Thursday, January 23, 2014

Foodie Friday -- January 24th

Welcome to Foodie Friday, where great food is always on the menu.
Let's get you out of the bitter cold air. You're just in time for cupcakes. Have a seat by the fireplace. Do you notice anything different at Rattlebridge? 
We've just finished the Mantle Make-over.
 (Note: My phone cam added colors to the marble surround. It's black/white Carrera.)
I hadn't planned to tinker with the fireplace, mainly because I love painted brick.
But one thing led to another, a Style Clash of the Sexes, which resulted in a sort of viral situation known as "The Creeping Project."
Anyway, here's a "before" picture:
At first, I had planned to install the mantel over the bricks. However, I wanted a taller mantel (see below). DH wanted a fussier one.
The style clash had begun.
My  GC removed the old mantel and propped the new one against the bricks.
 I thought about it a long while and decided to drywall above the mantel and on the brick sides of the existing FP. My GC made sure that it adhered to the local building code.
It's not a "biggie," as viral projects go, but I love how it turned out.
Mantel Makeover
Note: Before embarking on a DIY fireplace makeover, check the building codes in your region.
1. Sheetrock covered a portion of the bricks. There was a discussion about safety and building codes between Mike (my GC) and Jimmy (cabinet maker). The bricks that surround
the firebox were not covered, of course.
2. A mantel was made. (First, my husband met with the carpenter/cabinet maker and chose the mantel's "legs." He really did, which is another story.)
3. Fireworks in Nashville, TN installed carrera marble on the bricks that surround the firebox. Marble was also installed on the flat surface of the raised hearth. 
4. When DH wasn't around, I opted for simple wooden trim to cover the bottom portion
of the brick hearth. (The new marble sits on top of this.)
5. Finally, the mantel was painted BM Simply White (satin finish).
The masonry FP is set up for gas or wood logs. So that's another decision.
Decorating will come last.
Speaking of decorating a mantel . . . here's my FAQ on Mantelscaping:
Decorating a mantel can be a challenge. So I developed a helpful glossary to explain the various ins and outs of "mantel-scaping."

MANTEL PAUSE -- A mantel in a middle-aged house; the mantel can experience mood changes and hot flashes.

DOCUMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with books.

ADJUSTMANTEL--An adjustment to a mantelscape. It can be tiny--moving an accessory one eighth of an inch--or it can involve major tinkering.

ALIMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with food.

DETRI-MANTEL -- A mantelscape that is so horrid, so detrimental to your overall design scheme that you want to cry, brick up the fireplace, or move. DETRI-MANTEL can also be used as a condition to describe plasma TVs over a fireplace.
ENVIRONMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with "green" or recycled items.

EXPERIMANTEL -- The act of adding and subtracting various accessories. This can also describe the use of unusual or outlandish objects on a mantel.

FRAGIMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with breakable knicknacks.

FUNDAMANTEL -- the "411 Basics" of mantelscaping, which include visual balance and an uneven number of accessories.

FRAGMANTEL - A mantel that's decorated on one end.

INSTRUMANTEL -- Decorating a mantel with musical instruments.

INSURMANTEL-ABLE -- A mantel that cannot--and will not--be decorated.

MANTEL ABUSE -- Rearranging accessories on a mantel more than 500 times a day.

MANTEL BREAKDOWN -- a condition that arises after many hours of rearranging accessories (see MANTEL ABUSE)to no avail. Nothing looks right. Shopping trips end in failure. Extreme frustration results. The mantel is stripped bare.

MANTEL ILLNESS -- Occurs when mantelscapes are not touched for years. The accumulation of dust results in a condition that can cause sneezing and hives. It can be reversed by tearing down the old mantelscape and replacing it with a new one. By using MANTEL-IMAGERY, one can save time and money before going shopping.

MANTEL IMAGERY -- Imagining how your mantel will look with objects that are not sold in stores. These accessories might not exist--but if they did, your mantel would be perfect.

MICROMANTEL-ING -- When ADJUSTMANTELING is taken to an extreme. It can also refer to a mantel that features minature accessories.

MON-U-MANTEL -- A mantel that is so hard-to-decorate, it turns into a monumental task. Also, this can refer to an over-sized mantel.

NON-JUDGMANTEL -- The wisest approach for family members when the decorator of the mantel (spouse, friend, mother) asks for opinions on the latest mantelscape. (Similar to a situation involving Itty Bitty Lies--this occurs when you ask your spouse if an outfit makes you look fat.)

ORNAMANTEL-- A highly decorated mantel.

PREDICT-A-MANTEL -- A Predictable way to decorate a mantel. Associated with an extreme case of NOAH'S ARK SYNDROME.

REGIMANTEL -- The process of putting the mantel into order. Organizing a mantel. Also, the type of decor preferred by Generals.

RUDIMANTEL-- This word has two mantel-meanings. It can refer to basic mantelscaping. It can also refer to an incompletely decorated mantel.

UN-ORNAMANTEL -- a Zen mantel.

SENTIMANTEL -- a type of mantel decor that appeals to the heart, if not always the "eye."

TEMPERMANTLE -- A moody mantle, prone to outbursts.

Contributed by Carol Edwards:
MICKEY MANTEL -- A type of mantelscaping that is associated with a Disney obsession and features Mickey Mouse whatnots. It can also refer to a baseball themed mantel.

