Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mantel progression

I really don't decorate that much.  I don't have a closet with seasonal items that I bring out each year; I don't allot a certain amount monthly to purchase new and interesting "pretties".  I have some framed pieces that I've had for years that are meaningful to me that I switch out seasonally.  And I try to make do with what I have to change up my fireplace periodically.

So, this is what it's looked like for late summer, early fall.  The pastor that I worked with in Tulsa, OK gave me this monarch print when I was ordained.  I love the print, but I mostly love the the incredible man who gave it to me.  He died shortly after he retired.  I still think about the impact he had on me and many, many others in his ministry in Tulsa.  The print has some hints of green that I tried to pick up with the candles and the plant.  There is a small vase that I made with my step-mother, as well as the cute bird clock that was a clearance item on MarketDay of all places!

Well, now it's October and my tween-age daughter says Halloween is her most favorite holiday.  So, I needed to make the mantel a bit "creepier".  I kept most of what I had, but added her favorite skeleton candle holder.  I covered some of my old "Happy Hollister" books (did anyone else read them as a child?  I loved them and pick them up at garage sales whenever I see them) to add some height to this great pottery piece that my mom made.  When we find cool hawk feathers, we add them to the vase.

We may write some spooky titles on the covered books.  She wants "Book of Death" on one of them.  My husband says "Sleepy Hollow" and I'm thinking "The Tell Tale Heart".  For now, they're just plain.  But I thought it needed a bit more color and so...Two little pumpkin candle holders.  We made these for a classroom party when the daughter was in 1st grade!  They are just baby food jars covered in orange, brown and  yellow tissue paper.  We added construction paper "jack-o-lantern" eyes and mouth and mod-podged the whole thing.  Added a little pipe cleaner stem and you have a pumpkin!

So, that's my fireplace mantel progression.  What does yours look like?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

It's pretty bad, right?  This bench used to be on my mother's patio...about 20 years ago!  We inherited it when we moved to Urbana, IL and she was downsizing.  It sat on our covered front porch for about 3 years.  Then we moved to Northern, IL and it's been in our backyard through the beating sun, snowstorms and rain.  It's a little worse for wear, I know.  I've been thinking about fixing it for years (procrastination is kind of a problem for me!)

Well, no more.  I finally spent about 4 hours and this old, beaten up bench that looked like it needed to go to the dump now looks like this

All it took was a little sanding, some new screws to tighten it up, and some leftover trim paint for the house.  I think she looks gorgeous now!  Once she's dried I'll add a few pillows and a blanket.  I plan to enjoy a glass of wine and my book on that spot this evening. 

I spent about 4 years procrastinating this little project that really didn't even take a full 4 hours to complete.  That's crazy, and it's inspired me to get busy on some other painting projects.  Coming soon, repainted antique apple boxes from my grandfather's grocery store, and an updated marble top table that really needs something!