Fireplace mantles and the mantle clock

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Garden, Home and Party: Mantle Clocks

{A SILVER MANTLE CLOCK marked Fabergé with Imperial warrant,Moscow, 1896-1908}

This time of year I’m especially mindful of our mantle, in part because we spend more time indoors due to cooler weather and because most evenings we have a fire in the grate.  Our fireplace is wood burning and I enjoy it.  Mr. B. says I’ve mastered setting a good fire.  It’s the simple rule of 3 logs positioned just so, and some wadded up newspaper under the grate.  It seems to never fail.  

Please note, this is a “keepin’ it real” photo.  Mr. B tried to move out of the picture (note the legs on the right) and I failed to move the log carrier and newspaper before snapping the camera.

Garden, Home and Party: Mantle Clock

But I digress, the subject of this post is the mantle clock.  It seems to be less popular than in the day where most homes with fireplaces had a good clock, usually centered on the mantle.  My mantle clock was a gift from a group of friends and purchased in Prescott, Arizona.  My grandmother lived in Prescott during her retirement years and in town there are a few blocks of antique stores.  I love the clock, in part because it always reminds me of those visits with my grandma.

Here we were this past Christmas, dressed for the holiday, the mantle clock is always there.

Garden, Home and Party: mantle clock

In this stately, more formal room [below], you’d expect a slightly larger mantle clock.  I imagine the small clock is some kind of wonderful antique, and up close is beautifully detailed.

Garden, Home and Party: Mantle Clocks

This might be an example of a noteworthy, but small, clock to place in a position of prominence on the mantle. Don’t you love the detailing on this clock?

Garden, Home and Party: Mantle clocks

{Farcot Figural Cockerel Alarm Mantle Clock}

An outstanding room designed by the talented Albert Hadley.  I love this room.  I imagine the clock was chosen for its size so that the portrait would be the focus.

Garden, Home and Party: Mantle clock

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Mirrors are popular and often found where the mantle clock used to be.  I do love the clean lines of this display.

Garden, Home and Party: Mantle Clocks

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I have always loved the gentleman’s English library and the mantle clock seems fitting in this setting.

Garden, Home and Party: Mantle clocks

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Surprise!  This is actually a shelf, made to look like its a mantle over a fireplace.  It think it’s a great idea.

Garden, Home and Party: Mantle clocks

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Another lovely mantle with a pleasing mixture of items, including the clock arranged off-center.  Very pretty.

Garden, Home and Party: Mantle clock

This room and mantle is a little formal for my taste, but beautiful nonetheless.  Leave it to Marie Antoinette to have an opulent room such as this!

Garden, Home and Party: Mantle clocks

{Marie Antoinette Fontainbleau}

This is a favorite, not just because of the live greens, dressed for Christmas, but I love the clock and the old mirror it sits in front of.  The wall sconces are simple and the black framed clock stands out.

Garden, Home and Party: mantle clocks

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Not to stray off topic again, but seriously, the reason you can barely see this mantle clock is because clearly, they are featuring this fabulous under mantle and side pillars.  I would love to have this piece…and probably the rest of the house that goes with it. :-)

Garden, Home and Party: Mantle clocks

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Garden, Home and Party: mantle clocks

Do you have a fireplace mantle in your home?  If so, do you have a clock adorning it?

I love hearing from  you, I hope you are having a great week so far. ♥ Karen

Wallpaper revival

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Garden, Home and Party: Wallpaper

There are some that would argue wall coverings never went out of favor with designers, and others that insist it’s been out for some time and is now making a grand re-entrance on the design scene.

Wherever you are on the topic, there are some stunning examples of wall paper available today.  Our home is currently paperless, but some of these beauties have me pondering a room that would benefit from a  new look.

One of the newer ideas (to me) are maps that are custom made into wallpaper. Wallpapered is a company out of England that creates panels custom fit to the wall you are wanting to paper.  They can do historic/antique, world or street maps.  I particularly love this example as it’s a historic map of London [my favorite city in the world].

