I should really be far craftier than I am.
It’s true. I love yarn. I love painting stuff. I love making things pretty (oh how I love making things pretty!) And, most of all, I love (love!) scrapbook paper.
You know that aisle in Michaels with all the pretty, perfectly stacked piles of colourful papers? I get lost in that aisle for hours and hours. HOURS. Combining different patterns. Swooning over prints. Marvelling over all of the potential for serious prettiness. Yep. It’s really rather silly considering I’m in no way a scrapbooker (since, honestly, I’m far too lazy for what appears to be a very finicky and fussy – albeit lovely! – hobby) and since (as previously noted) I’m not particularly crafty.
During my most recent trip to Michaels I picked up no fewer than fourteen (yup – fourteen) (see? I’m obsessed…) sheets of gorgeous paper. Did I have any particular plan for all these beautiful papers? Nope. I just really liked them. I also bought a few super inexpensive (they were three whole bucks each, I think) ready-to-paint (or ready-to-leave-in-their-lovely-unpainted-state, in my case) picture frames. And then I came home and started looking at the fireplace mantel in my dining room.
(Aside: I find it important to clarify that this particular faux fireplace mantel is located in my dining room, since we have no fewer than three faux fireplaces in this house. The previous home owners were indeed faux fireplace fanatics.)
And then the wheels started turning. And then I realized that the sheets of lovely coordinating scrapbook paper, and those unpainted frames might look sorta rustic-ish-ly cute on my dining room fireplace mantel.
And so began the rearranging. (Does anyone else get a little OCD when it comes to fireplace mantel decorating?) And the fussing. And the tweaking.
And here is what I finally came up with…
It’s not done yet. It needs something… more. Perhaps a few miniature pumpkins in honour of fall. Or some Christmassy bobbles and doodads (but not for a few weeks – I adore Christmas, but it’s a little too early for that at the moment, even for me!) For now, and until I get around to adding additional adornments to the mantel, those lovely papers are making me happy.
That all said, there will be more faux fireplace fussing to follow, I’m sure. And definitely more frivolous scrapbook paper purchases made in the not-at-all distant future. (I just can’t get enough!) (It’s weird, I know.)
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At our next house (only FOUR MORE DAYS to go before it’s all ours btw!) (insert happy squeal HERE) we’ll have not one, not two, not even three, but four (yes, FOUR) faux fireplaces to style. Yep. That’s right. The
nutcases nice folk who currently live in this house really really like their fireplaces. To an excess, some (including myself) might say. There’s one in the living room. There’s another in the (adjoining) dining room. There’s a fireplace in the sunroom out back. And yep – for faux curling up on blustery winter’s nights, there’s even a faux fireplace in what will likely be our guestroom.
It’s a little (er, a lot) much.
There’s a pretty good chance that at least one of the fireplaces will eventually be moving out of our old mauve house. Hell, we may even get rid of two. Because, really, who needs SEVERAL (non-functioning) fireplaces in a (well-heated via furnace) home? Not us, says I!
The big problem with having so many fireplaces? Having to decorate so many fireplaces. Mantel primping is an artform. An artform that one can either excel at, or go mad attempting to perfect. There’s the necessary accumulation of decorative items needed to adorn the mantels – decorating four mantels will indeed require a lot of stuff. Then there’s the seasonal-decorating dilemma (fantastically fall-er-izing four faux fireplaces could be a rather time consuming project.) And, most importantly, there’s the fireplace overkill factor. One faux fireplace in a rather small little three-bedroom home? Awesome! Two fireplaces? Wow – lucky me! But four fireplaces? Four? Really? That’s a little much methinks.
Yep. One or two must go.
However, all four fireplaces will likely stay firmly in place until we’ve lived in the house for a little bit, at least. Which means I’ve gone on a Pinterest expedition to find inspiration for fireplace dressing (since the acquisition of four fireplaces obviously requires a whole lot of inspiration.) My favourites?
This chalkboard-adorned mantel idea from Mom4Real is pretty fantastic, and could easily be switched up for the seasons.
I’m thinking it could be a lot of fun for the guestroom fireplace. If the guestroom fireplace makes the final faux fireplace cut, that is. :)
And how fun is this mantel from Wit and Whistle…
The Danger Zombies sign? That’s a whole lot of awesomeness.
And globes, maps and galoshes? I love globes and maps and galoshes!
This map-a-licious mantel is courtesy of the lovely folk over at Gather and Build.
However this one, from Style at Home, is my absolute fave. Not necessarily because I like the fireplace (although I do!) But because I’m obsessed with everything about this living room. Love love love!
But, I’m guessing (just call it a hunch) that at least one of my four (FOUR!) fireplaces will end up looking a little like this…
Yup. Like our old faux fireplace. Because I loved it. And because I miss it. LOTS.
So there you have it. My Pinterest-derived fireplace mantel inspiration. Because I need lots of inspiration. Because I’ll be the proud owner of a lot of faux fireplaces very very shortly. In a mere four days, in fact.
Can’t wait. :)
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A tisket, a tasket, I found a brand new (sale-priced!) basket (alternate title: three cheers for Michaels!)
