Do you have a mantel?

Though I snapped my fingers, for some reason, a lovely fireplace and mantel fail to appear in my great room.

So what’s a gal supposed to do?


 Spring Egg & Bird Vignette -


You might remember last fall I wanted to decorate a mantel for…um… Fall!   What did I do?  Decorated my sideboard.  It worked. Now that Spring is on the horizon, and no fireplace or mantel is gracing my home, I picked the top of the piano to be my imitation mantel. I think it works.


Faux Mantel :: Piano Top Spring Display ::


I know that most people choose to decorate for Spring with daffodil yellow, springy green, and just peachy pinks.  If you’re disappointed that I didn’t fall in line, you’ll have to take it up with the Forsythia sprigs I snipped.

They consorted with my Longaberger Vase Basket and it was so embarrassed that it disappeared.  Off the face of the earth. I think the Forsythia was conspiring with my vintage blue glass canning jars.  I acquiesced and even placed a pretty sash on that tall blue beauty.

Now stand back, and look at that pair all dressed up.  Yup.  They pretty much dictated the rest of the decor.  It was their color family or …. well, I don’t care to repeat such talk, but as you can see, they won.  My dad always said I needed to choose my battles carefully.  Sage advice I’d say.


Earthy Spring Decor Eggs & Birds Vignette ::


Please don’t let on.  But, in the end, I’m really quite pleased with my little bit of earthiness for Spring. As you gaze up my faux mantel you may recognize many of these pieces from vignettes of the past.

Remember the popular term “put a bird on it?”  I’ve pretty much done that this year.  It’s all because the Bluebirds made a few quick visits to my window box greens (I think they liked the rose hips.) and scoped out their house at the fence line.  Shortly thereafter, the birds in the neighborhood decided it was high time to exercise their vocal chords, so now I’m greeted each morning with a delightful chorus and a solo or two.


Spring Eggs & Birds Create an Earthy Easter Vignette ::


All that bird activity kind of went to my head.  I started cutting out paper birds, right and left, and plopping them down in the most unusual places, like the mini wreath surrounding the tarnished silver sugar bowl. Recently my friend gave us some eggs.  All shades of light tan and grayish light green and dusky pale blue.  We wanted to display them so we attempted to blow them out for scrambled eggs.  Unfortunately, they were not strong and so we only have two of the bluey-green ones.  I wasn’t sure what to do with them.  And then I had an idea when I woke up in the morning.  The fraternizing Forsythia must have been sending me telepathic messages during the night.  Because, immediately upon rising, I snatched the eggs from their resting place and nestled them in the berries and leaves and tendrils of the small wreath on the piano.

I must say that Forsythia has good ideas because I really like the looks of those colors together.  The birds are a bit bright…but I’m winning on that one.


Blue Heron Art Print ::


The Blue Heron print on the wall behind these bits of Springtime has a custom mat job.  Not long ago I cut up some dictionary pages and freshened up the mat.  Actually, I repainted the frame, refreshed the mat, and put in a new print.  Hmmm…I need to share that in an upcoming post.  Yes?  But…digress.


Earthy Nature Inspired Spring Faux Mantel Decor ::


There’s kind of a music theme taking place on my faux mantel with the mandolin, the birds, a book on Beethoven, and an old Psalter hymnal.  And I can’t forget to mention the little hand carved man playing the violin, that I picked up when I was in Oberammergau back in my college days.  Rounding out the grouping is a lamp, and the bread basket covering up a large and very unattractive thermostat on the wall.

What do you think?  What would you add, take away, or move?  Be as critical as you like.  Remember it won’t hurt my feelings.  And since I don’t think that silly Forsythia will be reading the blog, I think we are both safe.


Tips for Forcing Forsythia :: Photo Mosaic ::


For the record….I have high hopes for that unspringy-looking Forsythia. You see after I trimmed the sprigs from their mother bush, I hammered their little feet so they would live, and drink in lots of warm water.

I’m thinking that in a few weeks or less I’ll have lovely yellow blossoms gracing my mantel er…piano top.  And then, I have a hunch, I can bring in lots of color to that little earthy Spring vignette on my faux mantel.  I think that demanding Forsythia will be thrilled as it boasts of its bright yellow. When that happens I’ll be sure to let you know.   “Like” An Extraordinary Day on Facebook so you don’t miss all the fun.

How many days ’til Spring?


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  1. Pat says

    I love the soft hued Spring palette you’ve chosen, dear one.
    Similar hues are the basis for the update in my creative space Studio One!
    The birds are adorable!!!
    Thanks for sharing this unique Spring vignette…I LOVE it!!!

    • Diane says

      Oh Pat….thank you!!!
      You put a great big smile on my face!
      I was really nervous about putting it ‘out there.’
      Hope your week is truly Extraordinary!

  2. I like the earthy tones you have used in your ‘mantel’ especially the birds. Looks great!

    • Diane says

      It’s so nice of you to say that. Thank you Stacey-Lee!!
      Hope your week is Extraordinary!

  3. Mel says

    Geeze–I don’t know HOW you do that. Maybe I need to fight with a bush or two? LOL Diane, it’s adorable! Frankly, I wouldn’t change a thing. I LIKE the birdies catch your eye and force a ‘look around’. And I like the wing that looks like scribbles. LOL Yes, I’m a scribbler and not an artist by any means. But this, my dear, is wonderful.
    And the redone frame/matt–very nifty idea.

    You just keep creating, ma’am. I’m looking forward to seeing those hammered into submission branches turn into lovely flowers. (and now I wanna find a mason jar to jazz up…..LOL….and I haven’t gotten very far on a banner yet!….oy….so many ideas, so little organization to make it happen!)

    • Diane says

      Mel…You have me sitting here snickering. Actually I think it has turned into a case of the full-blown giggles. 🙂
      Thank you for liking my effort toward Spring. 🙂 I’ll let you in on a secret….the wings aren’t scribbles…they were stamped. You can do that too!!! Or scribble if you prefer. Me…I’m no good in the drawing dept. Stamps. Yes.
      Organization? Oh my….NOT! 🙂 I can’t wait for you to finish that banner…and show it off!! 🙂

  4. Gina says

    I think it looks perfect!

    • Diane says

      That was just the nicest thing to say Gina! Thank you!! 🙂

  5. I love, love, love your beautiful vignette. Using elements of nature is always stunning. Thanks tons for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

    • Diane says

      And I love you Marty! You have no idea how encouraging you are. Big hugs back my friend!

  6. Jean says

    I love it with all the earth tones. I think it fits the spring theme perfectly! I really must find myself a mantle of some sort to decorate. I did take the snowflake night light out of our main bathroom much to my husband’s delight.

    • Diane says

      Thanks Jean!! Yes…you do need a ‘mantel’ to decorate. I’ve noticed some generously-sized shelves make lovely ‘mantels’ too. And that is probably do-able for most of us if we can find the space. Maybe over the sofa?
      Now that the snowflake light is gone, will the snow stop coming down too? We have about 6 inches total in the forecast for the next 36 hours. Ugh. Just so it comes down *after* my trip through the mountain pass tonight.

  7. JaneEllen says

    Love your sense of humor Diane. Also love your “mantel”. I have a shutter shelf which I use for a mantel. Love your springy start to decorating. It’s so pretty, love all your gorgeous embellishments. You have a knack. I love to shop my house and junk boxes where I keep “stuff” I’m not using at the time to change out displays. I so enjoy that kind of thing.
    Kinda waiting to change to the summer rug and drapes in l/r but have been letting in other Springy things little by little. Don’t want to rush things then I’ll be tired of it all too soon. But then that would give me a good reason to change the “stuff” on the shutter shelf and little things I put on the tables. Really enjoy your blog, glad I found you. I look forward to seeing what you”ll have done in each post. Have fun ok? Happy March

    • Diane says

      JaneEllen…you are so sweet. I’m glad we found each other. 🙂
      How lovely to have a shutter mantel. I think all the snow we keep having slows down my Spring decorating. Haha!! You would think it would spur me on. How fun to look forward to changing up your rug and drapes.
      May your day be Extraordinary!

  8. Everything looks beautiful! I am still pulling out Spring at my house. Thanx for partying at THT!

    • Diane says

      Oh Pamela…this is just my start. I have a long way to go. 🙂 It’s especially fun for those of us in the North.
      Thank you for your sweet words and for always a delightful party. 🙂

  9. I don’t have a mantel either and do the same thing as you which is to use the top of my piano. Your mantelscape looks lovely. I really like the bird motif!

    • Diane says

      The piano is a pretty go stand-in. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and for your sweet words.

  10. Love your eye, your style.

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much!!
      I moved from the Southtowns of Buffalo about a year and a half ago. Your area is beautiful. We always enjoyed an afternoon there.

  11. Terri says

    You have a lovely blog! I popped over from Tea Cup Tuesday. I am not sure if this is your tea cup post. Maybe the silver mug in the lovely basket? Anyways, your decorations look beautiful. Perfect for an earthy spring!
    I will have a look at the previous post and see if I missed your tea cup post.

  12. I vole your choice of Earthy palette, so fresh and original. Thanks for the inspiration.
    Reuzeit Emporium Blog
    Reuzeit Emporium

    • Diane says

      That is so nice of you to say that Linda!
      Thank YOU for stopping by and taking the time to leave our encouraging words.
      Hope your week is extraordinary!

  13. sandy says

    I think it all looks wonderful! I wouldn’t change a thing! I love the color scheme. it’s so soft and warm. And the way you matted your picture is lovely! You DO need to share how you did it!
    And I’m curious…How do you get into so many parties? Does it take you a long time or do you have a secret quick way to get it done? It takes me a while to connect with just a COUPLE. And how do you get around to all of them to see everything? I’ve always wondered how people do that so I thought I’d ask! Have a wonderful week! sandy : )

    • Diane says

      Sandy, your thoughts are so very encouraging to me. Thank you!!! And yes…I will get that tutorial up soon. Thanks for the nudge.
      Hope your week is extraordinary!

  14. Love your spring vignette on the piano. Who says spring has to be all pastel colors? There are no rules…it’s all what YOU like! Love how you hung the mandolin on the wall.

    • Diane says

      I love that you said ‘there are no rules.’ This girl has got to remember that!!! Wow…are you an encourage-er. Thank you Melanie!!

  15. You have really been “getting your craft on”! I really like your mantel….it looks great!

    • Diane says

      Thanks Susan…we’ll see how long I can sustain this. haha!! 🙂

  16. SJ says

    I love the blue paper bird!

    That looks like a really interesting book. Was that part of a series on composers ?

    • Diane says

      Awww…thanks SJ! Yes…it was a part of a series. But, I have just one and I have no idea how I acquired it.
      Thanks for stopping by! Hope your week is Extraordinary!

  17. AMAZING! You definitely need a mantel with this beauty!
    Stopping by from the hop – co host 🙂

    • Diane says

      You are too kind, Leigh!! Thank you so much!! 🙂

  18. Your pictures of your home decor are absolutely gorgeous!! We are starting a link up party on Thursdays (today:), and we would love for you to join us with this post and/or any others you would like to include. We are at Hope to see you there!!

    • Diane says

      You are too kind, Julia! Thank you for the compliment and for your warm invitation.

      • Thanks for leading the way, Diane 🙂 We had a great party. We’ll look forward to seeing what you create next Thursday!!

        • Diane says

          Thanks for the invite Julia!
          Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!

  19. Sandi says

    Hi Diane,
    I used a very large shelf which I had a friend build for me as a mantel for years until I finally got a real mantel. You did a lovely job decorating and I like the music theme as well as the birds. Love the blue! Thank you for sharing at my HOME and enjoy your weekend.


    • Diane says

      Installing a large shelf is a very good idea, Sandi. With your touch, I bet it was pure loveliness!
      Thanks for your sweet thoughts. 🙂

  20. Jenny says

    I love those little birds in your “mantel” decor!! And I hope it’s ok that I’ve nominated you for the Liebster Award! Here’s the link for the details:

  21. Your vignettes are lovely and yes – your love of nature really shines through! Thank you to linking to Open House!

  22. I think your colors are perfect for spring! I love the birds and aqua tones. Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great weekend!


    • Diane says

      And thank you Deborah for your sweet and encouraging words! [hugs]

  23. Diane … who needs a mantle when you have a piano, a sideboard, any space that’s free to call your own! I’m motivated and impressed early this snowy morn …

    • Diane says

      I love your attitude Linda!! Except…when we built our first home we had a lovely fireplace…and that I really do miss. 😉 Nothing like warming up in front of a fire on a snowy day or night.
      Have fun dressing up your home for Spring. I know it will eventually get here! 🙂

  24. Well-thought out elements in your spring vignette on you piano “mantel”. I love the brightness of the birds and good luck with the forsythia. Mine died last year and i forgot to replace it back in the fall. I am sure I will miss its cheery yellow presence.

