(My Leaf Chronicle article for January 1st.)
Happy New Year! I’ll tell you, I for one am happy to see 2011 in the rearview mirror. We have some great memories and I’ve had a lot of successes this year, but the bad stuff was really, really bad and it’s taking some time to work through it. Of course, we started out 2010 with a house fire, so I better go back and read my article from Jan 1, 2010—I may be asking for trouble!
I am sure many of you have already taken down your decorations and have no remnants of Christmas in your home. That is not the case at my house. I am still enjoying our decorations. Frankly, I didn’t get to see them much, so I need to leave them in place a while longer. I generally leave my staircase and mantel décor up well into January (which is why I had to replace it after the fire—hmm, you’d think I’d learn).
Each year I make an effort to weed-out some of the stuff we haven’t used in recent years to make room for the inevitable additions we’ve acquired. I always think I’ll have plenty of time, once I make it through the holidays; while January is a slower month for retailers, somehow or another, my free time is at a premium. I will get it done, though, the same way I decorated—I will un-decorate in small doses.
The challenge is keeping the house feeling cozy and inviting. It seems that once the tree and garlands are gone, it feels a little cold to me. I try to leave a few winter touches throughout the house. I leave my winter pictures propped or hung in various rooms. I leave extra blankets and throws tossed on the furniture—even in the kitchen (we’ve got an old, breezy—no I didn’t mean to say ”drafty”—house). The chairs near the fireplaces are generally the first ones claimed in any of our rooms. I also enjoy leaving snowmen, snowflakes and icicles on display through the winter months. My crystal snowflakes—an extravagant purchase during our first tour in Germany—need to be added to my kitchen window where they can catch the light of our gorgeous winter sunsets.
I generally exchange out my lush Christmas wreath for my very simple, plain grapevine wreath. This year, however I plan to add some branches which have a snowy look, as well as some silver feathers and a snowy nest. I think I’m not ready for a stark winter look just yet—heck, didn’t I just get the house decorated for Christmas? I’ll post a picture on my blog when I have it up.
(Seems I got the wreath done before I posted the article—hard to juggle it all, isn’t it?)
One of my favorite new ideas was borrowed from a friend who found my blog—then found my shop! (I am referring to Auny Bliss—find her blog here.) She has been collecting vintage pictures of children in their snow attire. She displays them in frames, but I’m going to display mine on a garland on a fireplace, as I do not have enough surfaces to display our family photos, let alone those of children I’ve never met.
(I’ve decided to make the winter garland I’ve mentioned here during our Winter Spectacular crafting event on February 18th. You can sign-up for a full day of crafting or choose your activity. More info to come in a day or two—just go ahead and mark it on your calendar!)
I hope your house and heart are warm as we welcome 2012!
Thanks for your indulgence,