Monday, December 12, 2011

MONDAY MUSINGS: Winter Blahs. Bring On The Color

It’s not even the heart of winter and already I’m craving color and brightness. It’s not that the winter trees aren’t lovely skeletons, in a purely ascetic way, they are. I have colorful birds like Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Red headed Woodpeckers, flittering among all the neutral colored birds—which sadly outnumber the brilliant one. There are the evergreens; red berries on various bushes and shrubs, snow and heavy frost can be quite lovely, too, especially when the sun decides to shine. But…we went from the lush greens and bright flowers of summer to the brilliant colors of fall to ascetic skeletons set in icy silver and gray, lots of grays.

So, I’m trying to counter blah with bright warm colors. I have fabrics and paint samples to brighten my inside world. First thing is getting my ceilings painted a nice bright white. It adds pizzazz, freshness, and the feeling of light to about any room. Then, since I love the energy of reds (I know, you hadn’t a clue, did you?) I have a plan to paint a focal wall in my living room a cross between barn red and well, red. Not like a strawberry or a tomato. A richer and warmer type of red.  I can cool it down with blues and green accents or even whites, if I need to. Then again, I can add rich ambers, gold, and amethysts to make it pop. All my furniture is in neutral colors and so is the color of my walls. A bright set of pillows here and there, a colorful throws, bouquets of flowers, nick knacks, and pictures can add visual interest. I have lots of colorful throws and pillows now but it doesn’t touch the overall blah.

Great plans, but I need to wait (ugh, I hate waiting when I’m ready to move forward) until, 1. I can get the guy who will paint the ceilings. That’s a project that is difficult for me. But, I’m going to tell you, if he dithers anymore, I’m going to get really creative with broomsticks and paint rollers and lots of plastic to throw on the floors and furniture. 2. Extra dollars for all the paint and stuff needed.

This is what comes of being sick for such a long time. You don’t care when you’re sick what’s going on around you. You’re totally focused on getting better and the rest can wait until then. Getting well? You tend to look at your environment with different eyes that grow very large when focused on surroundings. You also tend to say Holy Shitake mushrooms or the shorter pithier version thereof. A lot.

So, since I can’t tackle the living room just yet, I painted my blog. Hey, it worked for me, or at least, took away the main itch for the immediate moment. I have added pine boughs, poinsettias, lights and glitter to the house, which helps.

Next, the rest of my environment.

How do you handle the Winter Blahs?

 Upcoming events for the blog:

  • I’ll also be having Jessica Bell with her STRING BRIDGE visiting and I’ll give you more info on that visit as soon as we have it set—possibly the 14th. And I’m hoping to have some of her wonderful music as well. LOVE her music!

Starting on December 20th I will be running various holiday stories for your enjoyment. These will run through the 31st. I’ve got some great stories to share. Just sayin’.

Here’s a recipe that will warm the cockles of your heart or anything else that needs warming. J



  • 4 quarts dry red wine (zinfandel, merlot, burgundy, etc.)
  • 1 pint brandy
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cloves, whole
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp mace
  • 2 oranges, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  1. Pour the wine into a large pot and begin heating over low heat.
  1. As it begins to warm, add sugar and spices. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  1. Add the brandy.
  1. Heat thoroughly, but do not allow boiling!
  1. Add the lemon and orange.
  1. Steep for about 1 hour over low heat.
  1. You may add more sugar during this time if desired, stirring well so it dissolves.
  1. Serve hot and garnish with orange slices. A stick cinnamon could also be used.
Serves 12-15


Kat Sheridan said...

Love the festive new colors! W00t! And your plans for decorating sound wonderful. You know me—there's no such thing as too much color. I had all the paint colors picked out for the new house then broke the stupid ankle, so painting will have to wait. I'm spending the next few weeks on my back looking at white walls, white tile floors, white ceiling... After 23 years I've finally convinced hubs ceilings do not have to be white. My family room is going to be light turquoise with a light lime green ceiling. The dining room will be flamingo pink with a a happy sky blue ceiling. I may be stuck in bed but I have LOTS of paint chips to dream with!

Jo said...

Hmm, not sure about all these colours, I tend to be a bit conventional, not artistic. Used to live next door to someone who was, lovded the results, but wouldn't know how to create it.

Like your recipe, never made it, but have heard of it before.

As for winter blahs, just put up with them.

Karen Walker said...

So sorry you've been under the weather, but I love what you've created with your blog colors. And Jessica's music is totally amazing - so glad you will feature her.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

And the new color looks festive!
Painting a ceiling - sounds like a lot of paint in one's hair to me.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Not as bad as what you get sanding one or walls, Alex. lol!

~Sia McKye~ said...

Kat, I've seen the results of your creative use of color. I love what you did to your Northern residence.

The way the window (bay window) are located in my living room, I really need to paint the ceiling a bright white and the house is basically open plan so that means all the ceilings.

I'll get it done.

Ciara said...

I love the colors here. I tend to keep lights on and try to go places when possible. I don't have to deal with too much winter as I live in the South.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Your blog realy pops! A great way to stave off the winter blues. That's what I used to do -- make sure I had plenty of color around me. The desert area where I'm staying now has lots of bright, glaring light, so I'm not as conscious of the need for color.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Ciara, Thank you. I'm glad you stopped by. I'm in Missouri and we do get a good measure of sunny days. But on those days that aren't? Ugh. Yeah, I use lights too.

Pat,I was aiming for *pop*. Glad to know I succeeded. I like color regardless of the season, but in the winter it's more important to me. I need to invest in a SAD light as I know that will help as well.

~Sia McKye~ said...

JO, I put up with it as well. My sister is like your neighbor. She takes some unusual things and colors and the results are fabulous. I'm the first to admit, I'm not that good. I tend to plan a bit more and stay with things I know. Sis can mix plaids and paisley and make it look grand.

Tonya Kappes said...

I love the new look! It should really take away the winter blahs!!!

Carol Kilgore said...

Love your new look!

In Texas we have Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, and Hunting Season. Hunting Season is usually gray, cool-to-cold, and some years wet. So far Hunting Season this year is wet, and we're all real happy about that - we've been dry too long.

To counteract the blahs, I open the blinds to let in even overcast natural light. Play loud happy music. Talk out loud to my dogs and myself.

My house has splashes of red year-round in every room, except for our bedroom. Keeps me upbeat.