Monday, December 11, 2006


Christmas Hearth

My hearthroom is kind of, finally, coming together the way I want it to. I think. There are still a million things it "needs," but at least the feeling of it is getting closer to what I've been wanting. When we moved it, it looked nice, but the feel was just...cold. It is nothing now if not warm. Moving the dining table out of the corner (to accomodate the Christmas tree) was just what I needed to unlock my mindset about the room. We built our first fire of the year tonight, since it was cold and wet and dreary out, and we sat and ate our dinner at the table in front of the fire, with the lights down and candles lit. Ohhhhhh, it was homey. Makes me want to throw dinner parties and wear crinolines and pumps, and hastily yank off my starched apron when the doorbell rings, as I set out the canape tray on my way to the door, checking my lipstick in the reflection of the silver serving tray...

*ahem* Sorry. Got lost in a Donna Reed moment, there, for a minute. Anyway, I'm inviting Tony over first, because he's local, and he would totally NOT make fun of me if I did wear crinolines. Or a poodle skirt, for that matter. Anyway. Hearthroom. Fireplace. Candles. Christmas.

And yeah, a matched fireplace screen and set of tools are on the to-do list. They just come after the energy efficiency evaluation, the insualtion of the attic, the leaking toilet, the shattered basement window, the chimney-sweeping, the extra fencing, etc., etc. etc. See, we have PRIORITIES. But more to the point, why are you mocking my lack of proper fireplace paraphernalia instead of doing what you SHOULD be doing, which is examining the soot-stain on the bricks just above the fireplace and telling me how to clean it. It was like that when we moved in, and we only had one fire last year. At the rate Arkansas weather is going, it will take us five years to go through our current supply of firewood.

I know. I know. You're looking at the display on the mantle, and you're TERRIBLY impressed, and probably picking up the phone to alert Southern Living Magazine of my undiscovered design talent. Because, puting some votives in front of some Christmas-tree ornaments, and then flanking them with bundles of cinnamon sticks? GENIUS, you're thinking. But wait. There's more. No, really. Take a breath. Because then? After that? I PUT MORE ORNAMENTS IN A SHINY BOWL, and set them on the table. And then, not satisfied with that, I DID IT AGAIN. And--AND! There is a large candle in the middle! With FOUR wicks!

Christmas Table

Yes, it's like magic. And no, don't be too intimidated to approach me for decorating advice, because I have totally not let this wild talent go to my head. And as for the ACTUAL talent on display up there above the mantle? That would be purchased art. Because, you know, sometimes I just can't be bothered to do it ALL myself. *ahem* The photographs of the candlelit wall sconces on brick are by Stacey Campbell, titled "Bring It On Home To Me," and you can purchase the same print from her--I won't mind. She has lots of other wonderful stuff, too (she's even having a SALE right now), and has recently been featured on! The central painting is an original, titled "Impossible Vacation 2," by Andrea Pratt. Andrea has more artwork that I love than I have wall space upon which to hang it all, could I by some miracle afford to buy it all. So you should buy some. Seriously. It's only gonna get more valuable as time goes by, you know, so get in on the ground floor. (Disclaimer: I have ZERO financial interest in either one of these artists' work. I am just a happy customer.)

Thank you to everyone who had kind words for me about the untimely passing of Eugenius, son of national champion Genuine+// and our own Impulse Anastasia; grandson and great-grandson of the immortal stallions *Bask and *Muscat. The doctor who performed his necropsy phoned today, and confirmed that he did, indeed, have a severe twist of the colon with a significant necrotic section, and that the cause was "sand colic," a new and horrifying thing for me to deal with at this location. Curses on this land that bears no grass. I will be researching horse-management techniques that differ from what I've experienced before, so at least I have this beautiful colt to thank for letting me know what I might expect with the other horses on the property, so that I may better learn how to avoid such a fate with anyone else. Rest well and run hard in those greener pastures, my fine boy.

And to all a good night.



  1. I think it's really pretty.

    As far as a fireplace screen/tools - do you have a freecycle in your area, you might find one there. Or at a garage sale or flea market.

  2. Beautiful!! So warm and inviting!

  3. Absolutely beautiful! You are a fantastic decorator.

  4. Ooooh so waaarm and cozy. Southern Living may be lurking at your blog soon.

    I actually am going to take you up on your hearthroom design skills.

    1. What did you use to hang heavy-looking art on your brick fireplace. We have one, also.

    2. Do you clean your flue every year. We don't even use our fireplace b/c we haven't had it "serviced" (ie: cleaned) since we moved in.

    Again, KUDOS on the warmness of your Christmas home. :)

  5. *So* warm and inviting. I wonder if horses here are subect to "mud colic"?

    PS The cheque's in the mail. :)

  6. I love your hearthroom, very cozy and homey, which are my favorite feelings in a room:o)

    We went through a lot of sand colic and lost a horse to it. We finally have nice grass growing and we also gave them a bran mash weekly for years, which helped a lot.

  7. That is my kind of decorating. You made it sound easy and I can tell it looks good. I'm not calling Southern Living to tattle!

    Plus, it looks like you love as many Christmas tree lights as I do!

  8. Beautiful! Now I need you to come make my living room look festive and warm and welcoming! Someone I love very dearly is under the mistaken impression that strings of itty bitty lights strung all over the walls creates the proper holiday atmosphere. Yikes!

  9. What a beautiful fireplace. It's so warm & cozy!! Happy Holidays.

  10. I know I'm reiterating what everyone else has said (no originality here!), but what a warm, lovely, inviting room. Looks like the perfect place to snuggle up with a book on a chilly day. Someday, maybe, my house will look half as nice. If I'm lucky!

  11. Who knew such talents lurked in Arkansas? Your room looks inviting and beautiful! Even without the matched tools for the fireplace (get the window first).

    Sand colic... Are they eating grass in the pasture, or do you feed them hay/alfalfa/name your grain? Ours live in tiny stalls with dirt floors, so we put in large rubber mats to feed 'em their hay and such so they don't get dirt/sand. What does the "Be your own horse vet (sometimes)" book say? (Isn't that what everyone uses?) I know they talk about sand colic in there, and suggest some preventatives in the diet of some kind, but I don't recall what.

  12. I'm not usually a huge fan of more modern art that does away with some attempt at photo-realism. It's probably because I'm a stick in the mud.

    But I really find myself loving that piece above the fireplace. I'm definitely going to check out her site.

  13. I get first invite???

    YAY ME!!!!!!!!!

  14. That is so beautiful, warm and romantic looking.

    Wanna cuddle? Hold me? *L*


    PS: what color are your WALLS??? I LOVE IT!!!!

  15. I envy people who can keep a nice house like that. Very nice.

  16. You dress up a house somethin' mean, missy. It really does look amazing warm and snuggly like I want to curl up and just attach myself to that wall there. Or the ornaments. Or the candles, though it would burn my tushie and make me scream OW! OW! OW! for a while.

    In any case, I wouldn't make fun of you for the crinolines, either. I would take lots and lots of pictures of you in them, though.