au naturale

I hate to be the bearer of bad news here folks but summer is a flyin by…it’s unofficially halfway over.  Where has the time gone? 

Ok that was very negative of me.  Let me try this again…I just love fall!  I really do and guess what!  It’s only about a month and half away.  I can’t wait for a chill in the air, the leaves to change colors and some hot toddies by the fire.

Did somebody say fire?  Oh right that brings me to my whole point in today’s post.  The fireplace…

With Memorial Day and Independence Day behind us, it was time to dismantle the patriotic mantel.

The bricks are still painted brick-red and I still dislike it.  I haven’t decided what to do about it just yet. 

But let’s talk about the theme of the mantel.  As we approach the 2nd half of summer, I wanted to bring nature inside.  I had Ryan in mind because not only does he love the outdoors but we will be celebrating his birthday in the 2nd half of summer.  

On with the elements.  Let’s start from the ground up…

The fabulous retro suitcases from a recent hunt made their debut on the hearth.  They are meant to represent summer travel.  Ok I admit they are not any part of nature but they’re cool, right?  And I added some cacti to keep it natural.

The other side of the hearth is accented with a yellow banded snake plant in an antique egg basket.  The bland nursery pot is covered with a vintage burlap potato sack that I picked up.  I chose a snake plant because it is tolerant of interior light and low water.  Not that I plan to ignore it but you never know.  Oh and here’s a random factoid for ya.  The “yellow banded” version of a snake plant actually came to be from a mutation in breeding.  Since it was a pleasant mutation, growers kept it going!  And now we have yellow banded snake plants…

Remember the vintage birdhouse  that I picked up a few weeks ago?  I used wood glue to repair the broken pieces and now it is a welcoming home for summer birds…in the living room.  The birdhouse is accented with some birch branches from our tree primarily because I needed a lighter color in the display and also because I wanted to add some height.  The birch’s texture was just a bonus to the natural display.


There are quite a few moss elements on the mantel.  Ryan has been into moss lately and keeps suggesting that we grow it.  I thought that bringing some moss green decor in might curb his moss enthusiasm for now. 

I picked up these oversized faux-moss flowers at Michael’s earlier in the summer.  At the time, they were 2/3 off so I literally got 3 for the price of 1.  I wasn’t sure what I’d use them for then but the color and shape were just too fun to pass up.  Now they are arranged in and among an old glass bottle that was in my vase collection.

There’s been a lot of hub-bub in the blog world lately around moss wreaths.  I decided I wanted my own!  It was totally easy to assemble. 

Here’s how…

  • Pick up an 18 inch floral foam wreath and a moss 4 foot “table runner” from Michael’s.  It is preserved real moss and smells like chemicals at first.  
  • Cut the table runner in half length wise.
  • Cut those in half again so you have 4- 4 foot x 3 inch strips of moss. 
  • Then wrap evenly around the wreath and hot glue the ends as needed.   If you wish, accent however you want!  The moss balls and pinecones are  simply placed in the wreath – no glue.

It wouldn’t be a summer theme without a hint of the beach.  We picked up the perfectly muted driftwood on a recent coastal walk.  There are a few green glass globes randomly filled with decorative shells that I’ve had in my craft drawer for years. 

The entire display is dotted with pinecones that I collected from neighborhood trees.  Who says pinecones can only be used in Christmas displays?

Did you guys notice my secret mantel message?  Look closely.

XO.  Hugs and Kisses for Ryan’s birthday!  Cheesy, I know but the branches and wreath just say it all.

XO my summer lovin’ friends! XO

Linking to:
A Beach Cottage
Fireflies and Jellybeans
Beyond the Picket Fence
Faded Charm

10 thoughts on “au naturale

  1. You are so Crafty, I just love it!!! Absolutely love the suitcases and how you incorporated them, and those mossey green flowers.. but the best part has to be the secrect message, XO!!!


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