Our Mantel

Eric and I moved into our apartment in Pasadena in August, and, ever since then, I’ve been plastering the walls with pictures and paintings, doing my best to make this space our own. I think this is a habit I picked up in my first year of college–something had to be done with those cinder block walls! I’ve been moving things around lately to see how they look in other places, and this has very serendipitously resulted in this one little place that I love with all my heart: our mantel. It is so *us*, and I love glancing up at it from our couch or kitchen.

I made this fall leaf garland to usher in my most favorite season several months ago, and I never took it down. It just looks so cheerful, and I have no problem with it being perpetually fall in our apartment. The three pieces on the mantel are actually garden sculptures, but they are more commonly known in my family as “the garlics.” My mom found them for 50 cents at Ikea five years ago when she was helping me decorate my apartment, and they have been fixtures ever since. Have I mentioned that my mom is awesome?

These button tree paintings are a happy reminder of the first time I put a paintbrush to canvas in years. I love having this tangible memory of how wonderful it felt to be creating again.

One of the most special things in our whole house is this welded heart. A few years ago, Eric’s parents came to visit, and Eric’s dad noticed my many lists hanging in the kitchen. He saw that welding was one of the things I wanted to learn how to do, and he tucked it away in his mind. Several months later, when we went to visit the farm, he had a surprise for me: a welding lesson! He taught me the method on some practice nuts, and this was my final project, a heart. The amount of love and care that went into this still just astonishes me. What can I say, this is the family I married into! I am the luckiest girl in the world.

And the final piece of this mantel just arrived yesterday: our gallery wrap canvas from Amy Dale! For those of you who aren’t familiar with Amy, she is the world’s most spectacular photographer. She did our engagement shoot and our wedding. If you are anywhere near the Memphis area, I would highly recommend that you have her shoot your wedding/engagement/high school portait/family portrait/day in the life photos. Amy takes such care to know her clients, and comes through beautifully in her pictures. The image above is the one on our canvas. I had told Amy how much I appreciated it that Eric liked going to junk stores to look for art supplies with me, and so she took us to this awesomely rambling antique store in downtown Memphis, where this beautiful shot was taken in the afternoon light. When I opened the box yesterday, I gasped, and then I cried, and then we hung it up right away, in the perfect space: just above our mantel. I love how it completes the space and makes it not only ours, but also us.

Image credit: amydalephotography.com

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