For the main dining room feature, click here.
March 3, 2015 – Spring arrangement on open shelves –
It is really difficult to get a clear picture of this shelf – the angles and lighting make it tricky – but I enjoy re-arranging once a season or so, as time and inclination permit, and took time this spring to make a cheerful set-up, full of birds, flowers, and easily-accessible teas and accessories. It has made the rest of the work this spring seem easier.
My next project is wallpaper on the north wall:
My mother is going to help me hang this, as I’ve never done it before. It is a pattern from Sherwin Williams, called “Birds of Versailles,” with shiny silver leaf highlights, creating pleasant glimmers in the sunlight.
August 18, 2015 – Insulating Curtain –
I needed a large, insulated curtain for my dining room bay windows. I wanted something that was not a dark color, and it couldn’t be too weighty, velvety (attracting dog hair), or hard to clean. It had to stand up well to being opened and closed often, and be suitable as a summer heat shield, even during our fly infestations (common to rural properties near pig farms).
I found an unexpected solution in the form of a bedspread, which had belonged to a friend many years ago, and had subsequently been packed away in a wooden box. I loved the pattern, which was the same as my favorite set of sheets, recently deceased. The lighting is unhelpful for taking pictures, but I get an “E” for Effort:
The pattern is sweet pea flowers on a white ground, and I’m afraid it looks a bit washed out in the photos. In life, it compliments all the main colors in the room, and is a cheering reminder that spring will come again, even though the winter does seem perpetually dim.
I have since re-arranged the mint-green over-curtains (per the second two photos), and am much happier with the effect.
August 25, 2015 – Wallpaper –
The wallpaper is installed! And I am even more pleased with it than I anticipated being. Here it is:
My dad came to help, too – and Mom and I were glad he did, because it took three people to properly handle, apply, and smooth the longest strips. Dad was also much better at cutting good edges than either of us, though I’ve had plenty of practice with a utility knife.
Billy didn’t get to help much, but he’s proud anyway.
Will is the only one who’s not too sure that he loves the wallpaper. But he likes the brightening effect in the room.
November 2, 2015 – Heat Shield for Wood Burning Stove –
Before using the dining room heating stove in earnest, we needed to install a heat shield. We chose to go with sheet metal from a company my husband has worked with several times, and bought enough to do the heat shield and also most of two walls in the kitchen, in the corner with the cookstove. Here it is:
We simply installed 2X4 boards behind the metal, attaching them with screws through the wallpaper into the studs. I painted them the same robin’s egg blue as the wall behind the display shelves, and everything pulls together very nicely.
I was afraid the metal sheet would take a horrible gap out of the vibrancy of the wallpaper, but it did no such thing. It looks as if it belongs, and frames the stove, rather than allowing it to appear random.
November 26, 2015 – Thanksgiving Decorations –
For Thanksgiving, we had a few members of Will’s family to dine. My garden work had shut down earlier this year than normal, so I had time to give the house a thorough going-over (which it dreadfully needed). Of course, I decorated the piano-top shelf in the living room with various nature objects and figures of animals, in keeping with my woodsy-themed house.
Next, I asked my son Billy to make himself handy with a drill, and create candle-light holes in a pumpkin for the dining room:
They are not as evenly spaced as I would have liked, but I am pleased enough. (We later fed the pumpkin to the chickens, who loved it. The buttercup squashes, we ate ourselves.)
I had time to fix up a small table for some of us, using my Currier and Ives (reproduction) plates, and a tablecloth I had found when we moved into this house:
I confess to having loved mushrooms ever since I can remember, and this whimsical embroidery was just what I wanted. How often do things like that work out, I ask you?