Garden, Home and Party: Wallpaper

Garden, Home and Party: Wallpaper

Another innovative wallpaper idea that I found is the Phillip Jeffries Enchanted Woods paper.  This is not a very vivid image of the ‘Bestowed Birch’ pattern that made me stop and look, and I was unable find an image of a room papered in this, but I believe the texture is that of an actual tree.  I could see this as an effective addition of texture in a room.  To some it might be more of a lodge look, but I don’t think it has to be.

Garden, Home and Party:  Wallpaper

This bold black and white paper is really pretty.  (I’ve seen this in quite a few rooms online, but I couldn’t find the name of the manufacturer, if you know drop me a line).  I believe, in this image, they’ve installed it in the foyer and up the stairs.  With the white in the room it really livens up the area.  This paper could work in a contemporary setting as well as a more traditional one.

Garden, Home and Paper: Wallpaper

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Here it is in blue and white, don’t you love it on this landing?

Garden, Home and Party: Wallpaper

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Carol Glasser used this beautiful wallpaper in the foyer of her home in Montecito.  It’s such a pretty color, especially paired with the demi lune and accessories.  The mirror is stunning.

Garden, Home and Party: Wallpaper

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Bathrooms are my favorite place for wallpaper.  It can really make a statement no matter the size of the bathroom.

Garden, Home and Party: Wallpaper

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Same goes for bedrooms, don’t you love the matching custom linens with the wallpaper?  Such an inviting room.

Garden, Home and Party: Wallpaper

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Want a library, but there isn’t enough room for bookshelves?  Try this…

Garden, Home and Party: Wallpaper

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Joni, of Cote de Texas fame recently did a wonderful post on a lighting designer in Amsterdam, Holland.  His showroom is a show stopper with the unique lamps he designs and this beautiful red wallpaper.

Garden, Home and Party: Wallpaper

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 Read more about design trends for 2015 HERE.

So what are your thoughts on wallpaper.  Do you have rooms that are wallpapered that you love?  If you did without wallpaper for a time, are you ready to make the commitment again?

I always enjoy your comments. xo, Karen

Let’s get organized for 2015

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I confess, I’m pretty organized nearly year round.  I’m one of those people that really can’t relax unless there’s order in my surroundings.  I know this kind of obsession has been referred to using a wide array of adjectives, some less complimentary than others.  :-)

That said, even I find certain parts of my home can be found in various stages of disarray different times of the year.  That’s what new years are for, to clean up, clear out clutter, and get back on track.

Sometime last year I followed a link that has me thinking differently about what I keep and what I giveaway, donate, or dump.  I’m going to give you the name (and link) to this site, but you have to promise you won’t immediately dismiss it by the name alone. (there was a time I would have!)

The Minimalists is a site that is co-authored to by a pair of young men that for various reasons (you can read their story) found themselves pairing down.  Here are two of the passages that most influenced me and have made my clean/organize tasks much more effective…

What people don’t understand, however, is that minimalism is not about deprivation. Rather, minimalists—anyone who’s deliberately seeking a life with less stuff—find more value in the stuff they do own. They do this by jettisoning the superfluous, keeping only the possessions that serve a purpose or bring joy. Everything else goes by the wayside.

There is no Minimalist Rulebook. We’re all different. The things that add value to one man’s life may not add value to yours. So hold on to that hair straightener, those colorful socks, that collection of angel statuettes—but only if they are appropriate for your life. Only if they serve a purpose or bring you joy. – The Minimalists

I promise I’m not trying to convert anyone, I’m only sharing what has started making sense to me, in part because after 32 years in the same smallish home we’re bursting at the seams.  I have 7 boxes of collectible sports cards, two snowboards and a surfboard that belong to son #1 (now living in Austin, where there is no ocean and the nearest mountain is a lengthy drive).  Fortunately, son #2 lives a short 15 minutes away and he (sorry, Sarah) has taken his treasures to their house.  I’ve discovered that a lot of what I lovingly collected over the years is no longer needed/wanted.

