Here Comes the Sun
by Michael Steward
Satirical, yet useful, home and garden article
The holidays are over. The festivities are ended. After the last decoration is alphabetically filed and boxed away for next year, and the last of the shreds of hand-stamped wrapping paper are finally in the color-coordinated recycle bin, a sense of emptiness ensues. No more extended weekends (except for those government employees who everyone else is jealous of). No more demiglace, gourmet eggnog, or cleverly decorated pagan ornaments.
Looking for that special way to shed light into your life during this dreary northwest post-holiday season weather? Here are some ideas to “Bring In The LightTM“.
Create a special illumination in your home to remind you that the sun is shining just above the clouds — and that you can reach up and pull down some of the much-needed solar warmth.
A Sun shaped talisman hanging from your window is always a good idea. Shavings of different colors of crayons make an excellent stained glass effect when ironed (on low heat) between two pieces of waxed paper. Mount this creation in a sun-shaped frame. Cut out two identical sun shapes from a piece of cardboard. Cover them in gold foil or gold leftover wrapping paper (that you made last season by hand in your basement). Add other crafty effects, such as beads, sparkling pipe cleaners, or tissue paper. Glue the stained glass in the center of the two frames, and hang in a window to remind you of those beautiful summer days not too far away.
You can also bring in the light with an easy painted effect on a boring white wall in your home. While it may seem intimidating at first, creating a feature wall in your home is actually quite easy, and the end result can freshen up any room! I think that yellow is an excellent way to brighten a boring old room. (Yes, YELLOW). Use a true bright lemon yellow. For a full wall you wont need more than a pint of paint. (You can, of course, use any color — but get the strongest version, as we will be watering down the paint in this process for a more subtle effect)
Move furniture away, and protect the baseboards and floor with masking tape and newspaper. In a roller pan mix a half-cup of yellow paint with 3 cups of warm (not hot) water. Mix it well. Keep the consistency opaque, but very viscous. Use a natural sponge with just a bit of paint on it and pat it on your wall, starting in the upper corner. Rotate the sponge continually so as not to leave identical marks on your wall. Spread the paint thin so that the
effect is subtle, yet refreshing. Work consistently from the corner in a fan shape, blending in each section as you go. Use a piece of cardboard to mask off adjacent walls.
In the garden — it’s time to get a start on spring annuals, and preparing for the seasons ahead! Here are the Monthly To-Do’s for the January Gardener:
- Order seeds
- Sow seeds of warm-season annuals indoors
- Sow seeds for hardy spring-blooming annuals
- Cut back on feeding houseplants (do not feed dormant houseplants)
- Move living Christmas trees outdoors
- Plant or transplant frost-tolerant perennials
- Plant bare-root roses
- Apply dormant spray to bare-root roses
- Plant bare-root trees, shrubs, and vines
- Prune winter-blooming shrubs and vines just after bloom
- Apply dormant spray to trees, shrubs, and vines
- Plant bare-root perennial vegetables
- Sow seeds for cool-season vegetables
- Protect tender plants from frost
Getting your hands in the dirt is one of the best ways to keep in touch with the earth `s cycle, and connect with the winter season in preparation for spring!
Good luck to you in the coming season! And remember, it’s a Blessed Thing.