Happy holidays, friends!
Ok, that might be a little premature. About a week ago, though, I attended a 30 minute holiday decorating seminar at a little seasonal shop called Annie Mo’s, and have been humming “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” ever since. Annie Leutze is the decorating genius behind the beautiful things at Annie Mo’s and the hostess for the presentation.
I should preface this whole post by saying right up front I am no decorator. I never had money for decorating most of my adult life so had to do whatever decorating I did on a shoestring budget. My furniture was always pretty good quality but from there, things went south. I was absolutely out of my league at Annie Mo’s and in the company of a small group of fancy ladies.
As I walked up to the little tented area where the demonstration was being held, outside the actual store, I asked where I should sign in. The women all laughed and asked what I meant by sign in. I explained that I was a teacher (ok, librarian) and that we always sign in at trainings. I immediately felt out of place and wondered if I should have gone to work instead of playing hookie.
But Annie showed us some neat little tricks about which I took copious notes on the bill for my colonoscopy with an orange highlighter…the only paper and writing instrument I had in my purse. I give you Exhibit A.
I took the best photos I could on my phone from the back row while trying very hard to be as inconspicuous as possible.
Here are a few things I learned.
- There are three focal points or places to concentrate your seasonal decorating: the foyer or mantel, the door, and the dining room table. I don’t have a foyer so I should trim my mantel instead.
- Garland and greenery should not lay flat and symmetry is passe. I hadn’t gotten that memo, have you? I will need to take more OCD meds to be able to handle asymmetrical anything.
- Big poufy bows are out, shoestring bows are in. Ribbon is in (did it go out?) and you should tie your shoestring bows like shoestrings, with two bunny ears. The reason for tying ribbon using a shoestring-bunny ear method is so that the tails both drape down from the bottom of the bow. See Exhibit 2.
- The ends of these shoestring bows should be long and cut at an angle / or \ but not at an /\ .
Here’s Annie tying a shoestring-bunny ear bow.
- When buying artificial greenery, buy good garland. Buy a simple fir swag or garland then use picks of other types of greenery to add texture and interest. The picks that Annie featured had very long stems which she does not cut or wrap around things. She simply sticks them into the greenery or item she is decorating. Makes for easier removal or redecorating. Notice the length of these picks and the shoestring bow.
- In the pictures below you can see the faux eucalyptus and cedar pieces. When Annie added three picks to the simple fir swag, it took on a more realistic, dimensional appearance.
- Start with a large, focal piece in the middle. Annie used some beautiful burlap poinsettias that came on clips, a single, big snow dusted pine cone, or a single, large glass bulb.
- Velvet and burlap are in. The retro look is all the rage. Mixed metals are popular. And colors that are not always associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas…black (?), purple, blue.
- When adding picks to a length of garland, add them in the same direction as the greenery on the garland seems to be going (growing), working from the center out on each side.
- Lanterns are hot. And have been for some time. (Ha!) Adding a seasonal pick can dress up a lantern for any holiday. Just stick it at the top of the lantern or actually fill the lantern case with leaves, pine cones, ornaments.
- Notice the texture of the wiry, beaded icicle-like pick. So elegant. And the spray of gold leaves. I love the icicle cuff around the candle. Annie also used it to decorate the wine bottle for a perfect holiday gift. I have a coupon for 25% off one item and think I need one of those candle/bottle cuffs.
After the demonstration, participants were treated to breakfast at a yogurt bar. Loved this idea. Vanilla yogurt served with a host of different toppings…strawberries, papaya, mango, granola and nuts.
And then…we were invited to go shopping with a 20% discount for attending the seminar.
Uh, my pleasure!
The store was magnificent. So much to see. All of Annie’s great advice put to use. I walked ’round and ’round and ’round practically holding my breath for fear of knocking something over. So very many beautiful things.
Traditional tree in traditional Christmas colors.
Mixed metals. Glorious snowflakes.
Jewel tones and peacock colors.
We always put our tree in the living room but maybe I will shake things up this year. If so, the colors on the tree above and in the close-up picture below would look sensational in my den.
My BFF Sharon has a natural knack for decorating. Her home is beautiful yet homey and comfortable. I am always in awe of the unique ways she adorns her home for every holiday. Scarecrows, bales of hay and baskets of mums arranged around a wheelbarrow. A perfectly placed bowl of green apples. An autumn swag draped over a mirror.
Hey, wait a cotton-pickin’ minute! Annie must have picked up that trick from my sweet friend.
I will save what I bought that day for another post.
Maybe when the holidays really are right around the corner?
With all the glitter and glitz, gold and silver that filled every corner of Annie Mo’s, one of the prettiest things I saw was the nativity scene in the picture at the top of this post. It is easy to get caught up in the frills of the holiday season.
In all my preparations, I need to remember the reason for the season.
Hugs and kisses,