The book, Organizing For Dummies has a cheat sheet of the tried and true methods for a good new year organization/clean out session.  Here are the basic five easy steps:

1.  Determine the goal for the room or closet.

Maybe it’s as simple as cleaning out a bookcase or adding a tray to an existing coffee table where items can be corralled.

Garden, Home and Party: organized

Or maybe its as simple as adding hooks to a shelf to handle the extra mugs in the cupboard (the ones you love, remember?).

Garden,  home and party: organized

2.  Identify the limitations of the room or closet.  Like this clever idea from Martha Stewart.  If you don’t have enough space for essentials, there are stores (Container Store, and others) that have efficient tools for making your space handle the extras.

Garden, Home and Party: organized

Garden, Home and Party: organized

Not to mention Martha’s clever ideas for keeping up with the ‘should do more than once a year’ tasks.

Garden, Home and Party: Organized

3.  Sort the items in the room or closet into the well known categories of STAY, MOVE, SHARE or GO.

Garden, Home and Party: organized

4.  Determine what items (storage systems, bins or boxes) will help you to keep the space organized.  I love the look of these PB baskets and could see them helping with the ever-present storage issue in our home.

Garden, Home and Party: orginized

{Pottery Barn – Daytrip Lidded Baskets}

5.  Reassemble the room or closet/drawer.

Garden, Home and Party: Organized

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Garden, Home and Party: Organized

Do you go through some kind of cleaning/organizing this time of year?  Do you have any tips for the process?  I’d love to hear from you. 

Happy Wednesday, have a productive rest of the week and a relaxing weekend.

{Garden, Home and Party} My report card for 2014

Hi Friends!  I’ve been very energized by the onset of the new year.  I believe that may be pretty much universal, right?  Are you still enjoying the surge of excitement that accompanies the onset of a brand new 365 days? Days you can do with what you will.

Garden, Home and Party: 2014 report card

I use WordPress to host my blog site, and  for those who have read my posts for some time, you may remember that my eldest son set the site up for me.  We’ve tweaked it a few times but basically, I’ve been very happy with the simple way it functions for me (read: User often technology challenged).  Wordpress sends out a report card of sorts each year, or at least they have for the past 3 years.  The report gives you the stats for your site with details such as 1) Posting Patterns. I post only once a week most weeks and I usually send out that post on Wednesday, so no news there. 2) Attractions.  This is where they tell you your top 5 posts.  It turns out my best day this year, as far as views go, was my 500th post.  {Thanks for dropping by that day!}. 3) How did they (visitors) find you?  Pinterest was the single most referring site.  A mixed blessing.  Does anyone besides me marvel at the number of hours that can evaporate when visiting that online wonder?

I hope to continue to practice both my writing and photography.  Who am I kidding, my photography is awful.  But what we practice has to improve, right?  Onward and upward in 2015.  I’m really looking forward to the year, and to time spent with you, my friends.

If you’re interested, here are the posts that received the most views in 2014:

Garden Home and Party: year end report card

{Cozy and other adjectives that describe home}

Garden Home and Party 2014 report card

{Adieu Pierre Deux}

Garden, Home and Party: 2014 report card

{Cottage Living ~ Moody Cottages}

Garden, Home and Party: 2014 report card

{Front Yards – alternatives to lawn}

and last but not least…

Garden, Home and Party: 2014 report card

{Rooms that enjoy a Neutral Palate}

I’ll be back next week with some tips on organizing and weeding out.  I’ve mentioned here, more than once, I’m really simplifying my house.  I want only what I use and love around me.  I no longer need to hold on to random items…more on my perspective next week.

Happy 2015

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Garden, Home and Party: Happy New Year 2015

Another year has flown by.  I’ve worked hard this year on living in the moment and it has been helpful, even if sometimes I forget to do just that.

I don’t do resolutions anymore but I like the idea of selecting a word that can provide you with a course towards something you’d like to strive for.  Goals seem somehow easier to stick with than a long list of homework for the soul.  Do you make resolutions?

