Blog Parties

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"Ode to Summer" Mantel

I am so glad that I am not a kid anymore. Cause nowadays it would mean that Summer is almost over. Time to go back to school. Ugggh!

And since I am older, that means I don't have any kids at home that need to get ready for school. Whew!

I hated school when I was a kid. I still get a pit in my stomach when I see back to school supplies in the store. So I'm already feeling queasy.

Back in the olden days we didn't start school until after Labor Day. So for me, August was the month our family went on vacation or to the beach. So August was the highlight of my summers.

Plus it's the month of my birth.

So I decided I wasn't going to let some school supplies at Target ruin my favorite month of the Summer. I would make my own personal "Ode to Summer Mantel".

And what is more fun than a road trip? How about a road trip to the beach?

I made this "Summer" garland from an old map of California (thanks to my favorite neighbor Rox). And some vintage letters (thanks to Google).

My favorite things about Summer.

I knocked off this "Life is good at the Beach" sign. Cause you know what? Life is definitely good at the beach. Except for when you get sand underneath your contacts, then it sucks. Or when you get sunburned.

The sign is made from recycling some cedar fence planks.

Not only do I love the beach. I love mermaids, shells and books.

I found this rusty mermaid in Cave Creek Arizona of all places. You don't think of the beach when you think of Arizona. So of course I had to bring her home to SoCal where she could hang out at my pool. Not quite the beach, but a good substitute.

I found this piece of coral at my local thrift store a few weeks back for a buck. I've tried everything to get the brown off, but so far, nothing has worked. The brown is kind of growing on me now.

I grew up in San Diego County so my favorite beach was La Jolla Shores. And Mission Bay by the Bahia Resort Hotel if we wanted calmer waters.

Someday I hope to visit more beaches on the East Coast. Like Cape Hatteras.

I have been lucky enough to visit Cocoa Beach in Florida and Ocean City Maryland.

The Atlantic Ocean is much warmer than the Pacific. Especially at Cocoa Beach. But I never did see Major Anthony Nelson or a Genie bottle. I always wanted to be Jeannie when I was a kid. Can you imagine the fun you could have with such power.

The only thing I don't like about being the water at the beach is, "Jaws".

I can't even swim in my own pool after dark because of that movie. And it's been over 30 years. Some phobias we never outgrow.

I wanted a vintage beach bucket in the worse way. But I'm too cheap to pay more than a few bucks for one. And since the one I really wanted was listed for $115 on eBay (who would pay that kind of moolah?), I decided to just make my own.

I used a galvanized tin bucket that I got awhile ago from Target's Dollar Spot, or maybe it was Michael's dollar bins. Anyhoo, I found me a cheapo bucket. Painted it, used a Sharpie pen to write "Seaside", used sand paper to rough it up a bit and then slathered on some watered down burnt umber paint. And called it done.

Well, not quite done. After filling with sea shells, it was DONE.

This coral I've had for about 20 something years. I purchased it for my son's first fish tank when he was just a wee lad. I placed the coral & vintage knock off bucket on top of this cool old metal box I found at the thrift store last week for 50 cents. The box is missing it's latch, but I don't care. Love the patina on this box.

As you can tell, I've loved the beach since I was a small child. Yup, that's me in the hat and sun glasses. Just waiting to be found so I could become a star. I'm still waiting.

Doesn't this metal lantern from Ikea just scream summer?

I added a vintage looking beach print I found online to the back. I stole, I mean borrowed all my images from Google. Wrapped a shell necklace around the candle.

Added a tag I made from the map. Have you ever been to Yuma Arizona? Quite the vacation destination. NOT! Sorry to all you who may live in Yuma, or be from Yuma, but a vacation destination, you are not.

I even recycled some votive candle holders that were left over from my parents 50th Wedding Anniversary. I just pealed off the label, slathered on some glue & rolled in this course sand. I saw this idea somewhere online, but did I save it to Pinterest? Heck no. It seems that everything I used in this post that I wanted a source to, I didn't save in Pinterest.

