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

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Shezebo: Online Shopping for My Decor!

Hola!

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July holiday.  I visited one of my sisters at their get-away home way up in the North Woods of Wisconsin, first time I've been up there in about 30 years, and had a wonderful time.

Back home, I've picked up the work of getting my patio in shape, including adding something I long wanted but never felt I could/should afford -- a permanent gazebo structure, my Shezebo!  I've always been generous toward others, but not so much with myself.  Now I guess I'm old enough and wise enough to know better than to deprive myself at this stage of my life, turning 65 next month.  I'm treating myself to things I never thought I would buy for myself, and my health hasn't been this good in years.  I amaze my primary care doctor and my cardiologist every check-up, LOL.  I think it's because I'm happy (despite the loss of my dear Mr. Don in 2012), and FREE after working my butt off for 46 plus years. 

True to form, I started out with one set of ideas in mind for what I wanted to do to decorate my Shezebo, and ended up going in a totally different direction.

I knew I wanted to add seating that would fit within/under the Shezebo.  I budgeted $500, figuring I would like a modular outdoor sofa unit (I had seen 3 or 4 at Amazon for under $500 that consisted of a four-piece sofa and one coffee table, for a total of five pieces) with white-ish or light beige cushions, something neutral, and I wanted a body of faux woven wicker that would hold up to the weather and go with my existing patio chairs.  I shopped for several days but was worried about the quality of the inexpensive furniture.  Then an email ad arrived from Home Depot -- patio furniture on sale.  Of course I looked!

And I bought on super sale at Home Depot online a pair of these -- stationary rocker lounge chairs, and added a pair of footstools:

(Pemberly line -- the green upholstery is not the color I have, but the website does not have the "peacock" color pictured in such a way that it reflects the actual color of the material - in all of the browsers on my three (yes three) different laptops, it just looks sort of a blah greyish blob).

I was leery of selecting the Peacock color because the online image at Home Depot was less than desirable to show me what the color actually WAS,, but I did not want the green color (above) or a sort of reddish color also offered.  I breathed a great sigh of relief when the cushion covers (sold separately from the cushions that come with the chairs and footstools) arrived separately ahead of the furniture and I was able to see the upholstery in person.  The "peacock" is a turquoise or aqua color; the material is a thick weave with some brown woven in and the texture is slightly nubby but very soft to the touch.  The primary color reads turquoise/aqua.  Here's a not very good pic of one of the cushion covers I took with my antique digital camera:



I also wanted an area rug, something I've never had outdoors before. I h.ad a deck for over 20 years at the former Maison Newton and never had a rug out there

And I wanted a fountain.  A water-splashing, gurgling fountain!  

Originally I was going to go with an area rug that would contain similar colors to the "peacock" tweed upholstery on the new stationary rocking lounge chairs and foostools.  I zeroed in on a couple of different rugs on sale at Home Decorators online - they were having a big sale on outdoor furnishings including rugs, and I found several 5 x 7 area rugs were under $100, plus 20% off, plus a free 6 x 9 rug pad.


I had chosen the Gallery area rug when I got curious (oh oh) and decided to check out what else was on sale.  Maybe I could find some cool accessories I hadn't thought about at a to-die for price.  Not a good idea idea for the budget, but I came away with -- furniture cushions -- for my existing patio furniture.

I fell in love with this pattern - the tapestry/Jacobean look, the colors, ooh la la!  It speaks both to my love of the traditional and the colors of summer.

Valbella Provence pattern.

But if I was going to buy this pattern, I needed to rethink the rug I'd chose, because the patterned rug I'd chosen was not going to work with these chair cushions.  So, I went back to the rugs and looked again, and this is the one I ultimately purchased:


The Wharf area rug was also on sale for the same price as the rug I'd initially selected, so I bought it instead, and went ahead with a big splurge and ordered cushions for a shabby-chick white wood Andirondack chair, a high-backed plastic adjustable lounge chair (my favorite for reading outdoors), and my two patio table chairs.

I had initially budgeted $500 maximum for a (perhaps) modular sofa unit to go with the new Shezebo.  I spent less than that purchasing my two new chairs with footstools plus their slip-covers, so the splurge for the furniture cushions wasn't as much as it could have been.  I did get them on the 20 - 40% off sale - was shocked by how much they would have cost if I'd paid full price, wowsers!

The rug has been received, it's still in its wrapper.  I don't want to put it on the patio until the Shezebo is installed.  The rug pad has been received, ditto.  The furniture cushions are arriving this coming week, I received a shipment notification a few days ago, woo woo!

Best news yet - my Shezebo is going up NEXT SATURDAY July 30th!  And the assembly/install price is just a bit over half of what I had budgeted.  Happy happy happy!

Fountain coming up next post.

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