Christmas Mantel {Oh deer!}


Follow Me on Pinterest

This year, for some reason – I am decorating with a “come what may” kinda plan.

Is that even a plan?  “Come what may?”

In the perfect world I envision, I see smart little lists – either on paper or gasp! – neatly compiled on an ipad – which matter-of-factly spells out a decorating plan for the holidays.

Take our mantel in the Dining Room, for example.

When I pulled out my Bin-o-Christmas Goodies, I had absolutely no clue what I would end up with.

I had my new friend, Mr Buck.  

And I had some black lanterns.

But, that’s about as far as my “plan” had proceeded.

So, I just started layering.  Some of this…step back and see if it works.  Some of that…step back and see if it works.  No?  Then rip that baby out.

Some cedar. Some magnolia. Some grapevine leftover from the Fall mantel.  Some pheasant feathers.

What kind of plan is that?  A “working by the seat of your plan” plan?  Come to think of it….

- that’s pretty much how things have been going around here since the Christmas decorating began.

“Decorating By The Seat of My Pants Plan” Plan.  By the time I am done, the seat of my pants will be pretty threadbare.  :-)

So, I hung up our new stockings.

- and fluffed and added my new pillows…

(yeah, I kinda got a “deer” thing, huh?)  :-)

…and soon our Dining Room mantel started coming together.

Pinecones here, some red berries there.  Is it too much?  Did it need more?  Would everyone know I didn’t have a plan? 

It would have been so much easier if I did.

But, I have to ask myself….if I had had a plan, would I have ended up with this…

If I had stuck closely to the plan, perhaps I would have ended up with something entirely different.

But, sometimes I think that no plan is better than a plan.

So, from hence forth – I am not going to stress that I don’t have a plan.  I am not going to stress that I am decorating by the seat of my pants.

I am only going to stress that in 14 days, I will have 40-50 people ascend on my home for my parents 60th Wedding Anniversary and my Daddy’s 80th Birthday Parties.

Because between you and me, I think that is quite enough to worry about.  Don’t you?  :-D

How is your decorating coming along?  Are you almost there?  Are your garlands hung and your homes sparkling clean?  (please don’t tell me if that is true.)  I hope that by mid-week I will be almost through.  (you note I said “almost.”)

In the meantime, please keep in mind a wonderful Blog Hop I am proud to be part of.

These fab ladies and their equally fab Blogs and I will be joining together to host another blog hop -
“Better Late Than Never:” Christmas Inspirations.
(Part of the “Better Late Than Never” Series.)

Yes, its later in the month for good reason.  So that others, like myself, who are decorating without a plan and by the seat of our pants – still have a party to attend.  :)   New posts, old posts.  We welcome all posts. Best part is you only have to post ONCE!  Woot.

Here is a cute button for your sidebar if you plan on joining us.  We would love for you to help us spread the word.

Thank you for letting me share our formal Dining Room Mantel with you.

I will be sharing with:

Boogieboard Cottage – Masterpiece Monday
Thrifty Decor Chick – Before and After Monday
The Dedicated House – Make It Pretty Monday
Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
A Stroll Thru Life – Tabletop Tuesday
DIY Showoff – Holiday Showoff Party
Savvy Southern Style – Mantel Party
Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesday
Kristens Creations – Show Us Your Creations
Setting for Four – Its a Party!
at the picket fence – Inspiration Fridays
My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday
Common Ground – Vintage Inspirations
Fox Hollow Cottage – The Power of Pinning
The Lettered Cottage – Mantel Party
Uncommon Designs – Christmas Mantel Link Party
From My Front Porch to Yours – Holiday Mantel Party


As always, thank you ever so much for pinning any of these pictures, with my permission. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. Well, Barb, “flying by the seat of your pants” seems to be working for ya! The mantel is gorgeous! I never have a plan. I may have an idea…but, the rest just comes together, however it works out! LOL! You’re doing great!

