july mantel

Inspired by Emily over at 52 Mantels I've decided to switch up my mantel, not weekly, but monthly. Last year when we moved into our rental house was the first year I had a mantel to decorate and it sat there all year, with the same pictures and tchotchkes taking up space until fall and then Christmas came around when I would switch things up with some more festive baubles. And when we moved into this house I had quickly thrown some frames and art up there "for now", which turned into 3 months.
So here is my first month, a July mantle full of patriotic goodness that I quickly pulled together with what I could easily find.

Now you can see that my mantel does create a bit of a challenge: challenge #1 is the fact that it's at a 90 degree angle, so it's kind of like I have two mantels to decorate. The second challenge is that since we have a wood burning stove we have a big ugly duct right in the way so something is always blocked from view. So basically I have a lot of awkwardness to deal with, but I did my best and for a first (and quick) attempt, I don't think it's too shabby.

This was one of the first ideas I had, to stack some books sort of like an American flag. I'm not sure if anyone else except me would notice that's what I was going for, but It makes me happy looking at it.
I have this wonderful songbook full of beautiful illustrations and I figured there would be one in there I could use. Sure enough, I had my pick among different patriotic songs, but I've always loved this painting (by the way, it's 'The Old Man Wept' by Del Parson) so I went with "My Country 'Tis of Thee" since that's the song it was paired with.

Linked to: 52 Mantels, House of Hepworths, Somewhat Simple, Craft O Maniac, Skip to my Lou

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