Friday, December 3, 2010

Inspiration Friday Party No. 14

A Tale of Two Mantels...

You know how when you first start decorating for the Holiday's, you feel kind of all warm and fuzzy inside? Your energy is at it's highest, Perry Como is sounding his very best, you hum along as you unpack the boxes of decorations and memories come flooding back. That was how I felt when I tackled my First Mantel in our family room. The one I showed you earlier in the week.

I had a vision in my head (which partly came from my mantel stalking problem!) and was so pleased when it came out almost exactly as I had imagined!
But then, I had to tackle my bannister and the other assorted decorations and by the time I got to my Living Room mantel my house looked like a bomb exploded inside it!
And, my vision for it did not seem to be becoming a reality all that easily. It didn't help when the entire garland fell off it's hooks 4 times. 4 TIMES!!! I actually went to bed that night so frustrated that I just left it on the floor right where it landed when it fell.

Not even baby Jesus, looking down on me so serenely from his perch on top, could make me feel better in that moment!
But, refreshed after a good night's sleep, I started again the next day and this is how it all turned out.

What do you think?

This was my first time putting our Nativity on the mantel and I really love it having this place of prominence. The candles do double duty as we celebrate Advent each Sunday this month.

I kept my exisiting topiaries and just simply added berries to spruce them up for the season.

I found these dangling beauties on Clearance at Michael's and just couldn't resist fitting them in somewhere.

I used ribbon I already had but added these butterflies to carry over the theme from the Family Room Mantel.

Large silk Hydrangeas are a great filler and add the perfect pop that I was looking for.

Last but not least, this is the fireplace where the Stockings are hung by our children with care. And this one, in particular, is extra special to me.
You see, a few years ago, I picked up 3 stockings from TJ Maxx for my hubby, our son and myself. They coordinated perfectly and I loved the tapestry style. Then, during the Christmas season of 2006, I stumbled across this one, also from TJ Maxx, that matched the set perfectly.
And it had a brown haired little girl on the front.
So, I bought it!
But, there was no little girl in our house that year.

We were in the middle of a very long stretch of our Second Adoption process. Lots of silence, not knowing whether or not we would ever have another baby in our lives. Somehow, buying this stocking gave me some hope. My hubby was worried that those hopes were too high, especially since it was so gender specific!
It got packed away after Christmas along with all of my hopes and dreams for another baby.
And then, 7 months later, little Miss Lauren joined our family.
A brown haired, brown eyed beauty.
And I knew that the next Christmas would find this stocking hanging in it's rightful place on our mantel!

Here is one last look of it all glowing at night.

Now, on to the Inspiration Friday Party!
I have seen so many of your gorgeous mantels and other Holiday Decor this week. I think creativity is at it's peak right now in Blogland and I am so enjoying getting fabulous new ideas and inspirations. So, let's get to sharing!
Come on and Link up to this party where everything is welcome!
Decorating, Crafts, Recipes, Family activities and experiences.
Whatever you are up to these days!

I can't wait to see and I so appreciate you joining in the fun!
Have a fabulous weekend from this
Southern Girl at Heart,
P.S. I know it says this in the linky instructions below, but PLEASE be sure to make some reference to the Inspiration Friday Party in your post or just grab my button over in the sidebar. Thanks!

Here is how to link up...
1. Add your Permalink to your entry but not your General Blog Address. To get your Permalink, click on the title of the blog post you are wanting to submit and copy and paste the address into the URL box. You will also have to add your address but it will not be visible to anyone else.
2. Do not try and Link up until you have actually published that particular post on your blog.
3. Please link back to the host blog, Southern In My Heart, so that those who visit your blog will be able to find some wonderful Inspiration from everyone else!


Patti's Artful Design said...

Hi Vanessa....I love your holiday room! The saturated colors are just inviting and warm! Happy Holidays!

~Kristin~ said...

Well...LOOK at me Vanessa! I was the first at your party tonight! Woo Hoo!
And just so you house has looked like a bomb went off all week. And today I was going to finish with our dining area, but did my front porch instead. Couldn't help myself. The weather was beautiful and my porch was calling. Have a great weekend and thanks for sharing your pix. Glad you got that special little baby girl and a matching stocking too!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Both of your mantels are very pretty, Vanessa. I love the warm and cozy feeling of your family room.

Debbiedoos said...

What a dork I am...I thought the other day that was your knock off version of the copy. I guess I do not process my reading so well LOL. I linked up today, hope my post is is learning about others tradtions...I think that is inspiring right? Your mantel looks stunning. In spite of the garland falling four times. I broke some ornaments in the process myself.

