Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Winter Mantel.....Without the Mantel

Well the blog-o-sphere has been alive with Christmas decorating. So I figured it was time for another installment of Seasonal Mantel decorating without the mantle. This time we decided to expand a little bit. Instead of just decorating the top of our $3 cabinet we decorated the top of the bookshelf right next to it, too. But the real star of our (yes, Andrew even got in on the arranging) decorating is my wall of Snowflakes!

The whole idea came from Sherry & John Petersik's Young House Love book. If you haven't read their blog  yet, you have been missing out. Go check them out at They are a young married couple who are in the process of making their house more them. They have painted cabinets and furniture, built furniture, laid a brick patio, installed counter to ceiling tile as their kitchen backsplash and laid cork floor, plus so much more.

Well, they released their first book, Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update, & Show Your Home Some Love, last month and I had to have it.

On page 187 there is a project called Add a bunch of 3-D Butterflies. I thought it was the perfect fix for the blank wall above my Christmas display. But butterflies weren't going to work. It had to be SNOWFLAKES! They are so easy to make. To get a little color, I decided to use a cosmetic catalog that I got in the mail. It was filled with a bunch of red and gold pages.

Step 1: Choose your page and fold it in half the short and fat way, not long and skinny.

Step 2: Fold it in half again so it is almost square.

Step 3: Fold the folded short edge down to the long folded edge. Now it looks kind of like a cone.

Step 4: Fold it the same way as step 3 so now it is an even thinner cone.

Step 5: You'll notice some of the paper is longer than the rest. Cut it down so it is even and then you can start to cut all kinds of designs into it to create your flake. The wide part of the cone shape is the outside of your flake.

Step 6: Unfold and check-out your snowflake.

This one wasn't one of my favorites so I decided to make a different one to show you a better design. Here it is still folded.

And now laid out flat so you can see the repeated design. So pretty.

Then I just rolled some small pieces of tape, stuck it to the backs and spread them out on the wall. Here are a few close ups of some of my favorite flakes.

As for the  actual "Mantel" display, the only thing new is the Silver Owl. I bought him at TJ Maxx for $9 this past weekend.

He is so cute and looks a little bronzey in some of the photos but he is really silver. I popped him up on a empty box to gain some height in the center of a pre-lit Christmas wreath.

On the bookshelf, I have the Christmas rocking horse that my Grandpa & Grandma gave me, my Lenox Belle (found on clearance at Hallmark a few years ago) and my apothecary jars ($8 for the set at a garage sale 2 years ago) filled with ornaments, beads & tissue paper. I think all I need to finish it off is some pine foliage to fill in around the figures and hide that cord. And I'll end this post with some detail shots.

The Lettered Cottage

Saturday, December 1, 2012

House Hunting International

Someone is house a whole different land. No not us.

The Toons are out and the Princesses are moving in. Ariel and Belle are taking over Fantasyland. They have a whole section dedicated to my favorite princess, Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

I love Disney World and can't wait to go back. Especially now that they have been working on the all new Fantasyland. Fantasyland is mostly made up of the Enchanted Forest which includes Maurice's (Belle's Father) cottage, Gaston's Tavern and of course Beast's Castle. 

Enchanted Tales with Belle

The first stop is Maurice's Cottage where you will find Enchanted Tales with Belle.

Enchanted Tales with Belle
Your journey begins in Maurice's workshop, where an enchanted mirror becomes your doorway to an unforgettable experience. After stepping through the mirror, you'll find that you've been transported to Beast's magnificent library, where Belle and Lumière invite you to become part of a lively retelling of the "tale as old as time."

Belle and Beast decided to do a little house hunting to find some new digs.

In Beast's Castle you will find the Be Our Guest Restaurant. I can't wait to go.

Be Our Guest Restaurant
The flavors of France are served with a smile and song at Be Our Guest Restaurant inside Beast's Castle. You can dine in 3 magically themed rooms that will take you straight into the story of Beauty and the Beast. Whether you chose quick dining service by day or table service by night, you'll have a delicious dining experience like none other. Just ask the dishes. -

Looking for a quick bite to eat and some great atmosphere - Gaston's Tavern located in Belle's Village.

Gaston's Tavern

Gaston's Tavern

Satisfy your sweet tooth in the manliest of manly places—Gaston's Tavern, a quick-service restaurant in Belle's Village New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom park! Discover a unique blend of machismo and magic as you enjoy a break from your day in a place inspired by the Walt Disney film Beauty and the Beast. -

Next to Belle's Village is Under the Sea-Journey of The Little Mermaid found at Prince Eric's Castle.

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid

Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid
Enter Prince Eric's stunning castle, board a giant clam shell and get ready for a musical adventure! During your journey, you'll behold a world teeming with color and characters as you enjoy high-energy songs and incredible effects that take you inside scenes from the animated Disney film The Little Mermaid. -

And next on the list for completion is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Which won't be open until 2014. 

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
 A swerving, swaying train of mine cars takes you on a wild ride through the diamond mine. As you travel along the twisting, turning track, you'll weave in and out of the mine and through the countryside—with animated figures, glittering gems and playful surprises at every turn. Your journey ends at the Dwarfs' cottage for a musical celebration with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. -

All photos not cited are from