"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told." -Mark Twain


She Sails Sea Shells (on the Summer Mantel)

 I have not made it a secret about how much I love summer. Every single thing about the season I absolutely love. I don't particularly like it that the past two summers have set (unbelievable) record high temps day after day here in Oklahoma, but I deal with it. I relish summer. But when August gets here and I have to go back to school, I am ready for the dog days of summer to draw to a close. 
 The pseudo-psychologist in me thinks it is because I am thinking 'if I can't be outside or in the pool enjoying the summer, then let it be over". The girl in me agrees with the pseudo-psychologist. The decorator in me agrees with the girl and the pseudo-psychologist! So with that in mind, all things red/white/blue and summer inside (and outside) my summer-decorated-home begin to change. 
 With that in mind, I thought I had better post my summer mantel before it is no more. In fact, I never even took pictures at the end of June and the first of July when there were little urns of flags to accompany the shells and driftwood. Just close your eyes and imagine (as you sing "It's A Grand 'Ole Flag"). 
 You saw little glimpses of the mantel when I shared our "Make No Bones About It" party for Taylor. Now you can see it minus the skeletons. And flags. 
 I used a driftwood garland I bought at TJ Maxx (in December no less!). I love that garland. Little pieces of driftwood strung with a few shells as well. It is at least six feet long. 
 I laid the garland across the mantel and began filling in with large conchs, little (faux) feather balls, smaller shells and turquoise glass balls. 
 I love all the natural elements juxtaposed with the large antique gold frame. The wicker stand is really a cake stand from Nell Hill's. I like the wicker texture in the group as well. 
 The best part about the ginormous mirror over the mantel is that you get double the pleasure of what is on the mantel. See all the different layers and textures? 
 I'll spend some time this weekend transitioning the mantel and other parts of the house to a "late summer" look. I'll pull out the bright reds and replace it with muted reds. The blues will become deeper and paired with greens. The white will become natural and even tans. I'll bring in some yellows. I love the transition to fall. Little by little the warmth comes out in the decorating. 
 The large conch shells and other small shells were picked up by the girls and me at various beaches. Our favorite ones are from San Salvador Bahamas. 
 We were willing to leave clothes...or whatever it took behind to get our conchs home in our suitcases! We are serious shell seekers! 
 The big conchs will go back upstairs to various bedrooms and a cute little "sea" themed bathroom. They are too pretty to ever actually put away! Who cares if we are land-locked in the middle of the U.S.A? 
 You know what the most stressful part of mantel decorating is?  Blogging about it and having to see if I spelled "mantel" correctly! (If you have followed along, you know it is a tricky word in my otherwise no-trouble-spelling-life!) I did not even look it up tonight to see if I spelled it correctly. I am sure I did. Maybe. 
Why does that dang word cause me so many problems? 
I'm going to go to bed and not think about it. Instead I'm going to think of what will go on the mantel (mantle??) come Saturday.
 Mantel. Mantel. Mantel. 
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1 comment:

  1. I spell "mantel" the same way you do -- and stumble over it every time! (I think there actually ARE 2 spellings.....) Funny, I just posted about mantels yesterday. Yours is really beautiful.

    I just picked up a mirror similar to yours at a garage sale last week. It was in pretty bad shape. I repaired it the best I could and painted it white. Now I'm kind of wishing I'd made it gold.


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