These shiny and red Christmas ornament balls give the illusion that they are floating in the air while, in reality, they are just sitting on plain glass jars. It took less than five minutes to put everything together and create a frugal but magical set-up that brought instant Christmas happiness into the family room. The white string of lights is affixed around the mantel (see last year’s post “Lights! Lights! Lights!” for more details). Each little light bulb reflects into a glass jar and multiplies its light – shining even more.
I used empty glass food and spice jars of all sizes and shapes (never throw one away!) so as to have the ornaments sit at different heights. All the jars have a smooth external surface and that helps the light shine through them.
A similar kind of set up can be also be achieved with glass candle holders for a more upscale version, mason jars, if that’s what you have, and any other transparent glass item like drinking glasses (such as a mix of wine glasses, goblets and champagne flutes). The food jars are the best because they’re totally free and they work well for the family room. This arrangement would look nice on a console table or a bookshelf, and even on the dining table, in which case, votive candles instead of regular electric lights would also work.
Up close, you can obviously see that the ornaments are placed on jars,
but from a distance, these ornaments look like they’re suspended in the air.
Above the mantel, is one of my favorite paintings. When a piece of art has such a strong and absolute summer theme, how can you add any Christmas decoration around it? Santa, reindeer, and other snowy items would look completely out of place near this painting. But art is art and definitely not something seasonal that I would take down for the holidays. So, plain red Christmas balls of different sizes turned out to be perfect.
This oil on canvas painting is, like all the other paintings in my home, made by my mother.
It was made specifically for my family, and it represents one of our favorite places, the humble harbor of Skala Sykaminia, a village situated on the north-east part of the Greek island Lesvos, a paradise on earth! On this tiny harbor, there are just a few colorful fishermen’s boats, two taverns serving the freshest fish, and a minuscule church located on a rock that was once an inspiration for a novel. Whenever on the island, we try to spend a few hours in this place. The light Aegean breeze and the genuine scenery fill our souls and empty our minds.
I think I did a pretty good job on this mantel, which, by the way, I also tried to enrich by adding some faux garland but it completely took away the look that I ended up liking so much: simple, sleek, colorful & vibrant.