Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Party Happened






And they saw a star in the west.  It was the Space Shuttle Endeavour and she boomed through the sky, transporting 124 guests and their significant others and children, plus numerous dogs, cats and at least one horse. The first annual Masked Ball would soon be underway at the beach side home of Helen Tilston Painter, in sunny Florida, USA.

Space Shuttle Endeavour
The manifest listed guests showing a plethora of passports: Australia, Austria, Holland, U.K, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, India, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, Monaco, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Japan, China, Phillipines, Scotland Ireland and the Aran Islands, Wales.  All U.S. States and Hawaii guests were on board a special Boeing 747, as it  piggy backed  the Shuttle  from California.  The weather made for a perfect touch down at the Cape.





Some costumes were shipped in advance from Italy Anna  From PortugalVal

Before dinner it was horseback riding on the beach, with lead pony Spotty
Spotty Pony getting her sea legs
Who are these bloggers on horseback?


We talked, we danced, we dined, we laughed, we hugged and the finest wines were poured.   We discussed the arts.

We watched the sunset.   We heard the cock crow at day break and knew that, shortly, following a breakfast of freshly squeezed Florida orange juice, Fresh Fruit Salad, Cappucinos, French toast and croissants all would amble on board Endeaver and bid fond farewells.  Gift Bags were presented  and  included Florida key lime pie

 Florida oranges, Floria key limes, lemons and tangerines.  The countdown started 5-4-3-2-1  poof
Blast-Off

Key Limes

Oranges locally grown in Florida
As Endeavour boomed into space, I could hear all of you singing We'll Meet Again

I said a prayer and  thanked God for meeting each and every one of you.
You have brought me so much joy, wisdom, beauty, laughter and friendship this past year. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand and may your hearts overflow with goodwill, peace and joy and success beyond your wildest dreams.




91 comments:

  1. Helen I so adore how you party! May love and goodwill abide in you this holiday season.

    All my best for a joyous New Year! May I attend one of your parties in 2012!!!

    Cheers my dear,
    Deb

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  2. What pleasure to meet you and all your guests..
    We chatted about so much,and went around the world and back.! The flight was excellent.
    No words to express my gratitude for being invited to the event of the year. Absolutley fabulous.
    I arrived home just in time to prepare my christmas decorations.
    Dear Helen.. To you and yours.. a blessed Christmas
    an avid follower
    val

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  3. Well, of course, as always, late to the party and it sounded like it was one to remember! Perhaps I can swing by and we can chat over the leftovers? :)

    Helen, how lovely to have friends all over the world. You deserve them! You bring all of us so much joy.

    Wishing you and yours a Holiday Season full of peace and happiness.

    --Heather.

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  4. Oh, Helen... it was such a fantastic party! Wonderful food, music, company. Yes, we discussed the arts and it was fabulous! I was inspired by the costumes, the colours, the Venetian feel of the event. I felt I was being transported back to the times of the Venetian Republic! I think I might have even spotted Mr. Casanova! Or was it my Marcello? Never mind... it doesn't matter.

    As the old song says:" We'll meet again. don't know where, don't know when... but I know we'll meet again, some sunny day!" And I'll make sure I bring snow, again!... 'cause you can't have a Christmas party, without snow!

    BUON NATALE A TUTTI!

    ANNA

    XXX

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  5. Dumbwit Tellher

    Hello Deb

    You have a lifetime invitation to attend my parties.
    Wishing you and your family goodness at Christmas and always

    Helen xx

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  6. Val's alentejo blog

    Dear Valerie

    You look ravishing in your beautiful costume. So happy to hear you had a bump free shuttle flight home and the shuttle infinitely faster than the now retired Concorde.
    Happy Christmas to you and all the Tilstons.

    Helen xx

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  7. Oh Helen i love this post its just fabulous! i so enjoyed reading it.
    Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas and peace,love and light for 2012 xxx

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  8. Dearest Helen
    Thank you for the most memorable party.... ever!
    Spotty really did not want to leave the beach, he loves the feel of sand under his hooves.

