October 5, 2011

The Lovely Mantel and the Ludicrous Slippers

Lately it’s felt so like fall around here. I swear, the first day back from Labor Day weekend to the usual grind the weather turned cooler, the leaves began to change, and it became time to pull out the Oogies.
Oh, you aren’t familiar with the Oogies? The Oogies (as they are affectionately known in our household—Denny’s name for them, not mine, by the way) are a pair of slippers given to me by my dear friend Amanda several Christmases ago. They’re basically the villain from one of my favorite movies (The Nightmare Before Christmas). Only, they eat your feet.
Anyway, Oogies are a sure sign of cold weather a-brewing. So, armed with toasty Oogie feet and a cup of hot cider, I got to looking around the house, just itching to make it feel more fall-y. We already have a ceramic pumpkin on the dining table and Nightmare Before Christmas coasters out, so my sights drifted toward the mantel. The only problem is that our mantel is very shallow, which means that everything on it has to be less than four inches thick. So I immediately began rounding up some candles and miscellanea.
But something still was missing…Aha! Art. Art was missing. So, emboldened by my past decision to make custom art, I once again dove in and DIY-d it.
First, I collected this frame, which although featuring a cute doughnut-loving pooch, wasn’t getting much use.
I considered painting something, but in the end decided to round up some old calendars (I save every year, for some reason) to see if anything popped out at me in the way of Autumnal décor. And it turns out that it did, in this particular calendar…
Yes, I own a Wiccan calendar. Several, in fact. And before you get any ideas: No, I don’t fancy myself a witch. But I do fancy the artwork and beautiful essays on nature that come with each month, so I’ve bought several editions throughout the years.
In any case, I flipped through it and found a not-too-spooky, not-too-Halloweeny piece in (surprise) the month of October. I liked that it was just eerie enough for Halloween, but could endure through November, as well, without looking too much like the fall version of Christmas lights left on the porch until April.
In a few easy steps, I cut out the October picture, backed it with some metallic green scrapbooking paper, and popped it into the previously pooch-occupied frame. Voila!
Then, I spent the next hour (yes, a full hour) putting together this mantel.

It took an hour because I kept putting things up then taking them down...then putting them back up...then tweaking them by a centimeter or so. I got quite obsessive about it. Anyway, though, I’m quite pleased with the result, especially since it’s comprised entirely of things I had lying around the house (free = awesome). Oh! And I cut this fire art out of the Witches Calendar, too (December).
Everything looks really lovely when the candles are all lit and they’re all aglow.

See? Very cozy. My only complaint with the arrangement is that the mantel ledge is too shallow to fit a mirror on, too. I can just imagine how lovely it would be with twice the candlelight reflected back into the room. Uber-cozy. Oh, well. I’m already pestering Denny about making a mantel extension, so maybe by Christmas time we’ll be able to achieve my mirrored-candle dreams. Wow. I just re-read that sentence and, boy, does it seem silly. Some college students dream of solving world hunger, or finding the cure for cancer. Big, world-changing stuff. Me? I just want a mirror on my mantel. Doesn’t seem like much to ask for, does it? ;)


  1. Looks amazing, dear. Job well done!

  2. @Kaydeemcdee - Thanks, Mommy :)