Michaels rocks. Can I say that? It really really does. (And I’m not a Michaels ambassador and they’re not paying me for that endorsement, I just love them lots and lots!) (not that I’d say no if they offered…) (just saying.) I popped into my local Michaels store the other day to pick up another ball of yarn for my ongoing scarf project (since I’m knitting like a madman over here lately) and I walked out with…
-a lovely basket I found on sale (regularly $44, all mine for $22!)
-a pretty metallic picture frame picked out of the clearance pile for $4 (happy squeal!)
-a sheet of lovely scrapbook paper that was neither on sale nor on clearance (but it’s pretty and, at $0.99, it still felt like a ginormous bargain)
…and my ball of yarn (of course!) Quite the hodge-podge-y group of items eh? But, oh… I had plans. All of this Michaels-bounty (minus the yarn) went toward updating my little living room and faux fireplace.
And, that all said, here’s the result of lots of rearranging and tweaking and pondering and tweaking some more…
Tada! OK. So it’s not necessarily a hallelujah moment, but I think it looks better. :) Here’s what I did…
I summoned my inner DIY-er and created the world’s easiest art for inside my new (really really inexpensive!) metallic frame (which, btw, reminds me a lot of the fancy gold frames my grandmother used to have scattered around her house) (which, of course, makes me love this frame even more.) The instructions?
-cut a 4×6″ rectangle (to match the size of the frame) from a sheet of basic white printer paper
-fold it in half and cut a heart into it (a la grade one Valentine’s Day art project)
-put said piece of paper (minus cutout heart) in the frame (letting the brown cardboard backing that came with the frame peek through the cutout)
…and poof! Instant 30 second art.
Super cute, eh? And, almost as important, super easy!
That all said, I can’t really take any credit for this project. I first saw this idea here on House Pretty’s lovely blog. My method is a little different, but the overall end result is pretty similar. And I don’t want to be a big bad awesome easy art project idea thief! So, House Pretty, I’m totally tipping my hat to you on this one. :)
My second easiest-ever DIY art project? Adding that lovely $0.99 scrapbook paper to a frame for an instant print. No fancy instructions required, just add scrapbook paper to frame, put frame in a frame-worthy spot, and admire. Done!
The paper I used doesn’t even really fit my frame, if you want to get all technical about it. The paper is 12×12″ I think (or whatever standard scrapbook paper size is) and the frame is matted for an 11×14″. But it still works. Truth be told, I kinda want to wallpaper my entire house with this scrapbook paper. So springy! So happy! I’m hoping to find other places around the house where I can use this pretty paper shortly (which, in turn, means another trip to Michaels – yay!) I love it just that much.
As does Jacob. Lesson learned: never try to take pictures of things on the floor. When you do, this happens…
Yup. Jacob agreed that this scrapbook paper was the prettiest he had ever seen (and, as a result, he felt he should roll around on it.)
I’m hardly a scrapbooking aficionado, but I’m guessing that cats don’t make very good scrapbookers.
And last (but definitely not least) (in fact, the opposite of least… most?)…
The basket is my absolute favourite addition to the room. I’ve been searching for a basket to fill the fireplace void for a while now, but baskets are crazy expensive (and I’m rather frugal.) Which is why I did a little happy dance in the middle of Michaels when I realized that all of their baskets were marked 50% off. Woo! And I’m pretty sure I practically skipped out of the store. (I tend to do that when I find a good deal. People look at me funny, but I don’t care. Cocked eyebrows can’t compare with the joy of finding a bargain.)
Doesn’t it look cozy all filled with blankets? Yep! I’m ridiculously pleased with my find. :)
So there! Those were my Michaels-inspired updates! I made a couple of non-Michaels-related improvements too, like the framed black and white pic of me and my girlfriends from back in our university years (that I found while rummaging through our second bedroom last weekend) (we look so young… sigh!) And I did a bit (um, a lot) of rearranging too.
All in all, the room is coming. Slowly but surely. I figure by the time we decide to sell the house I’ll get it right. I still need something on the wall to the left of my pretty little faux fireplace (besides the cats’ beloved scratch post, of course) but that’s a whole different story (that I’ve already obsessed a bit about HERE) for a whole different day.
Until then, I’ll likely continue rearranging things weekly-ish and posting regular fireplace-mantel updates.
Excited? Me too. :)
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Admission: I cringe whenever I start planning to mount things (hooks, frames, mirrors, random tapestries) on my walls. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s the assumed permanency of drilling into my lovely (ie: freshly painted and yet unmarred) walls. Maybe it’s a fear of placing items too high or too low (since, um, that happens. To me. A lot.) Maybe it’s because I don’t use power tools (that’s Sweetie’s job) and because the whole anchor (necessary with our plaster walls!) + screw (in a very specific size and type) combination confuses me just a bit. Not sure. Let’s just suffice it to say that when I repainted much of this house, I actually left some of the previous owners’ screws in the walls and painted around them. The previous owners had already done the dirty work for me. Why mess with that?
