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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Woodland Winter Mantel..and NFL Fooball

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Sometimes, decorating for Christmas in a house full of men has it's when they question why I'm doing it at all. Especially when I'm doing it on Sunday the middle of a football game.

The groaning and complaints about ladders blocking the television and vacuuming drowning out the sound  got me thinking....

I have come to the conclusion that my decorating for Christmas is the holiday equivalent of a Sunday afternoon of NFL Football. Yep. They're the same.

Here's my view: I've decided that it probably doesn't matter if your favorite team is playing or not.  It also may not matter who wins. It's about the enjoyment factor that comes from watching virtually every team in the NFL pair off and play for most of the day on Sunday and often, Monday night.

I apply that same principle to decorating:  One part of my holiday enjoyment factor involves decorating. In my opinion, garland, tiny white lights and glitter are as much a part of  Christmas decorating as stereo surround and big screen television are to the Sunday afternoon NFL experience.

It doesn't matter that the fireplace in our living room has literally, never been the almost ten years that we've lived here. Nor does it matter that I'm rarely in the room except to listen to my sons play the piano and occasionally, to chase the dust bunnies around with a cloth and the vacuum.

What matters is that my holiday enjoyment factor  is raised by having the room decorated. Admittedly, tackling the living room mantel (yeah, I know...bad football reference, I have no defense) wasn't high on my list of Christmas decorating priorities this year.

I've been meaning to get gas logs installed (for the last 9 years) so that, on those rare occasions when I sit still for a couple of songs, I could have a five minute fire and then turn it off like I turn off the lights, ten minutes later.

Nice thought...Isn't it?

Not gonna least not this year.

So I had to figure out a way to block ( again)  the huge, ugly opening with the unattractive grate and gas pipe in it while spending an amount of money that is commensurate with the amount of time that I spend in the room which I figure should be around$60. I don't know for certain but I'm guessing that this is less than the cost of two tickets to sit in  really bad seats, in a cold stadium, with no food or drinks, watching football for an afternoon. Right!?

With that in mind, here's how I got the look for less than the cost of two tickets to the Packer/Bear game this Sunday: 
Already on hand:
  • concrete urn from the front porch
  • lanterns
  • birch logs (you could use ANY kind of logs or sticks)
  • pine cones (some painted, some glittered, some plain)
  • quilt batting or faux "snow blanket"
  • birch covered candles
  • brown stick lights
  • 10 year old Costco garland
  • dark gray mat board
  • dried hydrangea from my garden
  • silver ornaments purchased last year from Target at 80% off ($1.77 for a box of  40 ornaments)
Purchased this year:
  • Mixed greens (you could cut these from evergreens in your yard if you have some. I'm not that lucky). $9
  • Black and white enlargement of a photo that I took of the angel in my garden (Kinkos) $6
  • One length of pre-lit frosted garland $20
  • Two frosted "picks" for the sconces $20

I covered the mantel and the hearth with "snow".  For the hearth, I filled my outdoor urn with fresh greens, pine cones and stick lights. Added a length of pre-lit garland, lanterns and a stack of birch logs. For the mantel, I used a length of frosted pre-lit garland filled with dried hydrangea, silver plastic balls and pine cones; I scattered and stacked birch logs of different heights and pine cones on top of the "snow", covered the existing picture with a photocopy enlargement of a black and white photo which I took and added boughs to the sconces.

According to my calculations, this means that I have about $5 left over from my budget.

Hey, maybe I'll get a nice bowl of mints for the table...

You know...the holiday decorating equivalent of a Sunday afternoon bag of nachos and a jar of salsa. 


Linking to:
Cherished Bliss
Embracing Change
Finding Silver Pennies


  1. That is beautiful and very classy! Love the birch logs!

  2. It is so gorgeous and I love the candles in the lantern. They look like they are pearled on the outside and yellow on the inside.

  3. It looks beautiful, Kimberly! I just love the urn and how you used it. It's a beautiful room, too. The woodland scene you created is really lovely.

  4. So beautiful... Love the logs! I wish I had thought to get some before we had so much snow lol :) Great job my friend! Your house is beautiful!

    1. This is gonna sound crazy but I sorted through 1/2 cord of wood to find logs...and now I "save them"'s who I am. Thank you, Kimber, YOUR house is beautiful! xo

  5. This is classically Christmasy without being over the top... absolutely beautiful.

  6. So gorgeous--I love all the pretty greenery!

  7. Very classy! I love all the greenery and the lanterns. The arrangement in the center of the fireplace looks perfect. Thanks for linking up to our Home for the Holidays link party.

  8. Loved reading this! And I LOVE the look - I would sit in that room all day! Just walking by would make me happy and all warm and fuzzy inside! This really should be in a magazine.

  9. OMG. THis room is seriously ridiculous! I love it all! Great job! And thanks for linking up and joining our party at Home for the Holidays with Danielle. I am co-hosting tomorrow and will be featuring Christmas trees...hope you can come over and link up! -Kennesha,

  10. Oh my word - everything is amazingly beautiful! Your home is stunning!
    Thanks for linking up to the Christmas Mantel Linky Party at Embracing Change!

  11. Wow!!! Your are so talented. Love the wintery feel.

    - The Tablescaper

  12. Just beautiful! You have given me some great ideas for my fireplace decor, especially the empty black hole part! LOL! Thanks! You are so talented! Ana

  13. I just followed a pin of your mantle & HAD to stop to tell you how beautiful everything looks!!
    Just magnificent!! BRAVO!

  14. OK Really now! You have to have the finance job at the IT company to afford a concrete angel that large in the backyard in the first place. Also you forgot to mention the large ornate frame around said angel photo. Cha ching! Yes it is creative, but rather opulent.

    1. The concrete angel was a birthday gift from all of my family and friends for my 40th birthday. The frame around the photo was $40 at an estate sale. Having really fun things doesn't always take a lot of money...just a good eye and a passion for finding things at a great price! (of course, FREE is always best!)

  15. What a gorgeous room. A shame you don"t use it more. I love the angel photo you took. You could sell prints to finance more decorating!

    1. Hi Nancy! Thanks! We felt the same way. We sold that home about three months ago and have taken on a new project which involves a smaller house so we'll actually use the rooms that we build much more often.

  16. Just beautiful!!! All of it.....including your windows!!! I really like the antique gold rods and the sheers and the 'wooden molding'(what's it called?) above the windows. May I ask where you found the sheers?

    1. Thanks! The sheers were sewn from embroidered polyester fabric about 8 years ago. I wish that I could tell you the name of the fabric but I don't have it any more. Sorry about that.

  17. I must agree with your comparison. I've thought the same re: a women spending $$$$ on jewelry the Hub thinking why? then turning around and spendingg $$$$ tv or electronics. The men see as much value in decorating as I do in watching a football game. It's a tradeoff. Beautiful job on your decor, I'd much rather look at it than the tv.

  18. I am so happy I was finally able to find the picture again. I have been searching for the picture a friend posted on facebook because I just love the feel of this room. I am working on creating the "feel" in my new living room. It is just so joyful yet peaceful. I love it.

  19. I love this room . I wish I saw this before we got snow. This room is very warm and cozy. I could sit in here and read a good book.


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