Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Outdoors

Hey there internet, you are all so helpful I think I'll just turn to you all for all the important design decisions in my life!  I loved getting all your feedback over the weekend helping me choose a pair of glasses, thanks so much.  I've come to a decision and I'm going with the Preston, although in the Whiskey Tortoise frame, the same as the Thatcher.  The Thatcher is still my favorite but since Gina said it looked like I had a unibrow, and my sister said she thought the post was a joke when she saw that first pair, I don't think I can go with those now in good conscious.  Besides making important decisions on spectacles, we also watched Taylor walk in the local parade for the first time, picked out our Christmas tree and put finishing touches on our Christmas decorations around the house.  I hope you all had a great weekend.   

So now let's turn to another design dilemma shall we?  Well not quite a dilemma, more of just a curious poll to see who's in the pro-bow camp and who's in the no-bow camp.  I'll start by saying that in most facets of my life I'm in the no-bow camp, especially when it comes to home decor.  Remember the raffia garland from last Thanksgiving?  But Christmas just does something to me and makes me feel like I need bows in my life.  Big, colorful, fluffy, shiny bows.

Our old house was a bit more modern in design and so things like bows and garland would've looked a bit silly on it.  Like trying to wrap a bow around a Phillipe Starck Ghost Chair .  So we hung simple white lights and called it a day.
Our new house though is much more traditional, the whole neighborhood is in fact, and I think it screams for bows, and garland and a big wreath hung from the chimney, which we're doing today! 
We had 2 sad little bows from last year that we hung in the middle of our garland and after one Christmas season, they were trashed.  See, this is what the one from last year looks like.  It's faded and doesn't even hang straight, plus it's really too small for our big windows.  Looks like a single chocolate sprinkle on top of a seven layered cake. 
I drove by Melissa's house (we live a block away from each other) and she had huge gorgeous bows hung from her very traditional garland on her very traditional porch.  She hung hers from each swag point, not just in the middle and it looked great.  I thought to myself, "I can make those!"  Of course.  So herein lies the problem with the internet, it makes you think you can do anything.  Even make big fluffy, shiny, professional looking bows, which it turns out, I cannot.  And here's the proof:
What a disgrace to the bow making professionals out there.  This was my first attempt, which I worked on for almost an hour.  First off, I was in a hurry and accidentally bought gold-backed velvet ribbon.  Even still, I persisted and went forth with my plan.  But they were just pathetic.     
I watched these two You Tube videos to try and help me out, and while I'd like to say it was all their fault, I'm sure a lot of it was user error.

Meghan, aka, Ask the Decorator, produced a clean and very polished video tutorial, but there were a few things in there that had me stumped.  Like how much is "a long piece of ribbon?"  3 yards, 10 yards, specifics Meghan, I need specifics.  And what and where am I supposed to put the small piece of pre-cut wire that I'm going to "thank you for later"?

Lori's video from Deescrafts was a lot more thorough, but I have to say, the poor production quality of the video had me too distracted to actually learn the proper method of tying a bow.  Way too much going on.  If you listen closely, doesn't it sound like there is a drum concert going on in the background, in addition to the Christmas music playing?  

In the end I went the same route as Melissa and left the bow making to the professionals.  Turns out our local Stats makes beautiful big, fluffy over-the-top bows for the low, low price of just $3.  I was a true copy cat and chose the same exact matte mylar ribbon as Melissa and I'm pleased as punch with how they turned out.  Yes, they are very big, fluffy and sweet, but there's just something endearing about them, especially this time of year.

So bows or no bows?  I like mine either way, but just curious how you all decorate for Christmas.  Simple and understated or festive and frilly?  It's funny because the inside of the house is much more understated and simple, but there's just something about the outside that I find the need to go big or go home.

And P.S. Looking at these pictures really makes me itch to get started on the front yard landscaping.  We haven't touched it since we moved in since we've been so focused on the backyard.  I'm thinking a maple or two and definitely a crepe myrtle.  We're also planning to stucco and paint the fireplace and paint the door black and add black shutters to either side of the big front window.  All in due time though, all in due time.  

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