  2. Well, Plan or no plan I think it looks marvelous, Barb, and I think this by-the-seat-of-your-pants has been a good thing. At least we now know that you DO wear pants-just sayin’…..

    Have fun prepping for your big double party- that, in itself, is enough to worry about.

    Blessings to you-and, for once, I am almost done- xo Diana

  3. Luv your ‘flying by the seat of your pants’ mantel :-)
    Cheers, Gee

  4. I love this mantel. Love that lush garland with the big burlap bow and the cute stockings and oh my the deer head. Yep, love that, too. You can share this at my party going on now, too.

  5. Heck, if that’s what “flying by the seat of your pants’ looks like to you, when you DO have a “plan” it must be mind blowing! I think you mantel is gorgeous! And we both seem to have ur minds working thes ame way this year, because I also went by “the seat of my pants” this year. I am going for the “less is more” them, if you will. I used to go in overload mode, and I kinda’ overloaded myself out , lol!

  6. Hi Barb! Your plan with no plan works! Your mantel looks fab! Your little stockings and pillows look so pretty! Your party sounds fun and I want to come!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  7. I’ll say your “seat of your pants” plan is WORKING! Love your mantle and all of your elements! The lanterns, deer, feathers…etc.! Swooning over your stockings, too! Thank you for sharing your talent!

  8. Gorgeous…..every single thing! Your “come what may” plan is definetely working!!! LOL

  9. Barb I must say this is my favorite decorating that you have done!! I love the organic feel, the simplicity. Mr. Buck is the star and everything else are just compliments to him. You do well without a plan my dear friend, xo Kathysue

  10. MY Stars!!! That is gorgeous. So lush and lovely. The lighting is wonderful. I just adore the entire thing :)))

  11. Your mantel is beautiful! I love the color palette and your plan really does work. Thank you for posting! Linda

  12. Your decorating by the seat of your pants plan is working for you! I absolutely am in love with your mantle. All that beautiful greenery, magnolias ( I love magnolias being a southern gal). That beautiful ribbon in the center. Your decorations are awesome!

  13. very pretty Barb.. I’m inspired to get in there and play with mine.

  14. Love your “come what may” mantel!!!….and the stockings are beautiful!!…

  15. I love your mantel it is so full of beauty. I love the stockings and the pillows. Just gorgeous.


  16. I think you did great for no plan, Barb! My mantel always has me stymied. I did it twice last year because I wasn’t happy with it. This year it’s staying “as is”. I love those stockings and your garland looks great!

  17. Stunning Barb!! LOVE those stockings!

  18. This is sooo beautiful Barb!! Just gorgeous!!

  19. I think the come what may plan is working for you. Your mantel is beautiful! I love the lanterns, the stockings, the greenery, OK everything. Absolutely gorgeous!!!

  20. I absolutely love this! And I think the back lighting on the wreath makes it all sing! Take care, Laura

  21. Oooh – your mantle is fabulous! You really do have a great touch. Can’t wait to get my own Mr. Buck to play with! I’m really looking forward to our party.

  22. Hi Barb, I’m Anne from Life on the Funny Farm (, and I’m visiting from Make It Pretty Monday.

    Planned or not planned, this looks fabulous! I especially love the stockings — beautiful, and just the perfect touch!

    Anyway, thanks for posting this. If you’ve never visited yet, I hope you can pop by my blog sometime to say hi…

  23. Oh Barb- I hear you! When I am putting my post together and think I have all the pictures taken and watermarked I go to post them and sometimes utter my famous two word phrase—-Aw, Crap! Yes. That is what I really say!!! Anyway, everything there looks beautiful and had you not pointed out your little slips most of them would have gone unnoticed…except for photographing your reflection because I noticed the same thing on pictures I was getting ready to post. xo Diana

  24. I love,love,love your mantle, especially the deer. The stocking are awesome too. Not many people make me want to go and re-do something but you’re making my mantle look a little sad.

