Mantel Madness! Back to School theme for the Living room

Ye’ old school mantel! Because if your kids are young enough you can trick them into being super excited about school starting again.. the older they get the harder it is I hear (and well, remember) to get them pumped up about waking up early..learning.. and giving Mom some freakin’ peace and quiet already. Kidding- of course. This is a repost from last year but it’s one of my favorite mantels and I kind of have some packing to do for our last vacation of the summer and I hear some crazy things happened at the VMAs last night? Who is this NSYNC I keep hearing about? Ha ha.. I should probably check that out to be safe. If your kids went back to school today like a lot of the kids did- you could scurry something like this up before they get home and remind them.. for the next 10 months.. this.is.it. ;)

 

First it started off with the white frame I used in our Summer “Pure Michigan” Mantel. I wanted to use it for a chalkboard but didn’t want to deal with making the chalkboard. So, I picked up a 1.49 piece of black poster board over at Target and the sharpie paint pen and went to work.

 

A little Dr. Suess can fix anyone’s mood.

A few boxes of pencils and rulers (which we’ll gift to the school when we’re done with the mantel, who needs 15 rulers unless you’re a teacher? Wait, don’t answer that. Crafters do get crazy sometimes. ;) ha ha!)

I wanted a red apple but wally world was fresh out. Of course, the only time you need a fake apple they’re out of the color you want. I snatched up the last green one though. Is there a fake apple shortage I haven’t heard about?

Some books, blocks, scrabble tiles and a few framed flash cards one from a new set we bought for chloe and one that I took off our Playroom wall and we were all set! I’m loving the feel it gives to the room. It’s a little cheesy, yeah. But, it gets everyone in the mood for school. Plus it’s an excuse to play around with a new mantel theme. I can always do spring, summer, fall, halloween etc. But there’s only a short period of time I can do school themed and have the kids still like it and not moan and groan to not remind them of what’s to come! :)

Valentines Mantel {2013}

I did a little playing with the mantel this weekend.

Just in time for Valentines Day. Clearly I was not on the lovey dovey holiday ball this year. But, it’s still fun to add some pink to the house. I wanted a touch of industrial if I could so Jared helped me make this arrow– which I’ll show in another post.

IMG_5818

C for Cupid!

IMG_5819

Ombre “art” if you can call it that. More like cut up strips of paper and taped inside a frame. But secretly.. I love it.

IMG_5821

The arrow needs to be sanded down, I tried the salt trick and well.. the salt is being a whiny little brat and wont come off– Some way some how, it will look like rust if it kills me. Which it might.

Anyway, this mantel was completely free. Everything I already had and it felt really nice.

IMG_5825

Like that little piece in the frame there? Come back tomorrow for the deets on that, it’s so romantic it’s sick.

IMG_5822

If you want to see pictures of Valentines pasts check these out!

Christmas Decor 2012

I’m going to try and keep this short and sweet. Picture heavy if I can help it. :)

I went really simple this year. Once I felt overwhelmed with it… It was time to pack the boxes away and just relax.. It’s a TREE. It’s a MANTEL. It’s not the end of the world if it isn’t perfect. C’mon Rachelle.. Focus! There are bigger things going on.

I took what I liked. I asked the girls what they wanted. And, boom. Flower Muse helped as well by sending me a ton of pretty white hydrangeas. Goodness, this year..this week.. I needed some beauty. And, that they were. They were super fresh and have held together for almost a full week now. I loved them so much, I stuck them in my tree! They’re white and big ol’ balls

Ahem..{C’mon google, I dare you}

So, they mimic ornaments really well I think.

Okay, I said short and sweet and it’s novel long. Enjoy some twinkle lights. Some glitter and gold. And, be happy. Right now, this moment. Be. happy.

Merry Christmas, loves.

IMG_5550

IMG_5539

IMG_5542

IMG_5543

IMG_5559

IMG_5588

IMG_5590

IMG_5596

IMG_5597

IMG_5328

IMG_5331

IMG_5332

IMG_5333

IMG_5499

IMG_5524

IMG_5526

IMG_5527

IMG_5528

IMG_5529

IMG_5533

More info on the Mantel?

