Monday, December 21, 2015

City Views, Country Dreams

Good morning from New York on the shortest day of the year.

The past few weeks have been filled with a mixture of required days at my workplace, visits to various parts of the city to take care of various Christmas-related matters, visits with friends, card and gift making, and a bit of baking.  I do sleep very soundly.



The Union Square farmers market has been showing off lots of greenery and colorful plants.  The scent from those trees is very pleasant and adds to the spirit of the season.


I've brought home a white cyclamen, a deep pink Christmas cactus, a tiny pink flowered kalanchoe, and a bunch of red berried branches.  I mights still bring home some greenery before the 25th.


There's really not enough room in my apartment for an actual tree, so I've been enjoying just seeing all the trees on offer around the city.  Sidewalk stands can easily be found by looking for large inflated Santas or snowmen.  The following photographs were taken on a very warm, overcast, foggy day.  Can you see the tree salesman in his Santa's hat?


I thought those of you who saw my Halloween post might enjoy seeing how West 69th Street looks now.  It's a quieter time than October.


Some of these houses do have lights that transform the look of the decorations after sundown.


This is a very subdued look welcoming folks to this brownstone's front doorway.


I do like all these wreaths.


I usually begin my annual painting of Christmas teacup cards mid-October, but this year other demands upon my time delayed my painting until mid-November.  Santa's workshop was in session!


The cards are painted on watercolor blocks, then the quartets are cut apart, and messages added.  Every card is just a little different from the rest.


Some of my inspiration for this year's cards came from a painting of Chervil found in my newly acquired copy of The Concise British Flora in Color.  I splashed my own colors around the picture.



I'll echo the handwritten message on the card here...HAPPY CHRISTMAS!  Thank you all for your visits and comments during 2015.  I'm now looking forward to a New Year filled with lots more blogging adventures with you all.

58 comments:

  1. Me too with you Frances. I do love your cards. The receivers must be very special. Have a great holiday.

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    1. Thank you, Donna.

      Only one more work day before I can truly call a few days my own. I've more cookies to bake, and...actually a few more cards to paint.

      Best wishes to you and yours for a splendid holiday...and the New Year offers its usual promise, too. xo

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  2. Lovely little cups! What a nice tradition!

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    1. Thank you, Vicki. I do enjoy painting these cards, with their limited subject matter and color scheme. Many variations are possible!

      Happy Christmas to you and yours. xo

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  3. Oh Francis, I love your cards. They are wonderful.
    I draw mine but I print them out.
    Although with all the cutting, folding, glueing they take time.
    But not as much as yours.
    I read about your teacups on you post several times and now I am able to see them. Just wonderful.
    I always love to walk around the fresh trees. They smell so lovely.

    Merry Christmas.
    cheers, gayle and thehamish xx

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    1. Gayle, I appreciate your comment so much. It's great to discover someone else who creates her own cards. Happy Christmas! xo

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  4. Your teacups are so joyful ... I spotted one that was shared on Instagram the other day ;-)

    Very strange mild weather here, shopping in Cambridge yesterday the daffodils were in bloom in the park and people were in shirt sleeves ... not a woolly hat, scarf or winter coat in sight!
    The only clue to the season were the BBC broadcasting trucks parked outside King's College Chapel.

    Merry Christmas
    C xx

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    1. Thanks so much Celia. Sometimes when I am painting these cards I wonder if they are too gaudy...and then think...no, let's add even more colors!
      It was cold here for two days, and now today might reach 70 degrees F. Very strange stuff.
      I'm lucky to be off from work on Christmas Eve and thus be able to hear the King's lessons and carols service. That first hymn always makes me cry...it's so beautiful. Happy Christmas to you and Cliff. xo

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  5. As always, your cards are just beautiful, Frances. May Christmas be a time of joy for you.

