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

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Look for Less: Ballard Design's Calais Bedroom 5

Hola darlings!  Well, I couldn't stand it.  I just HAD to see what was out there on the internet in a black and white or black and cream Jacobean print since I realized my mistake last night (had been looking for dark blue tones, not black!!!!).    See prior post with my picks in blue and white!

A reminder of the inspiration bedding pattern -- close up:

Lo and behold, I found some black/white Jacobean printed comforters or duvet covers right away.


The Cordoba Comforter
Found at Sears online but from a third party seller

This is called a queen size mini-comforter set, offered by Divatex Home Fashions. It is a comforter and two standard pillow shams.  It comes in grey/cream print and black/cream print - but nowhere did I see on the order page where you can select one color or the other, so perhaps the descriptions means that it is a grey, black and cream print?  The opposite side is striped and that appears to have black/cream/grey in it.  It's very pretty, although not as richly detailed as the inspiration duvet cover because of the lack of the tan/taupe tones (but a whopping $249.00 for duvet alone).  The price for the Cordoba Comforter mini-set is right: $80.34:
Duvet sets are also offered and the queen size is an absolute steal at $24.57 -- AT HOME by O Cordoba Black Full/ Queen-size 3-Piece Duvet Cover Set

The Cordoba pattern is cotton and machine washable. 

The Chestnut Hill Comforter Set
Found at Touch of Class

The Jacobean floral pattern is definitely there, with a large does of country cottage in the form of grosgrain ribbon trim with a wide white on black swiss dot border.  It introduces an entirely different feeling to the room:

Check it out!  I can definitely see the family resemblance in the Jacobean floral pattern, but the Chestnut Hill set has a smaller more delicate print overall.  Combined with the white grosgrain ribbon trim and the white on black swiss polka dot, I'd say it goes from French country to American country with hardly a wink :)

This set has eight pieces and for the queen size it is priced at $210.00:  Jacobean floral comforter, bedskirt, 2 standard shams, 2 European shams, and 2 decorative pillows.  Everything in the set except the two decorative pillows is machine washable. 

Cynthia Rowley Jacobean Floral
at e-Bay

And then, LOVE!  I love it so much, I'm thinking about buying it, although I do not need another comforter set!  Of course, this isn't a comforter!  It's a comforter cover with shams... I am already imagining the possibilities...

I found this Cynthia Rowley unopened queen size duvet cover set at e-bay, CYNTHIA ROWLEY JACOBEAN/FLORAL FULL/QUEEN DUVET W/2 SHAMS GRAY/BLUE/TAUPE/IVORY:

Ach, this snipped image does not do this duvet cover justice!  It is just drop-dead gorgeous - and a large print -- looks even larger than the pattern used in the inspiration bedding from Ballard Designs (scroll up to the top of this post to see that design/colors again).  But -- not a lick of black in it.  It's got blue instead!  Now what would this look like with any of those blue upholstered headboards and benches I picked out and the rich wood finishes of the wood components and case goods???  WOW, BE STILL MY HEART!  There are more photographs of the packaged bedding at the e-Bay website featuring this set. 

At present, one can "buy it now" for $99.95 plus shipping at ebay.  It is 100% cotton, machine washable, has the following colors:  GRAY/SILVER/TAUPE/MIDNIGHT (BLACK-BLUE)/DARK BLUE/kakhi & BEIGE on ivory (off white) background.

So, as you can see, I've got price points all over the place, and a fairly wide selection, depending upon your own preferences. I think any of the sets I presented in this post and the post last night would look beautiful and work well with the other elements of Ballard Design's Calais bedroom!

Just a side note:  I was dreaming last night about how I could tie a quilt or comforter into a duvet cover by stitching ribbons long enough to tie inside a duvet cover and on the outside of a quilt or comforter in 8 places. 

It's just like the classical pattern from ancient Egypt and India constructs that were later incorporated into gameboards.  The same count (9 and 8; or if you prefer, 8 and 9) was also a feature of the Chinese gameboards and the extremely ancient Lo Shu pattern which is, as far as I am aware, the oldest known 3x3 magic square.  For instance, the graphic above shows an ancient Chinese liubo board, a game that was popular during the Han Dynasty (c. 220 BCE to 200 CE) but slowly died out in favor of Xiang Qi (Chinese chess) in subsequent dynasties, which was actually played on an 8x8 board, just like Western chess.  Okay, I'm a-sometimes amateur gameboard historian in my other life.  LOL!  Darlings, it all works together!  One cannot decorate anything in anything near a coherent manner unless one has an inner sense of rhythm and movement -- which comes from an inherent understanding (although you may not realize it) of the underlying mathematical principles that rule our entire Universe.  This is how interior decorators are taught; not all of them are born  with the innate recognition of rhythm and number (math) to do it! 

Those ties I dreamt of would go on the four corners of a comforter or quilt and in the middle of each side.  Total number of ties:  8.  Ditto for the inside of a duvet cover, for another 8 ties.  Total number of ties:  16.  Sixteen is the number of chess pieces on each side of the chess board:  1 King, 1 Queen, 2 Bishops, 2 Knights, 2 Rooks/Castles, 8 pawns, each for black and white...

Just a little bit of stitching (easier for me to do it by hand). 

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