Saturday, 8 February 2014

On The Mantle


On the mantle this week: daffodils and some new French style house signs, from here. I love the contrast between the yellow and blue and they way they pick out those colours in my rainbow garland. I appear to buy a bunch of daffodils every week at the moment. Well, they are only £1 and I don't feel too guilty about that kind of purchase, they really are the happiest-looking flower.



It occurred to me that I do spend a lot of time fiddling around with our mantle piece, changing displays and arrangements, making it seasonal. Pottering. It is a pleasing blank canvas; a pale marble surround against a grey wall. Some might find it boring but I like the way anything can go there. 

A quick look back through my old photos revealed lots of images of this mantle at different times of the year. Pinks, greens and bulbs in the Spring.


Stocks and some favourite souvenirs from Copenhagen in the Summer.


Dried hydrangeas, seed heads and candles in the Autumn.


And pieces of fir tree with stockings and stars at Christmas.



And today it looks like this. Colourful.


It's a constantly evolving display - artworks change, garlands come and go, favourite ornaments and objects are often up there for a week then moved again. It's where I prop new postcards or cards received through the post, or pictures the children have drawn. They sit up there to be admired until they move on to a more permanent home. If I need to photograph something for the blog I often clear a few bits from the mantle and place it here. The plain wall provides a good backdrop and the large south-facing window to the left of the fireplace gives good light on even the gloomiest days.

I like tracking the seasons through my mantle piece. Do you have one? Is it an ever-changing display or honed to perfection? Or maybe not a mantle, but a favourite shelf, sideboard or table where you can create attractive displays and add some seasonal details. Fun, isn't it?




48 comments:

  1. I love the changing seasons recorded via your mantlepiece, and the little people that were the header for the blog for a while.
    I am desperate to find something that will be my barometer as it were in the hall, I want a console type thing but I really want the objects on it to be the 'thing' not the furniture itself. Ikea did not have anything, might have to paint an old thing white.
    anyway, lovely post, as always, have a good weekend. katie x

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  2. I really enjoy seeing your changing mantlepiece-it's a lovely way to mark the seasons and special occasions! I suppose the closest thing we had is the top of the tall boy in the living room (there are books on top but I like to have a school photo of Myf and the occasional ornament as well)

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  3. I don't change my mantlepiece but you sure have made me want to! Jo x

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  4. So pretty, every one of the arrangements. My dining room table is this way for me, I change the tablecloth, candles and centerpiece with the seasons. I wish I could get some fresh daffodils here, I hope they have them in the stores soon but haven't seen them yet.

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  5. I think you might have started a trend - I'm giving my mantelpiece much more thought than usual x

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  6. I'm a 'mantlepiece changer' too! My other half has always thought it's a crazy habit of mine, so I'm very glad it's not just me that does this! Your mantlepiece looks lovely throughout the seasons. Laura x

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  7. I love your plain marble mantlepiece. As you've said it's a wonderful blank canvas and you do make it lovely and seasonal. We have photos on our mantlepiece that we don't change but I like to alter the other things around them every now and again . At the moment we have flowers in an old coffee jar, candles and my new yellow eggcup.
    Marion x

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  8. I love your mantle displays and now that I actually have one, may do the same sort of thing, though I am using the big formal lounge as my quilting room. The mantle is a bit of a dumping ground at the moment, but once sorted and settled, I will use it to display things, so watch for it on my blog occasionally. Take care.

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  9. Lovely photos of your mantlepiece through the changing seasons....thank you for sharing :)
    Caroline xx

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  11. Linda Gilbert8 February 2014 20:45:00 GMT
    No mantelpiece for me so I am with Jennifer on the seasonal changes on the table. So looking forward to some love at Valentine snd Easter prettifying .

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  12. Lovely photo yes we have a mantle like you I'm ofetn clearing it to take pics for the blog, There are so many lovely touches on yours I just love the new colourful garland
    Clare x

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  13. I do love Alice's Aviary best! Beautiful pics! Jx

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  14. I am living vicariously through your mantle. No mantle over here unfortunately, no need in the subtropics (Santa has to come through the window). I love your changing seasonal displays, my one horizontal surface is currently covered in stuff - school art, notices, gap filling tubes, tape measures and other renovating ephemera. One day, one day..... mel x

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  15. I like your ever changing mantelpiece, it is nice to have a little place to decorate through the year and remind yourself of the passing seasons. I have just added some hearts to my mantle! It is a great place for your photos too!! I like your garlands! Very pretty! xx

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  16. Love the way you use the mantel to show the seasons. We had a mantle in our old house and I used to change it up (not quite as often as I liked). In our current place we have a built-in shelf in the lounge which I use to display pretty things - I must make an effort to use it to display the seasons.
    I LOVE your rainbow garland - did you make it?

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  17. What a wonderfully adaptable mantle, and you certainly know how to make the very best of it with your beautiful adornments - lovely - each and every display! Hugs, Joy x

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  18. What fun to see the seasons and your interests reflected in your home this way, Gilly! I like arranging things on my mantle too, but I have a much more cluttered style than you. I have some basics: candles, clocks and books, a little Nativity and Cross that stay in place throughout the year; but seasonal flowers and miscellaneous treasures take their turn as the seasons slide through the years. xx

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  19. I so enjoyed looking at your mantel through the seasons - such an obvious place to display and change, but I've never actually considered it! I like how it can just be simple little things, like flowers or a special photo, but the impact is amazing! Chrissie x

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  20. I love your seasonal mantle displays...so pretty, yet elegantly simple. I don't have a mantle, but I do enjoy changing up small areas of the home with each season. And I agree, daffodils are the happiest of flowers.

