Posts Tagged ‘NC’

The before and after photos of Lady Bessie’s room reveals that it was used to store decorating items that may or may not be used in the house. It remained full of “stuff” for most of the project. Now, I can better imagine the beautiful Lady coming in to take her ritualistic afternoon nap in the big sleigh bed with the luxury bedding pulled up to her chin. Lady Bessie was the loveknot that held the Caudle family together. And she did it with grace, charm, and elegance. The Mayberry Manor is filled with memories of the great lady who, lived, loved, and labored there.

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I’ve got my hands full with this wonderful project. The home was built in 1940-41.  I hope you can help me with ideas as I work my way through the monumental task of bringing her out of disrepair and into her majestic splendor without changing her dated character. Some updates have been good, and some have not.  The gutters are pouring water onto the wood trim instead of draining out properly. Holes have appeared at every corner, and are big enough for pigeons to freely fly in and out. Notice the window air conditioner in the upstairs bedroom.

Paint is peeling from the wood trim on the sun porch, and the screen door is an old aluminum door that blends with the windows.

The dental moulding and fluted pilasters around the door are dirty and the paint is peeling. Shingles have blown off the top of the frame, and the full-view screen door is broken out. The metal frame is all that’s left. The stoop is covered with indoor/outdoor carpeting that is frayed. The house boasts of crown moulding around the top that wraps around the corners. However, some of it is rotten.

Notice the four window air conditioners on the back of the house. The upstairs veranda is leaking into the laundry room below, and the ceiling is falling down. Another aluminum screen door is on the back. The basement access has no covering. Her redeeming qualities, beyond her obvious charm,  is the nice patio out back, the roof is fairly new, and the beautiful lot has a circular driveway. So put your thinking caps on and help me rescue this beauty, located in Mount Airy, NC.

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Visiting this wonderful place certainly satisfied my love of cabins, and decorating for Christmas, all wrapped together in one neat little package.

 Jerry and Jean Shore, of Jonesville, NC are awaiting the arrival of loved ones who couldn’t be home for Christmas. The cabin will remain adorned in all of her Christmas glory until that last family member gets to celebrate in this special place.

This amazing little treasure, that was home to 13 children, was taken apart piece by piece. The logs were numbered, the fireplace stones were saved, and she was moved from her original location. She was rebuilt on the Shore property, and appears to have always been sitting in that very spot. She’s perfect in every way.

Located just steps from the Shore home, the cabin is a cozy meeting place for friends and family gatherings. The beautiful stone fireplace is but a stage. As the door opens, it’s like pulling back the curtain on a play. A blue, red and yellow fire dances along the hand split logs, and provides a welcoming show. Once inside, you never want to leave.

The Shore cabin. Ahh such a beautiful winter retreat. I know … I know … you want to go inside. Prepare to catch Cabin Fever!

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 Yes! You can use garland on the mantel all year.  Of course, you wouldn’t want to leave Christmas garland up all year. There are so many styles of garland, to meet the decor of any home, readily available. There is seasonal garland as well. Some think the seasonal garland is a little cheesy but if done right, it can be wonderful.

Just remember, when using seasonal garland, shy away from the small, cutesy stuff. That is what makes it look cheap and childish.  Unless you are decorating for children, like at Halloween for example, use a thick, lush garland. You can take away and add your own things through out the year. You can change it monthly or by seasons.

With so many flat screens hanging above the fireplace these days, garland helps fill the space in between and softens the hard lines of the mantel and the TV.

Consider using something like lighted glass grapes on the mantel with your garland. That can stay up all year if you want something you don’t have to change. The main thing is, use what you love.

Now go have fun and send me pictures of what you did.


Christmas Mantel by Jami Harris, Elkin NC.  The candles are battery operated, giving off a flickering glow that fools the eye. They appear to be burning candles. She placed gift boxes in the middle and on either end of her mantel with big red bows attached. She inserted white cup hooks underneath the edge that blended in with the wood and hung their stockings. She too has a flat screen above her fireplace. she used pre-lit garland without embellishments, placing her decorations in front of it. This mantel is in a home with three small children. Very festive and eye-catching for them and adults alike. Thanks Jami.

Christmas Mantel by Novelist Deborah Raney from Kansas.  This is an example of  a lush, pre-lit garland with embellishments.  Deborah then added her own items, not only in front of the garland but behind it as well, as with the clocks. Wouldn’t think of tucking a clock behind garland? A clock lover would. Deborah loves clocks and so do I. It was one reason her mantel caught my eye. Deborah didn’t make the mistake of putting the large clock in the middle but rather set it off to one side for more interest. This garland is not just for Christmas.  She may choose to leave it through out January. Other than the red berries and pine cones, everything else is timeless. S he created a beautiful Christmas mantel with everyday items. Everyday items that she loves. She could leave it year-round if she wanted to. Thank You Deborah.   

For more pictures of Deborah’s mantel and to learn more about her 18 novels, (# 19 in progress) go to www.deborahraney.com   I first met Deborah at the BRMCWC  in 2008. She was one of the keynote speakers that year. I also took  classes from her at the Blue Ridge Christian Novelist Retreat at Ridgecrest in October 2009. She is a celebrated novelist and a wonderful person to know. Check her out on facebook too!

Aggi and Deborah Raney

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