Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Twelve Month Mantle

I have slipped up!  I though that I had already written about my mantle challenge, but I see that I had not even posted at all about it.  Ah how sad that it got away from me.  Well, no time like the present to catch you up on that.  It occurred to me as I was putting away the Christmas decorations how much I miss the color and sparkle of those decorations.  The house suddenly seems less magical and alive.  Because we spend so much time in the living room, and our view is directed toward the fireplace, the mantle is a prime focal for decor.  ...What?!!!  I never shared a photo of the Christmas mantle?  Well,. here it is...

This was standard for years, and this past year I decided that it would be nice to tweak it a little.  I had been saving a fallen branch (I am just compulsive that way) and decided it would be interesting to use it in some way.  I dabbed white paint over the branch, and used nails that usually hold pictures, to hang the branch with fine fishing line.  Then, I cut stars out of those pieces of cardboard that you find in various retail products.  I could have used cereal boxes, but this kitchen warrior does not buy that sort of processed food.  I used a punch to make a hole for hanging.  Then, I spray painted them silver and when they were dry dabbed them with some Gesso.  That was not necessary, but I wanted to get some texture and maybe relate them to the white branch.  ...Kinda like clouds and kinda shabby chic too. Next, I strung the stars to varying lengths of invisible nylon thread and wrapped them to the branch.  Wrapping the branch about three or four times held just fine, and when dismantled was easy to remove.

 My plan included adding a string of tiny lights, but they refused to light this year.  ...But never mind!

SO, when January came along and Christmas went back into boxes, I just couldn't bear to hide all the cheer away.  There was one box of decorations that had been ignored for many, many years.  It held old wooden shapes that my father had made from a craft project in some woman's magazine.  It was a table centerpiece with cookie cutter trees and children.  Somehow there was never room on the table for that.  Yet here they were, and perfect for the mantle as a January scene of starry forest night. 

I liked that so much that I decided to challenge myself to keep the branch all year, and change the decor to honor every month of the year.  Now, here we are into the last day of February, and I must share what happened this month before it's gone too.  

So what is in store for March?  Dunno yet, but I suspect it will have something to do with Leprechauns and shamrocks, pots of gold or maybe the first hints of spring and nature shaking off the winter.

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