Garden, Home and Party: Happy New Year 2015

Again, the opportunity has come to start off with our best. Make sure all the 365 pages of your book are worth the writing; as well publishing for. ― Kaushal Yadav

I wish you all a happy, healthy and joyous new year to come.  I feel a kindred spirit towards you and you all make this blog-biz a fun journey.

See you next year!

{Home} Christmas Cozy

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Garden, Home and Party: Christmas CozyChristmas / Cozy, these two words play well together…in our hemisphere Christmas usually means a cooling trend.  Even in the desert, December is cold at night.

What better way to enjoy the season then wrapped in the comfort of your own home, fire in the grate (if possible) and a throw at your feet.  To me these rooms are cozy and inviting by design and furnishings.

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Cozy

Artist Carl Larsson

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Cozy

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Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Cozy

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Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Cozy

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Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Cozy

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Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Cozy

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…one of the coziest homes in blogland…Kelly, of talk of the house always gives us cozy with style.

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Cozy

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas Cozy

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My home version of cozy…this is before the tree went up.

Garden, Home and Party: Christmas  Cozy

Here is our tree…

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Christmas 2014

Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.

~the conductor; The Polar Express (2004)

I hope you are allowing yourself some time just to enjoy the season.  This final week will be hectic to be sure, be safe and have fun in all that you do.  

{Party} Ideas for setting the table for a holiday meal

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Garden, Home and Party: Table Settings for the season

*I know I posted images of table settings for Thanksgiving, but I really love the inspiration for something a bit different each time I get to set the table for a dinner or lunch.  I hope you’re able to retrieve some inspiration for your holiday entertaining.

One week down, already!  Let’s all take a collective deep breath and slow down.  We need to enjoy the beauty that the season has to offer.  Make time to sip hot cocoa or a cup of tea as you review your ‘to do’ list.

This week I’m sharing table settings dressed for the season.  I realized a long time ago that while I thoroughly enjoy setting a table, most guests are in your home to share some quality time with you, and while they may subconsciously enjoy the lovely setting, its not as important as you may think it is.  That doesn’t keep me from always trying to make it as special as possible, but it does mean we can all relax and keep it simple.  It’s all about enjoying the moment this year.

Garden, Home and Party: Table setting for the season

This is my table for most Christmas entertaining.  The center piece is made up of a bronze reindeer I purchased one winter while visiting a friend in Snowmass, CO.  I love him and I have a florist set him in a low container with florist foam and then it’s filled with various evergreen pine and pine cones and faux berries.  As long as it’s watered as needed, it lasts the entire month.  

{This is last year’s arrangement, this year I went with white berries, pheasant feathers and pinecones.  I’d love to say that it’s still at the florist, but it is in fact sitting on my dining room table.  It’s just been a crazy week and I did not get a picture of it!}  

Garden, Home and Party: Table Settings of the Season

Garden, Home and Party: Table Settings for the Season

This is such a lovely, simple place setting, don’t you agree? White twinkle lights and candlelight, what could be better?

Garden, Home and Party:  Table Settings for the Season

Candlelight, whether achieved with flameless candles or real, makes any tablescape magical.

Garden, Home and Party: Table Settings for the Season

Garden, Home and Party: Table settings of the season

{sorry, unknown}

 You can never go wrong with plaid for Christmas!  Throw in a few nutcrackers and you have the perennial favorite for the season.

Garden, Home and Party: Table Settings for the Season

I like the rustic coasters and name card, paired with sheet music.  I wonder if this is for a caroling party? Wouldn’t that be a fun idea?

Garden, Home and Party: Table Settings for the Season

Garden, Home and Party: Table Settings for the Season

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This is really a great way to introduce some plaid to the table, a couple of plaid throws doing double duty as table toppers.  I do love an English styled room for the holidays. So inviting.

Garden, Home and Party: Table Setting for the Season

All white, even the Christmas trees are set with white lights and nothing else.  It’s simply elegant.

