Christmas Art

Here is a Christmas Art slideshow that I made, synced to This Winter’s Night with Kevin Marks.

It is actually a hodgepodge masterpiece compilation with an essence of Christmas.

priorhouse xmas art 2014

 

priorhouse xmas art collage - 2014

The shoes, painted by Vincent Van Gogh, remind me of humanity – and the paths each of us walk on our life journey.

Three-Pairs-of-Shoes-Vincent-van-Gogh-1886 shoes by van gogh A Pair of Leather Clogs - Vincent van Gogh van gogh shoes 1885

~~~

I got this little image quote from someone earlier this week – I apologize because I cannot remember where.

cost a lot like Xmas

This week I have also heard at least three people say they hate this time of year.

And those folks are NOT Scrooges either – not at all.  They are just seasoned folks who have “been there, done that” too many times and I guess they like other holidays more.

Now sure, the Christmas season can be a joyful time too… with the sparkle of lights, great music, decadent food, reminder of Christ, sharing of gifts, parties, plays, musicals, classic movies, etc.

But let’s get real for a few minutes here.

The Christmas season can also be such a crappy time of year. Stress, pressure, bad memories, traditions that choke, longer days, missing loved ones, drinking too much, shopping too much, unadjusted expectations, obligations, travel worries, depression, etc. The truth is that this hustle and bustle season can have some down sides.

So with that in mind, I want to close with an image of Starry Night Over the Rhone by Van Gogh – because this painting always reminds me to keep all things in balance.  Art historians have different takes on this work, especially because Vincent sent a description and preliminary sketch of it in a letter before he painted it.

But I like it for the simple things… the visual balance and how the two people seem lost in the vastness of the heavenlies. I enjoy it because of the glowing stars, and the entire sky reminds me of the very spiritual world we live in. It reminds me that we are not alone – because of that Christmas God came down – and how good it is that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

van gogh Starry Night over the Rhone

So… with about 11 days left until Christmas, let’s continue to find joy in some of the smaller things –  let’s stop comparing – and let’s be intentional about doing things that help us glean more of the simple, natural beauty that can easily get missed.

 

 

 


67 thoughts on “Christmas Art

  1. A beautiful selection of art and so well synced with the music. They are all reminiscent of Christmas. Some with the actual portrayal of Christmas scenes some with the predominance of red and green. I do cringe a bit at the commercialism of Christmas and I find it very hard to get in the Christmas spirit when the weather is so hot and I was conditioned to cold and snow as a child. But I do love the actual Christmas day spent with our lovely family and 5 grandkids. We do not have the traditional feast but, sensibly, stick to salad and prawns and lots of fruit. Hope you and your loved ones have a great time through the season of goodwill Yvette.

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    1. thanks so much Pomme – and we have had a few “warm” Christmas seasons – and it is “different” – especially if you are used to the cold – so I know what you mean! But the 5 grandkids makes up for any missing white snow – and a little time in the garden could be kinda wonderful too – ttys 🙂 ❤

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  2. Thank you for taking the time and care to put this together for us. It was very enjoyable.

    I am among those who find Christmas to be an empty time of year, but that’s only because of circumstances.

    I do love seeing the excitement of youngsters as they anticipate some special wonders on Christmas day. May they always retain that joy.

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    1. Hey Yvonne -sorry I missed this earlier 🙂 and thanks for your nice comment – ❤ – and I like your point about the youngsters and the joy and amazement – expect I am absolutely against "lying" to kids with the Santa thing – they can share the st nick stories and all that – but I think it is unethical to Lie and then later reveal it was done under the guise of… of what? I dunno – very unethical and stupid. IMHO that is 🙂

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  3. splendid… admiration & respect, as I have NO artistic talent, it’s like having 2 left hands, but I’m right-handed… 🙂 oh, I have a copy(of course!) of the famous “starry night” in my office… 🙂 merci, good-night and c u asap! 😉

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    1. haha – you are so funny Melanie – and “some” say that starry NIght over the Rhone was a forerunner for the one you have in your office. Also, they different greatly in that the Rhone one (here) was created during a happy time in his lit e- the yellow house in Arles (although some say ‘bittersweet time”) and the Starry Night one (in your office) was made at the mental hospital during a heavier time in his life – and well, it seems like the analyses could go on and on – so I will cease.
      but thanks for dropping by and bonne nuit!!

