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August 31, 2016

Back To School

It's that time of year when the kids go back to school so I decided to do a tablescape with school in mind.

Had to include some apples for the teacher!

I chose primary colors, red, yellow, blue and green….

I added a pencil too!

 After school dinner could include some cool fruit smoothies to go in the big yellow mugs, homemade mac'n cheese with ham followed by apple crisp for dessert to enjoy too!


 Sunlit pictures add some cheerfulness!

 I didn't notice the rooster in the background until I saw these on the computer- added a nice country flair!




Tablescape details:
Tablecloth from Kohl's earlier this summer
Red placemats from Juliska (watch for sales)
Green dishes by Park- Village Collection
White dishes by Mikasa called Antique White
Yellow mugs from Pier 1 last year
Napkins from Pier 1- Two years ago
Napkin rings from Pier 1 a while back
Blue flatware from Horchow

Joining:

August 30, 2016

Reason for Shuffling Furniture

As I mentioned I would tell you a reason I was influenced to move my furniture around this time.
I cropped this picture to show you the set up.  See the wing back chair with the glass end table next to it?  
One night when I couldn't sleep I had climbed into the recliner and dozed off. 

Mr. Teddy that we love so much….has a thing for lampshades.  I did a post including another story about Teddy, a lamp and shade "here".

As I mentioned I was sleeping in the recliner- when all of a sudden a loud crash awoke me.
The lamp was knocked off the table and hit the hearth.  When I picked it up I could feel the pieces move. It has 5 serious cracks in it now.  Dan used some super-glue on it but it's only a matter of time before it will come apart.  It hit the marble and wood trim on the hearth and it even damaged the marble near the edge.   This was a nice piece from Ethan Allen from about 12 years ago and is made very well.  

I feel like I should've titled this "That Darn Cat"
What's the deal with Teddy?
All we can figure is Teddy likes to use his paws and push against the interior of the shade to knead it.  Cats often like soft objects such pillows and blankets or even you- they say it brings them contentment.  This is the first one I've had that figured out the interior of a shade was a place to be soothing!  Gees!

Another time (just after the lamp crash incident) I fell asleep watching tv and I awoke to another sound… do you see him!

Little stinker.  He had jumped up to the mantel using the table by the recliner to get up there.  I had my cell phone right there so I captured it.  What really freaks me out is that he walked from the right side to the left somehow managing to get around each piece.  I decided that was enough- the room has to change and no more convenient furniture for him to jump from.

Now he's got about a 6 ft. jump to reach the mantel and there's enough intimidation with objects in the way that I expect he isn't going to try it anymore.  He's good but not the good!

Moving on...
This end table looked too bare so I took this inlaid mother of pearl box off a shelving unit in the living room and placed it here.  I hadn't tried it before so it's a new look for me now.  

Hopefully now the lamp is safe here but if it goes down again it will be in multiple pieces.  

The candle on the urn next to the lamp (that I showed in a vignette "here" on the coffee table not long ago) has moved to this end table.   
You can see Dan's table on the right rear that I gave him for his stereo doodads and reading materials.   He likes it a lot and it keeps his stuff off of the other surfaces which makes me happy- a good compromise.  It's pretty well hidden from any view unless you are over near that corner.


In keeping with the "less is more" I've combined the big bowl with the tray on the table but nothing else.  Somehow I'm imagining the contents of the bowl to change when my fall decorating comes into play…. but I will be keeping it simple! 




August 29, 2016

Mantel Arranging since 1996

I'm going to back up a good ways and show you our mantel from the early days (20 years ago)

The addition was completed in April 1996.  I had a contemporary brass and glass mirror that had followed us from another house.  We mounted it up on the wall and this was my first attempt to decorate the new room.  I don't own the big roll top desk any longer and the burgundy recliners went to one of my sisters.   The oak coffee and end tables were sold at some point along with the sofa. Interesting to look back.  Judging by my daughter's sitting position she's watching tv over on the wall that I want to move our tv to now.

In 2006 I went heavy into color and set the room up in golds, olives and reds.  We found this brass swan piece at the furniture store where we had just selected a whole new room of furniture.  

Then in 2010 I tried this half round topped mirror for a while and I love French Country so when I saw these two pedestal vase pieces at a store going out of business I bought them.  They were around for a long time on the mantel shifting positions many times.  I still have them tucked away.

This was 2012 when I pumped up the Tuscan influence a bit more.

