me no end.  What a treasure.  And what a testament to love.

In this same closet, way in the back on a shelf was a small metal box.  When I opened it, I saw 2 rubber-banded stacks of correspondence.  They were letters, telegrams, and flower cards people sent when both my sister and I were born.  I had no idea that this stash even existed.  I opened the top letter in “my” pile; it was from my godfather, “Uncle” Chuck Lloyd, congratulating my parents on my birth. And the tears started to flow.  My heart felt so full and yet so sad at the same time.  I couldn’t read any more. I just couldn’t. I put the rubber band back on and brought them back here with me for the day when I could sit down and read them all. And maybe just have a good big cry.

In a bottom drawer of my mom’s, I discovered 2 tiny perfectly starched embroidered infant dresses.  Just these 2 little things – I’m guessing 1 for each of us – out of all the clothes my sister and I have had during our lifetime, my mother lovingly ironed and saved for herself to remember her babies.  I don’t think I can explain the feeling in my chest when I unearthed these.  It was overwhelming.

But there was more. I reached back in the drawer and found a large envelope.  Inside were more letters.  As I pulled out the top stack, I was looking at my dad’s familiar handwriting.  The postmarks were all from 1950 and the dates were in perfect order: June to November.  These were the letters my father wrote to my mother during their courtship. They met on a blind date of all things and I think it was love at first sight. He wrote her several times a week for the next 6 months until their wedding on November 25, 1950.

I was faced with a dilemma: read them or not?  After all, my mom had burned her parents’ love letters, feeling that they were just too personal for anyone else to read.  I feel a little differently. I think letters are a gift, a tangible reminder of your parents’ love for one another.  But still…actually reading them is another matter altogether.  In the end, I did read a couple of them and then slipped them back into place to save for the next generation.

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A letter to Santa from my sister

In this same envelope were cards, all in my father’s hand – some from him (all with “to my darling” on the envelope) and some from us before we were old enough to write our own. There were some of those, too, once we started writing for ourselves.  Valentines and letters to Santa and Mothers Day cards.  What a trip down memory lane.  And all of it gathered meticulously together in this single envelope.

There were plenty of less emotionally charged moments, too.  I found my dad’s top hat from the 1940s for one thing.  They sure knew how to dress back in their day. Times have changed.

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Trying on my dad’s top hat

And there was this stuffed in the furthest recesses of a cupboard, all by itself:

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I’m back home now, continuing to count my blessings.

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I’ve been concentrating on Ginter Park Garden’s Club’s 4th Annual Spring Market.  Once again, I am co-chair and I’ve spent countless hours getting vendors lined up as well as trying to get the word out. We have an amazing group of local artisans and vendors this year. If you are in the Richmond area on March 25th, please join us.  We’d love to have you!   You can find out about it here.

I’m off to the Philadelphia Flower Show next Wednesday! I’ve never been and am soooo excited! The theme is Holland this year. Windmills! Tulips! Oh, my!

Oh, and I almost forgot! The Beekman Boys, Josh (l) and Brent, were here in Richmond last weekend at the Garden and Home Show. I caught up with them on Friday. What a treat to get in a little visit with them.

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Have a wonderful weekend everyone! Stay warm and don’t forget to set your clocks ahead Saturday night before you go to bed! Next week will be so much lighter! Yippee.

Soon, I’ll be back in the workshop making new treasures, too!

I’ll leave you with some flowers, the lovely Lenten Rose (hellebore) to cheer you. Til next time, xoxo

Stuck in a Time Warp

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This darling handmade angel was sent me by my customer Sandra who lives in Florida. I just love her.

A Christmas time warp.  Here it is, January 29th, and I have to confess to you that I have not taken down one lick of my Christmas decorations yet.  In my defense, I didn’t finish getting the house decorated until the night of December 23rd.  What about you?

I’m not quite tired of them yet but I think by the first week of February, they will be heading back to their little beds to sleep until next December.

There has been something inordinately cheery about having all these lovely things to look at during the dark days of the past month. I think we have seen the sun about 3 times. It gets wearing.  It’s nice to have a little cheer inside when the world outside is not so great.  Besides, last year, I did not get any decorating done with everything that had been going on.

