My Christmas Mantel 2012

Last Christmas we were in a house that didn't have a fireplace.
I am so happy to have a mantel to decorate this year!!

Hmmm, I guess I'm going for a bit of a French Country look?
What do you think would be a good description of this style?

I fell in love with these deer from Pottery Barn last year.
I was crossing my fingers that they would still have some in stock after Christmas and
 I could get them on clearance.
They did!

I'm not totally convinced that gold deer and a gray mirror go together though.
I came close to painting the deer several times.
I couldn't think of anything to put in the mirrors place, so it stayed.
I'm going to tell you all about the mirror in January.

It's a little hard to see, but there are leaves tucked into my greenery that are a matte gold and I feel they help tie the gray and gold together.
I love to mix elegant and rustic together in my decorating.

The only thing missing are some pretty linen stockings.
Someday I will order some from Etsy.
My 13 year old son insists we use our bright red and green stockings with
 Santa and snowmen on them.
It is nice that tradition is important to him so I'm happy to indulge him.

Silver and copper acorn ornaments are nestled into the greenery on the mantel.

Christmas two years ago  I stenciled Joyeux Noel on an old rustic box (click here to see).
I propped some dollar store candles on tuna fish and green chili cans for height.
I then stuffed around them with paper towel and covered the paper toweling with moss.
I wrapped the candles in scrapbook paper and simply used stick pins in the back to hold the paper on.

I made the NOEL banner.
It's actually much cuter in person.
It is times like this I wish I had a fancier camera and the skills to use it. ;)
(Here's a tutorial for the banner)

My Kubu basket from World Market holds Restoration Hardware pillows and a sprig of greenery.
My Christmas tree is going next to the fireplace this year and I think it will look so pretty there.
I'll probably go get it this weekend.
Now I just have to finish the rest of the house!
p.s. I've had to turn on word verification for awhile. I'm getting a ridiculous amount of spam. Sorry!
I'm joining these wonderful Christmas Mantel Linky Parties:

Super Easy Wreaths

 I just adore this Martha Stewart photo of sweet evergreen wreaths hanging in a window.
You will be shocked to see how easy easy they are to make.

You simply hot glue live evergreen pieces to an embroidery hoop.
It's cheap too!
Shocking right?

I happen to know that it works too.
I made a Christmas wreath last year for my master bedroom using a similar method.

I cut a rectangle shape out of a cereal box and hot glued clippings from my tree onto it.
I wired on the Noel and hung it up with a ribbon.
It lasted well into January, because I kept forgetting to take it down.
When I first hung it above the bed I was concerned it might shed all over us while we were sleeping,
but it wasn't a problem.
I suppose it depends on how dry your house is.
I'm taking a wee blogging break while I decorate my home for Christmas.
I'll be back Dec. 1st to show you my mantel (or maybe the day before).


Salt & Pepper

Am I actually showing you a salt and pepper shaker makeover on my blog?
Uh, yes I am.

For many years I've owned this oak salt and pepper set.
I could have just bought a new set, but I love this pepper grinder.
Both s&p function really well.
So I wanted to keep them.
Right before we moved from Illinois I went on a painting frenzy.
Chalk paint is expensive and I couldn't move it, so I was looking around for things to paint.
Why not my salt and pepper set?
I mean they couldn't look any worse.
The color I used is called graphite.
This is before I applied dark wax.
 I actually don't like the color without the wax.

Once you you use clear then dark wax the color becomes much richer.
I guess I would call it charcoal gray.
I could have painted the set white, but then it would show dirty fingerprints all the time.

Now I'm showing you a close up of my salt shaker.
I feel like such a weirdo right now.

Hey, can't have my pepper grinder feeling left out!
Oh yes and as you can see I distressed the piece a bit after the paint dried.

I keep my salt and pepper set on a vintage butter dish.
It's a really pretty piece I found at a yard sale for $1.00.
I practically ran back to the car after I paid for it to make sure no one would take it from me.

I keep my kosher salt in this cute little jar from Anthropologie.
And now you know more about my salt and pepper than you ever wanted to know!

