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, July 11, 2013

Summer Mantle/Mantel

Hola!

A few days after the Summer Solstice, I finally got around to redoing the mantle/mantel with a lighter theme for the summer months.  I'd been thinking about it for a while, but just had not found the time to get to it.  A few days before, I had ordered a Threshold lampshade and a Threshold mirror set (three mirrors) from Target online and the box had arrived.  I was itching to get started on the new arrangement on the wall above the mantle/mantel.  The lampshade -- that's a different story that will be told in another post :)

I knew I wanted something simple and clean with a sort of zen feeling.  I had a general idea what I wanted to do but, as always, it took more time than I thought it would and until I came up with the idea to circle the circle, I didn't think the scheme would come together, and I was that frustrated!  I was thinking in linear terms and had to leap outside the box, so to speak, for things to come together.  When the lightbulb above my head turned on, things went up quickly and I stepped back, well satisfied.

Here are some pics of my 2013 mantle/mantel:




A view of the side table to the right, in its summer dress of gold and blue Chinese styled bird and flower print accompanied by one of my favorite eggs from my small collection, a cloisoned egg with a complementary gold and blue Chinese styled bird and flower print.


A photo of the coffee table, dressed simply with a single candle surrounded by polished pebbles, looking toward the curio cabinet where my Chinese "servant" statue stands proud:


The candles are battery-operated on timers.  You may have noticed a strand a lights across the top of the mantle/mantel -- those are also battery operated but not on a timer -- 15 mini-LED lights that I toned down last Christmas with a coat of brown and yellow water color by Crayola!  The light otherwise was soooo cold looking, like many inexpensive LED lights are.    I love the additional touch of glow they add to the room at night! 

The horizontal scheme I had envisioned, with the Native American winnowing basket sculpture in the center, just didn't look right -- I wasn't able to get the spacing to work.  With the basket already hung up, though, I didn't feel like taking it back down!  Then inspiration occurred and, not wanting to admit defeat just yet, I tried the circle around the circle idea.  It worked! 

The geometry of the arrangement forms a "Star of David" (6-pointed star):  The mirrors form one three-pointed triangle and the Chinese ideograms form a second three-pointed triangle.  The two triangles intersect or, as the song goes, they meet in the middle!  The figures are a little rough because I eye-balled them rather than measuring with straight edge and level (I don't own either tool), but the center of both triangles is more or less centered over the center of the circular winnowing basket.  Ta da!  Mucho good energy flowing from that configuration and the mirrors bounce it all around the room :)

I happened to see this article today at CNN -- all about decorating mantles/mantels -- with many inspiring examples -- nothing too elaborate, just right for summer in the Northern Hemisphere:

Flat Screen or Flowers?  What belongs on your mantel? By Ann Hoevel, July 9, 2013. 

A little divine inspiration for ya:

Blinded by the light...



The Circle of Life...


1 comment:

  1. Nice mantle! Love your Chinese "servant"!
    Have a nice weekend Jan!
    Blessings,
    Vesna - HOME CHIC CLUB

    ReplyDelete