    Thank you for your friendship, it has been a pleasure to 'meet' you through your wonderful blog.
    I wish you a very merry Christmas and much happiness in the New Year.
    Hugs, Abby and Spotty xx

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  9. Helen,
    You throw the best parties!!!
    Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas!
    xo,
    ~R

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  10. Helen, the blogging community really feels that warm and real, doesn't it? I hope you have a wonderful, mirthful Christmas. Meeting you was very much one of the Good Things of the year for me, and it's an honour to share a space shuttle with you.

    xx
    Mise

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  11. A perfect party to end the year! May you have a wonderful Christmas and may 2012 bring you every good thing. To use a Quaker phrase- 'may you be held in the light' Jane xxx

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  12. Though not there in person, we three were there in spirit...my dress arrived in time but the cats' did not. I had ordered the fabric and so there was a delay. They may come and visit you alone for an afternoon tea perhaps. They have requested lox. xx

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  13. Dear Helen,
    I wish you a merry christmas and wonderful days!!!
    Hugs
    Yvonne

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  14. What a wonderful post this is Helen!
    Sending you wishes for a most beautiful Holiday, and i thank you for all the kindness you have shown me.

    lisa. xo

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  15. My what a grand time you all had!!! WOW!! Wonderful post! Cathy

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  16. So much fun!
    Hope you have a Merry Christmas.
    Mary Ann

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  17. Lost in Provence

    Hello Heather

    I would dearly love if you would pop by with you dog and we could have a post mortem.
    Thank you for your kindess, support and comments this past year

    Happy Christmas to you and family

    Helen xx

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  18. Hello dear Anna

    BUON NATALE A TUTTI!

    Thank you for bring Casanova and Marello to the soiree. You looked ravishing in your gown of scarlett.
    Yes the masks allow us to remain mysterious.

    By all means lets have snow at the 2nd annual Masked Ball.

    Ciao and Buon Natale and yes, we'll meet again, don't know where....la la la etc.

    Helen xx

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  19. Shabbily by the Sea

    Oh thank you for visiting and now that you have been, we extend to you a lifetime invitation to our annual masked ball.

    Thanks for your support and comments and wishing may 2012 be full of goodness
    Hele xx

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  20. My Spotty Pony

    Dear Abby

    Spotty was the life and soul of the party, with her sandy hoofs. She is always welcome and next time, we shall give her the keys to the city of Indian Rocks Beach

    So lovely knowing you Abby and may 2012 be full of blessings

    Helen xx

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  21. Acanthus and Acorn

    Dear Rebecca

    Thank you for gracing us with your presence at our Gala masket ball.

    We will do it all again next year and until then, let's keep commenting and in touch.

    Helen xx

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  22. Dearest Mise

    Meeting you, Blue Daughter and Pink Daughter was very special for me also.
    I loved every minute of being in your company and we will meet again, that is a promise.

    Yes the friendships through blogging are just wonderful and I never did expect this added bonus.

    Happy Christmas and may 2012 be a very special year for you.

    Helen xx

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  23. Jane the Booklady

    'may you be held in the light'
    Jane I love this blessing and wish.
    Thank you and for your support and comments. They mean very much to me
    Helen xx

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  24. Mrs. Little Jeans

    I did feel you with me in spirit. Thank you. Niemen Marcus just cannot be trusted for mail order costumes for cats.
    I shall visit the fishmonger tomorrow and place the lox order.
    Looking forward to your visit

    Helen xx

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  25. Yvonne

    Thank you for your kind beautiful wishes and for your support and comments.

    May all your dreams come true in 2012.

    Helen xx

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  26. Hello Lisa

    I thank you for all your visits and support.

    Wishing you only the best in 2012.

    Helen xx

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  27. GrandmaK

    Dear Cathy

    We will have to make sure you catch the shuttle next year for our second annual masked ball.

    Thank you for your support and comments and may 2012 be the best ever
    Helen xx

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  28. Classic Casual Home

    Dear Mary Ann

    Thank you for your kindness and support - may 2012 be brilliant for you

    Helenxx

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  29. What an exquisite post! Thank you for being my blog friend. I look forward to another beautiful blogging year!

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  30. You are adorable! What party it has been! I am still humming along.....
    Thank you for all your lovely wishes!
    And wishing YOU the best of times to come, for the holidays and the year ahead!

    xoxo Victoria

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  31. Oh I long for a horse ride along a beach right now.....Wishing you a wonderful Christmas & may 2012 be filled with joy & many more parties!
    Best wishes, Kerry

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  32. This is the kind of party I have always dreamed of!
    Merry Christmas Helen!

