December 6, 2017:

Hola!

It's COLD here. Cold and windy. But the Sun has been out for the past 2 days so it's bright, and that helps me to bear the cold and the short days. Only 15 more days to Winter Solstice, and then each day, a few more minutes of daylight will magically begin to be added, and even though the cold and snow will continue, the "worst" will be over because I know we are over the hump and headed toward the Spring Equinox.

Meanwhile, I am busy decorating the tree. I dug out an old collage of photos from the former Maison Newton (above). Gosh, that was a beautiful fireplace. My current gel fuel fireplace is great, but no match for that large and lush gas fireplace in my former home. In my case, downsizing meant not only much less square footage and a single story (which IS nice), but no fireplace until I purchased my gel fuel fireplace. I love it, but there was only one wall I could put it on, and this current living room is much smaller than my former living room, so I sized the fireplace accordingly. (It was also much less expensive and did not need to be installed by professionals).

Yesterday I womaned up and muscled, huffed, puffed, cussed some, breathed heavily and heaved mightily to get my Christmas tree up the basement stairs and dragged into the living room, and then into position in front of the picture window overlooking the front of the house. Whew! Quite the work-out. But I wasn't ready this year to switch to a "single woman of a certain age" (4 foot tall) tree. Maybe next year...NAH!

Jan

Sunday, December 7, 2014

More Christmas "Reveals" at Maison Newton III

Hola!

I fluffed up the new 4 foot tall artificial trees with lights (in urns, woo woo! -- you caught a glimpse of them hiding out in a corner of my dinette --)


destined for the front porch, and got them looking all spiffy.  Hauled them out to the front stoop, unwrapped the outdoor power cord I bought yesterday at Walgreens, plugged everything in and - voila - NOTHING.

Oh poop.

I was racing against sundown, which comes before 4:30 p.m. in these parts these days, geez.  CAN'T WAIT FOR SOLSTICE when the days will start to get longer, a few minutes each day.  In 30 days of December 21, we'll have gained an hour and a bit more sunlight, thank Goddess!

Didn't work. Not a fricking flicker.  ARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!  The trees are so cute and would look pretty lit up!  I really wanted them to light up this evening and introduce the new neighborhood to Maison Newton style, ahem.  I tried several different things and nothing worked.  I may just resort to battery-operated lights.

Although the big Christmas tree reveal is past, here are  photos of how I decorated the rest of Maison Newton III.  There may be a tweak or two upcoming but, basically, this is it.

P.S.  Decided it's ridiculous to keep referring to the "FORMER" Maison Newton, as if it had died and gone to House Heaven.  So now it's Maison Newton I (first house bought in 1986, sold in 1989), Maison Newton II (second house, stick built and moved into in August 1990, closed on sale June 30, 2014), and Maison Newton III (1956 one story rancher with a smaller lot and much smaller footprint, my retirement home, closed on buy June 30, 2014).

Here come the photos!


Above:  The new gel-fuel fireplace/mantel, decked out for the holidays, and the old coffee table with its minimalistic decorations -- gold pine cone pics amidst the Norfolk pine and the silver-colored ceramic deer I bought last year at Walgreens.



Photo above, the bookcase niche decorated for Christmas with votives, flameless candles, and a few other Christmas trinkets.



A closer look at one of the bookcase niche shelves:  mercury glass votive, a Christmas trinket box holding station underneath Xena Warrior Princess' horse, and an ornament/music box.  The trinket box and the ornament/music box were both gifts from investment club members in prior years.



Above, left side of the mantel.  I took Coz Roxanne's advice and removed the porcelain church and added a low dish of ornaments; I introduced height and rhythm with the tall mercury glass votives.  I bought them at Kirkland's online a few years ago and they were such a deal; I believe I paid $19.99 on sale for the set of three.  Hanging just beneath the mantel are some jingle-bells I picked up at The FamilyDollar last weekend.  The light blue and silvery colors go well in the living room.



The mantel from the right side.  I did not want to put too much on the mantel -- it's smaller than the one I had at Maison Newton II and not as deep.  This mercury glass candle stand is a favorite find from TJ Maxx a few years ago.  It anchors the space with a flameless candle atop but doesn't crowd the t.v., balancing out the trio of tall votive holders on the other side.



A lot of wow for little effort!  There's not much simpler than piling some ornaments in a pretty glass dish, and this worked so well in the space.  They are mini-ornaments in satin white, shiny silver, one satin gold and one shiny gold.  Some of the ornaments have white curling ribbon strung through them -- adds a little frou-frou.  The mini-size ornaments I used to fill the glass dish are just right, I think; 2" diameter ornaments may have been a bit too large for the space and I wouldn't have been able to pile as many of them in the dish.



The tree and the counter, view from patio door (see opening paragraphs, above).

The lantern on the left was purchased at TJ Maxx a few years ago, it was $20.

The deer duo in the center are faux wood and were $9.99 each at Walgreen's.  In design, they are similar to beautiful gilded deer I've seen at Gumps online for $128 for a pair.  Holy Hathor! Soooo glad I added them to my Christmas decor.  I first saw them last Christmas but by the time I made up my mind to spend $10 for each one, they were all gone.  I think the deer look organic with their "wood" finish and work fine on wood countertop, while giving a nod to continuity with some contrast to the little silver-colored ceramic deer trio I bought last year at Walgreen's for my 2013 mantel.  It's hard to make out, but in-between the deer duo is an elegant brass ornament holder and a beautiful blown-glass rainbow-colored finial ornament.  It was a gift from one of our investment club gift swaps a few years ago.

The tall brass candlestick on the right with the glass hurricane cover were purchased more than 25 years ago at the former Gimbels downtown store.  How I miss Gimbels!  The candle is a vanilla-scented pillar -- it's not going to last until Christmas, LOL! It smells so good when lit, but it is burning down quickly as it is lit every night.  Can you believe it started life at 8 inches tall?



The view from the living room into the kitchen.  The former owner, Mrs. "Seller," installed the vinyl print saying above the pass-through:  "In all things of nature, there is something of the MARVELOUS -- Aristotle."  I couldn't agree more.  This view is one of my favorite views in the house. It overlooks the dining table (minus computer and stacks of papers for this day) straight out into my back yard and beyond.  It faces east, so I get good light, especially in the summer.

Below, a photo of the show-stopping tree topper I fretted over and came up with a solution late Saturday evening December 6 by adding the bling -- three gold colored picks from prior years I discovered in a box marked "tree topper stuff."  LOL!  I'm not showing you the tree topper in this photo because I'm crazy about it but this photo shows the bird sitting on top of the bookcase (china) hutch in the background to the right.  She's the Queen of Heaven in her dove form, crowned in gold, and she sits upon the highest perch in the room, surveying all below.  



She sparkles -- tried to get a close up without getting on a ladder -- ssttrreettcchh:



Not such a good photo, it's not all sparkly like she is!



I'm living with the wall color on the living room "accent wall" until spring 2015, then it's sooooo gone...  Oops, I see I caught my reflection in the mirror back of the hutch, geez!  You'd think by now I'd know better.  I look rather like a Peruvian mummy in that reflection, hmmm...

More to come, but not tonight -- it's 9 p.m. and one of my t.v. favorites, Revenge, is coming on.

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