Decorations that Usher in the Holidays and Stay for the Winter

Winter White Mantle in the Sitting Room

Winter White Mantle in the Sitting Room


Sheep are one of my favorite images; white sheep in winter snow–even better.  I found this popular print on canvas at Step Back In Time on the square in Washington, IL, and knew it had to go home with me. Although my Christmas decorations are still in their snug storage boxes, this mantle is perfect for a cozy room during the holidays and all winter long.  This is a faux’ mantle so I cannot kindle a warm fire but a strand of white lights on beige cords is wound through a stack of white birch logs on the hearth. The arrangement sparkles like the light of a low fire. I will add fresh pine branches behind the logs closer to Christmas. Tall white tapers on the mantle cast a glow over the picture and add to the softness of winter light in the room. This is my favorite room for breakfast or a cup of coffee gazing out over the pond through the French doors.

To mirror the flock of black-faced sheep in the print, a hand-crafted cluster of angora sheep seems to have just stepped out of the picture.  I was tickled to find three wild cedar trees growing in the rocks under my front porch this summer; I potted the medium-sized tree in a Hall cream-ware vase that looks like a stump. Real moss from the garden surrounds the tree; tiny cones from our Red Pine tree decorate the branches.  A miniature evergreen is in perfect scale to the winter scene.

Deer Feed Linen Pillow in the Guest Bedroom

Deer Feed Linen Pillow in the Guest Bedroom

I am still using the image of a prancing deer on my needle felting projects. Find the image on my Pinterest board “Totally Christmas.”  I crafted this home-spun linen pillow with blanket stitching and felted the deer image. To make it look like a primitive feed sack, which was probably the original use of the linen, I used a template and fine-line marker to outline the words. To give the wording a shadowed look like stenciling I lightly brushed in the letters with a medium black marker.  Although I could have stenciled “Reindeer Feed,” this pillow can accent the blue cabin-style bedroom all year long.

Happy Thanksgiving! May your table be filled with family and friends.


About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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