From Rice to Riches

Le Coudeau Welcome

Now that the frosty days of winter are here, I’ve done due diligence by adding a little bit of weather stripping here and there, where there were gaps. We’ve really noticed a difference, even with that little effort.

Don’t know if I ever mentioned it, but our contractor talked us into having the custom doors and windows made in Portugal. Admittedly, they are beautiful, solid oak units, with wood grates that appear as separate panes, but open for ease of cleaning to one huge pane of double glass (both inside and out).

Well, I guess the standards in Portugal are a little different than I anticipated. The doors did not come with thresholds. Another learning curve of doing construction in a foreign country—not only are customs different, the language barrier is huge, as I’ve mentioned before. Anyhoo, we’ve made a few little additions, but still feel a few gaps under doors. Enter Cindy to save the day…

I decided to use some wonderful Italian designer fabric that I packed in our boxes to make some “snakes” to stop any cold air from entering under the doors. The project has been on my to-do list for months. Needless to say, I didn’t start until yesterday.

Decided it was time to put up the Christmas tree, but wanted to get the snakes in front of the doors first. And so, I set up my work station in the freezing studio. Started the petrol heater to take the chill off, measured and cut my fabric, set up the sewing machine (also stupidly schlepped from the States and plugged into the transformer), and started to create. Had bought some dingle-bop fringe just for fun and decided to use the wrong side of the fabric to lessen it’s formal appeal!!!

For orders, call 1-800-noo-wayy.

Well, the funny part of this whole exercise came when I went to store to get rice to fill the snakes. Found the el-cheapo rice, only available in 1 kg bags and loaded every blasted bag they had into my cart. Standing in line, the people behind us were sniggering. Not only were we speaking some crazy language, I’m bundled up like I just arrived from Siberia, and our cart was full of rice! Jzeez! They probably wanted to give us a handout, if all we could afford was rice! Of course I just straighten my posture and acted like this is the most common thing anyone could do on a Thursday afternoon. Don’t know if it’s relevant that Papa picked up some ice cream too…to go with our rice!!!

My trash can after the first three snakes are finished.

Well, got the first three snakes done to go in front of the triple doors where the tree is to go. What do you think? Theo’s thinking of it as a business idea… !!!

Now the tree can go up. Note my antique iron, one of many in house used as door stops.

Decided on a white and gold tree this year, again with my enormous collection of owls. Also put some cheer on our new driveway gates. Wishing everyone a joyous holiday season!

This year’s tree, all owl-ed out!


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6 Responses to From Rice to Riches

  1. Bruce & Jan Adams says:

    Cindy, I so enjoyed your story above about making the snakes. What a great idea & I’m sure it worked. I also love your beautiful tree and your new gate. Enjoy your beautiful home for the holidays, as we enjoy ours. We have a Christmas dinner party tomorrow night along with two caroling parties set. Then both daughters (one from Brooklyn & the other from Sacramento) and our future son in law will all be here for Christmas.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to both you & Theo. We hope to see you again next May.
    Love, Bruce & Jan

    • says:

      Thanks, Jan. We’re planning another quiet holiday this year, but are looking forward to our 6-week road trip mid-January. We’ll just have to see if Theo can live without the dogs for that long!!!

      Merry Christmas and enjoy family, friends, and activities, which I know you two will!

  2. Stewart Smith says:

    Cindy and Theo! good looking tree and the gap snakes look great!

  3. Anna says:

    Cindy, you are such a creative girl. Rice part of the story is very funny! Rice and ice cream, ha-ha-ha! The only thing that concerns me though is all that rice sitting on the floor. It might attract all mice from the neighborhood to come and visit your snakes. 🙂
    Happy holidays to you, Theo and dogs!

    • says:

      The mice will have to eat through all the rice I spilled in the Studio first!!! Hahahaaa!!!

      Oooh, I thought of that too–there’s no way they can get in. Also thought about it getting damp and swelling!!! Which it won’t, but I thought about it any case. Old worrying grandma here!!!

      Love to you and your family (both human and animal) this holiday!!!

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