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  33. Helen - that is a funny story with full of imagination - it speaks for you! the idea of travelling with Endeavour is fantastic... I would never have thought of it! May you and yours have a blessed Christmas and happiness in the oncoming year! I am pleased that I met you and your blog this year... it gave me a lot of pleasure, thank you!

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  34. It sounds as if you had a night to remember. I was very pleased to find out what a Key Lime looks like. Thank you for all your visits it has been a pleasure meeting you. Merry sunshiny Christmas.

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  35. I saw Wales represented in your wonderful mix. Helen, it's been an absolute pleasure following and getting to know you this year. I wish you so much happiness and joy for Christmas and the new year.
    Bless you!
    Di
    X

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  36. Helen your blog is so interesting and lots of fun, especially this glorious party!
    Thankyou for your support and blog friendship and I'll see you in 2012.
    May you enjoy a fabulous christmas.
    Annie xx

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  37. Wishing you a very wonderful holiday season!

    ♥ Daniëlle

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  38. Dear Helen,

    Just a quick comment to wish you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and Happy 2012!

    Veel lieve groetjes van Madelief x

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  39. Helen..you do know how to party and what a wonderful one at that. I will be thinking of it for years to come!

    Sending you best wishes for a Wonderful, Wonderful Holiday Helen....thank you so much for all your very thoughtful comments over the year. I hope to do more in kind. Paint well my friend!
    Jeanne xx

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  40. What a beautiful magical post! I've enjoyed meeting you this year and making friends! I love how we are always surprising each other with things we have in common! We drove out to the orange groves today and got all kinds of fruit...and even picked a huge lemon off the tree! And then I come to your blog and see photos of FL fruit! I love it! Merry Christmas my friend! ♥♥♥

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  41. Dear Helen, that was a blast of a party. Wishing you also a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year..this is a fun post
    yvonne

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  42. TCFO

    So happy you could be present at my party.
    We can do it all again next year

    Helen xx

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  43. Victora Art

    Hi Victoria. I knew you would love a party. Besides you are friends also with so many of my guests.
    What a dream it would be if we could all be together for a party!

    Helen xx

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  44. French and Sparrow

    Hello Kerry

    Indeed horseback riding on the beach is one of life's great joys. I will join you any day.

    Helen xx

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  45. Bourbon &Pearls

    Hello Tabitha

    How lovely to see your smiling face and elegant gown at my soiree.

    Till we meet again

    Helen xx

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  46. Emilie's Daughter

    Dear Christa

    Endeavour is the only way to travel for such a short time.

    I am grateful to have met you and love your blog.

    My best for Christmas and 2012
    Helen xx

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  47. Hello Lucille

    Delighted to met you also this year. What fun.
    Yes key limes are unique and different in shape to regular limes.
    Happy Christmas
    Helen xx

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  48. Yonks

    Hello Di

    Of course I would mention Wales. Your delightful blog brings much pleasure.
    One day I will visit, so be careful.

    Helen xx

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  49. Red Roses & Crystal

    Dear Annie

    How lovely to know you.
    Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas and blessings in 2012
    Helen xx

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  50. Paris Pastry

    Hello Danielle

    Thank you for your kind wishes.

    May 2012 bring you much happiness.

    Helen xx

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  51. Madelief

    Thank you for stopping at such a busy time. Your kind words are greatly appreciated and looking forward to catching up in the New Year.

    Helen xxx

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  52. Jeanne @ Collage of Life


    Hello Jeanne

    Thank you for your beautiful wishes.

    I also thank you for your comments and support.

    I just knew you would love a party and travel is second nature to you.

    Wishing you the very best in 2012
    Helen xx

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  53. Helen, what a joyous and delightful party. May you have a wonderful Christmas and find those macarons I made and left under your tree...

    The ride on the beach was the best!

    Bises,
    Genie

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  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  55. Oh Helen...you *do* know how to throw a party, don't you?! Better than anyone I've ever known actually...what fun!!
    Visiting you is always inspirational, and I'm so happy for our friendship across the miles!
    Wishing you many bllessings in the New Year...
    Love,
    Jessica

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  56. Your party sounds fantastic!

    Wishing you a wonderful Christmas celebrations with your friends and/or family!

    Thanks for your visits and your lovely comments. I appreciate your friendship and support. You have been very, very sweet!