But this year, we had a truly wonderful Christmas. No hospital stays (3 of the past 5 Christmases have been spent in the hospital with either my mom or the Mister).  We had so much to be grateful for. And at the very last minute, my sister and her 3 girls decided to come down here to spend Christmas with us. They rolled in about 3 in the afternoon on Christmas Day.  She even brought the turkey!  We had the most lovely time, our little family around the table for a superb dinner with all the trimmings. Then presents afterwards and a well-deserved good night’s sleep.  When they left on Boxing Day, the house seemed pretty empty for awhile.

On the spur of the moment, when they were leaving home to come down here, my sister went up into my parents’ attic and brought Mom’s snow babies with her so we could put them on the table.  My mother, who grew up in Baltimore County, MD, always loved the elaborate “Christmas garden” her family had under the tree.  Included in this set up were snow babies – the real ones. We have no idea what became of those but at some point Mom starting collecting the Department 56 repros and she put them on the dining room table where they scampered around doing whatever it is that snow babies do.  To have her collection with us this Christmas was the icing on the cake.  I put this little one on my tree.

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My mother’s snow baby, swinging on a star

Getting back to decorating, I managed to get 2 big trees up and decorated plus a feather tree for the Pleasure Dome (that’s the Mister’s music/reading/TV refuge).  Other than that, the decor is fairly minimal but I made sure there was a touch of the festive season in every room downstairs.   And Edward came by about a week before Christmas and we got the outside lights up!  It’s just not Christmas around here without them.  They are still up, too.

I thought I would share some photos with you.

This is the big tree.

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For the first time in my life, I had a fake tree for the main event.  I did not have anybody to help me wrestle a giant, heavy tree into place this year so I decided to go with a “permanent botanical.”  It was not a decision made lightly, I can attest to that. At first it was weird,  but as I kept going, I kinda started liking the way the ornaments went on – especially the big ones.  By the time it was finished, it was darn near impossible to tell that this is not a real Fraser fir. Can you tell?

Now that it is almost February, I can tell you unreservedly that it was pretty cool not to have to worry about watering.  Or having to vacuum up tons of dry needles all over the place.  Or burning the house down!

But the best thing of all is that I did not have to put those blasted LIGHTS on the tree!!!!  I hate lights!!!!

It took me bits of several days to do decorate this one but I had the absolute best time with it.  Every ornament I pulled out made me smile.  Christmas music was playing.  All was right in my world.

I put the other large tree in the garden room.  That’s the tree that has mostly vintage ornaments on it.  I like to sit out there late at night, with just the tree and candlelight, a glass of wine (or two) and listen to music. It’s glorious.

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From my vantage point, I can see the other tree in the next room.  Maybe you can see why I am so reluctant to let all this go.

Christmas came and went for me very quickly.  It’s only a month down the road but it seems so far away already.  Still I have plenty of reminders.

Including some wonderful gifts.  My friends totally get me. Here are a couple of the treasures I received from them.

I also got this adorable old elephant – the one with the red bow.  He is joining the rest of my herd of well-loved pachyderms under the tree.

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Earlier this month we had the most beautiful snowstorm. I love snow.  And I especially love it when I do not have to get out in it – as in to drive to work or something – which I didn’t.  I stayed put and gloried in it, spending a lot of time out in the garden room reading my new Christmas books and watching the snowflakes fall and then, later on, the birds flitting around (don’t worry, I kept the feeders well-stocked).

Emma loved it, too!

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Even the trees inside looked prettier once the sun came out.

I have unashamedly and without any guilt (well, almost none) not done much of anything this past month.  After the challenges of the past 2 years, it has been wonderful to kick back and just relax.  I needed a break.

But now it’s time to get back to reality.

After  great deal of thought, I have made the decision to back off from my show schedule this year to allow me to bring some balance back into my life. I have not made firm decisions yet about the second half of the year but I am going to pass on the spring shows this time around. There are many things I have neglected on the home front and I look forward to getting something accomplished there. These range from closets that desperately need cleaning out to doing some redecorating and getting back to gardening.  And traveling – I really want to do some traveling.

This most assuredly does NOT mean that I will not be working.  I will.

In fact, I intend to be back in the workshop in the next couple of weeks.  I still have people waiting for wreaths and centerpieces and I want to get more done early in the year so that I do not run out of product when the holidays roll around. That’s what happened in 2016.

I am looking very forward to getting the creative juices flowing again.  That not only makes me extremely happy but gives me a sense of purpose. We all need that.

