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Mantle x Two

19 Dec

According to the pictures I’ve seen of our new house, we have two mantles.  One in the living room and one outdoor mantle located above an electric stone fireplace located on the back patio.

The fireplace in the living room is a dreaded corner unit.  However, instead of lamenting on its unfortunate location I’m going to celebrate it’s stone facade and large mantle.  Even though we don’t move in until 5 days before Christmas, you can bet the farm that I’m going to have that mantle dripping in Christmas!

Finding inspiration is no problem!  (My ponderings follow each picture).

via Centsational Girl (favorite blog)

Kate never disappoints with her thrifty decorating tips and tricks.  Everything in her home looks like it’s brand-new right outta the box!  I love thrift store shopping and she continues to inspire and encourage me not to give up on finding the next treasure.

Colored glass, bowls filled with sparkly ornaments, swoops of beaded garlands….what’s not to love!

(Side note: Has anyone else noticed that the U.S. thrift stores seem to be filled with more pieces that are worthy of transformation than the thrift stores here in Canada?)


via Susie Harris

Love the use of the branches – bringing in an element of nature into any decorating project is always a great idea.  I have several footed glass jars with lids and have a ball changing them out all over the house over the year.  Don’t restrict yourself with what you put in them and if you don’t own at least a couple in various sizes, keep your eyes open for a sale!


via Home Goods

While I’m not fond with how the collection of finials are spread out seemingly evenly along the length of the mantle, those draped beaded garlands with the hanging stars are terrific!  I know I have some rattan stars and if they aren’t glitzy enough – I can take care of that!   (now where did I pack that glitter??)


via Google Images

Love this photo!  Would love to have this on a large  canvas to put up every season.   This puts me in the mood for sitting by the fire with a hot beverage and carols playing in the background.  I have a whole collection of flame-free candles…. yes, the wheels are turning….thoughts forming….


via Cottage Hill

A simple palette of red and green – lovely with a capital “L”.   Way more than just a mantle-scape here!  With the raining red ornaments shimmering down from the ceiling  and the light-infused cedar boughs that wrap down to the floor, this design makes a statement.   Notice the white bulbs are the big variety – nice touch.   J-O-Y, definitely!

Don’t limited yourself to just using your ornaments to adorn your tree.  Hang them in front of your windows, attach them to a wreath, hook them to your drapery treatments, dangle them from your wall sconces or chandeliers…. the opportunities or endless!


via Cottage Instincts

The homeowner here is working with and not against his/her gray brick.  Really a stunning, calming effect.


via Echoes of Laughter

More nature – love it!  This is a good lesson on using what you have – eg. the desert tier to showcase glass ornaments and add a punch of color.  And don’t overlook the use of stacked books to give height to an item that needs a little boost to be noticed.  This is one trick that I admit I overuse.  I can’t help myself!


via Cottage Hill

More draping of beaded garland – I’m definitely going to attempt that.  (Wonder if I’ll have enough beads left once I’ve finished the tree??)  Using the ceramic and glass birds is a wonderful idea – very woodland.  And of course you know I love seeing the use of picture frames in nontraditional ways!


via House & Home

How great is this?  A row of simple metal trees and the use of the floor directly on the hearth for two topiary trees.  You know I don’t like all white interiors but I appreciate the simplicity of this fireplace decor and the punch it brings to the room.  Love, love, love those trees – I need to figure out how to make them for next year!


via Google Images

The look of a cedar wreath against a stone backdrop is just classic to me.  Since this wreath is not dripping with ornaments or Christmas ribbon, I’d be tempted to leave it up during the remaining frosty months.  Love the simple groupings strategically placed on the mantle.  Don’t forget the punch of color – with the help here of a Poinsettia!


via Home Goods

Again, not my color palette but it’s a great lesson…..big statement pieces, add height, create drama….. the goals of any effective mantle/fireplace decorating scheme.


Google Image

I have boxes of pine cones that I’ve collected over the years and while they may not show up in the indoor mantle scheme, they’ll likely have a role in the outdoor one.

Just a couple more days…… tree, mantles, front entrance, back deck ……getting excited about putting my Christmas decorating ideas into action.  Oh ya, unpack first…then decorate.  I better keep repeating that to myself!

I can still be reached here! How are your holiday plans coming along?


Pumpkin Invasion

27 Oct

While I’m not a Halloween loving individual (I love all things sparkly & pretty)    I have carved my share of pumpkins over the years.  While on a recent jaunt around cyberspace I started collecting some favorite pumpkin snaps I’d like to share.


Now wouldn’t your party guests be impressed if this scene was ablaze in your fireplace!  No stoking required.


via Country Living



Simple pumpkin basket.  Easy to do yet a lovely way to display flowers or other foliage.  Nice.


via Martha Stewart


Hey, I remember decoupage!   A good example of where less is more.  Never thought I would ever think of a pumpkin as stylish!


via Midwest Living


And if orange doesn’t fit into your decór……


via Country Living


Ooooh, getting shiny!  So much more of an impact when you’ve got a grouping.


via Country Living


And sparkly!




Does it have to be scary?  How about silly!  A Mouse Motel!


via Martha Stewart



Wonderful front porch or step decoration.  House numbers!  Wonder if that’s glow in the dark paint?


via Midwest Living


Couple of candy bowl ideas.




via Martha Stewart



Here’s another non-carving idea.  Paint your pumpkin with flat black paint, let dry and then with the handle end of a spoon, scrape away the paint in the design of your desire!  Cool!


via Good Housekeeping





via Martha Stewart


And if you are ready to invest in some serious carving tools…… you too can work magic like this……



via Martha Stewart





I’ve never thought of turning pumpkins on their sides!  Clever!

via Martha Stewart



Here’s one that I think I would like to try, a pumpkin totem.



What was in the bowl before candy?  Mini-pumpkins of course!

via Good Housekeeping



Pumpkin votive holders.  Simple with a nice punch of fall color.


via Good Housekeeping



OMGosh, now I’m craving pumpkin pie!

What do you have in store for your pumpkin(s)?


Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – thoughtful design simply works.

Wishing you a safe and happy Halloween.














Gift Certificates – Friday’s Smile

24 Sep

Here is a brilliant idea from Monica Ewing over at Craftynest.


A set of gift certificates with titles like;  “Top 10 Reasons I Love You”,  “Top 10 Favorite Things About You” and “Top 10 Gifts I’d Buy You If I Had a Million Dollars”.  Monica has designed them herself and offers a free download here.

Monica suggests you “print on legal size paper, fill out, tie with a ribbon, and give to a loved one for Christmas”.

Big Smiles all Around!

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – thoughtful design simply works.  For help making design work for you please email me here for an on-line consultation or if you are local please call 204.620.6202

Book Pages Wreath

23 Sep

I seem to be seeing these everywhere on the net lately.  Not sure if this is a new craft project or an old one that has been resurrected.  Regardless I think the really bushy examples were the best and  the idea of using old sheet music is brilliant.  What better way to justify all those hours spent in front of the t.v.! 🙂

via Altar'd

via Apartment Therapy

via Living with Lindsay

Tutorial here courtesy of blogger “Living with Lindsay”.

Simple Changes or Complete Transformations – thoughtful design simply works.  For assistance making design work for you please email me here for an on-line consultation or if you are local please call 204.620.6202