Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Mantel

I Love Christmas Time but . . . . this year we're going a little more "Low Key" it's shaping up to be a busy December so we're going to keep the decorations nice and simple this year.
Starting with the mantel: I found this garland at Homesense for $16.99 and that's the ONLY thing we bought for Christmas Decor this year! A Whopping $17! I've been in a real "use what you have" stage and only spending $17 feels really good.
Aside from the garland, I added some crystal candlesticks,
some wood pillars, and some paperwhites in small lace containers from Ikea.
But if I'm being perfectly honest right now the paperwhites are on the back porch . . . THEY SMELL SO BAD!

I sewed each of the stockings myself. I used the linen from Lee's old linen pants (they shrunk in the wash and I thought they would make better stockings than shorts), and for the white fleece fringe, I used an old Ikea blanket. You know the $5 fleece blankets they are always selling. We had one that had some seriously pilling in the middle so I used each of the fringe ends as stocking toppers. A big one for Lee, a Medium one for me and a little one for Max!
Another small Christmas touch in the living room, is the grouping of ornaments on the coffee table. I used our wood bread basket (it's one of the long ones for serving baguettes). I just stacked up a bunch of ornaments we had . . .

filled in some of the gaps with smaller silver decorations and a long, lean, Christmas arrangement.
And that's all she wrote . . . errrr . . . . that's all she decorated, as it were.
We have some other decorations going on, a tree, presents, dining room etc . . . but just like the living room, we'll be working with what we have and keeping it simple!

Anyone else keeping it simple this year??  Anyone else walked around their house for two days saying "what the heck smells so bad?" only to find out it was the paperwhites??
or was that just me?

30 comments:

  1. Glad to hear that someone else doesn't like the smell of paperwhites! I bought a really good fake pot of them and called it good. Your mantel is lovely and simple.

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  2. It looks gorgeous! I absolutely love the garland!

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  3. I love your blog, but I have a suggestion. Just trim and light your candles for a few seconds. I always do this, and they look so much better than new untrimmed candles. Although I may never burn the candles again, they look loved and used.

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  4. Girl, everything looks beautiful. You are so talented! (I would say I want to be just like you when I grow up, but I'm 53 so I'm not sure how that would work, exactly. :-)

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  5. I love your simple decorations. We're usually low key about holiday decorating, too. I've never had paperwhites (because I can't keep a plant alive) but that's too bad about the smell. They're so pretty.

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  6. With our lil AJ being 11 months at Christmas and motoring like mad, we have yet to decide how to proceed in the decor dept!!!
    Your mantle looksnlovely Ash!
    Xo

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  7. Lmao, the paperwhites thing is hilarious. I'm curious as to what they smell like now, as weird as that is. Super cute stockings, I love!

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  8. low key is sometimes the way to go. Love the stockings you maked,and your mantel looks very christmassy without being over done.

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  9. I agree ... paperwhites are lovely but they smell terrible

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  10. We like to make things festive, but I keep it simple and mostly handmade. I haven't bought any new Christmas decor in years.

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  11. Ugh, I feel your pain! How can something so pretty smell so bad that it makes you want to yack? Good call on the porch placement. I can't bring myself to go easy on the decorations, but I love the simplicity of yours:)

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  12. Your decorations are beautiful! Congratulations on keeping it simple and elegant.

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  13. Haha! I love the decor. It is funny how keeping it simple makes it look so good and feel so "Christmassy". I had BIG plans for Christmas in our teeny-tiny house but decided to keep it simple because my two little ones wanted to spend the days baking not sewing. I am amazed by how lovely our house looks with just a few things like our tree a simple Merry Chirstmas banner, and ornaments made from pine cones me and kids collected, painted and glittered in October. Oh and Two pillow cases. That is our Christmas and it looks great!

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  14. I love the decorations and even more I love you used what you have. I was able to spend around $30 this year on new holiday decor. It's so tempting when you walk into Home Goods and want to buy everything.

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  15. Beautiful! We too are trying to use what we have. Hadn't had much luck with the paperwhites either...planted to pots at the same time, obviously one is on steroids, already blooming and drooping! I am still in the midst of planning the event at church and feeling a little overwhelmed. At least I got most of our decor up, and we picked up a tree...hanging out on the back porch! Katie arrives next Wednesday! UGH!!!

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  16. Ashli I just had a quick question. Back in May 2011 you posted faq's about yourselves. In the post it mentioned you would answer more questions later about why you stay at home. I couldn't find the post after the May 30, 2011 post about that. Do you remember which one? I am new to this blog and was catching up. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      You know? I never got around to writing one. It must have slipped my mind. I'll get on that this month and write one. Thank you so much for reminding me.
      Keep an eye out for a post around the middle of december.
      Thanks again,
      Ashli

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    2. Hi,
      You know? I never got around to writing one. It must have slipped my mind. I'll get on that this month and write one. Thank you so much for reminding me.
      Keep an eye out for a post around the middle of december.
      Thanks again,
      Ashli

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  17. I have always wanted to grow my own paperwhites but just never get around to doing it. Sounds like it might stay that way. Your home always looks so cozy and inviting. I think you've done a lovely job with decorating and those stockings are such an awesome idea.

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  18. LOVE the mantel and the calm feeling it brings. Great job!

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  19. When I was a child my mom was once given paperwhite bulbs and when they started to bloom we were all thoroughly disgusted by the scent. From then on I have always wondered why people a) buy them and b) talk about decorating/using them. Nothing good comes from paperwhites!!!

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  20. It's funny about paperwhites - I LOVE the way they smell but some people HATE it! There doesn't seem to be any middle ground. I think it's like cilantro that way!

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  21. I was just heading into town to pick some paperwhites up! I had seen some at my local garden shop and loved them. We have our annual holiday party this weekend and I'm so glad that I read your post first! I dont' want everyone walking around my house wondering what that smell was. I had no idea that they had a smell..... Now I have to go just to smell them :/

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  22. Beautiful mantel and I love the low key decorating. Just had to weigh in - I think paper whites are so pretty, but that scent!!! Gag! It smells like the very cheapest, strongest perfume in the world...had to put mine outside, too....now I do Christmas cacti and amaryllis!

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  23. I love your wood pillars. I have been looking for something like that for a while now. Where did you find them?

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    1. Hi Janet,
      Thank you,
      I picked those up from Walmart (of all places) about a year ago.
      Hope that helps!
      Ashli

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  24. it all looks beautiful. we're keeping it low key this year too. we did a little more to the outside but it's still simple looking. i started to overdue it and got overwhelmed and took it all down and started over inside. for real it felt so good after i did that. a little more work but so much more relaxed and comfortable when i did!

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  25. Okay, you just made my day! I didn't know if it was just me, but I just wrote the same thing on my last post about the paper whites! Hilarious. I know. What is that smell all about? I had no idea. I see them everywhere, so I was shocked. Keeping it low key at my end too. Hope you'll stop by to see my flopsy paper whites and simple approach to Christmas.;)

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  26. Just a tip about the paperwhites- you might want to avoid forcing the variety "Ziva", which is the most common variety found in stores and nurseries this time of year. I think it contains more indole, the chemical responsible for the musky scent of paperwhites. I believe Brent and Becky's Bulbs might carry other varieties. If not, you could always order amaryllis bulbs from them instead! Seasonal and not stinky!

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