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  21. It's lovely Gillian, a beautiful focal point. I have some bits which stay put, and some which come and go. At the moment - an old Arthur Ransome book with a beautiful cover, a candle and some feathers from summer adventures. Flowers and leaves are often there when I can find them. I hope you have a lovely Sunday.

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  22. Love your mantle shelf, Gillian. My workroom is the ever changing space in our home, reflecting my mood and the ever changing landscape outside our front door.
    Jacqui x

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  23. Hey Gillian,

    I don't have a mantle. I envy those that do. I have an ever changing display on my kitchen windowsill. And I'm always changing my bits and bobs around the house. You could always display your gorgeous new shoes too. Not that I'm jealous or anything ;)

    Leanne xx

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  24. I seem to use my mantle in much the same way as you: changing the display with the seaons or when I'm bored with it, propping up new cards, and as my photography studio. It's a rather eclectic mix at the moment which is how I ike it. Another thought provoking post :) x

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  25. What a really lovely idea!
    Fab pictiures also :)
    Tilly x

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  26. I have always been desperate for a lovely fireplace with a nice surround, but it hasn't happened yet, my last house had a hole in the wall as does this one, this one does have a makeshift surround though made from pieces of wood and a shelf. One day when I am no longer renting I will have a really lovely one which will change like yours. Love the pictures xx

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  27. Love the looks. The numbers are great and my house is unmarked! Might give a bit of class to a 1980s bungalow! Xx

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  28. I'm probably a bit more slow at this than lots of people here. We have a decent sized mantlepiece but I only tend to change it at Christmas, or when I'm bored..also as we have the house up for sale it sometimes gets changed/minimised if we have viewings! Naughty I know!! Where did you get the flat garland in the most recent picture? Very pretty

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    1. Hi - it's from a lovely etsy shop called little nest box. Charmaine makes lots of gorgeous variations on this one in lovely colours. x

      http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/littlenestbox

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  29. I would love a mantle, but have to make do with cabinet tops and shelves. Yours is so pretty and it is a lovely idea to change it according to the seasons.

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  30. What clean, clutter free displays. "Pottering" - what a lovely English word! I don't typically have time for pottering and if I did have a mantle, it would be covered in woodstove ash. I have really enjoyed the Christmas bunting that I made for our kitchen window, and would like to make seasonal ones, so that can be my pottering.

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  31. I would love a mantle to fiddle with, yours is delightful.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  32. Keep pottering Gillian! I love love love to see the changes (however small) you make to your home throughout the year, it's very inspiring indeed :) x

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  33. I love my mantelpiece! It's only a floating shelf with a mirror over the top but I, too, am forever fiddling around with it and using it as a bit of a nature table.
    Daffodils in clear glass always look so fresh and spring-like. Pussy willow's another favourite...
    S x

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  34. It looks very pretty and colourful. Your pottering is great! I love changing my mantlepiece with the seasons. I always look forward to doing the autumn one with cut out orange and yellow leaves, pine cones and gourds - it cheers it up before the Christmas decorations come out. At the moment it looks a bit wintery with some penguin candles and the kindness elves left over from the holidays: it really needs to be changed during half term.

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  35. I don't have a mantelpiece but I wish I did. I love to potter too and do have some spaces that I rearrange every so often. It's fun :-) x

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  36. All your mantle displays are so lovely! We don't have a mantelpiece...but after seeing this post I wish we did!
    Marianne x

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  37. My my Gillian your mantle looks fab! I really love your bird print. You've inspired me to give mine a swap round x

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  38. Hooray for cheap and cheerful daffodils, I love them and buy them weekly like you do Gillian. We have a mantelpiece in our dining room which evolves by means of ebb and flow. Sometimes remains the same for years! I have my windowsills which I like to change and add bits and bobs to throughout the year with little posies of flowers, shells, drift wood and any other nature finds, oh and my crochet covered pebbles too x love your happy cheerful mantle piece at the moment, looks like a real anticipation of Spring xox

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  39. Loving what you do with your mantle - mine pretty much stays the same. Guess I should follow your lead and be more creative!!

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  40. Your mantle always looks so pretty. I like the seasonal changes. I have one that I change around every so often. At the moment it has photos, a dried hydrangea head in a charity shop jug, a beautiful old clock which doesn't work but looks great, some paper snowdrops and a spotty vase full of origami lillies which are from my wedding.

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  41. I have a mantlepiece where I display beautiful finds of mine. Unlike you though I can't bring myself to change the display with the seasons, I am too fond of my bits and pieces. I do change the orchids I invariably have on my mantle, there is always one in bloom. It is such a wonderful idea to use your mantelpiece to reflect your moods and the seasons, too. Cx

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  42. I have a rustic railway sleeper over my fireplace. I display, gifts that are special to me, 2 vases from Malaysia, a glass pot filled with cinnamon sticks, a bronze hare and a candle made in Orkney. Occasionally I have a move around but not that often.
    Your changing display on your mantle looks wonderful.

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  43. I love every display here! I really love your sunny daffodils and rainbow garland... it all looks so happy and bright. I don't change around my mantle display often enough. I really need more accessories in our house. I do have a Valentine garland up there now, but some fresh flowers would also be really nice. Hopefully hubby will bring me some for Valentine's Day!

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  44. So glad Bella is starting to feel better now. .. I hope you are also.
    Love, love, the bead creation with Alicia Polson's design. I lev in Portland, OR same city she does. She is a great artist and I love her work.
    Love all of your mantle's displays. So fun to redecorate... Makes the house feel new...
    Have a great week Gillian.

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  45. Lovely photos, I do like the bird print..

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  46. Beautiful, loving every aspect of it! xoxo

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  47. I've only recently become the owner of a mantlepiece and I think it's a great idea to change it to suit the seasons / holiday or your mood. Love the prints you have of Whitby and Yorkshire, they're really cool!

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