Dec 31, 2011

when the sun rises...

a new year will have begun. a new chapter will be written. 2011 has been a challenging year, and I've learned that growing up isn't all fun and games. :) but so many cherished lessons have been learned and so many warm memories have been made.  

>>------> a year in review
I've met so many new people I have been honored to name as my dearest of friends. summer was an interesting experience at the waterpark, and spending time with relatives that haven't been seen in years. I met my dearest of friends at Disneyland for the second time in August, on our way home from our adventures in San Diego. my parents surprised me with a trip to Disneyland as well for my 15th birthday the following October which was perhaps, the most magical visits I have spent there. my relationship with our dear Lord Jesus has been definitely strengthened, but there is still so much to learn. my experience with babies has also grown, and my love to help with them has as well.  

days this year have been filled with the good and bad, filled with tears and smiles, and while I cannot say that this year has been perfect, what a comfort it is to know that when the morning sun rises, and its rays burst upon the hills, so does a beautiful and bright future. 

>>>----------> inspired. aspiring. one year to do so. <----------<<<

 // 2012 "to-do" list //

keep up faithful devotions
start a business
gain 300 followers and 100 facebook friends
earn enough money for photoshop
learn how to read a knitting pattern
crochet a project by reading a pattern
plan a sweet sixteen
clean and re-decorate my room
cook a full dinner
become a faithful commenter on several blogs
faithfully write in my journal 
write letters
read 10 books in one month
read Jane Eyre and Emma
crochet a blanket {or stuffed animal}
sew a quilt
sew a dress
purchase a cute vintage dress
do well in school
get a job {or run a business} in the summer
write a list of words and quotes
finish La Folia
practice violin everyday
witness, give a testimony
have a complete conversasion in Espanol 
get a cork board to make as an inspiration board
research fashion
research for an etsy shop
read books on photography {i.e. improve photography}
new e-mail address
set up “blogger” physical mailbox 
rewrite my bucket list and “why I blog” post
learn how to use Gimp
design a complete blog that is not my own
knit a scarf for a sponsor child
knitting campaign
do more product reviews {review a dress} 
meet another blogger friend
write to my favourite authors and get a reply
read a complete Dicken’s novel
work on my scrapbook // art journal // project notebook 
create a quote wall
hang my paintings and a full length mirror in my room
find a way to earn more money 
be in a professional play! 
learn HTML code
start Christmas presents in September
host a jane austen {literary} garden party 
host a valentines tea party
exercise regularly
get a new hairstyle, learn vintage hair do's
learn more about herbs 
write up an FAQ page
try french macarons
learn a bit of Italian
curl my hair and wear it on a nice outing
get a summer job? 
photograph more
attend a photography class
make 10 projects from my pinterest crafting board.
take my dearest friends to tea by the sea
help plan a trip to Italy
collect more thread spools, handkerchiefs, and tea cups
purchase something I really like on Etsy
crochet a rug from fabric
crochet slippers
host an "official" crafting day with friends
guest post on a friend's blog
receive twenty-five comments {excluding my response} on a post
have a photoshoot with friends

so many laughs to be heard. so many songs to be spontaneously sung. so many smiles to be photographed. so many more lessons to be learned. so many photographs to be taken. so many adventures to be experienced. so many more people to meet. in this upcoming year. 

praying all of you have the most wonderful new year ever experienced!!!

love always,
the keeper of the garden. 
postscript :: what are some of your resolutions? 

{{images via pinterest}}

Dec 30, 2011

to inspire :: an eclectic collection of pinterest finds.

hullo, lovelies!

I haven't been really inspired lately posting wise. it seems like every time I sit down I write a paragraph that seems very sober and not light-hearted, and I don't want to go depressing you even more now that we are moving into a not-so-exciting month of january {sorry to those who have January birthdays ;)}. here are some lovely {and colorful} pinterest finds that I thought might inspire you...  

