In Asian culture, the koi symbolizes prosperity and good fortune

koi

Before we had cats and dogs... in fact, before I had children, I had an aquarium. Like many first time aquarium owners, I started with gold fish. But they never lasted long despite my best efforts, and despite using only natural rocks and plants and no plastic or other artificial ornaments.The time came when constantly replacing the dead gold fish became an expensive … [Read more...]

Homemade scented oils for the diffuser

homemade-scented-oils

And so, it finally happened. The scented oil that came with the diffuser that I received as a Christmas gift from a friend has evaporated. It's time to make my own scented oils. Why not just buy? Because most of the commercially-available scented oils are too diluted with alcohol and that makes them evaporate faster. I want scented oils that will last longer.I've read … [Read more...]

Scented oils and oil diffusers

oil-diffuser2

Speedy and I like making the house smell good. Speedy even likes to keep his pick-up smelling good. He normally has one kind of air freshener or another in there although he has learned to choose ones with subtle scent. See, Sam and Alex hated scent when they were younger; probably a trauma from the times they rode in the car with my mother who applied perfume much too … [Read more...]

How to dim the light with style

lamp-shade

We moved the furniture around again. What used to be the dining room which overlooks the garden is now the family room. Since it is adjacent to the kitchen, when the door of the room is ajar and the pendant lights over the kitchen island are on, the glare can be distracting if you're watching TV. Sam asked if we could hang a bead curtain on the door to block the glare. I … [Read more...]

Capiz window panes for Asian houses

capiz-windows-agoncillo-house-taal

Say capiz and the first thing that comes to most people's mind is the aswang -- that winged monster that eats fetuses in Philippine folklore. According to stories, there are many in Capiz, a province in Western Visayas. Capiz was named for the Placuna placenta, or windowpane oyster, that thrives in abundance in the area.Yes, the capiz used for making lamp shades and a … [Read more...]

Bulul: rice guardian

bulul

I like houses that reflect the personality of their owners. For me, houses like that have real character. I'm not the kind of person who decorate with religious objects but those who do, because those objects are part of what they are and what they believe, have my vote. Might look tacky to some from an aesthetic perspective but I kinda feel an affinity for people who are … [Read more...]

A very sassy floor lamp

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If, like me, you want every object in your house to be functional, then, you're probably not in the market for knick-knacks. But, earlier today, I saw a floor lamp that changed my attitude about home decorating. An object can be both functional and highly decorative -- like this piece. Yes, it is a floor lamp. The woman's skirt is made of capiz and it houses a bulb. The … [Read more...]

Wall clocks: how plain or how ornate do you like them?

wall-clock

When I was a young girl dreaming of building my own house one day, I always imagined I'd have a grandfather clock somewhere in the living room. You know, the kind kind with a hardwood casing and a gold pendulum. Then, I discovered that really good grandfather clocks cost an insane amount of money and I rethought my plans. Did I really want to spend a fortune on a clock? … [Read more...]

Anahaw fans were a fixture at my grandmother’s house

fans

Before there were electric fans and air-conditioners, there were fans. Hand-held. The most popular kind was made with anahaw leaves and shaped like anahaw leaves too. My grandmother always had half a dozen or so at any given time. She kept it on a shelf beside the bedroom door. The fans were of different sizes, some were plain and some were colored.I can't remember … [Read more...]

Hanging garden lamps and citronella candles

hanging-garden-lamps

When I saw these lamps in Dapitan the other weekend, I was instantly smitten by the design. I liked the colors, the shape, the star-shaped vents... But because they're made of metal, buying a piece or more than one piece never really entered my mind. I am not a fan of metal. Not the kind that rusts anyway. In fact, I never really liked Transformers (it's sequel, even less) … [Read more...]