But I’m thinking it’s nearly time to face this fear and address the empty wall space around my fireplace. A space that drives me a little bonkers. And now that the Christmas tree is down (it finally – FINALLY! – came down last weekend) it’s especially obvious that there’s a big gaping hole in my living room loveliness.
Yep. I’m ready to tackle the vacant (and rather sad-looking) space around old not-at-all smokey.
The corner to the left of the (faux) fireplace is particularly lonely looking. Even Sweetie exclaimed (once the tree was all packed away and the merriness banished to the attic for the next eleven months): “You’re going to put something else there, aren’t you?”
And if Sweetie (aka Mr “Oh… What’s that? You say you painted the kitchen fuchsia? I didn’t notice…”) recognizes that something isn’t quite right, something obviously must not be right.
My dilemma? What to decorate the void with. Given my fear of putting stuff on walls, I’ve been doing a lot of research on empty corner filling (since I’m a tad OCD and indecisive and generally nervous about any sort of wall-marring commitment.) A quick discussion with the lovely folk over at Pinterest (they’re exceedingly helpful over there, btw!) left me with the following suggestions…
Wall-filling strategy #1: Framed… somethings. For the record, I’m in love with this room (holy moly that’s some gorgeous tealness!) from Emily Henderson…
But what, exactly, would I put in the frames? Prints? Art? Pictures of the cats? And should I go with white frames? Dark wood frames? Metallic? Sigh.
Or I could fill the space with plates perhaps (aka “Wall-filling strategy #2.”) Just look (look!!!) at this stunning wall of pretty plates from Larissa over at mmmcrafts…
Lovely eh? I adore this idea. Although my supply of decorative plates is a little low at the moment. And planning out which-plate-goes-where seems like the sort of thing that could drive an already somewhat strange girl completely batty.
I could scatter some pretty ceiling medallions across my wall. I’ve admired Dave and Joi’s medallion-adorned wall for a long long while now…
Love love love their living room!
Or I could embrace the emptiness… This room, from my all-time most favourite designer ever Samantha Pynn (hi Sam! You rock!), makes me think that my living room void isn’t really a void afterall. Perhaps I just need to add a lovely lamp (oooh! And a chandelier!)…
I’m not sure. What I AM sure of is that something needs to happen. To spice things up a little. You know, shake it to the right (if you know that you feel fine.)
(And yep. I just quoted Spice Girls. Random? Yes. Scary? Agreed.)
Anyhow, this debate obviously isn’t over. I’ll be taping templates of some sort to my walls shortly, I’m sure. And then the inevitable (and ongoing) template rearranging will begin. And likely more Pinterest-ing too.
Being an indecisive commitment-phobe is a lot of work.
But yes! Those are my quasi plans to date. Hopefully the next time I chat about my living room walls there will be stuff strategically mounted on them.
Or, if nothing else, print/medallion/tapestry-sized paper templates.
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We put our tree up last weekend. Our house is now officially Christmas-sified. Yay!
My favourite part of the room? Our tree. :) Most of our Christmas tree ornaments were either gifts or purchased during our travels (favourite tradition: buying a Christmas tree ornament whenever we go somewhere special.) Our decorations don’t match. They’re a hodge podge of colours and sizes and shapes. But they’re meaningful to Sweetie and me, which makes them perfect for our tree.
We have our stately (and rather smiley!) Queen, who traveled home with us from London…
And this festive little moose in his rowboat came from Newfoundland (my absolute favourite place on earth)…
My friend Sandra gives us a cat ornament for our tree every year (so our tree is full of cats… which is rather fantastic, if you ask me.)
And this pretty glass orb belonged to my grandma Dorothy…
Hanging ornaments that are meaningful just makes our tree feel that much more special. Yep, even if our tree isn’t carefully coordinated or flawlessly decorated, it’s perfectly us. :)
There is, however, one Christmas item I DID purchase for myself, willy nilly. And it may very well be my most favourite Christmas decoration of all time.
Yep. That’s right: Santa riding a cat on wheels. It’s completely ridiculous and I love it.
And that displaced green star (poor thing keeps getting moved from room to room) has finally found it’s Christmas fireplace mantel calling…
Speaking of which, my fireplace mantel makes me happy. It still needs stockings (hung by the chimney with care) – I’m currently on the prowl for new, pretty, grown-up (ie: non-Dollarstore) stockings. And it still needs some pretty new garland (I’m working on that – stay tuned for a garland update shortly!) And I have a few other mantel-adornment plans up my sleeve. But it’s a start. And I’m so happy to have a fireplace to decorate this year (albeit, a fake one.) And, well, everyone needs a portal (of some sort) for Santa. :)
And, of course, kind-faced old Father Christmas keeps watch over the entire room from his place of honour at the top of the tree.
So there. Those are our halls that have been decked with boughs of holly. Or cat-riding Santas, if you prefer. Yep, I am most definitely in the holiday spirit now! Afterall, ’tis the season to be jolly! And to roast chestnuts by an open fire. And to build strange talking (and rather presumptuous) snowmen in the meadow.
Fa la la la la, la la, la, la! :)
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