Joyeux Temps des FĂȘtes a Tous

Well, the gingerbread house has been sprinkled with powdered snow, the Christmas tree has been set up outside on the front porch this year (we have a male dog, need I say more?), the fall wreath has been restyled into a wintery one, the urn arrangement is front and centre and our beautiful metal wall ornament has been mounted. This was a gift from Brian's parents, owners and operators of Alloy Foundry and Village Metalsmiths in Merrickville, Ontario.
Thank you Karl and Linda. We love it!

A little more shopping, but we are almost ready!

Thank you to all who have been visiting the Dusty Victorian during the year. It's been a real pleasure exchanging thoughts, feelings and images through our blogs. I'm looking forward to 2011 with all of you.

In the Christmas Spirit of Martha

I have not bought Christmas wrapping paper for over 15 years, preferring to recycle what comes my way. But make no mistake, I'm really picky about what I choose to keep for wrappings.
When we first moved into the Dusty Victorian, we found in the attic leftover rolls of embossed wall paper. This paper had been used for the library room, painted brown and glazed over. In its original state, as you can see, it's creamy white, thick, doesn't have any coating of glue at the back and feels cottony. It's perfect for making little gift boxes. Throughout the year, I keep interesting boxes to be used as templates. Because the wall paper pattern is so beautifully textured, it doesn't require any addition wrapping, just a pretty ribbon and... voila.
Not too shabby, I think, but very chic.

Chambers of Horrors - The basement

Halloween approaching, I thought it would be a good time to give you a tour of the Dusty Victorian's dreadful basement. I asked my 12-year-old daughter to come down with me while I take pictures because I'm a notorious scaredy-cat. I clung to her like a giant siamese twin growing out of her back keeping my head low to avoid all the spider webs.

There is a reason why I never did a post of the kitchen at the Dusty Victorian. Simply said, it's awful, only second place to the basement. Here is the door to the basement. A previous owner must have needed a door handle and used this one, replacing it with a little hook???

Beginning of the horror is this circa 70's carpet going down the stairs.

The dungeon walls. Only things missing are the metal cuffs and chains.

The original water reservoir (partly destroyed) from where rain water was collected through a downspout. The water would be pumped upwards to the kitchen. I'm thinking, great place to bury a body and seal it up.

In a adjacent chamber, shelving where architectural elements from the house come to rest and other things like this boot. My question: What happen to the other boot? Was the foot severed in a scything accident?

Another chamber, where the fearless Violet is entering. She kind of has a spooky look to her. Poor attempt at making this door look better through white wash. Did not work.

Who in hell would do their laundry here!

Back to civilization! At this point I'm so glad to see this carpet. I have to take a shower now.

Happy Halloween!

Autumn - Must.... Fight.... Hibernation

Autumn is beautiful, but it makes me feel lazy and bored with everything. It's like an appetizer that looks good, but tastes just so-so, before a dreadful main dish: winter. I'm already feeling the effect of low light and short days. But I'm determined to not let it get to me, so on the weekend I decided to do my door wreath.
I bought this twig wreath at the Salvation Army years ago. It makes for a great base for new seasonal styles. This time, I used leaves from my magnolia tree, flowers from my hydrangeas bush and faux fruits I already had in my stash of decorating stuff. The natural elements should weather nicely, taking on gold and copper hues and slowly exposing the twigs behind.

Wishing us all a mild and dry autumn.

Victorian Front Entrance Doors - Completed

Here we are, the doors are done and I don't think visitors will be expecting Vincent Price to answer when they ring.

Fresh and clean.

They coordinate nicely with the windows and shutters.

And they show up a little better through the glass doors than the darker version.