There are signs of some life in the garden.  The so-called “stinking” hellebores are coming into bloom.  Whoever decided on that nickname maligned a wonderful workhorse of a plant.

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The hellebores are coming into bloom. This is helleborus foetidus

And I have beautiful hyacinths blooming in the kitchen.  Their fragrance is divine.

“If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves
alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul”
– Muslihuddin Sadi,
13th Century Persian Poet

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I hope that you all are well and thriving in this new year.  I’ll be back soon with more. For now, I’ll leave you with a gratuitous dog picture.

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Really, you must admit she is adorable.   🙂

Oh, and I wanted to show you this collage from Instagram of the “9 best posts” for 2016.  I’d say wreaths were the winner, wouldn’t you?

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You can follow along with me here.  It’s not all about Christmas, I promise.

 

Christmas

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There is one more good thing about Winter—he brings Christmas. Through the bleak December the thought of the coming festival is pleasant—like the reflection of a fire on our faces…. Christmas-day is the pleasantest day in the whole year. On that day we think tenderly of distant friends; we strive to forgive injuries—to close accounts with ourselves and the world—to begin the new year with a white leaf, and a trust that the chapter of life about to be written will contain more notable entries, a fairer sprinkling of good actions, fewer erasures made in blushes, and fewer ugly blots than some of the earlier ones. And to make Christmas perfect, the ground should be covered and the trees draped with snow; the bleak world outside should make us enjoy all the more keenly the comforts we possess; and above all, it should make us remember the poor and the needy; for a charitable deed is the best close of any chapter of our lives, and the best promise, too, for the record about to be begun.

~Alexander Smith, “Winter,” 1863

I wish each of you a joyous Christmas.  Thank you for coming along with me again this year.

May the blessings of the season be upon you.

And may there be peace on earth.

There’s No Place like New York at Christmas

img_1107-version-2Just dropping in for a quick visit to tell you a little about my trip to New York last week. We had an amazing, fun, exhausting time and it was so worth my being ridiculously unprepared for Christmas at this late date. I needed to be in a place where you can actually wallow in the joy of the Christmas season and it lived up to every expectation.

The photo above is the view from our hotel room; we could hear the clip clop of the horses’ hooves as they carried their happy passengers along for a ride.

We took a very early train from Richmond, arriving early afternoon. First stop was to More & More Antiques because I was anxious to see my wreaths on display. Oh. My. Goodness.  All four of us felt our jaws drop as we entered the magical kingdom Steve has created in a very small space.  There were literally hundreds of ornaments hanging from the ceiling and the whole place was crammed to the gills with Christmas treasure. If you ever get to NYC, you have to check it out.

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This is me outside More & More Antiques. I made the gold wreath hanging on the mirror in the window.

 

This is a look inside the store. Can you spy a Glittermoon wreath anywhere?

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Here’s another angle. See what I mean about a treasure trove?  I was terrified of knocking something to bits it was so tight in there. But, oh, what fun it was.  We spent ages drooling over stuff, trying to decide what to buy. I finally ended up with 2 ornaments.

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Inside More & More Antiques

Once we left, we made for the Columbus Circle Christmas Market.  It started to snow!  Can you see it?  It was lovely wandering through the stalls.  img_1124-version-2After dinner, we wandered down 5th Avenue to see the store windows.  They are beyond incredible!  Over the course of 2 days, we saw a lot of windows.  Here are a few of my favorites:

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We went to Radio City and saw the Rockettes which was a big fat Christmas present right there.  Afterwards, we strolled Rockefeller Center and rode up to the Top of the Rock for a view of the city.

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Rockefeller Center

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I love this guy trumpeting our arrival at Rock Center.

We had a wonderful time strolling various Christmas markets, visiting shops on our list, and just taking in the sights.  Before we knew it, it was time to come home.  Tired but happy.

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I just finished decorating the big tree tonight and it looks glorious.  When I come up for air I’ll take pictures, but right now I wanted to show you the two ornaments I got at More & More.  Here they are:

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I adore my big owl with a monocle

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A nutcracker ornament like no other

I’ll leave you here.  I’m going to put some carols on, dim the lights,  and go sit and look at the tree for a while.

Good night, everyone.

Christmas is coming soon.  Joy to the world.