A post about holiday décor is better late than never right? I'm sure you can all empathize with a cray-cray holiday schedule! So here it is, my 2012 holiday themed mantel.
The supplies were pretty simple (and cheap - hooray!). They include some DIY graphic holiday art made here, some various vases and wine bottles from around the house, pine cones (shamefully from Michaels), deer antlers drug out from my hubby's father's shed (regretfully only borrowed while we find a good way to display them at the hunting shack), some candle holders, and wicker balls. The only thing purchased out of this assortment was the paint for the art project and again regretfully the pine cones. I mean what kind of northern Minnesota woman can't wrangle up some pine cones *hangs head in shame*. The cones were around $3.00 and the graphic art came in at $17.00 equaling a $20-ish dollar holiday mantel makeover.
I spray painted the pine cones red and white, and left some of them raw. I spray painted a glass vase (originally from the dollar store for my wedding décor and a wine bottle). Then I took everything off the mantel to start with a clean slate.
After some fussin' and mussin' here is what I came up with! When the graphic art was on the mantel you could see less of the shine and it looked more matte.
I started with the graphic art in the middle and made a somewhat symmetrical arrangement with an antler and a cluster of three pieces on each side. The left side had two of the vases and a cylinder vase (also from the dollar store for my wedding - see you really CAN re-use your wedding stuff.....well maybe not all of it) filled with natural pine cones.
Next I strung up the pine cones alternating in a pattern of raw, white, and red. I strung up the cones with some twine I had around the house. Underneath I hung some red stockings we had bought last year during the holiday season.
To string the cones I simply estimated how much twine I would need and laid out the pine cones with adequate spacing. I then wrapped the twine around the pine cones several times to secure them and moved onto the next cone. They took about 3-4 coats of light spray paint to be fully covered.
Some other holiday tidbits I wanted to share was some Christmas presents for my girlie-friends and some present wrapping ideas. I used doilies from Michaels to stamp holiday designs on. For my girlfriends I did a bottle of olive oil (in garlic, Tuscan herb, and basil) from the Olive Grove in Mendota Heights, MN. This is an amazing store where you can sample olive oil and balsamic vinegars and they bottle them fresh on site! I also included a package of fresh made noodles from Cossetta's Italian Market in St. Paul, MN - the place to go for amazing pastas, cheeses, and breads! What I love about these noodles is they are made the way my grandmother used to make noodles when my mother was a child (because every good Italian has an excellent home made noodle recipe up their sleeve). You would make them very long and after they dried you would crack them in half to make them the size regular noodles are.
Also for wrapping I used simple brown paper (cost effective AND I can use it all year) with the stamped doilies wrapped around it. I also used some simple brown raffia ribbon to tie the packages. It reminds me of The Sound of Music lyric "brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things". So simple and classic!
Lastly I wanted to share some of my favorite Christmas ornaments with you. One of my favorite things about Christmas is decorating the tree. I like a tree with a lot of funky and eclectic ornaments. This is because I am very sentimental about my ornaments because of the meanings and stories behind them. This ornament is a bird carved by a very good family friend who has since passed away. I remember him every time I put up this ornament and smile!
My mother took up world travel as a hobby several months ago. Not only do I get to look at very, very, veeerrrry long power point presentations upon her arrival back home (love you mom) BUT I usually get an amazing ornament from a different country (yay me!). This lovely beaded bird came from New Zealand on one of her trips several years ago.
Since I loved that ornament soo much it inspired her to get me one of my favorite ornaments from this year! Hope everyone had a happy holiday season filled with joy, laughter, and love!