    Jessie
    www.mixandchic.com

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  57. The party looks absolutely fantastic Helen. I do apologise for my absence, my computer has been unwell and has been in for repair. It came back before Christmas, but it was all new and changed and I didn't have the heart to tackle it. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you got all you wished for.

    Congratulations on the giveaway you won. I love your Crown Derby, and Spicegirl is adorable!

    Thankyou for your kind comments, and I wish you a very special 2012, full of pleasure, peace, productivity and good health. With all my love, Linda x

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  58. The party looks absolutely fantastic Helen. I do apologise for my absence, my computer has been unwell and has been in for repair. It came back before Christmas, but it was all new and changed and I didn't have the heart to tackle it. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you got all you wished for.

    Congratulations on the giveaway you won. I love your Crown Derby, and Spicegirl is adorable!

    Thankyou for your kind comments, and I wish you a very special 2012, full of pleasure, peace, productivity and good health. With all my love, Linda x

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  59. Just over from Val's blog thanks for the visit what an amazing party you have here.

    Always Wendy

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  60. Just over from Val's blog thanks for the visit what an amazing party you have here.

    Always Wendy

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  61. Hello Helen,

    I just wanted to say I've so enjoyed your blog and your lovely paintings and in particular the account of the extravagant parties you're throwing in Florida... And here I thought Savannah had fabulous fetes!

    Happy New Year,

    Lily

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  62. Thank you so much for this great post, dear Helen. It's so great to have friends all over the world.

    I wish you a wonderful new year and look forward to many new impressions and inspirations.

    Hugs
    Tine

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  63. Genie Paris & Beyond

    Now I know who left me the delicious macarons. I did see you leave them but with masks one never knows.
    Wishing you a very Happy Christmas season and may 2012 be full of goodness

    Helen xx

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  64. 24 Corners

    Hello Jessica

    The party is only as good as the guests and you all made it magical and enchanting.
    It is so lovely knowing you and your wonderful blog.
    To much fun in 2012

    Helen xx

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  65. Mix and Chic
    Dear Jessie
    Thank you for your good wishes and I wish you the same

    Looking forward to reading your blog in 2012

    Helen xx

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  66. Flowers on my table

    Dearest Linda
    I did miss you. It is curious how we notice an absence. I felt you were pre-occupied with catering and design.

    Glad all is well

    Wishing you a superb 2012 and may all your dreams come true

    Helen xx

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  67. My Beautiful World

    Dear Wendy

    Thank you for travelling from Val's blog and following. Welcome to my blog. Your comments are greatly appreciated. I will be popping over to visit you soon.

    Happy New Year

    Helen xx

    Helen xx

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  68. Hello Lily

    Welcome to my blog and thank you for your kind comments. I do believe Savannah knows how to host a memorable party. I will look forward to joining you at one such party in the near future.
    I'm very much looking forward to hearing about your wonderful world.
    Helen xx

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  69. White Life

    Dear Tine

    Thank you for commenting and becoming a new follower. It is wonderful to have friends all over the world.

    Wishing you a very happy New Year and may all your wishes come true

    Helen xx

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  70. A little bit late... but I hope you have had a merry, joyous Christmas and are now enjoying these special days when the old year is ending and one is a bit sentimental about it...

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  71. I didn't take the time necessary to read all of the other comments so I must ask you.

    Am I the only reader who believed this party actually happened and wondered how you got the shuttle involved and how big your house must be?

    xo jane

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  72. Hello Helen
    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.
    I have passed an award on to you, there is a link on my post. Pass it on if you wish, or not if you would prefer... no problem :)
    Love, Abby xx

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  73. Emilie's Daughter

    Dear Christa

    We are still in the midst of celebrating Christmas. I love this time of year. A family tradition for us, stemming from the West of Ireland, is to celebrate the twelve days of Christmas. He end the celebrating by lighting 12 candles on the Epiphany on Jan 6.

    Wishing you a very happy New Year

    Helen xx

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  74. Flwjane

    Dear Jane

    Thank you for thinking so highly of me and that I would have influence to contract the space shuttle for my party. The closest to the truth is I am good friends with an aeronautical engineer who worked at Cape Canaveral for many years.

    Jane, as the saying goes "Aim for the Moon - then at least you will play among the stars". For my next post I promise to return to earth

    Helen xx

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  75. My Spotty Pony

    Dear Abby

    Thank your for such a prestigious honour. I am thrilled.

