Thursday, January 14, 2016

Midwinter blues.

 This is the time of year to start anew and clear out all the clutter.

That being said, it's also the time of year I dig through my dwindling stash of goodies
and attempt to come up with pleasing arrangements for tabletops and mantels. 
Our living room mantel is the thorn in my side, because nothing looks good
 on top of the dark mantel and equally dark old brick.

Source: Country Home

Maybe this will be the year I shake things up and change our old fireplace.
The photo above is one of my favorites with the combination of wood mantel
and painted wood surround and bricks.  Perfection!

As I reflect back on the changes I planned for 2015, I'm happy to say
 that I crossed off most of the items on my rather short list.
  A revamp of our fireplace will remain on this year's list.

I replaced a kitchen cabinet with open shelving and installed t & g wood
above the stone backsplash tile.  I also repainted all the kitchen cabinets to get rid of the
 creamy yellowish tone, and that's something I never thought I'd be doing again
 in this lifetime!  Next to go are the too white walls.

The dollhouse we should have finished by Christmas is slowly coming along.
Since we're in a deep freeze (-15 F this morning), it's the perfect time to
nail and caulk and sand and prime and sand........

I do see a pattern in my MO.  I jump right in and start the first project of the year
and then it's all downhill from there.  Do you remember the rickety chairs
I vowed to glue before the next holiday after Christmas of 2015?

If you had stopped by on the morning of December 23 (family arriving that evening)
you'd have found me starting that little task.  I tried wood glue earlier in the year,
but it didn't do much as far as stabilizing the chairs, so as a last resort
I sent my personal shopper out to buy a product I had seen at a local hardware store.

It took less than 10 minutes to fill every joint in the wobbly chairs
and I instantly had 2 super sturdy chairs!  It's been several weeks
and they seem to be holding up fine, so I'm giving Tite Chairs a 5 star rating!

I even stood on one of the chairs to hang the top 3 plates in the photo above.

I bought a whole stack of the plates and bowls last year for only $3
and it's taken me almost a year to hang 3 of them on the wall.

As I showed you in my last post, I finally hung curtains in the master bedroom.
I bought and returned at least 6 different pairs before I settled on the plain white
curtains from Target.  I was ironing and hanging the last pair on December 22.

I've nearly finished all my knitting projects from 2015 (lots of ends to weave in),

so I allowed myself to start a new project at my knitting group the other night.

I've got the first pillow started and I hope to knit a few of these before winter's over...
which isn't going to be any time soon in my neck of the woods!
Free pattern on Ravelry

Thanks for visiting and keep warm!

*I'm joining the parties at:
Create Share Inspire The Wicker House
Tweak it Tuesday  Cozy Little House


  1. You are so talented, Vickie...and I love your style. What a beautiful home you have. And thanks for sharing the chair tite...I need it.

  2. Oh Vickie, your plate vignette has my mouth hanging open. I absolutely love it. You need to look at all the stuff you did get done-not when it was started or finished. Who cares about that anyway? Love that fireplace pic-let us know if you do something with yours. I've never seen that chair tightner product-will be checking it out. You've accomplished tons, and I can't wait to see what you do next! Stay warm, friend!

  3. Hi Vickie, I love this time of year for the clean out and changes it brings. Love your plate arrangement. The open shelves is so gorgeous with the touch of your red with the jadeite. Thanks for the chair tighter product tip. I've not seen that one. Love your bedroom curtains too. So fresh and pretty. I've been on a roll with changes and clean out too. It's feel so good to get things done doesn't it? You accomplished so much. Your home is beautiful. Have a nice weekend. xo

  4. Oh wow, I thought your own decor was from a magazine too - that's gorgeous! I do the same thing - hold onto finds for a long time before doing anything with them. I love that painted mantel and wood look, too. Thanks for the tite chairs product recommendation. One of my Panoply sisters is addicted to chairs ("step away from the chairs", we always say), and now she can buy even more, rickety and for better prices, no doubt, knowing there's a miracle in her toolbox.

  5. Your house is always gorgeous. Love the addition of the new (old) plates! I think you accomplished a lot, and boy all that knitting. Rite chair sounds like a wonderful product. Putting it on my 'to buy' list.

  6. I LOVE to hang plates on the wall and yours are very pretty! I do love blue & white! I will have to buy some of that chair glue. Thanks for the tip. Keep warm! More bitter cold coming this weekend

  7. I am way more productive when I am working with a deadline like company coming over & staying overnight. I just love every room in your house!

  8. Vickie - Love your blue plate arrangement, your pretty white curtains and your beautifully knitted pillow.


  9. Hi Vickie,
    Love the blue plates. So pretty. I have never hear of chair tite so that is good to know. Happy Friday and have a wonderful week end. We are cold here outside Chicago too.

  10. I love your blue plates, and the shelving in the kitchen i love it with touches of red. The little red heart is so cute. I love it all. Thanks for the tip on the glue.


