Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Mantel


 I don’t know about the rest of you, but this holiday season, I have just been scrambling to get things done around the house. I’ve had boxes and bins of Christmas decorations sitting all over the floor and on tables in several rooms for days. I just can’t seem to get organized! And no, you will NOT see a picture of THAT…

I start one project, move on to another, take a break to read some favorite blogs, then attempt to get started again. Yikes- who would think that it would take so long to accessorize a  simple mantel and fireplace?!  By the time I finished up late this afternoon, the sun had fallen and the great room was dark.  And  by the time I took photos, it was really late. Just look at the time on my giant leather clock! 


The clock has been the focal point on the mantel for some time, now. It was originally a cocktail table. What~ you say?  This three-foot in diameter clock face sat on a metal base with a piece of heavy glass covering it. But it came damaged in transit. Rather than sending out a replacement piece of glass, the vendor sent out an entirely new table instead. That left me with one heck of a new clock!




Here is a shot of the mantel and the hearth. I kept it very simple, using draped garland filled with silver magnolia leaves, clear beading, and sparkly silver ornaments. The lighted garland is artificial and was purchased at Lowe’s. It has very natural looking branches, as you can see in the close-up picture below; but for even more realism, I added in some real pine cuttings.


The magnolia leaves were sent to me from friends in Florida. Originally I had planned on  keeping the leaves supple and preserving  their beautiful green color by putting them in a glycerin solution.  But time got away from me before I could shop for the glycerin and they got hard and dry. Not wanting to let them go to waste, I spray painted them metallic silver.  They ended up being perfect as filler for the garland.





I draped the beaded garland into several loops and then added some glittery ornaments.








I kept the two urns that I’ve had on either side of the mantel and just filled in with some silver pieces. On this side of the clock, I used three mercury glass candlesticks and a little silver bowl.





The urn is filled with a mound of  pretty, green moss .





All I did was nestle a glass prism ornament onto some reindeer moss in this bowl.










On the other side of the clock, I elevated a reindeer on a couple of books wrapped in white paper and placed a ribbed silver box beside it.





I think this box shows character with the tarnish in between the ribs.  Or do you think that I’ve just rationalized that so I don’t have to scrub it with a teenie-tiny toothbrush and some silver polish?






This wooden reindeer originally had a dark stain, but I used a matte finish silver spray paint to liven him up a little.


The rough texture of  the stone hearth needed some softening, so I used these three candlesticks to hold succulents sitting on a bed of pine straw. I really like the contemporary feel this brings to the fireplace- it’s such a fun and different use of a candlestick.









I wanted a white poinsettia - no traditional colors in this room for me this year.  The lighting makes it look a bit yellow, but it is indeed white.  Not wanting to see the foil wrapped pot, I placed it into a wooden box.














Updated for Roeshel’s  linky party on November 10, 2011

                                                                                                                                                      The DIY Show Off

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french hen farm


Don’t forget the French Hen Farm barn sale on Saturday, Dec. 4th 2010!!   We Ohio bloggers are getting together for some shopping and lunch, and we’d love to meet you if you can make the trip. Contact me for more info.

Linda should have oodles of goodies perfect for Christmas gift-giving and for yourself. 

Hope to see you!


Linking to Layla’s Christmas Mantel Party  

The Lettered Cottage




Marty’s Tabletop Tuesday

Table Top Tuesday

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Give Thanks and Enjoy…


Thanksgiving pillows

Hoping that all of my friends enjoy a celebration of  love, kindness, and comfort on Thanksgiving Day.  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

An invitation to a barn sale….



It’s almost time for another

French Hen Farm holiday barn sale!!! 

french hen farm

click to link

I can hardly wait to go back up to Marysville  on Dec. 4th to see what goodies Linda has waiting for us at this Christmas sale.  You can read my post about her Fall/Halloween sale here.  I found so many pretty and interesting things and was truly hoping she’d  be hosting a Christmas event.  Well, her invitations went out this week and I know she’ll have quite a crowd!




Since I live on the very south end of town, it’s a bit of a drive from Dayton to Marysville, so I’ll be getting an early start in the morning.  When I talked to Linda at her sale back in October, she said most everyone had come early in the morning to shop.  Well, I certainly don’t want to miss a thing, so I’ll be there right at opening this time!   I’ve spoken to a few Ohio blogging buddies who have expressed an interest in going, too. What I would  like to see happen is that we shop and then go out for lunch.  Some of us have actually met in person, but for the most part, we communicate mainly  on our blogs and through private e-mails.

