Friday, November 9, 2012

Praise God...

Lately, I've been really stressed. When I start to get anxious, I just head downstairs and peek at my Thanksgiving mantle. It sounds corny, but it really does remind me to count my blessings and remember that I have so much stress because I have so many blessings.

The mantle's a little rough this year, I apologize. I constantly struggle with what to do with that ugly silver circle. See, this isn't a fireplace. It used to house a wood-burning stove. For about 30 years. Then we bought the house and suddenly the insurance company decided it was a fire hazard. We could keep it if we moved the stove a few feet from where it stood. Which would have placed is smack dab in the center of our small family room. So we had to get rid of it. I bought this awesome mantle at a wonderful antiques store called Old Lucketts Store. If you live anywhere near Virginia, you should check this place out. Anyway, I love decorating the mantle but the circle remains an issue. I made an awesome chalkboard that I'll show you later, and that is tall enough to hide the circle. But this sign, which I love, is not.

The sign, by the way, was super easy to make. It's made from two old boards in my parents shed. They're nailed together with a long board in the back. Then, I painted the whole thing with white craft paint, just one coat because I wanted it to look a little bit rough. I cut out the letters for the sign with my Silhouette (wishing I had the newer version, because I would have liked them to be just a little bit bigger). I cut them out of vinyl, then laid the vinyl on the sign and painted over the letters with a walnut stain. I painted two coats of the stain, let it dry overnight. Then I peeled the vinyl letters--and the leaf design, also cut from vinyl--off the sign. That took some patience. The last line, for some reason, didn't come out so well. I had to go over it with white paint, and it looks a bit rougher than I wanted. But I still love the sign. I think the flaws give it character and they remind me that sometimes, blessings aren't perfect. Which is a great reminder when your blessings are stressing you out.

Some other aspects of the mantle: The pumpkins in the jar on the right are made from scraps of scrapbook paper. I hunted for every scrap with orange for this project, using this tutorial to turn the scraps into little pumpkins.

And I made this pumpkin my taking Modge Podge and old book pages to a ceramic pumpkin. I finished it off by hot-gluing some faux fall leaves near the stem.


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