Fall Mantle Decor

The pressure is on, only 10 more days until I take on another 31 Days of blogging on the same subject. Check out my fellow blogger over at the Nester, she’s got great ideas, and a heart full of grace. I still can’t decide what my topic will be, there are just too many possible choices! Here are some I have considered:

Decorating 1 Room 31 Ways (not sure if I could really pull this one off)
31 Wisconsin Cheese Recipes
31 Fabulous Places to Visit
31 Ways to be the cheapest Tightwad EVER
31 Designer Sewing Secrets
31 Secrets Antique Dealers Don’t Want You to Know
31 Days of Pintrest Inspired DIY Projects
31 Days of Wheat-free Cooking
31 Days of Proverbs for Mothers
31 Days in the Life of Bennone Ingsly Ives (another one of my fascinating relatives)
31 Great Home School Memory Verses

Any favorites? I hate being indecisive, perhaps you all can help me on this. What would you like to read? Leave me a comment and let me know!

For today, it finally feels like fall here in Wisconsin. The temperatures have dropped, the sun is no longer warm, and the air has it’s first chill of the coming season. The fields have turned golden, even ahead of the leaves on the trees. It feels like it’s time to curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book and hibernate. I love hibernation.

We actually tried out the fireplace a couple nights ago. We needed light and heat, since the stupid power company accidentally turned off our electricity because we owed them $46.00. Seriously? How can you make a mistake like that?

Anyway it gave us a chance to try out the wood burning fireplace. It has been many years since we were able to actually burn wood. I was inspired to work on the mantle to make it cozy.

But I didn’t really have anything to decorate with, since any decorations I used to have got dumped in one of our moves over the recent years. I decided to make do with what we had, which really isn’t much. I started with Grandpa’s Connecticut Shelf Clock. I love the sound of it ticking. It runs for 8 days at a time before you need to wind it. How clever is that?

I pulled out a couple of cast iron urns and filled them with my trustee curly willow branches. I love curly willow. Next, I added my little ceramic pumpkin (a gift from a friend), James’ favorite carved wooden owl whistle, and a brown paperweight we had laying around, just because I liked the fall colors. I began searching for candles. No go, no candles. Humm………………..

I pulled out my bag of Tea Lights that I got at the thrift store for $1.70. They are very basic and boring. I decided to jazz them up with some colored rice. Do you know the colored rice trick? You need rubbing alcohol, food color and any type of white rice to fill your containers that you stick the candles in.

Put some uncooked rice in a plastic bag. Add a few drops of the food color, and a 1/2 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol. Close the bag and shake it around until the rice is completely colored.

I like to use canning jars, or these little Pyrex bowls to put the candles in. Votive candles will also work well, and the rice absorbs the drips of wax so it’s very easy to throw out a melted candle.

Then I scented them with a few drops of cinnamon candle oil. Just drip it on anywhere. As the candle burns, the scent is released. I get these oils at Micheal’s Craft store in the candle making section. They are very inexpensive, and last forever. These oils are the only way I can use scented candles, pre-scented candles make me sneeze. Why is that?

I thought it needed something else so I grabbed my scissors and went for a walk in the yard. I cut a bouquet of Dusty Miller, Asparagus Fern, and dried Amaranth.

I was going to add some gourds, but apparently there aren’t many around this year because of the drought we had over the summer.

There you have it, the Fall Mantle. Not fancy, but still looks like fall. The best part is I didn’t have to buy anything. I just used things I had laying around. There is a great book called ” Use What You Have Decorating”, I highly recommend it. Why spend money when you don’t have to?

Time to hibernate.

Designer Mom

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