It Has Begun.

This year I decided to put up the Winter Solstice / Christmas decorations earlier than what is normal for me. Last year, with my brother’s death there really wasn’t a mood for such things and having to travel back and forth between Georgia, Florida and North Carolina there wasn’t any time.

The beginning!
The beginning!

My tree is labour intensive. I can see a day when I will no longer tolerate it. Every branch is a separate piece that is inserted into the “trunk,” which you have to wrap in lights. This time it took me 1-1/2 days to complete.

Tabitha helps out.
Tabitha helps out.

I do have helpers. Tabitha attacks the strands of lights and holds on to them so I am unable to pull them along the floor while trying to string the tree. Sorry for the blurry picture. She never sits still for photographs… rather like my roommate, who was also helping.

Nora-Grace inspecting.
Nora-Grace inspecting.

Nora-Grace was also on hand. Here she is inspecting the lights and occasionally attacking my roommate, whom she has a rocky relationship.

Slowly (I stress slowly) the tree comes together.
Slowly (I stress, slowly) the tree comes together.
From inside and underneath the tree.
From inside and underneath the tree, where I passed out.
The tree and lights have been completed!
The next day, the tree construction and lights had been completed!

The next step is to string the tree with strands of popping corn. I have strands that I strung from 1995 that are still in good condition! I assume they have lasted so long due to how I pack them away every year. Each strand is placed in its own plastic bag and then all the individual bags are placed in a large plastic container.

After completing the lights I switched my attention to the windows in the dining room. The windows were temporarily covered with a thick layer of white sheers. The sheers are actually rather nice, but it was too much white against the red of the walls so I decided to put plantation blinds up and arrange four panels of fabric between each window. This allows more natural lighting to shine in during the day.

I haven’t found any curtains I like so far. Actually, this isn’t true. Everything I have found would total over $400 to $700, which is not in the budget… ever. I will need to purchase fabric and make my own. Can I sew, you ask? Not so much. I do have a sewing machine and it laughs at me from behind a glass cabinet door where it is stored. I can manage to sew a straight line so I think I can make simple straight lined hemmed panels. At least this is what I see in my mind’s eye.

At the moment I brought out some rather old tab-top panels I had from another life time in Savannah. They were a little too light so I decided to dye them with brown dye. The intent was to leave them in the dye for a very short time, but then friends popped by and an open bottle of wine flowed… and the curtains were briefly forgotten. So I then soaked them in bleach, which lightened them, but the colour is odd.

Temporary curtains.
Temporary curtains.

Depending on the lighting the colour is anywhere from Nude, pinkish to taupe. My roommate has suggested we soak them in a tea bath thinking it may bring back a little brown and tone down … whatever it is.

Another view with more light.
Another view with more light (please excuse all the decoration boxes, ’tis the season).
And another view with the blinds closed.
And another view with the blinds closed.

I am very happy to have the plantation blinds up and even though the curtains aren’t exactly what I have in mind I think they work much better than the sheers. I am also planning on building a cornice to hang over the window and curtain rod. I want to add some weight to counter the mantle and large mirror directly across from the windows, but this is another project!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a good weekend.

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