musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter! Easter! Easter

The trees are leafing out, the daffodils are blooming and the grass is greening up - about darned time winter let go of its reign and is bowing to spring. It's been a long hard winter (at least in my humble opinion) and I'm ready to see some color, enjoy the sun, and be outside!! I've been spending a lot of time rearranging, redecorating, and cleaning off the two porches in celebration of warmer weather. . . but that's all for another blog!

The beginning of my favorite season is Easter. Pastels! And bunnies! And flowers!!! And in my house - Easter is a time for the annual family gathering, food, celebration, and reconnecting. And a time to brighten up the house with some bright, colorful and Spring-like decorations!! The way I decorate each year may change. . . but many of the decorations stay the same.

Bunny slippers from my dear-daughter's days gone by. . . they are now 22 years old and look just as sweet as the day they were gifted to her (and she proclaimed that they were too cute for her feet).

My favorite cabinet. . . It was purchased to house collections and what-nots, but, as it sits in the entryway right across from the front door, it has turned into a seasonal display and is in constant fluctuation. The antique basket, birdhouse, hurricane, and antique gesso horse live on top year round - but always seem to find a way to blend in (did you notice those bunny ears on the horse?).

Bunnies and eggs and other springy treasures inside the doors are glad to be out of their wrappings - if only for a little while. I love the little napkins on the drawers - they were lots of fun to embellish with a few stitches and some buttons.

The open shelf is always fun to decorate. A collection of white clay bunnies, an egg garland, some vintage-looking plates, and a couple of nests.

Yup - that's spring, all right.

The start of a new collection of most-interesting little chickies are captured in a vintage industrial lamp 'globe'

Next to it is an old glass battery with decoupaged eggs. Miss Fritize Kitty didn't want the chickies to have all the fun. . . after all, she thinks she's pretty photogenic too;-)

Naahhh..... I don't think she actually cared what I was doing - she was more interested in the sun spot - LOL!!

Of course, the dining room has to be decorated for the season too! That's where everyone always seems to hang out, right?

How about some fun little topiaries ringed with berried candle rings inside the wire hurricanes. . . then rim a the top edge of a jar candle with a matching candle ring (beware of the flame when burning the candle) for an overall cheery look. I do believe the wood carved bunny approves, don't you?

Above, I modified my daughter's beautiful winter decorations on the chandelier

With a few small changes - and it will go right into my 'usual' seashore style decorations. I'm really excited about that!!!

And the buffet is cheerful and kept to a minimum - keeping it at the ready for a banquet (or two).

As the main focus of a display case is what's inside and I decorate on top too (but not with anything that actually matches what is inside the case. . . hmmmmm. . . I may have to remedy that) I kept the decorations neutral, coordinating with the adjacent chandelier, and ready to have my summertime seashells added when it's time to pack up Easter.

Those little topiaries have been an excellent decorating investment going from one season to the next with little or no alterations. I added the little white burlap bows and they just seem to blend with everything I put them with. Kinda wishing I would have purchased another one. . . or two. . . or three. . . I have lots of clay pots, so I just may create some of my own. . .

I LOVE these old glass door knobs on metal-tile wrapped boards on this wall. They are absolutely a delight to decorate with all kinds of things - or decorative enough on their own. For Easter, they are sporting a few bright-pastel mercury glass eggs and a very egg-y wreath.

The vintage folk art metal and glass bird is sporting some bunny ears from the kids' Halloween costume from some many years past. . . .

Does he look happy to you? I just don't know. . .

On the step is a big ol' jar filled with porcelain robin's eggs and topped with some 'cracked' eggs filled with spring colored candles. Wrapped in a raffia bow with a couple of fuzzy chicks among the eggs and it makes me smile every time I pass. Which happens to be a lot in this big ol' tall and skinny house.

No matter how you decorate for it, no matter how you celebrate it - enjoy your Easter weekend. Enjoy Spring!!!!

Have an Easter-kind of Day,

Robin Z

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's All About Color

What's your favorite color?

Are you able to answer quickly? Do you have to think about it? Does it matter if it's a color of clothing? Or perhaps a house color? I always give a bit of a pause, balance if I'm going to wear it or stare at it on the wall, then respond. Then again. . . I've been perfectly obsessed with my favorite hue for multiple years and couldn't care less if my outfit blends in with the background;-)

It seems such a simple question and you would perhaps think that the answer doesn't change. . . But if your exposure to color changes as grow older, and color options change as you seek them out, then your favorite would change right along with it all, right? I think so! I mean - look at the options!!!

And what makes one color so much more appealing to you than another? Sometimes, is the name of the color? I've noticed when trying to decided on a paint color, and it's narrowed down to two, it's the name that helps make that final decision. Hmmm......

Each year Pantone announces a color of the year. This year that color is purple. Okay. Don't get excited - not *purple* but Radiant Orchid.


