Posted in Crochet and Yarney Things

What Have I Been Up To?

It happened.

I got bit.

Bitten by the crochet bug! (Again!)

Seriously, guys. I can’t stop crocheting! I don’t want to stop crocheting!

Let me show you what I’ve been up to.

Grandma loves You
“Grandma Loves You” crochet bobble blanket

When I first saw this type of bobble blanket, I just knew I had to learn how to make it. I have a thing for words and this kind of project is right up my alley. So, I made one for one of my 6 granddaughters. (She so appreciates the things I make for her!) I love that I am able to learn and practice and have a willing recipient for the successes. I also love that this technique has opened my mind for many other wordy type bobble blankets I can design on my own!

This blanket says “Grandma Loves You” and is now available in my Etsy shop here.

Works In ProgressWIPs

I was so excited about the success of the¬†blanket¬†above that I couldn’t wait to get started on another one customized for another granddaughter.

Now I Lay Me Blanket(2)
“Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” crochet bobble blanket

Both of these patterns were created by Nancy Liggins, but as you can see, this one allowed me to customize it with my granddaughter’s name. I made another significant change to this one by deciding to add rows of white bobbles to the top of the blanket. This was a happy accident. Can you believe that not only did I run out of yarn, but I could not find more in this beautiful pink color ANYWHERE??!! So, I did the next best thing. I went into design mode and the rows upon rows of bobbles is what I came up with. Any child would love the textured tactile feel of these cozy blankets. This one is not finished yet, but I’ll be glad to share it here when it is. Unfortunately, I ran out of the white yarn too, but it has been easy to re-stock {smile}.

What does one do when one runs out of the yarn they need for a current project? Why, start a new project, of course!

C2C Blanket(4)
“Corner to Corner” (C2C) Chimera crochet blanket


I bought this yarn specifically to learn how to stitch a Corner to Corner (C2C) blanket. The yarn I used is Mandala yarn by Lion Brand in the color way Chimera. The yarn is luscious. The stitch was easy to learn and master. And, the results are beautiful! My daughter has claimed this one, but I see many more C2C blankets in my future. I’ll be sure to share this one when it’s completed too! And, I’ll let you know when I post it in my Etsy shop.

What words or phrases would you like to see stitched into a blanket? What are some of your favorite colors and color combinations?

I plan to continue to blog about “yarney” things and my crochet journey for a while, so if you have questions or want me to cover something specific, leave a reply. I have a lot of ideas of things I want to share with you, so don’t forget to follow this blog so you don’t miss a beat.

Please also visit my Etsy shop (Black Ribbon Shop) where you will find lots of Cool Custom Creations.

Until next time,


Posted in Interior Design

How to Style a Fireplace Mantel

For the best effect, every room in your home should be decorated with a focal point in mind. The focal point of a room is where the eye is naturally drawn. If you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your home, give a shout out to the focal point of that room! To make it pop, you will want to style your mantel to add to the wow factor.

There are several general ways to get to the wow of your fireplace mantel decor while keeping with your style and without looking too forced (unless that’s the look you want). There are also certain rules to follow in design of any kind. You want to keep these rules in mind no matter which way you choose to style your mantel.

Source Target

Styling Rules

Symmetry and Pairs.

The easiest way to convey balance and calm is repetition. Place two identical items on either side of a mantel, or choose ones with the same visual weight.


Color Balance.

Various objects with the same color will look like they belong together. Grouping by color keeps the arrangement from looking too busy or scattered.


Rule of Three.

A trio of accessories is always a safe bet. This trio can be comprised of items of different shapes, colors, heights, and materials to give the group a kick.

Rule of Three Mantel
Source Good Housekeeping


Height Changes.

Play with objects of different heights and weights such as art work paired with a small stack of books.

Negative Space.

Special objects need negative space while the less important items benefit from being grouped together so the beauty is in the grouping.

You can also stack and arrange objects by size from large to small.

Now that you know the basics of styling, I’ll give you some examples of How to Style Your Fireplace Mantel:

Overlap Artwork

Following the styling rules above, overlap artwork and anchor with candle holders.

fireplace mantel overlapped artwork

Establish a Theme

Such as a common color. This Spring mantel by Jenna Burger Design shows a creative use of turquoise.


Asymmetrical Arrangement

The same way that symmetry conveys balance and calm, asymmetry will convey a sense of excitement.



Empty Frames

Place a few empty frames along with a few accessories and flowers or greenery. Don’t forget the styling rules!



Hang a mirror in the middle and a sconce on either side. Place a large vase in front of the mirror and fill in the rest of the space with smaller accessories such as vases or candle sticks.


Unique (and my favorite)

Layer a small mirror over a large one.

Hang a large plain mirror above the mantel, then place a smaller decorative mirror in front. Mirrors can make a space feel larger, so this is great for small spaces.


Flat Panel TV Over the Mantel?

Recess the TV into the wall behind the fireplace and enclose it with bi-fold doors.


Add Molding

Add character to the wall above your fireplace with molding. Paint the molding the same color as the wall. This frames the space above the mantel and draws the eye upward.


Paint the wall surrounding the fireplace a strong, striking color.


If your fireplace is flanked by built-ins, consider how they relate to the mantel and coordinate them.


High Ceilings?

Emphasize the height of a room by displaying a tall frame, mirror or art piece on the mantel for impact.



Try a decal to add interest without the cost of art. Make sure it’s not too small or not too large.


Mixing Styles

If, for example, your fireplace is rustic stone and your decor is modern, add some modern abstract art above the mantel that pulls from other colors in the room.


Get creative! Use your mantel to display items that reflect you and your interests!