Wednesday, January 22, 2014 the bleak midwinter

Today, in an effort to warm-up, I played with my mantle. Yes, it's cold here in Florida. Not that I can, in any way, imagine the frigid temps so many of you are experiencing. But today I am bundled up in a few layers. We refuse to run heat unless absolutely necessary, so we layer up and keep moving.

When we travel I always bring bits of nature home with me. I have pinecones from Concord, Massachusetts and pods from Mt. Vernon. I've picked dried hydrangea heads from bushes in Charleston, S.C. and Asheville N.C.. And, of course, I have rocks from everywhere I've been with the date and place written on them...thrifty souvenirs.

I've scattered them across my mantle, along with feathers and wasp nests, for a calm, neutral and natural look...great for this time... the bleak midwinter.

The sweet matron in this early watercolor has faded with time. Her dress is a warm brown and her bonnet is tied with a pretty blue plaid. 


Thank you so very much for all the kind words and condolences so many of you left on my last post. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Your words comforted me. 

Please, if you are so inclined, keep my aunt in your prayers. At the age of eighty eight she has now buried four of her children...two infants, a six year old and now her oldest daughter, at just sixty-one...a mighty burden for such a good woman. She is the last of my aunties, my favorite...and my heart aches for her.

And also my cousin's husband. They were together since they were fifteen...46 years. They did not have children so he is alone now.

Have a great weekend and stay safe and warm!

Enjoy the day,


  1. Robyn,
    I love your mantle and all your bits of nature you've collected. They add such a nice touch. Love that little framed water color! Also love the sampler showing on the sides of your blog. I'd like to try adding my own picture to my blog but I'm afraid I'll mess the whole thing up!
    I will certrainly remember your aunt and your cousins husband in my prayers. And you too! Big hugs, Lori

  2. Robyn,
    I didn't get a chance to offer my condolences on your last post. So I would like to here and want you to know I'll be thinking of you and your cousins family. Take comfort in your treasured memories of her.
    Prayers and Hugs!
    Cathy G

  3. Dear Robyn, winter seem so much harsher when we loose a love one. It's a desolate feeling when the wind blows and it's cold. My heart goes out to your auntie and her daughter's husband. I'll keep them both in my prayers for comfort.

    Your mantel looks so pretty. You have such a great sense of beauty with ordinary objects. Thanks for sharing this with us and thanks for your comment on my blog. I so appreciate your visits and comments.

  4. That is so much for yuor sweet Aunt to bear. Sometimes life is so unfair. I do hope her husband can adjust after spending most of his life with your cousin. I really must count my blessings a little more often.
    Hugs :)

  5. Evening Robyn, wonderful way to while away a winter's day, the mantle redo, looks so beautiful with help from Mother Nature.......Blessings Francine.

  6. I giggled when reading this post as I picked up Florida pinecones when I was down there. Love your natural mantle. Janice

  7. I love your collections. My auntie is 90 and she has lost 2 of her 3 sons. I will keep her in my prayers.

  8. Your mantle is just lovely... your touches of nature are perfect for this time of year.... Prayers for your auntie and for your cousin's husband. I know this will be a difficult time for them, and for your whole family. My mom lost her youngest son several months hard for us all to lose a sibling, and so hard to imagine losing a child, no matter what the age. So sending prayers and wishes for comfort and peace....

  9. Your mantle is beautiful. Love all the natural elements.


  10. Dear Robyn,
    Your mantle is lovely as usual. The feathers are so pretty, I wish I could have things like that, but everything has to be cat proof here. I love the idea of your rock souvenir collection. I feel for you poor aunt, how terrible for her. And the poor hubby,I can't imagine what it would have been like when I lost my husband if I hadn't had my son and mother.

  11. Your decorating is always so wonderful! Love the matron. Lots of good thoughts for your aunt. So sad. She must be a brave woman.

  12. Your mantle is simply beautiful!
    Sending prayers...
    Blessings, Patti

  13. Keeping you and your Aunt in my thoughts and prayers.
    Your mantle looks lovely, so many treasures.
    Stay warm!

  14. Your mantel is lovely Robyn.
    Prayers for your family through these many changes.

  15. Praying here friend for your Family too.
    So hard.
    But I do know prayer gives comfort and works.
    Your mantle truly is lovely.
    Love those feathers.
    Warm Woolie Hugs

  16. Saying prayers for your family.


  17. Your home always looks so cozy and inviting~

  18. lovely mantle!
    hugs, dear friend!
    letting go is never easy!

  19. Love your mantle,feathers have always fascinated me.Prayers for your family!So sad that your aunt has had to bear so much.Hubby and I both have lost uncles in the last two weeks.Big hugs,Jen