How to Decorate a Fall Mantel Using a Handmade Paper Wreath

The “Raven Wreath” I made at Mill Spring Makers Market. A big thanks to Prudence Greene with Sweet Tea Bohemian for teaching me how to not only make this awesome wreath, but for also getting me out of my creating comfort zone!

It’s finally sweater weather and hot coffee time here in Northeast Tennessee, which means I can finally finish decorating my house for fall *happy dance* I’ve had a really hard time getting in the spirit of all things October because the temps have been warm + there’s currently only a hint of autumn colors.

I started decorating my front porch on the first day of fall, and I honestly tried to check off my pumpkin to-do list, but it was too warm. Nike shorts and a cute tee just doesn’t get me in the mood like flannel does *wink*

Now, that’s enough chatting about the weather! Let’s grab a good cup of coffee, sit a spell together, and talk about how to decorate your mantel for fall.

The colors of fall spice up an all white mantel.

Decorating my 1920s era mantel is a challenge. From the mirror to the overall height of the entire fireplace, I struggle. Whatever I use has to be “custom” fit, and there’s lots of putting up and taking down before the right balance and look is achieved. Normally, I would head to the local flea markets looking for rusty treasures and things that remind me of my childhood back in Mississippi, but this year I wanted to challenge myself to do something different. To do something outside my creating comfort zone. I had no idea what it would be until I saw a class for making a wreath out of paper leaves. I signed up and waited patiently for the wreath-making day to arrive.

A Raven-inspired centerpiece by Sweet Tea Bohemian

Before we could make our wreaths, we had to cut lots of leaves. I thought it was going to be a boring task, but it was actually fun and a little relaxing. While we cut, we chatted about everything from our human children to our fur ones. We were disconnected from our phones and connected by our paper leaves.

Supplies for the stylized fall wreath

Step one is all about cutting the leaves from different colors and weights of paper.

For step two, we wrapped our wire form with burlap and glued down the ends using a hot glue gun.

Using a hot glue gun, we attached our leaves to the burlap. Prudence gave us tips on where to place our leaves and how to fold our leaves to give them more dimension.

Working hard on our wreaths at Mill Spring Makers Market in Jonesborough, Tennessee.

Showing off our handmade goodness! Kati, you rocked making your wreath! Keep making those keepsakes for your home *hugs*

I was so excited and proud of the wreath I made I rushed home without stopping to get coffee! I just couldn’t wait to hang it on my mantel. It was an awesome feeling knowing I had made it. Which I know sounds crazy because I’m an artist who creates daily. However, in all of my years of crafting, I’ve never made anything like the The Raven Wreath. And y’all know what? It felt good to get out of the comfort zone, more like a rut *wink* And y’all know what else? It was so much fun getting out of the studio and connecting with other makers *big smile*

I used a Command hook to hang my wreath.

Once the wreath was up, everything else just came together. I added two paintings-one of sunflowers in a pumpkin by me and the other of pumpkins by an artisan who sells at one of the local flea markets. After a run to The Fresh Market for mini gourds, tiny pumpkins, and colorful corn, my mantel was complete.

The handmade fall garland by Allison Lacey is a playful addition to my fall decor.

Thanks for sitting a spell with me today! I hope you’ve been inspired to try a new craft and to decorate your fall mantel with handmade goodness.

Click here to find out more about Sweet Tea Bohemian. To keep up with the classes offered at Mill Spring Makers Market, click here.

Do you have a favorite handmade fall decorating tip? Tell us all about it in the comment section below.





Let Us Begin and Begin Again

In the parlor of Hathorn Hall

In the parlor of Hathorn Hall

Hey, y’all! Welcome to Sweet Sorghum Living–a place to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from gluten-free goodies to handmade goodness. Today on the blog, I am chatting about my outfit of the week and why it is special.

Normally, I do not blog about fashion–for a lot of reasons. Mainly, because I do not like having my photo taken and because I struggle with finding my style. I have read so many blog posts that tell people to dress however they want at any age, but I am very Southern and very rooted in looking sweet and classy with a touch of sassy. Besides, I really have no desire to shop in teen stores, and I do not want to wear a graphic tee that says “You Got More Issues Than Vogue” or “He’s Got the Pole I’ve Got the Bobbers” (even though I am digging the saying of the last one–and I don’t even fish–I did a few times when I was a kid….).

What I am saying is…I like the fact that I am over 40 because that means I survived my 20s and 30s. I don’t want to go back to those days, and and I do not want to look like I am trying to. I just want to be sweet and classy with a touch of sassy *wink*

Mattie and I just sitting a spell on the porch swing.

Mattie and I just sitting a spell on the porch swing.

Do I sometimes think about the body I had when I was younger or the face that I had that was fine-lines free? Sure. But then I think about how far I have come as a person.  And I am happy with who I am and where I am going.

20150518_164207_resizedAs I have mentioned before, I have lost a good bit of weight since my Celiac diagnosis. And because of this, I have been able to shop in my own closet for clothes, and that feels good. It is not that I am a clothes hoarder, but I have kept a few items over the years that I really love…hoping that either I could wear them again or that Abby would add them to her ever-growing vintage collection. I am happy to say that I am wearing those dresses, skirts, pants, and shirts again. So, today on the blog, I wanted to show off one of my favorite dresses from the past + sport my new custom necklace by Lisa Hamilton of beadsoul.