Tricia said...

Your mantle looks so nice. I like how you made your nativity the focal point. I bought a fourth stocking before I ever had a second child too. I just felt like it was meant for a special someone :)

Sue said...

Vanessa, Both mantels are beautiful in their own way. Love the bling on the one w/the nativity. Great story about Lauren's stocking, too. :-)
Love those blue/white vases on the other mantel. And you want to know about a bomb that went off in the house? Honey, I cannot get out from under the debris!!! AAAGGGHHHH..... At this rate, I'll probably still be working until Christmas Eve.
♥ Sue

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Both of your mantels look the touch of the berries to your tree! I know what you mean about things not going are not alone.


Melissa Miller said...

Your mantels are pretty and and festive Vanessa! I adore the way you hung the garland. Gorgeous glow!

Thank you for hosting. It's always lovely to visit all of the great inspiration. ~Melissa :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Vanessa! Your mantle is gorgeous! I thought of putting one of my Nativities on the mantle. I just may! I love the story of that sweet little stocking. Don't we have lots of sweet memories we have.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

René said...

Both of your mantles look great. You can't go wrong with blue & white porc. or topiaries. It is nice that you have meaningful things in your family room.


Pamela said...

It looks fantastic Vanessa! You did a great job! Still working on mine. Hopefully I can finish it up tomorrow and link up!:)

Debbie said...

Sigh... oh how I WISH I had a mantle to decorate. You've done a fab-u-lous job!!! And how wonderful that the Lord answered your prayers by placing a precious little girl in your home. Hugs and blessings to you and your sweet family!!!

NanaDiana said...

That mantle is beautiful...but even more beautiful is the story of your stocking. I think that stocking was Heaven sent to let you know that there was a baby girl waiting for you in the wings (angel wings at that). Bless you and your family! Hugs-Diana

The Inspired Nest said...

You have some gorgeous mantles! I just love the garland with your nativity scene. Just gorgeous! That night shot is so pretty. I just love when night comes and I can turn off the lights and enjoy the twinkle of my tree!

Christie said...

Well, I think I might like to curl up in your den and sit for a while! It is lovely and inviting at the same time...a good friend, some good music and a glass of wine after the kids go to bed talking about how I wish I never put that elf in my house because I forget to move it!! (elf on the shelf!) Just lovely...always is over here! I have got to get something done to my mantel! You have given me some inspiration!!

Melanie said...

Your mantle looks so pretty. I am sorry that you had such a time with it but in the end it turned out great. I hope you don't mind that I linked up my sweet letter from the hubby but I thought it was really sweet. Have a good weekend.

Unknown said...

I love this story. It is so full of hope and beauty. I'm so glad your dreams have come true-for Lauren as well!!

Your garland is gorgeous. I would never have thought of a hydrangea, but it really works!
thanks for hosting,

Traci said...

Vanessa, I love the way everything turned out. I know exactly how you felt. I fought with my mantel & went to sleep with stuff all over the floor too! Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Thank you again sweetie, for hostessing. Hubby and I will be passing you tomorrow as we head to Portland to look at some Stanley furniture. Long date for us in the big city and dinner, woo hoo! I think he's trying to chase away my midlife angst by buying me stuff. I think midlife may last a long, long time :)

Beautiful mantel and beautiful story about the arrival of your daughter.

Laura Everyday Edits said...

Hi there_ i'm a new follower.. found you through the link party for tomorrow. Would you follow me along? I have the identical topiary and I love that you put it on your mantel. I have moved it like 4 times this week and it's so narrow and too short on the floor. laura over at

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Vanessa~ I just love reading your posts... the story that goes with that stocking is incredible...I just love it it~and I, too, think you found that stocking for a reason! :) I am looking forward to the cookie exchange~so much fun!!! Thanks for hosting! :)

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

Your mantles are beautiful! Oh, so sweet, the stocking story!

Christie said...

Came back to tell you! I loved the story about your daughter! I love how the Lord works and He knows precisely how things will come about! It is so neat that he put that on your heart to buy that perfect stocking!!

Jemsmom said...

Your mantels are gorgeous! I especially love the nativity! I am so behind, but am going to bust out my mantel tomorrow to show! You are on it and it is looking wonderful at your house!

Tatum @ Tatum's Take said...

The mantels look great!! I have mentioned on numerous blogs that I have mantel envy because I don't have one. Your home looks so ready for the holidays!

DanielleisNesting said...

I love the stocking story! I'm all linked up for the party! Thanks for hosting!

Modern Country Lady said...