    My best wishes for 2012
    Helen xx

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  76. I love the contrast of the masked partygoers and the ponies on the bright beach--such extravagant, glorious fun!

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  77. WAIT!!!!!!! I MISSED THIS PARTY!!!! I SEE SPOTTY PONY, MY FAVORITE HORSE OF ALL TIME!!! Oh Helen, what fun!!!!! Don't you just enjoy blogland where you can CREATE with friends??? Dearest, thank you so much for your support and friendship over the last several months. You were actually one of my first customers on Etsy, where I am now venturing out beyond illustration. Thank you for YOUR SUPPORT and I pray that this new year will bring us even closer. ENJOY ALL YOUR area has to offer in sunshine, warmth, friends and feasting!! HAPPY 2012! Anita

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  78. Always a pleasure to read your blog. Full of positive energy.

    All the best for the end of this year and the next !

    Paola

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  79. Hello Jen

    Welcome and thank you for following my blog.

    So many of my blogging friends have animals and what would a party be like without party animals?

    I plan on making this an annual event.

    Happy New Year and may it bring you peace, joy and prosperity.

    Helen xx

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  80. CROWNS, CASTLE AND COTTAGES

    DEARest Anita

    I'm so sorry missed the flight to my party. Please promise to come next year and we shall reserve first ride on Spotty for you. What would a party be without the beautiful animals which so many own and are such an integral party of our lives.
    You, Anita weave such incredible, joyful and always uplifting posts.
    I'm so looking forward to 2012 and the joy it holds. I feel very positive about this coming year and I wish you and Reuben continued success, love and peace.
    Helen x

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  81. What a party, and what a fabulous looking group of guests you have from all over the globe!! What a glamorous event.....and any event that serves key lime pie, my all time favorite is a winner in my book!
    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

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  82. hehe what fun.. and how the heck can i be so late to get around and visit and thank everyone at xmas and 'new year's eve'

    I hope you xmas was wonderful and that your New Year's Eve is 'out of this world'

    you realise I have to come back now tomorrow!! hehe

    It's been a pleasure getting to know you this year Helen.. hope for more fun next year... ciao ciao xxx Julie

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  83. Helen,

    Your parties are always out of this world and they set the course for next year. Happy Happy New Year with continued Blessings in 2012!

    Bette

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  84. Happy New Year to you!!! I hope it will bring good health and happiness to you!!! ♥

    ...and thank you for your inspiring blog, it makes me happy!

    ♥Maria

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  85. Dahhling sounds like quite the party! How dehhvine.
    ¡¡Felíz Año Nuevo!!

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  86. Oh Helen,

    How lovely. How absolutely perfect in every minute detail. Your imagination is magic.

    It has been such a pleasure getting to know you this year.

    I hope this new year brings more magic into your life and that all your dreams come true.

    xoxo,
    Tish

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  87. happy new year 2012! Hopefully in this year to the best of the previous year, and hopefully what we plan to be realized in this year.

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  88. How did I miss this?
    You are amazing! Your party was splendid, and your dress, exquisite! I have always dreamed about flying in the shuttle. I apologize for my "virtually" late arrival!

    The Irish Heritage Club of Seattle throws a party called,
    "Irish Mother's Christmas"! It's given on the first Sunday after the Epiphany. A chosen restaurant closed for the event, and decorated for Christmas. The Mother's lift not one finger, as they are cooked for and waited upon. After dinner dessert is served, each is Mum given a rose, and there is plenty of Irish music and singing!
    Have you ever heard such an event?
    We enjoy it very much!
    Happy New Year, Helen.
    Thank you for your brilliant, and caring friendship!
    ~Lynne
    [w/L]

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  89. You throw my favorite sorts of parties, Helen! Thank you so much for the escape.
    I wanted to come by and wish you a very, very happy New Year. May it be everything you want and all that you need.
    xo isa

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  90. What an inspiration it has been to know you my dear Helen. You are really talented and have a good heart. I look forward to seeing more of your travels and paintings. May 2012 be filled with health and happiness!

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  91. Helen: Thank you for your visit. I am now a follower. I think you threw a better party than I did!! However, I will be posting the table decorations later today. My heavens--90 comments, you have quite a following!!
    Happy New Year,
    Liz

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