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  4. Well put Yvette! This post is an excellent reflection of the Christmas holiday season should be viewed. What matters most is celebrating it with your love ones and always keep things in balance (just like you mentioned). Have a wonderful weekend and many many thanks for this wonderful post! Best wishes 🙂

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  5. Sharing your post as it is perfect timing! I love the Van Gogh shoes and your thoughts on them.
    That red sign sure sums it up about the cost.
    I appreciate your visits, likes and comments on my blog Yvette. Thank you.

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  6. I have never seen the shoe paintings by Vincent, but like you Starry night is one of my faves, we were so blessed to see it when it travelled to Australia, we went interstate to Canberra to see it, and I just loved it even more.
    Next weekend, the kids have finished school, we take off camping for a few days before the real Christmas frenzy hits, its our end of year unwind, it slows down the stress and lets us clear our heads, helps my husband switch off work and switch on family time. So definitely “natural” beauty coming up.

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    1. and Kim, I actually read your post about taking your upcoming natural vacay – and maybe that was in my head when I made this post – because seriously, I sat down to share about the tea I add to xmas letters – but started looking at some art and then it was all over after that! anyhow, the tea post will come later and I hope you have a nice “unwind natural beauty” time.

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      1. Ohh Yvette.. You and I are so alike.. My English pen pal used to call them “Kimmy Tangents” where I start on one subject and ramble into something else and then rewind back to the original.. I see you do that too.. You know, there’s so much to blog

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      2. Kimmy Tagents – I love that! and I have only been following you a short while so I have not seen it yet, but that is a fun way to put it – even though some rabbit trails people take can become confusing paths – lol – so I am glad I did not do that! LOL – have a great weekend Kim

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  7. This is the time to celebrate the greatest birthday in history and forgetting about keeping Him in the center of everything is like celebrating a party without the one who has the birthday.
    I think if people are worried about the things, the money, and all the hupla it’s because they are not celebrating the reason of Christmas.
    Thanks for sharing all the wonderful art and ray of positivity.

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    1. well preach it my friend! but I also think that even for those who do not celebrate the religious side – well they can still benefit from not getting caught up in “stuff” and in “more” or in feeling sad because they cannot travel to be with so and so – or have this or that – because it seems like there are so many little setups to just bring folks down… hugs (((<3)))

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      1. Definitely, it should still be a season to celebrate the good and all the things you DO have instead of everything that we don’t.
        Then again, that should be the way we look at it the whole year, right? My mother hammered it inside my heart to ALWAYS be grateful and it’s one of the best gifts; to be thankful everyday, for everything.
        Hugs back 🙂

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  8. What a sweet lady you are! 🙂 That was a lovely peaceful video I just watched and I loved the ‘snow’ you sent Pauline. I was very taken with the shoes too, Yvette, but I’m always astounded at how much expression an artist can get into a face. There are some beautiful ones here.
    Christmas? Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I hate it. The good outweighs the bad 🙂

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    1. Hi Restless one! and I am still humming from your “castle” posts – and the recent video was a complete treat – 🙂 ❤ – and I think you speak for many people with this: “Christmas? Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I hate it.” and wells eyeing that I sent Pomme some snow, maybe you could send me some sand or some of the beach water – please…. ha!