What a beautiful and cosy room you have made it! Thank you for hosting!
I am very excited I have been asked to guest blog on a big host blog, check it out if you want- I have put the link on the link party!!

So excited - this is my first time !!!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Oooh, Vanessa, I've just seen your kitchen in your side bar - it's gorgeous!! It looks enormous!!

What an adorable stocking story. That's so sweet.

We put our nativity on our mantelpiece. It's not quite as smart as yours - it's one made by my son out of toilet rolls!! But I love it!


Savannah Granny said...

Love your mantels. they are very beautifully done and capture the spirit of Christmas. Love the Nativity up there. I am so happy that you have a new miracle in your home this year. Hugs, Ginger
Oh, This is my first time joining your party.

Debbie said...

They are all just beautiful. I love the nativity on there. Hmm. I just finished setting mine up on its usual side table. Now, you make me want to contemplate a change. I think, though, that mine lacks the size and bulk to look as good as yours.

Unknown said...

Vanessa: Thanks so much for hosting this party! I'm your newest follower and have joined your party ;) Looking forward to reading more of your posts! If you have a chance, maybe you can stop over to my blog for a visit (and a follow?) too!

See you soon,


~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

How beautiful! I love your lovely decor! And I'm so happy to be linking with you this morning! I love your blog! ♥

Kama said...

Hands down the most precious story I have read lately! I love the story of your stocking:):)

Kelly said...

Love the way it turned out. And I love the story about the stocking and your adoption. My mother and three first cousins were adopted (all with beautiful stories) so this is near and dear to my heart!


KimMalk said...

Your mantels look wonderful. I love the classic look of the first and the beefed-up garland with the nativity. I moved my nativity this year, too. Blessings, Kim

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Your mantel is so gorgeous! You captured the real reason for the Season. Love it :)

DIYbyDesign said...

I never thought of putting the nativity on the mantle. What a great idea. Next year I am definitely going to try this. You're so deserves center stage. Everything looks gorgeous. Thanks for hosting.

Honey at 2805 said...

Hi Vanessa! Thanks for your sweet comment and an invitation to link to your party. I just did and will look forward to it next Friday.

Lori @ Projects Plenty said...

Your mantle is gorgeous. Love the garland and the nativity scene works perfectly where you have it. Thanks for sharing.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh I think they are both gorgeous. I like the blue and white in the first one, but the second definitely looks more like a good old fashioned Christmas. Your nativity is beautiful and the garland is just stunning. Beautiful room. Hugs, Marty

My Cozy Corner said...

Yes, I think the bomb hit at my house too. Thank you for your visit. I love to visit you everyday and especially on Friday for Inspiration Friday. Your decorations are just perfect for your family. So much love and thoughtfulness is shown in your "Home" Bless you and your family during this holiday season

michelle said...

It is just beautiful my friend! I really love the hydrangeas! I just love seeing all your decor (even if it is being mean to you:) ) you certainly have an eye! Your home looks so cozy and just beautiful!!!

Becca Bertotti said...

Howdy, hey ... first off ... THANK YOU for hosting such a fun shindig. And, second (but no less important) ... your mantel looks fabulous !! I LOVE the nativity scene and the topiaries. And, your big, chunky garland, festooned with flowers, bows and butterflies is gorgeous! I love your stockings, and how, for whatever reason, you *knew* to buy the matching baby girl stocking ... you already had mother's instinct with your daughter, and she wasn't even a glimmer in your eye yet! You were a great Mamma to her long before you first held her in your arms. Lucky little princess, she certainly is! Hugs, Becca (And, PS: thanks for letting me crash your party with my nutcracker mantel!)

Ashley said...

I LOVE your mantel. Even my hubby looked over my shoulder and said, "Wow, thats nice." Wonderful story behind your stockings.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for your kind words. I will treasure them. You really, REALLY got the message behind my post.
much love,

Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia said...

I love it, it's so pretty! The nativity is perfect :)
We just finished and my house is a bomb but I won't worry about it for till tomorrow :)

Pamela said...

I love the mantle. I'm happy you put the sway up for the 5th time. :-) I collect Nativity Sets so I always enjoy seeing others. Yesterday at Gatlinburg I saw an outdoor set for 25,000 dollars.

Unknown said...

vanessa, everything looks great! i love the idea of having the nativity on the mantle...maybe next year :) i just got done with mine this weekend...hope i didn't miss all the holiday linky parties! great job, girl!

Unknown said...

Vanessa, what a lovely giveaway! Pleased to finally be back with a little inspiration of my own. :)

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