I received many lovely Christmas gifts from my husband, including the necklace I asked for and three (count them) gift certificates for a massage, yet I do believe my favorite gift of all was a big rock.
Last winter, after I finished part 1 of my Living Room Overhaul, I listed the things I want to complete this room, and a shelf for the mantel was hight on that list. I had planned to go out and find one as soon as the snow melted and landscaping season began, but I did not finally get around to it until November, when, thanks to the late arrival of snow this year, I was able to go to a landscaping supply company and poke around among their rocks until I found this hunk of Norumbega sandstone, locally grown in Downeast Maine.
My goal was to have it installed by Christmas, but I was beginning to lose hope until C and his friend the stonemason were finally able to coordinate their schedules and set the stone on the 23rd, two days before Christmas.
It's a little wider at the chimney side and has a slightly raw edge, to make it look natural. The prettiest part is the quartz inclusion that threads through the deep gray of the sandstone. My little elves and deer were so happy to frolic there (rather than on raw bricks) this holiday season.
(I leave tomorrow for my grad school residency; I'll be back in this space, hopefully refreshed and full of lots of ideas after the 14th. See you then!).