mistletoe from California. (Note: that mistletoe can cause stomach irritation if you consume it, so this garland is not recommended for homes with young children or mischievous pets.)
The second in my series on reinventing old Christmas standbys in new ways: a garland with mistletoe and meyer lemons.
This arrangement was inspired by author Mary Taylor Simeti, a NY-native, who, in her book On Persephone’s Island, describes using lemon boughs to conjure a Northern style Christmas in her Southern Sicilian home. See Remodelista for the complete how-to.
andromeda foraged from my yard
Never been a fan of Poinsettias. Perhaps it’s the foil wrapping or the bad supermarket lighting. But when Gardenista asked me to reimagine them as a cut flower, I discovered the drama of this common Christmas plant. See here for the tutorial.
Repotted, my poinsettia is already better.
the base – floral foam in a pedestal bowl
Cut poinsettia stems need to be seared or the sap with drip out, and the flower will not last.
singe the stem
About a mile outside of the old town center, overlooking the Old North Bridge stands one of Concord’s great literary and historic houses: The Old Manse. Built in 1770 by the grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson, it not only bore witness to the start of the American Revolution, but later played host to a number of the founding fathers of American literature. Here Emerson wrote his first drafts of Nature while sitting at a tiny desk made by his good friend Henry David Thoreau. Shorty after the newly married Hawthornes took up residence, etching love notes and general observations onto the window panes using Sophia’s diamond ring. Here, they both paid homage to the home, she in her paintings, and he in Mosses from an Old Manse.
In continuation of, if not its literary heritage, than at least its legacy of forging familial bonds, we come to the Old Manse in all seasons to take in a bit of history and romp around the grounds.
grave of British Soldiers killed at North Bridge
Solvi on a stone wall
on the front lines… of a snowball fight
with Uncle Chris
footprints and frolic in the field
harvest at the back door
Olie by the road
The back of the house from the Concord River
Solvi by the boat house
geese on the Concord River
Solvi by the old oak
Peonies are an unlikely choice for Thanksgiving. Which is why I absolutely love this year’s holiday centerpiece.
There they were yesterday at Whole Foods, all hot pink amongst the auburns and browns. How could I resist such bodacious blooms, standing in vernal defiance of winter’s pending onslaught.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, I made a bough with foraged fall foliage and cotton bolls. See my complete DIY on Gardenista.
Just a glimpse at what I’ve been up to…
For Remodelista: DIY Black Beeswax Candles.
My family has a passion for black beeswax candles, which we procure at great expense. I wanted to see if it was worth the time and money to make them myself.
I haven’t used natural plant dyes since I was away at nature camp in the 5th grade. Here are the results of my more recent efforts to make a Thanksgiving tablecloth with red cabbage.
Black Beeswax candles. For a complete tutorial see Remodelista.
Red Cabbage Dye. For the whole how-to see Remodelista.
This week I had so much fun putting together a spectral dining room for Remodelista’s Dark Shadows week. Though it took some time and effort, it hardly felt like work.
As I said in my open to the Remodelista piece, “Good Halloween decor begins with a ghost story. Mine is about a ladies luncheon that’s gone on waaaay too long.” To create this subtly haunted setting, I hung leaves blackened with wax over a table dressed in a shroud of pale linens and bone-white china. See Remodelista for a complete DIY.
a farrier class at Sterling College
Where have I been? Vermont. Well, actually I was in the Northeast Kingdom 2 weeks ago. And ever since I have been editing photos and writing about the inspired places I visited. Oh, and I also have a new lens. Can you tell?
Jasper Hill Farm, High Mowing Seeds, Sterling College and Caledonia Spirits (soon to come) occupy a unique corner of Vermont–the region around Greensboro and Hardwick–which is experiencing a Renaissance, thanks to these and other sustainable entrepreneurs and educators. I can’t say enough about the community, the food and the innovation of this area. Perhaps my pictures paint a thousand words.
making Harbison at the Cheese Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm
Silver Slicer Cucumber seeds at High Mowing Organic Seeds
field at Sterling College
Bayley Hazen Blue and Alpha Tolman cheeses at Jasper Hill
corn at High Mowing Seeds
Oma cheese at Jasper Hill
shelling corn, High Mowing
free-ranges chickens at Sterling College
Clothbound Cheddar at Jasper Hill
seedlings at High Mowing
Vita at Jasper Hill
Craftsbury Common, VT