Our friend, Beth from one of my favorite blogs Home Stories A 2 Z announced she’s hosting a link party featuring Valentine’s Day mantels. She has no idea how perfect that timing was for me. You see I really wanted to post a dining tablescape for Valentine’s Day, but due to the huge stockpile of fixtures right now in my dining room that are getting ready to be installed at “The Little Brick Cottage” , I haven’t been able to do the tablescape. So Beth’s announcement was the instigator for me to decorate the living room fireplace mantel instead…and I’m loving it!
This is what the mantel looked like before I started. I’m not going to be able to share with you in this post, but I’m in the process, just after I snapped this picture, to omit almost all the reds and oranges and most of the black from my living room. I’m in a lightening up mood big time, so I’ve been dancing the ‘Furniture Shuffle’ again, and I’m lovin’ that too! However, to be focused on removing red from this room, and decorating the mantel for Valentine’s Day would be interesting.
First I cleared everything off except leaving the battery operated LED lights, and removed the red shaded lamp, then I put this antique empty frame, I borrowed from the piano room, up to see how I liked the scale of it. I liked it, so I worked around that.
Next I added an ivy topiary borrowed from the kitchen and those frosty ferns and stumps from the Christmas tablescape along with a couple of brass colored pressed tin pots. Hmmm, not quite what I want to see.
I went through the house looking at all my accessories, aha this silver vase with huge roses my husband bought for me from Restoration Hardware looked great up there. Typically, I would put the taller thing on the left, in this case the ivy, however, the roses being such a contrast with the dark stone have a taller ‘visual’ presence and actually looked better on the left.
So I had the elements I wanted to see together, but it was too full. I pulled down a couple of the ferns, and put them on two little barrel tables that sit next to chairs in front of the fireplace.
Presto-Chango! Now there is ‘mass and void’, an element in arranging that creates intrigue to our eye as we look across something.
Then primping a little bit I finally decided on the arrangement. Notice how there is basically 3 groups, the first is the tall silver vase, the second in the antique frame and the third is the topiary? And notice too how balanced the white is in each of the 3 groups?
Each group is accented with what appears to be a vintage Valentine, but actually I printed out all the Valentine Cards seen here from Graphics Fairy and using a gluestick I glued the printed typing paper to a piece of heavy cardstock, then trimed it out. (OK, so it took me a couple tries to figure out how much simplier it is to glue first and then trim both the paper and cardstock out as one. Sometimes I’m slow, but I do have persistence on my side.)
To make the ‘filling’ for the antique frame, I cut down a piece of cardboard and a piece of cardstock with this French handwriting on it I bought at Archiver’s to fit inside the frame. (My only purchase special for this mantle.) Then with a couple of those beautiful Valentines from Graphics Fairy, I punched some holes through the cards and pierced two holes the same distance apart through the cardboard and cardstock in the frame. I then just ‘tied’ it together with wrapping twine.
All the cards I accented with twine bows, just by punching two holes a little ways apart and looping twine through to make a bow.
If they were really vintage cards, I never would do that, but since they’re just printed copies, no problem!
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