Valentine Mantel……..

We don’t decorate a whole lot for Valentine’s Day…but we do have a bit of fun in little places around our home.  I was in the mood to change the mantel a bit…and it was a tad too early to make it ‘springy’….so, I did a little impromptu Valentine Mantel.

valentine mantel

I gathered up all of the grainsack and red French ticking sachets that I could find around the house and put them in a little wire basket lined with linen. They are all filled with lavender and smell soooooo goooooddddd!

grainsack hearts

With three violinists in our home we have lots of violin sculptures….I thought they were perfect for the Valentine Mantel……..

cupid playing violin austin sculpture of violin and cello

Then I just filled in the rest of the space with all the white pitchers that I could find in the cabinets and on the shelves! I think I will fill them with roses for next week.

valentine mantel 2013

For the garland I used trim and ribbon in pinks, reds, and whites.

Valentine's Day MantelIt was fun to shop our cottage and pull this together. I love doing that. Didn’t spend a dime!

Do you do any Valentine decorating……or do you just sit back and enjoy the chocolate?

Hearts to you~

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New Year’s Mantel

What a great day we have had….doing nothing.

I love it….it has been a treat. I hope your year is off to a wonderful start.

Here’s some great New Year posts that I have enjoyed:

2013 Goals for Your Home

When You Don’t Want a New Year, But a New You

God Sized Dreams and the ‘Do What You Can’ Plan

20 Questions for Reflecting on Your 2012

________

I hope you guys had a wonderful New Year’s Eve. We threw a little fun New Year’s mantel together to be ready for the countdown.

new years mantel

I went on a hunt for vintage clocks….couldn’t find even one! ha! I usually see them all over the place at my favorite haunts. None. None to be found when I needed them most. Humph.

mantel for new years

I did, however, find a really neat Brownie camera to add to my collection. {Score!}

Great things can happen when you’re trying to do something else.

brownie camera

I try to remind myself of that often. If I just keep working toward the visions and ideas that have been given to me…..I can find great treasure through the unexpected. The ‘not what I was looking for’. Sometimes when I’m working toward something I find that just what I needed was not what I was looking for…..but even better.

With mantels. And life.

mantel vignette

Hoping you find just what you’re looking for this year…..

{for your home. and your life. ;)}

Happy 2013~

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You can read about my word of the year for 2013 here.

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Christmas Mantel {2012}

Last year our mantel was a little crazy…..must have been leftover anesthesia from my surgery. ugh. It appeared to be a bit psychedelic! ha!

This year I wanted to use the creche that was my grandmother’s. She had given it to me years ago; but this year I wanted to feature it a bit more. This will be our first Christmas without her. This creche used to always hold a special place each year at her house…and I had fun growing up playing with it…winding the little music box on the side. You may not be able to see it in the picture {these pictures aren’t super great…this is THAT AREA in my home that eludes good photography. humph. I’ll figure it out one day} BUT, there is a rooster also looking at Baby Jesus. When I was little I decided that Jesus would have had a rooster along with all the other animals…..so I found one in my toys and added it. My grandmother always kept it there. We get some interesting comments about it over the years…..usually something like, “Uhhhhhh, ooooommmmm, did you know that there is a rooster in your nativity?”

I just always reply with, “Of course! Doesn’t yours have one?”

🙂

christmas mantel

We also used our nutcracker made out of olive wood from the Holy Land…..

nutcracker on mantel

Grain sack stockings made from antique European red-striped grain sacks and stenciled with our initials…….

grain sack stockings

Oh yeah! I forgot about the turkey. Funny…..my youngest added the turkey when she was tiny because she didn’t want the rooster to get lonely. The ‘rocks’ over to the right are actual frankincense and myrrh from Israel.

creche on mantel2012 mantelgrain sack stocking

I hope you all are having a great week! The farmhouse sink was put in today and I can’t wait to show you….it is gor. geeee. uuuus.

Merry, Merry~

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A Mantel Through the Year ……

Yaw. I’m starving. For the past year my metabolism has just been not up to par and I am on a special liquid-only diet for 14 days…..

Ugh. It’s not a weight-loss thing….it’s a re-boot my system thing. My energy has just been so low for quite a while, and even though it’s only been about a week I do feel a big difference in my energy level. Yay!

BUT……this past weekend we went to a college football game.

I watched everyone have popcorn. I didn’t have any.

