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, May 10, 2014

My Last Mantle/Mantel

Hi everyone.

As you know, Maison Newton has been sold.  I am still actively looking for a new home for myself, with little success. But, as the saying goes, hope springs eternal in the human heart.  I have put an offer in this morning on a home and will hear back (I hope), later today. 

None of the homes I have looked at have a fireplace in it.  None of the (now) three homes in which I have put in an offer to purchase have a wall where I could reasonably have a direct vent fireplace installed.  This makes me very very sad, as one of the things I love most about Maison Newton is my cozy fireplace in the front room where I can snuggle on bitterly cold days in the winter or even during cold damp rainy days during the spring, summer and fall.

So, here are some photos of my spring/Easter mantle/mantel decorations.  The last you will see from me for maybe - forever.

My heart was not much into the project this year, as my home was already sold when I did this.  I won't lie -- I've been feeling meloncholia and nostalgic ever since J&J finally signed off on the contingencies in their offer and I knew Maison Newton was well and truly sold.  Despite that, I do like all of the prints of dogwood blossoms that I printed out from the internet and installed in frames I already have, and the old Home Interiors print with the dated border colors from the 1980s (but beautifully framed).  To be honest with you, I'm not sure if the flowers in that print are magnolia blossoms or dogwood blossoms, LOL!  But hey, they sort of look like dogwood and none of my friends who visit know the difference anyway :) 


You may recognize some items from last spring:  the plastic eggs; the ceramic basket filled with artificial green straw and more plastic eggs; the tall pastel green votive candle holder and the large "tome" (a fake book-safe) with the beautifully illustrated covers (TJMaxx purchases a season or two ago), and my favorite, the Godiva Chocolates bunny in bib overhalls, holding a "basket." 

The trio of ceramic bunnies on the right were purchased last September at a rummage sale, as was the candle snuffer resting in front of the t.v. on the right, the little glass globe egg in basket located left of center, and the little bunny that you can only partially see down below; he's resting on top of the fireplace upper vent.

I filled a couple of large decorative glasses with plastic pastel-colored eggs and added two eggs from my collection (left of center) to complete the display.



I put a larger framed print of a dogwood blossom up above the curio cabinet.  I see I caught myself in the mirrored back taking the photo, LOL!



On the Queen Anne side table on the right side of the fireplace, I put up an old watercolor I did years ago (copied out of a book teaching how to do watercolors, LOL), a colorful egg from my collection, and my three ceramic birds (bird on the left is a TJMaxx purchase; pair of porcelain doves on the right were a gift from one of my sisters many years ago, I believe they are Home Interiors).



I added a few framed dogwood prints by the front entry, and a trio of prints (below), centered above my front room desk:



So, that's it for spring/Easter around Maison Newton.  I'm taking it all down this weekend, starting to pack.

It's a beautiful day here today (we haven't had many this "spring") and I'm headed out now to the Pick 'n Save to pick up much needed supplies.  I started to make mac 'n cheese for myself for lunch (my stomach is demanding to be fed) but I realized, right after I dumped the macaroni into the boiling water, that I did not have a drop of milk in the house!  So - off the fire went the pot.  And instead of doing this I really have to get my butt walked down to the supermarket and get some milk, eek!

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