It’s The Little Things: On Our Fireplace Mantel

Sweet Brynne asked me last week if I would do a post about the items on my mantle. I thought it was a great idea. I take most of my outfit photos in front of my fireplace, because of the convenience. I love the items on my mantle. Each piece is special to me. I am excited to share!


First, let’s talk about the painting above the mantel in case you missed my post about one of my favorite artists, Ginette Callaway. In 2004, I commissioned sweet Ginette to paint me a peacock for above our newly tiled fireplace.

Ginette really came through. She painted three paintings and let me choose one. My biggest regret is not buying two. I loved another one as well. Actually all three were stunning. The other one I vividly remember showcased a smaller peacock with a giant fan of feathers in colors of the rainbow, but mostly lavender hues. Gorgeous.

But I love this painting. I love Ginette. The painting makes me happy every day to look at it.


In the center of our mantel is a Lego VW Bus. My husband and son love Legos. My husband has a 1967 VW Bus that we adore. I bought this for my husband as a Christmas present a few years ago. They built it together.

This year, Lego offered a free (my favorite word) mini Lego VW Bus with an online purchase. It happened to be near my son’s birthday. Score!


The felted gnomes riding the dragon and the VW Bus are from Moongoat on Etsy. I love her shop. I have many of her gnomes hidden throughout my house. I cannot resist a felted gnome.


The little girl gnome is from ABC Carpet and Home in New York. It is the most amazing store. Every time I am in New York, it is my favorite shop to visit. I cannot afford most things there, but I have managed to snag a deal on each of my trips.

I had seen the gnome when I had gone on a family trip in June three years ago. She was part of a trio (a scruffy male gnome and a wizard gnome). They were $48 a piece (the store is pricy). I do not know if the gnomes were antiques. They had been loved on. Hard. I obviously was not going to spend $144 on three felted gnomes. I left them behind.

In September of that same year, I took a trip to New York with my girlfriends. We visited this store. The gnomes were still there. Their tags were removed. I asked the sales girl how much they were now. She sold them to me for $10 each. And she wrapped them up so cute.

I gifted them to my husband when I got home.


Every year my husband and I go on a two to three night trip for our anniversary sans kids (this year it is Vegas). On one of the trips, we went to San Francisco. In a small little store in Chinatown, I spotted this amazing rope dragon (my husband collects dragons). I remember he was $45. And he always has a gnome riding him. Although, it may not always be the same one. ; )


About three years before my grandmother passed away, she gifted me this jar of buttons. The jar was my great grandmother’s. Her and I looked very much alike. She was Polish. And I once got chased through the college campus by a little old man who wanted to know the exact place I was born in Poland. Anyway, I never met her. Half of the button’s were also my great grandmother’s. The other half my grandmother purchased off of eBay. My jar of buttons is one of my favorite things in my home. I like the idea of my grandma shopping on eBay. I also like the history of the jar and the buttons.


The green candle hanging from the jar was made by my daughter in the fifth grade. Fifth grade is when the children in California learn about Colonial Times. At our school, they have a day where all of the kids dress up in colonial clothes and participate in activities that they would have done back then. I have been waiting to add a candle made by my son for years. This year he is in the fifth grade. I have made him promise me he will choose candle making as one of his activities. Hopefully, the mantle will have a new addition soon.

And the beehive candle was a Christmas present from my stepmom. It is made from my dad’s beeswax (he is a beekeeper). I LOVE it.


The small blue candlesticks were a Christmas gift from my mother some years ago. I love the color. I love everything about them. They are perfect!

The beaded purple candle holders were some of my first purchases from Anthropologie. I waited for them to go on sale. This was many years ago.


The felted gnome on the jar of buttons wearing the snail as a hat is also from Etsy. This one was done by Eve’s Little Earthlings. I think they are extremely cute.

I think with the snail on his head he looks like the man with the bird on his head from one of my favorite movies, “Labyrinth.”


The little pig next to them is from my favorite video game. The video game is Monster Hunter. The pig’s name is Poogie. In the video game I fight jelly beans (just kidding. We obviously fight monsters. I am quite the Monster Hunter. Not to brag or anything). My husband and I play it together. We each have Poogie in our house in the video game. You can change his clothes. If you pet him right, he does a backflip and little red hearts spring from his head.


I actually have a stuffed Poogie on my husband’s desk in our bedroom. And I am also the proud owner of a blow up stuffed giant piece of meat (also from the video game). Maybe I should pose with it sometime.

Or not.


On either side of the mantle are two little roosters. I purchased them at an antique store a few years ago. They have remains of a cork on the bottom of them, so I assume they used to be wine stoppers. I think their colors are fantastic.


