Junky fall mantel with… barbed wire?!?

While most of you would no doubt drool over priceless antiques, a chunk of barbed wire had me salivating during a recent junkin’ trip.

Surprised?!? 🙂

Especially with fancy schmancy camera angles and against the right backdrop.. totally drool worthy material here.

Add a little rope, moss, leaves off the lawn and a scrumptious Jeanne Oliver burlap sack, and you have yourself a funky little fall wreath!

Nothing fancy here. Just a few old trinkets that offer the illusion like they were all discovered in an old quaint barn, long forgotten amongst the cobwebs and dust.

I didn’t have any fall decor on hand, so I shopped the garage, yard and kitchen counter. Glad I bought that squash and never bothered to actually EAT it. 🙂

Nature knows no precision of layout or symmetry, so the leaves quell and fall wherever the wind may have blown them. Nor are they neatly book pressed. These are the real deal and the price was wonderful.

A rusty tool box with an 1849 light fixture shell provided some nice height and interest. I like how the round interacted with the rectangle.

And the light cover gave me the perfect opportunity to conjure up a pretend nest, seemingly vacated long ago before the frigid sharp winds kicked up.

Know what song kept running through my mind while I did this one up? 

“The north wind doth blow

And we shall have snow

And what will the  robin do then, 

Poor thing…

He’ll sit in the barn

To keep himself warm

And hide his head under his wing

Poor thing.” 

My mom use to sing that to me as a youngin’. 🙂

This kind of decor makes me think of my dad. I just close my eyes and vision and smell the old barns on our property that would creak and groan from the high winds of fall and winter. The sharp coldness would desperately try and get in however failed due to the hay insulating the buildings right to the ceiling. 

The barn kittens were nearly as toasty warm as a real crackling fire.

I didn’t expect all these memories to hit today. I must be in a sentimental mood.

So this fits right in. Here’s a little video slideshow I did with family farm memories. It was part of an entry in a contest on a tablescape feature in which I used the family farm sign. It was right after my mom passed away so it paid tribute to her at the time. 

“Remember When – Alan Jackson”

While I can’t visit the farm any longer,  I can most certainly recreate it… my way. Right Mom and Dad?

Related posts:

Creating an old world stone fireplace

Creating an old gate for the (Christmas) fireplace mantel

A tablescape of memories (table made from our family farm sign) and video

Why I decorate like I do (farm inspired)

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Categories: Family

57 thoughts on “Junky fall mantel with… barbed wire?!?

  1. You did a nice job with the video…the fondness you have for your parents and your family farm really shines through. And the mantel looks amazing. It’s wonderful that you are able to recreate memories of your childhood in your own home now.

  2. What a wonderful autumn post. Your mantle and decorations are beautiful. The leaves are a great outdoor addition too. It makes me feel like blustering wind must have blown them in the door.

    ‘Rust is a must’ a saying we’ve heard down here by decorators.

    We have a huge spool of rusting barbwire, and other rusting bits in DH’s private junkyard.

    A rusting shovel bird that we bought in Georgia is sitting over the entry into the junkyard.

    Have a great week ~ FlowerLady

  3. You just have a way….sort of takes me back to playing in the really old barn across the road from my grandma’s home when I was a child.

    The barn beam mantel we have is decorated with RR “junque” & other stuff from my hubby’s father’s collections. The other more formal mantel is the one that gets decorated for the seasons/holidays.

  4. What a touching, and beautiful tribute Donna. Made me think of my mom and grandmother. I love all the natural elements you used for your mantel. Barbed wire has great sculptural appeal. I have that same light fixture shell. Great post.

  5. I have to admit, I teared up… Okay… Your video brought me to tears. I can relate. Didn’t grow up on a farm, but on the coast, but no matter where you grow up, there’s just something about “home”. Simpler, happier times. My Dad is gone now and my home had to be sold, so I can never go back. And even 5 years later, it hurts. Ah, the changes of life as we age. Sometimes good and sometimes not. Anyway… Love the barbed wire too. I had a similar thought, but wondered if it was too over the top. Guess I’m going to have to scavenge the in-law’s farm again for a coil. 🙂

  6. I awoke this morning thinking I would be missing FJI cuz the 31 days was over….it’s sort of like one’s coffee….but here you are and I love it. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day.

