Time for a change…


Through the seasons I’ve been sharing my mantel place with you.  For years, I only had two mantel decorations.  One was Christmas, and the other was for the remaining 11 months of the year.  I’m the type of decorator who does not change a great deal.  I set up the room, and then it’s that way for the next several decades.  Birthday cards or flowers come and go….but it mostly stays the same.

The last few years I’ve noticed a change.  For some unknown reason, I’ve wanted to reflect either the seasons outside or the mood within.

Outside my window the rhododendrons and azaleas paint most lawns with amazing colors from pale pink to blood red.  Trees bloom, and the irises amaze.  I have bamboo and azaleas from the front yard, but the rest in warm browns.


To the left is an elephant and baby made from clay by my husband.  While he usually likes to do representational art, the clay pods to the right are hand made by him as well.

In the center is a beautiful art piece in steel given to us by a dear friend and art lover, Peg Pink.


A hope for spring


I’ve been sharing my decorated fireplace mantel over the last few seasons…fall to winter to spring.

Bunnies, chicks, and eggs celebrate March and maybe a little April.

Outside is rainy and windy, very un-spring-like, if you ask me.  So inside, I decorate and pretend it is already spring.  I drag out my ‘spring’ container and start organizing.  I incorporate some seasonal platters, gifts, and plates.  Instead of buying more, I try to go around the house and see what else I can include.  I carefully display my grandmother’s sun hat. The garden hand rake is my dad’s and reminds me of his love for gardening.


Winter – Rest


The living room mantle is the focal point of our small living room.  During Christmas my angel collection comes out of the attic and the living room explodes with color and dozens of winged creatures.  Tiles, sculptures, pillows, wall hangings….all filled with angels (I stopped counting after 150).  I enjoy seeing them and more than a few have their own stories.

While the Christmas season is filled with its own energy of smells, sounds, and images…time does not stand still.

The new year comes, angels are boxed and returned to the attic, and the living room opens up.

I decorate the mantle differently for the deepest part of winter.


Calm, classic, beautiful.  Restful to the eyes.

Welcome winter!


Happy Halloween

Hubs and our Halloween decorating used to start after we left work on the day.  We would light some candles, throw sheets over the furniture, turn on the porch light, and greet the kiddos.

Once we had grands, it became a different story.  We now begin early and have eager hands helping.  Since Alaska, I’ve been drawn to ravens and crows.  So when I spotted this picture from Better Homes and Gardens (.com) I thought….oooooooooo    Below is the picture from the site.


My take on it:


I used a purchased faux pumpkin because I am NOT going to put those rhinestones on every year.  However, I’m pleased with the grouping and it sits on one side of our fireplace mantel.


The top part of the front window has sheer material with figures that show from either side (inside the house and out).  I purchased the paper cats, but crafted the pumpkins using black paper on either side of sheer orange material.  A pumpkin garland tops it off.


2015 is eventful because we attended two pumpkin carvings: One was a neighborhood event, with a delightful group sitting around a table carving pumpkins and sharing stories. Robert’s pumpkin is great.  Mine…meh…I tried a new “shaving” tool and was not so pleased.  Sometimes it does not work out.


The second carving party was a large affair with outside pumpkin stations, inside carving tables, a potluck, and a face painter.  Robert’s bald head was too tempting for the face painter who asked if she could do his entire head.  Robert, such a good sport, said “Go for it!”



There were at least three generations of newbies and old friends to chat with.


Robert brought a “ghost” pumpkin and did a great job.  Since scary faces were to frighten away evil spirits, I thought I’d make a little sad pumpkin to scare away the blues.  Succcess.

This same party planner, used to line his sidewalk with rod iron plant hooks, holding faux pumpkins he carved with a rotary tool.  After a decade of holding the parties, he decided….no more parties (logistics alone — mercy!) and gave away most of his outside items.

We were the lucky recipients and have enjoyed them each year.  While he changed his mind about no longer hosting the parties, he knew his former pumpkins had become a tradition in our household. The grands can’t wait to put them out each year.  Robert and the grands also make balloon ghosts.


So we are set to go!  Candy in the pantry, pumpkins on the porch.  Neighborhood trees are graciously doing their part decorating the ground with all the colors you’d want for a Halloween landscape.

Happy Halloween to all!