Wednesday, 10 December 2014

On The Mantel: December



Ah, December. A month of extremes, of light and dark, activity and rest. It's always a very busy month for us with many family birthdays, and the build up to Christmas Day is inevitably a slightly chaotic rush of shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, parties and get togethers. All very fun and all very tiring. I always like the post-Christmas lull the best, that golden week between Christmas and New Year when it's acceptable to loll around in your pyjamas all day, eating turkey sandwiches and doing jigsaws. 

My December mantel is a restrained affair, largely because all the Christmas stuff is still up in the loft. There is no point putting the tree up this year, as we'll be taking it down again next week, and there's barely room for it anyway what with all the boxes. But I have permitted myself one small space for festive decoration, one calm and quiet area to fill with prettiness. I was thinking about mountains, sunsets, bare trees and frosty mornings when I did this. Some of the best things about Winter. 

I bought these cable car tree decorations in Asda a while ago and think they are completely adorable. (John said I should put toy soldiers in them and act out Where Eagles Dare.) Imagine, if you will, that they are travelling gracefully up a big grey mountain...


My eBay alpine painting hangs here temporarily, joined by a line of reindeer marching along the top. 


Do they have reindeer in the Alps? I don't know if they do.


Our homemade tea light holders glow nicely. I love these, we light them most days.


I have a thing about snowglobes and couldn't resist this polar bear. I am pretty certain that polar bears do not live in Alpine regions. 


I didn't add the children's stockings this year. They're too red. I know, it's terrible, isn't it? Instead I hung some warm socks.


Here is my mantel last year (on the right) and the year before (on the left). Definitely more Christmas-tastic.


It's just so nice to have one small area of order amid the disorder! John just said to me "What will you do if there is no mantel in our new house?" Don't worry, I'll make sure that never happens.

43 comments:

  1. I really like the Alpine theme mantel. Especially the cable cars...they're fab! Your crafty pieces really add to it. I'm looking forward to seeing your mantel interpretations in your new home in 2015! Hope the move goes well and you find some peace in between the chaos of boxes and festivities! xx

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  2. I love your December mantel ~ those little cable cars are a wonderful addition :O)xx

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  3. Oh, how I wish I had a mantel. I have a fireplace without a mantel, just bricks straight up to the ceiling. I'm told this is more "dramatic," but I don't know, a mantel would be really nice. I love your cable cars. I shall think of you every night when I watch the lights on the tram on my mountain as they slowly move up and down in the distance.

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  4. Oh that looks so lovely and so nice for you to have something peaceful with all your packing going on.

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  5. I saw the little cable cars too, such a lovely idea to use them as a mantle display. A lovely calm space for you to focus on during your packing.

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  6. I love the cable car decorations! They are adorable. You know, I have the funniest feeling that we have the identical sitting room fire! Ours is just the same as yours, but our mantelpiece is a bit different, bought separately from the fire. How funny! Enjoy your last Christmas in this house, think of all the fun you'll have decorating the new house next Christmas! X

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  7. No reindeers in the Alps but I am sure they would like it there. Yours are adorable and I love your cable car decorations very much, too. It is such a good idea to have an island of order in the chaos of packing, I shall remember that if we ever move again. Hope all is not too mad and that the packing is nearly done. x

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  8. Gorgeous cable cars and your mountain picture looks just right there. We don't have a mantel, just a wood burning stove in an opening, and I really miss having one. Somehow our clock doesn't look quite the same on a bookcase! Happy packing. x

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  9. Oh my word, those cable cars are absolutely wonderful! Also love the way you arranged the deer on the painting... :-)

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  10. John's suggestion of re-enacting Where Eagles Dare with your adorable pink cable cars made me laugh. Men! Anyway, your mantel display for December is really lovely. Hope the packing is going well. Have a nice, warm evening! x

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  11. Good luck with the move-we had a house move this year and it was absolutely horrendous at the time....BUT it's the best thing we've done and we are so happy...it will be hard but worth it xx

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  12. The mantelpiece looks great and I just love those gondolas, especially as they are "pink". I'll pop you an email over the next few days with some catchup. Take care.

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  13. Your december mantel is great !! Very nice decorations. that looks so quiet and peaceful ! Take care ...

    http://woolandcats.blogspot.fr/

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  14. Those cable cars are absolutely FAB!! They look quite vintage, don't they? I hope your big move goes smoothly ( if that is possible) for you, Gillian. Have a great week! Pati x

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  15. It's gorgeous Gillian, well done you for finding the time to make a little festive corner. I really like your hanging and the socks together, they're especially snuggly looking.

