A Mantel Full of Joy

A Mantel Full of Joy

Winter Mantel to Spring Mantel


Here it is in action.

My un-decorating…..and re-decorating.

All because I wanted a little lightness and freshness and birds and nests and branches…..

…..and joy.



Nest Mantel

It was so dreary yesterday.

Rainy and cold and dark.  I think that’s what made  my heart a little sad.  The sun had disappeared on a Caribbean vacation behind the clouds and the day was cloudy and gray.

And depressing.

Now….there are days when I like cloudy and gray.

A gray day kind of gives you permission to snuggle under layers of blankets on the couch with a toasty cup of hot chocolate and a really good book or a happily-ever-after marathon.


Except that oddly…….the happily-ever-after marathons have all gone to the dark side for the month of January.  There is a complete dearth of stories about girls that get stuck in elevators with really cute guys who just happen to be lawyers and they face life’s challenges together and end up getting married in an elevator.

And a plethora of movies that were ripped right out of the headlines on the evening news.

Besides……I didn’t really have a good book to read.

And that couch looked a little lumpy.

Instead……I wanted to smile.

And laugh.

And giggle……with a heart full of joy.



Don’t get me wrong…..winter is wonderful.

And I love snowy days and hot chocolate and branches with frozen icicles that look like dancing sculptures and a warm fire and cold noses and bright red cheery cheeks.

But just for a moment….I wanted a glimpse of spring.

To tide me over.

To get me through the months ahead.

And help me prepare for the never-ending cold and the slush and the dirt and huddling by the fire and damp mittens and puddles of snow by the back door.



So in case your day is dark or dreary or rainy or snowy.

And you need a glimpse of spring……

…….your very own spring mantel is a can of turquoise spray paint and a few branches away.

Bird Nest


Joyful Spring Mantel

Wallpaper birds found on after-Christmas clearance                                                 $20.00

Can of turquoise spray paint                                                                                                  $3.96

Nests and monofilament line from the house                                                                 $0

Branches from the yard                                                                                                           $0


A little spark of joy on a cold and blustery day                                                              priceless


May today be your day.  Your wonderful, incredible, blessed day……full of birds nests and branches and pops of turquoise…..and ordinary joy. 🙂


Mini Raspberry Trifle


PS  Did you know that raspberry had a “P” in it?  I just published this post on mini raspberry trifles over on the FOLK blog today as a “Rasberry Trifle.”

Can you believe it?

Would that have been totally shameful?

New item added to my ordinary joy list…..”spell check.”  🙂

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  1. I LOVE it! That mantel makes me smile too! Those birds are gorgeous!

  2. Oh it looks beautiful and so Anthropologie-ie. Nothing is shameful where spelling is concerned. Adopt Mark Twain’s philosophy…I always liked a man who could spell a word more than one way…or something close to that.

    • Karianne,

      You can just say you’re spelling things the “Sunrise” way. That’s what we say in my house.

      A little explanation: My son is in kindergarten at a Quaker school, only they don’t call it kindergarten. They call it Sunrise and in Sunrise, they want the children to spell phonetically as they learn to read/write.

      At home, though, it is a constant battle to get my son to spell the Sunrise way. He wants to spell things the “right” way. But I’m most proud of him when he writes something the “Sunrise” way because that means he did it all by himself without the aid of his spellcheckers (i.e., mommy and daddy!)

      I absolutely love your mantel. Those branches are the perfect shade of turquoise. If it weren’t raining right now, i’d be in the back yard picking up sticks so I could copy you. 🙂 And I must know what kind of after-Christmas sale you found the awesomeness that is that wallpaper birds. They are beyond gorgeous.

  3. Love your mantel..And the rasPberry trifle looks wonderful 🙂

  4. Lovely article at FOLK. “Joy” was my word last year! Your birds are happy reminders of the ones I watch in my front yard as I sip my coffee some mornings. Cold and dreary? You’re welcome to come to Ft. Lauderdale-it’s 80 degrees, summer weather, really! John and Sherry (YHL) were here in FTL last night for a book signing. 😉 Wish it were colder here…

  5. LOVE love LOVE!! Where on earth did you find the adorable birds?

  6. Pretty! The birdies make me happy as well!

    Bring on Spring!!