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    1. Elizabeth, it is indeed a time of joy. Many thanks for your kind words and blogging friendship over the years. xo

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  6. Dear Frances, Lovely to finally catch up with your blog for a seasonal trip around New York... and to say an enormous Thank You. My gorgeous hand painted card arrived and I am thrilled. I will email you! xxx

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    1. Thanks Gina...I am now into my cookie baking frenzy...nothing so elaborate as your fine baking. I realize that I must now go out to the shop to buy More Butter! xo

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  7. Happy Christmas, Frances and thank you for all your fascinating posts from NYC!

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    1. Marianne, thanks for you visits and kind words. I continue to marvel at our international blogging community...a gift throughout the year. xo

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  8. Your cards are stunning! Have a wonderful Christmas.

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  9. Many thanks to you Su! Happy Christmas to you and yours. I do love this time of the year. xo

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  10. Merry Christmas to you too Frances, have a wonderful time.

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    1. May I send those same kind Christmas wish to you and yours. Can you imagine that I am still painting cards, and baking cookies...and have just one more gift to complete. Santa's workshop is now a relaxed place, but busy.

      xo

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  11. I do like the more traditional greenery and pinecones going up the steps and the window wreaths.What a lovely tradition with your Christmas teacup cards, the recipients must be delighted to own an original painting by you. Merry New York Christmas to you Frances!

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    1. Jeri, I do agree with you about traditional natural decorations being the most beautiful. This year's warm December temperatures do make these pinecones and greenery odd to see not far away from roses in bloom.

      I love painting the teacups. Endless possibilities, every year. xo

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  12. Such a lovely festive area you live in. Your teacup paintings are wonderful. Happy holidays!

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    1. Thank you so much for your visit and comment, Tammy. Best holiday wishes to you, too.

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  13. Happy Christmas to you too Frances, your Christmas tea cups are brim full of loveliness. Interesting to see which little flower inspired you. From now on I will always associate chervil with NY and Christmas. Sending you much love xxx

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    1. Thank you Val. Every autumn, some sort of something that I have seen acts as a catalyst in my teacup preparatory drawings. This year was That Book.
      Happy Christmas to you and yours. Hoping to see you in person sometime in 2016. xo

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  14. HAPPY HAPPY CHRISTMAS to you dear Frances!
    Warm hug from Titti

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    1. Titti, I also send you warm wishes for a very Happy Christmas in your new home. Visiting your posts gives me a gift throughout the year. xo

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  15. I raise my cup to your exquisite tea cup Christmas cards, France's to wish you a very Merry Christnmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year Cx

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    1. Oh Chris, thank you so much, and a very Happy Christmas to you and yours. Yes, let us hope for a New Year that includes lots more peace around our world. xo

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  16. Happy Christmas, Frances! Your farmer's market reminds me very much of the one close to where we live, in Aubel. I love your Christmas activities, like baking and card making, same here just different techniques. And me too, I love all things around Christmas and enjoy the season and I sleep like a dormouse.

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    1. Bayou, your comment has made me smile after my last day at work before Christmas. I'm having my past supper at 11:30. I promise to be asleep by 1 am. New York's a special place during December.
      I look forward to visiting your site in the New Year and learning more about what might happen. xo

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  17. A lovely glimpse of New York again Frances.
    Your teacups are beautiful.
    I hope you have a very happy Christmas holiday and look forward to more walks with you in the new year-x-

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    1. Dear Sheila, thank you so much for your kind words. I do enjoy painting those teacups every year. It's great fun to play around with the same motif in a different way each time around.
      Looking forward to seeing you visit again in the New Year. Happy Christmas! xo

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  18. Lovely festive New York pictures, and how lucky those are who receive your beautiful tea cup cards! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays dear Frances.
    Helen xox

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    1. Helen, best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I'm very glad to have connected with you through the widespread blogging community. Your posts always delight and inspire me! xo

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  19. How very beautiful your cards are Frances! I wish you a very very happy Christmas!
    Lots of love, Karen

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    1. Thank you so very much Karen, for your visits and comments. It's been a joy to see your splendid photographs of marvelous places during 2015. I am hoping to get back to the UK next year and also hope that we might meet again. Happy Christmas! xo

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  20. I love your teacup cards. New York looks very appealing, even to a dedicated country boy like me.Cro xx

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    1. On Christmas night, I thank you for your visit and comment. Truly, New York for residents can be quite different than the version that appears in the media and in the eyes of tourists. All versions are, of course, valid. Just different.