How about those Gold Ornaments?

Want to just be best friends forever?

To see last Christmas

I’ll be joining the Nester for her Holiday party.. and hookin’ up with HOH

Christmas Mantel 2012 {Gold, Glitter and Blue}

When I told my husband I wanted to try and incorporate antlers into the mantel for some fun he didn’t even bat an eye.

Parts of skulls.

On a festive Christmas mantel.

Yeah.. Seems legit.

But really, I get a lot of flack for some of the things that interest me. Antlers being one of them. But they’re just so cool! And, aside from the hunting debate I’m not getting into at the moment… They’re as close to nature as you can get ;)

Plus deer. Reindeer. Rudolf. It all makes sense, no? I think so. Anyway, carryon.

Since I couldn’t find a head to mount I decided to rock the silhouette and make it myself. But shinier.

The girls requested more glitter, when I first did the mantel and tweaked it a tad they said “That’s it?”

Whomp whomp.

You want more? Oh, I’ll give you more, children.

So I took it all down, and encouraging myself to not buy a damnned Darn thing this year I broke out the bins of blue ornaments. Last year I really did try to like the blue. I did. But I couldn’t do it, it wasn’t Christmasy enough.

I’m happy to say, I tried it again. And, I liked it.

It’s kind of a mix between a hoarders Christmas with all the jars, and someone clearly interested in the sport of hunting Rudolf..And sprinkling glitter all over him. And, it’s glorious.

I have some tea lights for the jars but, the battery operated ones have way too much orange in them and it throws the whole thing off so I think I’ll put some real ones in on Christmas for a touch more magic.

The jewelry box is from my bedroom. I used this tutorial for the dipped ball jars.

The antlers are from my fajah

The jars are an assortment of Ball Jars, Jelly Jars and random ones from my fridge with questionable items in them that got cleaned out.

Blue ornaments from Walmart, gold ones from the dollar store.

Greenery is old, but it’s from Target, there’s actually a few swags intertwined together. Makes it fuller..lovelier.

The deer isn’t centered, so I put a frame there and just hot glued an ornament to it. It’s not my favorite thing but what’s one more item in the hodge podge of hoardiness.

And, at night.. it’s lovely.

Next up..The tree!

Back to School Mantel

I shared this post over at Tatertots and Jello last week and I thought it’d be fun to share here as well. :) Enjoy!

Kicking off the end of summer-hello school I decided to fancy up our mantel a bit.

First it started off with the white frame I used in our Summer “Pure Michigan” Mantel. I wanted to use it for a chalkboard but didn’t want to deal with making the chalkboard. So, I picked up a 1.49 piece of black poster board over at Target and the sharpie paint pen and went to work.

 

A little Dr. Suess can fix anyone’s mood.

A few boxes of pencils and rulers (which we’ll gift to the school when we’re done with the mantel, who needs 15 rulers unless you’re a teacher? Wait, don’t answer that. Crafters do get crazy sometimes. ;) ha ha!)

I wanted a red apple but wally world was fresh out. Of course, the only time you need a fake apple they’re out of the color you want. I snatched up the last green one though. Is there a fake apple shortage I haven’t heard about?

Some books, blocks, scrabble tiles and a few framed flash cards one from a new set we bought for chloe and one that I took off our Playroom wall and we were all set! I’m loving the feel it gives to the room. It’s a little cheesy, yeah. But, it gets everyone in the mood for school. Plus it’s an excuse to play around with a new mantel theme. I can always do spring, summer, fall, halloween etc. But there’s only a short period of time I can do school themed and have the kids still like it and not moan and groan to not remind them of what’s to come! :)

Saturday Haps’

Happy Saturday Friends. :)

I thought I’d pop in and say hello and share a few fun links. Just because…

I had fun popping over to a little blog this week to share a fun Back-to-School Mantel.. You might have heard of her before… ;)

Tatertots and Jello..

oh ya!

