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...


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Little More Christmas Around the House: Front Room

Hola everyone!

I am a little under the weather today but that hasn't stopped me from taking a few photos around the house.  My place isn't the epic material for a "house tour" plus my photog skills aren't the best (to put it mildly), but I am excited this year about what I did because it's the most EVAH I've done as far as holiday decorating around here.  You guys are such an inspiration!

I've already done posts about the table top cardinal tree I made up this year (loving it, and so are my guests), the feather boa wreath (so simple but big impact), the big tree in the front room (the feather boa tree -- all fluff, white, pearly, silver and crystal), and the mantle/mantel.

Here are a few additional details.  Some I've put up prior photos, but mostly not. They're just little things, things someone wouldn't necessarily notice, but because I put them in place I notice them immediately, and they always make me smile. 

The top of my curio cabinet was more elaborately decorated this year than ever before (I decorated it for the first time last year, so that's not saying much, LOL!):

It's got some of the Add-Heres I bought at the end of last season online from Boston Store on the all, a simple woven basket filled with silver ornaments, two battery-operated candles, my little leopard shade lamp which has been up there a couple of years now, and a small glass vase filled with glittered pine cone and silver ornaments.  The tall mercury glass candle holder I bought on clearance at the end of last Christmas season at TJMaxx. 

Looking toward the mantle/mantel:

Hmmm, I see I need to get up on the ladder and press down some of those Add-Heres.  They are "restickable" but I put them on and took them off a LOT while trying to arrive at a satisfactory (and straight) arrangement, I think I wore them out...

My cozy snuggling corner by the fireplace:

When Mr. Don was alive, we snuggled on the loveseat in the evenings with all the Christmas lights aglow and the fireplace going.  Since his death, I have pretty much sat either in my recliner or stretched out on the sofa, or I'm at this desk working on a chair that most definitely needs new seat cushioning.  I did put the love seat in the same spot this Christmas, though, as it has held in prior years.  It just looks the best angled over on the other side of the tree rather than paralleled across from the fireplace on the other side of the coffee table.  I tried that, and it didn't feel like "home" to me, besides which the balance was off in the room.

A recliner!  I never thought I would be a person to own one.  It wasn't my intention to set out and buy a recliner in 2002 or 2003 when I got the front room furniture.  I had picked out a sofa and loveseat duo, and was looking for a chair to finish things off when I spotted it and it looked cozy and comfy and was the perfect color too.  The salesperson took me over to look at it more closely.  I didn't realize it was a recliner until she pointed it out!  I was SOLD!  A recliner that wasn't faux-leather or big and clunky.  I'm not against big and clunky, or faux-leather either, but in the right space.  My front room is not the right space. 

On the abnormally cold December days and nights we've been suffering through, the fireplace has been going more than usual, and the recliner, along with the end corner of the sofa to the left across the room, are the warmest places in the house.  I made sure I had enough room to put the recliner back, too, without crashing into the lamp table angled into the corner. 

On the floor by the fireplace is a battery-operated candle on a timer that is inside a tallish clear vase.  Around it are more pine cone and silver ornaments, and a strand of gold beads as added for some extra glitz. 

To the left of the chair is a - I can never remember the correct word when I need it - the little plaster of paris thingy on the wall that I put stuff on, LOL!  Right now it is holding a battery-operated candle on a timer but usually it holds my lovely bronze Buddha.  Behind the recliner on the east wall, in order to balance the feather boa wreath on the other side of the window I framed two photos of deer that I printed out from the internet in 5 x 7 frames (TJMaxx purchases some years ago), echoing the deer on the mantle/mantel:

I had a few Gump's clip-on bird ornaments left over after I finished decorating, so it just seemed natural to put one on the lamp close to the mantle/mantel by the deer photographs.

Using images from the internet and greetings cards is what I use for most of my artwork these days.  Free!  Here are two greeting cards I received this season that went so well with my front room holiday decor this year, and they are so beautiful in their own right, I dug out some old frames and put them up on the wall my front room desk faces:

I am going to experiment a little with the deer greeting card and put it in the black mat.  The white mat in the frame looks a little bit purplish compared to the creamier white of the greeting card.  If that doesn't look right, I'll switch it out to a brown wood frame with a mat I know will look okay with it because it is creamy-colored.  I want to try it over on fireplace wall by my recliner, to balance out the arrangement on the east wall behind the recliner.  It's soooo perfect!  It has a little gold bird perched on a branch above the deer's antlers and below, it says in gold letters "Peace on Earth."  It as one of those serendipitous events -- I received the greeting cards at the office after I'd already put the front room holiday decor together, including the bird on the lamp and framed the deer photographs.  Don't you love it when that happens!

I have another beautiful greeting card from a few seasons ago that is a glittery winter tree scene, so I'll do some tweaking with framing and see if I can't match up this season's lovely "Season's Greetings" card (presently in the black mat) with the prior season's card.  I love connecting season after season in such ways.

Did I write about my coffee table display this year?  I don't remember.  I like it a lot, but it is nothing glamorous or over the top.  A favorite gold-finished wood box, a glass votive holder filled with crow offerings gathered from the backyard stone birdbath the past few years, and a Christmas platter (a gift years ago from one of my sisters-in-law, sweet Heidi) filled with some of those glittered pine cone ornaments, a couple of votive candles and two LED "crystal" Christmas trees from Walgreens (two for $5):

I put the candle in vase on the table so you could get a better look at it -- that's the one down on the floor by the corner of the fireplace next to the recliner.  It adds a nice little glow at night to that corner when the candle turns on by itself, just like magic!  The vase I used was a gift from my sister, Debbie, some years ago, and it has a gold-painted rim.  So beautiful!  I've gotten both LED Christmas trees to work (at least for now), and they put on quite a colorful display at night when I turn them on.  I don't think I'll replace the batteries when they quit working, but I will use the trees in display in coming years.  They are very pretty.  I have the tree on the right tucked inside a candle-holder to give it a little more height. 

I know I've showed you Mr. Don's corner on my desk, but I added a "queen bird" (me, ahem) to the scene to keep the little birdy friend perched on Mr. Don's framed portrait some company:

The last stop in the front room decorations is the wreath that is on the first run of the staircase:

I haven't gotten around to experimenting by decorating it with a couple of strings of battery-operated LED lights yet, but I will.  I think it will look very pretty lit up (it is not pre-wired with lights), even ith the three for $10 cold blue-white light of the LEDs.  This is the wreath I got on clearance last year after season at Menard's.  Well, I think it was the end of last season's Christmas -- my memory, ach! 

It leads the eye into the kitchen and the back of the house.  Next stop! 

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