I placed the updated votives on this wood thing a majig (it's late & I have no idea what you would call this wood tray. How about a wood tray?) I found the wood tray at the thrift store. Where else? Hubby said it reminded him of the wood stuff you bring back from Hawaii. Or us old timers used to bring back from Hawaii. I wouldn't know as I've never been to Hawaii. But it's on my bucket list.

And there you have my beachy summer mantel aka: My Ode to Summer

Now I think I will go have a dip in the pool. Since it's too late to drive to the beach. But then again, it's dark and Jaws might be in the pool. Are you hearing the Jaws theme too? I thought so.

I better play it safe & just go to bed and dream of laying on a beach in Hawaii. At least I'm skinny, tan & about 25 years younger in my dream.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and don't go near the back to school aisles, unless you really have to.

Linking to:

Tip Me Tuesday @ Tip Junkie

Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch

Sat Nite Special @ Funky Junk

Weekend Wrap Up Party @ Tatortots and Jello

VIP Party @ Designer Garden

Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Creek Cottage

{Re} Create into something new @ Not So Simple Housewife

Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style

Tabletop Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life


  1. I say this everytime... but you are so funny.

    Yours is one of the few blogs that I "read word for word". I think it has something to do with your cadence. I even hear you saying this when I read. So I might be very disappointed If I ever meet you and you don't sound like I think you do...

    xoxo Bunny Jean

    Oh... I like all the pictures and that brown coral is great.

  2. BTW... My first blog party's linky sign up is today at noon. Even though you have just over the 500 followers limit... You can share anything. I would like everyone to share about themselves and maybe why they blog. And a project if they want.

  3. Hi Kim! I love your beachy summer mantle. You're going to keep summer going a little longer in your house. You're so creative! Love all of your sweet projects.
    Be a sweetie,
    shelia ;)

  4. wow! you rock!!! You are so creative! I truly hope you have guests over to your home, it'd be a shame to waste that talent! I love the brown on the coral!

  5. that is all fantastic! there is not a thing i would change. i love the maps in the banner, i love the sand on those candles (genius!) i love the coral (you could spraypaint the brown away if you wanted) and i love your mermaid. and i actually detest summer, and beaches, and sand, and heat, and humidity that accompanies summer. so, saying i love this, is a huge deal for me, lol.

  6. Ok seriously Kim, you are the BEST vignette-maker evah. I'm trying desparately to catch up on months of blogs, and I love every stinking one you've done in the last few months!

    I love how you put together 'stuff' in a random/cohesive way. You need to give lessons Girlfriend!

  7. I love your summer mantle. What a great idea to use a map for your garland. Love it! I also love your mermaid. So unique! Beautiful job!

  8. so many cute pieces, love your summer banner~

  9. I love your summer beachy mantel!

  10. I love your mantel vignette. How creative is this and so perfect. The shells, coral, mermaid and the banner is wonderful. Amazing. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  11. Oh, I just featured your summer cloches on this weekends coastal mix (come check it out!!)..., and now I'm seeing this awesome mantel!!!! Love the summer garland too..., the mermaid is awesome..., funny that you found it so far away from the sea. Have a great weekend!!

  12. Sorry typed in the link to my blog wrong. Here it is again!

  13. What an awesome mantel! Love the sign and the mermaid =) I hope you will come share this at my VIP party today.

  14. Love all of this!! I so want to do the bucket idea now! I'd better go pin this now! :)

  15. Kim, what a terrific summer mantle. That brown on the coral is natural. Mine has it too. I like it like that. Thanks for sharing at Wow.

  16. Beautiful mantel! I love everything, and you put it all together so well!

  17. The mantel is beautifully done, thanks for sharing! We hope you will consider helping kids with cancer by linking into the Miracle Makeover party this coming week at Together we can change things! We appreciate you.

    Sherry, DGB Team

  18. I really wish I had a mantel to decorate. Totally inspired me....for some day when I do have a mantel. :)

  19. Your mantle is lovely - so beachy and fun, nice job!

  20. Love your decor, makes me a bit home sick for the central coast.

    I have a fun any linky goes party that I would love for you to join too! This week linkers could even win a pair of silver earrings just by linking. Hope you will come.