  7. First of all, look at you all fancy pants!! That’s some pretty dandy computer work with the undecorating/decorating live action shot! Secondly, how I love your beautiful birds on their branches. So, so pretty. So uplifting. These past few days were dreary ho-hum here too. I’m afraid I didn’t do a wonderful mantel, but I did work on a gorgeous french inspired quilt pattern (called Pattiserie-just love that name) and drank yummy fancy coffees. Oh, and ate a large amount of left over deep fried shrimp…..good food always solves the dulldrums for me. ps My annual January-get-healthy regime starts next week….again.

  8. Love it!! And those birds have joined my “must–have” list.

  9. that is absolutely adorable!

  10. Love your birds and branches on your mantle! Beautiful and so easy to do.

  11. That is too cute. Those birds are the cutest ever. I wish you had shown a long shot, too.

  12. Great change up for the mantle and I love how you wrote this….I’m thinking I need to get myself some turquoise spray paint! That’s for the inspiration!

  13. Birds are cute but that raspberry trifles is beautiful! 🙂 Seriously, mantle is gorgeous and love the show!

  14. I love it….those little birdies are so precious! So bright and cheery…..you can’t help but to smile!
    Have a great weekend…..

  15. I thought this was a painting at first, and until I got to the bottom I still thought the branches were painted on the board. What a beautiful–joyful–mantel. It reminds me of the Chirp china pattern by Lenox, which I covet. Beautiful!

  16. pretty! the birds are so cool- can you share where they are from?

  17. What a wonderful reminder that Spring is not too far away, and sweet decor while you wait!!

    xoxo, Tanya

  18. Oh Goodness this is Joy and Cuteness in One! Please Please share where you found those adorable birds!

  19. Lovely! I can almost smell Spring in the air!

  20. How cute is this!? This morning when I woke up, the sun was shining and the birds were singing . . . and by the time I got out of the shower, the sky was literally glowering again . . . Sigh . . . . . But this is so cheery! Where did you find those birds? You see, I have a thing about birds – the real kind. A phobia, actually . . . but I love, love, love to hear them sing, and I absolutely love FAKE birds! 😉

    Here’s hoping this weather system leaves us unfrozen, and the birds that I heard this morning can stick around! 🙂 Happy Friday!

  21. I LOVE it!!!!! Please come & do mine : D !

  22. Beautiful! What a way to brighten a lovely, grey, January day… birdies!

  23. I do love the birds and the painted branches–definitely a “perk you up” look!

  24. Love it, it it so cheerful.


  25. That is a gorgeous mantle. I love the turquoise branches!

  26. Well, it it makes you feel any better, I saw that post over at FOLK and totally didn’t even notice until you pointed it out just now! LOL!!!

  27. Very clever. Your decorating is always so budget conscious, and I love that, too. I did know raspberry had a p – because black raspberries are my very favorite thing to eat in the whole world!

  28. Your little birdies are so cute! I love this, KariAnne. Well done, and I hope your weekend is very happy. PS–look for some Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies–they are feel-good romances, for sure!

  29. LOVE the birds! I know what you mean, I’m filling the house with pink roses tomorrow for small one’s birthday and it should give us the lift that we need.

    Trifle always helps too. C:

  30. Was just wondering if I had the courage o try something wildly different with a similarity to yours. Brava! 🙂

  31. Sweet, tweet, tweet! You know we all want to know where you got those birds. I have been needed to redo my mantel for quite some time.

  32. So when are you putting up that long shot?


  33. So I was all ready to tell you that, yeah the mantel is awesome, but how about that presto change-o magic frame!, when I thought I better check other comments so I don’t copy someone elses comment. Sure ‘nuf Andrea called you a smarty pants about it, so since I can’t be first, only or original in commenting on your computer skills I’ll just say that was cool.


  34. Well you have done it again!!!!
    Your birds are extraordinary !!
    Did you make them???
    Love the branches done in turquoise….

    Who would have thought…………………

  35. Geez…I don’t even know what to start with! The cool transition thingy, the turquoise branches, the BIRDS (where did you get those?!?), the raspberry…who needs that ‘p’ anyway….trifle? It all is perfect!

  36. Karianne, you always do such wonderful things! It has been dark and dreary here, too. But instead of getting off my duff and doing something about it, as you have done, I sit and moan and feel sorry for myself that Spring is so far away. Your way is much better!

  37. It’s cool, dark, and rainy here today. And your mantle is so cheerful, yes it makes you smile, cannot help but smile!
    Debbie 🙂

  38. Oh I love those happy birds on that cheerful branch. I can hear them singing!
    Come on down to FL…..it’s springtime here. I just hung the laundry out!

