Tag Archive for 'mantel'

Christmas Mantel 2015

I’ve been wanting to share my gold and silver themed mantel forever, so the evening of the last day of the year is as good a day as any I guess.
Mantel December 2015

After removing the letterpress shelf wall, I immediately put up the Stockholm mirror from Ikea. It has a ledge where you can place tchotchkes and we all know how much I love tchotchkes. After I take this mantel down, I think I’m going to the move the mirror to our foyer, so it is at a more focal height. Right now it’s high enough that you can’t really see yourself in it.

Mantelpiece Christmas 2015

The idea of having gold and silver mantel wasn’t really a holiday theme to begin with, I have been wanting to make a display with my gold and silver circle garlands for a long time. Normally when the season hits, I’m making garlands as fast as I’m selling them and I think to myself “if only I could hang some up” Well, this year I finally made it happen. Then, a couple of years ago I had the idea that I wanted a tassel garland in gold and silver as well, finally one day this fall I ran to the nearby dollar store and lo and behold they had gold and silver tissue paper and I made it all in one night. The two paired together  and then draped over the mirror are just as beautiful as I had envisioned.

The wool and mylar pom poms were a craft I designed and then made a set for myself last year and then never took down.

Mantelpiece Christmas 2015

The garlands weren’t enough though, so I had to add more gold and silver items to really drive home the theme. I saw this felt tree at Target and I liked how it had gold threaded accents. I have a lot of felt at home so I thought I might attempt making my own, but I wanted to change it up and make it my own. Then I saw this on pinterest, and that last little tree had a mini gold and silver bunting draped over it and boom, the plan was made. The Silver ball is a mercury garden ball I bought at a local nursery, and the Home Sweet Home sign is a piece I commissioned from Jessee at Art School Dropout a few years ago.

Matt’s mom gave all of us gifts in little tiny jewelry boxes with gold bows on the top and I paired them with larger gold and silver bows to put in the mirror base.

A gold and silver pinwheel painting for our mantel. I'm still working on holiday decorations, the boxes have just been sitting in our living room. You know that part in Elf where he tells his dad they'll make snow angels, go ice skating, eat Cookie dough

For the other side of the wall, I painted this gold and silver pinwheel painting and I really like it a lot. There are sections of gold and silver metallic, as well as gray and gold flat sections and then a couple of sections with texture where I used pencil and pens. The rest of the mantel is just filled with bobajillions of candles.

Mantel and chalkboard

Lastly, I have to document the fall chalkboard wall. I think I must have missed a lot of things because this is one of the shortest lists since I first started doing this.

More Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

Happy New Year!

Spring Chalkboard 2015

Spring 2015 chalkboard

Here is a list of what happened this spring. As long as the list is, I’m sure there are dozens of things that I forgot to add. Something is better than nothing, so even if it’s not a complete list, I do enjoy keeping it. Aaand, I know that guests enjoy reading it as well. It’s kind of like a coffee table book, something to browse when folks come over.

It’s been such a busy spring and summer so far. I FINALLY got around to taking down my knick knack wall, which I’ve been saying I need to do for probably over a year. As I’ve probably said in other mantel posts, I’ve found that I am invigorated by changing up the furniture often. Ideally I would rearrange furniture, swap around art and replace the mantel quarterly or at least every six months so things don’t get stale. That doesn’t really happen that frequently, but I’d love it if it did. Sadly, I will have to report back later with what happens over the new mantel as I haven’t put anything up yet. I’m thinking a mirror and garland, but have taken no steps toward that just yet.

More Chalkboard Calendar posts right here!

2 Years on Instagram

A treasure house

Today I received Christmas cards I ordered.  It inspired me to put together this little collection in my shelf by the wonderfully talented Ann of A Beautiful Party. I don’t think I’ve ever shared this shelf before, but I LOVE it!  I added a few little holiday knick knacks to the shelf. The sewn felt covered stones on pedestal are by Stephanie Barnes, the yarn ball is actually my very first handspun yarn on my spinning wheel, and the party popper is also by Ann of A Beautiful Party. It has goodies inside, but it is too pretty for me to open up. The picture on the Christmas cards is the picture below.

It was an instagram from late last year. I thought it was my sister pulling my nephew, but the caption says it was me pulling Doc. Either way, behind my nephew is my brother pulling the Christmas tree we just cut down at Camelot tree farm. It’s a beautiful tree farm out in the countryside. After tramping through the snow and freezing your tootsies, you head into a little shed to pay and warm up while enjoying hot chocolate and cookies while sitting in old classroom chairs.

While putting together this post I realized that it’s been over TWO WHOLE YEARS that I’ve posted daily to my instagram account! I’m pretty proud of that. I’m also continually inspired by the things my instagram friends share, and the wonderful and supportive community that it is. Go Instagram, High Five!

Edit: Just wanted to ad that I’ve actually been on instagram since 2010, but only have been posting daily for 2 years.

