Tuesday, October 18, 2011

No Mantle? No Problem!

This bookcase in the middle of my living room wall has never been used for books.  It's sort of the visual center of the room--the other three walls all have doorways, and this is the only purely decorative wall.  I love books, but didn't really think my book collection was all that visually stimulating (at least from the outside), so I've always had various arrangements of photos and knick-nacks. 
Somehow or other, I'd never really done much as far as decorating it seasonally is concerned.  This summer I'd had a couple paper lanterns in it (thus the couple of visually-unbalanced shelves--I put away the lanterns but hadn't rearranged things yet), but that was about as far as I'd gone.  Over the past couple weeks as I was blog-hopping, I'd gotten a bit jealous of all the people with the wonderful fall mantle arrangements.  I live in a rather hot area, and mantles aren't exactly de rigeur in houses around here!  Then I happened upon this post, which reminded me that just because one doesn't have a mantle, it doesn't mean one can't decorate as though one had a mantle. 
So, I took my nondescript bookcase arrangement and created four different small fall mantles!  For the top one, I got rid of the glass-and-metal candle holder and substituted in a raven garden ornament (clearance last year at Target) and two ink well candle holders (clearance at Anthropologie).  The second shelf got three Goodwill wood-look ceramic candle holders with clearanced Target candles and a grapevine pumpkin from Target's dollar spot. 
I moved my collection of violin-playing angels to the bottom shelf, where they mix nicely with some branches that fell out of my tree in our last big storm.  The next-to-bottom shelf has quite a mix of items!  In the middle is a drippy brown pillar candle which I nestled in a green glass compote amongst a bunch of acorns and small pine cones.  More acorns are underneath, mixed with some "cranberry" vase filler I also used elsewhere in the room.  On the right, my miniature violin sits on a pedestal made from moss-covered foam.  I love the way the pedestal makes it look "important" rather than just "toy-like."  On the left, I used some terracotta pot saucers to support a red glass cup and saucer and a Ukranian egg I got in Brazil.  (There are lots of people of European ancestry in southern Brazil.)  I'm thinking I may sponge-paint the saucers with shades of green, brown and gray to make them blend a bit better, but overall, I'm pleased!
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