Monday, 17 November 2014

On The Mantel: November


I tend  - perhaps a little unfairly - to think of November as a bleak month. It doesn't have the bustle and sparkle of December and seems full of wet days and dark afternoons. But it's a month of great beauty too; after the clocks change, the sunrises are spectacular, and the last few leaves cling to the trees like little coloured flags waving in the gloom. Christmas discussions and preparations are ongoing, but not yet at full panic stage. 

I'm continuing my monthly mantel project, marking the seasons and rhythms of family life with pieces that were found inside and out, the bought and the made, the old and the new.

For this month's mantel, I wanted warmth. Soft warmth and glowing light, but not the Christmassy kind. I found this in copper and pink tones, in feathers and tassels. I'm ridiculously delighted to have something from the garden in a vase in November; I cut these these allium heads in the summer and put them in the garage to dry out. I hung my tasseled wall hanging next to the bird print. Bella's Diwali pot sits next to a favouite pink Ken Eardley jug. I like the way the bird on the jug echos the print and the feathered, fringed feel.


I made a garland from a mixture of natural, found feathers and ones I made from cardboard. I just love the wavy, irregular shapes. John thinks it's a bit much, he said "Err - less is more, Gill" but I like it. I'll put together a quick how-to for you tomorrow.


I'm thinking about December now. I feel an alpine theme coming on...

37 comments:

  1. I like it too, anything bird is very popular round here. I really must get my act together and frame our Alice's Aviary poster, every time I see yours it reminds me. It's lovely to have a bird theme this month, I've been noticing so many more birds in the garden at the moment, gorging themselves on the last of the grapes. And at the wildfowl and wetlands place we go to lots of the winter migrants are arriving. Some of them have flown such incredible distances, they really are utterly amazing. Enjoy your week Gillian, CJ xx

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  2. I love the dried alliums, they have a magnificent shape!!! I am not keen on picking up bird feathers but I must admit that your display looks tres chic! I think that you have chosen a great colour combination for the mantel :-)
    Thanks very much for the label printables link on your previous post, Gillian, they look fantastic... I think that preserves with those labels on top would make brilliant Xmas pressies for the teachers....
    Before I forget and concerning i-pad apps (you wanted suggestions in a previous post), I have been meaning to tell you and always forget to mention that I discovered the Issuu App and it is a brilliant source of magazine and book content. Once you get the app, if you search "crochet", you will get a lot of the Japanese crochet books (full books with patterns), previous Inside Crochet magazine issues and the like, reduced versions of Mollie Makes etc but it is all free so worth a visit as you can get loads of free patterns.
    Wishing you a lovely week,
    Pati x

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  3. I love it! More is definitely more! Those alium heads are beautiful. Bee xx

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  4. I'm so in love with this! The feather garland is just so beautiful. Your mantel is such a great source of inspiration. x

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  5. Gillian it's my favourite mantel yet! I love everything about it. Your copper vase is a beauty. I have my eye on a lamp with a copper base. The boys have broke my beloved CK spotty one and Marc has promised a replacement. It must be such fun to have a mantel.
    Leanne x

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  6. Looks lovely, one day I will get around to changing my mantel display. At xmas it get a bit of greenery and thats it.

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  7. The feather garland is so fabulous! I love the pink and the copper. Your mantel display look wonderful. I'm also beginning to think about my Christmas decorating :)

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  8. November is one of my least favorite months too, but I am also trying to embrace it more this year. Your mantel is beautilful...I love your choice of light coming from copper and pink. The feather garland is darling.

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  9. This is my favorite one yet!

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  10. Just gorgeous and captures the month perfectly

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  11. The more, the merrier! Gorgeous garland and those allium heads are stunning. Have a good week. x

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  12. It looks very nice! And although I agree with your husband about less being more, I don't think it is too much right now, just the right number of "stuff".

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  13. Love it, please ignore lovely hubby.

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  14. It's awesome! Love the pink hues, and the feathers are genius :) x

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  15. I like it , too! With the feathers it's definitely a question of more is more!

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  16. I love the feathers! What a great idea! I wish I had a place in my appartment to decorate every month. But I don't have much space. Must think of a little place, though. I'm always looking forward to your mantle posts, they are so inspirational!

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  17. I like the way that you have combined the real feathers with your cut out ones, they look great together. xx

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  18. I love your cardboard feathers, they really work. You are one stylish lady.
    My mantel has stuff on it that has been there for years.... and I mean years. At the moment I think there are about 4 small vases and a cut glass storage jar on there as well as various other bits and pieces, including a small jade polar bear. Oh, and a number of birthday cards (so we can't even see the clock). At Christmas I add tinsel and lights... I'll say no more.

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  19. I love the copper vase, reflective and give the scheme balance

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  20. Love it Gillian ~ it looks gorgeous. I don't think my Hubby would understand either! :O)x

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  21. Although I'm already totally wrapped up in Christmas mood (yeah I know, too early ;-)), I love your november mantel ! Especially the allium heads in that beautiful copper vase !
    And PS - what husbands think about our decoration work ? Doesn't matter, just ignore it ;-)))

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  22. Your wall hanging looks really great there. I have some allium heads that I cut in the summer - must put them somewhere a bit nicer than where they currently are sitting.

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  23. Just lovely! I have to get to mine before December comes in and Christmas takes over! I, too, feel November is a bleak month... mind you with the snow we got yesterday, it is much brighter!

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  24. I love your mantel decoration for November! November is a preparation month for me. It is the month where I try to plan ahead for December, so Christmas won't be frantic.

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  25. I'm not a fan of November either, especially with the days we've had since Friday, but at least it's not snowing and not too cold yet. I love your feather garland and I think it's just perfect. x

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  26. I hardly think your display is over the top - your husband must be a decorating minimalist! It all looks very pretty Gillian. The feather display is very creative.

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  27. Really lovely, the feather garland is inspired X

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  28. So beautiful Gillian - such beautiful colours together. You just can't beat a mantelpiece centrepiece I don't think.
    Have a great rest of week,
    Kate xx

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  29. Beautiful, Gillian. I particularly like your allium heads and wonder if it is too late to plant allium bulbs. Have a lovely evening. x

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  30. I'm not keen on November either, the days seem gloomy and it's getting dark so early here now! But I love your mantle, the feather garland is gorgeous!
    Marianne x

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  31. So sorry about your broken pie and dish a few posts back. Reminded me of the time the dog (!) pulled a hot pan of cornbread off the top of the stove where it was cooling and the floor was littered with bread and glass--all a loss. Oh well.

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  32. Looking lovely! The copper vase is beautiful. I like the feather garland, sometimes more is more!

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  33. I always enjoying seeing your mantelpiece - those aliums are stunning, I can imagine the shadows they throw on the walls once the lights are on. Your garland of feathers is a great idea.
    Caz xx

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  34. Very subtle colours and pleasing to the eye.
    Lisa x

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  35. A very appropriate mantle I think, warm and yet has a hint of the November cold - just right. I'm just thinking how your mantle has looked through the months now... will there be a mosaic showing each month at some point? She asked, hopefully! ;)

    S x

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