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

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Oooh La La! French Style Fireplace! For My Bedroom!

Hola darlings!

Today it's about 30 degrees F, but it felt very damp as I was walking down to the Pick 'n Save and I though to myself, yep, we're going to get more snow.  Sure enough, the snow started while I was doing emergency stock-up shopping along with 50,000 other Greenfielders, or so it seemed!  Geez.  Nary a spot in the parking lot, and it's not a small parking lot!  Just because it may get to 40 below zero F on Monday doesn't mean the end of the world is coming.  We haven't had such temperatures around here in more than 15 years, thanks to global climate change.  So now everyone is freaking out because we don't remember how cold COLD can get!  LOL!  I shouldn't laugh, but it's that or cry.  It's been damn nasty here weather-wise, and that's a fact.  More snow than I can spit at (the spit would hit me right back in the face anyway because of that strong wind out of the southwest today, that is bringing us 24 hours of balmy temperatures for this time of year).  Shoveled once already and it looks like I may have to shovel again tonight before I go to bed.  I shouldn't be doing shoveling at all because of my heart issues, but that's the way it is. 

Early yesterday morning after I got dressed for work, I was standing in my room contemplating changing it around to get the bed off the cold outside wall for what remains of the winter (the next six months, that is), basically just swapping out the position of the bed (with net canopy hanging so prettily above) from the south outside wall to the north interior wall, and stared with dissatisfaction at the bare blank wall opposite the foot of the bed.  What, oh what could I put there, I asked myself, if I had my druthers and an unlimited budget.

The answer came to me on what I swear was angels' voices wafting down to me from Heaven:  a fireplace, fireplace, fireplace.....

I laughed, because I cannot afford to get a new front door, let alone a fireplace in my bedroom.  And I really do need a new front door. 

But the idea just - would - not - go - away!  All yesterday morning on the bus ride to the office; all yesterday morning, lunch time and afternoon at the office; all the long bus ride home, then the stop at the Pick 'n Save for load #1 of emergency rations, then the long trudge uphill in the cold (it was about 10 below zero F) the nine blocks home.  When I finally pushed the front door open and plunked down my 10 lbs. of groceries I think I actually yelled out loud "ENOUGH ALREADY!"

But sometimes an idea grabs you and just won't let go, no matter what.  Damn! 

So perhaps that urge to try and find new free-view Property Brothers seasons online last night was just an excuse to end up at hgtv online.  I wasn't able to find any new free to view Property Brothers seasons that I had not already seen, but I did end up at hgtv.  And somehow or other, last night I ended up watching about an hour's worth of 3-4 minute video clips of Candice Olson doing magic to bedroom spaces.  Thing is, she always seems to start out with huge bedrooms, a couple with fireplaces already in place.  That's not my mistress bedroom at Maison Newton, for sure.  It measures a meek 11-1/2' x 14' and there is no en suite! Or fireplace.

The last video clip I watched was the French woman's bedroom redo.  A fireplace was installed directly across the room from the foot of the bed, with a series of four framed prints above the head of the bed.  Two cushy chairs were situated near the fireplace, but there was enough space between them and the foot of the bed for an easy pass-by to get to the other side of the room.  It was just gorgeous.  The room to begin with was gorgeous, but it did not have a fireplace!  I kept hearing that angelic choir singing to me...

And so, last night, tired and bleary-eyed, and listening, huddled underneath four layers of clothing plus a doubled up afghan (flung over my shoulders, back and arms like a grandma shawl) as the winds cranked up to 30 mph and the house creaked and groaned (and it's only 23 years old, geez), I said what the heck, what would it hurt to just look for an electric fireplace and/or mantle (fireplace surround) and started visiting places like,,  And this morning I visited,,, and, among others.

Just how many electric and gel fueled fireplaces did I look at?  Hundreds, darlings, hundreds!  Whenever I saw something that I thought might work and was within my "budget" (what a joke!), I would do side-searches on Google to see if I could find something similar for less money.

And today, I did something I thought I'd never do, because I never felt the need to do it before:  I signed up at PINTEREST!

Yes, Holy Hathor!  Well, it sure beats printing out lots of color images of all those fireplaces that caught my eye, for various reasons, and stuffing them into a manila folder, LOL.  That's what I've done for the past 30 plus years, darlings. What a waste of paper!

As I continued to hunt for a fireplace that really spoke to me, my ideas became more defined, thanks to the concentrated dose of images at Pinterest.  I was zeroing in on the look I wanted...

It was at that I found HER!  Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh - cue angels' voices from Heaven once again cascading down upon me...

A price I might be able to manage if I don't eat for a few weeks and a good enough size that it won't look like a midget on the wall I intend it for...  She is the Burbank by Holly & Martin.  No longer being offered, she is a close-out.  It is 41 and a smidgeon inches tall, 45 inches side, and about 10 inches deep.  The inner surround is antiqued mirror, the outside is wood and wood products in a dark cherry finish.  The logs are ceramic; mesh firescreen is included.  Gel fuel canisters are used to produce flames and heat, sitting behind the faux logs; candles (real or battery-operated) can also be placed behind the logs where the gel canisters normally sit to produce light/flame effect.  I watched a video and the logs come right out, so at some future point when the budget allows, I might be able to buy an electric fireplace insert that would produce heat.  Or not.  What I'm mainly after is the ambiance and romance of actually having a fireplace mantle in my bedroom! 

I did look online for just a fireplace surround/mantle.  I pinned a photo or two of fireplace surrounds with candles in the firebox (and saw more where the firebox was sometimes mirrored to double the candle-effect), and was gravely disappointed at the prices for the surrounds!  Way too expensive for my budget.  I didn't check Craig's List locally.  But I can't use them anyway, really, because I have no means of picking up potential purchases at the drop of a hat. 

I cannot afford her, but I am going to swing it - somehow.  And when the budget allows, I am going to add some kind of porcelain tile on top of fiberboard or whatever (I'll have to consult with Kevin the Wonder Handyman about what to use), suitably trimmed out, to rest the fireplace upon and give her some additional height. 

Kevin the Wonder Handyman will figure prominently in all of this, as I cannot imagine putting this sucker together myself!  But first things first -- I've got to rope up some money and then order it!  SOON!  Woo woo! 


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Debra! Thanks so much for visiting. I hope so too. I am going to check today to see if she is still available. When I found her last week, there were like 12 left in stock. Pay day is on the 15th, I'll have enough "free" funds to swing the purchase at that time. Fingers crossed!

  2. Jan,
    Thanks again for stopping by!! I always enjoy your visits!!
    LOVE,LOVE,LOVE this fireplace!! I so wish I had room to put a fire place or even just a mantle in my LR but I really do not have a wall to put it on..... Boo Hoo!!!
    I did have a really good time shopping after Christmas, didn't I???? LOL!!!!
    I am still taking down Christmas. i hope to be done with that by next weekend and then I will start to decorate for Winter and Valentine's Day....

    I hope the weather is not so cold as it has been for you....

    Have a great week, my friend!!