I’ve had this on my mind since before Christmas…what will I do with my mantel once I take my Christmas Mantel down? Do you remember that this beautiful chalkboard used to be a big ugly brown mirror? I wanted to keep my chalkboard up for a while, but it’s very large, and takes up the depth of my mantel. As I was putting all of my holiday decor down, I started bringing my books back out to place on various tables and shelves. I was placing a stack of my favorite Nicholas Sparks books on my coffee table when it hit me…The Notebook. It’s one of my favorite books, and a love story like no other. I plopped down on my couch and started scouring through the book to find my favorite part…Noah’s final letter to Allie. There I sat, mid-day balling my eyes out, and I knew this was going to be it…the inspiration for my Valentine’s Mantel!
It’s taken me a couple of weeks to put it together. I added a little bit at a time while re-reading The Notebook. I’ve added some things, then taken them away. It had to be just so…for me. See, Valentine’s Day is pretty special for me. Matt and I got married almost 16 years ago, the day after. Huh? We waited until the day after so we could have a two day celebration…plus, we don’t have to fight the Valentine’s crowd to go out and have a nice dinner.
Okay…so back to the mantel. I have these wooden spools that I love, and they stayed there after Christmas. I had bought a floral arrangement from Trader Joe’s right after the holiday, and kept these little rosettes to dry when the flowers started to wilt. I simply sprinkled them across the mantel where there we empty spots.
Since Noah’s love letters to Allie were my favorite part of the book, I wanted to have at least one stack of jute tied love letters. I mean, what is more romantic than old wrinkled love letters?
Since Matt and I have never really been apart for love letter writing to occur, I had to improvise. I bought a box of envelopes and soaked them in water a bit, then let them dry on my patio table. They dried nice and wrinkly, so I tied them up with some jute twine and tucked in two rosettes.
See those antique binoculars? Those belonged to my Aunt Irene and Uncle Dennie. I had to include them, because in my lifetime, I never knew two people who loved each other as much as they did…
I felt like the mantel needed a little garland, so I strung some white poofs onto some twine, then took these sweet little clothes pins and clipped hearts cut from some gorgeous scrapbook paper I picked up this weekend…I think it was the perfect touch. I don’t know why, I just adore it!
I took a couple of my sap buckets and tucked some topiaries from Trader Joe’s inside. I just needed some kind of live greenery after Christmas, and these did the trick. I rounded out the ends with some Chalkboard Painted Wine Bottles that I made months ago, and proceeded to write out my favorite lines from Noah’s love letter to Allie. I almost erased it, and started over, then I though…nope…it’s not suppose to be perfect.
I love sitting in my favorite spot on my couch, gazing up at all of the little things that represent love to me…it makes me feel all mushy and sappy, and my living room finally has some character again. Don’t you feel like everything just looks so blank after Christmas?