the evolution of a shelf.

in my eagerness to fill the no man's land above our couch... a wide, empty expanse of plain tan wall... i may have done something a little silly. i talked my hubby into going with me to pick out materials (brackets and a pre-cut piece of closet shelving) at the home depot, put him through the frustration of using the level to drill in the brackets while i held the shelf over my head, and then realized:

i didn't know what to put on the shelf.

here's what i started with back in november:
pretty plain, right?

i think the shelf idea started with the the fact that my little iron birdcage needed a place to live other than on top of the black speakers for the tv where it basically just disappeared. this little birdcage has earned its place in our decor after having held the box that held my engagement ring when my hubby asked me to marry him! the man (and the ring!) were definite keepers, and so now is the birdcage.

but obviously, it was sad and alone up there on the shelf. i loved these awesome fabric leaf sprigs the minute i saw them on etsy, and debated for a nice long time whether i would be able to attempt a diy version. considering that would mean combinging a sewing machine needle and a piece of floral wire ( i don't have the best track record for sewing through/around strange things without hurting myself) i decided that $21.50 plus a bit for shipping was not a high price to pay compared to having another accidentally-sewing-through-my-finger incident (yes. really.) however, if you are feeling brave and want to give them a go, they are originally by amy butler and there's a full-on pattern available for free on her website.

so i popped them in a pretty little vase that used to live on top of the fridge. also, i decided i really did want to try out that cute little fall banner.
[just a quick note on the banner: this was my first time working with real wool felt, not the cheap thin kind. i had heard such rave reviews of the wool stuff throughout the crafto-sphere, but i was unsure because it was so much more expensive and i was a little worried of what it may do to my sewing machine, but let me tell you... worth it. i used a 40% off coupon from my local craft store and got a sheet of yummy, deep dark chocolate brown and cut out the letters. it sewed just fine, and it took this humble little banner from something that i used for a little while and then maybe didn't care what happened to it, to something that i want to fold up and put away and bring out every year! the real wool felt makes a huge difference!]

it stayed that way a week or two until, in a panic that people were coming over for my daughter's first birthday, and i had this shameful naked shelf in the house, i added an empty frame [that i got super-cheap because the cork board it originally had in it was torn] leaned up against the wall to fill in the space.
then, christmas came and i got really lucky. christmas decor seems easy to me because more is better... more red, more candy cane stripes, more ornament balls, and most of all more twinkly lights!
but now that the holidays are over and i must gently tuck the christmas decor away, i feel at a loss again. maybe i need to scrap it all, start over, and just fill the space with something huge. maybe a door. what do you put on your shelves/hang on your walls/do to fill a decorating no-man's-land?

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