So….. I’m issuing an invitation to all  Ohio bloggers to meet up at the barn sale and then head off for a get-to-know- each other lunch.  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  Of course, even if you aren’t a Buckeye and would like to hit the sale- by all means, show up! It’s always fun meeting new people with similar interests.   :-)     

If you’re interested in this, please let me know and I can start making some restaurant plans. 

Hope you’ll all have a great Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones. I’m sure we all have so very much to be thankful for. 


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Perfect Small Town Shop


This small vintage shop in Tipp City went unnoticed by me for the longest time because it’s not located on the main street of town, where most of the other stores are located. I discovered it early this summer, during the town’s antique and artisan show and have found vintage treasures each and every time that I have shopped there.  During that first visit, I met Jean, who finds and displays many of the shop’s unique treasures.  While chatting,  I mentioned that I was from Dayton.  To my surprise she said,  “I know you- you’re Sullivan and Murphy.”  That gave me quite a surprise- I guess people actually DO look at blog profile pictures! 




Located in an old brick building that once housed the town’s opera house, Past Perfect is a small shop filled with vintage items ranging from small silver items to large industrial pieces.  When we visited the store last Friday, Jean was hard at work, gearing up for the town’s Shopkeeper’s Open House  over the weekend.



flower frogs

Jean placed snowflake ornaments from the dollar store into vintage flower frogs. These would make a  great statement when grouped together on a silver or wooden tray, don’t you think?




Old Shiny Brite ornaments were piled on a bed of packing material in this rusty old metal container. It was sitting on an old camp stool, which is what really caught my attention. I bought the stool for the paltry sum of a dollar!



camp stool

The canvas is really dirty and stained, but I have the perfect old feedsack to use as a new seat cover.





I liked Jean’s idea of  placing a vintage ornament onto shredded paper nestled into an old bed spring.  I have an idea for something similar if I can only find the springs I bought from her during the summer. Does anybody else buy things then put them away, never to find them until months after you need them~ or am I the only one who do this?  FYI~ I bought another spring just in case I don’t find any of the ones I put away.  




Mr. S  spotted this small Western Clipper sled when we entered the shop. He’s been on the lookout for one since last year; and this one was quite reasonably priced, compared to what most antique booths want for them.  It will be used in a vignette outside the front door. My plan is to find a pair of old ice skates to hang on it. 




clock faces

I have no idea what this piece of industrial metal actually is- I think it looks a bit like a roof vent.  Jean hung old clock parts off of it. 





Look at the face on this sweet doggie!





This wooden cage would look fabulous filled with wrapped packages and baubles for Christmas.




coffee bag chair

The chair seat was covered with an old coffee bean sack.  I am getting forgetful- I thought I’d put a sack onto my purchase pile, but I came home without one. 




metal cart

The store was filled with quite a few industrial fixtures and spritzer bottles.  



industrial lighting

The industrial caged light look is very popular these days.




vintage hats

Need a fedora?



 microscope drawing

I wasn’t happy with the blurriness of the microscope in this photo, so I played with it in Photoscape to create a watercolor pencil effect.  I was very surprised that the microscope didn’t come home with us~  Mr. S kept picking it up.  It would  look pretty cool displayed on one of the shelves in the entertainment center.  Are you reading this, Mr. S?


Hope you enjoyed this little tour of Past Perfect. If you’re ever in the Tipp City area, the shop is located at the corner of Main and Second Streets – on the Second St. side.  I’m sure you’ll find a cool thing or two if you visit. 


Linking to:


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Monday, November 8, 2010

Barn Sale in Granville



You never know what to expect when you see a sale advertised.  So last week when I read  in Lisa’s Urban Farmhouse post that there was a sale being held at her friend’s barn up in Granville, I figured we’d take a chance and drive out to see what we could find.  Mr. S and I are always open for an adventure. Besides, it was our day off and we had nothing better to do.  (okay, we did, but we decided that we could put away all the outdoor furniture another day.  Besides, it was dreary and cold outside and we didn’t want to freeze our little tootsies or pinkies)  Little did we know that we’d be doing just that inside an old  barn located two hours northeast of us.




