A compilations of A Return To Loveliness posts from A Delight Life.

Celebrate Spring With Victoria

Celebrate Spring With Victoria

"If summer is 
a symphony in full concert,
then spring is a delightful
string quartet, a time of the 
softest beauty. The notes are
delicate ones, as spring flowers
are fragile things. It is also a
time of discovery. "
Nancy Lindemeyer
Victoria Magazine March 1991

After a long winter's nap 
spring has finally arrived.
For some, this has been a long-harsh winter
whose grip may still be felt.

Celebrate Spring With Victoria

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we 
did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.  ~Anne Bradstreet

But, soon this will all become a memory
as we can all view the renewal 
of the living things we are blessed with.

New Life

'For behold, the winter is past,  
The rain is over and gone.  
 'The flowers have already appeared in the land;  
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,  
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.  
 'The fig tree has ripened its figs,  
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance.  
Arise, my darling, my beautiful one,  
And come along!' " 
Song of Solomon 2:11-13

I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature's rebirth?  ~Edward Giobbi


I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden.  ~Ruth Stout

That God once loved a garden we learn in Holy writ.
And seeing gardens in the Spring I well can credit it.
~Winifred Mary Letts

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.  ~Terri Guillemets


Home is not where you live but where they understand you.  ~Christian Morgenstern

The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there.  ~Ellie Rodriguez

Every house where love abides
And friendship is a guest,
Is surely home, and home sweet home
For there the heart can rest.
~Henry Van Dyke

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.  ~Jane Austen

Our hearts

"Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." - Henry Van Dyke

"I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn." - Henry David Thoreau

"Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in
their pleasure takes joy, even as though t'were his own."
Johann Wolfgang von Goeth

What a blessing it is to share and to appreciate
with one another the beauty of spring that surrounds
us and to bring a bit of it's light and fragrance into our homes.

Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great;  
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,  
Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak,  
Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.  
He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters;  
He makes the clouds His chariot; 
 He walks upon the wings of the wind;  
He makes the winds His messengers,  
Flaming fire His ministers.  
He established the earth upon its foundations,  
So that it will not totter forever and ever.  
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;  
The waters were standing above the mountains.  
 At Your rebuke they fled,  
At the sound of Your thunder they hurried away.  
The mountains rose; the valleys sank down  To the place which You established for them.  
You set a boundary that they may not pass over, 
 So that they will not return to cover the earth.  

He sends forth springs in the valleys;  
They flow between the mountains;  
They give drink to every beast of the field; 
 The wild donkeys quench their thirst.  
 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;  

They lift up their voices among, the branches.  
 He waters the mountains from His upper chambers;  
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.  
 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,  
And vegetation for the labor of man,  
So that he may bring forth food from the earth,  

 And wine which makes man's heart glad,  
So that he may make his face glisten with oil,  
And food which sustains man's heart.  
 The trees of the LORD drink their fill,  
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,  
Where, the birds build their nests,  
And the stork, whose home is the fir trees.  
The high mountains are for the wild goats;  
The cliffs are a refuge for the shephanim.  
 He made the moon for the seasons;  
The sun knows the place of its setting. 
Psalms 104:1-19 (NASB) 

Thank you for visiting. I hope you have a lovely cup of tea beside 
you in your comfortable corner. There's quite a number of wonderful
ladies joining us today to celebrate spring. I will have this post up
all week for you to return to and will update as I visit each
participant's link.
Take your time - drink in the sweet vistas of Spring with us.
Dear ladies, if you would kindly add a link back to my blog so 
that your readers may find these other Spring delights I'd be most grateful.

Celebrate Spring With Victoria

Celebrating the art of being Fine and Gracious

looking through March Victoria magazines -
classic and new  for inspiration while enjoying
a quiet cup of tea

Webster's 1828 dictionary defines fine - in characteristic - as being elegant; beautiful in thought; very handsome; beautiful with dignity; accomplished elegant in manner and amiable, noble. 
Being described as 'fine' is not very common today. Similar descriptions may be used, such as gracious or delightful. 

