Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Spring Mantel Ideas From The Little Yellow Cottage

 We are in the final hours before it's officially spring!!  It is tomorrow.  Really, really spring.  Hip, hip, hooray.  Now, if the weather will only cooperate and admit that it is spring by warming up and staying that way. It would be more than appreciated by most everyone.   Dan did mow our grass for the first time today, but it was mostly onions and sprouty things.  He also cut the monkey grass so it will come back all nice and beautiful for the summer.  Don't know what monkey grass is?  Neither did I until we moved to Nashville.  I had never heard it called that and don't ask me why it's called that because I don't honestly know.  I know it as liriope.  It makes lovely borders and there is lots and lots of it used in landscaping here.  It grows very prolifically.

Thought I would share some more of my spring decorations from the little yellow cottage.  Most of the pictures are of our mantel and the sofa table.  I reused some things from last year and created some new ones for this year.

The painted banner is new this year.  In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I used a lot of pink and green because it makes me think spring.  I painted the banner using acrylic craft paints and went with tulips for my design.  The banner itself is a linen like fabric I bought on a sale table at JoAnn's.  I cut it all into banner shaped pieces and pull out some when I want to create a new banner.  I just sketched some tulips on the fabric with pencil and then painted in the detail.  I am not Michaelangelo, just a craft type painter, but the tulips look so pretty on the mantel.  I chose the word "bloom" because it is indicative of spring, awakening, and renewal.  Here are some close ups.

 On the mantel itself is a beautiful bunny I bought last year at Tuesday Morning.  Mr. Bunny is surrounded by some of the left over lime green fun fur yarn from the wreath I posted about yesterday and some of the book page eggs I made.  I think that yarn makes awesome "grass" and it doesn't shed everywhere.  It can be wound up and used again next year.  Even better.

 On the right side of the mantel is my little blue bird and a little bird house that I purchased unfinished for a dollar at Michael's.  I painted it with Annie Sloane chalk paint and waxed it with dark wax to age it.  I love bird houses and bird cages.  Again, don't ask me why.  They just appeal to me.  The little bird's nest came as a set of three that I found for just a couple of dollars at Tuesday Morning.  Yes, I shop there a lot.  You can find some beautiful things at great prices.
Detail of the left side of the mantel.   I made the candle with writing on it by stamping some white tissue paper with a stamp that has french writing on it.  Cut the tissue to fit the candle, hot glue the seam.  Then using a heat source like a blow dryer, heat the tissue until it sticks to the candle.  Easy peasy.
Notice the green burlap ribbon that is on the mantel?  Found that at Wal-Mart in the craft section.  A bolt of it was only $4.98.  That is an excellent price if you have ever bought burlap ribbon and it is wired.  It made me happy, happy.

On the right side of the hearth is a sign that is really a cabinet door.  I painted the border and inset and lettered it with a beautiful zen saying that can be changed any time because the middle is chalkboard paint.  The proverb was chosen because it reminds me that we all need to slow down and not sweat the small stuff.  Beautiful things happen in their own time no matter what "we" do.

I made this sign from one of the $5.00 cabinet doors I bought at Habitat Re-Store a while back.  It has an inset panel that makes the border look like a picture frame which is awesome.  I painted the inset with black chalkboard paint so I can change the verse or thought when I want and it can be used vertically or horizontally.  The edges are painted with Annie Sloane chalk paint (which is NOT the same as chalkboard paint) and waxed with dark and light wax to give it an aged look.  It is done in duck egg blue which coordinates with the mirror to the left of the fireplace.
Doesn't that make a lovely changeable sign?  So easy.  No framing - just a little painting since it's all one piece.  The lettering was done with these.
These little jewels are chalk markers which you can purchase at most craft stores.  They are so much easier than trying to write with real chalk!!  My friend Jon K. told me about them when I saw a sign he had lettered and asked him how he did it.  It is wonderful when friends share information.  I had seen so many signs done on different blogs and wondered how in the world they did such fabulous lettering with regular chalk.  Chalk breaks and it gets all over everything, including your hands.  It's always too wide, or there is no point on the piece you want to use.  No matter how carefully you write, it is hard to be consistent.  These are super easy to use - like a marker - and they wash right off.  Perfect!
For the sofa table, I made a floral arrangement using a metal mesh basket I got at Target for $3.00 and some silk flowers from Michael's.  The basket looks like chicken wire which I love.  The hydrangea is one that I dried last fall.  I surrounded the basket with more of the book page eggs and some precious little moss bunnies that I found at Tuesday Morning.  They add an earthiness to the arrangement.

Look at those mossy little bunnies.  They are so symbolic of spring and new life.  They make me think of egg hunts and Easter morning and all the precious memories of our children and now grandchildren.  I miss those early morning egg hunts and all the excitement, don't you?
Well, that is the living room from the little yellow cottage for spring, 2013.  Hope it inspires you or gives you some ideas for things you can do to personalize your home.  Tomorrow, I will show you my favorite cabinet that I always decorate for each holiday and season.  It has several easy ideas for you!

I will close today's blog with a picture of the fireplace from a different angle.  Yes, I am pleased with how it looks.
These decorations will carry us through to summer.  I will remove the bunnies and make a few small changes, but that is all that will be necessary.  Consider using things that can serve a dual purpose when decorating, then you don't have to spend as much time, effort, and money each season.  Also, moving things around to a different location can make such a difference.  You don't have to keep buying new items each and every time.

 You have ideas to use, now go try something fun.  Happy Spring everyone.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes and the grass grows by itself.  Zen Proverb

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