I always wonder how they decide. Is there a vote and I missed it? Do some other brilliant and bright people choose? How do they choose? Is there a fight or maybe it's a final coin toss that decides the winner? And so many colors to choose from. . .

And just because you have a favorite, does it mean you can't like other colors? Or perhaps, with the right media, create your own special hue. That's my favorite thing about paint. . . you can make your own colors as though they don't exist anywhere on the color wheel.

Sometimes a color will remind you of a particular person or evoke a certain memory - good or bad.

Orange always brings back warm thoughts of my Great-Grandmother.

She used to have Lucille Ball red hair, love to wear bright orange-gold-brown outfits, and occasionally wore a magnificent amber-stoned cocktail ring. I loved her dearly. . . though not the color orange. Funny thing, isn't it?

My favorite color is robin's egg blue -

and a little bluer to bright sky blue; and a little greener to mint green.

But not-so-much purple and definitely not yellow. Who knows why - robin's egg blue and its related hues just make me feel happy, warm, alive, comfortable. Reminds me of the softness of nature during Spring. Perhaps this chart could help. . .

Hmmm. . . Seems to pretty accurately describe me. . . And when I look up what was quite apparently my Great-Grandmother's favorite colors - it most certainly fits that feisty woman to a tee. Right down to her early October Birthday. What does it say about you and your favorite color?

So. . . tell me. . . what is *YOUR* favorite color?

Have a Colorful Kind of Day ~

Robin Z

Monday, January 6, 2014

Post Holiday Confessions

Happy *AFTER* Holidays!!!!

While the winter weather may be going strong (it's bright and sunny out there today, 4 degrees, and the ground is white  with snow) the Christmas decorations are beginning to disappear. In my home, the sparkle remains!  The Christmas Tree & stockings have been taken down and packed away until next year.

But other Winter Decorations remain to remind me, my family, and visiting friends of the shine of the season. One of my favorites is my winter scene collection on the stairwell ledge.

It's especially pretty at night.

And while I found this Holiday Season more difficult than past ones, maybe a little more sad than glad, feeling the pressure to be cheerful and full of good tidings, I enjoyed the time spent with family. Like the afternoon my daughter and I spent planning, designing, and decorating the chandelier and

buffet in the dining room

(See Fritzie kitty trying to hide behind the candle there???  She's such a camera hog. LOL). Those decorations bring a little color and joy to the winter season.

Friends also bring lightness and a special glow to the season - just like the mercury glass ornaments lined up on my display cabinet

especially when surrounded by cheerful little winter birdies I received as special gifts from special friends.

Special, special friends! ;-)

There's just all this pressure to spend more than you can afford while constantly seeking out that 'perfect' gift; to be perpetually happy and full of good cheer, have the best Christmas decorations, the warmest hearth, the most traditional of holiday meals, the parties full of laughter and charm. . . and the magazines, Hallmark channel, and advertising suggestions go on and on.

Peel back these highly-pressurized, unrealistic expectations, the unattainable goals, and the refusal to max out the credit cards and do you know what is left? Precisely what should be left - however *YOU* want to celebrate December. 

Whatever brings you joy while you're hurting from the loss of loved ones. Whatever makes you smile when you are unable to afford the gifts and goodies. Whatever fills you with comfort knowing that you are loved, just the way you are, even though you aren't throwing holiday parties because of the overtime you are putting in at work or because you simply just don't feel like it.

I'm working on not getting sucked into and overly influenced into what may or may not be the ultimate goal of a Rockwell, Macy Parade, Martha Stewart Christmas. I'm working on remembering that Thanksgiving through New Year's Day is simply a month full of days - which happens to include overly recognized days apparently set aside for reconnecting with friends and family. So the most important thing is not how my home is decorated, is not the meals that are served, holiday cards sent, or gifts purchased. It's a commercialized reminder of how I strive to treat those that I love every single day of the year.

So the Holiday season may be over - but the glitter (even after it's all packed away) and love will stay with me all year through, and hopefully culminate into a stress-free, love-filled Holiday Season 2014 and beyond.

Have a Holiday -kind of day ~

Robin Z

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What Kind of Cat is That??? Comes Back!

 You've been introduced to my sister-brother pair of Russian Peterbald kitties, Fritzie & Frazer before. . . are you wondering what they've been up to since that post three years (has it honestly been *that* long?!?!?) ago?

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Upcycling a Vision to a Fancy Costume

It all started with an idea. . . Less than vague, abstract,  and definitely not concrete.   I would describe Halloween 2013's first glimmering of a costume as more of a vibe or a concept; a blurry illusion of hmmmmmm. . . .

Being a traditionalist, as well as a habitualistic, I stuck with my typical black. . . But this year, I added some red and stepped it up a notch from just wearing cat ears or a Mardi Gras mask.

My vision included lots of upcycling, destashing, and outright creative maneuvering of: