Bekka's post earlier this week about mantels inspired me to take this photo. My original thought was to post this as a simple response to her query - 'what does yours look like?' But, then, as I studied this image so I could explain it to you, it struck me how much meaning there is in each individual piece sitting on this simple slab of painted wood. I have never before considered that my mantel is really an accidental altar (the intentional altar being in my bedroom). Do you think that is how the practice of including a mantel above the hearth began in the first place? Rooted in an 'offerings to the fire god(dess)' tradition?
Here, by way of explanation, are the pieces I have chosen to include on mine (remember that you can always click on a photo to enlarge on this blog):
- The tall clear glass candle sticks were from the very sad closing sale of the best home store I have ever known. I do not remember the name but it was on Fillmore in SF and there is a Shabby Chic there now :(
- The three cut-out white ceramic votive holders are a gift from my dear friend Beth and she found them at Anthropologie. I love the shapes of light that they cast.
- Between them are two white glass votive holders - my first purchase from the Anthropologie that opened last Fall - it is five minutes from my house (five minutes people).
- My Sister gave me the beautiful vase for my birthday and I gathered the dried twigs that reach all the way to the ceiling on a peaceful nature walk.
- I made the lamp shades from organic wool felt and scraps of Japanese cotton.
- One of my favorite incense sticks is burning. I buy it from a tiny incense shop in Japantown and cannot read the name or I would tell you. I will say that the subtlety of nearly every incense from Japan appeals to me greatly. Scent has the power to shift my moods. I light it a lot.
- The large piece of art is an original pastel by Raul Gomez that is so generously on loan from my friend Paula. She represents artists from her home country, Argentina, here in the States. She knew how much I loved this piece and thought it more appropriately displayed with me than in a stack against a wall somewhere. I cannot tell you how much I cherish it.
- And then, the small framed piece is the one Adam made for me and gave to me on Valentine's Day. You cannot see the detail but it is a delicate handmade print of a rose and it is so very important to me.