Then by evening....it looked like.............TA DA!!!!!!!!!!!! After a year and a bit I got my mantle. I bought the parts, took the measurements and was the idea guy...my lovely neighbor Randy did the cutting and some of the assembly. I did the painting...the finish assembling and Jay helped me screw it in place. I could not be MORE in love with it. I actually pause to look at it every time I walk by.
I had given up looking for mantles at the stores, b/c a much more boring one than mine was 155 dollars and that was a 'cheap' one. I bought the parts for 36 dollars, and we used some of Randy's scrap (see above link) for the face board....and the actual shelf....and I owe him a few hundred snickerdoodles, but still a good deal!