Today, I am very thankful to Phyllis Hoffman for taking up the mantle of the very fine
magazine, Victoria. Phyllis had shared, "The relaunch of Victoria is a dream of mine! I was one of the disappointed subscribers who felt as though a friend was gone when the magazine was closed. Victoria has a passionate readership of women who love every tiny detail of life. The magazine was a visual vacation for us and was a retreat from the hectic daily pace."

Victoria March 1991 - bringing to live the 'daily eloquence' of life portrayed by artist Gari Melcher
Hoffman Media describes Victoria Magazine as, "Victoria, a bimonthly women's lifestyle magazine, is designed to nourish the feminine soul. Created for all who love the timeless appeal of romantic fashions, heritage linens, charming homes, gracious gardens, unique decorative touches and all that is beautiful in life, Victoria promises a return to loveliness. The magazine provides a showcase for women's heritage and harkens to a time when elegance and graciousness were central to every part of life."

Young Woman Sewing
Victoria's adaptation
The classic Victoria did just that and I believe that Phyllis and those
working with her on Victoria Magazine are doing a superb job in 
fulfilling that description.

Penelope - a portrayal of a wife with her needle -  a gesture of truest love.

Victoria's adaptation
It is not an easy thing to take up someone else's work and to recreate
the mood, the tone, the language or the visual. But, I believe that Phyllis is a Kindred Spirit and has worked very hard to fulfill that pledge. 

dining buffet ladened with china and silver
at the ready for tea time visitors

The other magazines published by Hoffman are also ones that are 
geared to a woman's heart - 
What Victoria Magazine did in 1991 to emulate the works
of Melcher - demonstrating works of art honoring 
the everyday life - inviting you to enter and to walk around.

fresh flowers adorn tabletops bringing in the Spring
colors  and fragrance of the garden
I believe Victoria Magazine encourages and portrays the kind
of living so many of us endeavor to do everyday. It is wonderful
to have Kindred Spirits to walk along our side and to inspire us
to live a more gracious life.
favorite dishes displayed on the kitchen counter
invite guests to linger for another cup of tea

I am thankful to those who encourage women to be the best they can be - in a very feminine way - to continue a sense of living our lives thoughtful for ourselves and for our families.

I am excessively fond of a cottage; there is always so much comfort, so much elegance about them. And I protest, if I had any money to spare, I should buy a little land and build one myself, within a short distance of London, where I might drive myself down at any time, and collect a few friends about me and be happy. I advise everybody who is going to build, to build a cottage.
Jane Austen

English Cottage Style

During the month of March Victoria Magazine shared with us the charm of
English style. Of how Daphne Du Maurier's love for Cornwall inspired
beloved stories such as Rebecca and Jamaica Inn.

Of the times and trials of living in Jane Austin's time and how she
touched our hearts with her romantic heroines in stories like
Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.

When envisioning England, I think of countrysides and towns that
haven't changed for centuries. Of tumbling, rambling gardens
both in stately Manors and humble Cottages.

Of Roses caressing homes and archways. Of walks in the 
countryside along streams and hills.

We are given opportunity over the years
to view such delightful places through
the pages of Victoria Magazine.

What defines English Cottage Style?

"English cottage decorating, is a wonderful, eclectic, casual, very personal way to express yourself. Choose your furniture and accessories with careful consideration of your own likes, comfort level, and budget. You want it to show your own history, personality and humor. Nothing has to match, though your color scheme should be carried throughout. Practicality reigns supreme."

I think of cozy rooms with overstuffed chairs situated
close to the fire - a side table ladened with a teapot and biscuits.
I think of blankets strewn over the side of the chair - 

 of Chintz
- of ecclectic pieces that have sentimental value.

There's much to be loved and admired about England
her people, her homes and her gardens.
I am thankful for the wonderful dedication
Victoria Magazine showed and for the opportunity to
sit in my comfy chair with tea by my side and my
volumes of March Victorias -to travel to a land where
cottages and gardens delight.

Credits: most photos taken from Victoria Magazine issues 1994, 1998.