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    1. Thanks S- and I was going to drop by and tell you – but the Klimt masterpiece (tree of life) reminded me of your post from a while back – so that one was for you my Florida friend – and glad you ear easing your way into the holiday mood ❤ ❤

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  9. These was really beautiful Yvette, very cool christmaslike. I´m even getting on the mood and I tend to not like any type of holidays or in this case even Christmas, but beautiful montage you´ve made

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    1. Thanks CP4 – glad you liked the montage – 🙂 – and I usually like Christmas early in December – but then it can get start to get “mixed” – anyhow, have a good weekend amigo

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  10. Beautiful post, Yvette, and one that really touched my Heart. I did a post a while back mentioning the fact that many people have a really difficult time getting through these holidays. I said I would help with my beautiful and uplifting posts to get them through. I am SO glad you are doing this too, my friend. Yes, let’s focus on the simple things in Life, and get away from all the hustle and bustle and pressure to buy. I mostly have walked away from the pressure of buying, only getting gifts for a few. Bless you for caring, and I mean it. Together we can do anything and that includes getting through the next weeks with a semblance of Good Cheer. (((HUGS))) Amy

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    1. Hi Lady rose-ski – and I need to read that post of yours – I will be over later to find it – 🙂 – and thanks for dropping by – I actually thought of a few bloggers with a few of the masterpiece paintings – and the one from Renoir made me think of you – and some of your flower photography – 🙂

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      1. Oh, Lady Blue-ski, how caring of you to think of me and to give me this Gift today. This painting is so soft and the blooms seem to just reach out to me. I Love this, Yvette, thank you. The post you will want to look at is called Dreams. I hope you enjoy it!!! (((HUGS))) Amy

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      2. I came back here again just to soak up all the delightful Christmas art you have on this post. I did miss those flowers the first time around, and I really really thank you for pointing them out to me. I Love them, Yvette. Bless you! Love, Amy

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    1. Thanks Sue – and that is actually what today’s post specifically said – thanks for that foreshadowing comment – lol – and hope you are enjoying your month of December so far – ❤

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  11. (EN) The son of a priest(V.Van Gogh), art and Christmas match completely 🙂 Art is important everyday and birth of Jesus too( for christians).Just an opinion mine.Love your video:-)Thanks
    (IT) Il figlio di un prete(V.Van Gogh), arte e Natale si combinano perfettemente 🙂 L’arte è necessaria ogni giorno e la nascita di Gesù anche( per i cristiani).Solo un’opinione la mia.Adoro il tuo video :-)Grazie

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    1. I love your art side forthemo – and your opinions – oh – and with Vincent – well I get the impression that he did not like the Christmas holiday -cos even back then it was much commercial ruckus and kerfuffle.. I just bet he was the type that liked other holidays more.

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      1. well forthemo – Christmas Day in 1881 Vincent had a big fight with his dad, because his dad was FORCING him to go to church – and Vincent just did not like the “obligatory spirit” that was in the air…
        http://vangoghletters.org/vg/letters/let194/letter.html
        the letter:

        The Hague, Thursday evening

        My dear Theo,
        Accept my thanks for your letter and the enclosure. When I received your letter I was back in Etten, following Mauve’s advice, as I wrote to you. But now, as you see, I’m back in The Hague again.
        At Christmas I had a rather violent argument with Pa, and feelings ran so high that Pa said it would be better if I left home. Well, it was said so decidedly that I actually left the same day.
        Things actually came to a head because I didn’t go to church, and also said that if going to church was something forced and I had to go to church, I’d most certainly never go again, not even out of politeness, as I’ve been doing fairly regularly the whole time I’ve been in Etten. But oh, there’s actually much more to it, including the whole story of what happened this summer between me and K.V.
        I was angrier than I ever remember being in my whole life, and I told Pa plainly that I found the whole system of that religion loathsome, and precisely because I dwelled on those things too much during a miserable time in my life1 I don’t want anything more to do with it, and have to guard against it as against something fatal.
        Was I too angry, too violent? – so be it, but even supposing that to be the case, then at least now it’s over and done with.
        I went back to M. and said, listen M., I can’t stay in Etten and I have to go and live somewhere else, preferably here.
        Well, M. said, stay here then. And so I’ve rented a studio here, namely a room and alcove which can be made suitable. Inexpensive enough, just outside town in Schenkweg, about 10 minutes from M.2

        Pa told me that if I needed money he would lend it to me if necessary, but now that’s impossible, I must remain completely independent of Pa. How? I don’t know yet, but M. is willing to help me if necessary, and you too, I hope and trust, and of course I’ll work and do my utmost to earn a little.
