December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Monday, May 21, 2012

Help! Design Paralysis II!

Budget won't allow wholesale buying of all new stuff to put up on the mantle wall; and since right now I feel as if my tastes are in the process of metamorphosing once again, I don't want to make much of an investment, if any.

Feel as if I've got enough stuff somewhere in this house, too, that could be used.  Maybe in combination...

I've had these beautiful embroaidered Chinese silks for probably 35 years -- I bought them at the International Bazaar at the Wisconsin State Fair one summer -- haven't found anything like them since then.  I had them framed when I moved into this house in 1990 and at the time it cost me around $20 each, a total of $60 which I thought was outrageously expensive at the time!  I would have loved some bamboo look painted frames and double or even triple mats but, alas, didn't want to spend the $$.  The sort of orangey-red color of two of the mats don't exactly go with the more wine-colored hues in my living room, but they don't precisely clash either:


Yep, grey carpet, 21 years old this coming August.  Now I've got camel, green and wine sort of paisley-patterned Lawson style furniture in place of the sleek oriental-styled cream color sofa and slipper chair with ottoman I used to have.  Doesn't exactly go together anymore.  The part of the rug you see in this photo beneath the Chinese silks has the colors of the furniture and was selected by an interior designer at Steinhafel's where I bought the new (now not so new) sofa and love seat in 2002 (or 2003). Anyway, carpeting isn't going anywhere and new furniture and new rugs aren't in the budget.  There's that word again!  Sooooo, I had the two "orangey-red" silks hanging on the wall in the dinette and the dark greenish one hanging above the entertainment center in the family room.  Since I'm changing the colors in those areas anyway, they won't exactly "go" once I get around to painting (if I ever do), so maybe these would work above the mantle.

Other oldies but goodies I've had since the 1980's are these Bradford Exchange plates:



They used to be hanging on the wall above the desk.  There are actually four of them framed, and two more stashed away unframed.  They have been used throughout the house during the past 21 years. 

And of course there are the brass Chinese idiograms, etc. that I had hanging above the fireplace before I took it all down:

(This was taken in 2009 while I was decorating the Christmas tree).

Paralyzed. Don't know what to do. I did, however, move the clock from the left side of the big round-top window to the right side of the window on the stair landing.  It works there, although I think I may have hung it too high, and I can't get the pendulum to work!

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