{But I had energy! *fake smile through gritted teeth*}

I watched everyone drink yummy drinks. I didn’t have any.

{But I had energy! *fake smile through gritted teeth*}

I’ve watched everyone eat yummy food…and I haven’t had any.

{But I had energy! *fake smile through gritted teeth*}

My daughter’s birthday is this weekend and I will bake her a cake.

But I won’t have any.

{But I had energy! *BIG fake smile through gritted teeth*}

Yaw. {When I’m stressed, irritated, or famished I fall into my deep, southern vernacular. Think ‘Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood’.}

I looked at my beautiful children today and they looked so juicy and succulent.  For a brief moment I wanted to eat them. When I eyed Handsome he quickly found something to do……….. outside. The cute little blonde toddler in front of me at the football game had a big bucket of popcorn and I had the overwhelming urge to knock her off the bleacher and take her bucket and run!

This is bad. Withholding popcorn and yummy food from me has brought out great evils.

Pray for me…..I have 9 more days. {And then 6 weeks of only one meal per day….}

But, it will be worth it if my normal energy level will return. I just hope I don’t do anything that lands me in prison before I get through it!

OK. OK. I was looking back through some pictures and thought it would be fun to share our Year of Mantels. I think it’s great to look back through pictures and review in retrospect. Funny, some of them I don’t even like! ha! You can tell when we decided to paint the mantel with ASCP in Old White….it looks so much more bright. So glad we did that.

Here’s the year in retrospect:

Summer 2011

Fall/Thanksgiving 2011

Christmas 2011

I really don’t like this one at all. I must have been having an off day…..I was just a week out of surgery, maybe the anesthesia hadn’t worn off yet. It looks a bit hallucinatory.

Spring 2012

Summer 2012

Autumn 2012

ways to decorate a mantle

I’ll do better this Christmas, I promise! 😉 {Unless I’m still not having food…and then there’s no telling WHAT my mantel will look like. It might have a bite taken out of it!}

You can see all the mantel posts here….at A Year of Mantels

Happy Monday~

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Autumn Mantel {2012} ::: Ways to Decorate a Mantle

We have now had our mantel for a year…..I can’t believe that we’ve lived in our cottage for 17 years, and only had a mantel for 1! This mantel was a most gracious gift to us…and is over 200 years old! It was taken from a lovely antebellum home. We have had so much fun with it over the past year…..changing it with the seasons and making it right at home here!

This past weekend I loaded up the car with pumpkins and had a blast putting them everywhere! The mantel did not escape the pumpkin extravaganza.

Here’s a few pics of our mantel for this autumn…..

ways to decorate a mantle

Heirloom pumpkins are my very favorite….this year I have found some really unusual ones at the pumpkin patch down the road from our cottage…..

ways to decorate a mantle

Love these colorful leaves in a basket…..gorgeous color!

ways to decorate a mantle

ways to decorate a mantle

ways to decorate a mantle

Can’t be Oak Cottage without lots of acorns! 😉

ways to decorate a mantle

ways to decorate a mantle

ways to decorate a mantle

Does your home have a mantel? Do you enjoy decorating it and changing it around, or do you like to keep it pretty much the same throughout the year?

Happy Autumn~

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Summer Mantel {2012}

The sprucifying has continued…….I’ve been changing up everything around here lately.  I decided to paint the mantel white….it was a very old white when we received it as a gift last summer.  {Yes!  A gift! A 200-year-old solid wood mantel from an antebellum home.} We love it……I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint [my favorite paint] in old white and just dry brushed it on top of the original paint to brighten it up a bit.

 I’ve been in a seashell mood lately….shells are everywhere!

 We stack vintage book bundles inside the fireplace in the spring and summer when we are not going to be using it.  We are a family of bookworms…..so books mean a lot to us.  It keeps the fireplace from being a black hole in the summer.

 I had fun making these European grain sack covered votives.  I’ve collected several 100+ year-old German grain sacks….and I use the edges to cover small glass votives with white candles inside.

 And instead of wood in the basket….there are lightweight summer blankets for some fun movie nights ahead!

 We have only had a mantel for a year…..and have enjoyed being able to change it with the seasons.  What did I ever do without one?

Do you switch things around in your home for different seasons? Or do you like to keep things as they are throughout the year?

