Friday, December 6, 2013

Focus on life: weeks 48 and 49

Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime is hosting a year long challenge which is... sublime... as you'd expect with such a studio name. The challenge is named 'Focusing on Life' and every week Sally is sending a prompt on what should we focus the following week.

Another double week - for another good reason: last week we had the Auction at William's school. It was a great success, but as usual, it meant for a week I was unavailable for pretty much anything (the last 2 days I kind of moved into the school - I'm lucky we live right across from it). 

Week 48 was titles 'Giving thanks: what are you thankful for?'

Oh, my - I am thankful for incredibly many things:

Focus on life: week 48 ~ Giving thanks: for family, friends, pets, nature, love, light, health, and happiness :: All Pretty Things
  • for family and friends (friends are not pictured here, but they are a large part of my giving thanks!)
  • for moments of quiet: on the shore, hiking the trails, watching a dragonfly and so on
  • for the food on our table every day and on special days
  • for the beauty surrounding us: the flowers, the colours, the music, the life 
  • for the opportunity to live in a gorgeous city, next to the largest collection of lilac trees in the world
  • for the opportunity to travel - and to learn (like we did this summer when we attended our first re-enactment ever! and we did it in style, at the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg's battle!)
  • for the lovely pets and their unconditional love (that black thing next to my hubby is our chocolate lab, she's always willing to hug someone in the house!)
  • for our health and happiness 
  • for the daily smiles 
  • for the light and peacefulness in our lives
  • for our believes and customs and traditions
I've learned to be thankful for everything, to embrace my day, to find the moments of beauty and cherish them. I've learned to do that every day - and I am trying to (I confess there are days when I'm feeling 'meh', but these periods never last for too long). Thanksgiving Day is everyday in our household :) 

For Week 49, as we rapidly approach Christmas, we have... sparkles! I am supposed to 'add a little sparkle' ~ which I did a little bit, in the ways of taking down the flower decals from the windows, and putting Christmas decals on... but it's next to impossible to take a picture of them: they are transparent during the day, and there is never enough light at night! 

What I can show you is how the house sparkled last year - it'll be a similar setting this year, we're very conservative that way :) 

Focus on life: Week 49 ~ Add a little sparkle! Christmas decor :: All pretty Things

There will be light everywhere: I am burning about a pack or two of candles from IKEA, every time I light them up there are 12 to 14 tea candles on. Light is such an important part of any celebration, especially Christmas and Easter.

There will be ornaments everywhere: not only in the tree, where you expect them; but at the windows (I make curtains of ornaments), on the chandelier, in bowls and on silver trays.

There will be Santas and Snowmen in any size, medium, and colour :)

There will be music - on the radio, played by us on the piano, or sand by us.

There will be cards displayed - to remind us of the loved ones who are far away.

There will be nativity scenes: in 3D or in icons ~ as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we are thankful for the light He brought in our lives.
P.S. The Nativity scene you see here is the first one we bough when we arrived in Canada, 16 years ago. Those are the original items, we only broke 2 animals: the cow and the donkey - both an accident many years ago. As monetary value goes - the set has no value. As sentimental value - it is truly priceless, it is the symbol of our new beginning in our new country, and a symbol of continuity (something the new generations don't really value much these days, when everything must be new, new, new). Over the years, at various points, William added animals from Lego or Playmobile to complete the manger scene.

Everything will glitter and sparkle - and that's probably why I love Christmas so much!

I hope you found (or you will soon find) the sparkles in your life!

Please make sure you visit everyone else ~ and I hope wherever you are and whatever you believe in, you're celebrating in style!


  1. Two wonderful collages and a wonderful gratitude list! Great post :)

  2. I hope you print out the family collage and put it in a frame and hang it up somewhere to enjoy.

    It looks like your house really sparkles with Christmas decorations.

  3. Love the idea about curtains of ornaments. Can you post a copy when you set it up? Sounds really cool. Sounds like you have a multi-media holiday!

  4. So much to be grateful for. Both of your photo collages are great!

  5. Lovely collages and so much to be thankful for, you are right! Love the nativity scene - it looks like one we had when I was a child!

  6. Lovely choices for your collages, they reflect the themes perfectly.

  7. My Christmas decorating is scaled down this year, but my mother spends a whole week pulling out all her ornaments, lights and other decorations. All the dolls in the house get holiday outfits too.

  8. Lots of things to be thankful for. I love your wonderful nativity.

  9. Isn't it a wonderful time of year? Thanks and sparkles - and happiness

  10. Great post Alicia. I really enjoy seeing other peoples Christmas decorations.


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