Dec 24, 2011

taking in the moment // one last time.

dearest readers, 

the days are shorter; the nights longer. december has almost come to a close and soon the last chapter of this year will be another archive to remember upon.  



brown paper packages tied with red ribbon






silent night. with december, comes a flurry of events. lights. festivals. dinners. shopping. frenzied gift-wrapping. yet on christmas eve there is a peace about the world as we remember the little babe wrapped in swaddling cloth that lain in a manger so long ago. 

sitting here cozily, by the fireside that cheerfully dances within the hearth. the silky hot chocolate within my palms tastes even more magical. stockings hang in their places. the nativity radiates from under the tree.  

breathing in the moment. sighing in the moment. taking it all in. one last time with you, dear reader.

[image via pinterest]

>>-----> Merry Christmas, lovelies! <-----<< 
from this little garden of mine to yours...
{couldn't resist lucia ;)}

may you all be blessed christmas as we celebrate our wonderful Savior's birth!!!

much love to you all, 
the keeper of the garden. 

// listening to // 

Dec 22, 2011

avec l'amour de la france

^^^ with love from france ^^^

across a crystal sea, there lives a family of to which I hold a special place in my heart. 
there are those special times of to which I open my beloved green mail box, whilst the sun still faintly glints over the western hill, to discover a parcel wrapped in brown paper addressed all the way from this far off country. to my overwhelming delight, I received a lovely brown-paper package just in time for christmas in the mail all the way from a little simply lovely place called france...



oh, what could it be? 


J'adore!!! 'tis a lovely magazine printed in french! *swoon* this lovely magazine is brimming with inspiration, and better yet, inspiration just for christmas! 




happy sigh. forever shall I cherish this magazine for not only is quite a loverly gift, but because such a sweet family sent it all the way with love from france.

special, heart-felt thanks to the Roux family for sending such a sweet gift for Christmas. 

>> Joyeux Noël << 

avec amour {with love}, 
the keeper of the garden.  

>> side note :: extending the warmest of welcomes to my new followers!!! so happy to see new faces around here. *wink*  

Dec 21, 2011

of hot chocolate and wintry thoughts.

the kettle whistles. chink.  cup and saucer click.      

steam rises along with a dark woodsy aroma. sip.    rich. creamy. silky. a wonderfully tingly feeling slips over your whole body. slowly taking the place of the chill.        

knitted blanket + hot chocolate =  a simply lovely way to watch the world from your window. the realm of winter and ice keeps one inside, to think, to ponder about life. and sometimes wonder what lies beyond the familiar meandering routines of life.   

my eyes lazily wander the landscape, from the three green knolls which cozily tuck my little glen I call home. home is where the heart is...always, yet sometimes I sit and dream about countries miles from my little dot on the globe where I am. thoughts of...
italy. france. england. 
london. paris. rome. 
japan. new zealand. wales. scotland. ireland. 

wanderlust. my heart stirs restlessly just like the chocolate swirling within my cup, as I ponder and look outside my window. 

what do you dream about when the weather is bleak and cheerless? 

love always,
the keeper of the garden. 

side note :: happy hanukkah! 
// listening to // 
{this song is stuck in my head!!!} 

Dec 19, 2011

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas.

a rush of chilled air stings my face when I open the door, causing my red striped scarf to dance about me. the icy world with skies tinted silver and barren trees enfolds, and I proceed into the bitter realm. yet, there is a subtle beauty and warmth one cannot help but feel during the month of december. a sort of magic, as you may say, that seems to overrule the never-ceasing chill which manages to find its way into every nook. the sort of magic defuses in the air that your breath, and brings about joy in the midst of the bitter cold.



life as of late... has been spent {busily} preparing for the most wonderful time of the year to which I am most fond of. six days until christmas is hardly conceivable. {wasn't it just October?}

last minute presents are being wrapped and sent, whilst a deluge of packages and christmas cards arrive in the afternoon post soon following squeals of delight.