  39. That brightens my mood. It’s been gray here. Love the light!

  40. Okay Karrianne, I love the birds bright fun spirits! Sooo you. My only question is how are the branches attached? Mine would be on the floor I’m sure. I think we need a lesson on the magic of the hanging branches.

  41. You are amazing, totally amazing! It’s been so wet and cold and gray here the past week, that all I’ve wanted to do is snuggle in on the sofa by the cozy fire. Today is clear, sunny, and beautiful. I’ve been on a long much needed walk, out to lunch with a friend, and now I’m feeling inspired to so something different around our home. Thanks!
    Still loving that Noel mantel. Wanted to try something like that somewhere in our home. 😉
    ~ Sarah

  42. Your mantle is so joyful and as I sit here on this uncommonly warm and beautiful springlike day with my windows open, I can almost believe spring is just around the corner.

  43. Aw, this is so cheery and precious, Kari! The turquoise branches are inspired…. got me thinking “spring”.
    xo Heidi

  44. Good one…at first I thought something was wrong with my Ipad….things started disappearing! Then I realized it was just Karianne with some new fangled computer thingy…but, it is soooo cool! Beautiful mantle….just what the doctor ordered to chase away the January blahs! 😉

  45. It’s dreary here today too, maybe I need some spring decorations or at least some blue spray paint :). Love those sweet little birds!

  46. I can’t find the words to describe this mantel….I love the color, the whimsy, the life….and it belongs on the front cover of a magazine. Beautifully done!

  47. I found your blog, quite by accident, when I was being VERY EFFICIENT with my time and looking at Pinterest. And now I’m head over heels in love with your blog, and I’ve decided that we really should be neighbors, so that you can pop on over for a cup of coffee every morning… right before you begin decorating my house! Oh, I’ll talk your ear off while you’re decorating… we’ll be good friends, and then BOTH of our houses will look fantastic! And I’ve always, always, ALWAYS told my husband that if I ever win the lottery (you know, the one I never buy lottery tickets for!), I would buy a horse ranch in Kentucky and raise Derby winners. Which, come to think of it, makes a lot of sense, because I don’t know much about horses, except that I love the Kentucky Derby and I loved the movies “Secretariat” and “Dreamer.” Anyway, keep up the good work here!

  48. Karianne, Your posts always to fill my heart with joy. You have such a wonderful way of bringing in sunshine even in the bleak of winter. Your personality just bubbles over and I feel happier in just reading about your joy bird mantle and the fact that you spelled raspberry wrong (That’s something I would certainly do!) I love your sweet little bird motif. Thanks as always for sharing your wonderful and creative ideas. BTW, have you ever shared what camera and lenses, equipment etc. you use to shoot your photos. They are always so beautiful.

  49. Hi KariAnne, I love the mantel decorations! Joyous Wishes, Linda

  50. Oh the birds!!! Love ’em~ And the color of those delicate branches is divine 🙂
    Beautiful beautiful beautiful!

  51. Girl you did it again, your mantel looks fabulous!! That trifle looks real yummy too!
    Have a super weekend!

  52. Cynthia Toone Riley :

    I also thought that this was a painting! I also want to know how you attached the branches. And I also love your posts…each day you make me smile over something! As you can see, I agree with everybody above!

  53. Love it all, especially the birds! Where did you find those birds???? I would love to find some like that here in Cincinnati. Wonder if I could make my own….. Love your posts especially so cleverly embellished with your descriptive writing :}

  54. love, love, LOVE your mantel!!! so fresh and spring-like and inspiring!
    erin in tennessee

  55. Ha~ I watched the same Hallmark chick flick about the love birds in the elevator! Love your mantel!

  56. Thank you for today’s post. You have made me smile on a rainy, damp, dark day in snowless Chicago. Even your trifle looks sunny.

  57. I love that you decorate your house so much and that you share what you do with us it makes me feel good

  58. I had just hopped over to copy your Raspberry Trifle recipe and save it into my ‘recipe’ folder when my husband walked behind my computer chair and asked, “So when are you ever going to make any of those recipes you keep saving?” Ooops. Busted.

  59. The mantel does look cheery and light!
    Yes, I did know about the P in raspberry. But I’m funny that way.
    I agree – love wintry snuggly days, but the dreariness and rain of today did get to me.

