Christmas Mantel 2012 ... Chalkboard LOVE!

This year, I wanted to do something a little more, when decorating my mantel for Christmas.

I wanted a gigantic chalkboard in the middle, urns with evergreen trees, and real garland this year.
I have a chalkboard obsession, and any of you who have been around for a while know it isn't going away any time soon.  I'll try not to bore you with the details, but if you feel like you need a chalkboard fix, you are welcome to check out my Turn a Mirror into a Chalkboard post or my post on Turning an Old Picture Frame into a Chalkboard, there is even a post on How To Make Chalkboard Vinyl Labels...I know, it's a sickness.
Anyhow, I have been holding on to this old issue of Cottage Living since December 2006, because of the sheer chalkboard envy of this old cottage kitchen.  I think this may be where my chalkboard obsession began...I mean, isn't it gorgeous?  I've looked and looked for something similar for years, and have had absolutely no luck at all...until my friend Angie had a yardsale...
She was selling this huge mirror from an old dresser for $20, and I had to have it.  I knew it was meant to be...this mirror would some how, some way become the chalkboard of my dreams.  Sadly, it took me 3 months to finally start...then I became obsessed.


I used some white chalk paint, and covered the entire thing...wood and mirror both.  I went ahead and painted the wood with an extra coat, then distressed with a sanding block.


Next, I painted the mirror sections with 3 coats of chalkboard paint.  After they had dried overnight, I held a stick of chalk sideways and went over the entire chalkboard.  I lightly wiped it off, then began drawing and erasing, and drawing and erasing some more.  I wanted it to look old and worn, like the chalkboard of my dreams.  This process went on for days, until Matt finally popped in and said I was getting a little crazy with the whole chalkboard thing.  So, I stepped back and said, okay...that'll just have to do then.  It's not exactly the could never be, and there isn't a spot in my kitchen for it, but I have the perfect spot for now...
He helped me lift the gigantor chalkboard onto the mantel, then the decorating began.  I added fresh garland, the  Urns I made for less than $3 each were stuffed with arborvitae clippings from our yard and some old amaryllis, then a few more small details were added.
I think it's my favorite mantel yet!  I love the natural elements, mixed in with some old family favorites. I even popped some wooden spools and a horseshoe up there for fun...
So, how about you?  What do you think?   Have you done any Christmas decorating yet, or am I just Christmas crazy?