Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Mantel - Tarnished Silver, Greens, and Mercury Glass

Designs rarely happen exactly as I imagine them. This year, this statement is true to the MAX.

I had imagined having my home decorated inside and out the weekend after Thanksgiving, or maybe the following weekend. (SOOO didn't happen. Still happening.)

I had imagined a mostly white with metals again, and plenty of faux greenery. (I have used faux greenery for decades, and have been happy with it.) I also anticipated using small amounts of red. I love red. So far, that has not happened. 

I have added to my collection of faux greenery every year - Hobby Lobby after Christmas sales, garage sales, thrift store finds, etc. It is seriously overtaking my garage.

This year, I imagined arranging my growing collection of tarnished silver plate pieces and mercury glass across the mantel, and filling each of the containers with a faux mini tree. I was pretty excited about the idea!

But when I stepped back and took a look, it was just plain yucky to my eyes.

Too many faux trees. Yucky. It may have looked good with real trees, but the fake ones just sorta got me. In case you're wondering, the photo above is AFTER taking many of them away.

I have decided to ditch them altogether after this year. Yeah, I'm going to purge big-time. All the faux has gotta go.

I may keep the teeny-tiny ones...but the larger ones will be leaving. Same for the garland. 

See the sprigs of cedar above? It's real...cut from a tree in my front yard. It looks ever so much nicer than fake stuff.

As as long as I have a real tree or two from which I can clip low branches and bring something real into the room...why do I want a silly little tree like the ones above?  

I can just stick branches into pots if I want a "tree". 
I can even make my own fresh garland and wreaths. (Here goes the old imagination again. I have way more imagination than time.)

I've always had a real tree - until two years ago. Today, I was putting the fake one together and thinking about the number of fake things in my living room. I didn't like it. I've always been a bit of a snob about having things made from "real" materials - metal, stone, wood, glass, ceramic. I avoid plastic like the plague. WHY didn't I realize fake greenery is plastic? Why did it take so long to hit me, then hit me like a ton of fake bricks?

I rationalize. It's just me here, and putting a real tree into a stand is a two-people job. The fake ones take a while to "fluff" and stick fake branches into the fake trunk, but it's easily doable by one person. 

I can only imagine trying to do a real tree alone. It would be worse than installing my dishwasher.

Next year, I need to enlist a friend to help. Maybe I can return the favor at HER house. 

And next year, my goal is to do all fresh greens. (Never mind that in my semi-arid city they'll all be toast in a matter of days.)

Note to self: Google ways to prolong the life of fresh greenery. Pin them.

Word for the Day:
Luke 2:8-9
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.

Possibly Linking With


Sunday Show-off Link Party
Silver Pennies Sundays
Bouquet of Talent

Masterpiece Monday
Amaze Me Monday
Make it Pretty Monday
Mod Mix Monday
Give Me the Goods Monday

Vintage Inspiration Tuesday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
The Scoop
Inspire Me Tuesday
Inspiration Exchange Linky Party
The Gathering Spot

Wow Us Wednesday
Blissfully White Wednesday
What’s it Wednesday
Cottage Style Party
Centerpiece Wednesday Link Up Party


farmhouse-story said...

the frames make a wonderful backdrop, revi:) i used real greenery for the first time this year, and i think i'm going all real next year. wishing you a great xmas!

Jan said...

Your mantle is lovely! Faux greenery and a faux tree don't bother me. They never dry up and they can be stored from year to year. They can be used for years. I know live trees are "renewable" resources, but the average live tree today costs $40 and often a really nice tree costs a lot more than that. Way too rich for me! Then, a live tree has to be hauled home (I don't drive and don't own a car and can't balance one on my head on the bus) and set up and, as you noted, that is at least a two person job. I have a fake tree that is in three parts with permanently attached hinged branches and when taken apart I wrap it up in a twin size sheet, tie it with a big knot and it stays in the garage in a cardboard box in a corner, takes up hardly any room. I can handle it myself. The most difficult part is wrestling the bottom-most part of the tree (the largest and heaviest of the parts) into the stand by myself, but once that is done the rest is a piece of cake. Fluffing a tree - fine -- but a real tree isn't perfect so why should a fake tree be perfect? That's what ornaments and garland and ribbon are for -- to fill in from the inside out! Faux greenery and fake tree branches can also bend and stay put to hold ornaments or decorations in just such a way, something you cannot do with real branches and Christmas trees! Perhaps you have acquired too much faux greenery over the years and can shed some, but you may want to consider not getting rid of too much. You may find yourself missing it in a couple of years and then you'll have to start over :) My fake 6 1/2' tall Christmas tree cost me $150 with free shipping about 8 years ago and it's still going strong. Just this year I noticed a few burned out lights so next year I may add some extra lights. And when the tree starts to look a little ratty (it is not there yet), I will take off the lights and spray paint it silver and white! I expect to have the tree a good many years yet. 15 years x $40 a year versus my $150 prelit hinged tree. I love a good deal :) Happy Holidays to you. I'm visiting from The Dedicated House Make It Pretty Monday.

Gypsy Heart said...

Your mantle looks lovely! I think the franes add a lot. We've always had to have the fake trees, etc., due to mine and my daughter's allergies. Mtn Cedar is a killer! I think the real greenery is just beautiful.

I finally got a new computer so I wanted to check in and see how you were doing. I hope you have a wonderful new year! I so hope it's a better one.


One Shabby Old House said...

I can so relate to your post. I am even looking at the nurseries in town to see just what kind of trees I can start growing so I can have fresh greenery available. But your mantles do look so pretty. You know exactly where to place things that give such visual interest. I enjoyed your pictures. Have a Happy New year!