Sunday, January 13, 2008

Step By Step Mantel or Shelf Arrangement

1. A plain surface is like a blank canvas...

2. You can start by covering it with a layer of white. In this case it is a white lace runner.

3. To that, place a line of bright flowers. This is a latex garland, painted with glitter.

A close up of the "frosted" garland.

4. Then put something bright in the center. This is an electric candle set, and the cord is hidden.

5. Balance the sides with other items, leaving the tallest piece in the middle.

6. Then put in fillers, which are small objects to fill in the spaces and give the arrangement a lush look of fullness. Here is added a tea cup, another candle, and some hand crafted dolls.

7. For a different look, find something you already have, such as a woolen scarf, for a winter look. Add other things for a bright look.

If you enjoy other blogs that glorify the home and family, here are some I've grown to appreciate: - love her music and soothing decorating and craft ideas. - this lady has the sweetest hand crafts, including the old fashioned yo-yo's that our grandmothers used to make entire quilts of. - this mother is not as plain as she thinks she is, and her posts from her home life are wonderful...I can almost taste the hot bread! --this one is encouraging for the many daughters who lovingly attend to the home and family and who want to honor their parents by being the best they can be at home. - I like the fact this lady has menus and is careful with the family income! -- Catherine and Blaine are always an inspiration to me and I enjoy the music on her homemaking blog. She shows women how they can come home and develop a career of home living. -- I like this woman's idea of decorating with scriptures! Indeed the Israelites were taught to "write them over the door posts," something we could all learn from. -- another wonderful stay-at-home daughter whose family is blessed by all her talents. - everything looks so calm and peaceful--and delicious, on this site; a truly inspiring blog for new homemakers who need to see the possibilities to be had in dedicating their lives to home and family. - also has more peaceful music and a beautiful Victorian sketch on the opening page, a symbol of another, more peaceful era!
I like this blog for the McGuffey Reader entries you can read online, including one of our favorites, "How to Be Happy" and "Hugh Idle and Mr. Toil." For those who do not know, these are 19th century readers that used to be in the public schools.
Check out for some wonderful homemaking ideas and inspiration. New homemakers will have no trouble finding friendly kindred spirits on these blogs!
(I don't mean to offend if I left out your blog. I will continue on another post)
Thank you all for the wonderful blogs you do and for opening your homes and sharing with the world things like hospitality, cooking, sewing, decorating, home keeping, homeschooling, and being wives and homemakers.


Mrs. V. said...

These are such pretty arrangements. I hope to add a gas fireplace to our home some time this year.

Thank you for the work you do here. It is wonderful for those of us who live this decidedly feminine lifestyle to have to support of likeminded ladies.

Keep up the good work!

Miss A said...

Mrs. Sherman! What a beautiful idea to put a winter scarf on your bland surface! I'm going to file that one away for next winter and keep on the look out for a beautiful white scarf like the one you've used in your photo.

Simply stunning!


Anonymous said...

Ooo, how pretty! Say, is that pink doily on the frame in the first picture hand-tatted?

-Christine from Arizona

Lydia said...

I don't want anyone to feel overwhelmed by thinking I "did" all this myself. The pink doily was given to me by a friend who was moving away and she had to pare down on her posessions. The candle lights came from a Goodwill Industries, as well as the tea pot and the pitcher. My daughter made the little dolls, representing each one of her children. I actually do not have time lately to do a lot of hand work but have been blessed to have collected several generations of hand worked items for the home.

Kristi said...

I love to decorate my mantle. It's the focus of my living room and when I need a little inexpensive lift, I rearrange my mantle! Thank you for your uplifting and beautiful blog.


Cherish the Home said...

What a lovely idea to use a winter scarf on the mantle!

And thank you for the blog links, a few of these are new to me and I always enjoy finding new like-minded blogs to read. (o:


Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs. Sherman,

Thank you for your kind mention of my blog.

When I visited my mother on Saturday I gave her a copy of your book, Just Breathing the Air for her birthday. She is really enjoying it!



La Tea Dah said...

Thank you so much for mentioning Gracious Hospitality in your post. I appreciate it so much. Please drop by anytime!


Alexandra said...

Pretty! I'll have to visit those links, thanks for sharing. :)

Anonymous said...

What a lovely arrangement... you do have a feminine touch, Lydia! Makes me wish I could invite you over for a cuppa tea and a little decorating fun!

Kristy Howard
Homemaker's Cottage

Anonymous said...

oh I love the roses! so feminine!


Lady Why said...

Your mantel decorations are beautiful! Thank you for sharing the wonderful links as well!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to thank you for doing step-by-step decorating tips like this. This is one part of homemaking I am not very good at. It is easy how to figure out how to keep things clean, but if you are not an artistic minded person, decorating can seem overwhelming! The step by steps are much more helpful than just seeing the finished project. Thanks again, Erica

Anonymous said...

Candles seem to be too formal for us.Don't you ever decorate to please your husband?

Lydia said...

To answer your question: yes, that is why I use his grandmother's lace pieces. He grew up seeing them in his home. They bring back special memories and makes him feel at home. If it is too formal for you, then I repeat Elizabeth's advice to Maria: This is your family, these are your things. YOu can do whatever you want with them. No one will ever know. I've allowed one silly comment just for fun today. The rest of you will have to wait, because it is first come, first served.

~~Deby said...

Gorgeous creative ideas.....and sharing new spots...always a blessing...
Your blog is always a respite...and yet a place to be challenged and encouraged to be the woman the Lord wants me to be....keep up the good work...

Mrs. Sensibility said...

Lady Lydia thank you for the gracious comments about my blog. I have been blessed by your writing for years and so hope that in some way mine will also bless others. Blessings, Ginger