Greg and I will be married for 27 years on Friday, February 13th. As I mentioned in my Thanksgiving blog, it seems like just a few short years ago that we exchanged our vows, but the calendar says otherwise. At any rate, you would think after all this time, I would be able to anticipate his reaction to things that I introduce into our décor. However, the last piece of art that I hung on the foyer wall elicited a reaction that really surprised me. But first, a little background info….
I love antlers. I love deer. I’n fact, no matter how many times I see a deer on our property, I am blown away by its grace and beauty. When we first moved into the mountain house, we had two does visit us regularly at the far edge of our driveway, hiding in the hemlock trees (not coincidentally, they always stand next to our 10’-tall blueberry bushes. It seems they love that fruit as much as our family does.) One day, when my camera was handy, I captured these pictures of Flo; Lucy was hiding that day. (By the way, for a reason even I can’t comprehend, I have a weird need to name every animal that makes my acquaintance…)
Four years later, I have yet to glimpse a male deer, but hope springs eternal.
Every now and then, Greg sees a buck on his afternoon run (not to mention that that one day last spring, he ran around a curve in the road, and SURPRISE! A black bear was waiting for him as he rounded the bend!). He has to recount exactly where he saw the deer, what size it was, etc. Clearly, the novelty of sharing our surroundings with these gentle creatures has not worn off yet. Therefore, I assumed he liked living with antlers, too! Last year he agreed to let me buy the faux antler chandelier as an anniversary present, and sincerely seemed to like it, once it was professionally installed 7 months later.
So, when I saw the large wooden cutout, with a monogram that was nestled between deer antlers, on GroopDealz (I find some pretty amazing stuff on that shopping site!), and it was under $15, I bought it. When it arrived, it was so lovely, I considered hanging it, as is, without adding any finishing products. (Sorry. As usual, I forgot to take a before picture.) However, after a couple of days of thinking about it, I broke out the paintbrushes and had so much fun producing what I think of as Lily Pulitzer’s Antlers!
I wanted the resulting product to be light-hearted and colorful, since it was going to end up on a pale yellow wall, next to a weathered gold mirror. So, I chose a salmon paint for the letter, but then overlaid some small floral stencils in a darker red. The effect is very damask-like. Because there were so many twists and curls to the letter “V”, I was afraid if I didn’t paint part of the letter as a vine, that visitors would think our last name is Ampersand! The vine sports little hand-painted leaves.
The antlers were painted brown, but wanting a little more texture, I broke out my favorite stencil, which yields a burlap effect. Using a light gray paint with the stencil gave the desired rustic quality I was after. The total effect of the painted piece is very subtle. In fact, it is so subtle, you need to really be up close to see the detail, which is why hanging it in the foyer works for me.
I like the end result, but was afraid that Greg would think it’s too girly. Actually, he liked the paint job, but said he wasn’t so crazy about antlers! Say what? I wonder how he will feel when the faux deer head shows up, and he’ll be asked to hang it over the fireplace mantel?
After the holidays were over, we decided to shift the table that resided under the mirror to a spot behind the sofa, in order to move the lamps closer to people seated there. Imagine that! I now have enough light to be able to read a magazine in the living room!
Moving the table solved one problem, but made the space under the mirror look very awkward and naked! Sunday morning, I had a head-slapping, “why didn’t I think of this before?” moment. Following our kitchen remodel, we had a ceiling beam left over. We kept trying to think of the right use for this gorgeous, solid piece of wood. Duh! One hour after I suggested that we use it as a narrow ledge in the foyer, it was hanging on the wall! I love the look of the rough-textured beam, and its installation with exposed black bolts, juxtaposed with the clear candlesticks. (Sort of reminds me of that Stevie Nicks song, “Leather and Lace”.)
And now, to round out this wild post, below is one of my favorite pictures ever, that a friend of LeeAnn’s took in her Ellijay yard. It proves the existence of black bears in our neck of the woods. The Momma and her baby look so huggable, don’t they? LeeAnn said a zoom was used to capture this shot. It’s definitely not a close-up! Enjoy….