    • Diane says

      Donna, you said the nicest things. 🙂 Thank you!!
      Good News….my Forsythia is already starting to bloom!! Yay!!
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!

  25. You did a great job! I am hoping to decorate for Spring today, and hadn’t quite decided what to do with my blue canning jar on my “make-do mantle”. I have a Forsythia, and burlap, and a jar, so I am going to give it a try! Thank you so much for the inspiration!!!

    • Diane says

      Well thank you Lindsay! 🙂 And it blesses me to think that I just might have inspired you.
      Hope your weekend is filled with bits of Spring!

  26. Tammy says

    I think that’s a great idea! I love your earthy spring look. Love those paper birdies too! Thank you for linking this up to Rustic Restorations Weekend!

    • Diane says

      Thank you so much Tammy!!!
      Hope your weekend is Springy and Extraordinary!

  27. Well, I love all the earthy Easter decor. Everything really looks wonderful! Thank you fo sharing at TTF.

    • Diane says

      You are so sweet to say that Diann…Thank you!!!
      Hope your weekend is Extraordinary!

  28. Oh, what a lovely vignette! I love your little birds in the bowl and the bird picture is just gorgeous.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia 🙂

    • Diane says

      Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, Sheila!
      May your weekend be filled with the songs of Spring! 🙂

  29. This is really sweet. I love the blue heron. It symbolizes ‘patience’, ‘taking action at the right moment’ and the comfort that you can be stable and still, even when on a thin base (like it usually stands on 1 leg that is ever so skinny). Great messages for me.

    • Diane says

      The Great Blue Heron is one of my favorite birds. When my father was dying, it was a blizzardy February, and we were driving home from the hospital with heavy hearts. I quietly prayed, God…I would feel so much better if I could see a Great Blue. A few days later we were on the way home from my father’s memorial service and drove along the frozen bayou near our home. What do you supposed we saw standing on the ice? Yes!! God shows his love and compassion for us in unbelievable ways. I will never forget this.

  30. For me it is less about the vignette, more about the actual items gathered together. My husband, (then friend) bought me that same mandolin in Paris on our return from the Peace Corps in West Africa! That was in 1966. We still have it in the living room, but it is no longer playable. The “apartment sized” piano looks remarkably like ours as well, a hand-me-down from my mother.
    The child’s version of Beethoven’s life also has meaning, as we found a newer version for our hard of hearing grandson.
    And to cap it off, we live in a rural area with many many blue herons. Audubon’s Birds of America was a favorite book from my own youth.

    • Diane says

      Ahhh….and that’s what makes the vignette special to me…it’s filled with memories and stories which would have made for a very long post.
      The heron print is actually a page from ‘your’ book. It was hard to tear out…but I’m so glad I did…it makes me smile daily…and after having expensive art prints stolen some years ago…I am content with my “put together” piece of art.
      Hope your weekend is extraordinary!

  31. Those little birds are TOOOOO sweet!

    • Diane says

      Awww Kim….you just put a big smile on my face!
      Hope your weekend is extraordinary!

  32. This looks gorgeous. I love how rustic it is. Some spring decor is much to foo foo for me, but this is perfection.

    • Diane says

      Oh Erin…you just made my day!! Thank you!!!!!!!!
      Hope your weekend is extraordinary!!

  33. Laura says

    love the paper birds, is there somewhere I can get the pattern?

    • Diane says

      Thank you Laura. I’m attempting to figure out the best way to make the pattern available. Tell me if you think it would work if I photograph my templates and post them on the blog. They will be jpegs and then someone (you) can save it as a file and then enlarge or shrink as necessary and print out a template.
      Thanks for your input, too.

  34. Hi Diane,
    Love the colors you chose for your Spring Vignette. The earth tones combined with the soft pastels are so warm and inviting. The eclectic mix of items you used is also wonderful!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Pieced Pastimes
    PS-Would love to have you link this up to Saturday Sparks

    • Diane says

      Hi Suzanne! Thank you for your sweet words. I guess it very much is an eclectic mix. 🙂 That’s me! 🙂
      Thank you too for your invitation. I saw your page liked my page on FB and so I actually already stopped by and in the process, linked up.
      Hope your weekend has been extraordinary!

    • Diane says

      When does your party go live? I will add it to my diary. Thanks!!

