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A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Winter Fresh Look

Monday, January 5, 2015

After removing my Christmas decorations, 
the house looks bare, but in a good way, with a 

Winter fresh look 

The ivy topiary trees are still in the kitchen, but are left bare, 
adding fresh greenery during the dark winter days 
before early bulbs bloom. 

Keeping ivies alive, healthy, and FRESH indoors takes some extra-loving care. 
Be sure to wash the container to eliminate pests and disease before repotting. 
Water regularly, but only when the soil begins to dry. 
Periodically, about once a week, wash the plant with sudsy water 
to get rid of spider mites, the number one pest for ivies. 
Provide bright light, preferably natural sunlight. 

My kitchen sunspace provides lots of light to the kitchen even on overcast days. 
A few touches of Christmas do still remain here, but a comfy upholstered chair 
sits where the Christmas tree stood during December. 

This is the fabric pattern that was also on the breakfast chairs before 
they were reupholstered last year. 

Another Winter fresh look.... paperwhites.

The paperwhite narcissi planted in early December have finished blooming 
and have been replaced with a freshly planted white pot of more paperwhites. 
Paperwhite bulbs can be planted any time October through mid-February. 

A small ivy planted in an old canning jar sits on an improvised "table". 
A large clear round platter sits on top of a tall blue and white pottery crock. 
The platter is large enough and stable enough to hold a small drink 
when I am sitting in the comfy chair. 

TIP for keeping surfaces under plant pots FRESH ~ 
Look for clear pie plates, microwave turntables, and small dessert plates 
at Goodwill, thrift stores, and garage sales. 
The large platters and microwave turntables are large enough to place 
under large plant pots to prevent water damage to floors and furniture. 
Pie plates fit medium pots, and small dessert plates fit small pots. 
Since they are clear glass, they are barely noticeable. 
Look back at the previous photo of the paperwhites in the white planter. 
There is a clear pie plate under the white clay planter 
to protect the rush seat of the highchair. 

The Christmas dishes are put away, and blue and white plates add 
to the Winter fresh look.  

Perfect for a salad, a dessert, or a sandwich, 
the four different patterns include French fleur de lis, 
birds, flowers, and scrolls, 
chasing away the Winter blues with their blues. 

I keep changing my mind about which one is my favorite. 
Which one is your favorite? 

Replacing my Jenn-Air cooktop old electric eye cartridge and grill 
with new plug-in electric cartridges is the best Winter fresh look. 
The old units were about twenty-five years old and still cooked, 
but the large electric eye was literally falling apart with 
metal pieces coming off.  

This is how the old cartridges looked. 
The grill still works great, but has only been used 
fewer than five times in twenty-five years and is  
way past time for a fresh replacement
with burners that actually will be used.  

My Jenn-Air cooktop has a downdraft vent with a wooden cutting board cover.   
At first, I thought I should replace the entire unit with a new ceramic smooth top, 
but after extensive research for a new ceramic smooth top with a downdraft vent, 
I decided to keep the old Jenn-Air cooktop and buy electric replacement 
cartridges for both the old electric eye cartridge and grill cartridge. 
I bought them online, and they arrived in about a week. 
The hardest part of installing the new cartridges was cleaning 
the existing old large drip pan under each old cartridge, but it  
sure was easier than installing a whole new cooktop. 

So excited to finally have four burners... 
Yes, this is the best 
Winter fresh look. 

I am still using my duck-shaped cutting board on the left side 
of the cooktop when all four burners are not needed. 
Look how happy he is with the new burners. 

Right now the cutting board holds 
Winter fresh looks that will last for the next couple of months. 

Have you put away Christmas and 
added some Winter fresh looks to your home? 

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