December 6, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!

Jan

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Some Really Cool Ideas...

I should be in bed already.  At the very least, I should be earnestly scrubbing up and getting ready for bed.  It's sleeting cats and dogs outside now and it will be an absolute bitch to ice-skate the 9 block trek to the bus stop tomorrow morning.  By rights, I should leave at least 20 minutes earlier than normal, because I will have to walk like a duck in order to make it safely (I hope) from here to there.  Damn!  But - hark!  Is that the Herald Angels I hear singing?  Hell no.  It's the Channel 4 weatherman who says it will get WARMER tonight (up to 50 degrees F) and so by morning all the ice will be gone and we should see nothing but rain.

Yeah.  Right.  Perhaps it will finally be time to try out my Yaks Traks!!!

Anyway, I got this nutso crazy idea in my head this morning about "doing" the mantle for Easter/Oestre (in honor of the Mother Goddess)/Spring and it's taken nearly complete hold of me already.  Geez!  I actually nearly ran over to the TJMaxx in the downtown Mall during lunch hour earlier today and -- thank Goddess! -- a few of those really cute small bird plates were still at hand!  I grabbed one with "pinky" birds and one with "yellowy" birds; then I saw a larger square-shaped plate with pink and blue birds on it in a sort of "Oriental Abstract Moderne" take -- well, you'll just have to wait to see the photos.  I said "YES" and added that to my "to buy" pile.  Then I saw this ceramic basket in blues, greens and naturals with two little "blue birds" perched on its rim and that was also added to the "to buy" pile.  And, while I was in the check-out line (I kid you not, but I swear they film you and do it on purpose...) I came across this little ceramic bird in a lovely creamy white color.  She was decorated with small openings in a criss-cross pattern and I thought she must be a votive.  I grabbed her and added her to my stash as I was summoned to Check-Out Number Two.  Unfortunately, the opening she has in her bottom is not large enough to fit a votive candle inside (real or battery-operated) but right now she is stuffed with pleasantly scented something-or-other.  She's a sachet! 

Three plates, the ceramic bird "sachet" and the ceramic "Easter" basket all rang in under $19.  Thank you, TJMaxx!

But I digress!  I wanted to just show you these neato things instead, both of which I found at Budget Wise Home blog -- and she gave me such inspiration!

First:

In her entry from February 23, 2012 under the heading "New Uses for Everyday Things" comes a revelation about using a cup and saucer to make an elevated serving tray!  I've seen plates glued to wine glasses, etc. and I've pretty much thought "how cute" or even "how clever" before, but I don't recall seeing this particular rendition of a very good idea!  And just tonight, when I was trying this, that and the other thing trying to get an "elevated" area to "install" a really cute bird house as part of my Easter/Oestre/Spring mantle display and driving myself absolutely nuts, if I had only seen this beforehand!  Duh!

Image from Budget Wise Home
Well, I've heard it said that suffering improves the soul or something like that. Not sure I believe that, mind you, but the Goddess Giveth and the Goddess Taketh Away. I am definitely going to try it out if I can find the right cup/saucer or plate combination in the next few days - otherwise, it will have to wait.  Because, wouldn't you know it, I came up with an alternative solution using what I already had on hand in the meantime (earlier tonight, while watching "The Biggest Loser" and tearing through my cabinets and various stashes of stuff to see what I could come up with), and no gluing was involved. And I'm kinda liking what I came up with.  Probably because I came up with it and not because it looks so hot.  But, hey!

Second:

If you are a reader here (har!) you'll have seen that recently I've just become absolutely nutso obsessed with birds and, evidently, have been absolutely nutso obsessed with them for years but didn't realize it until, more or less, around February 10, 2012 when I started tearing my bedroom apart, determined to "redo" it.  Anyway, tonight I saw this absolutely gorgeously stunning idea for a BIRD MOBILE, and it just made me gasp for oxygen.  I mean it! 

Check out Budget Wise Home's post on this "bird mobile" from February 28, 2012.

Image from Budget Wise Home
This clever idea -- that can be realized in so many different ways other than cutting out any material or any hand-sewing (or machine sewing) at all - Well, Darlings!  It is totally cool and have given me an idea to try out where I won't have to sew anything, but I will have to come up with some already-made artificial birds.  I feel a visit to Michael's and/or Joanne Fabrics coming on in the near future...

Okay, so how did they get the clear fishing line so neatly "stuck" to the sticks?  Are those little jewely hooky-things I spy screwed into those branches?  Whoa!  Way too technical for me and my big fat clumsy fingers!    But I'll figure something out...

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