  35. It looks wonderful, what a great idea. I love the decorations.
    Have a great day.

  36. I like that you’ve chose earthy tones for Spring. And why not? Like you – we have no fireplace or mantel here. I wish I did, but I manage to make do!

    Thanks so much for joining in this week!


    • Diane says

      “Why not?” Yes!! Why not!! Thank you for your encouraging words Claudia! Maybe we are challenged to be more creative when we make do. 😉
      Hope your day is filled with the joys of Spring!

  37. Kathy says

    There’s definitely a lot of yellow in our spring garden – I do love your earthy tones – spring to me is the renewal of color in our world – all shades. I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

    • Diane says

      You already have color in your garden? Yay!!! That is exciting!!

  38. Megan says

    Looks so beautiful! 🙂

  39. I love it. The eggs and the bottle with the rose I especially like 🙂 Have a good day.

    • Diane says

      How nice of you to say that!!
      May your day be Extraordinary!

  40. Absolutely STUNNING!!

    Thanks for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! Can’t wait to see what you link up tomorrow evening 🙂

    • Diane says

      How nice of you to say that Christine!!
      Hope your week is Extraordinary!

  41. It’s lovely! And so interesting that all your decor seems to have a mind of its own…I can relate. By the way, mantels are overrated. I sometimes wish we did not have a fireplace/mantel because in our home it feels like it defines how the furniture has to be arranged and we don’t use the fireplace anyway. If I could, I would send you ours! Thanks for sharing at A New Creation this week, Diane!

    • Diane says

      Thank you Jessica! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I enjoyed my own humor. 🙂
      Isn’t it funny how we can feel about an architectural element in our homes? It seems that it causes both of us to be more creative, though. 🙂
      Hope your week is amazing!

  42. Cindy says

    Your spring decor is really pretty, I love the bird picture!

  43. What gorgeous spring decorating! I can’t wait to see how the forsythia comes out. Love the pops of yellow when they are in bloom. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

    • Diane says

      Oh, Danielle, I need to add a photo to the post. The forsythia is blooming beautifully now.
      Thanks for your sweet encouraging words!

  44. Your spring vingette is lovely, Diane! The robin’s egg blue is perfect for spring, as well as the woody tones … and when the Forsythia blooms, it will be so pretty!

    • Diane says

      The first few twigs are now in full bloom! Pure sunshine on the piano. I picked some more the other day to add in so the sunshine will continue. Yay!!
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your encouraging words!

  45. I love it. What a beautiful vignett and the wall collage is fantastic too. I really love the elements of nature brought into the whole design. Lovely. Thanks tons for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

    • Diane says

      You always have a wonderful way of encouraging me Marty!! Thank you so much! {hugs}

  46. Very nice~ I really like that dictionary page mat job~ Thanks for linking up!

  47. Oh, your spring vignette is beautiful!! You know I love those adorable birds. I just pinned your gorgeous vignette. Your piano makes a perfect substitute for a mantel. I have the fireplace, but no pretty mantel either! Mine looks more like a huge box. LOL

    Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent. 🙂

    • Diane says

      You are so sweet to say that Kathy! Thank you!!
      Oh my…a huge box isn’t helpful either! LOL! Guess that helps us be more creative. 🙂

  48. I love the idea of using your piano as a mantle scape. I didn’t have a mantle in my last home and would have stolen this idea for sure. Love what you have done and the soft colors you used. Happy Spring.

    • Diane says

      Haha! Rebecca…a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Hence…piano top turned mantel.
      Oh I do hope that my next home has a fireplace….or at least a good spot to place a faux mantel.
      Thanks for popping by and for your kind words!


  1. […] Has anyone else picked some Forsythia sprigs to force?  I’m starting to see fat yellow buds!!  How about […]

  2. […] If you’d like more ideas for decorating for Spring & Easter…check out these earlier posts: Decorating A Vintage Window for Spring & Earthy Spring Vignette. […]

  3. […] for taking the time to stop by and leave your sweet words.  If you want to see how the Forsythia I forced are coming along…be sure to join An Extraordinary Day on […]

  4. […] My mantel (um…piano) display is super simple.  When you have something as stunning as flowering pear branches you really don’t need much to bring it all together.  This was a fresh change from the spring look of my earthy Easter decor here. […]

  5. […] So much so… that a few years ago I used those natural colors to create a theme for my spring and Easter “mantel” decor. […]

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