December 16, 2014

Odds and Ends

Hello, all,

I hope your day has been as beautiful as the one here is, truly perfect.

Here are a few odds and ends of decorating still ongoing, although I am trying to Move On and get Serious About Shopping. First, in our bedroom there are just a couple of little touches:
A cheerful cardinal pillow, flanked by Bitty and Junior, and:
on the dresser the terrarium with a snow scene, church and tree inside.
On the wall by the entrance to the hall, a basket of greenery in a recently uncovered frame.
A little tree in a wicker cone on a picture in the dining room.
A couple more trees on the kitchen counter.
And one more in an egg cup by a second cheerful cardinal.

You might call my style whatever decorating. Sometimes when I find something unintended it seems easier to figure out a way to use it than to locate a better place to store it full time. It's sort of the way Jean Kerr said she got good at  creating a structure out of tinker toys at times rather than try to find the canto put them away.

Have a good one!

Michele




December 15, 2014

After the weekend

Hi, Friends,

I hope your weekend was fun and productive, in amounts of your preference. We had company, which was fun and kept us busy on Saturday. They admired our tree, and while it might have been nothing but courtesy, here is a picture to share now that it's decorated:
We use all red lights and assorted ornaments. So far the cats have ignored it.
There is some garland and a string of berry lights across the top of the screen.
The end table at one side of the sofa with some deer, a scene in a jar and holiday candy.
Here is a close up of the little jar with a red lid that has fake snow, a deer and two bottle brush trees.

That's all for now. 

Take it easy!
Michele

December 12, 2014

Good news, bad news. . .

Hey, folks,

TGIF for all you working types. Actually, that's been me today, if you consider cleaning working. Sadly, the results are not what was optimistically expected. The good news in the title includes the fact we got our tree last night and Mr. B. cut enough branches off the bottom before putting it in the stand for me to make a piece for the front door. The bad news part is that really, it doesn't look as good as the artificial one used the past several years, courtesy of Sand Dollar. What does it say about my skill set that something plastic, probably from China looks better than my efforts with natural greenery? 
It's not terrible, but is definitely lacking. Thank goodness for the can of fake snow picked up in Big Lots on my trip there to pick up the last two boxes of all red lights in the store. 


Near it to the left of the mailbox is the tag sign:
So far that's the extent of our outside decor this year. Mr. B bought some lights allegedly to put round the edge of the roof. Don't hold your breath to see how that turns out. In 35 years he never has before, so the odds aren't good.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! We're having company, which will be fun if we get a handle on that pesky cleaning issue. 

Later,
Michele

December 11, 2014

And now for something completely different . . .

How's it going with your week now that Thursday's here? Mine is fine, aside from me being worn out from heavy lifting. The thing is, on the way to Bible study I stopped at the Junior Forum resale shop. Since we moved I've BOLO for matching bedside tables or some other kind of furniture. My side had a nice old oak table in a golden shade, but it is really too tall, while Mr. B had dark, way too dinky nesting tables. Today the right combination finally showed up: sturdy, with drawers, matching (I've found dozens of single ones but no pairs until now) and did I mention cheap? The guys who worked there managed to wedge them in the Chevy, to their own and my amazement. Once the rest of the errand extravaganza was finished, it was up to me to pry them out--the one in the back seat was quite a challenge--and into the house. It's taken the past couple of hours, but here is the result:
Mr. B's side.
and another shot. Meanwhile, off to the right:
The black at the lower right of the picture is Freddy's tail. I didn't notice him there.
No cat included in this one.
There is the drawer with the wrapping paper lining. It's a collage of postage stamps.

In the interest of full disclosure, much of the contents of my other one is still not put away and straightened up completely but I wanted to get this written. These are not fine pieces of furniture, nor are they my very favorite style. Otoh, they are fairly heavy and decently made. A little of the furniture restorer and Old English polish cleaned them up and an old remnant of wrapping paper did the trick for lining. They have the advantage of being useful for now, but not expensive enough that if something I like better comes along I'd feel guilty swapping them out. That's the excitement at hour house today. The question remains, will Mr. B notice, or will they have to be pointed out to him when he gets home? 

Have a great evening,
Michele




December 10, 2014

Easy Peasy

Hello, all,

I hope your Wednesday went well. Mine was mildly annoying, but at least an important automotive task got done at the dealership, so that is off the list. That didn't leave much time for more fun stuff, like decorating, but here is something that's incredibly easy and can be fun. Many years ago I got beautiful wrapping paper from Ikea. This project consists of simply using a sheet of it to cover the contents of a poster frame in the living room. When the holidays are over, it's no chore at all to take the holiday one off, since it's just layered over the existing picture. Here is the result:
It's a winter scene of a house and yard with lovely rich colors and warm details.
Here is a close up of the upper rooms, roof and chimney.
Here is another section with the decorated tree, gifts and staircase. It's paper by Roger LaBord and makes me smile every time I walk by it in the library. So, if your time or energy are limited, maybe a temporary switch of existing frames in your house already would be a quick project, adding a bit of holiday flavor with minimal effort. 

Take it easy!
Michele



December 9, 2014

Bits and Pieces

How's everyone this fine Tuesday? We're rocking along. Today a fair amount of time has been spent cooking, but there are also a couple of small decorated areas to share.

First, this little corner shelf in the dining room:
There is a little tree on top and glass cloche ornament with  bird in it. The lower shelf has a seasonal looking cup with a small music box set in it. There are three angels (well, they're angels now since I painted three round oat cereal bits with gold nail polish and glued those on their heads) that revolve around a church to the tune of "When the Saints Go Marching In".

In the living room, on top of a small bookcase is this:
Isn't this an amazing Christmas cactus? It's from Kroger where I got groceries last Sunday. The red and white bowl was a gift from my oldest daughter. The stone squirrel is wearing a tinsel bow, although it's hard to see, and there is a red candle in a holder that looks like a section of birch log. One of my favorite parts of the season is the plants: Christmas cactus, poinsettias, holly, greenery of all kinds and of course, the tree. This is the biggest cactus so far; I surely hope it stays alive and blooms again in 2015. They had some that were a gorgeous pale apricot color, but the red was impossible to resist. 

Tomorrow there will be time lost waiting to have a car recall repair done, but we still need to get going on finishing things up, since Mr. B's brother is coming to see us this coming weekend, eek! I hope your efforts are moving faster than mine!

Later,
Michele




December 8, 2014

Monday, Monday

Hello, Friends,

How is your week so far? It,  is cool and sunny here, the kind of weather we can't even imagine exists in July and August. 

I have continued to work on decorating various areas of the house, which takes a lot more time than you might think. What fits where and what doesn't, why a given item suddenly has to be in a different context to work in this new house, that's why it's going slowly. It's still fun, but it's hard not to get impatient with myself for what feels like dawdling. This weekend most of the attention was concentrated in the dining room. Here is some of the result:
That is a close up of the big round plate middle daughter Mary gave me. On it is a footed silver dish with beaded fruit in it, covered by the big cloche to keep the cats from stealing the berries and pears to play with.
Here is the bigger picture with some artificial trees too. Don't worry, the stocking will be removed from the lamp directly. I meant to do it before I took the picture but clearly forgot. I was tired of the cloche on the table, so now it's got this:
There is a vintage cloth, not quite big enough for the table, but all right. On a wonderful red platter my friend Tricia gave me is a bird cage. It holds three bottle brush trees some cotton *snow* with a few ornaments strewn around. Again, a fundamental consideration is having things contained so they are safe from marauding cats. 

This is Monday's effort. Obviously, I am more tortoise than hare!

Take it easy,
Michele