Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fall Nesting/Fireplace Mantle

Fall Nesting in Progress! 

Like many of you, I have been fluffing up our nest for Fall. I just love the autumn season (I love it so much that I convinced my husband to marry me in October!)...the sights, the sounds, the aromas! And even though it is 98 degrees today (101 degrees yesterday) I'm dreaming of apple cider mulling, pumpkin bread baking, and turkey basting! A girl can dream, right?!!!

As we gently slip into Fall, I have been tackling lots of home maintenance duties as well as a few easy decor projects. This week, I have been focusing on our family room. This room gets a lot of wear and tear. It is open to our kitchen and serves as a gathering place before and after school as well as after dinner. In fact, we're together in this room even more now, as we recently imposed some "after-dinner" rules (as suggested by my sister) with regard to media usage.

Needless to say, I had a lot of heavy-duty cleaning to do...windows, couches, hardwood flooring, etc., from a summer spent almost entirely inside.  I was able to give proper attention to these much needed projects while the older two were at school and our youngest down for a nap. (Oh how I have come to LoVe nap time!)

My fireplace mantle is still a work in progress, but nearly complete. I am looking for a tall object(s) (I'm thinking candlesticks) to place next to my vintage window with wreath, but here is how I've arranged my mantle so far

In the evening, when the candles are lit, the image of leaves dancing grace our walls.
I am especially pleased with how my bow turned out that is secured to the ribbon hanging the wreath.  I spent several hours both watching YouTube tutorials and practicing creating large/full bows.  Yes, I still need some practice, but for my first attempt I think it turned out nice.

Below, is a Pinterest project that I recreated this weekend.  I still want to embellish the hurricane lamp with a bit of twine or raffia, but I am again pleased with how this project turned out.  My biggest expenses were the investment in the hurricane lamp and candle (which smells heavenly by the way...Mulled Apple Cider by Better Homes and Gardens (Walmart)).  The popcorn kernels, beans, and peas were about $1.00 per bag!

I thought this was an extremely affordable decor project for a stay-at-home mama on a budge.  Plus, I've got grand plans for this hurricane lamp come Christmas.  Plan to see it recycled frequently over the course of the next year!

Pinterest project that I recreated...hurricane lamp, candle and beans.  So quick and easy!

Lately,  I've been putting a lot of thought into how I decorate (or don't!) my home for the seasons.  For some reason, probably from surfing around in blogland, in recent years I have tried to imitate others' sense of style in my own home.  This has left me feeling a bit unsettled...confused...and exhausted!  It's tiring trying to be someone you aren't!

So, I have decided to go back to decorating the way I like...

...it may not be vintagey-whites...all shabby chic...I may not be using the color de jour (you won't see any grey in our home)...or all neutrals...

...but it will be all me.

Farmhouse-y...with an eclectic mix of French Country/Primitives/Fresh Vintage decor, and lots of color  Also, I think you should just purchase/create items that you really love...that speak to your heart...without worry as to whether or not it is "in" or meets a certain style criteria.

I recently stumbled upon this passage from Scripture and loved it enough to memorize it.  It is a new favorite passage...

1 Corinthians, 7: 17 (The New American Bible)
"Only, everyone should live as the Lord has assigned, just as God called each one.  I give this order in all the churches."

At this time in my life, I'm called to live as a homemaker...wife and mother to three...NON-homeschool, but Parochial-schooling parent...raising my children in a three--parent household (God, my husband, and me)...throwing color on the walls..and seasonal decor on the mantles.  We are also eating cleaner...living simpler...loving harder...and continuously learning to die-to-self.




  1. Your mantel is looking great. I love that pinterest project and plan on doing it as well. I love how it looks. I'm right there with you on the current decorating fads. I hate the all white look and the mostly grey look. I like color in my home and decorations that are personal and interesting. Unfortunately my husband only likes earth tones on the walls because I want to paint the kid's rooms bright and cheerful.

  2. You always make everything look so great! To be honest we love you even if you don't homeschool. LOL I wish I had your flare for decor.

  3. Each fall I get so busy with my children. That I fail to have the time needed to decorate or even give it any thought at all. This will be probably the first time in years that I will be doing something.

    I love how you have quoted a great scripture that fits the season of life you are in and that I am in. Each of use has our different time for doing different things.

    I love how your mantle looks.

  4. Hi Jennifer and Neen!

    Jennifer, yes,the bean/corn/pea project was so easy and my kids loved helping out. Even Luke, our youngest, who is the same age as your little guy! Just had to watch to be sure he didn't stick any up his nose!

    Neen, you always make me laugh! Thanks for loving us even is we don't homeschool! ;)

  5. Hi Jenny Lynn,

    Thanks for dropping by! I totally understand about getting so caught up in life that we run out of "time" to actually get the decorating done! That's why this year, I've pledged to do better this Fall and Winter with my holiday decorating. It means so much to my children and husband to see our home so warmly decorated...and that takes time. Might as well get it done before the hustle and bustle of Fall takes over. That way, like you said, we can truly enjoy the season in all its splendor!

  6. It sure looks great, Valerie! I just love seeing what everyone does in their homes. When we moved south and found ourselves without a basement, I ended up dispensing of so many holiday decorations. I just couldn't fit them all. I was afraid the heat would melt things up in the attic! I did keep a few of my faves though. May your home continue to be filled with joy and love!

  7. Love this time of year too, your Fall decor looks great, I like the beans/corn-filled lamp too, very cute! (Although Elliot would always be asking for me to pop it since he LOVES popcorn!:)
    I think it's great that you're resolved to live/decorate by what suits YOU, comparison IS the thief of joy!:) I'm sure your family LOVES all the special little touches you've made!

    You have to check out my blog today, there's something I think you'll like!!!

    ps I'll still be your friend even though you don't homeschool! :D


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