The little chipmunks were painted by my children many years ago from a pottery place in town. We have pieces like them all over the house.


The blue vase was a purchase my husband and I made on a family vacation to Arizona when my son was a year old. It was our only souvenir.

He bought me these orange roses on clearance this week (they are not doin’ so well). One of his favorite things to do is buy huge amounts of flowers for me after a holiday when the stores have a surplus of flowers to get rid of. One year, he bought me seven dozen beautiful red roses for $7!

He is sweet.

Next big after-holiday flower discounts? Easter and Mother’s Day!


It’s The Little Things: Displaying what you love, because the items mean love to you.

What is on your mantle? What is your favorite piece to display?

Thanks Brynne for the great idea! : )

30 thoughts on “It’s The Little Things: On Our Fireplace Mantel

    • Thank you Heather! After I wrote that, I wanted to immediately watch Labyrinth. Hopefully this weekend I will get a chance! : )

      Have an enjoyable Friday!


  1. Very fun. I just have a gazillion pictures frames on mine…and an anthro vase and candle. I tend to have a very simple home decor…it is something that I just do not feel confident in! Love that your hubby buys you day after flowers. So sweet.

    • Thank you Alicia. I do not think you can go wrong with home decor as long as you love it and it shows who you are. Life is so short. We should all just have fun with the silly things like what our house looks like. In the end, it won’t really matter. And those that don’t like it will have long forgot. I think your home is welcoming and sweet. Just like you.

      Have a fabulous Friday!


  2. Wonderful pieces & stories! I want to take my kids to do some of those paint your own pottery places soon. They are almost 3 & almost 5 so I think they’re both old enough to go. Maybe this summer! I love that lego too. My almost 5 yr old is just getting into them, maybe I can convince him to get it! Oh & speaking of Legos. We took the kids to the lego movie tjos past weekend & I can ‘t get that EVERYTHING IS AWESOME!!!! Song out of my head! Arrrrgh!!!

    • Thank you! You should definitely take them. Even if all they do is sponge paint something it looks so nice after it is fired. I have my kids do some stuff every summer (they are now old enough to do a day camp at the pottery place during the summer. They have been molding their own clay. That is always fun).

      Oh my gosh! That “Awesome” song!!! All day! All night! It is in my head. I actually liked it the first few times, but now I can’t handle it! It won’t go away! : ). I feel your pain!

      Have a great song-free Friday!


  3. what a cool collection of stuff on your mantle! me and my boys are fans of legos, too, so there is an appreciation for those. plus, i am a big fan of dragons as well and that dragon is sweet!

    • Thank you so much! I hope you guys go see the Lego Movie if you have not all ready! It is really good! And I actually like dragons, too. I read fantasy so it is kind of a given. : )

      Have a great Friday!


      • that is the genre i read as well–fantasy and sci-fi are my forte! paranormal and comic book stuff fits into this as well. no we have not but we definitely WANT to see it! have a great friday, too!

      • Awesome! It is the best genre! The movie is great. My husband says that it was the best movie he has ever seen… He really likes Legos! : )

        Have a great Friday night!


  4. I just love that every single piece has a story and memories. That is precious. I have two of my Gram’s pyrex mugs from the 1970’s and they make me happy and remember her every day when I drink my coffee. Of course, I don’t need them to remember her but I think that little jolt of remembrance I get makes me smile.

    • Thank you Cynthia! I am glad you drink out of the mugs. Life is too short not to. I had three things like that from my grandmother in my kitchen. My poor husband broke one of them this week. He was so devastated. It broke my heart to see him upset over an accident. But I told him it was just a thing. I enjoyed it while I had it. Nothing lasts forever. I always just smile when one of my friends sweetly asks me to check a piece of clothing after they have borrowed it to make sure they didn’t do anything to it. I never do, because it is just clothes. Made to be worn. Worn being the key word. I liked to see things being used.

      I like hearing about your cups. You made me smile today.

      Have a beautiful Friday!


    • Thank you Melodee! I try to make everything fun! It is kind of my motto. Unfortunately much of life is not fun, but at least my mantle can be! : ).

      Have a delightful Friday!


  5. Oh my goodness. I didn’t want this post to stop. Each item was like a little treasure to learn about and get to know you better. I was shocked how any items there were that I was unaware of. All this time I thought the VW bus was metal. Thanks for sharing. You made me smile during what has been an extremely stressful time period for me.

    • Thank you Brynne. Hey. Email me if you have a chance. Or if you want. You have me worried. I want to make sure you are okay.