  7. Love the video! You are really good at that. I think I should sign up for a One to One at the Apple store so I can make one also. I love seeing the farm. I have always wanted a hunk of barbed wire. Ann

  8. your mantle looks great…I saw a hank of barbed wire over the weekend and thought about making a wreath with it…now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t buy it!

  9. Leaves! Love them all over the place! That is so YOU!

    Barbed wire? I said, “No, she didn’t!” YOU DID! It looks so cool and some how I believe YOU to be ONLY person on earth who would have thought of this!!! Yes, I believe I’m correct on this. Yep, pretty sure about that.

    ps- can’t watch the video right now…I’m all teary eyed and sentimental today too….must be the season change!!

  10. Thank you for sharing your memories video. Brought back memories of growing up on a farm and my parents. Bit teary too.

    Love your mantle (barbed wire memories). Hope you will be writing more about photography in some future posts. The 31 day posts had me thinking and trying out and learning.

    – Joy

  11. Lovely tribute and I loved the photo with the clothes on the line that hooked up to the barn. Thanks for the super idea… I must make a memory video like this for my mom and her sisters of the farm they grew up on and we loved to visit as kids. It will make a wonderful Christmas card! Thanks for your inspiration… mantle and video! 🙂

  12. Miss Donna… I read your blog everyday and never comment. Today I just had to! I love the mantel. Reminds me of my childhood on the farm as well, out here in Oklahoma! Your video was wonderful and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your wonderfully talented and compassionate inspiration. You are my idol!!

  13. Love your mantel with the barbed wire!
    But in your video I noticed all the birdhouses and “remembered when” my dad made all kinds of them. This post brought back lots of memories and a few tears. Great job.

  14. Great barbed wire project! I think it would be perfect for a convict’s home too, don’t you?

    I’ll tell you- that video…couldn’t do it! It would tear my heart apart. Our old homestead was burned to the ground, on purpose, about 10 years ago. When they were building the barn on the property a rider came through and told them that Lincoln had been shot…and now it is all gone…so sad.

    Beautiful post- xo Diana

  15. Nothing wrong with being sentimental Donna ~ we all have our moments. When I was in the garage at the farm this summer there was a big old hoop of barbed wire hanging there and I thought of you ~ so this post made me smile. Watched the video again ~ love that song and all the old pictures of the farm. xo

  16. I was just looking at my barbed wire wreath the other day (I pulled it all out of a friend’s burn pile and probably should have gotten a tentanus shot, but that was years ago and I’m still here, so I guess it was OK) and wondered if I was the only one who found beauty in such “junk.” I remember my friends just shaking their heads in wonder. I’m in good company, I see! Loved the tribute to your mother. I love that song and recently used it at my brother’s memorial. It tells the story of each of us if we just listen, recall & imagine. Lovely all around!

  17. Wow – just discovering your wonderful videos and this one is priceless! You are one talented lady! I do have to say that I love your barbed wire rusty gorgeous wreath. But I have a scar on one of my knees from when I wandered into the wrong pasture at my grandfather’s farm. Came close to a bull, that probably had no interest in me but, I was 10. So I ran and climbed over (not under) the barbed wire fence. So funny, I hadsn’t even thought about it for years until I saw your beautiful wreath!

  18. Oh my, we have a piece of barbed wire that we spruced up a bit and hung in our house for years. My husband found it on his family’s place in the country. His grandparents built the house and then his parents retired there. They’ve all passed away now so we can truly understand how a simple piece of barbed wire can spark so many memories.

  19. I have a similar tool box. I never thought of putting it on one end. The video made me tear up. Very touching.

  20. Donna I have a barbed wire wreath on my back porch that came from the fence that was around my mom and dad’s chicken yard. I’ve had it for years, just couldn’t see it leave. So many memories just like your farm video which I teared up over too. I can so relate to all of that. I still have my mom and dad’s house which is right down the road from mine. My parents passed away 22yr. ago, but I just have not been able to sell the place. I guess because it is so close to my house and I pass it every day.
    We have kept the house up and it is still nice, but I know since I lost my sister this past Feb. that it is time to let it go. Thanks for your video, it made me think of what used to be.

  21. This was so beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I love when the things used to decorate have meaning to them. Made me tear up seeing those pictures: reminded me of my own children doing things around our farm and how quickly they seem to be growing up. I think I’ll give them a few extra hugs tomorrow.

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