May 20, 2018:


Yesterday Prince Harry married American Meghan Markle and I couldn't get enough of the royal wedding. What a gorgeous dress, the bride was radiantly beautiful and the church at Windsor - oh my goodness, the flowers alone were soooo beautiful. There's nothing like a good love story to make one appreciate how precious we can be (and should be) to each other.

I'm glad the weather was perfect yesterday for the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex's wedding. I can't say the same for around here. Spring keeps teasing and then going away. This morning I woke up to a "balmy" 47 degrees F outside, rain, damp, and I turned the heat back on! It's May 20th, the heat. should. not. be. on. Period.

Last Thursday, however, was beautiful. I was able to get a goodly amount of yard and garden clean-up done over several days last week. I also took some photos of my flowering tree anchoring the north corner of my house and made the current collage. I think it's an ornamental cherry, and on the the other end of the house, I think that's called a purple sand cherry? I'll have to check that. The blossoms on the tree do not have a distinct fragrance, but the purple shrub that wants to be a tree (despite my hacking it back, back and back yearly - I'm losing, by the way) has myriad blossoms with a distinct fragrance. I can't decide if the scent is too beautiful to bear or too awful to smell, it certainly can be overpowering!

This coming week will be the third cut of the grass this season. We had rain late Friday night and then for several hours earlier this morning. This rain, on top of the rain we had over four days the prior weekend, and the grass is growing like nobody's business! I don't mind doing the grass, though, as long as it's not too hot, too cold, not raining, and not too windy. I'm not picky at all, am I...

I still have a lot of raking out of areas that suffered from snow mold over the winter, and have not yet really tackled cleaning out the north flower bed in the backyard. That will be a chore!

But Memorial Day weekend is coming. This coming Saturday I will be out with a friend (who has a nice large van - goody!) stocking up on potting soil, top soil to fill in never-ending low spots in the yard, grass seed, and lots of plants! For some reason, this spring seems busier than those in prior years. I can't figure out why that is...


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Autumn Mantle/Mantel is Up!

Hola darlings!  Warning:  lots of photos below -- and per usual, lots of words, too.

Today it's gorgeous here.  I was out "west" (away from the cooling effects of Lake Michigan that help moderate hotter temps in the summer and colder temps in the winter within a certain radius of the lake front) earlier today for a visit to my hairdresser and when I jumped on the bus about 1:20 for the ride back home, it was 81 degrees F!  Sunny and breezy, feels great!  I'm out on the back deck now working on this and enjoying the rest of this beautiful day.

My stylist treated my hair to a deep conditioning treatment (sorely needed) and while that was stewing on my head underneath a warm towel she gave me a hand massage.  I highly recommend a hand massage if you've never experienced the luxury and sheer lovely decadence of one -- my hands look and feel great and it's amazing how much tension and fatigue were erased simply by Joni working on certain pressure points on that fleshy area of the palm around the thumb.  I feel like a new woman!  Even my fingernails look (and feel) better.

When I got home last night from the office I decided to start the mantle/mantel project (which I did not tackle as I thought I would last weekend).  All my goodies were already laid out around the room and the mantle/mantel was waiting patiently for inspiration to strike me. 

It came together quickly after staring at it - and my things - four about 30 minutes, LOL, and then I dithered about the details.  But after a couple of hours, I was finished:

In a previous post I showed you the autumnal items I purchased last weekend at The Family Dollar. In one way or another, all of it was incorporated into the front room décor, although not all of it was used on the mantle/mantel.  I knew I also wanted to incorporate the owls I used last year, as well as my "horns of the Goddess" wood rescue that fell off one of my trees last year.  And my 10 year anniversary pumpkin (I celebrated 10 years at the office last year and received a lovely floral arrangement in a ceramic pumpkin and a gift card). 

This year I used a tablecloth to give some extra color and also to cover the books I used to raise and lower the heights across the back of the mantle/mantel.  If there is too much "white space" between the tops of your decorations on your flat mantle/mantel surface and wall décor above, it looks "funny."  Yes, a very technical term :)  So glad now this tablecloth didn't sell at my rummage sale!  I was going for a "wavy" effect, but I wanted the smooth edge across the front, LOL!  Am I a conflicted personality or what, heh? 

The only tweaking I'm going to do is to add more branches to the floral display on the left, behind the t.v., to fill in the "white space" gap above it more fully.  Although you cannot see it in my photos, this front room has a vaulted ceiling that slopes all the way up to the landing on the open staircase another story above. With no ceiling line to stop the eye from roving, I know it's important to anchor the room visually. 

Front and center, my "horns of the Goddess" wood rescue piece.  I blogged about here, don't remember the dates.  One day I came out into the yard and there it was.  The piece resembles in shape the "horns of the Goddess" (roe horns) that were symbolic of the Mother Goddess in much of the Middle East and Eastern Europe and, in ancient Persia, the Goddess Anahita.  Everything in this photo I already had on hand:  the tablecloth, the gold Goddess-swirled candles (after the Fibonnaci Spiral that is evident in many plants and fruits in our natural world), the owls (spray-painted last year) the plastic-y leaves, the shiny goldish metal "ivy" branches that resemble small maple leaves, the candle holder on the left being used as a vase, and mostly out of the frame, my 10-year anniversary pumpkin :)   

In this frame you can see a mirror (far right) that I use behind my Dad's plant that bounces the early-morning sunlight around the room and reflects the glow of a battery-operated candle that's been placed there for special effects in this arrangement once it gets dark outside!  This mantle/mantel is beautiful at night!

The metal ivy branches were purchased from Home Interiors many moons ago - more than 20 years of moons.  The plastic oak leaves were part of the design incorporated into my 10-year anniversary pumpkin floral display last year.  I saved them -- love the colors and the "crinkleyness" of how the leaves look - although they are soft to the touch.  The new items in this photo are the two tiny pumpkins (salt and pepper shakers to the left) and below, you see a glimpse of the fragile metallic plastic leaves on wire garland used underneath the mantle/mantel. 

Dad's plant anchors the right side.  My Dad died in early November, 2002, and the plant is from his funeral.  It's a beautiful living memorial to him.  See my early 1990's sponge paint job on the walls (that only goes up as high as I was able to reach on the ladder, LOL!  The room needs painting, but the $4,000 price tag to have a crew of pros come in and do it - nope). 

I took the photos about 7:30 this morning, and then a little later I snapped a few more photos (below) when the sun got above the trees to the east (across the street) and for awhile illuminated my 10-year anniversary pumpkin and set the leaf garland all aglow!  It looks beautiful at night, though, with the battery-operated candles and votives glowing.  I'll try to take some evening photographs and see how they turn out.


The Wisconsin Badgers (ranked 23rd or 24th nationally - I forget which) play a night game in the Big 10 tonight!  A couple of hours ago already cars were pulling up to neighboring houses for pre-game parties -- this is a big'un for us.  It's starting to cloud over, and one of my neighbors came over a little while ago and I bought $60 of tinned popcorn from her Boy Scout son (I'm so easy!)  Also been feeding the squirrels and the blue jays all afternoon :)  Such is life on a lazy Saturday afternoon at Maison Newton.  Wish every day could be like today. 

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