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Love is in the air…

Or in our case, on the mantle.

It started with a (very late) Christmas clean up last week. Gone were the Christmasy items to be packed away for another year, although I’m fearful to think how quickly that time will come…again. Can we just slow down this ride we call “Life”? Just a little, please?

Moving on….Clare decided she needed to dress up the white deer I had left out. Since it was wintery after all, it made the cut to stay on display. I had found this cutie on sale a few weeks before Christmas at Target (similar one here for wall display).  It was originally $24.99 but had come on sale and I had a 20% home decor coupon and used my Target RedCard to save another 5% so I ended up paying about $12 for it.  THAT price was much more reasonable and so he found his way home with me.

Clare saw the practically bare mantle and so decided to dress him up.  About 20 minutes later, he was wearing this dapper tuxedo shirt made out of construction paper.  I have to say, even if I am biased, that this is pretty darn cute:clares-deco

Now, we have finishing work to get done, as you can see from the stain showing through on the pine bookshelves (more on that project later).  The mahogany frame in its shabby chic state was found by my former neighbor friend on his way to our annual fourth of July clamboil on the side of the road.  A local house was clearing out some items and so he grabbed what would fit in his convertible at the time and scored me a cute little three drawer dresser (more on that project later, too) and this mirror.  I love texts from my friends about free finds on the side of the road!  My decorating “style” is comprised of freebies, dumpster dives and hand-me-downs.  I could name the items we bought new on one hand at this point.  No shame here! 🙂

So, with Clare’s help, we finished decorating the rest of the mantle, utilizing the gold glitter trees we bought at JoAnn Fabrics at 70% off before Christmas, a rope covered tree from the dollar section at Target a few years ago, wooden skis from the dollar section last year along with the addition of the red wooden tree from Target we bought this year.  I also brought up the little white fox salt shaker from the basement that was a clearance Target item, too.  I think he was marked down to $1.84. Construction paper, red and white kitchen twine and scotch tape rounded out our display for Valentine’s Day.

valentines-mantle

I made Mr. G drive out one night in the middle of winter even before we had closed on this house when I found this mantle at East Bay Consignment in Warren, RI for under $100.  The trunk wouldn’t close and we had the kids in car seats so we had to drive with wind blowing through the car 20 minutes home.  Thank God for snuggle blankets that the girls had to drag with them everywhere.  It kept them from getting frigid.

It was stored in our garage for over a year until my dad helped my hubby attach it to the wall.  Mr. G did the insert build out and tiled another insert with brick and mortar to give it a fireplace look.  Some trim molding around the base and it looks pretty good.  We added the shelves surrounding it later or else we would have built the “fireplace” to the same depth for a more authentic look.  Oh, well.  Part of the learning process (and I’m too lazy to fix it when we have some many other projects unfinished).

The birch paper logs came from a friend who’s an arborist.  He saved me a few logs per request.  I grabbed this metal wire basket with handles from Target last week utilizing another sale, a 15% off home decor coupon and my Target RedCard 5% discount again for a total of less than $10.  The battery operated twinkle lights were from Amazon a few years ago and add some sparkle where a fire would be if this were a real fireplace.

With a few minutes, some inexpensive finds and freebie deals, we have a love-ly mantle display for Valentine’s Day.  The girls are getting excited for our Valentine’s Day party coming up in two weeks.  I’ll be sure to post pictures and recipes for that!  In the meantime, here are some pictures from year’s past in the old house and this one.  From our house to yours, XOXO:

 

 

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