One of my most beloved Craigslist finds is a petite mid century hutch, with a greige finish and brass details. It’s served us beautifully through the years, storing linens in our Seattle bungalow apartment, and then showcasing curiosities in Berkeley. When we moved into WarLock Manor, I gave it a very glamourous marbled back and transformed it into our bar cabinet.
As if the crystal didn’t sparkle enough, I added strings of starry lights for the holidays…
Combining my Sputnik-era starburst and lucite obsessions with the astral theme I’ve established for the Living Room, these were a holiday gift-to-self from Pottery Barn. When I found a matching lit star ornament at Target, I didn’t hesitate to snag that too! They’ll twinkle through Christmas and light the way to 2014.
The stars are on a battery-operated timer, set to light up right at cocktail hour and glow as we imbibe some holiday cheer.
Mixed drinks and spiky star lights- that’s how we do merry and bright at WarLock Manor!
I talked myself out of a Christmas tree, so I’m adding sprigs of greenery everywhere to make up for it. Tiny cypress topiaries, faux fir bedecking our four-post bed, and I may even torture the fiddle leaf fig with a few ornaments. In the Living Room, the simple cuttings that brightened my Thanksgiving tablescape are now livening up our mantle as a holiday garland.
I strung the stems together with wire, then wound them up with store-bought bead strands (one of the silliest purchases I’ve made in recent memory- half of the glitter is now embedded in my carpet). The garland is hung with removable adhesive hooks, disguised by bows of black satin ribbon. The whole project was easy-as-can-be, minus some feline and canine interference (“What’s that? I can bite it? What’s that? I can have it?”).
Coincidentally, it’s a lazy way to disguise the cord for the new lucite sconce!
I’m liking how the garland works here- adding a frame to the fireplace, referencing the shape of the lucite fixture. Symmetry… creativity… my whole brain is happy.
Best of all, the house is finally feeling more festive! Just in time, as we have friends gathering at WarLock Manor tonight to snip paper snowflakes and sip spiked cider- and that’s just the kind of holiday cheer I like best.
Today I’ll be lunching on the last bits of a marvelous turkey and enjoying some leftover weekend happiness- memories of our second Thanksgiving at WarLock Manor.
With grandparents visiting from out of town, this was an occasion for great-grandma’s Rosenthal “Bristol” china. The wreath of green laurel leaves and delicate scalloped pearl edge on the plates made for a quirky pairing with Bordallo Pinheiro lettuceware serving pieces, all acquired from a friend and fellow collector. My Dirilyte Empress flatware picked up the gold detailing on the china while lending a modern edge to the mix. Adam’s incredible cooking (cider-brined turkey, truffled cream cheese mashed red potatoes, sourdough-apple stuffing, gjetost gravy…) was elevated on a line of risers and pedestals down the center of the tables.
This year I aimed for fancy but unfussy- gold paper napkins with a basket weave pattern; a single plate, knife and fork per place setting; a huge painter’s dropcloth spread across both tables as a pre-wrinkled and unstainable tablecloth. My thoughtful grandparents sent me an arrangement of pale pink roses and blue anemones (crafted by Maxine, my wedding florist!) as a centerpiece for my tabletop. Such a lovely surprise- especially since they were so complementary to the color scheme I’d already picked! I tucked simple stems of greenery underneath the spread to make the table extra lush (and I have plans to reuse them for another holiday project). A scattering of clementines and gilded pears was the finishing touch.The best part of our Thanksgiving, of course, was the family that surrounded our table- my parents, my little brother and his lovely girlfriend, and all four of my grandparents. Hundreds of miles traveled, 80th birthdays celebrated, an extra-special bottle of cider savored, and a puppy who only jumped up on the table once. We have so much to be thankful for.
‘Twould be the season for holiday decorating, if we WarLocks weren’t grinching out this year! Visions of the pup treeing an angry cat in a mercury-glass laden noble fir have me a little more fearful than cheerful. I’m not sure if I’m more over-protective of my animals, or of my collection of ornaments… either way, “NO, Pearl, NO!” every time she nibbles at a bauble or bough doesn’t really scream Christmas spirit. So, we’ll be decking the halls in moderation. Or up high, where she can’t reach.
Luckily, my favorite holiday craft is non-toxic, non-breakable, and absolutely non-tempting to a naughty puppy. With paper snowflakes in every window, the house will feel festive for all the wintry months to come.