Nov 29, 2014
This past weekend was another one crammed with creativity and good company.
A birthday party and a dear friend and her family over for dinner was then followed by the decorating of a tree to benefit the Talbot County, Maryland’s Hospice Organization. I was asked to do this tree last minute by my friend Pama, the owner of Moonvine, a little gift and lovelies shop right across Harrison Street from Gold ballroom in the Tidewater Inn in Easton, Maryland where the trees are displayed.
The ornaments are donated by the decorators and then the trees are pre-sold to local businesses and patrons. I knew that I had a few items in the attic that would create a Moroccan themed tree. Ornaments left over from my first “real” tree that I had ordered while attending the Atlanta Gift show 15 years ago back when I worked for Pama. A befitting recycling. Thankfully, the recipient of my tree is Midge, the creator of the Festival of Trees event some 20 years ago. She loved the colors and was really looking forward to having my masterpiece in her hallway. Now I really had to care what it looked like.
I was one of the first to arrive and got right to shoving the netting in and making the ribbon weave through the tree. And when Pama entered the Gold ballroom, it was a joy to hear her exclaim happy greetings to all these women who she has worked with year after year. All day I heard her at various trees coaching the teams on how to do bows or professional festooning. It was a joy to be in the room with all these happy to be creative do-gooders and my gal Pama, aka Coach.
The Inn provided coffee and fruit infused water for us to sip as we stepped back to examine the trees and find the holes that needed filling. The room was full of chatter and focus and a breeze from the tented patio. Decorating my Moroccan Christmas tree must have taken me the better part of four hours to fill that tree. I was fried and happy enough at the end of the day. We will be returning next Monday for Eamon’s piano recital here in this very room. And Mark helps with the Festival of Trees fashion show too.
One tree down, two more to go. Hope you are inspired and let me know if I can help you with your decorating projects in any way.
Jul 18, 2014
When we moved into this house, I wanted to change everything. And I almost did. I randomly and creatively reformed this old house into an artist’s house. It’s something I just do. I Hardly ever buy newly msde stuff. No way. I must have unique homemade and thrifted stuff. And use it in a totally new way.That’s me.
I am a little short fused when it comes to going all the way on a project. I’ll try to take shortcuts to get the results I want to see immediately. And that doesn’t always work well. But the spontaneity was always there. And I created a style. Until I stopped.
As I was happily styling something today, it occurred to me why I stopped making the effort to decorate. Because I was never going to do my stuff as perfectly as those perfecty perfect people on design shows and magazines. My stuff just isn’t professional enough. My apples to their oranges.
But today, I decided to give myself the credit back. What I do is art. I live artfully. And because of that, there are no rules. And although I’d never make it as an interior designer for my sloppy short cuts, I think a lot of designers could probably use a little artist in their souls to loosen them up.
I desperately need to have the permission to play with my house again. There are so many unfinished areas that I have passed my irritated with it all phase and have moved into my “disgusted give up never going to happen hopeless” phase. I need hope again. I am trapped in my small world and need to be happier with it.
I know everyone enjoys seeing the house, even in its current state of horrors, so I am going to open my mind up to some possibilities and some risks. I have decided to do another house walk through soon. A real live video containing me walking and talking. Risk is good and it also gives me something to work toward. I know I didn’t come through with the baby’s room yet but this is different I promise.
Thanks for putting up with me. See you soon. Or you’ll see me soon.
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And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.
Mar 31, 2014
The baby took an unexpected nap in her highchair. I had just finished wiping down the kitchen and realized my opportunity to get to redecorating was now. Since Christmas had been stripped, decorations remained un-replaced. I raced up the steep attic steps to fetch my decorative stuff from the various bins. The house desperately needs color and character. And as I shoved the carpet down into the stairwell hole, I heard “I can’t because” being disproven.
I have been chanting “I can’t because” quite a lot since the baby arrived. Plenty of projects I say I’m unable to do because I can’t be hands free to do this or that. But then I managed to clean a bathroom while my son watched her. And balanced a checkbook while she was both awake and asleep. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Sometimes I have back up, most of the time I don’t. Will I never? No, just not exactly right now unless it is right now.
You can make whatever you want to happen if you are willing to come up with solutions to whatever keeps you from doing it. Childcare is a big one for me but I think I can steal time and energy and nap time here and there enough to get a multitude of tasks done. It seems only the creative tasks get the shaft. Hmm !?
I really truly want to condone the “I can’t because” statement. I want to be supportive of the road bumps that happen in people’s lives. I can’t agree to “I can’t because” but I can say, yes you can in a different way in a different time by a different method, encouraging someone’s will to push through. I’m inspired by the courage I see it take to make the impossible possible. I want my underdog to give me hope for delivery from my own stuck-ness. So I shoved the rug down the stairwell and grabbed a purple tote full of stuff and descended. I intend to be the change.
(Read my letter of gratitude to Holly Becker after I took her first e-course when I began to truly see my creative blockage for what it was, bad for me.)
Mar 14, 2014
My love of fresh flowers is deep and true.
When I worked for Pama at Moonvine, I was very lucky to not only spend time with flowers but also learn their names and discover what I loved . And a party is just an excuse to order flowers to play with.
I’m such a flower snob and control freak, in true Pama style, I’d prefer a bouquet of solely one flower. I’ll scrutinize an arrangement unless it’s made by a floral designer of my liking.
For Fiona’s party, as I did with her coming out party last year, I went ahead and ordered my flowers from the florist in town, Patti’s Petals. As I did last year, I ordered Shasta daisies, pink stock, and ranunculus.
This year, I added bells of Ireland (hello St. Patty’s day), purple lisianthus (inspired by my friend Lauren’s pictures), and some maidenhead fern for greenery.
The bells and daisies are very hardy. The stock smells lovely and is short-lived. The maidenhead fern is brittle and needs to be photographed soon. I woke up to green crunchy fern in the vases the day of the party.
Buying them from the local florist this way was more than half price of what it would cost to have them arrange these flowers. Perhaps I’ll ask for a gift certificate from Patty’s Petals for Mother’s Day instead of buying live plants like I always do. Either way, the they’ll be dead soon enough. Smell the flowers today.
Dec 9, 2013
This was my fourth year designing and decorating a 15 foot tree at our Fellowship in Easton. Besides all the trees I’ve fussed over for myself, the ones at my shop, I’ve had previous experience decorating trees professionally with my friend Pama from Moonvine. Both at her shop,
and at Annie’s restaurant on Kent Narrows. This slide show is composed of those Annie’s trees.
If this tree from the Festival of Trees in Easton looks familiar, that is because it was designed by the very same uber-talented Pama.
And she probably sneezed it up in her sleep.
This big tree is my self-appointed challenge and this year, I went with the paper doll inspiration. Foreign flavored paper children holding hands.
My thoughts then went to stars and mini globes. Figured I might as well do a “think globally, act locally’ meets”It’s a small world” kinda theme.
And that’s what I did.
Understand that this large of a tree requires the right scale of ornaments to be seen.
They need to be Large. And you need different textures.
So the last-minute found me grabbing branches from the basement (you mean you don’t have spare branches lying around?),
and shredding more map pages from our old road atlas to make nests.
Plus making the requisite red bows.
We filled in with left over brown paper flowers and hydrangea from years past and voilà,
the result was just the right amount of red and texture and movement.
I’m one happy Designer. I pleased myself and everyone else as well.
This was the perfect theme and the cost? Free.