      I am glad to make you smile! You have made me smile many times in the last year! Thank you for the idea! : ). I am glad I was able to explain all of the pieces. It was a lot of fun!

      I hope tomorrow is a less stressful day for you and actually fantastic!


      • Whenever you mention the other Brynne on your blog I always have that little hickup pause while my brain tries to make sense of what you are saying until it clicks that you are referring to the OTHER Brynne from Texas. Wondered if she had the same reaction when she saw our name in this post. She is the only other Brynne I have run across who spells our name the same way … Other than the one in the McCalls magazine where my mom ran across the name. Life is so full of coincidences. Funny that we are both in Texas.

        I will be okay. I will PM you when I get a moment. Thank you for your concern.

      • That is funny that you have not met another woman who spells her name like that. And really cool. I used to get confused many many months ago, but now I always check the email used before I reply so I can make sure each Brynne is who I think it is. : ). It is easy that way! Plus, I think I know both of your personalities now so I can always tell who is who.

        No worries if you do not have the time. I was just worried about you. I am glad you say you will be okay. 2014 has been really hard so far to so many people. : (

        I am thinking of you! Have an enjoyable weekend!


  6. How fun! and so many detailed little pieces each with their own history.

    We redid our fireplace this year so now I have it decorated very simply with one sign I made, some flowers and a wreath. I used to love having loads of stuff but now I’m finding it feels calmer with less. That hasn’t spilled over into my clothes closet! LOL

    Crap with all those roses you need to be making rose garlands for every room in your house! I want to know if you do. Those peach ones you have here would turn a lovely shade when they dry.


    • Thank you Suzanne. I think my husband would feel much much calmer with less. It is chaotic in our small house with stuff. He keeps wanting to rent a dumpster. Aaaaahhhh! I really need to sell about fifty pieces from my closet that do not fit anymore. They are making my stuff that does fit have no room.

      I am so sad! I inspected the roses tonight. They all died! Died! Completely wilted and turned brown. I could not even dry them. I had to throw them all away. Some clearance flowers are better than others. : ). I plan on picking up some flowers while I am shopping tomorrow. So, I will definitely implement your awesome garland idea soon!

      Have a wonderful Friday!


    • Hi Kristina! Don’t feel bad. First, tonight is the first night I have cleaned my bedroom in a month! And it is still a wreck!

      Second, tomorrow I am dropping off my really good friend her Christmas present. From this year… And the year before!!! I am SO behind! : )

      When my husband and I first got together… We took our “live” tree down… In APRIL! Yes, fire hazard! Thankfully we were smart enough not to turn the lights on!

      You are not alone!

      Have a lovely Friday!


  7. Hi Jenni. I love that there is a story and meaning behind all of your pieces. That’s what decorating your home is all about right? Using things you love! Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you Kristi! Now if only I could get the things I love organized! : ). I thought of your lovely home as I tried to organize my bedroom last night for the first time in a month! Little steps! I have been looking for places to stick some hooks!

      Have a great weekend! : )


  8. I really enjoyed this post – it’s like the second-best thing to getting a real-life tour of your house! 😉 It’s a bit like that will all our random knick-knacks too – everything has a story and a memory attached to it. I get the feeling your house must be a fantastic treasure-trove of unusual objects!

    • Thank you Gwen! If you are ever in Southern California, I’ll give you the real deal! I do have a lot of…um… Stuff. ; ). My husband’s family comes to visit and his brother is very organized and does not like clutter. Last time he looked around in awe and said, “you guys can never move.” It’s true. I don’t know how we’d pack it up!

      I hope your morning is cozy and wonderful!


  9. Great post as always. Such history. And yes, i love ABC carpet & Home as well. There used to be a tapas restaurant next door with chandeliers from ABC hanging all over the place.

    • Thank you Bronzi. I did not know the tapas restaurant was gone. Bummer! I had always wanted to eat there. Thankfully we did get to eat at Tavern on the Green before it closed. Man, I miss New York! I think we definitely need to go back there next year! : )

      Have a wonderful Sunday!

  10. What a cool little glimpse into your life. The little roosters look like Barcelos roosters (from Portugal). My parents had their honeymoon in Portugal 30 years ago and we have various items scattered throughout their house with similar painted roosters.

    • Thank you so much Liana. I definitely think they were from Portugal. I love the cool pattern and colors. I actually kind of remember the tag saying that now that you mention it. All I remember for sure is they were $3. I love that your parents honeymooned there and you have the roosters scattered throughout the house! That is so cool! Thanks for sharing!

      Have a magical evening!


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