Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 In Review

As I look back at photos I also look back at a year that brought great joy and sadness. Probably the greatest sadness was saying farewell to the dear sweet Marmelade Gypsy. We miss him more than we can say.
The joys were many. Rick and I loved our Paris trip...
...and time in the Netherlands...
...and London!
Kevin graduated from college and got a full-time job with Georgia Pacific (the bad thing being that he now lives far away)...
...and Greg became a slightly less starving artist with several good bounces but notably a demonstration and interactive installation at the Detroit Institute of Arts, a gallery piece in Chicago and a second commission for the DIA in conjunction with their Faberge exhibit.
There was time at the lake...
...a wedding that turned into a family reunion with Rick's dad's side...
...and a gathering of his mom's side at Torch Lake.
I enjoyed a visit to St. Louis for a conference, followed by time with blog friend Diana (below). I also met bloggers Peter and renewed a friendship with Tara, both during our Europe visit.
And in December we enjoyed time in Las Vegas after Rick's trade show...
...and in Utah on an unexpected vacation after the show.
The year brought Kevin and Molly's engagement...
...and the arrival of Lizzie Cosette, who makes me laugh every day.
We enjoyed our friends in Cork Poppers...
And I had fun with my book club and the GGs (Great Gang).
I enjoyed an art workshop with Kari McKnight Holbrook and another later in the year making Japanese stab-binding books.
I got my 15 seconds of fame with a cover spot in a local magazine and was pleased to have The Marmelade Gypsy (which celebrated its fifth anniversary in December) featured in "Romantic Country" magazine in their BlogSpot column.
And I did plenty of my own work, finding enough success with it to at least pay for the pleasure of doing it! I also enjoyed fun swaps\, including the Faerie Swap, organized by Karla!
It wasn't all perfect -- Rick had a bike crash and a hospital stay with MRSA and I repeatedly kept dealing with my infections. But somehow we manage to soldier on and have an awful lot of fun!
My word for 2012 was Savor. That I did, every moment, good and bad.The word for 2013? 
I look forward to enjoying your celebrations, supporting your challenges and admiring your creativity in 2013!
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Looking Back to Christmas!

Despite the fact that I know everyone's holidays are more interesting to themselves than to others, I still have to share a few precious moments from ours!
Like the return of Kevin from Alabama with his fiancee Molly...
...And Greg -- he doesn't live so far away, but we love it when he comes home!
A Christmas centerpiece with greens from the tree and holly from the yard.
Our cookie baking on Christmas Eve #1!
Everyone has their own style -- Greg's is meticulous.
Kevin likes big.
Molly is colorful.
Rick is creative.
There is time for a nap or a rest.
There are mimosas on Christmas morning. 
And of course we drink a toast!
And every year we have the same strata breakfast casserole!
There are the obligatory family portraits.
And lots of present opening! And covering up with the wrapping paper -- a tradition!
On Christmas Day #2 we enjoyed "Les Miserables" (highly recommended, but don't drink in the movie and hit the bathroom first). Then we welcomed friends Kate, Mike and Richard and my dad's cousin Marie for dinner.
 Rick made shrimp and grits and Kate's salad was thinly-shaved cucumbers, fennel and apples, very lightly dressed.. Dessert? Peppermint stick ice cream and Christmas cookies!
We enjoyed two lovely parties right before Christmas and seeing lots of friends. But we've enjoyed rich one-on-one time, too.
And now it's onward to 2013. Hang on!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Taking Tea at the Holidays

Shortly before the holidays Cork Popper Barb and I went to have a beverage of another kind!
We went to a high tea at the Grand Oak Herb Farm in Bancroft, MI.
This charming farm also offers a variety of classes, including those in making lotions and potions (for cleaning and otherwise!)
We were there for the food and the tea.
But we were thrilled by the decorations, inside and out.
Of course, everything about it was wonderful, beginning with a scone and tea bread.
Then came the salad filled with nuts and fruit and very red-and-green for the holidays.
The main course included fabulous roasted veggies, scalloped potatoes, chicken and beef that was cooked so divinely it simply fell apart! 
We had two desserts -- a sweet potato/white chocolate cake and a cranberry upside down cake. 
After that our host, Beulah, answered questions about the food and tea, we enjoyed holiday crackers, party favors and a discount at the gift shop.
And then it was time for a farewell to this sweet spot with such wonderful treats!
We'll be back! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Magical Holiday Greeting

During this busy holiday time I encourage you to step into a magical land.
A land with bears, large...
...and small.
A land where villages are made of chocolate...
And flowers are everywhere.
Penguins enjoy their winter games like hockey...
...and snow games.
The trees are small.
But the decorations are large.
And the rocking horse is even larger!
So join with us in this magic land. Remember childhood and beauty.
Then bundle up with all your sparkle.
And celebrate!
Merry Christmas!
From Jeanie and Rick

(These photos were from the Bellagio Conservatory in December 2012. Papa Bear is made from 18,000 carnations, Mama Bear from 10,000 and Baby Bear from 8,000. There are more than 40,000 poinsettias and they replace them every two weeks. The village is made of chocolate with candy trimmings and cereal roofs. And yes, it really is magical!)

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