Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Halloween decorations

Blackbird has a lovely post today about the various collections she has decoratively displayed around her house, which got me thinking about how we do things here in Jenworld.

Unlike Blackbird and so many other people, I don't do a lot of decorative stuff. I like looking at what other people do, but to have it in my own environment? No can do. I have to keep things simple or else my brain hurts. Seriously, clutter -- even if it's an attractive display of collectibles -- stresses me out. I need simple. I need clean lines. I need Zen.

Thus, we don't have a lot of knick knacks or pretty displays of items we have lovingly collected over the years. There are almost no framed photos on shelves or tables. Instead, they're all here and here (scroll down to photo). That's it.

The fireplace mantel is where we tend to display items. Normally, there's not a lot there, but during the fall, the space fills up. Not all at once, but slowly, over the course of a few months.

In September, it's filled with Pete's, Graceful's, and Elegant's birthday cards.

In October, we have a few gourds and small pumpkins. Then the girls will add a couple of Halloween things.

In November, we'll remove the Halloween stuff and go with more of a Thanksgiving theme and the girls will add turkeys and Pilgrims.

In December, we go all out. We have a collection of wooden nutcrackers of all sizes and we put them on the mantel. A couple days before Christmas, we'll add twinkling lights and greenery. It's so much fun to look at and I promise I'll post photos in December.

In January, we go back to Zen.

Here's what the mantel looks like right now:

Several things have a story:
  • the small clock -- We've had this most of our marriage. Nothing special, but something we like just for its usefulness and simplicity.
  • the painting with the blue background - Elegant did this a few weeks ago. It's the trunk of a tree on a sunny day, with leaves falling. If you click on the photo, you can even see the mushrooms she put at the base of the tree.
  • the skull candle - Something I've had forever. A coworker gave it to me once for my desk. For whatever reason, my girls adore it.
  • Halloween card - Lori sent it to the girls and, after they ooh'd and ahh'd over it, they put it on the mantel for everyone to see.
  • squirrel - Elegant made this recently too. It's her first real foray into clay and it's incredibly lifelike, all the way down to the textured acorn in its paws. Oh, and it's heavy too.
  • one small pumpkin
  • photo - My three favorite people at our school's Fall Fun Fair a few weeks ago
  • watercolor - Yet, another piece of fall-themed art by Elegant
  • pottery - A piece that Pete's aunt made when he was a teenager.
Okay, so a lot of blah blah blah today. This is one post I know Pete won't read, so I could talk about ANYTHING here and he wouldn't know it. So very tempting...


Happy Working Mom said...

We don't have any halloween decorations up either. But it's really just because I'm too lazy to go and buy any. But Christmas? Oh yeah, my house will be all decked out!!!

MizMell said...

It's a difficult task, that "tact and diplomacy" thing. But what a challenge!

alison said...

Now Rae's b-day is over, we can bring up the small box of Halloween decorations from the basement. Our mantelpiece serves the same purpose as yours does. Right now it has a couple of candles on it, some of Rachel's birthday cards, a picture of a snail drawn by Leah, and two glass jars containing Blueberry and Steve, the betta fish.

maiaoming said...

Decorations kind of freak me out - unless they're interactive. My mom made us a Christmas creche out of bean bags when I was a kid - so we could play toss-the-baby-Jesus, etc.

Flowers are good. Real ones. Pumpkins, too. Lights, okay. It's the fake stuff that seems, well, fake.

Anyway, I like your mantel!

Lori Anderson Designs said...

I'm glad the girls liked the card! I thought they were fun.

Mrs. G. said...

That mantel just screams LOVE...I particularly love that heavy squirrel. Also, I think the inspiration board is very cool. I might steal that idea.

Suzanne said...

Oh, Jen, you would so hate my house!! What with the dog and the books and the photos and the stuff and the things...

It's comfy and very welcoming and inviting, but not so much of the zen you prefer. My home definitely looks lived in!

I actually got rid of a literal truckload of stuff last November, but still have a ways to go. I come from a long line of pack rats, so I really am doing the best I can.

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Suzanne, I understand that not everyone lives the way I'd *like* to live. I certainly don't judge or disdain other people's homes or decorating styles. On the contrary, I find it very interesting to see how my friends live. Even if it means dogs. :-)

blackbird said...

But what about the ship? in the big frame?

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Blackbird: A few years ago, I was helping set up our preschool's yard sale and I noticed a rather homely painting shoved in a corner. I looked at it and thought "blech" and went back to pricing stuff. I stopped and looked at it again later. And then again the next day. And pretty much every day that week as we prepared for Saturday's sale. In the meantime, Pete was helping move big stuff around and he too had noticed the painting. We brought it home, fully intending to change the frame, as it's a bit more gilding than we like. Eventually, the frame grew on us and now we can't imagine changing it. There's some sort of small brass plate that names the ship and gives more info, but we've never actually gotten off our lazy asses to do any research.

Best of all: The painting was $5.