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

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Part 1: I Nearly Strangled Myself With A Duvet Cover

Hola darlings!

Don't quite understand how I managed to get myself all tangled up in the thing, but heaven knows it's as big as a circus tent and twice as hard to work with!  I somehow managed to extricate myself and lived to blog about it --

I must be mad, mad, I tell you.  Bwwwwaaaahhhhaaaaahhhhhaaaaa....

I've been visiting the Ikea website for just about forever, and I love how everything there looks!  Now do I have any Ikea furnishings in my house?  I look at all the Ikea rooms online and say to myself  "I like that, and oh, I really like that and I want that," but in the end my taste is, well, old-fashioned boring when it comes right down to it -- the antithesis of Ikea style.  But I have purchased some items from Ikea.  My mistress bedroom curtains, for one thing -- LOTS AND LOTS OF CURTAINS -- like 20 pair maybe, just on two windows.  But the curtains are inexpensive -- well, they were inexpensive until I bought 20 pair.  Hmmm, okay, maybe not quite 20 pair.  There are three pairs of sheer under-curtains on each window and two and one-half pairs of semi-sheer over-curtains on each window.  I really think each window needs another pair of over-curtains, just to give me the opacity I want.  Or maybe I'll get rid of the sheers underneath altogether, saving them for elsewhere (they are so whispy and beautiful, blow beautifully in the summer breezes, but not at all practical for blocking views from outside into my boudoir - and who would want to snoop into the boudoir of a 63 year old woman, I ask you -- but that's a subject for another day), and buy three pairs of semi-sheer over-curtains to use as under-curtains, splitting one pair between the two windows.  That actually might WORK!  Duh.  Don't know why I didn't think of it before.

Bed in it's winter dress.  The tie-on curtains framing the head of the bed will be taken down for
the summer. I love my black and white toile print comforter set by Jacquelyn Smith.  It's paired with
a black and white gingham check sheet set.  P.S.  The Christmas ornaments have been put away 'til next year.

I love how they look!  They're soft, they're a creamy white not that slightly blue-tinged "cold feeling" white, and they filter the light beautifully.  I feel positively decadent in my boudoir with these Ikea curtains. I just want them to be a little less see-through...

But this post isn't about my curtains -- it's about DUVET COVERS!

I think Ikea cast a spell on me.  One mad day, after months and months of visiting its website and oohing and aahing over its duvet covers, I bought TWO:
This is the Ikea Alvine Kvist duvet set (grey and white).
This is the Ikea Rodbinka duvet set (white, red, charcoal, taupe).
I actually wanted to buy about four more, but I reined myself in...
The two pristine Ikea packages sat around for several months, and then on January 4, 2015, in a fit of domesticity (while the weather was going bonkers with a week straight of 20 below zero and colder), I pulled out the Ikea Rodbinka duvet set; gave it a gentle wash and dry, ironed it (that took HOURS!), and then wrestled with my comforter to get it into the duvet cover.  Finally, at the end of a day that had started before 7 a.m. that morning and ended about 3:30 p.m., I had this:



What's wrong with this picture?  Well no, those are not shadows being cast on the duvet cover by the setting sun.  That's the black toile print of my comforter peeking through the sheer white material (Lyocel) of the Ikea duvet cover!  Holy Hathor!


At this point, I was just about ready to take the damn thing outside and burn it.  A bonfire would have been a welcome relief from the bitter cold...  All that work -- hours of ironing, struggling for I don't know how long stuffing the comforter into the duvet cover, and then getting it to lay "just so."  Arggghhhh!

Thing is, I LOVE my Jacquelyn Smith comforter.  I bought it years ago (about 2009) and I have not tired of its black and white toile pattern or it's pretty details -- its scalloped edges banded in black and white stripe set on the bias, and the black and white striped pattern on the other side. It is starting to show a little wear/fading after two washings a year, though, despite being very careful with it.  So, I thought hey, a duvet cover -- that will give me a new look and also help me preserve my beloved comforter by giving its rest periods for several more years!

What to do, what to do?  I hated being able to see the toile print through the duvet cover!  And then, I came up with what I thought was a brilliant solution, ahem...

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