        I’m here now, and the fact is there’s no turning back. At an inconvenient time, but what’s to be done?
        I must have some simple furniture, and my expenses for drawing and painting materials aren’t getting any lower.
        I also have to try and dress better. It’s a daring move, and a question of sink or swim. But some day I’d have set up house on my own, so what else can I do? Now things have gone faster than I expected.
        As far as the relations between Pa and Ma and me are concerned, they can’t be put to rights so very quickly. The difference in our mentality and outlook on life is simply too great.
        And although I spoke in anger, I said things that I also think when I’m in a calmer mood. So I don’t take back what I said, and anyway Pa has now heard it plainly. If I’d been calmer, I’d have said it in other, less extreme colours, but basically I’d have thought the same.
        And I hope that in any case it will lead to something good. I must endure bad times and the waters will rise, possibly as high as the lips and possibly even higher, how can I know beforehand? But I’ll fight my fight and sell my life dearly and try to win and pull through.

        I’ll be moving into the studio around 1 January. Regarding furniture, I’ll take the very simplest, a wooden table, a couple of chairs.
        For a bed, I’d be content with a woollen blanket and the floor. But M. wants me to buy a bed and will lend me the money if necessary. When drawing up an account of the 100 francs, there turned out to be money left over, even though I made two journeys this summer, and once, the last time, for such a long time. It’s true that I ate and slept at home, but Pa himself said at the time that he could spare it.
        You understand that I’m now extremely worried, and foresee much toil and tribulation. But still it’s a relief to me that I’ve gone so far that I can no longer go back, and that even though the path is difficult, my path is now clear enough.
        It goes without saying that I’m asking you, Theo, if you can do it, to send me now and then what you can without going short yourself. And – in the circumstances, send it to me rather than giving it to others. Because if possible we shouldn’t get Mauve mixed up in this, as far as financial matters are concerned. It’s already of inestimable value that he helps me artistically in word and deed. He insists, however, that I buy a bed, for instance, and a couple of pieces of furniture, and says, I’ll lend it to you if necessary. Because according to him I must, no matter what, appear presentable as regards my clothing, and not try to scrimp and save.

        I’ll write to you again soon. I don’t want to consider it a misfortune that it’s turned out this way, on the contrary, despite all the emotion I feel a certain calm.
        There is safety in the midst of danger.

        What would life be if we didn’t dare to take things in hand?
        I ran around everywhere to find that studio, both in the city and in Scheveningen.
        Scheveningen is terribly expensive. This studio costs only 7 guilders a month, but the furniture makes it difficult. Still, if one has one’s own things, they won’t disappear, and one has surer ground beneath one’s feet.
        The light comes from the south, more or less, but the window is large and high,4 and I have hopes that it will look nice after a time.
        You can imagine how stimulated I feel. What will my work be like in a year? If only I could express what I feel – well, Mauve understands all this and wants to give me as many technical tips as he can – what fills my head and heart must be expressed in drawings or paintings.
        Mauve himself is very busy with a large painting of a pink against the dunes being hauled by horses.5 I think it’s wonderful to be in The Hague, and I find no end of beautiful things and I must try and depict some of them.
        Adieu, old chap, accept a handshake in thought and write soon, believe me

        Ever yours,
        Vincent

        Many regards from M. and Jet.

        I still have a bit of money, but how long will I be able to get by on it? I have to stay at the boarding-house until 1 January.

        Just address your letters to the address A. Mauve. Uilebomen 198, since I go there almost every day.

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  12. I looooooovvvvveeeee Christmas, but I don’t like the consumerism and over-crowded malls. Growing up in Canada, Christmas to me has always meant cold, fireplace, hot chocolate, lots of baking, big family dinner, parties with friends and co-workers, giving and receiving presents, decorating the house. Basically, ooey gooey cozy feelings. I have, however the consumerism. My mom has always given lots of presents. Now that I live in Brazil, it’s a totally different type of celebration. And I’m thankful that my hubby’s family are not into consumerism and all. We meet for a big dinner on Christmas eve, and the gifts are simple. If any shopping needs to be done, it’s done at the low times. I always get depressed when I’m in Canada for Christmas because I feel like I need to get everybody nice gifts, and we don’t have the money for that.
