january 2015 mantel

{post three in a three-part mini-series...if you'd like to catch up on the others, you can find them here and here.}

at the beginning of this week, when i put the finishing touches on my new years/winter mantel,
i do believe i breathed an audible sigh.
my mantel makes me sooooooo happy.
it's such a little thing, really.  a simple, little thing.
but it sure does make me smile big.

let me show it off a little for you, okay?

my january mantel is usually one of my favorites, if not my very favorite.
after the crazy-color-soaked baubles of the christmas holidays are packed away, i find myself longing for a soothing, neutral color palette.
on last year's january mantel, i went with even more white than i did this year; however, my background wall back then was nearly turquoise.

this year, i accented with bits of color, still sticking with nature-inspired tones of pine and bittersweet.
i always refer back to photos of my previous mantels for inspiration...
and while i used many of the same elements as last january, i decided that this season, i wanted my mantel to have a bit more of an organic, down-to-earth feel rather than the winter wonderland tone of last year.
i did exactly as i stated in one of my suggestions yesterday and shopped my home.
i've never used this antique hat form on my mantel, but it's one of those pieces i've had forever and knew i'd use eventually.  it's solid wood and belonged to my great aunt who was quite the milliner.  
the hand-knit mittens and woolen toboggan were scrounged out of our outerwear bin.
the vintage flash card was a stroke of inspiration from my friend natalie's mantel...i found mine in a set of flash cards from the thrift...and the antique flower frog holding it was also thrifted.
the pair of birds were my mom's...and while i don't believe in attaching sentimental value to every last item that belonged to a loved one, for some reason, i haven't been able to let these go even though they don't go with any of my current color schemes.
as of right now, i'm pretty pleased that i clung to them...they're perfect with this month's mantel...and i really do think of her every time i see them...and a million other times each day, of course.

i really do love this wreath.
i took a simple straw wreath form and wrapped it in long strips torn from a solid white sheet. {you do know that bedsheets tear quite nicely in an even, straight line, don't you?  oh yes.  quite handy.}
i then gathered bits and bobs in varying shades of white and wrapped them and tied them here and there.
i twisted long thin slivers of felted wool into winter snow-blossoms and pinched a few leaves in there for good measure.  you could whip one of these up in no time flat, i'm sure...maybe even add a few pearls or smatterings of glitter, if your little heart desires a dash of the bling.

  one of my favorite things to find at the thrift is teeeeeeny paintings for my mantel.
i feel like they add another dimension of interest...a bit of art within my big work of art.
remember what i said about making things into what you need them to be?  this little painting had a rather hideous frame...all olive-toned with gold trim.  i gave it a good swipe with the white spray paint and then proceeded to wipe some of the paint off with a dry rag.  the effect is so good that, quite honestly, i forgot that i'd done it until i started to type out this post!
be creative, friends!

remember i said that i wanted this season's mantel to have a bit more of an organic or rustic feel?
i originally had my evergreen arrangement in the tall white vase that was used in so many mantels in yesterday's post...the same vase used in last january's mantel, in fact.
and while it was pretty, it just wasn't the "feel" i was going for this month.
again, i shopped my shelves and found this old, rusty coffee can...ideal for this job.
a few sprigs from my backyard pine tree, some scraggly shoots of artificial greenery, several rogue spray-painted branches and it was ready to go.
don't just shop your house, shop your yard! ;)

the snowy paint-by-number scene was part of my christmas package from my sweet friend crystal.
it was the first piece to go up on this month's mantel and i love how it provided the inspiration for all the colors used.
i made the giant pom-pom garland sitting quietly in my bed after a long day...
there's something therapeutic about pom-pom making, y'all.  this is truth.

and one last view...
taking it allllllll in...
breathe deep...
big happy sigh...big happy smile.

but wait!
what if you don't have a fireplace?
i begged my good friend, megan, to share a photo of her mantel with us...
as you can see, meg doesn't have a fireplace, either.
she found this fabulous old mantel on her recent road trip through texas...
maybe you can't find an old mantel...
could you build one?  maybe some old barn wood and rough-hewn beams would do the trick!
and if a mantel just won't work for you, possibly a high sofa table would?
perhaps you have very limited space and a narrow table in your entryway is all the display space you have.
think outside the mantel, friends!
if this is something you'd like to do, by all means, look around your house and find the space to do it!
i even had a friend mention that she sets up her little display scene in her windowsill!!!

oh my...
i do so love sharing this with y'all.
i hope i've been a bit of a help and maybe inspired you just a little...

please, please, pretty please...
if you do a special little mantel-scape--no matter where it is--please tag me in your photo! 
 i'd SO love to see it and share in the fun!

happy decorating, friends!!!

1 comment:

  1. It's beautiful, Erin! And, your white walls…what a transformation!!! It is inspiring me to finish our white painting in the playroom, family room, and dining room…which currently have "oatmeal" walls!!


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