Moving forward rapidly this new picture replaced the mirror and eventually I came across these big white lanterns.  I had begun a quest to reduce my Tuscan influence and I wanted to add a little modern mix in.  The lattice design on the lanterns added a light spring and summer look.  As you can see I pumped up the white with several items on the mantel here.  I have used them continuously since April 2015 when I acquired them including fall decorating and Christmas the season and until very recently.

Last June I was visiting my hometown downstate and went into a favorite little furniture/deco store that offers interior decorating.  They are very open to conversation and I became engaged with one designer about some ideas for my mantel.  When I showed her that picture (before this one) she didn't like the symmetry of the two white lanterns.  I had spotted the brass candlesticks at the store and she offered the thought of placing them on one side and just using the one lantern.  I needed to get the two candlesticks offset so I used a faux book to do it.  I lived with it a while but just wasn't thrilled.

One thing she drove home is that "we are doing "less is more" these days".  
So every so often when I got a chance I'd play with the mantel some more trying to do less and not be too symmetrical (but symmetrical kept coming back).  This isn't bad but it seems terribly predictable.

I tried moving the candlesticks out to the ends.  I added my brown woven vase to the hearth to help ground the setting.  
This is just one of several attempts but I just couldn't adjust to the candlesticks being way out on either end.

I had a lightbulb moment and brought my tall white lantern over to create another height and was starting to like it more.

 I adore this footed bowl (that I won from a blog giveaway in 2014 as seen "here" and it's a favorite piece of mine.  I put my faux artichokes in it and love how it looks.

I loved the lantern on the tray where it was since last April as seen "here" but I had to give it a try on the mantel.  This is the fun part of shopping your house!! 

 So this is where I'm at now.  Using a faux book to raise one candlestick and to break up the symmetry of using them on both sides.  I'm trying to keep it uncluttered.  The bowl is too wide to go on the right where the lantern is which was a thought, but keeping the height of the lantern on the end works as a better balance.


 I'm happy with this and content for now!

Bottom line to all this is try things out and experiment.  Don't get hung up with only one way of doing these things.  Before I put the room back together all the deco accessories were moved out and then when I put it back together I start out with a fresh approach.  
Some things got eliminated and you have to allow yourself to do that.  Don't get hung up with keeping all your things out just because you own it.

In my next post I'll tell you about my reason for the recent shuffling of the room furniture.

August 28, 2016

Shuffling Furniture…again

Well it's been a dry spell with me leaving my furniture in the same place!  I had to disrupt the dry spell and shuffle things around again.
The sofa was on an angle where the red chair is now and the recliners were split and on both sides of the room.   

I'm working on hubby about moving the tv over to the wall on the right side of the room between two windows.  I know it actually makes furniture placement a little more difficult but I'd like not to see the tv so easily.  I have had it in at least 4 different spots in this room in the past.  The hardest part is going under the house to move the wiring over to the new location.

The tv would go where the striped cabinet is now and that cabinet would move across the room to the opposite wall.  For now it stays- if it happens it would likely be after the holidays.
In the meantime I put my conservatory/lantern over on the striped chest.   I never for a minute thought would work there but I gave it a try and I like it.

This chest had been sitting behind the sofa like a sofa table but I got tired of the way it blocked the room as seen "here".

 I do have a little plan to add/change it up a bit for fall but I will go back to this look after the holidays because I really like it.


The sun made an appearance so of course I had to take a picture.  We've been getting a lot of rain and not much sun so I felt lucky to see this.

 I ended up setting this up with family pictures.  It's a game table and I have to chairs for it but they don't tuck under which would have worked much better.  Anyway for now this is what I have here.

 My little bit of bling.  I dug out one of my glass risers.  I love this piece from Pier 1.  

The wing-back recliners are back together again.

An early evening shot.  

I will be joining:

August 25, 2016

Tickled Pink!

I'm so happy I'm tickled  pink!

 My Pinky Winky Hydrangea has actually turned pink for the first time!

I guess it is either just right conditions this year or more likely it just needed to get established.  I was lazy this year and didn't even fertilize. 


 This was it when I first planted it in 2010 

Little things like this make me so happy!

These Limelights are so huge this year.  They're so soft and fluffy!


 Last of the Blackeyed Susans -
Rudbeckia


These are ready for drying.  They'll be brown before I know it.

All the rain has greened up the drying grass and the Rose Of Sharon is blooming better than ever.  Last year I gave it a good trim to re-shape it. 

This has been a rewarding summer!  

 This is a video I took in July of the bumblebees collecting pollen from the 
Annabelle Hydrangeas
 
 For some reason the quality isn't as good as it should be but I don't know how to fix it.


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