Tuesday, November 30, 2010

holiday mantle

We are getting into the holiday spirit over here. Sunday night I set up the mantle. Arranging an appealing mantle is hugely challenging for me, and to be honest the first several years I was here I just gave up and let it be a junk collector. A couple years ago I started to try to put more effort into it. It's not easy, and I haven't really wanted to specifically buy things for the mantle. So I've persevered, trying to make each mantle a little better. (My fall mantle was by far my favorite). Here is what I came up with this year for a Christmas mantle. What I like is that these are mostly pieces pulled together that are not specifically holiday but have a holiday feel nonetheless. I was going for a woodland/nature-y theme.
The faux-bois stick is one I made for Ken for Valentine's day a couple years ago. The faux-bois vase is new. The linen covered votive is from Thanksgiving.
The fabric wrapped wreath is based on one posted by Soulemama a couple years ago. I always loved hers, so basically copied the idea. The foam wreath cost $5, but otherwise I used materials that I had in my stash, most of them thrifted. The little ceramic bird is from a local antique shop.
Jacob made me that clock when he was in 8th grade woodshop. I love love love it. I think of him whenever I see it, and it always stays on the mantle.
And here is how it looks lit up at night. I adore how candlelight feels so magical, especially in winter.
I'm having a fairly productive evening this night. I set up our little wintry village and Faith helped me tie everything to the advent calendar for tomorrow's start. I had to remind Dieter that there is nothing new on there--no gifts--and he handled it quite nicely, I think. I'm so pleased to have it ready to go for tomorrow! Also I'm simmering soup for tomorrow's soup night. I'm making a long-simmering recipe and again am feeling so pleased and efficient to have started it the night before. It smells wonderful. I also have on my schedule to wrap a gift and make a gnome tonight, but I'm not going to get to it, I'm afraid. Maybe Thursday night. I have some built-in leeway in the little holiday "to-do" schedule I set up for myself. Tonight I may err on the side of getting more sleep. Happy December to all!


CountryGirl said...

Beautiful! I love to see what you're up to. Last night I was up til midnight finishing off an advent calendar for my 4 year old son. I started making it a month or so ago and was determined to get it finished. The look on his face when he saw it this morning at 6am (after we had both been coughing all night long!) was wonderful. I've posted a picture on my blog for you to see. It's 25 knitted stockings on a padded background, filled with candy canes and chocolate. x

Karen said...

Beautiful decoration! I wanted to make a farbric covered wreath since Soulemama postet hers... Maybe in the next days...
I like your wreath very much, red is our advent colour since last year!

Enjoy your soup night!

Greetings from a snowy Germany!

Laura said...

simply special!

Anonymous said...

Very nice! I especially love the clock. Sentimental items are great!
I have a question for you. What type of candles do you use? I have been very leery of anything with artificial fragrances lately. I have been searching for some all natural candles, but haven't had any luck.

Andrea said...

This is lovely. I love the nature theme and the faux-bois elements (thanks for the new vocabulary word!). I like the clean simplicity of it all. I haven't found the energy to dismantle fall and start on winter decorating, but you are inspiring me to toss out the gourds...our mantle is just a row of bare bricks that never got finished (I had planned on finding the perfect flat rock to put on top of them before Christmas, but I see that is not going to happen!)

Mary Beth said...

Angie--lately I've been using the candles from Ikea. I've had really good luck with them burning well, lasting a long time, and not excessively dripping. They have no smell at all (or at least the ones I buy have no smell--I think they do carry some scented candles but I always avoid those).

But I love beeswax candles when I can find them!

CountryGirl--I'm going to check out your advent calendar right now.

Holly C. said...

Beautiful mantle and I love your new 'nutcracker' header!

coloring in my life said...

Very festive and pretty!