    I guess what I want to do when it comes to raising my children and the Christmas season, is to place the emphasis on time with family, remembering Immanuel and giving and receiving from the heart.
    Merry Christmas to you Prior.

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    1. Thanks for your nice comment Stac – and loved the two versions of your holiday – Canada and Brazil – and the Brazil ones sounds warm.
      The thing about gifts – well we reached a point where we did not want things to always escalate and so we limited the big gifts regardless of funds and I told my boys that just to not get Christmas crazy – if there was a big gift in store for them -(like a car of international trip) we would give it to them in February or any other time of the year – just to NOT have Xmas become about grand gifts. so for about six years we gave A. – a check (which hello – was really what they wanted) then B. 3 big gifts (relatively big) and C. 3 medium gifts – and then as many smaller goodies or stocking stuffers as mom wanted – including baggy stuff and edibles.
      It evolved a bit, but parameters kept expectations appropriate and still kept us participating in a way that fit our family. hmm
      ❤ ❤

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      1. Oh great. It’s funny because my hubby comes from a very frugal family. My father-in-law owns three properties: two houses and an apartment building. He is far from rich, but they just don’t spend money. Plus, he used to be a master of trades and built them himself. During Christmas, my mother-in-law gives our kids something super cheap like playdough or some cheapy toy. Or maybe a shirt. My mom and brothers give all these really nice and good quality toys and clothes. Of course my kids love it, but you can just imagine what I go through when we’re in Canada. Ugh. My Aspie son never wants to leave and thinks it’s always Christmas there.
        I love how they value what we have here though. They get so excited when I decorate the house and put up the tree. They look forward to baking Christmas cookies with me. They have fun, being that they are on summer holiday. They enjoy going to city square downtown, where there’s a little lake with ducks and fish, lights and decorations, plus popcorn and Christmas music playing. They enjoy Christmas eve over at my inlaws. They love going to the mall and seeing all the lights and decorations. I love that. When their joy is in these simple things, the gifts end up being just the icing on the cake.
        🙂 ❤

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      2. aw Stac – this was such a nice read – and brought me back to some of those years when our boys were younger. Your descriptions had warmth – I read it twice….

        My former high school teacher (Mr. Donatelli) left us with some quotes – one was –
        “the rich get richer and the poor have kids” – ha!
        which I have modified to sometimes see that “the rich get richer and the poor get screwed” – ha!
        but seriously, when you wrote “they just do not spend money” well there are jokes about how wealthy people accumulate and become so squeaky tight – to then leave it all behind for family to just fight over – ha! or to keep on storing up….
        but not all wealthy are squeaky tight – because some very generous donors make a lot of things happen in this world – ❤ and it seems like God has strategically allowed certain people to have huge shares because of what they do… but sometimes there is a lot of weight to carry with a lot of wealth – but I digress…

        This reminds me of a Ruby Payne example (she writes about poverty – esp. for Educators) – anyhow, the example was something like if you give 500 dollars to a “poor” person, they will "spend it" almost immediately -ALL of it – cos chances are they owe someone some money or they sprinkle it all around so they will be taken care of when broke again – and if you give an extra 500 to the middle class – well they "manage it" – use it for a bill – and maybe put it here or there- but the rich – give them 500 and well they "save it" it goes right in the bank –
        Now that is not always the case, but at least your f-in-law is not trying to "buy" affection – because that is the worse – when money or lavish gifts are given instead of giving of the "self" – ya know… ❤

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  13. You write of so many facets of this time of year… and the lighthearted fun about the cost of Christmas… Before the start of WWII, America was in the throes of the Depression. Gifts were simple yet from the heart, I believe, if you were one of the millions eeking things out. Even during the war, things were rationed so a true cake became a cherished gift. But when the boys came back from the war, things were in great abundance before long with incomes rising… So the simple things amongst those same people changed… Sometimes it was keeping up with the Joneses but TV became a merchandizing vehicle without compare. I wish it went back to times of old…

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    1. Thanks for your nice comment Koj – and it is interesting to think about times of old – and then to think that someday our grandkids will look back and maybe think about our times as having a special charm – like when people still used smart phones – lol – and actually – your comment made me think of the movie “Midnight in Paris” – well in spite of what felt like really bad acting, the movie highlighted the way we see now vs. then because the lead character can time travel a bit – (and he meets artists like Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec) but the point they make is that

      “people are never really ever happy where they are in time and space and they often romanticize another time and another era”
      hm

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  14. I’m a Christmas-lover but certainly understand the stress that can surround it. This year, I’m adopting my 2015 resolution a few weeks early and applying it to the season. Ironically, you captured it at the end of your piece.