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  16. The words "All is calm. All is bright." came to mind, as I admired your mantel this year, Gillian... in spite of knowing you are in the midst of the challenges of moving. :) How clever of you to put together a fun and peaceful visual focal point to rest your eyes on in between the wrapping and packing! xx

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  17. I love your December mantel!! It is beautiful and I love how you took the inspiration from the cable cars and went from there. I hope that you have a mantel or somewhere in your new home to make displays. I am sure that you will find a way!! xx

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  18. I think your mantel looks fabulous and very festive.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  19. I love your mantel, both the reindeer and that beautiful painting. I also find myself wondering how many boxes of christmas decorations you own??

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  20. I love your mountain, sunset, bare trees theme!!! The pinks and tans are lovely, and those cable cars are adorable!

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  21. The Alpine theme really works! And you are right about there being no polar bears in the Alps (and no reindeer, either, but we can pretend they are just normal deer).
    Never seen a cable car decoration before, but I really like it!

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  22. Ooooh your mantel is beautiful Gillian! the painting is really glorious and your your tea light holders and cable cars are magnificent too!
    love Jooles x x x

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  23. Lovely! such cute cable cars, too!
    Reindeer don't live in the Alps (deer, chamois and marmots…!) BUT on a hill above my little town (nearly the Alps!) there is a big enclosure of reindeer with a lovely cosy stable and my grandchildren have been convinced (by us!) that that is where the animals spend the rest of the year when not on duty. It makes a great visit, there's a nice walk with a view (of the Alps!) and followed by a hot chocolate at the decorated inn :)

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  24. Your mantel is lovely and I can't believe you have managed to blog about it in the midst of moving. Mine is much more chaotic but I did think of you when I was doing ours and actually put some things away that would normally be on there to make it a different space for Christmas. I have some holly 'tinsel' that has berries the size of cherries and which will probably be a complete fire hazard with the candles.
    I'm with you on snow globes - love them x

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  25. Oh my goodness, there IS a new mantle in the new house isn't there??!! Anyway, the mantle is looking good and most alpine inspired indeed. I love the way the jars tie in with the cable cars so beautifully and the cable cars are so adorable. Love it and I am glad there is one little oasis of calm left!

    S x

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  26. I adore the cable cars! They are fab, how clever!

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  27. Your mantle is simply lovely. I love how it has changed over the years, I am normally so busy that the same old stuff just gets put up.

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  28. Love your decorating! Your painting is similar to one I bought in Austria years ago.

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  29. Gillian,
    I love this so much. It has really cheered up my day. Your ebay picture is so fabulous. Oh to have a mantel.
    Leanne xx

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  30. Those cable car decorations are fabulous! We only have the Christmas tree up and no other decorations... It just doesn't seem very Xmassy when it's hot! I definitely prefer a chilly festive season. (Not that I am complianing about the sunny weather, of course!) :-) x

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  31. Love the Alpine mantel and those cable cars are just fabulous! xx

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  32. This house didn't have a mantle as such, so we invested in an old oak beam and attached it to the wall above the fire. I don't photograph it because that wall doesn't get much light and the walls are painted a queasy cream - a DIY mistake that will be rectified in the spring with a nice coat of white or a very pale grey.

    Your December mantle is fun, pure and simple, and fun is what's needed mid move x

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  33. I was just thinking that john! So there us a mantel, phew! Lovely job Gillian, I really like the reindeer on the picture! Hope things are going ok! Xx

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  34. It looks gorgeous, good luck on your move I'm sure your new home will be just as fab. Hope you enjoyed your trip to Leeds and thanks for such a lovely blog it is a real treat in my life.

    Take care, Lucy x

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  35. We have no mantelpiece. It's awful for a collector/displayer (is that a word?) like me. As soon as we get a new place I'm going mantelpiece crazy and styling it to the nth degree.
    I do love your Alpine theme, and those little cable cars are gorgeous. Our local Asda doesn't seem to do lovely things like that. Maybe we should lobby for them to bring them back, then I can go out and buy some...
    Good luck with the move. Hope it's all going smoothly.
    S xx

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  36. It's cold enough to be wearing those socks! I love those cable cars, so unusual.
    Lisa x

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  37. Your Christmas mantel is beautiful, it has a lovely calm and peaceful feel. Love those cable cars.

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  38. Oh yes loving the alpine theme all round. I met my friend last night and they are going skiing next Friday - I am insanely jealous. It is the one and only thing I miss since we have had children - I love skiing. Jo x

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  39. Beautiful! And so nice to have a small area to rest your eyes in the middle of the boxes etc.

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  40. Your home looks absolutely lovely!
    Merry Christmas my friend!
    Tammy xx

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  41. What cool little cable cars! I think I'd have to find a year-round place for those. Good luck with your move. I know well how stressful that can be (I got hives from it once--and I am not a person who ever got hives before or since!).

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  42. Love your mantel so much! I have a similar fireplace so must try hanging things from mine. Sorry no comments from me for so long. I still read and look forward to all your posts. I so loved the birthday cake!! Jo xx

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  43. Lovely mantel Gillian. I love those little cable cars although real life ones terrify me! Hope you are coping okay with the moving madness. Bee xx

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