Garden, Home and Party: Table setting for the season

Delores over at Vignette Design always sets a pretty table.

Garden, Home and Party: Table setting for the season

Garden, Home and Party: Table setting for the season

Garden, Home and Party: Table setting for the season

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Garden, Home and Party: Table setting for the season

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Rustic is a favorite look of mine, this setting makes me think it’s a house in a beautiful mountain town….hmm, I wonder.

Garden, Home and Party: table settings for the season

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This is my table set for New Years Eve last year.

Garden, Home and Party: Table Setting for the Season

What do you like to set the table with this time of year?  

I hope you’ll tune in for next week’s installment—“Christmas Cozy”.  Rooms that are sure to invite you in and help you relax, all the while in a cozy setting.

Countdown to Christmas – Gift wrapping ideas

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Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

As we frantically calmly move toward year’s end, and one of my favorite times of year {who doesn’t love Christmas or what ever Winter Holiday celebration you enjoy?}I thought it would be fun to share some ideas for wrapping presents, setting a pretty table, and sharing rooms that evoke a cozy atmosphere over the weeks ahead.  I’m starting this 3-week series with:

Gift Wrap Ideas.

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

If you’re like me you need to figure out not only ideas for wrapping presents for family and close friends, but you also probably need a few items for hostess gifts.  The cookie exchange, a ladies’ lunch, or a Christmas dinner party…these gift wrap ideas are especially fun for little gift items, like a special bar of soap, scented candle or pretty scented hand cream and lip balm for the purse, those little presents are especially fun to wrap.  Good things really do come in small packages!

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

The creative gift wrap ideas seem equally worthy for gifts that go under the tree, they are so pretty they would enhance that space under the branches of a decorated tree.

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

How to wrap a wine bottle from Ann on Sutton Place is a no-sew idea for a hostess gift.  You can always find great looking kitchen towels at TJ Maxx, Cost Plus or Marshall’s and Ann explains how to wrap a bottle of wine, no sewing required, in said towel.  Suddenly, a bottle of wine is a gift with a bonus!

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

So many gift wrap ideas involve butcher paper.  I love it’s simplicity and when paired with a sprig of holly or a red berry wreath it’s a win-win.

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

A little sparkle goes a long way.  I love the beautiful, large bows that so many packages are dressed with, but these simple touches share the wow factor too, don’t you think?

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

Bonus gift, like the kitchen towel-wrapped wine, this little package is fun since it comes with a candy cane!

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

How pretty is this?

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

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Most of the above gift wrap ideas have been in my file for some time and I apologize for not having a link to all of them.  Hopefully, they will give you some ideas that are simple to implement.

Garden, Home and Party: Gift Wrap Ideas

Week 1:  I hope you’re better organized than me!  I really need to get going, I have the tree up and most of the decorations but gift buying is still in the planning stages.  Enjoy the week!

 

{Home} Happy Thanksgiving ~ 2014

Well, the year is entering it’s final laps.  Does time seem to speed by for all of you?  It sure does for me.

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Thanksgiving 2014

{my friend’s iron pumpkins : Linda ~ Bainbridge Island}

Hopefully all of you have wonderful plans for a beautiful Thanksgiving day.  Maybe you are the chef of the feast, or maybe you’re being entertained by others, either way, I  hope you have delicious, sane, enjoyable day!

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Thanksgiving

Since table settings are one of my favorite things to do to get ready for a meal, I thought I’d share with you some of the beautiful tables I’ve found online.

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Thanksgiving

{Cottage Hill Magazine ~ Lauren Holly Photographer}

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Thanksgiving

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Garden, Home and Party: Happy Thanksgiving 2014

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Garden, Home and Party: Happy Thanksgiving 2014

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Garden, Home and Party: Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Thanksgiving 2014

Garden, Home and Party: Happy Thanksgiving 2014

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Garden, Home and Party: Happy Thanksgiving 2014

We are enjoying the holiday with our new granddaughter and her parents!  You, my sweet blog friends, are on my list of things I’m grateful for!

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