Tag Archives: Victorian

Valentine’s Day

When I a little girl I LOVED Valentine’s Day; not because I dreamt of a knight-in-shining-armor or had a hope chest (neither of these are true), but because it is a totally mundane Hallmark holiday that my gifted and generous mother made magical by infusing it with the appropriate amount of paganism and Victorian tradition.  

Valentine’s Day morning meant a special breakfast.  It usually consisted of Swedish pancakes (my mother didn’t make any other kind) with powdered sugar and lingonberry jam.  There was always beautiful fresh fruit too, often strawberries and whipped cream (by hand, not something that comes out of a nozzle).  The table was specially set and varied from year to year.  Lace table cloths would have been removed from linen drawers the night before and ironed.  White and gold china was used.  Perhaps there was red silk underneath the antique lace one year.  Each place setting had a handmade Valentine (sometimes more than one if we had spent the preceding week crafting together).  And this was all usually around six AM, before we had to put on our uniforms (with a red sweater, or maybe a pink bow in my hair to denote the holiday) and go to school. 

With all the hullabaloo around Valentine’s day from the couples (he better get the right reservation!) and singles (damn all the coupled people!) I miss the good old days of sugary breakfasts and familial love.  It was romantic, just not in a sexy way.  To celebrate Valentine’s Day here are some gorgeous images of antique and vintage Valentines and some tips for making your own sugary breakfast. Enjoy!

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While I wasn’t one for knight-in-shining-armor I did have a thing for a nice, big pink sash.  Love it! Source

valentine2The sailboat! The garlands of forget-me-nots!  Source

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detail:

valentine31

Unbelievable.  So gorgeous.  Really worth clicking on the link to see more details.  The ribbon alone! Source

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The gesturing hand is so Victorian. And the dove with the envelope! The purple and white lilacs really put me over the top on this one.  Source

The Swedish pancake mix that was always on hand in our pantry:

swedish-pancake-mix

Lunds and lingonberry jam can be found at specialty grocers or online here.

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Nevada City Soothes

Once we were able to navigate the driveway, Nevada City became the soothing Victorian winter wonderland it is at heart.  The houses are adorable and very well-kept.  Red bows, garlands, lights, and wreaths abound, which makes it all feel a lot like Christmas.  

Rain came yesterday to wash the snow away, which was a blessing given the driveway situation, but I snapped some White Christmas pictures before it all melted:

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cottage

I just love the even blanket of snow on the roof.

red-bud-branch

I’m not sure what kind of tree this is but the little red berries are divine.

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This one is for sale and it’s right at the top of Broad Street that runs through the old-fashioned downtown commercial district.  Quel adorable!

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