Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Winter Mantel and Sideboard

I've been doing a lot of helping kids pack recently.  Well not really pack - they are old enough to do that for themselves, but more discuss what to take and what not to forget. 

William is back in Winnipeg and started classes again yesterday.  Kate is off to the University of Bath in the United Kingdom for a term, but is first going to Paris for a couple of weeks, then to Amsterdam for a few days and finally to London for a few days.  She also hopes to visit Spain over the Easter break.  There was much deliberation over what clothes to take that would work for winter, spring, and even summery weather.  She took a small backpack for her computer and books and a wheeling bag that was half filled with her sleeping bag and the rest with her clothes.  She actually had room to spare which was the goal as she will want to bring things back with her.   

I decided to draw Kate's packing list as a good sketching exercise and a little reminder in years to come of what she took.  

The last few days have been wickedly cold and there was some snow yesterday which caused Kate's flight to be delayed by 12 hours resulting in her missing the connecting train from London to Paris.  Sigh.  I will be glad when we hear that she has finally arrived in Paris.

With all the Christmas decorations down, it was time to decorate the mantel and sideboard for winter. 

I went with simple and natural for the mantel this year.  I kept the paper star and the foil birds I made before Christmas and added some pottery jugs, candles, a few things we have collected from over the years from various walks, and a plant.  The plant was growing in our front garden all summer and I couldn't bear for it to be killed by the frost so I dug it up in the fall and put it in the brown pot and it has thrived (or at least not died and that counts for something).  I like all the soft browns and grays and silvers - they are very restful.

The sideboard is a little brighter than the mantel since I kept the red and orange snowflake runner as the base.  It seemed natural then to decorate with golds, bronzes, oranges and reds.  We still have a few seasonal plants around so they got added to the sideboard along with the carved oranges.  I kept the bronze candlesticks and pine cones along the back.  I love the look of the sideboard with the candles lit during dinner.

And last, but not least, I want to thank all of you for your kind words regarding my father.  I am just now getting myself in gear and replying to you, but I want you to know that your support has meant a lot to me.


  1. Love the simplicity of your mantel and that fantastic garland!

    Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

  2. Grace,

    Everything looks beautiful! I love it.

    I hope that your daughter has a wonderful time in Paris, London, Amsterdam and London. I have been to each city many, many times and I love them all!

    Your drawings are going to be a beautiful momento of a special time in her life.

    Keep warm!

  3. I love the packing list! Kate should put it in a scrapbook for her travels. How exciting! Bon voyage to Kate. :D

    LOVE your winter mantel. I like the sideboard, too, especially the cute runner. I love the snowflakes!


  4. That sounds like a wonderful adventure for your daughter. You are talented to be able to sketch like that and a great exercise in planning the packing list too. I love the mantel for winter. The colours, textures and naturals are pretty together. Did you punch the tin pieces yourself? I really like them, reminds me of Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. Hoping your year is just a little bit brighter each day.

  5. Love the mantel and sketches. You are very talented! Fingers crossed for a milder winter going forward.