Monday, January 23, 2012

January...Nurturing our spirit.

January seems to be the month that I fall into a hibernation type of mode! Fresh from the warm glow of Christmas, I welcome the month with the blanket of snow on every tree and shrub in my garden. It is my time to burrow and furrow, and enjoy the warmth of my fireplace and comforts of home, we are so fortunate to have. It is also the time for me to nurture my spirit and renew my energy, much like the garden does.

Ways I attempt to do so.... the garden and nature. It is my greatest source of inspiration, and never fails to amaze me with its power and beauty. It has saved me many times...

I translate it's beauty in many ways through out my home, both in colour and decor, and the natural images it conveys.....

Peonies from last summer....I move  from window to window in the winter months, peeking out to check on any activity going on out there, in anticipation of what is to come...

Tea. I love tea, how it warms me up, helps me to sort things out and increases my thought process....surely a way to nurture ones soul!
The entire process, from brewing to presentation to sipping, is just so satisfying....and all the special, little simple or extravagant touches that can be added......spirit lifting!

Projects on the loom or still in the thinking process, are very nurturing for me during winter. I currently have two quilts, a mohair shrug and a few other little works in progress. A little overzealous!! As well as an interior renovation beginning in July. I must remember that January is MY time to renew.

A vintage cake dome I embellished with a small china figure, hand made lace draping application. I so admire the delicate and intricate work that someone applied to nurture their soul.....

A small vintage button.....very old and with my maiden name initial  D. My family, my roots and all the history associated with my family, both in Italy and here in Canada nurtures me every day.


BFF's. From my sister to all my BFF's.....I listen and share and support them, as they do me.  I couldn't survive without them for lifting me up and enduring all my little trials and troubles throughout my life.  I love them all. Nurturing me everyday.

Cooking good wholesome food for my family. I am surrounded by the bounty of Niagara. Food, farm to table, so fortunate to have the bounty of fruit orchards, vineyards and good organic small growers at my fingertips. Above, one of my favourite celebrity chefs, Laura Calder, Canadian, so down to earth and wonderful sense of humour. I agree with her cooking philosophy and presentations. I aspire to cook as she does!

A Black Forest Trifle I made this past Christmas Eve.  I think I nurtured others as well as myself after this piece of work!!!  A first time effort that turned out. I am notorious for not doing a trial test of recipes first before I serve!  My sister Micki just shudders!

Cod baked with a sauce of baby sundried tomatoes,onions and capers served Christmas Eve, as well as baked salmon, simply baked and served with creme fraiche and a bit of freshly grated horseradish. Cooking for my family and friends is nurturing.

A clean slate or new project, whether for the garden, wedding or home decor is very nurturing to me.  I love the anticipation of a beautiful process about to begin. But ultimately I approach everything as a task to be completed.  This is the strong work ethic I had ingrained in me as a child by my Mom. The prospect of the finished product is very satisfying and at the same time nurturing....

In January I dream of the prospect of what is to come. The seasons in the garden, the projects I hope to begin and finish....the advent of a new, renovated home and most of all the hope of health and happiness for the year ahead. To me the tranquility and quietude of winter is what we need to lay plans for the busy days ahead. Sharing my thoughts on nurturing the spirit this beautiful, snowy January day!!

This photo is courtesy of my BFF Cheryle, which clearly illustrates
the quiet beauty of a snowy January in Canada.

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  1. Hello Nella.. you just reminded me with your tea image above I want to make some biscotti this weekend love it! I always take the month of January and take it easy since my business from August thru the holidays can be crazy. It’s nice to sat back and enjoy your surroundings and recharge.

    Love your snow scene ours mostly melted off today thanks to a 50 degree day today unheard of this time of year.

    Enjoy your peace!

  2. Oh where to begin...I see beautiful projects that will keep you busy well into February. I was raised the same way...finish what you start, unfortunately, I am still sort of hybernating. The holidays were wonderful and hectic and you are right, we all need to recharge. I don't know how people just pass from one thing to the next without relaxing and taking stock.
    Had to you, I make my guests the guinea pigs. I tell everyone, if you don't like it, I'll scramble an egg for you.
    Your food looked delicious and I am sure, everyone loved it.
    The gardening catalogs are coming in and I dream....
    Happy dreaming to you too,

  3. Nella, this was my bedtime story this evening. I sat sipping cocoa, reading, and getting sleepy.
    Just what this old gal needed before tucking in for the night. I will dream of a snowy scene such as this. How I long for a true winter...

  4. Dear Nella,

    Every word you wrote has struck a chord within me. We seem to have so much in common by way of simple pleasures. I smiled when I saw your tin of Mariage Frères teas: I love their products and a few years ago remained very faithful to them whereas now I sample other tea companies too.

    I also enjoyed reading how you embark on a creative project with a thrill in the knowledge also that each one is a job to be done well.

    And that snowy picture at the end. Food for dreams.


  5. Dear Nella,

    After reading this wonderful post...I feel inspired and nurtured. You have such a beautiful way with your words...that special gift of painting who you really are...creative, gracious and generous. I feel as if I have just enjoyed that cup of tea with you at the kitchen table and am also anticipating what spring and summer will bring to your gardens. I am lifted up each time I visit and reminded how very blessed I am to not only hold you as a dear friend but to now be able to visit you often through this powerful medium that melts away the distance between us all.


  6. I was hoping to see a post of the shower flower arrangements but alas reading this one once again is soothing to the soul.
    Hope you are well Hun.
    See you soon.
    Susan x

  7. beautiful post! I love your Transfer ware. Is that lavender?

    1. Thank you Clara. Yes it is lavender transferware, purchased here in Jordan village from a lovely local vendor, who has since passed away,Audrey Griffith. She was an expert in china, especially transferware and some of my lovliest pieces came from her. I miss her, not only for her exquisite collections but her generous spirit as well. Audrey Griffith Antiques was a landmark in Jordan Village. N.xo
      I'm sorry I could not email you personally since it is not listed on your blog.


Thank you for visiting my blog..... I love to hear from you and appreciate every comment received! N.xo