Happy Tuesday! With just 10 days (10 days!!!!) to go until Christmas, why not change up the decor a little bit, right? I mean, in blogland sometimes we get up our decorations so early that midway through it’s nice to make some tweaks and alterations, and sometimes inspiration comes when you’ve already decorated. But who’s to say you can’t change it?
People have asked me before where I draw inspiration from, and I’ve told them it comes from everything I see, hear, touch, smell… I am particularly influenced by nature, and because of my nostalgic wishes, classic literature often plays a part in my decisions. Look at my children, for instance. Sawyer was named after Mark Twain’s literary piece, Tom Sawyer, and Emerson was named for poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. So this year in my Christmas decor, I looked to the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, to help me change my mantle.
Now I know so many of you loved the mantle with the fringe, and believe me, I did, too! But then I wanted to add fringe to my tree instead, and that left my mantle garland free….. and nekked! I like to have garlands on my mantle almost year round, so I needed a change. I headed to my local Ace Hardware in Thurmont to pick up some things, and while I was there I walked the aisles when I came across just the thing… chains! And better yet, mixed metal chains! Immediately they brought to mind this quote from Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol:
“I wear the chain I forged in life! I made it link by link and yard by yard! I gartered it on of my own free will and by my own free will, I wore it!”
I had the Ace employee cut me 8 foot sections of a brass chain link as well as a stainless chain link, brought them home, and replaced the fringe with shiny new chains!
I love that the chains have meaning and are a reminder that we bear the weight of the chains we make ourselves, link by link. Lighten your burdens, uplift your heart, and remember what Christmas is all about.
Of course, I kept the rest of the mantle mainly the same because disco balls are appropriate any time.
I never would have thought of chains as garland had I not seem them at the right time at Ace Hardware. I love how they catch the light.
At night they look pretty magical, too, all a-glitter.
Now, I should tell you why I was at Ace in the first place when this idea struck. (You really never know when a notion will pop up, do you?) You see that fireplace and brass screen above? Well do you want to see what was lurking behind that brass screen. This is so embarrassing! Are you ready?
So I headed to ace to purchase some new fireplace tools to help me clean this disaster up. I selected the Panacea 5 piece tool set which had everything we needed to take better care of our fireplace. While I was there I also noticed the large Panacea fireplace bellows. Don’t laugh at us, but when our fire dies down, we stick out faces near it and blow… totally safe, right? Wrong. Please do not try that at home! Now with the bellows, we can stay safe and supply our fire with air. Winning!
Once home, I got to work using my new tools to clean up all the fireplace ash.
I closed up the screen for now as we haven’t yet used the fireplace this season (65 in December in Maryland anyone?) I placed the new tools and bellows on the heart and admired how pretty they looked with everything.
I placed the bellows in our log holder, right on top of our logs.
Now we can all rest easy knowing the fireplace is much cleaner and safer.
(Well, to be honest, he was resting easy, but then he got neutered yesterday, and now he wears the cone of shame and is pretty upset with us all. But let’s pretend he’s still in his happy place, ok?)