Looking a Lot More Like Christmas

We’ve had late start getting ready for Christmas this year. We just got a tree a few days ago.

The tree is all lit up but still without ornaments.
The tree is all lit up but still without ornaments.

This tall, slender tree is the perfect shape for our living room.

Not yet sure of the technique I'm going to use to polarize these bears.
A group of wooden bears to become polar bears

Meanwhile I had a small project of whitening the natural wooden bears Charlie picked up from our local toymaker.

White acrylic paint and clear extender to thin it.
White acrylic paint and clear extender to thin it.

Using some white acrylic paint and some painted extender I mixed up some whitewash.

The painting went quickly.
The painting went quickly.

I haphazardly applied the paint with a foam brush.

The whole celebration of polar bears is painted.
The whole celebration of polar bears is painted.

At first I smoothed on the paint but decided it looked better with a more splotchy application.

My characterizations improved with practice.
My characterizations improved with practice.

With a black paint pen I enhanced the ears, eyes, and nose.  Some of the bears already had holes for eyes and others had faceted beads in the eye sockets.

Polar bears on a silver platter.
Polar bears on a silver platter.

I spread the newly painted bears around the house pairing them with my pinecone tree project.

The coffee is adorned with polar bears.
The coffee is adorned with polar bears.

I love the simplicity of these polar bears.

The bears look at home on the mantel, too.
The bears look at home on the mantel, too.

If you don’t scrutinize them too closely they’re really cute.

Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

Christmas Tree and Polar Bears

Last night Charlie and I finally bought a live Christmas tree.

We haven't taken the time to set the tree up properly yet.
We haven’t taken the time to set the tree up properly yet.

So far it’s sitting in the tree stand in the living room — undecorated.

Not yet sure of the technique I'm going to use to polarize these bears.
Not yet sure of the technique I’m going to use to polarize these bears.

I also was given a celebration of polar bears. (Yepper, a group of the white growlers is called a celebration.)

I liked these bears as soon as I saw them.
I liked these bears as soon as I saw them.

My plan is to whitewash them and give them a little polar personality.

A simple expression of polar bears -- simple enough for me.
A simple expression of polar bears — simple enough for me.

I’m using this very spare print (above) as a guide. I found it here.

I hope to put mine (the smaller one) to use this weekend.
I hope to put mine (the smaller one) to use this weekend.

And I ordered a polar bear cookie cutter from ecrandal.com which is on its way.

Do you prefer to decorate with a theme or run with random creativity?

Not Baltimore But Washington, DC

The Baltimore Ikea has a wonderful photo of Baltimore.

55 inches wide by 39-1/2inches tall a color photo of Baltimore, Maryland, at night.
55 inches wide by 39-1/2inches tall a color photo of Baltimore, Maryland, at night.

It is very attractive and my friend almost bought it to hang in the Cottage.  Ultimately it seemed a little busy which is not a great representation of the city.

The Washington, DC Ikea photo is mostly deep blue.
The Washington, DC Ikea photo is mostly deep blue.

Also on display was a photo of Washington DC in a 55″ by 39-1/2″ format.

The artwork is on the floating cottage wall.
The artwork is on the floating cottage wall.

This picture is actually the one selected for the Cottage’s floating wall. Even though the pervasive color is midnight blue the Capitol dome glows an aqua shade that coordinates well with the “Siamese Eyes” wall color.

The bed in the Cottage has been made up with an Ikea duvet.
The bed in the Cottage has been made up with an Ikea duvet.

At $50 this framed photo seems a bargain.

Are you an ocean or a mountain person?

Moving Some Art

A few years ago I framed a nautical chart.

The chart has been hanging on the soon-to-be cabineted wall in the Cottage.
The chart has been hanging on the soon-to-be cabineted wall in the Cottage.

It’s been hanging in the Cottage but now it has to move.

The was above the conservatory toilet is empty.
The was above the conservatory toilet is empty.

I don’t have many empty walls in the house.

Looking from the closet side, the wall in the bathroom is loaded with pipes and vents.
Looking from the closet side, the wall in the bathroom is loaded with pipes and vents.

The wall above the toilet in the conservatory bathroom was empty but has some hidden pipes and vents that I wouldn’t want to puncture with a nail.

The chart fits well above the toilet but the colors are not quite right.
The chart fits well above the toilet but the colors are not quite right.

After measuring the approximate positions of the obstacles I nailed up a picture hook.