    Balance…it’s going to be all about balance in 2015.
    I hope you have a blessed Christmas, Yvette! xo

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    1. thanks mama-joy – ❤ – and Merry Christmas to you too
      and regarding the balance thing – well sometimes I have loved a bit of imbalance too – like we have had some crazy-awesome seasons where things were busy – non-stop – doing this and that – (maybe even stupid) – but also loved those times and have such richness from it – however, we could not sustain every year like that – but sometimes a little out of balance can be life giving and invigorating fun – and sometimes it is only through those years that we satisfy something that later lets us enjoy quieter times too – oh I dunno – but Christmas is such a "mixed" holiday – and it all comes to staying healthy and finding what aligns with us for our health, as you note with the "balance"- ❤ ((hugs))

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      1. “but sometimes a little out of balance can be life giving and invigorating fun”

        You nailed it, Yvette!
        In fact, as I was composing the “balance post” in my head, I am thinking, “Balance is good…but not TOO much”
        We can’t live our lives in a flat, controlled state all of the time, right?
        You, my friend are always so good at keeping me balanced as well as a little unbalanced for when life calls for it.
        Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy Christmas, too. I’m so enjoying your holiday posts!! xoxoxox

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      2. well I did it all very easy with photo-funia (and I get no perks for this mention) but I have been meaning to share with readers this cool free site that allows you to quickly insert pics – last summer my hubs made me some priorhosue blog ones and it really made my day – anyhow, I am going to make one for those who comment on the post (also I did mention it in the post above – but just a little mention – so here is the link <3: http://photofunia.com

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  15. I adore your Christmas Art slideshow Y, the song too is absolutely beautiful, I’ve not heard it before. I love how you break down the video by showing the individual photos and then giving your personal take on them and your reason for sharing them, what they mean to you and why you put them together in this collage. Monet is my absolute favourite (I long for a copy of Water Lillies one of these days) and yes, there is the little boy with his brass buttons 🙂 Starry Night over the Rhone is stunning, so perfect for a Christmas post. You capture the essence of this time of year so touchingly, so realistically, while acknowledging the struggle some have with it and how difficult it can be for many, yet reminding us so tenderly that there is so much that is beautiful about the season too, if only we can turn our heart towards God’s gift to us, Jesus’ birth, His gift of light in a dark, cold and lonely world. Your light shines brightly here mon amie, and I thank you for it. God bless you and your family this Christmas and always ❤ ❤ ❤

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    1. thanks so much Sherri – – and I can see Monet fitting you and your style – the gardens, flowers, water, colors, etc. – He is on my like list – but I like “Manet” even more… 🙂
      and those brass buttons totally made me think of your special coat – the buttons are different but similar and it was such s west post:) ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. This is such a lovely Christmas gift for us, Yvette 🙂

    Great art and music, this is feast, what else?

    As I mentioned before, your comment section is as informative and entertaining as your post 🙂

    And you are an artist with many a dimensions 🙂

    I know you are getting ready for a beautiful Christmas day 🙂

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  17. I really enjoyed your slideshow – it was just lovely ❤ Loved the song and the works you chose – Van Gogh, Klimt and Manet are some of my favs!! Left me feeling quite peaceful . . . thank you for that ☮

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    1. de nada – and I just saw a Klimt on your fiction post – and some of his pieces are too busy for me – but I appreciate his genius – 🙂 thanks os much for peeking around the posts tonight! ❤ ❤

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