Tag Archives: Christmas

Tonight is Christmas Eve

This little reindeer is not ready for his Christmas Eve journey.  It looks like he will be missing it tonight.  A reindeer in pajamas???

We found this ornament in Saks on Fifth Avenue on my first trip to New York City.  I had been dragging my feet to visit the City.  Why would anyone in their right mind want to fight all those crowds.  Being an old country boy, I sure did not!  But my patient Karen finally convinced me to go there to see all the Christmas displays. I was amazed, it was like walking through a wonderland of lights, decorations, music, and people having a great time.  The City was truly alive.  I did not even mind the crowds.

The trip was a great introduction to New York City and the first of many more to follow.  This little reindeer makes me smile as I look back on that first visit to NYC.

My Grandmother’s Heart

My grandmother never had money to purchase “store bought” gifts.  But she always made us something special for Christmas.  I can remember one year when she made all us kids “stick horses”.  They were the best gift of the year.  This heart was the last hand-made gift that she made for me. During her last years, her special gift was a beautiful smile, a hug, and a Christmas kiss.  What could be better!  Her heart is always with me.

Over the years, I have followed her way and made many of my own gifts to family and friends.  The last several years, I have made just a few.  I will return to my old ways.  Thank you grandma for teaching me what gift-giving is all about.

Only 3 Days to Christmas

It is only three days until Christmas. I think I need to add a little spirit to my postings.  Over the years we have collected Christmas ornaments during our various travels.  This one is from a kindle mart in Lubeck, Germany.  One evening after work, several of my German work associates and I went out for a “grog or two” in the town square.  The square was filled with little booths serving different libations and selling all sorts of Christmas gifts.  It was so packed that I could hardly walk.  Every one was jovial and full of Christmas spirit.  It was what I imagined an old-time Christmas season would be.  I found a little booth filled with wood ornaments and could not help buying a couple as I was downing my beverage.

Every time I look at this little bi-plane and angel, I think of my German friends and the special evening we had in the Lubeck town square.

 

Christmas at Fonthill – Conclusion

151231_FonthillChristmas_YellowTreeDetail_Impression by Karl Graf. Fonthill Yellow Room Christmas Tree Impressionistic Detail

This image is an impressionistic perspective of yesterday’s post of the Yellow Room Christmas tree detail.  I used Topaz Impressionism plug in to achieve the look.

This posting ends my series on the Fonthill Castle Christmas Decoration Exhibit.  I hope you have enjoyed the series.  I have enjoyed sharing it.

This probably be my last major project at Fonthill.  I will be moving back to the Washington State next Spring.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my experiences at Fonthill starting with a workshop led by my good friend John Barclay.  I want to also thank Ed Reidell and the staff at Fonthill for the opportunities to help out.  It was truly my pleasure.  I enjoyed every moment of it.

Tomorrow starts a New Year.  Every day is a gift to be enjoyed to the fullest.

Christmas at Fonthill – Map Room

151228_FonthillChristmas_Map Room by Karl Graf. Fonthill Castle Christmas Decorations – Map Room

Books and reading areas are everywhere at Fonthill.  The Map Room is a small alcove extending from a walkway between the Study and the West Room.  Byers Choice Carolers are on the bureau on the far side of the room. The Dickens’ era figures compliment the decor of the Castle.  Mercer and Dickens were acquaintances.  See below.

151228_FonthillChristmas_Map Room2 by Karl Graf.

Christmas at Fonthill – West Room

151227_FonthillChristmas_West Room by Karl Graf. Fonthill Castle Christmas Decorations – West Room

Some rooms didn’t have room for big trees.  They still had their share of Christmas spirit.  Note the dull monocular tapestry.  At one time this decorated the concrete walls in bright color.  After around 100 years, the colors have faded.  I have seen some earlier photos of these tapestries.  They were beautiful.  Let your imagination wander.

To complement the tapestry, Mercer installed a series of tiles depicting Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers on the fireplace.  See below, and notice the tapestry again.

151227_FonthillChristmas_West Room2 by Karl Graf. West Room Fireplace with Dickins’ Pickwick Papers Tiles.

Christmas at Fonthill – East Room

151226_FonthillChristmas_East Room by Karl Graf. Fonthill Castle Christmas Decorations – East Room

The East Room has a little alcove that was made just for a Christmas tree.  Perfect fit.

This is a single exposure with natural lighting.  I highlighted the tree and the ceiling tiles using a simple recipe of Color Efex Pro’s tonal contrast, highlight detail, and pro contrast presets. The highlights were painted in leaving the background a “softer” contrast (thus popping out the sharper contrast highlights).