Friday, January 8, 2010

Taking stock

For many people, this point in January could mean resolutions made and possibly discarded. I am not inclined to make resolutions because of the New Year (and certainly not make them public if I did) but rather to take an inventory of the past year: what was accomplished, what I learned, what I prefer not to repeat and what I especially enjoyed. This blog is not yet a year old, but it has been a way of sharing some of this past year although maybe not quite as much as I had intended.

The year has been full of many rich experiences for the family as well as a few challenges. December was very much a culmination of some of the most time consuming family activities. Numbers 3 and 4 performed with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company's The Nutcracker. Daddy was playing in the pit but had permission to watch them for the first act of one show. They were both cast as "party boys" in the scene where Clara receives the Nutcracker on Christmas Eve and then as "mounties" during the battle scene with the Rat King in this Canadian version of the ballet. We loved how they looked in their vintage style of little boys clothes. There were seven performances with the weekend having matinee and evening shows. A week later, the boys were singing the Messiah with the Choir of Men and Boys of Christ Church Cathedral Ottawa followed by Nine Lessons and Carols on Dec. 20 and Christmas Eve mid-night mass as well as Christmas morning and New Year's Day.

Our daughter had a very busy month singing both with her duties a head girl of the Girls Choir of Christ Church Cathedral and in her debut singing solo with Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra in their annual Christmas By Candlelight Concert. Here she is in the gown made by me and the beautiful pashmina that Daddy bought for her. She also enjoys the benefits of thrifting and was wearing beautiful Italian-made gold leather sandals found by my Mum and me during one of our trips this past fall. She sang beautifully and we were very proud: her father playing in the orchestra and me and her siblings, grandparents and aunt in the audience.

The dress came together easily but still required a lot of my time to complete. There was even a last minute change of mind about the silk roses on the bodice which were removed late in the afternoon before the concert. I was very pleased to have my beautiful sewing space to work in.
The next day, my husband conducted his colleagues in the National Arts Centre Orchestra for their annual fundraising Christmas Fanfair Concert that raises money for the local food bank and the Snowsuit Fund which provides much needed winter clothing for children in the city. The concert was a great success with his colleagues enjoying his leadership as much as the audience enjoyed the music.

After Christmas, we hosted all the families of the Men and Boys Choir for a dinner party. Thanks to thrifting, I had enough cutlery and cloth napkins for sixty people. The menu was quite vintage: stuffed mushroom caps, vegetables with ranch dip, hummous and pita (not so vintage but very popular with my boys), cream of cauliflower soup and peppery cheddar crisps, baby greens tossed in a simple Italian dressing, baked ham, scalloped potatoes, green and yellow beans with baby carrots and home-made rolls, trifle, seasonal cookies and mincemeat tarts. I wore my high heels, pearls and vintage apron and felt Julia supporting my role as hostess.

With all my thrifting, love of clothes and vintage collecting I like to have opportunities to wear some favourites. One of the choir Moms made a special request for some of the hat wearing ladies to wear a great hat on Christmas Eve. This was the perfect opportunity to wear a 1950's hat that I found this past summer. The photo was taken at about 1:30 am after the midnight mass so my french roll was starting to fall out and was getting a little tired. I wish that we had taken pictures at the church so that I could share all the other hats worn that evening. If I were to have made a resolution, it would be to share so much of what I enjoy like the many bloggers that inspire me. I was specifically inspired by a meme at Curly Pops. I had intended to go month by month with links back to specific posts but I think I would rather share some of my favourite memories as the new year unfolds.


gardener-b said...

welcome back to blogland. You have many great and creative reasons for the temporary absense. Well done with the children's activies.

Amy. said...

How fun to find your blog as a result of you leaving a comment at mine!!! I have read back to the early Fall months of your posts and look forward to reading farther back and also future posts, too!
I will put you in my list.
Some observations of what we have in common....I also enjoy books and vintage sewing notions and have way too much fabric!!!

Tweed Delights said...

Thanks for stopping by, Jenifir! It's been a while :) Lovely to see that your family are thriving and doing so well!