Behold! My Christmas Mantel

Behold! My Christmas Mantel

So last week I mentioned the other projects I decided I needed to do in the midst of holiday preparations. You know, all the things you’ve been putting off or didn’t even notice before they suddenly seem urgent. One of them was repainting my former kitchen cupboard door turned shutter above my fireplace.

You might remember that I had originally painted it blue because I didn’t have any primer. We were having company over that night and that was all I had on hand that would stick to the cabinet like primer. As luck would have it, I ran out of time to paint the third shutter a top coat of white like the others so it had to stay blue. Whatever.

So, while the middle shutter was a lovely shade of blue, after a few weeks of living with its blueness it just wasn’t working for me. I did like the idea of the third shutter being a color instead of white though. So, I got out my new favorite green paint mixed with some brown toner and voila, I now have an aged green shutter.

Behold! My Christmas Mantel

Still haven’t painted my swine walls (OINK!) and I am still considering fabric to possibly slipcover my chairs and ottomans, but I am much happier overall now just having my green shutter. It doesn’t take much to make me happy. Decorating is definitely a slow process of pulling together what I have around my house. Picking out everything from scratch before I even began would be easier, but I enjoy the challenge of making things work as I go.

Behold! My Christmas Mantel

So, there you have it, the mantel and its touch of Christmas. To keep it inexpensive and simple, I used mostly things I already had…my HomeGoods lanterns, old garland, my Pier One apples from fall, and clear glass candlesticks to hold up my blue glass ornaments. And I finished it off with a natural twig wreath to balance out the pretty and round out the rectangular shapes. That wreath will work all winter.

Some of you asked about the stockings when I showed them last week. They are Pottery Barn but I added some of my grandma’s doilies to the girls’ stockings to pretty them up and make them unique. Easy peasy. No sewing either, just tucked them around the cuff.

Coming up, home tour and more Christmas decorating from around the house and around the web!

Quick Fall Nesting around the House

Quick Fall Nesting around the House

I have had four kids fly the coup in the last two weeks…everyone is taking off for college or their own place! While part of me is sad to see them go (I really miss my girls!), part of me is jumping for joy. Finally I can reclaim all that space and begin to get organized! With five kids in the house all summer, it was getting a bit crazy around here. Now I am ready to sss….lll…oooo…wwww down a bit and settle in!

It has been a long year so far of moving my family in and out of homes, apartments and dorms and getting the church underway — I am READY to curl up with a good book and take a long winter’s nap!

Most of my home nesting so far has been just moving kids out of the house, not much of the fun decorative kind of stuff! But I have done a few things that make me feel like fall is finally here! Since we haven’t been sure where we were going to live long term, we really haven’t done much in the way of all out decorating. But even when you are in limbo it is important to do what you love in some form or another!

Quick Fall Nesting around the House

I already showed you that I hung my apple wreath last week on my front porch, and this week I got around to putting my pine cones in the container. Ah, much more fall-like! It is a happy greeting by the front door.

I want my house to feel like a quirky old cottage at the beach, even in the winter. The kind of beach house you would go to and enjoy laying around by the fire on a stormy night. I want to keep some of that coastal ambience all year round but still flow with the seasons we have here in the Northwest. That means adding more layers and warmth in the cooler months and taking them away in the summer. I like my home to reflect the seasons!

Quick Fall Nesting around the House

Ok, then I went and bought a new entry mat. Always a must on my list! I’m not fond of grungy old entry mats. Now I just need to fill up that iron kettle with something fallish. Maybe some white pumpkins or some firewood.

Quick Fall Nesting around the House

I finally unpacked a few more boxes from our move last January…and found the little quote from The Lord of the Rings we’ve always hung by our front door. For now, it sits on the entry table! It always makes me smile since I love to hibernate in the house and be cozy and safe.

Quick Fall Nesting around the House

I picked up some fall twiggy things from Pier One and replaced my springy/summery branches! They have such pretty bright green little thistles on them. The burst of green just makes me happy. I love green. These twigs will be here until after Thanksgiving and then my sparkly bare twigs will take their place!

Quick Fall Nesting around the House

I bought my new fall candles from Target and they came with little buttons on stretchy string. I thought to myself, “self, what should you do with these?” Yes, I do carry on little conversations with myself like that. I am always afraid to leave embellishments on my candles for fear of burning the house down so I wanted to take them off and use them somewhere else. I took the little button and stretchy string and looked around until I found the perfect spot, right on my glass entry vase with the twigs! It warmed up the glass and gave it a little personality too.

Quick Fall Nesting around the House

The lighting looks terrible in this photo, but I switched some of my summer shells from my jar out for bright green fall apples. I decided this year to use faux apples from Pier One because the real ones turn into applesauce if you keep the lid on! And then I hung my colorful bird plates on the wall.

I haven’t hung much on the walls yet because if we get to live here permanently, those underbelly of a pink pig walls are going to be the first to go. The pink seems to make everything I try to do look kind of, well, pink. I have nothing against pink, it just isn’t the color I want. I would love to add a creamy white painted paneling (since I miss all the real wood walls in my old house!) on this entry wall. Sigh. That is my dream.

Quick Fall Nesting around the House

Then, I got a package from Wall Candy Arts and inside were a number of different adhesive chalkboard surfaces! I was wondering what I would do with them when I had this little brainstorm. I had an old frame laying around and had just happened to have bought some sticky backed velcro-like picture hangers.

In just a few minutes, I had created a “leftovers” chalkboard. In the fall I tend to cook a lot more from scratch and we end up with various odds and ends in the fridge. I love to be able to write down what I am putting in there to inspire someone to eat the leftovers! I love the chalkboard surface too, it is really smooth and easy to write on. No, I didn’t get paid to talk about it and I won’t get paid if you order some for yourself. I just happened to use the gift they sent me!

Quick Fall Nesting around the House

Finally, I dove right in to my Procrastinator’s Project. There is no other way to get things done — especially dreaded things like painting. This is just the undercoat. I have already done my top coat and will be sanding and doing a finishing coat tomorrow! It looks dramatically different than my before photo. I’ll show you more later! So, how are your projects coming? It is not too late to join in!

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