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It all brings me joy!

This morning I was sitting in bed reading and looking up every once in a while and thinking about how happy it makes me that my dresser fits in my new bedroom and that my peacock feather mirror is hanging above it here like it is supposed to. In our last bedroom the dresser didn’t fit and the only place the mirror could go was behind the door. I was thinking about the next post I was planning to write, “The Status of the Peacocks” but I was also thinking about a news item mentioning that Lisa Minnelli was “Mariekondoizing” and selling all her stuff. I wondered how this Marie Kondo could make someone want to get rid of all their stuff. So I went to Wikipedia and found out the process is actually called the KonMari method and consists of “gathering together all of one’s belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that spark joy (in Japanese tokimeku) and choosing a place for everything from then on.”

Since almost all of my decorative categories’ belongings spark joy, I brought them all to Chicago and have been choosing and documenting the places I found for them. I think I am going to have to look at some other category (perhaps clothing) if I want to do any “mariekondoizing”.


From Flamingos to Whales

Last weekend was a busy party weekend. On Saturday morning we attended my oldest grandaughter’s Flamingle – a flamingo themed fifth birthday party.

We brought a flamingo toss game.

Check out that beautiful dress her Mama made.

Guests could make their own flamingos.

On Sunday I cohosted a baby shower for my Chicago niece. This party had a whale theme.

Festive and fun!

Spring Decorating

Finding a living Spring branch in the city seems even more daunting than finding a fallen Fall branch. Perhaps next year we will find something at or near our daughter’s house but for this year we are going without. I had been feeling sad that I wouldn’t get to use the maple syrup bucket, with no tree, but after I hung up the gardening ornaments I realized the maple syrup bucket would be a great addition.

And then I started wondering what other tree ornaments would work. And I saw the three bird houses.

And the beehive and the chicken in the basket.

And then when I thought I was finished I walked into the workroom and saw the small flat basket with tiny vegetables that had been my mother’s. I realized it would be perfect and so I glued down the vegetables and hung it up as well.

This picture doesn’t really do it justice but it is a great addition to the gardening theme!

With the shelf decorations in the living room it’s beginning to feel like Spring inside at least.

The Status of the Suns

The dining room suns along with the copper sun mold from my sister that was in the kitchen and the small yellow sun from my brother in law that was in the downstairs bathroom have been installed in the dining room! The arrangement is quite different incorporating not only the two new additions but the two that had been off to the side in Massachusetts.

The rest of the bathroom suns are still in boxes. We toyed with the idea of adding some of those colorful ones to this arrangement but decided against it. They may get hung in the entrance area but we are still mulling that over.

We acquired the suns (and everything else we have) over time and found places for things as they arrived. But everything arrived here all at once which is quite different. At first I wanted to hang everything right away but now I’ve realized the wisdom of going slowly and replicating the more natural process of acquiring things over time and have become more comfortable with the fact that some things are still in boxes. So I have moved the boxes out of the middle of the rooms and tucked them away so it doesn’t look like we are still moving in.

Valentine’s Day

This year I returned to an old idea for my hearts – fabric! In previous years I made hearts of red and white ticking, dotted swiss, toile, red bandanna, gingham, and “Minnie” fabric (red with white dots). So this year I went with red and black buffalo check.

And then I had to decide what to write. I was thinking that a friend of mine referred to this fabric as Hunter material so I thought about things like “Hunting for love” or “The hunt is over” and then I realized not Hunters,  Lumberjacks so I googled “lumberjack love” and found “Wood you be my valentine?” and “Timber I’m Falling in Love” so I went with some of each.

Since there is no window small enough for our fir garland here, I hung our Valentine decorations on the largest of my fake trees, and put it on the dining room area windowsill. I wrapped the bottom in the two red with white dots napkins from friend Lisa and flanked it with old Valentine cards I’d saved.

Mermaid Collection Update

More mermaids have swum out of the boxes and more mermaids have joined the collection. Note to self – don’t tell people who are about to give you presents that you don’t have room in your new home for all the mermaids you already have. We went to my husband’s family’s Christmas celebration in January and guess what we got a lot of!

Husband’s brother gave us a beautiful and colorful print of a cut paper mermaid. Added to the hall art galley wall, it fixed the area I wasn’t pleased with.

It’s a little hard to see because of the reflections in the glass – some thing we get a lot of in this new place with all the windows!

Husband’s sister gave us a mermaid ornament which joined the others in our bathroom (it’s the sparkly one with the fancy arms) and a mermaid lantern which sits on my bedside table near the mermaid shelf.

And then when we got home we got a package from our neice who couldn’t come to the celebration. It included two mermaid prints and a string mermaid. I immediately framed the print of the mermaid lounging on a whale and added it to the bedroom shelf. We also hung one of our first mermaid purchases next to the Nashville stained glass mermaid.

And we hung the other ceramic mermaid and the tiles in the bathroom.

The living room bathroom is starting to get some mermaids too.

I like that this picture is a little blurry, it makes this mermaid from my younger daughter look even more magical!

The Status of the Mermaids

People have been wondering about how my mermaid collection is faring in Chicago and asking if the mermaids are out of their boxes yet. All I can say is that the mermaid collection is in a state of transition. The plastic mermaids have been deacquisitioned, as it were, moved to a basket that is filled with items for the grandchildren to play with when they visit. Most of the mermaid ornaments, with the exception of some that broke during travel or installation and a few others, have found a home. We hung a curtain rod above the mirror in the bathroom off our bedroom and the mermaids that hung above the mirror in Northampton are hanging there along with a new Christmas gift. The sea scallop shell in the middle that has a mermaid cut out was “harvested, designed, and handcrafted” by Nick Nickerson,  a commercial fisherman, and sent to me by Baby Group Mom Jaye who lives on the Cape.

We hung the white shelf from the Northampton bathroom on our bedroom wall right outside the bathroom and many of the mermaids that were on the shelf as well as some that were on the counters are on the shelf now. The ornaments that hung between the shelf and the rod on the bottom are now hanging from the bottom, suspended by green Christmas tree hooks as are the ones in the bathroom. The stained glass mermaid from Nashville that hung in the bedroom window now hangs to the left of the shelf.The rest of the bedroom mermaids plus the wooden mermaid purchased in Brattleboro are now in the hall. Although you can’t see them all in this picture you can see we still have boxes and that is where the mermaid pictures are – in storage for now.

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