Kimberlys barn (800 x 535)

                                                  photo from Urban Farmhouse

We’d never been up in this area of Ohio before, and let me tell you, Granville is a really cute little college town.  The sale was located just outside of downtown, at the home of Kimberly Thompson, a very gregarious and fun gal. She and her two siblings, Andrea and Wes, were holding the sale in her barn, and the place was filled with lots of other family members who seemed to be involved in the sale in one way or the other.  Although Kim didn’t really want to have her picture taken, I do have few shots of  some of the relatives.



November days always seem to have a bite to them, so this fire outside the barn was a good place to warm the old bod! This guy tended the fire vigilantly.





This is Kim’s mom, but I don’t know who her riding companion was.  She was wearing the most amazing fur hat and she offered me some tips on how to make one.  I think I see a project coming, using my old parka hood.




Kim’s dad was the official greeter and was also in charge of directing traffic. He wanted to show us of one of the barn’s back rooms, but Kim nixed that idea. I think he got into trouble for offering to take us on a tour of what Kim was calling a really disorganized room!   He was a real hoot and had some great stories to tell us.  

We met so many of Kim’s relatives, all of whom made us feel so welcome. They offered us hot coffee, cookies, pumpkin rolls, and at lunchtime- some homemade chicken tortilla soup made by Kim’s mom!  Yum….


But now on to the nitty gritty.   As I said, we didn’t know what to expect before we walked into the barn. But we were excited and surprised to see that the space held so much of what we both like- Industrial!!!




This is the first item we saw as we walked through the barn doors. Kim related that her dad had found this in an old factory and cleaned up all the grime and grease. Couldn’t you see this as a kitchen island or as a a place to set a big screen television?   It had a price tag of $695 on it, but WOW-  was it an amazing piece!





What a cool old factory cart.






This cupboard was in really good condition.






I loved this old blue porch swing.  Sure wish I had a front porch, or even a back porch, for that matter. 

Look at the Burma Shave sign and all the old Ohio license plates. The barn was filled with lots of buckets and ladders.






This work table held metal containers of some sort. I liked the metal hangers and bought some- 5/$2.00.  They’re headed to the potting bench in the laundry room.






These green carts were amazing. Kim placed metal baskets on all the shelves for display.






Old wooden table and metal file sorter.






Oh did this catch my eye!!!  It is similar to the factory cart that I found at the High Point Furniture Market last month.  It almost came home with us, but after discerning that it was a lot bigger than the carts we ordered, we left it for someone else to buy. But what a bargain at only $295.  Check out the compass rose pillow, the metal bins, and the vintage bulb drawer that is similar to the ones I bought last month.  So much to see!





These totes were fashioned from vintage seed sacks.






Slate tags from a roof off an old barn were hand cut by Kim’s brother, Wes.  Check out how Kim used them to tie onto bottle bags that were fashioned from old burlap seed bags. Wouldn’t that make a fun way to tie up a gift of wine?  I bought several of the tags and I think I’m cutting up some Purina brand feed bags that I found back in the spring. 






This old adding machine sat on top of  a metal factory table. My grandfather used to have an adding machine similar to this that he used in the family business back in the 50’s and 60’s. I used to think it was so much fun to hear the sounds it made when I pulled the handle to add up all the figures. 






Mr. S wanted me to buy one of these metal containers. He thought I should pile my hedge apples into them, but I told him I had too many drawers, boxes, and containers as it is!  I think he was a little disappointed that I didn’t get one.  The wood table/cart in the background was huge and would have made for a nice worktable.





This lobster trap came home with us, along with three colorful buoys.  I think it’s going into one of the guest bedrooms for now.   Or it might become an end table. Not sure, yet.







Mr. S discovered this huge restaurant pizza paddle and thought it would be a nice way to serve a home-baked pizza.  Was that a hint, I wonder?  Personally, I think I’d like to use it to spread out some soft polenta and have our guests scoop it up and then add their toppings. I’ve been wanting to have a polenta party ever since I saw Michael Chiarello do it one of his Food Network shows.


soft_polenta photo from Food Network





I thought this trio of bread pans could be used in a holiday table vignette- I can already see them filled with berries, potpourri,  holly, evergreens, and maybe some of that faux snow I like to make.



It’s nice to have a companion that’s interested in thrift shopping and antiquing and is always ready to take off on an adventure with me. We’ll  be heading back up to Marysville for another sale  at French Hen Farm during the first week of December and I know he’ll want to hit a few holiday open houses this month.  But first, I think we’d better get that outdoor furniture put away before the first snow!



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