  25. Just stunning..

  26. Beautiful !!! I love the lanterns!!

  27. It looks just beautiful!!

  28. Good Morning, Your buffet and mantle are both beautiful. Enjoyed all of your pictures, and I’m going back for more. We are your newest followers, and we would love for you to check us out and join us as well. Thank you for the inspiration. Have a lovely day.
    Jeannie of The French Hen’s Nest

  29. WOW! GORGEOUS! :)

  30. Absolutely Gorgeous!

  31. Where is Mr. Buck from??? I need one!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Oh, my! It’s simply spectacular. Love what you’ve done with the natural elements. I can think of a whole list of adjectives but I guess I’ll settle with one: stunning! Thanks for sharing your decorating flair. I found my way here from The Lettered Cottage and I’ll be back. Merry Christmas!

  33. This is so beautiful! Love your deer theme. Your threadbare seat is working for you :)

  34. I’m completely smitten with your gorgeous, rustic, vintagey looking, all woodsy, and delicious mantel! I can’t believe you just threw it together! It’s one of the prettiest mantels I’ve seen. I love your new stockings and pillows too. Are they in your shop? How did I miss those?

  35. WOW!! It’s stunning. i love it. After viewing your Christmas mantel I decided to follow you on Pinterest and realized you’re from Jacksonville, NC. I’m from Chinquapin, NC which is near Jacksonville. Such a small world. Love your blog

  36. Your mantel is beautiful!

  37. Your seat of your pants plan is working GREAT! I love you mantle, it is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing beautiful pictures! Enjoyed my visit. Looking at you on Pinterest next.

  38. Thanks Barb for linking up to It’s Party Time linky party! I’m blown away with your mantle….that’s all I can say – speechless :D

  39. Gorgeous!! If this is “by the seat of your pants” I’ll have to subscribe to see what you come up with when you have a plan :)

  40. I would love it if you would join me in linking up at my weekly Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

    I hope you can make it!
    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  41. Gorgeous!! Your seat-of-your-pants creative process really worked for you. Love it!

  42. Wow! “No plan” is apparently a good plan. Your mantel is really pretty!


  43. I need to know where to get a deer head like this! I LOVE your decorations.

  44. Stunning…I should be so lucky as to have the “NO plan” plan!

  45. Mr. Buck is such a stud! Gorgeous mantel!!

  46. Thanx for linking up Barb! Cant wait for your party on Tuesday!

  47. So pretty!
    Would love if you stopped by the Holiday Linky Party – mantels – to link it up! The party is happening NOW!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  48. Looks like it came right out of magazine! Thanks for linking up to ITS A PARTY! I’m sharing on Facebook, G+ & pinning. {HUGS} Clydia @ Three Mango Seeds

  49. Your mantel is gorgeous! I love those stockings!!

  50. Wow… gorgeous!!! xo

  51. Drooling again! I want a deer head too!!!! I just love your blog!


  52. This is magnificent! The rhythm is just perfect.

  53. I really like the way you decorated the mantel, especially the deer head with the wreath. We refinished our hardwood floors, put down a fluffy holiday rug and added two tall Christmas trees to either side of the mantel. I like the effect.

  54. Stunning! I love those stockings.

  55. One year later… Everything is just beautiful! Do you mind sharing where you found your pretty stockings and pillows? I’ve seen them in a couple of other places on the net, but can’t recall where! I’m looking forward to seeing what you do this year.

  56. Barb, your mantle looks lovely. The stockings look great, too!

  57. Beautiful! Where did you find the stockings?

    • Kathy – thank you so much. These stocking are several years old. I think maybe Target, but I could not be sure. Sorry. :)

  58. Your Christmas mantel is probably the prettiest mantel I have seen all season. It is PERFECT!

  59. Gorgeous mantel! Where did you get Mr.Buck from?

    • Hi Mandy – I got him from one of my wholesale vendors. I will be carrying him in my online shop, Farmhouse Decor, next year as a special order. :)

  60. Lovely, stunning where do I get all that stuff though?

Speak Your Mind


WP Support by Blog Genesis
%d bloggers like this: