Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ahhhh, Simplify

After we returned all the tubs of Christmas stuff to the attic, I left the mantel bare for short time. Every year, I am amazed at all the holiday decor we've amassed. What's even more amazing is that I actually use most of it.

After the holidays, it takes me a while to recover from the over eating, over socializing, over thinking, over worrying and over decorating.

Now that I have had time to catch my breath, I've simplified the mantel in our family room. It started with this:

This homemade box was a garage sale find from last summer. The wood is rough and splintery. Late last fall, I was working on a couple of other painting projects and decided to put some paint on it--doing something between a dry brush and full coat.

I liked the way it looked after simply slapping on the paint, so I left it that way.

It sat in the garage without a handle until this past week when I brought it in and added burlap ribbon and filled it with pine cones--some that I had salvaged from my live Christmas wreaths when they were past their prime, and some I painted myself.

I added some other wintery looking items to the mantel. The linen-covered French books are unusual and have a special story that I can share in another post. 

The little bird is a terra cotta votive holder I found at a garage sale--for 25 cents. It had potential, but I didn't like the terra cotta look, so I gave it a light brushing of white paint.

The beautiful painting over the fireplace was created by my husband's great uncle and given to my husband's parents as a wedding gift in 1947. When we brought it back this summer after moving his parents out of their house, it was in nasty condition--dull from years of dust, warped from the moisture in his parents' basement and flawed with a couple of tiny spots of chipped paint.

Here it is in its glory after we had it restored. It's a perfect backdrop for the winter mantel.

The stars I crocheted for Christmas still work with the winter scheme and add just the right amount of twinkle to the vignette.

Make it a great day!
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  1. Your winter mantel is so pretty and I love the painting!

  2. What a treasure you have in that beautiful painting. A perfect back drop to your pretty box:-)

  3. The box is totally charming and the burlap ribbon is a perfect compliment. I have a real "thing" for birds, and these are so charming! The painting is a real treasure and your little stars are so pretty! Love it all :)

    Jeanette @ Creating A Life

  4. I love your mantel! I have such a hard time not over-decorating mine. I need to learn from you, yours is beautiful and simple.

  5. Beautiful! I love its simplicity. The rustic box is so pretty and I love your sweet birds on the mantel. I enjoy keeping things simple, especially right after all the rush of the holidays, and this is perfect!

  6. I've been looking over your site, I'm obsessed with you pillows! And I'm also swooning for your camera collection. Thanks for stopping by SewsNBows today. I'm still finding my feet so I love looking at great blogs like this one. :)

  7. Your mantle is beautiful! Just enough to give something interesting to look at but not too much to muddle things. I love the box and the paint color.

    We are longtime members of your lovely blog and would love it if you would join us.

    Linda and Jeannie at The French Hens Nest


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