Seven years ago we brought home a white furry bundle of pure joy and it has been seven years since our home was adorned with a decorated Christmas tree. All of our ornaments that have been collected throughout the years, along with the memories I have of each, stay tucked away for safekeeping in the attic space above the garage.
Instead of decorating a tree, each year I decorate the mantle and other surfaces that are beyond the reach of the lovely and devilish seven year old Miss Sadie (I introduced her to you in a previous post, The Tale of Two Ragdolls).
Although I miss our traditional Christmas Tree, I embrace fully the fun of creating an elegant mantle piece reminiscent of the holiday season. This year I was inspired by the beautiful painting, aptly named Lowcountry Splendor, above our fireplace. The painting was a surprise birthday gift from my husband, Ed. It is a limited reproduction canvas giclee from an original oil painting by Michael B. Karas, a noted landscape artist.
The birthday gift is made more special because Michael is a good friend and neighbor and the frame, which is perfect for the picture, is handcrafted by Michael especially for the painting.
The mantle is dressed with layers of pine and berry garland with small ornaments and pine cones tucked among the branches. (Note: The garlands are held in place with 3M command strip hooks. A great alternative to hammering nails into the wood mantle.)
To ‘gild’ the garland I weave wide ribbon purchased at TJMaxx into the garland and top it off with a bow in the center. This year I decided to use a neutral and textured style ribbon. The subtle color with a hint of glint is a nice complement to our artwork and creates a Lowcountry aesthetic.
I still yearn for a tree. I could not resist purchasing the three tiny trees to create a small forest vignette on the sideboard that sits across the room from the fireplace. A tiny tree is better than no tree! The two larger trees were purchased at Target. The very small tree was purchased at Dollar Tree for $1!
The star atop the smallest tree is perfect. The trees are arranged atop a silver serving tray and surrounded by holiday ornaments from years past. This little tree vignette gives me great satisfaction. I love the subtle sparkle it adds to my holiday décor.
Although Christmas has passed and New Year’s is right around the corner I plan to leave the mantle piece and tiny tree vignette in place. My husband and I love the twinkly lights and sparkle. Last year, we left our holiday mantle in place until just before Valentine’s Day. I admit that I was tempted to redress the garland with hearts and bows!
Happy New Year!