Silver Chalice

I really want one of those vintage silver trophies.
Even a nice reproduction would do.
But so far I haven't been able to find one.
So I got excited when I found this silver plated chalice in an antique shop for $10.00.
Not a trophy, but kind of trophyish looking.
As you can see, I got super duper creative and stuck a pumpkin in it for Fall. ;)
I am looking forward to changing it out for different holidays and seasons.
I'm sure you'll see it some where in my Christmas decorating.
I am SO going up into the attic this weekend and getting the decorations out!
I want to look over what I have and start brain storming decorating ideas.
Have a great weekend folks!!
p.s. If you live in Texas and have a blog, can you leave me a comment letting me know.
I have started a Texas Blogs Pinterest board and I want to make sure your blog is on there!
Thanks :)

Sweet Little Cow Pail

Shortly after we moved into our home in Texas this summer I needed to make a run to Home Depot for a couple of things.
When my husband found out my plans he told me he saw an Ace Hardware right down the street from us and suggested I may want to go there instead.
Since it was closer I decided to go ahead and check it out.
Well let me tell you, my husband made a BIG mistake suggesting I go to this store.
It turns out well over half of the store is home decor!!!!
Really, really, nice things all beautifully displayed.
So about once a month
 (when I need to regain a little sanity after being with my three year old all week)
I decide I really need some spray primer or ant spray or anything something.

I then browse around to my hearts content!
On my first trip I found this adorable pail made to look like a vintage evaporated milk can.
So cute!!
Right now the store is decorated for Christmas and let me tell you, it rivals anything the big department stores do.
It has some of the most amazing Christmas decorating I've ever seen.
I tried taking pictures for you guys, but my photos just don't do it justice.
So thanks for sending me to Ace honey!
mu ha ha!!!!

Blogger Home Tour: Rustic Farmhouse

This living room had me at "hello".
I'm sure you feel the same too, so I am very excited to share a peek into Rustic Farmhouse.
Melanie is a wife and mother of five who lives in Canada on 35 acres AND she has an apple orchard on the property!
I don't know if I'd like taking care of all those apples, but I sure would like eating them. :)
I think this may be the most dreamy living room I've ever seen!

Here's another view of the the living room.
I love the little office in front of the window.
The wood cupboard is 6'x6' which must hold all kinds of stuff.
But, it still looks wonderful.
How I love pieces that are both pretty and practical.

Melanie made the beautiful white slipcover for this chair.
I adore the chippy blue table.
Can you imagine a better place to sit and read?
Look, she's even left a magazine for us.
I love kitties and you will see some adorable, white, mischievous, kitties @ Rustic Farmhouse.

The wonderful farmhouse kitchen.
It was so hard to choose which photos to show you because this kitchen has so many great features.
I'll bet a lot of yummy apple baked goods are whipped up in this kitchen!

Farmhouse sink.
Go ahead....oooooh ,aaaaah.
Love the butcher block counter tops too.
I believe that is the apple orchard I spy out the window.
What a wonderful view to have while rinsing dishes!

Aren't the bead board walls beautiful.
I think I want every single accessory in this kitchen!

 There are  many, many, gorgeous cottage vignette's on Melanie's blog.
This is one of my favorites.
Ok people, wipe the drool off your chin now.
 Love me a farmhouse table.
I also want the shelving around the room.
I'm a big fan of the airy, white curtains Melanie has used throughout her home.

The big windows letting in lots of light are so nice too.
I think the mismatched chairs are such a charming look.
I'm sure when you have five kids you don't want anything to fussy to worry about.
But that doesn't mean your room can't still be beautiful.

The lovely master bedroom.
How cozy does this bed look?
I just want to snuggle down under the comforter.

 Here is one of Melanie's daughter's bedrooms.
I think it is pink perfection!
If I had a little girl I would want a room just like this for her.
Maybe I'll have a granddaughter one day to spoil.
 The dresser on the side of the bed was a road side find.
Pretty terrific!
Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse of your home Melanie!
There is much, much, more to see!
I know you will enjoy visiting Rustic Farmhouse.

Galveston Texas

Our family took a trip to Galveston this weekend.
It's only about an hour and a half drive from Houston.

Since it is November I thought we'd need to bundle up on the beach (hence the jeans).
But I was wrong. It was very warm.
We had no problem spending the whole day at the beach in our swim suits.
Definitely not showing you a picture of that!
It was weird when I got home and found out it was snowing in Utah where my friend Sarah lives.
So strange to think of them building a snowman while we were getting sun burnt!

I've had a hard time adjusting to the humidity in Texas this summer.
Well, that sentence makes it sound like I eventually adjusted to it.
I hated it.

But I have to admit being able to go to the beach in November is pretty dang cool!
So there is always a silver lining.

I took about thirty pictures of pelicans so be happy I'm only showing you one. :)
While on a ferry ride we saw dolphins!
I wish I got a picture, but it happened so fast.
If I would have got my way, we would have kept riding back and forth on the ferry all day long,
 so I could keep looking for dolphins.
Not just the fins and tails, they popped their faces out of the water too!
It was amazing!

Maybe it's gross to show you a picture of a dead fish.
But you don't see a puffer fish every day so I thought it was pretty cool.
We couldn't help thinking of Mrs. Puff from Sponge Bob Square pants.
Thanks for indulging me by looking at my travel photos. :)
I'll be back to decor stuff in my next post!