Wednesday, January 19, 2011


As I was taking down our Christmas decorations in our family room, I realized that I had never posted the new look to our fireplace. The photo above was taken showing the mantel as it looked for Christmas in the past. We loved the way it looked, but my husband wanted to convert the gas fireplace, to a wood burning fireplace. After having a fireplace installer look it over, he told us that it couldn't be converted because there wasn't a suitable foundation under the chimney. Having his heart set on a wood burner, my husband looked into a free standing wood burner. Of course since the fireplace surround was made of wood, that had to be changed because of the heat that would be generated.

Today the surround is all marble tiles, with larger tiles making up the hearth. We decided to hold off filling in the grout, in the trim work, waiting to see if there is any type of shrinkage, do to the heat that comes from the wood stove. So it's still 'a bit' of a work in progress. My husband is very good at doing tile and stone work, I've often told him that he missed his calling. But I always get to pick out the tiles he uses, so I get to be part of the projects too.

A little closer look. Those horse head fireplace tools came from my boutique, the Collie weather vane I found on line.

I've still decorated the mantel with some of my favorite accent pieces and artwork. The Collies in the print over the mantel, look very much like the three Collies that I had, all at the same time. Seth would be the sable, Shadow the blue merel and Shilo the tri colored (MY BOYS). I lost all three, of my beauties, to old age within a year's time in 1997/98.

On the left are special pieces, which I refer to as my grandfather and grandmother. My father's parents were Italian, farmers, so the HomeCo pieces that I purchased, over the years, remind me of them. The horse figurine, was made for me by our oldest son's godfather. My father loved horses and there is seldom a photo of him that doesn't have a horse in it. He's either on it or standing next on one, so that had to be part of that vignette.

My love for horses must have been passed down from him, for as long as I can remember, I've always collected horse figurines. Of course I've always wanted to own a real one, but when I realized that would never happen, my 'love affair' started with The Collie. I received my first Collie, as a graduation present, from my then boyfriend, Billy. I named him Lucky. The framed stitchery, of the Collie puppy, was made for me by one of the crafters who placed things in my boutique to sell. I would take items in on consignment for crafters, it helped to add merchandise to my store, when I first opened, and it also helped the crafters in the area have a place to sell their crafts. It worked out well for all of us. Some made as much as $500 a month, that wasn't bad for a stay-at-home mom, who wanted to earn so extra income.

Although I've tried to decorate this room with a little more of a masculine look, for my husband to feel comfortable in, I put 'the heart of me' in it too, using art work and figurines of Collies and Horses. My favorite art pieces are by artist Cindy Alvarado. She sure knows how to capture the beauty of a Collie. I was told, that the Collie that she painted with the cat and the fence, called 'PLAY TIME', comes from the same bloodline as one of my Collies, Seth. He was a beauty and looked just like the one in that picture.

I just love this grouping, and often sit and look.........and let myself enjoy 'D'sDayDreams. ;)
I hope to get the walls re-pained sometime soon, I like the green in the summer, it makes the room feel nice and cool. On the other hand, it makes it feel cold in the winter. I have two bolts of fabric, waiting behind the office door, to make new window treatments, but I keep putting it off, hoping to paint first and remove the Leopard border. The border seemed like a good idea at the time, but I'm tired of it now and it starting to look a 'little tacky' to me.


FairfieldHouse said...

"D" -

Your husband did a great job on the fireplace. We have a woodburning fireplace but the chimney will have to be repaired at some point. It's so old it is crumbling in the cellar. I like how you managed to decorate for both you and your husband, incorporating pieces that remind you of those you loved. My Da was Irish so we ALWAYS had horses! I used to show as a child into my 20s. I would love to get a couple now but if I keep them on our property I will never be able to travel.

(((Hugs to you)))

Your Friend,

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Gorgeous.. I think he might have missed his calling. Guess he could start a business on the side huh? I love your "d" wall. I've had my letters up for a while and then separated them. The P is now on the outside of the house and the L is leaning in the bookshelf.. for now.. lol... hugs ~lynne~