  11. If you got everything finished in January then you'd have nothing to do the following December now would you? I'd come help you finish up with your knitting, but you might not like the results :)

  12. I love, love your style! And I have to thank you for helping me figure something out! When my Mom passed away, I inherited a lot of her vintage of which was a red handled wire basket. I knew it was for gathering eggs, but could never figure out how to "open" it never seemed right, and wouldn't sit level. After seeing yours on your wonderfully decorated kitchen shelves I realized it had a base and I had never fully extended it. After pulling and prying, and maybe forcing it a bit, I finally got it extended. Probably the first time it's been fully extended in decades! I love it! Guess you never thought this post would be a tutorial on vintage egg baskets!

  13. Blue and white - one of my favorite color combinations! Question for you: if you used that chair glue for your plates, won't it tear the plaster off the walls if you decide to take down the plates? Have you ever tried those disks made especially for plates? I've used those with success. Just a thought. :-) I'll have to try that wood glue though for some of our old chairs. Gorilla Glue never worked with ours either.
    Your knitting is just gorgeous.
    Fireplace...could you paint the brick white? Our fireplace is surrounded by ceramic tile. And no mantel. Thorn in my side!

  14. It sounds like you're on top of things! That is such a good feeling to mark things off your "to do" list. I love the new crisp white curtains in your guest room. I prefer simple curtains like that myself. I love the look of painted brick on a fireplace too. I told my husband that if I had a brick fireplace, it would be painted white for sure! He even agreed with me that he liked that look.

  15. Well, you're starting the new year industriously! (Wasn't sure that was a real word.:) Your blue plates look so crisp and pretty against your white wall, and I love your new white curtains in the bedroom. Your little yellow chest caught my eye - it's so cute! Enjoy your knitting and stay cozy and warm.

  16. Great job. Your house is so cute. I'm curious about the kitchen. I had problems with my too white walls too.

  17. Love your knitting! I like the things you changed this last year. I am loving your Mission Oak buffet. That is a beauty! xo Dianne

  18. Hey Vickie! The look of the fireplace would go perfect with your style. I thought the source pic was your place at first. Love all your winter blues, my favorite color. xo

  19. I love your blue plates and reminds me how many blue plates downstairs. I love the cabinet and whole vignette around the plates. I'm a big knitted too and did several holiday gifts. Thats for sharing the knit pillow from ravelry. Did you knit the last hearts? if so pattern please...

  20. You were very productive last year even though some projects came down to the wire. :-) Loving the blue plates and dishes on your shelf...they look so fresh for the new year.
    Wish you could send some snow our way!
    Mary Alice

  21. Love the blue and white plates, and thanks for the tip about Tite Chairs. I had not heard of that product. Seems like you got a lot accomplished. Hope 2016 is just as productive!

  22. Vickie,
    blue and white always looks so fresh and crisp, yours is perfect! Sounds like you got quite a bit done last year! Everything looks great. Love the CL photo of the fireplace, if you get up your nerve to do it, I'm betting it will look amazing!

  23. I love all the blue and the white and your shelving and backsplash project. xoxo Su

  24. Cold here, too, and we're expecting more snow. I'm okay with it though because it is very pretty and I don't have to go out in it if I choose not to. The joys of being retired. Okay, now onto your interior decor. I LOVE your inspiration photo -- the white with the wood mantel is so pretty. If you do this it's going to be really fun to see the outcome. The photo (I think it's #6) with the gorgeous white framed mirror, the natural wood buffet and blue and white plates is just my style. Oh, I'm so in love with that. How beautiful. Never heard of the chair tightener. I've pinned that and will pin my favorite photo, too. Loved this post! Hugs, Nancy

  25. I love seeing what you've done in the way of decor, but mostly all of that knitting; you have quite the talent there ! Such pretty blues in regards to the plates...a beautiful display :)
    Today our wind chill was about 15 below / same tomorrow, I think. Well we had a very mild December; this was due sometime or another :)

  26. I love your blue transferware china display! And now I think I NEED white curtains in my bedroom!

  27. Yeah, although Jan is my LEAST favorite month of the year, I do love fresh starts and new beginnings. :) Here is to a wonderful 2016! And I can't wait to play in the dollhouse!

  28. Hi Vickie! I can say you were one busy gal in 2015. I'm amazed at all your pretty knitting. I can crochet but never could knit! Shoot! I love love love your blue and white plates. Thanks for popping in to see me.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  29. Hi Vickie :)

    Your home looks so pretty and so fresh! It actually makes me think of Spring and I love it, even though I'm not quite ready for winter to be over ;)

    I love that little yellow jewelry case (?) on your nightstand. It makes me want to get out some paint, even though I thought I'd be happy not to see another paint can these days lol


  30. I created my own cable knit pillow pattern and it is almost like yours - mine has 3 cables. So, I must have done something right. I hope to finish tomorrow.

    I started my post Christmas decorating on January 1 and I don't know if I will ever finish!

  31. I love it when you show corners of your home, Vickie, it always looks so lovely. And great knitting!

  32. I wish I could say the same. I didn't even put a small dent on my list of projects to do for 2015. I'm hoping this year I will get to more projects. Love your knitted pillow and your blue plates. Happy Weekend!


  33. Vicki you are my handy-woman role model! Seriously. I had no idea you did all your DIY stuff yourself. I need to keep coming here for courage hahaha... I love your taste, and your open shelving looks amazing. :)


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