I have a thing for Knick Knack Shelves

I have a thing for knick knack shelves

This isn’t the greatest picture, but you get the idea. I have a thing for knick knack shelves, especially type case shelves. Part of that is my love of miniature treasures and part of that is my love of printing and press related items. Did you know that these knick knack shelves are often drawers that used to hold letterpress type? They are called California Job cases. We have a large full cabinet at my work (printing company) that is just for display.

I just set up my shelves temporarily for the photograph, to see how an arrangement of type case shelves would fit on the mantel. I have even more that aren’t pictured!
Matt wasn’t crazy about their precarious position (leaning against the wall) and I don’t want to anchor them into the wall there permanently, and ruin the smooth refinish job Matt’s dad did on that wall when we first moved in. Dilemmas.

When I rented all I wanted to do was put nails in the walls and hang things up, but landlords don’t like that. Now that I have my own home, I can’t bring myself to put nails in the walls. It wouldn’t be so bad if I knew the nail would be there and serve a permanent purpose, but I also have a thing where I want to continually change out and rearrange the decor so things don’t get stale.

1.29 knick knack

In the meantime I have created a pinterest board dedicated to these shelves. Last fall I was at a flea market event with my sister in law. Dacia knows how obsessed with these shelves I am and will alternately bring them to my attention if she sees them, or direct my attention away from them (if I’m trying not to spend money). I spied a beautiful type case drawer and a friend of Dacia’s expressed how much she hates them. When she was younger her family had one and her immediate association was that when it was her job to dust, those things would be a nightmare. I do remember knick knack shelves being popular during the late 80s, early 90s with the country charm style. I will admit to buying one of my own shelves in the last year or so from an estate sale that was still holding onto that style. The shelf came fully stocked, knicks knacks, cobwebs and all.

Artomat art vending machines

About a third of my #artomat collection
Hi, my name is Robyn and in addition to being an Inspiration Junkie, I’m an Artomat addict. I am not only a collector, I am a member. My heart races when I have the prospect of visiting a machine. Right now my mantel is covered with my collection of about 30 artomat pieces by other artists, to keep me inspired. The photo above is a small portion that includes my favorites.

Are you familiar with Artomat? It’s an ongoing art installation, since 1997. Directly from their website; “Art-o-mat machines are retired cigarette vending machines that have been converted to vend art. There are over 90 active machines in various locations throughout the country.” Contributing Artists (called Artists in Cellophane) provide a variety of work from 2D, 3D to functional art. Machines can be found anywhere from school and cafes to art galleries. Look here to find a machine near you. Side note, if you live nearby (Northern Illinois) there is a machine at Kishwaukee College and I am proud to be involved in helping attain this machine in honor of a former Art teacher of mine.

Because there are so many machines nationwide, there is always a high demand for contributing artists as well. To become an Artist in Cellophane you must first send in a prototype, have it approved and then submit a minimum of 50 pieces. Here is a link to the guidelines and submission process.

collages and paintings artomat
I started out this year saying I’d like to put out another series, as it’s been a few years since I’ve done it. I love contributing to Artomat, but my pieces are a bit more intensive and time consuming than the average Artomat piece. When I first decided to become an Artist in Cellophane I knew I wanted my pieces to be the types of pieces that I would LOVE to buy and collect myself. I have completed 2 series in the past (first and second). The first series were just random paintings I made from images and the second series were based on collages I made first. You can see the example above with a page of collages next to a page of paintings.

Artomat pieces are an unbelievably affordable route to buying and collecting art. However, this also means it is not a really lucrative method for selling art. It’s more about participating in the project and being able to get your work out into the world. The pieces that I sell in the machines are much less expensive than the pieces I sell on my own. Each piece of art through an Artomat costs the buyer only $5. Artists see half of that, the rest is then divided between Artomat and the owner of the machine.  There’s an exciting element of surprise, being an Artomat collector. You never really know exactly what you are going to get.

I'm beginning to start on my next series of artomat pieces. Here are the frames, ready for canvas.    Third artomat series under way

The other day I was overcome with inspiration to play and experiment with painting in a new way. I had already started assembling frames for a new series, which would be based on small collages. Then, all of a sudden it hit me. Why not start experimenting while working on real pieces for Artomat? Instead of making the collages first, I’d dive right in and just start painting. I’m really excited to do this. This does not mean that I want to give up the collage based paintings. Maybe I’ll be super ambitious this year and finish TWO series to send in.
And, for your further interest and education: I just came upon this cool page that gives a whole background history to art vending machines. The article doesn’t touch on it, but I’ve heard that they have art vending machines, resembling snack machines, in Japan now.
2.16 artomat painting
One of my many little canvas paintings from my 2008 series. 

The post where I go on and on but finally hit Publish

12.31 my future home decor
My Future Home Decor pinboard on pinterest

From the moment we started house hunting (February 2010) I wanted to post on my blog about it. I didn’t want to jinx anything, so I vowed to wait until we closed. Once we closed (August 2011) I was completely overwhelmed by the idea of where to begin. I have literally spent hours composing posts, only to delete them later, afraid that they were too personal, or too long, or too off topic from the rest of the blog.

