December 29, 2017

Children's Book Illustrations at the Mazza Museum in Findlay, OH

Children's books play an important role in education.
Little ones are enticed by enchanting illustrations
as they're read to while nestled in comfy, loving laps.
Next comes that magical process of recognizing letters and words,
and soon a love of books blooms into a love for reading.

Within Ohio's University of Findlay lies a real treasure: The Mazza Museum.
With a goal of promoting literacy, the museum attractively exhibits an 
8,000-piece collection of original artwork from children's books.
Popular illustrators such as Sophie BlackallMary Engelbreit
Don Wood, and Eric Carle are featured.

Original illustrations hang framed on the walls
with their corresponding books placed beneath them.

I was thrilled to recognize titles that I loved reading to my children,
as well as books from my own childhood!

Such a delightful place to visit!
Thank you, Lindsey & Julie, for sharing this special place with your Aunt Lu!

Find out more here:

December 23, 2017

Glory to God in the Highest!

"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, 
keeping watch over their flocks at night. 
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, 
and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid.
I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 
This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.'"
Luke 2:8-12

"Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.'"
Luke 2:13,14

hanna varghese

Love, peace, and joy to you
as we celebrate the birth of Jesus our Savior!

December 21, 2017

A Stroll Through Philly's Christmas Village

A very special holiday tradition in Philadelphia is its Christmas Village, 
held in Center City's LOVE Park from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve.
The Village is modeled after the authentic Christmas markets in Germany,
the most well-know of which is the Christkindlmarket in Nuremberg.

Beautiful arts and crafts, including a large variety of Christmas décor and ornaments,
are sold by vendors in rows of wooden booths bedecked with festive pine garlands,
red bows, and the spectacular yellow Herrnhut stars - also known as Moravian stars.

What a festive way to spend a December afternoon with my daughter!
As is said in Germany, "Fröhliche Weihnachten!"

What a fantastic variety of Matryoshka dolls!

Lots of good eats! Grilled bratwurst was the lunch of choice. 
Roasted nuts, baked cheese raclettes, pretzels, and strudels were also popular.

Exquisite wooden Schwibbogen, ornaments and nutcrackers by Käthe Wohlfahrt.

How about this trend of brightly colored live Christmas trees?

More information:

December 18, 2017

The French Parterre Garden at "A Longwood Christmas"

We were absolutely wowed by this year's parterre garden 
exhibit at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA!

From several steps back, it appeared to be a lovely design painted on the floor.
On closer inspection, we saw that it was actually fruit 
and nuts artistically arranged and floating in water! 
So unique; I'd never seen anything like it.

In keeping with Longwood Gardens' French theme this year,
this stunning parterre was the perfect centerpiece
for the extremely popular event, "A Longwood Christmas."

The inspiration for this display came from Alice Du Pont's 1925 
visit to France with her fellow Garden Club of America members.
These are photos of her postcards showing the 
parterre gardens at a château they visited.

"Parterre gardens" are formal arrangements of plant and flower beds 
in symmetrical patterns, often separated by hedges or stone borders.
They date back to France during the French Renaissance of the 15th century.

The custom wooden frame measures 75' x 40'.

By the numbers~
This magnificent display consists of 670,000 cranberries, 
8,000 Granny Smith apples, and 3,000 gilded walnuts that float in 3" of water.

The fruit is changed out through the season to keep it fresh, and then 
donated to local farms to use for compost or to feed their animals.

Wishing you a Joyeux Noël!

December 15, 2017

Catherine Rowe's Christmas Illustrations

Catherine Rowe, of the UK, is a talented artist and illustrator.
Her Christmas card illustrations caught my eye~
colorful birds -pheasants have always been a favorite of mine-
stylized with mistletoe, pine cones and evergreen sprigs.

Catherine was commissioned by the Isle of Man Post Office to design a set of stamps.

Pretty holiday patterns!

Find Catherine Rowe's art here:

December 12, 2017

Dazzling Poinsettia Varieties of Longwood Gardens

Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is the home of the fabulous Longwood Gardens.
Folks come from near and far to take in the lush landscaping,
botanical gardens, and artistically arranged flowers and plants.

Each season of the year has a theme to feature what happens to be in bloom.
However, the Christmas display, "A Longwood Christmas," is in a league of its own.
It's truly over-the-top spectacular!

The crowning glory of the holiday is, without a doubt, the poinsettia.
Which is your favorite: red, white, or pink?
The traditionalist in me is tempted to choose red,
but after seeing so many unusual varieties today,
the choice has become anything but simple!

We decided that the vivid "Luv U Hot Pink" was our favorite!

My past blog features on Longwood Gardens: