Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Seasonal’

Merry Christmas from The Daily Norm

Sometimes it’s hard to remember, as I look out of my window onto palm trees swaying in a gentle sunny breeze, that Christmas is upon us. Yet come nightfall, when the temperatures drop and that very same palm tree becomes emboldened with the thousands of fairy lights which have been wrapped around its trunk in celebration of the season, I know that this very special season has arrived. Mulled wine – that exquisite perfume of sweet cinnamon, citrus and rich red wine – ginger spices, old cloister carols and the flickering flames of candles fill my home now, and all around me it is truly beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

The Tree at San Miguel (2015, © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

The Tree at San Miguel (2015, © Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, gouache on paper)

But amongst the wrapping and the carols, the alcoholic indulgence and the preparations for the visit of Old Saint Nick, let me not forget all of you, my amazing Daily Norm readers, who have made blogging such a pleasure this year. I’m wishing you all the very happiest of Christmases, and a wonderful, prosperous and very exciting New Year. And as my parting Christmas gift, I hope you enjoy this last of my gouaches of the year – the incredible Christmas Tree (one of my own in fact!) at Cappuccino San Miguel, here in Palma de Mallorca.

Merry Christmas everyone! ¡Feliz Navidad!

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2001-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. For more information on the work of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown, head to his art website at www.delacybrown.com

Reinventing the Ribbon: My Christmas Trees, 2015

As a largely self-appointed Christmas tree expert (although to be fair, I was the official House of Fraser Christmas decoration expert in 2014 don’t you know…) the festive season is always a busy time for me, and that is just with the four trees that spring up lovingly in my house. But this year, I had the charge of some additional 18 trees for my employment, as well as my parents’ tree back in the UK, bringing this year’s efforts to a grand total of 23 trees. That’s a lot of baubles, lights, prickly branches and this year’s addition – ribbon – to contend with. Is it any wonder the Daily Norm has been so quiet of late? But finally I am in a position to share some of the fruits of my labours with you, my dear readers.

DSC04635DSC04576DSC04698DSC03746DSC04707DSC04368

Rather than focus on each tree in detail, I have instead decided to bombard you with a post full of photographs showing decorative detail. The trees featured largely comprise those in my own new Mallorca home, all four decorated in a unique and individual scheme of their own. But also featuring are a few of the trees I put up for my employer. Across the board, and as I have already mentioned, the newcomer of the season has been ribbon.

I was always a big fan of tinsel, despite its reputation as protagonist of the 80s, to such an extent that some would almost declare its adornment today to be “vintage”. However, my mantra has always been that anything is better than the draped strings of beads of the 90s, and for this reason, tinsel, which glitters and sparkles from every angle has always been a feature of my trees. But tinsel is scarcer out here in the Mediterranean, and when a chance visit to a local florist saw me rummaging in big box of multi-coloured ribbons like a child on Christmas morning, I was hooked. For the way it can crumple and crease, wave and undulate, hang in loops and in haphazard formulations across a tree, I was a tinsel-man transformed. And now all of my trees feature this truly versatile construct, in every colour and texture. For me the result is a level of elegance which my trees have not reached before and which, when coupled with branches fully loaded with baubles both monochromatic and patterned, round and cutely shaped, produces a truly festive display, both at work, and at home.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2015 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.    

Christmas Corona to Crown a Seasonal Soirée

I love nothing more than a Christmas party, and as I write, the excitement is building for the first soirée to be held in our new Palma apartment. It’s become something of annual tradition to light the candles, give the baubles an extra polish, stack up the bubbles and smoked salmon, and host a party for friends just before Christmas. Those nearest and dearest  to me in London will be sadly absent this year, but Palma is a very friendly place, and already friends made through my  new job here in Mallorca will be only too welcome at our 2014 fiesta.

But pride of place at this year’s party will be the latest addition to my Christmas decor. Gathered from the abundant stalls of flowers and foliage sold at Palma’s flower market along the leafy boulevard, La Rambla, this wreath or corona as the Spanish call it (meaning crown) has truly brought the outside evergreen in. Packed with fragrant fir tree branches, red berries, mistletoe and this year’s special touch – cotton, this foliage display is truly Christmasy, and brings the very essence of a Scandinavian Christmas directly into the heart of my Spanish home. The Scandinavian feel is even further emphasised with these amazing birch tree candles I’ve placed at its centre – wrapped with real tree bark, they look like something straight out of a snowy forest.

My Christmas “Corona”

DSC02934 DSC02939 DSC02948 DSC02949 DSC02946 DSC02941 DSC02951

I should not end this post however without paying due homage to the flower market itself. For La Rambla in Palma is truly one of the most beautiful streets in the city. Boasting a central pedestrianised avenue nestled between two roads,  and overhung with huge leafy plane trees which always seem to retain many of their leaves, even now in December, it truly is a spectacular place to walk, take a coffee, and breath in the fragrant smell emanating from all of the fresh flowers. And with a special Christmas market also currently in situ, we have discovered it also makes a great place for mulled wine too!

La Rambla

DSC02892 DSC02895 DSC02891 DSC02901 DSC02893 DSC02889

Happy Christmas everyone!

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.