Contributed by Susan/Between Naps on the Porch:
GOVERNMANTELING - Furnishing a mantel with priceless artifacts, causing the IRS to freeze your bank account, conduct an audit, and/or visit your house in person.
Do you have a type of mantlescaping to add to the list?
After all of that decorating, are you ready to eat?
If you are contributing a recipe to this week's Foodie Friday, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x" beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error; the red "x" is visible to you only. Pretty please do not pin images from the FF thumbnails. Visit the source blogs. Thanks. For a complete, UPDATED guide to this linky party, click HERE.

You are cordially invited to pin with us at Foodie Friday's Consuming Passions board on Pinterest.
The Novel Bakers will return Monday, January 27th, with a look at cold weather cooking: Homemade Winter.
The Mystery Ingredient Club meets February 7th at Foodie Friday.
If you'd like to play along, the secret ingredient was revealed HERE.


  1. Thanks for the link-up. l love your new mantle... looks perfect for the room! Have a great weekend!

  2. I've always loved brick fireplaces, but your transformation is fantastic--love the new look! Thanks for hosting! Dee ;)

  3. I thought the old mantle was pretty, but the new one is absolutely stunning, Michael Lee! Thanks for sharing the before and after and thanks for hosting Foodie Friday. Happy Weekend! xo

  4. every time i see your creeping, i creep out, i too desperately need to address my house, but i rather be gone! i see how one tiny change snowballs into a year project, i just quake inside! the good news is you aren't living there, i would be :-( its fun to create new rooms and spaces, i just rather start elsewhere, but you always put a fire AND fear in me! wonderful change and love the bulbs swirling the sunshine and all that man talk~

    FINALLY started cooking for the nbs, i have not cooked or played since learning about maggie, it felt good today to be frantic again with the clock ticking down to monday! have our first meal in the oven, i already know we are going to love it! going to be a very fattening week out west ;-)

  5. I see you haven't lost your sense of humor with your mon-u-mantel renovation :) Love the transformation! Looking forward to a taste of your Homemade Winter.

  6. The Mantle is just beautiful. Hope you have a warm and cozy weekend and thanks for the party.
    Miz Helen

  7. wow, gorgeous, and even though I was all for the painted brick I love the new look~ and all the definitions! My favorite, is micromanteling and non judgemanteling, well I really think they are all hilarious! thanks for the party, can't wait for the return of the Novel Bakers!

  8. Your new mantle is beautiful! Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful weekend!

  9. Beautiful fireplace makeover!
    Thank you for the foodie Friday, Michael Lee!

  10. Beautiful mantle and great glossary :-) Thanks for hosting!

  11. The mantel is gorgeous and I LOVE all the mantel definitions!! LOL
    And I might try joining in Foodie Friday this week....All the photos look so scrumptious, and I've been SO cold here in the St. Louis area, that all I want is COMFORT FOOD! I may gain weight before spring arrives! :)

  12. Hi Michael, Your mantel looks great, I love the new look! What a great big beautiful room!

    Thanks so much for the party! I wish you a great weekend!

    Melissa @ The Alchemist

  13. Your mantle turned out beautiful Michael! The hyacinths are pretty too-enjoy:@)

  14. What a beautiful mantel! Can't wait until you guys move in ;o) Thanks for hosting.

  15. Your new mantel is so classy and the detail in the legs is gorgeous. It makes the room look so different. Thanks for hosting and I hope you have a lovely (and warmer) weekend.

  16. That mantel looks great!!! While I miss the romance of a real wood fireplace, or gas one came in mighty handy during the last arctic blast when the power went out at 2:00am and it was 8 degrees outside! We just lit it up, easy peasy.

  17. Your fireplace looks great! Isn't it amazing how a little update can make a huge difference? Thanks for hosting Foodie Friday!! Great ideas!

  18. Thanks for hosting! The mantel is beautiful and it was so interesting to read the definitions you compiles. Happy Friday!


  19. Thank you for hosting and for the invitation to your Pinterest board. I will send you an invite request! :)


  20. You are feeling your oats today with your mantle vocal. Your changes really make the fireplace the show piece of the room.

  21. Thanks for a great party - first time to come over and will be back every week!!! xoxo San

  22. Hi Michael Lee.
    Beautiful mantel. Lovely change. Thank you for sharing. It is always fun to see what you have been up to around your estate. Hope you'll try the PRAIRIE BISCUITS and tell me what you think of them.
    Blessings and may you have a delightful week-end,

  23. What a beautiful mantel! Love all the details about it too. I'm going to check out all of your party entries, they look wonderful!

  24. Cracked me up with the mantel definitions!
    Your changes have added MEGA impact to this fireplace...LOVE IT!!!

  25. Hi Michael Lee! Oh, your mantel is just gorgeous - so much prettier than the before. You're making your new home so gorgeous and I can't wait to see you put your decorating magic on it. Now I have a defi for mantel too: mantelfestation - 1 a: the act, process, or an instance of manifesting b (1): something that manifests or is manifest (2): a perceptible, outward, or visible expression
    Just thought I'd add my two cents worth. Happy New Year to you and I apologize for not joining your your Foodie Friday very much. I just cook so simply and my recipes aren't too exciting. But when I do make some exciting, I'll be over here as quick as a wink.
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  26. Mine is a sentimantel, as it holds family pictures. Dh built it, a double ledge, solid oak. I would like to paint it, but he would dis mantel me if I did. 10 yrs ago when we built this house I made some bad decisions. I don't think I would do a raised hearth again, it's a gkid maim magnet!
    Your mantel is outstanding! I'm in on the chocolate challenge. I see another extravaganza is on the horizon. :)
    Hope you are well, ML.

  27. How about judgemantle - a mantle that is never satisfied with the object placed upon it, seriously, love your blog (I'm new) and can't wait to try some new recipes and keep up with the house progress.