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26 October 2006
  View From the Deck
Not spectacular, but all ours.

autumn trees from the deck

pumpkin divider

21 October 2006
  Hallowe'en Foyer
Much better under incandescent light, and still not clear enough.

foyer decorated for Hallowe'en

Love that glass pumpkin on the blue table. It practically glows all on its own.

You can't see the little cat figure in front of it as well as you should. I found it for a dollar at Family Dollar. It looks like it was produced for decorating in the 30s or 40s.

Hard to tell what that is on the top tier in front of the horse, too. It's a little owl in a witch's hat.

pumpkin divider

  Cursed Floral Wire
Several years ago I did a project that required floral wire. I bought a reel from Michael's.

A couple of years later I needed the floral wire again, but, although I knew it was somewhere in the laundry room, I couldn't find it. So I bought another reel.

Of course soon after I bought the second reel the first turned up again.

Today, after scrubbing both bathrooms as well as the dog, going to Wally World for staples, and working on a project, I trooped downstairs to get the Hallowe'en items. I planned to hang the three signs, at least, on the porch railings with the floral wire, which I saw just recently.

Guess what I couldn't find. Arrrrrgh!!!!

I used paperclips instead. @#%%@#!$@#!%!!! floral wire!

house decorated for Hallowe'en

Yes, this is a different photo from the one posted a few hours ago.

I put some other things up in the foyer, but the light was so contrast-y with the bright sunlight coming through the sidelights and cleristory that the photo looked dreadful. Maybe later on when the sun goes down.

pumpkin divider

20 October 2006
  Collies and Climates
While bopping from store-to-store with coupons, I stopped at Garden Ridge to give their fall village another look. We bought something called "Maple Sugar Shack" at Michael's last year, which was mixed in with the Christmas village stuff. I didn't realize LeMax also made a "harvest village."

A structure called Pine Mountain Cabin caught my eye as being "the most fall." They didn't have any more in boxes so I got the "floor model." It's cute: has "quilts" out to "air," cornstalks, even a canoe. I also got the last two fall trees and two sets of figures and a pickup truck loaded with pumpkins.

Warning: this is overexposed and blurry, darnit. If you click the photo there's a shot of the entire mantel, with the boys raking near the sugar shack, and our autumn ladies on either side of Mom's clock (and a home-made swag behind). The Pine Mountain building is actually cute: if you look through the window you can see a moose head over the fireplace, a shelf with flowers, a doorway to the kitchen, and a table set with fruit, all in miniature.

Pine Mountain Cabin

Also, I found this freestanding "curio shelf" ("shadowbox") in Cost Plus Warehouse. I've been looking for one for ages to hold my collie statue collection. This fits all of them except the five largest:

collie statue collection

Yes, there are a pewter cat, a glass bluebird, and a clay terrier on the bottom shelf. :-)

pumpkin divider

15 October 2006
  The Last Place You Think Of
Do you ever watch any of HGTV's decorating series? Although the designers re-do a remarkably varied assortment of rooms—basements, living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, children's rooms, baths, even garages—the majority of the rooms fashioned seem to be master bedrooms. And the story seems to always be the same: Matt and Shari, or Joan Steffend, or Candice Olsen, etc, walk into this beautifully decorated home and oooh and ahhh over the living and eating areas while they get an idea of the homeowners' likes and dislikes.

Then the homeowners rather embarrassedly escort them into the master bedroom, which is often incredibly bare, with a bed, a couple of bureaus, a full closet, and nothing else. While they appointed the public areas of their homes, and even the kids' bedrooms, with cool stuff, they completely ignored their own room.

That was us. On move-in day we put the furniture where we though we might like it and left it there, then erected bookshelves, china cabinets, and all that in the other rooms. I had some vague ideas for the bedroom, including replacing the two short bookcases in the room with taller, 15" wide Billy units from Ikea, but that was about it.

Today we went to Ikea because we hadn't been for a while, and because James wanted to see if their Christmas stuff was out yet. (Yes, I said James was looking for Christmas stuff. No, he doesn't have a fever. <g> Ikea has these light kits of dangling stars and he wanted one for the porch.) We had lunch and wandered through the store, and finally decided to look through their "scratch and dent" room.

And there were two display Billy bookcases on sale, a 15" unit and a 23. I hadn't thought to get a narrow one and a wide one, but heck...and they were the right color, too, a darkish brown that would go with my old bedroom furniture. They had some slight scratches, mostly in areas that would be hidden by books, or fixed with judicious application of furniture crayons. And they were already assembled, too!

So we brought them home, and since it was only three o'clock, proceeded to rearrange the bedroom. Previously as you entered the room, the two small bookcases were on your left, my old dresser and bureau were on the right. The bed was where it was going to stay, between the windows, flanked by the nightstand I had stained and varnished myself years ago on one side and one of my mom's old end-tables on the other which James uses for an nightstand. On the opposite wall between closet and bathroom doors was our chifforobe which holds the bathroom towels, the other sets of sheets, cleaning supplies and cloths, etc.