I love my new charm necklace from beadsoul because it reminds me that I did have the courage to begin, and there are no limits to how many times I can begin again. So, today, let us all begin…to do something we have been putting off…to repair that relationship that is broken…to open that Etsy shop…to start writing that book…but let us BEGIN *big smile*


Giving Mommy sweet kisses because Mattie is a Sweetie Wheatie *smile*

Giving Mommy sweet kisses because Mattie is a Sweetie Wheatie *smile*

Sometimes, Mattie and I just chat about the meaning of life and what new bows she wants from

Sometimes, Mattie and I just chat about the meaning of life and what new bows she wants from CuteNCurlyBowtique on Etsy.

I am still not sure if I am fully comfortable with having my photo taken, but I am getting there. If I managed to conquer the selfies, I can surely conquer posing without a selfie stick *wink*

20150518_164410_resized_1Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today. If you decided to begin a project or  new career or anything else that you have been wanting to do–please let us know in the comment section because we would love to say a big congrats and be your cheerleaders *big smile*


Thanks to some sweet encouragement I finally had the courage to begin my Etsy shop. A big thanks to Tracy of Sincerely Yours by Tracy for designing me some sweet thank you notes, story cards, and tags for my shop!

Thanks to some sweet encouragement, I finally had the courage to begin my Etsy shop. A big thanks to Tracy of Sincerely Yours by Tracy for designing me some sweet thank you notes, story cards, and tags for my shop!

Once Upon A Mosquito Tale: Why I Started A Blog


It is time to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from rusty treasures to home renovation.

It is time to sit a spell with a good cup of coffee and enjoy good conversation about everything from rusty treasures to home renovation.

I love little baby ducks, old pick-up trucks, slow-moving trains, and rain.  I love little country streams, sleep without dreams, Sunday school in May, and hay.  And I love you, too.  

I love leaves in the wind, pictures of my friends, birds in the world, and squirrels.  I love coffee in a cup, little fuzzy pups, bourbon in a glass, and grass.  And I love you, too.

I love honest open smiles, kisses from a child, tomatoes on a vine, and onions.  I love winners when they cry, losers when they try, music when it’s good, and life.  And I love you too.

“I Love”  by Tom T. Hall is one of my favorite songs from my childhood.  How excited I would get when my daddy would pick his guitar and sing that song–a song which brings me comfort and keeps me rooted firmly.

My dad has never been one to personally buy gifts. For many birthdays of my young life, he would stop by the local Fred’s or Walmart on his way home from work and purchase me either a stuffed animal or book. These are cherished gifts far better than diamonds because he went way outside his norm to bring home a special gift for his little girl. #alwaysadaddysgirl

I have always been a little spit fire.

I have always been a little spit fire with a bit of spunk and a touch of mischievousness.  My imagination kept me in trouble as a child and often still does. From my tall tale about tying mosquitoes tails together to my homemade mud pies, I kept my parents and family entertained and hopping!

As a child, I was surrounded by the greatest storytellers and artisans. They had no idea their stories would inspire generations to come.  They had no idea they were artisans.  No, they were humble folks who created for the love of working with their hands.  Sure, the masterpieces were often made out of necessity like the flour sack  dresses and quilts. Oh, how wonderful are the bread bowls, baskets, and furniture they made! Oh, how wonderful that so many of these things have survived to narrate the stories of their creators.

Granddaddy Fulcher taught me to love woodworking, reading, history, front porch sitting, and nature walks.

I have watched my dad build incredible, gorgeous pieces of furniture he never saw as good enough.  If you were to compliment him, he would simply ignore the gesture by changing the subject–usually with a random tale from his past or the latest news from Cousin Benny.  I have watched my mom make dresses fit for a princess, design cakes to match our birthday party napkins (way before Cake Boss), and prepare Sunday school lessons with the dedication and passion of a TV evangelist.  If you were to compliment her, she would humbly give all the glory to God.

Oh, yes, I can still see Granddaddy Fulcher relaxing on the porch swing, smoking his pipe, and talking to Uncle Mackie about this and that.  I can still hear Uncle Mackie relaying adventures from Mexico. And, if I close my eyes tight enough, I can still feel the warmth of the peso he placed in my hand.  God rest their precious souls.

My mom was a furniture redesigner way before Pinterest. She painted my brother’s dresser to coordinate with his football themed wallpaper. She made the dress I am wearing in this picture, created the most darling ribbons to go in my hair, and taught me the true meaning of kindness and stewardship of God given talents.

My Southern roots have shaped me, inspired me, and set a fire in my soul to share, and that is why I created Sweet Sorghum Living. It is a way to honor my roots and to share the artistry and creativity that is in my blood, my heart, and soul. Thanks so much for sitting a spell with me today, and I invite you to join me on all of my random blogging adventures. You can follow me on WordPress, sign up to get each post via email (see the box in the right column), and follow me on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.