      I love painting these cards...it's been going on since the last century.

      xo

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  21. And so the busy little bee continues on her merry way, creating, crafting, admiring, taking pictures and generally being a tonic to all who have been lucky enough to have made her acquaintance, whether in the flesh or in the blogosphere.
    Happy new year, dear Frances; may 2016 bring you all you desire.

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  22. Thank you, dear Friko, for those very kind words. I'm definitely looking forward to the New Year, and hoping that some overseas traveling might be part of my 2016 rounds.

    xo

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  23. Hello Frances,
    I adore your festive tea-cup cards, thank you. Do hope my card arrived in time to NY. Lovely pics to your post what sweet snowman too. You live in a gorgeous brown stone house Frances I see from pics. Hope you had a lovely Christmas Frances. A happy prosperous New Year to you Frances.xx

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  24. Dear Camilla...how absolutely grand to see this comment from you! Hoping that 2015 treated you well. I admit to greatly looking forward to 2016, and also wish you a Happy New Year. (Those brownstone houses are in my neighborhood, but I don't live in a brownstone. My little apartment in is a larger brick building that was built prior to World War II.)
    I'll be on the look out for your card, and also looking forward to staying in touch. xo

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  25. Such a lovely card Frances!
    Have a wonderful New Year with lots of travel!!!

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    1. Thanks so much, Carol. As I type this reply, this New Year's version of black eyed peas is simmering on the stove. Hoping the legumes will bring me good luck and traveling in 2016. xo

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  26. Dear Frances, I hope you've had a lovely Christmas and a wonderful New Year's Eve!
    Happy New Year! It's always a great pleasure to read your posts, telling and showing us so much of New York City with its beautiful nature and remarkable art museums!
    May 2016 bring you health, joy and everything you need and dream for!XOX

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  27. Your cards are beautiful! I like the tiny differences that make each one of them unique!:)

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    1. Happy New Year to you, Rossichka, and thanks so much for visiting...and also for all your beautiful posts throughout 2015.

      (I'm delighted you notices those little differences in the teacup cards.) xo

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  28. Hi Francés !, i love your blog ,, you have a new follower forma Chile
    Angelica

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    1. Dear Angelica, I'm very glad that you've left me a comment to let me know of your visit. Now...I am looking forward to visiting your place and learning a bit more about Chile.

      Happy New Years!

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  29. Your cards are beautiful, you are so creatif!
    I hope you had a nice Christmas and newyearseve. Ans i wish you all the best fot 2016 and lot of blogpost about NYC.
    So funny to see the same plants with Christmas on your pictures as we have here.
    Lots of love, Jolanda

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    1. Jolanda, thank you for your visit and kind wishes. Yes, I am also often amused to see so many sights from other parts of the world that seem to echo those I find here at home. Blogging continues to make our world a bit smaller and friendlier. xo

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  30. Your cards are indeed a great delight!
    not to mention the cookies!
    x

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    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! See you soon...this new freezing weather really does call for more baking.... xo

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  31. Happy New Years wishes for you Frances. We wish you a healty, colorful and a creative 2016. Groetjes Heleen en Corry

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    1. Heleen and Corry, I'm also looking forward to seeing all your wonderful creativity in 2016, and also seeing more of the art from your talented students. xo

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  32. Oh Lord...I have one of those amazing cards, which you generously sent us and I am hanging my head with shame at my own card negligence...this year, I promise!

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  33. very beautiful and so lovely work :) i like your good idea ,Thanks for the inspiration!

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