Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Insanely overly-ambitious Christmas decorations

I wanted to add something to the "collection" of homemade Christmas decorations I began last year with a gold-painted square pine cone wreath.  I really like this image from, who else, Martha Stewart, so I decided to pay her the most sincere form of flattery.

Heaven forbid I should ever do anything by half measures. Instead of making a pair of window boxes as a sane person would, I decided that the right number would be, oh, about eight.  (My hare-brained math was one for each end of the balcony and two for each of the three panels along the length of the balcony.)  The first box took me and my extremely supportive fiance over three hours to make.  (This was after I sourced and ordered the perfect window boxes, stocked up on wire and floral foam, and we drove way out of the city, picked through and lugged home the perfect branches and greens).  Here are some photos of the actual building process:

Then ta-da, our first-born:

Admittedly, the other boxes went a bit more quickly (2 hours each) as we learned some technique.  He helped with two more and his daughters helped with one, and then I put my head down day after day for the rest of the week and churned 'em out.

Then they sat sadly on the balcony while I waited for the white ribbon I had decided on to arrive.  (Maybe I should have stuck with the gold after all?)  Apparently nobody sells wide white velvet ribbon, even at Christmas-time, so I ended up with satin.  Shipping cost a fortune and took an eternity, ie. one week.  As soon as it arrived yesterday, I bowed.  Then the workers came this morning and hung the boxes despite monsoon conditions.  I promise photos when it stops raining.

Another photo update of the cabinet for the master bedroom closet

Oh, if only you knew how eager I am to finally unpack my clothes, shoes, handbags, etc.!  The suspense of waiting for the closet cabinetry to be done is terrible.  Today, I received the following tantalizing image of the giant built-in piece:

My flowery antique French gesso mirror will rest on the ledge on the front, so you won't see those planks that run vertically.  Incidentally, the lower section will have five thin black velvet-lined drawers for lingerie, hosiery and perhaps jewelry.  These are the cast iron pulls I ordered for the drawers below the mirror:

The sections that V off to the side (which will have additional adjustable shelves) are for folded pants and tops.  They're hinged to let us access the space behind the mirror from either side.  That's storage space for out of season items.  Clearly some free-standing chests of drawers/armoires are needed in the bedroom proper, since there's no way that level of shelving (divided by two) is enough.  Hello antique chests-as-bedside-tables and very tall armoire for our one reasonably-wide wall.

I am so eager for the walk-in to become less of a dumping ground that I made a trip to the Container Store yesterday and bought many ultra-thin black velvet hangers, plus some U-shaped pieces of clear acrylic to keep my handbags upright on the shelf that's being built for them.  I then spent two hours transferring clothes from my motley assortment of old plastic and wood hangers onto the svelte new ones.  I'm still not done (I need more with clips for skirts), plus I need to make a decision about my huge cardigan collection: whether to fold and place on shelves (as all closet gurus counsel) or whether to hang (as I now do), which makes them feel more accessible.  Folding would probably be optimal but since there is not a single shelf in the room at the moment, they will have to stay put on their less than beautiful hangers for the time being.