Oh, and by the way…..I’ve loved hearing from you guys about the fun memories you have of things you did during the summer growing up!  Keep them coming…..we’ve added some of them to our bucket list because I had forgotten about them and you guys reminded me. 🙂

Happy Thursday~

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Spring Mantel

I am still learning how to take pictures in this room.

It is not as dark as it looks…but the way the light

comes in makes it hard to not get grainy  pics!

{Correction….I’m still learning how to

take pictures in general! ha!}

A few weeks ago we decided to paint the new mantel

white….and I love it! We’ve been all about lightening

up around here for several months.

For those of you not with us last summer…

we had been looking for an old mantel for a very long time.

A local church had this one in storage and GAVE it to us!

It is over 150 years old and came out of an antebellum

home that weathered the Civil War…just like the brick and

floors of our cottage.  We just love it!

Here’s some fun pics of our spring mantel….

Our pussywillow tree is finally big enough for

me to be able to cut branches and force them inside. Yay!

So we put two big vases of them on either side of the mantel.

I love bee skeps…..and this is a little mini one.

*****

On another note….have you guys ever checked out the live Eagle Cam?

We enjoy watching it each spring.

Our kids LOVE it! {Me, too!}

The eagles just began mating last week…

soon their will be eggs that you can watch LIVE…

hatch, grow, eaglets being fed, etc.

Check it out here and bookmark it.

Check back several times a day….it is a live cam.

You will want to keep it on all day once the eaglets hatch…

it becomes addicting. 🙂

*****

We had fun getting our Easter decorations out yesterday.

Isn’t it fun getting decorations out….it’s almost like a walk

down memory lane.  Lots of “Do you remember when we use

to do ____ with this?” And “I completely forgot about satin bunny!”

Do you decorate for spring or Easter?

Until tomorrow~

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Christmas Mantel……

This is the first year in the 16 years we have lived here that we have had a mantel!

In the past here is what our hearth area looked like at Christmas:

This year we had fun putting some of our favorite items across the new mantel.

I’m still not quite finished…tomorrow we are adding greenery all over the house; and the mantel will definitely gets lots!

But here it is this year so far…..

In pics this room looks so dark and drab….but it isn’t.  Hmmm….not sure how to fix that.

I love the little ticking pillow and antique chocolate mold that I purchased at Luckett’s this autumn.

The little green, felt deer were my aunt’s….they are from the 1950’s.  We use them in a different place each year.

I’m off to continue getting ready for our big party this weekend.  Lots of dust to dust and greenery to put!

Happy Tuesday~

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Thanksgiving Mantel……

It was fun to change out the mantel a bit for Thanksgiving.

We’ve only had this mantel for a few months….15 years of living in this house and we’ve never had a mantel!

So, it’s like a fun, new toy.

Here’s a peek at what it looks like right now…..

{Pictures in this room always look so dark…but, it’s not actually this dark in here. hmmmm……}

Here is the Thanksgiving Printable that I shared a couple of weeks ago.  You can print it out for free here.

The silver turkey that is holding it is actually a place card holder from Pottery Barn. {In stores only.}

Love this turkey that I found at Pottery Barn this year! 🙂

“Eucharisto” is the Greek word for ‘thanksgiving’……giving thanks to God.

These pictures were taken a couple of weeks ago when it was still 80 degrees outside…now that it has cooled off we have removed the books and been enjoying wonderful fires in the fireplace.  yay!  Fireplace fires are pure therapy.  The sounds. The smell. Soothes the soul.

So you have a mantel?  If you do….do you change it several times a year, or do you keep it the same year round?

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is just 9 days away!

I’m ready….

Thankful~

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Autumn Mantel

I had fun last week getting the mantel decked out for autumn!  {My favorite season}

Other than the pumpkins from our trip to the patch—-everything else I found around the house. The banner….I made that. {It will be in my etsy shop really soon.  You know, the empty shop on the corner that is longing for wonderful items to be added to it. Yeah, that one.}  Soon, very soon—wonderful things will be appearing there!

The vintage book bundles that we made will be coming out soon—because we LOVE fires in our fireplace.  But, around here it is way too hot to have fires quite yet.  We are still in the 90’s. ugh.  But as soon as that temp drops—the books are out and the fire is in!

This is the first autumn that we have had a mantel…..and I’ve had so much fun with it! Do you have a special spot in your home that you have fun changing out for the seasons?

Blessings~

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