We emptied the bookcases and put one downstairs and I had James put the other into the spare bedroom. I'm thinking about keeping it there or putting it into my craft room. Then there was a lot of vacuuming and carrying and moving and all that.

The end result is that now you walk into the room and my dresser is on the immediate left, and then the 15" Billy closer to the window. The books I keep there are my favorites: Madeleine L'Engle, Gladys Taber, the Harry Potter books, Mary Stewart's Merlin trilogy, and Kate Seredy's The Open Gate. I dotted the shelves with a couple of stuffed animals and Mom's old radio which gets shortwave. Someday I'm going to rummage through my old Radio Times issues and see if I can find the frequencies for the BBC. I'd love to see if Radio 4 comes in, since they still do radio shows!

I have also finally unpacked the mirror that goes with the dresser and polished it up as well. We can hang it on the wall later if we like, but right now I just have it set at the back of the dresser. I'm so short I can still see all of myself in it!

On the opposite wall where the chifforobe was is the bureau and the 23" Billy. They fit just fine in that wall between the closet and bathroom doors. James put his favorite books on the bottom shelves and books to be read on the top two shelves, and the shelves are dotted with dragon figures and model airplanes.

I used to keep my two pairs of shoes by the bathroom door next to the chifforobe. They are the same style but I alternate them every day to make them last longer. They now fit between my dresser and the bookcase; I can grab them in the morning when I go back for my glasses.

The chifforobe is now where my dresser was on the right wall as you enter, with enough space between it and the far wall to fit the hamper in. There is now a big empty space between that piece of furniture and the door. Right now I have one of my grandmother's old kitchen chairs there. When we save up some money I will get one of the little Tullsta armchairs from Ikea, and perhaps a little plant stand or table. It will be a place where you can sit down and put on your shoes or finish getting dressed.

James looked around and said, "The room looks bigger." Probably because of that space. But the Tullsta is small and won't take up much more room than a chair.

It's not finished, of course. I have the bureau scarves in the washer. (These are actually towels that my mom embroidered when she was a teenager. I like to use them.) Then we can start on "the accessories," as Matt and Shari say. This will be the artwork that was in our room in the old house—my cross-stitch of the 23rd Psalm, etc. and then I am finally going to put some photos of friends or family into the collage frames I bought so long ago from Michael's—there wasn't room for them in the old place.

James says he doesn't mind, so I will probably put my old crucifix over the bed, too.

Now I'm starting to wonder if it would be too frivolous to buy a new comforter for the bed. The old one is still good, but it shrank a bit a couple of washings ago and got some oil stains on it from the old washer. If I want a fall-themed comforter, now is the time to buy one! But nice ones (not brand names, but ones that don't pill the first time you put them in the washer!) are so expensive.

Oh, well, there's time to think. I'd like the pictures and things back up, though, before Thanksgiving, since we're having our first family company then!

pumpkin divider

04 October 2006
  Improvements at the Hollow
I took off early yesterday because the construction company was coming by to fix a few things that had gone wrong or were "off."

The simplest problem to fix was the space over the bathroom door that still had a bit of blue tape on it; it had not been "spot painted" before we moved in. We also had a railing on the deck that was curling up. It was fastened down with James's favorites, three-inch deck screws.

One of the rollers on the garage door of the bay that I use kept falling off its track because the track had been installed too far out and the roller was extending too far. The track was moved in.

There was also an uprooted stump in the back yard which they had promised to remove before we moved in. They took it away.

The last repair was the most complicated: the Wednesday before Labor Day was the last time I had used the garbage disposal and it had worked fine. We ate out on Thursday and were not home for meals Friday through Monday inclusive due to DragonCon. On Tuesday when James tried to use the disposal it didn't work. When he clicked the reset button, all it did was hum.

The repairman figured we had dropped something down it, but could find absolutely nothing that didn't belong there. It was somehow jammed up so badly that he had to install a new one.

The one last thing that needed doing was the installation of the double-keyed deadbolt on the front door that we had paid for. They had not installed it previous to move in because there is a Georgia fire law that forbids the installation of a double-key deadbolt on a front door by a builder before the buyer moves in. They were scheduled to come this morning before James left, but apparently something was wrong with the lock and they had to put the old deadbolt back on for the time being. James was almost late for work and was pretty upset.

Anyway, I took the opportunity of being home to vaccuum and sweep and do all those other little monotonous housekeeping tasks, and then framed the prints we had brought home from A Blue Ribbon Affair. The Spitfire went downstairs to be hung at a later time, but I put up the other two.

Here's the fall countryside scene with the lighthouse in the distance:

fall photo with lighthouse in distance

Opposite I have dressed the alcove for fall:

alcove dressed for fall

Down in the hall downstairs, just behind James' airplane light, I put up the larger fall painting along with the lovely tin vintage travel sign, next to the laundry room door with its wreath and sign:

art in downstairs hall

pumpkin divider