The bathroom mirror reflects the chart and the kitchen across the house.
The bathroom mirror reflects the chart and the kitchen across the house.
The edge of the shower wall needs to be trimmed and the opening needs will be filled with shelves.
The edge of the shower wall needs to be trimmed and the opening needs will be filled with shelves.

This room still needs some finishing details but the chart fills a large space on the wall.

What’s hanging around your house?

Paris Via Ikea

Yesterday I changed the bedclothes, mowed the lawn, colored my hair and hung a picture on the wall. Charlie cleaned up the recyclable metal in the yard.

I was immediately attracted to this photo.
I was immediately attracted to this photo.

I started early in the morning opening a large framed photograph I bought at Ikea.

he bright blue of our bedroom walls are relieved with a wall of grey shelves and a large black and white photo.
The bright blue bedroom walls are relieved with a wall of grey shelves and a large black and white photo.

We have had a large blue expanse over the bed while waiting for me to refinish the bedframe. This photo is black and white except for the golden Eiffel Tower.

A coil of hanging wire came attached to the photo.
A coil of hanging wire came attached to the photo.
I followed the diagram directions carefully.
I followed the diagram directions carefully.

The Vilshult comes with wire and hanging tabs and a diagram for their use.

The wire is carefully wrapped around itself after passing through the hole in the hanging hardware.
The wire is carefully wrapped around itself after passing through the hole in the hanging hardware.

I wrapped the wire around the hanging tabs with a little help from needle-nosed pliers.

The picture may move up when the bedframe is installed.
The picture may move up when the bedframe is installed.

I used 2 screws driven into studs on the wall to hang the picture.

The grey frame is an added benefit.
The grey frame is an added benefit.

At 55″ by 39″ it makes a grand presence on the wall.

Do you have a favorite city?

A Big Day Ahead

I’m going to try to get a lot done today because next Saturday we’ll be at our daughter’s wedding.

Our Honda mower has been a good purchase.
Our Honda mower has been a good purchase.

I always change the bedclothes on Saturday and recently have started cutting the grass with our new ride-on mower.

eSalon has formulated color especially for me.
eSalon has formulated color especially for me.

And I need to color my hair. For the first time I’m going to try a color kit from eSalon made especially for me.

Pendant lights will hang over the dual sinks on either side of the window.
Pendant lights will hang over the dual sinks on either side of the window.

I’m also going to try to hang and electrify our bathroom lighting fixtures by enlisting the aid of a helper.

We need some decoration over the king-sized bed.
We need some decoration over the king-sized bed.

My final chore is to hang a new picture over our bed.  I want to measure carefully because ultimately we will have our bedframe back in place after it is refinished so the artwork might look a little high to start.

Charlie is going to recycle the old metal.
Charlie is going to recycle the old metal.

I hope Charlie will be on the metal sorting project.

Are you having a good summer?

Hanging Plates

The dogwood plates add a touch of ochre (kitchen color) and green (conservatory color to the adjoining dining room.
The dogwood plates add a touch of ochre (kitchen color) and green (conservatory color to the adjoining dining room.

Thanks for your opinions on hanging my dogwoods plates in the dining room.

Plates mocked-up on the window wall.
Plates mocked-up on the window wall.

The consensus was to hang the hand-painted plates on either side of the double dining room window.

I have a box of plate hangers
I have a box of plate hangers and hooks.

I have six plates and five identical plate hangers.   The odd hanger made measuring for placement a little challenging but it worked out.

I used a sharp matte knife to cut a tiny tepee in the wallpaper.
I used a sharp matte knife to cut a tiny tepee in the wallpaper.

Rather then put a nail (or six of them) in my newly hung wallpaper, I cut a small tepee and peeled back the paper.

Peel back the paper.
Peel back the paper.

If in the future if I decide to take the plates down I can cover the hole by gluing the wedge back over the hole.

The plates continue the line of the window frame.
The plates continue the line of the window frame.

I hung the top plates first almost even with window frame.

Plates in the dining room.
Plates in the dining room.

The bottom plates form a triangle.

The plates brighten up the denim-blue wallpaper.
The plates brighten up the denim-blue wallpaper.

The placement looks remarkably like the mock up but a little better I hope.

Plates in the dining room -- above the rail.
Plates in the dining room — above the rail.

It’s difficult to find artwork to hang above the high judge’s rail.

What small but exact project are you getting around to this week?