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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mantel love...

In our last house we had one fireplace, but no mantle... now I have not one, but four mantels, and most likely a fifth one when we do the barn room fireplace! Yes, our fireplace cup runneth over! This is our living room fireplace. While I wouldn't usually put so much on a mantle, this all just seemed to work for summer. The beautiful coral fan we found just last weekend on a trip to Maine.

I mentioned the blue and white double happiness jar and the hotel silver piece on an earlier post. The antique Chinese green lidded jar on the right is one of a pair. I bought them from our favorite importer friends Don & Val in Seattle years ago. I convinced Dan (even though he knew better) that they would fit under the airplane seat. They did not! This was back before 9/ll and luckily a nice flight attendant stashed them in a closet for us for the trip home!

The antique french mirror was purchased in Fredericksburg, Texas many years ago. Someone once told us that they didn't think we owned a single mirror that you could actually "see" in!

I love to garden, so the antique herbariums are very dear to me. I purchased these (here) at the Scott show in Atlanta. They were done by Anna E. Andrews in Scotland, South Dakota. The majority were done in 1898, but several are dated 1888. When I purchased these I was given a photo of Anna which was really exciting, since unless your antiques come from relatives, you never really know who owned, or in this case, made, the piece. I had it copied and there is one on the back of each herbairum. As I am only the caretaker of these antiques I want the next person who owns them to also know what Anna looked like.

On them Anna states where she found each specimen- "by the railroad," "by the creek," "in the graveyard"... I especially love the fern which reads "Picked in Marion, Co, Ill. during the summer of 1888 by Mrs. E.A. Scott."

I had them framed using antique wavy glass. I now have a house full of old glass, but in Dallas it was a bit tricky to find!

The antique urn in the third photo is filled with forestwood we would bring home from our trips to Colorado and Wyoming. Yes, each piece was carefully wrapped in tissue by our wonderful movers! I'm sure they thought I was crazy to be moving wood!
The antique chair in the same photo was also a Scott show find. It is covered in antique Flemish tapestry.


  1. Thanks for showing us more of your house. It's truly lovely, and it must really be starting to feel like home! I look forward to your next post. B.

  2. I am so glad your back! I have kept up with all your posts I just haven't had the time to comment lately. I love the way your fireplace turned out! I may just go that route myself. Did you use any certain brick or any specific black paint? Thank you for the comment you left for me. I really needed some kind words. We are not in yet. We are hoping by the end of July if you can believe that. I can't wait to see how your kitchen turned out!!

  3. I love the mantle, the mirror, ( Fredricks burgh is a favorite ) and the rusted urn filled with the pieces of wood, oh how I understand...sounds like something I had done!

  4. Wonderful! So great to see your "stuff" again! Love You.

  5. Oh, don't you just love it when you find a blog that really captures your own aesthetic? Well, I'm home! I think your blog is beautiful. I can't wait to curl up with the laptop tonight and read back over your old posts.

    Is that marble I spy on the fabulous bathroom vanity? So, are yo happy with it? I'm thinking of doing that in a kitchen. I just need to expect stains, pitting, etc.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and adventures. You are welcome to come by blog for a visit too! So glad I found you!


  6. 'the caretaker of the antiques'
    i love that-

    thank you for the continued glimpses of your home. it is simply wonderful!!


  7. A truly lovely post Joan - & your mantlescapes certainly outdo the one MOTH suggested in his guest post this week. Empty beer cans suspended over the fireplace so they tinkled in the heat - what was I thinking letting him have control over my dear little blog! Never again! Happy weekend to you both.
    Millie ^_^

  8. Your home (and blog) are lovely and I'm looking forward to going back and reading your older posts! Deborah

  9. Oh Joan: Your home is coming together so beautifully! I had to chuckle re: mirrors. I had my great aunt's mirror in our downstairs bath; my Mom always made comments that you couldn't really see yourself. When I rearranged things, the mirror went into the dining room, where I guess it is a better fit, but at my age there is something to be said for not seeing the wrinkles too clearly!

  10. Dear Joan, your home is inspiring!
    I love your blog!

  11. wELL, mANTEL LOVE INDEED!It must feel like meeting old friends again each time you unpack!
    It all looks so lovely!

  12. Joan, The mantle is so beautiful! Absolutely a work of art ; ) Also, I LOVE hearing the stories behind all of your precious treasures...they are so lucky (and I'm sure so delighted) to have someone to love them so much.

  13. Your living room is beautiful, Joan.
    I love your herbariums too!
    The thought and care that went into each one makes them so special.
    Your forest wood looks great in that beautiful urn.
    It's been so nice to come for a visit.


    Oh, and I can't forget to tell you that your mantle scape looks great.
    That mirror is fantastic and looks very happy surrounded by your coral and jars. :)

  14. Wonderful mantle and arrangement - I particularly like your framed herbariums, quite lovely. xv

  15. I love the way you use natural elements in your decor instead of fancy manufactured stuff. The coral fan is gorgeous and I love the collection of wood in the urn!

  16. My gosh, your house is fantastic. I love how the floors turned out.

  17. Hi Joan,

    thank you for the 3/50 Project information. I was unaware of it, but it conveys exactly what I was trying to express! I've posted it along with a shout-out to you and your blog. By the way, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who picks up twisted pieces of Pinon and other woods. I LOVE what you did. Now, if I only had an urn. I do have a rusted old wire basket. It wouldn't look as great, but I have to do this. Very cool. Thanks again for visiting and the info. (It might be time to visit Salida again; I didn't show everything.)

  18. Did the coral come from the place that's in the same little group of stores where Smith-Zukas is? I remember them having a lot of really beautiful coral pieces.

  19. Hi Steve! You're good- it did come from that shop! I agree, they have some great coral!

  20. I once moved boxes of limestone that I dug out of the creeks up in the mountains of Virginia to Iowa. The movers DEFINITELY thought I was crazy, but I had dreams of lining my flowerbed edges with it, and that it exactly what I did!


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