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

Friday, November 29, 2013

Feather Boa Wreath

Hola Darlings!




I wrote yesterday, T-day November 28, 2013. Today I bussed to see my primary care physician early, 8:15 a.m. appointment.  I was out the door of doc's by 9:20 a.m. and then bussed it to 76th Street and visited my local Family Dollar, where I picked up a large bag-full of sundries, and then hiked 6 blocks or so to the Pick 'n Save to get a new supply if cheap boxed pink wine and other assorted goodies, like pre-made chocolate cookie dough and Brazil Nuts for the squirrels, LOL!

And then I hiked home.  Whew!  Got my three miles plus hiking in today, and braved cold and long waits for the bus, brrrrr!

At the Family Dollar I spent all of $20 and a few cents. LOVE THAT PLACE! Gift bags, Christmas themed tissue paper, and two very cute holiday-themed soap dispensers (one for my kitchen sink, one for the downstairs powder room), a floral spray, 24 apple-scented votive candles, and 4 gorgeous 12 inch tall gold-colored candles, and I'm sure I missing a few things, but that's the gist of it.

At home, I figured out what to do with arranging my furniture in the living room so that I can squeeze the tree in front of the front window. I have to move the Queen Anne console table out of the room temporarily, but I do have room to stash it behind the sofa in the family room for the time being.  It's crowded now in the front room, but for the holiday season all the seating is totally centered on the fireplace and Christmas Tree (once it is up, that is), and that is how it is supposed to be :)

In between shoving and lifting and heaving furniture, I put together a sexy feather boa wreath, thanks to my friend, Darlene, who gifted me with SIX feather boas (last year I told her I liked them), in appreciation for my having done up her family tree a few months back -- traced one of her paternal lines all the way back to 135, woo woo!  I have FOUR feather boas left with which to decorate my Christmas Tree, got plans for that tree I have, I have...

Here's the wreath as I conceived it (see also photo at beginning of post).  I got the idea from online, but took out the crow CRAW CRAW CRAW:



I used my skimpy home-made autumnal wreath, made from wild grape vines that grow out back. I wrapped two boas around my wreath, fluffed it a little bit and hung it up. These boas have silver and light purple tinsle strands interwoven with the feathers that add a lovely sparkle in the light.

I added four battery-operated votive candles, two not quite as bright, as you can see in the photo.  I didn't realize how great the difference was until I put them in close proximity to each other, stashed "flame" downward wherever I could get good purchase on the thin vine wreath behind or within the feathers! I will need to switch out and/or put in new batteries so all the votives burn equally brightly.

What I really like about this "made in minutes" wreath is that you can see parts of the vine wreath still sticking out here and there:







Now I need to unwrap the Christmas Tree from it's sheet and at least get the bottom part firmly planted on the floor!

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