I love Jen, she’s seriously sweet as sugar and I was so excited to be able to go steal her blog for a bit. Fun stuff, for sure.

Our “in house” haha, Vinyl superstar is over at Groupon this week. With 50% off discounts! How cool is that?

One item that’s on sale was made famous on another fun blog recently.

Love that sign!

Another EXCITING thing that happened this week. One that I’m still gaga over! We had our family photos taken by the uber talented Casey Kendrick and I’m seriously.. IN LOVE. She must have sensed my very impatientness because she put a sneak peek on Facebook an hour after our shoot. I can’t wait to get the prints.

My all time (so far..haha) favorite. All centered around Life of course. Couldn’t be a better message.

Anyway, Casey is a super star. You should probably check out her fan page.. Because even if you’re not in Michigan– she’s got plenty of pretty pictures to get inspiration and drool over. :)

Oh and, Michigan’s heat wave finally left! PTL people, hallelujah. It was cool enough for hoodies yesterday. And football was on, did fall just happen? I think it did.

If you’re interested in more everyday pics, you can check the family out on instagram. Fotfblog.. Check it yo.

Summer Mantel

Since it’s over 100 degrees these days I figured it was time to break out a little taste of summer for the mantel. It kind of screams Pure Michigan to me. Now, we just need Tim Allen to say that during these pictures and we’d be all set, no?

:)

 

I used a print I found on Pinterest, you can get any state for FREE from this fantastic woman. How awesome is that!?

 

 

The big piece of art was a knock off of something similar I had seen on an episode of Restaurant Impossible. I think they used yellow though, it was about a year ago but I kept it in the memory bank for safe keeping. :) Word to the wise though, with small star fish like these, they come with a yellow/orange tinge. Not the look I was going for, so I put them in some bleach water which made them fragile as hell. I originally wanted to use pencil starfish but couldn’t find any small ones around town and didn’t want to order any. Next time, I definitely would order them. Not too sure how these will hold up in storage.

A few glass jars and some books and I was all set. Definitely digging the blue and mustard together.

It ties along nicely to the other changes in the living room as of late. :)

 

Linking up with some lovely ladies.. :)

Beth Tutorials & Tips not to miss

How to make a super cute sign.. two ways!

So, way back when I blogged regularly (I know..I know, we’ll get to that.) I said I’d write about how I made this sign.

Into this sign.

It’s seriously the most simple process ever if you can eyeball lettering..or easier if you can trace.. OR if you’re super lucky and have a Shillouette it’s the easiest project ever. (How many times can I say easy in one post?!) But I don’t and I didn’t have any paper for my printer to trace so, eyeballing it it is. But, first things first.

You saw it on our Christmas mantel, and I adored the rustic vibe it had going on and the faux aluminum letters. But, as much as I loved it we have a small house so things need to have a home or say goodbye. (For the most part) a sign this size fits into that category.

Luckily I applied the letters with hot glue which peels off with little to no effort. And was left with a perfectly good wood planked sign. A blank canvas if you will.

Now, I eyeballed my fonts straight from dafont.com and just went for it with a pencil. If you’re more of a tracer you could write it out on the computer, print it and trace it on your sign and it’d probably be a lot less shaky like mine and more precise. I like to skip steps personally and I’m okay with a little imperfection. It’s supposed to look worn right? Sure, I’ll keep telling myself that. Ha! Or, you could go a step further and use a fancy silhouette and smack some vinyl on it and it’d be gorgeous. It really just depends on your comfort zone with imperfections and straight lines. :)

As Jami would say, Pray about it. 

Once I wrote it all down with a pencil and decided that it was good enough for my liking I used a sharpie paint pen and went to town. Little by little. What’s nice about the paint pen is that anyone who can color can do this. Then that’s it.

In photos you can totally see the color strokes and uneven-ness so I should probably go over it with some real paint just to even it up. Or I might not. So far it hasn’t drove me crazy. ;) Maybe when the whole room gets done. But either way, It’s a fun sign that was cheap to make the first time around for Christmas and free the second time around.

