After some beautiful weather last week (clear, sunny skies and mild temperatures), winter has officially returned. The following are some photos that I took from my apartment this morning. Surprisingly, it didn’t feel that cold on the balcony where I took the close-up shots of the frozen branches.
It’s easy to romanticized winter in November and December when holiday decorations and excessive amounts to hot-out-of-the-oven cookies are surrounding us. It’s a time for shopping, giving, and over-eating that makes us feel so good at the time, yet so bad for the first few months of the following year (i.e. now). Hence the need for New Years resolutions.
I always think it’s kind of sad to see the Christmas decorations come down around January 1st because they represent so much warmth and coziness, even if we are sick of seeing them by then. It’s as though the house becomes ten degrees colder because their aren’t strands of twinkle lights and Santa Clauses surrounding us. Almost everyone wishes for a “white Christmas,” when in reality the snow is usually at its worst from January through March.
This is why I wanted to do something to add some warmth and coziness to our apartment now, when we really need it. So I directed my attention to the prominent, beautiful, yet unused fireplace in our living room. It seemed like a shame to leave it empty, but we didn’t know what to put there.
Finally, I decided on a small Christmas tree. When I first mentioned this idea to my husband he was skeptical about my interior design taste. “A Christmas tree? It’s January,” he said. I could see his point. After all, the tree did have a red, velvet bow around its base and a strand of blue lights which seemed to choke the poor thing more than provide festive decoration.
After I removed the lights, the bow, and fluffed up the branches it looked nice, and much less Christmas-y. However, it still looked a bit sad and lonely in the fireplace all by itself. It was as if it was waiting for us to come along, light a match, and burn it to ashes at any moment.
That’s when I thought of the crochet snow flake ornament patterns my Grandma Virgie had given to me recently. Why should snow flakes be reserved strictly for Christmas? Below is the pattern booklet, circa 1983, along with some of the snow flakes that I made.
I like the way that the crisp, white flakes pop against the dark cavity of the fireplace, while being framed by the white mantle and book cases. In the spring I’d like to paint the walls a light, warm gray to make the mantel pop even more.