  60. Lisa Rohrbaugh :

    Oh so beautiful. Love the birds!

  61. Lovely mantel Karianne! I wish a springy mantel was all it took to get me back on track in the winter. It seeps into my bones and brain and sucks the life out of me. It’s not been as bad yet this year but it is getting to be a bit of a struggle 🙁 Got to kick myself in gear and get some sewing done!

  62. Wallpaper birds?! Seriously, from where?! I have not seen such beautiful birds! You must disclose your source so that perhaps a friend from the cold, damp, dreary north can find them online and brighten her home too, pleeeease, pretty please. They are amazing. And so are you with the sprayed branch and colourful birdies. And the garland, pray where did that appear from, did I miss a post? I love it all! Patty/BC

  63. Those little birds are the best!! I want!! The English language makes no sense sometimes…we were just talking about that today in my world of Kindergarten. It’s truly sad, but we start out just writing the sounds we hear…I can read some of the craziest mess in the world! (allrantogetherwithnospaceseven!) Have a great weekend, friend! 🙂

  64. Brilliant craftiness.

    Not so brilliant missing letter in rasPberry, but you are forgiven because looking at your awesome post brings me huge amounts of joy.

    Have a fabulous and smiling weekend.


  65. Ok…in LOVE!!! The birds….to die for and the colored branches…. LOVE!!

  66. Love it! Love the birds……were did you get them?

  67. This is so, so pretty! I absolutely looooove those birds! I’m staring at them trying to figure out how I could diy some of my own. Your spaces are always lovely to look at!!

  68. Yes Joy is the word for that mantel! I love birds and you made them looks sooo happy! Isn’t it great that you can make such a beautiful mantel with branches from the yard and some sweet paper birds? Great Job!

  69. So SWEET! That put a big sunshiney smile on my face, love the aqua branches and the sweet little birds!! I don’t know how or what kind of tech you have on your site, but I watched your mantel change from NOEL to sweet, happy and sunshiney over and over again! That will probably put a smile on my face tomorrow too!

  70. That is gorgeous KariAnne!! I love the turquoise and those birds are so cute! I really like the bunting too. So sweet! Have a great weekend!
    Jenn 🙂

  71. beautiful spring(y) mantle to carry you through the winter.

  72. Love your joyful mantel! You are amazing! The wallpaper birds are fabulous and the branch looks wonderful! I know what you mean about having something bright and cheerful to get you through the winter! I love it all! Congrats on the Trifle! You’re awesome!

  73. Love the mantel, birds, and animation, just like everyone else, but I just scanned all the comments. Why didn’t anyone else ask how you put those branches up??? Am I the only one who doesn’t know how to do that? Please reveal the technique and the source of the birds . . . or someone figure out how to DIY them!

  74. Very beautiful Kari…love the wallpaper birds!!!…I need to “cover” my winter birds!!….You must smile every time you look at the mantel!!….

  75. Love the fresh spring feeling! I am a bird lover…so this is very “me”!

  76. I love it. Very original.

    I love your blog, btw. You have such a talent for writing and decorating!

  77. I totally get the “fresh” look! When I took down all the Christmas decor, I started rearranging furniture and one thing lead to another (doesn’t it always?!?) and before I knew it I had bought new curtains! Needless to say in the end, my house feels so much more “Spring-y” than “wintery.”

  78. Love that turquoise spray paint color~ and the happy lil’ birds! Raspberry is a fun word 😉

  79. So pretty! Love those sweet birds! I did not do any after Christmas shopping can you believe it?Wish I had those birds are so cute! I am ready for spring too.Although I can’t complain it has been another dreamy winter here too!

  80. Love love love!

    xo Suzanne

  81. You make me smile Karianne. I’m jealous of those birds! Love your spring mantel

  82. Awww….so very pretty. I love it. I saved out my little clip-on white birds from the Christmas stuff. They are glittery and have fluffy, feathery tails. They just looked too delightful to put away. I like that….something to tide you over. I truly understand. 🙂 Wonderfully said. k.

  83. I love this, love it! And the first thing that came to mind, “Bass Pro meets Anthropologie!!!” Hello! What a wonderful way to brighten up your home, adorable!

  84. Very beautiful bright and spring. What a sweet creative idea

  85. Just beautiful and thank you for brightening my day. I am so happy that you shared the tutorial as well, Have a wonderful week. Di@Cottage-Wishes