Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I would normally call them "arrangements" or "decorations," but the decorating blogosphere has taught me that the correct word to use for decorative items arranged on a shelf or table is "vignette."  I'm not entirely certain how that word differs from "tableau," and who knows--that may be the word of choice a few years from now.  For the moment, however, it appears that the proper highfaluting word is "vignette." (That's a hard word to type, by the way.)

I began this grammatical ramble because I've made a few.  Vignettes, I mean.  One on my console table, one on my coffee table, and a few in my built-in bookcase that never holds books.  Before Christmas, the console table was bare (except for sis/roomie's keys and ipod when she comes in the door), the coffee table had a gourds-and-leaves display that was the subject of one of my first posts, and the bookcase held a series of vignettes that were completely cross-seasonal, but that I was completely bored with.  When I started taking down the Christmas decorations, I wanted to put something back into each of these places. 

We'll start with the console table.  Sorry about the reflection in the picture glass--I don't have any windows in the actual living room, so it can be rather dark in the evenings without the overhead lights on!  This is the simplest vignette--some red-and-clear candleholders I got for Christmas, with some short red pillar candles.  There is apparently no air circulation against this particular wall, because the flames stand perfectly still!  I even had a friend ask if they were real!

The flames of the candles on the coffee table, on the other hand, dance quite merrily.  (Apparently the use of the word "vignette" is giving me a taste for vintage verbiage tonight.)  I had just purchased the mercury glass pillar and taper holders on clearance at Target.  (Unfortunately, I didn't think to get a short, fat taper, so the taper holder is currently empty.  It's pretty, though!)  They add some height to the arrangement.  The base is some polyester-and-glitter fake snow from Michael's, also purchased on post-Christmas clearance.  The rest of the candles are just red and white pillars and votives I've had for a while.  One narrow pillar candle is actually standing in a votive cup--it was just the right size!  Some of the normal-sized pillars are on glass or silver plates--you can just see the corner of a silver snowflake-shaped one under the white pillar at the center of the photo.  Others, such as the tall red one that I'm fairly certain will neither overflow its "banks" nor melt to table level, are simply standing on their own.  (I might be more cautious about doing this if the main surface of the table were not easily-cleanable glass.) 

Finally, the bookcase.  Again, this photo was taken at night with artificial lighting, so I apologize for the coloring.  I'm also not certain this is how the arrangement will stay, but here's how things stand at the moment. 

I kept the inkwell taper holders, photo, and teacup on the top shelf, and just added some crystal taper holders.  These candles, of course, will not be getting burned!  On the next shelf, I kept the photos and added a music box (actually a Christmas decoration, but it doesn't scream "Christmas" unless you wind it up) and some of the extra snow.  The next row is pretty much the same as it was at Christmas, just with the obviously Christmasy music boxes packed away, and the bottom shelf is, I believe, the same as it was at Christmas--a red lantern, a red metal sign, and part of my violin-angel collection.  I think the whole thing looks nice and wintery, and will be just fine for Valentine's day next month, as well!

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