Life at Rosehaven Cottage: Tucked in the corners of the January gardens

The gray of January hangs in the damp chilly air over the gardens here at Rosehaven Cottage. There is no winter snow... just rain, fog, and an occasional early-morning frosting of shimmery crystals on the rooftop. The beauty of the winter garden often lies low and in protected corners where the frost cannot find it.

At the base of our young olive tree the sunny yellow heads of jonquils brighten the drab landscape, sending hints of their fragrance wafting on the chilly air.


Under the protective boughs of the oleander, the shy little violets bloom fragrant and sweet in the blue-purple color I associate with January.


On the shady side of the house, the camellias put on the annual show I wait the rest of the year to see. Their spectacular display of lipstick reds and rouge pinks are garden Valentines.



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Blog Giveaway: School-style Valentines featuring "Kitty cat love"

Kitty cat love

I had so much fun painting my "Kitty cat love" Valentine illustration. I love kitty cats, and I love Valentine's Day so the pairing of the two seemed perfect. My illustration shows Mr. Kitty giving a chocolate mouse (not mousse) truffle to his Valentine Miss Kitty who has a red-bowed fish to give to her beau in return.

To celebrate the completion of this illustration, I had some sweet "school style" Valentines printed so I could host a giveaway here on the blog!

What's fun is that there will be more than one winner! There will be five winners! Each winner will receive a pack of 20 "school style" Valentines (2.5"w x 3.5"h) like the kind I loved exchanging with classmates when I was in elementary school.

Valentine Giveaway Guidelines:
  • Everyone who leaves a comment here on this post will be entered. Each person will only be counted once so duplicate comments won't help your odds (sorry)
  • Entries will be accepted up to midnight February 1, 2011
  • I will pay shipping to the winners of the drawing
  • If you don't have an email link connected to the i.d. you use to leave the comment, then you'll have to check back on February 2, 2011 to find out if you won and then contact me via email so I can get your postal address privately.
  • If you do have an email link connected to the i.d. you use, then I will contact you off the blog as well as announce you as the winner.
  • Basically, it's the standard blog giveaway rules that are out there in the "blog-o-sphere" already.
To see other ways to send a Valentine featuring Mr. and Miss Kitty, click on any of the pics below:
Left to right:
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Opening the new year with hope and savoring the old one with thankfulness

Happy New Year 2011

I look back at an old year...
And I am thankful

I look ahead at a new year...
And I am hopeful

Like cutting into and savoring a beautifully ripe orange
Such sweetness was held in each of last year's slices of time

I cannot fathom what lies in store in each of next year's juicy slices
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