Now, I’ve been the BIGGEST fan of these signs for the longest time. I’ve seen them floating around Pinterest for ever along with seeing them on a few blogs and such. Nester was the one I believe who found the original artist. Woohoo! However, unfortunately I can’t afford one of her’s right now, so I’m not trying to say “hey, why buy her gorgeous signs when you can make them at home.” I’m not. At..All! Because it’s no where NEAR as good as this artists but, until I can afford hers I’ll rock my little knock off version for the time being. I think she has some amazing talent and her work is definitely worth the cost of such a beautiful painting. Just giving credit where credit is due. If you can afford to buy “legit” haha, then I’d highly recommend it I’m such a supporter of buying handmade and when I can save my pennies to buy the lake painting, consider it mine! But if you’re like me and would love to rock some handmade art and want to try it yourself, I thought I’d share how I made mine. Got it? Everyone agree? Yes. The wide world of blogging is tricky like that. I want to be inspired but not take. That was a lot of rambling and I hope it came out with grace.. HA HA.

Valentines Day Mantel

My most favorite favorite mantel was last years Valentines Day Mantel. I just love it. I threw the aqua in on a whim and it just worked.

I’d totally do it again this year but I used the frames for our cheap bathroom art. ;) So.. Since I didn’t want to make the trip to Walmart today I thought I’d try something different.

Remember the sign that I made for Christmas? Well the fantastic thing about hot gluing letters to it meant that I could pop them off with no damage. Shhcore.

I actually painted this a while ago and then hung it up in our bedroom because I have a few things up my sleeve to show you in there but, I needed something lovey-dovey for February. There’s nothing wrong with stealing from one room to help another out. Nothing wrong with that, t’all.

 

So.. Ball jars, books and flowers. It’s not great.. Not my favorite. I might change it up a little bit some more but for now, it’s not an empty (faux) mantel above a giant box tv.

And, the best part?

When the rest of the room looks like this..

and this..

The mantel still looks like this..

Ahh.

Did you notice we painted? Again.

*Sigh* It’s a sickness, fresh paint just makes me happy.

Best of 2011

It’s time to wrap up 2011 and take a look at the highlights of the year.. 

One project that we got done this year that I’m super excited about is the…

It was slow and steady that’s for sure but I’m so happy that it’s done and is a nice comfortable room for the girls to play in. Tons of details here, and here.
We did a little magic to the hallway, and even though it’s 6 or 7 feet of space that usually gets unnoticed I love the new closet doors we built.

Definitely better than they were. Plus the white is so fresh and pretty compared to the black.  

I did a quick face lift to the bathroom with some fabric art.

Put a Bird on it. 

Worked on the kitchen a little bit by adding a Chalkboard wall, Kitchen shelves, beadboard backsplash, and some bun feet.

Had some fun in the mantel department

Some favorites..
‘Twas quite the year. I hope you have fun browsing the links and going through the memories with me. :)

And, of course it wouldn’t be possible to run this place alone, and thanks to my ah-mazing sponsors this year.

Thank you ladies from the bottom of my heart.. Thank you!

And, of course there would be NO blog without the love and support from you lovely ladies. Every reader..subscriber..every one of you. You mean more to me than you’ll ever know. Through your encouragement as I fluff my home, mother my children and learn how to make this thing called marriage work. You’re my cheerleaders and there isn’t anything quite like real friends is there? Even if you friends are thousands of miles away. I’m honored to call you friends.

Group hug.

This year was pretty tough for some of us, so I’m praying for us all to have one hell of a 2012. Can I get an Amen?

:)
Love. Just love.


Jen is having a best of 2011 party! Check it!
Lovin’ it over at TidyMom’s!
I’ll be joining Rhoda for her 2011 party!
And, Petals to Picots The best of 2011 party!
Don’t forget My BFF’s partay! 
The lovely Ange is having a best of party too
So much fun going around blog land.