and in between the moments, I am able to enjoy a sip of hot chocolate.


it seems as though christmas has come early as friends from all over the country have sent little packages including my darling friends miss johanna, miss gabby, and miss hannah.

and finally I am able to breath to myself, "it's beginning to look a lot like christmas." do you not agree?

postscript :: every year I wish for a white christmas which seems hardly likely in the middle of California; but there's something about this year that is making me wish even harder. it seems as though a day does not pass as of late when I am not thinking of beautiful white flakes gently falling from the heavens. so, dear readers, please pray. for a white christmas. for me, s'il vous plaît? *smile*

Dec 14, 2011

happy golden days.





the days approaching christmas are my favorite in the year. filled with stringing popcorn, dazzling lights, watching movies, wrapping presents and setting them under the tree. and of course, priceless family time.

 a time brimming with tradition, new and old, while reminiscing about christmases that seem so long ago. yes, indeed, these next few days could be described in one word :: n o s t a l g i c. 
remembering and smiling past christmases filled with the same tradition and warmth still experienced now = 

happy golden days.

the keeper of the garden.  

postscript :: there is a lovely giveaway being hosted at Raising Homemakers, I highly suggest you enter! 
It's (Not That) Complicated by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin

It's (Not That) Complicated by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin

Dec 12, 2011

inspired by // christmas.

>> 'tis the season to be jolly. how can you then not be inspired by christmas?

simple. whimsy. woodsy. lovely!
red holly berries. silver bells. coffee pine cones.  green wreaths of pine. golden bokeh. ~ they all inspire.   

Dec 10, 2011

merry and bright.

// a chill hangs in the air. // 
// small clouds form as my breath rises into the icy night. //
 *click of the door's lock*
 // we welcome the embrace as we rush inside. //


Dec 7, 2011

2011 christmas list.

well, I browsed over Kiley's list and thought it would be fun and sit down to compile a "dream" Christmas list. :) first off, though, I know Christmas should be wholly focused on celebrating Christ's birth but just like Kiley, I admit I do love presents as well {although, I really don't get excited of opening them until like a few days before christmas morning}. 

washi tape. tape? really? yeah, but it's not just ordinary tape. it's Japanese washi tape. this would be the ultimate stocking stuffer. :)

Dec 6, 2011

a winter's eve musing.

// kettle on the stove whistles softly // 
// *chink* porcelain tea cup and saucer click //
// chocolate aroma; creamy white foam bubbles over // 

Dec 3, 2011

an old friend.

a slight *squeak* and *creak* of the wooden desk's door. a small puff of dust is released into the air, tickling my nose.                                                my beloved writing desk, scarred with scratches and marred with age. how long has it been since I have opened you? a month or two?                         and there, amidst the cluttered pile lie three treasures from the past. I smile.                

among the blessings of life, a little letter that arrives in my green mailbox is perhaps the most cherished, and not just because it brightens a day or even the week, but because {as memories fail you know} the sweet hand-written script brings warmth even months --- years --- gone by.  

Dec 1, 2011

new month. new look. hullo december!

quietly. silently. a realm, chilled and icy, unfolds outside my frost-bitten pane of glass. the world turns into a dull gray and white, stark contrast compared to the brilliance of autumn's colors. the trees begin to don ermine collars of crystal to cover their bareness, as skies fill with flocks of geese. softly. silently. it creeps. gently. bleakly. the air begins to chill. the sky bends low with clouds tinted silver. thus winter makes His descent upon this little glen shielded between three knolls, wooded with barren oaks and gold-leafed pomegranates bedecked with red jewels left behind. 
winter. i breath. a shiver crawls up my spine. welcome. i sigh. a tinge of dread accents my voice, but all the same I welcome the callous season who's chill manages to creep into every little nook. for on the wind chilled with frost and snow {if we're blessed}, rides a season which i am always fond.