I feel like I have had these posts hanging over my head ever since. I have my blog to share my work firstly, but it is also important for me to chronicle things that are happening for my own personal documentation. Buying a house was and is very big for me. I’ve just decided I need to bite the bullet and post something, anything, just to get the ball rolling. Any little post will do and so here we go.

My personal home decor evolves naturally and it is comprised of tons of color, patterns, ephemera on the walls and knick knacks and collections EVERYWHERE. I was, and still am, enamored with homes that are really empty and clean, but it just isn’t how I live. I used to be self conscious of it and thought it looked messy and cluttered. It wasn’t until I moved out for the first time and I’d have guests in my room that I finally got to see it through other people’s eyes. It was unique. It was a lot to take in, but it was beautiful. People would spend time just looking at all the bits and pieces and it was interesting to them. Since then, the internet has exploded and people share pictures of their homes and studios and I’ve learned I’m not alone in my eclectic styling.

See, even though I intended this post to be short and sweet, it’s getting long and wordy already. But I continue. Matt’s style is more like the “clean and empty” kind. When we first moved in together I was a little nervous because I’m sure he looks at my studio in horror and is afraid that the rest of the house would quickly look the same. We never really dealt with our style differences though because 1. we were renting and it felt very temporary to me (even though we were there for 4 years or so) and 2. Because we were renting and our landlord was, well, some could say finicky. For the entire time we lived in our duplex we maintained what I like to call “bachelor pad decor”. Almost nothing on the walls, furniture that was almost entirely hand me downs and nasty rental carpet, you know the kind… beige.

Buying the house finally gave us the opportunity to try and express ourselves and still make our styles meet. I want to maintain a home that I am proud of, that is welcoming to guests, but also showcases both of our styles. One way that I am hoping to do that is through our mantel place in the living room. It’s central to the house and one of the first things a person sees when entering.

As I said before I have a lot of knick knacks and collections, but instead of having them ALL out at once, I hope to use the mantel as well as a few other spaces to display rotating groupings. I think this elevates the importance of the pieces, as they aren’t competing for attention with all the other pieces at once. Also, by rotating them out, it keeps pieces fresh and new, not only by not having them out all the time, but by the different companion pieces they are paired with.

So, since August we’ve already rotated out the Mantel 3 times. I’m sure once the initial home owner’s honeymoon wears off it won’t be as frequent, but I do hope to at least maintain a quarterly change out.
12.20 Mantle
Mantel 1. Let’s call this Moving-in Mantel. It evolved naturally where I just set things there while we unpacked and didn’t intend for them to stay, but then I started liking the groupings. The big metal sheet is covered in magnetic poetry, below that are recent instax pictures, and the jars were jars of mine and jars that a coworker gave to me. Ever since I heard about chalkboard paint it was my dream to paint an accent wall with it. Flash forward a decade or so. Matt was on board with the wall behind the mantel being painted with chalkboard paint, but I got cold feet. I didn’t want it to to be inconsistently smudgy and drawn on only within reach, while remaining dark and unused up above. We painted the wall a solid gray. After seeing some clever chalkboards, here and here on pinterest, I decided to do that instead. I bought a large board and painted it first with magnetic paint and then coated it with chalkboard paint. I LOVE that my nephew can come over and draw on it, and this picture captures his early work.
12.20 Mantle2

Mantel #2 I introduced the mirror. We LOVED it because it made the room feel so much bigger. I actually worry that Matt loves it a little too much and won’t want to take it down. I’m really set on changing out the mantel though, whether it be a mirror, or a painting or photographs. I don’t want things to get boring.
12.20 Mantle2 close up

Here’s a close up of one side. I have a few terrariums, the first one by Black Forest Clockworks, and the second by My Paper Crane. Behind it is a tree knot that my dear coworker gave me. He gave me two and I love them so much.
12.20 Mantle2 close up2
The other side has two mini terrarium jars of my own and my chalkboard quote board by Rachel of Smile and Wave. The adventures and happiness pin I gave Nikki and a shell from another coworker of mine.
12.20 Mantle3

Lastly, we have #3. the Holiday Mantel. This was our first Christmas in our new home so we were both very excited to decorate for the holidays. I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the simple white lights, evergreen garland and red bow decorations we had on the outside of the house, but this is not a picture of that. When we were doing the inspection, Matt and I were really excited to see two little nails ready to hang stockings (it’s the little things) so we were looking forward to hanging them. We strung up lights and a star garland.
12.20 Mantle3 close up
I was excited to display the advent box, my pipe cleaner gnomes, and a tiny nativity scene with some new ceramic trees from Soda by Amy that I bought at One of a Kind this year.

Now that Christmas is over, we need to take down the decorations and the mantel will change yet again. I know this post was a change from the normal content (but what is normal anyway?). I have noticed and been enjoying some “corners of my home” posts on a bunch of other blogs lately. I like that idea and hopefully I can return and post a Corner of My Home here and there, just a lot less wordy.