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Monday, December 16, 2013

A Jolly Winter Festival

The creative life extends to all aspects of living, not just the creation of works of art. Something as ordinary as setting out holiday decorations can be a pleasant outlet for my creative energy.

Did you know that the Latin word for hearth is "focus"? The mantle in our dining room has become a monthly focus of seasonal festivity and celebration. I take great care with my choices to create a special showcase to welcome and delight my guests.

This antique mantle with its oval beveled mirror and pillared overmantle becomes a stage for our favorite Holiday Characters. Vintage pieces mingle happily with modern interpretations. Rock crystal icy branches, delicate evergreen boughs, fine tulle lit by a string of 100 tiny lights and vintage plastic icicles provide a setting for tinsel trees and the cast of jolly revellers. The larger marble bust on the overmantle wears a holly wreath at a rakish angle to join in the festivities.

This year's dining room mantle is a celebration of a vintage winter carnival.

These jolly revellers belie their cold snowy nature. The scale of the smaller figures invites a more intimate inspection. Vintage pieces mix with modern ones. Dennis has an eclectic collection of hundreds of Santa figures, it takes careful editing to choose which pieces will grace this special mantle. The auditions were time consuming, but the results are a joyful combination of old and new, of country primitives and vintage characters. We are privileged to have them join our Winter Wonderland Celebrations.

Here's a closer view of the the mantle piece. The beveled mirror gives more depth to the scene. Three cake stands tiered allow me to showcase smaller figures which might otherwise get lost. It's all a matter of scale and color and light.

Crystal encrusted branches are highlighted by the glitter of this tiny bird cage and the mercury glass bird inside.Vintage plastic icicles from my own childhood Christmas trees suspended from evergreen branches on the overmantle actually have a realistic look here. On the large Christmas tree in the library they become lost in the tinsel, but here they sparkle like the genuine icicles which hang from the porch roof outside the windows.

This winter fairy reigns supreme over the display. Fine white tulle over clear lights imitates an icy overhang.

Larger pieces at the sides and smaller pieces arranged in the middle invite a closer look. The color theme is winter whites. Snowmen predominate, but a few Santa figures and elves bring some festive color to the scene.

Bringing creativity into every act enlarges our hearts. I spent two days designing and assembling this mantle piece. It embodies the joy of my childhood Christmas memories, and I am pleased to share it with my holiday guests. Let the festivities reign!