The holiday season is in full
swing. Time to look forward to all that the holidays hold, whether it's a
time for a gathering of close friends and family, a large holiday open
house or something in between.
Wishing you the Happiest of
Holiday Gatherings & Decorations|
Planning your holiday photos in advance will make all the difference in
the results. You may want to take before and after shots of your rooms
from different angles to help you remember "what went where". This is
particularly helpful if you have willing assistants ready to put things
where they belong. (We should all be so lucky!)
It's also helpful
to take pictures of how things are boxed up and stored for the same
reason. Set up and take down will go faster and smoother and you may even
realize that there are better ways to do things after reviewing the
You may also notice areas in the room that look crowded,
busy or dark in the photos, but don't appear that way in real life.
Correcting those before you take pictures of family and friends at your
gatherings will result in more pleasing pictures. (No amaryllis flowers
seeming to be sprouting from Aunt Charlotte's head!)
More hints for
- Review any photos that have been taken in the past to help you plan
your shots this year.
- Take trial shots of the room after decorating to see where lighting
needs to be adjusted. Some rooms will need more or less light depending
on the time of day. You'll avoid disappointing results and lost
opportunities this way.
- Rearrange decorations as needed to avoid things hovering over your
guests's heads (unless it's mistletoe!)
- Learn which decorations may need to be adjusted to keep the room
from looking cluttered or too vacant in certain areas, as seen by the
- When shooting lighted decorations, try dimming or reducing the room
lighting slightly to avoid "washing out" the decorations.
- If possible, use stand-ins to plan certain shots and test the
- Take close-ups of special decorations, keepsakes, gifts, foods and
other details to help tell your story.
- Try shooting from different angles and levels. Taking a shot of the
tree from a few feet off the floor as a toddler might see gives a
different perspective to the holiday.
- Instead of having people stand awkwardly in a line, group them in a
more relaxed, casual position. Some sitting and some standing by the
fire, for example, can make a classic setting.
Pre-planning your Christmas photos can make this routine
holiday tradition more fun and entertaining for everyone. Need a special
album for your holiday photos like the one shown? Click on the link below!
Put gift tags to work this season. Use them on the stems of water or
wine glasses instead of place cards at a table. Use the tags instead of
wine charms; let guests write their names, initials or "party persona" on
the tags with gold, silver or other felt tip pens.
and open houses are more manageable if you have help, particularly someone
to control coat checks. Make it easier for your helper and your guests to
find their coats, umbrellas, etc, by providing tags that they can tie onto
buttons and handles.
Feeling creative? Make your own tags to go
with your decorations. Click on the link below for basic templates and
instructions. Read on for more creative resources
This free software from Avery provides simple step-by-step instructions
to format and print festive labels, gift tags, name badges and more like
the wreath shown above. It works within Microsoft® Word for Windows, you
can import lists from Microsoft® Excel® and use other database programs
for mail merge. Or just type in the addresses you need. Use professionally
pre-designed templates to get started with your project, or choose a blank
template to create your own design. You can also add your own graphics or
logo to all your projects. Please click on the link below for more
Small remnants of wrapping paper can be put to decorative use. Run them
through a paper shredder and use for packing in gift bags and
It's never safe to burn wrapping paper in the fireplace
after opening presents. Besides the possible toxins that may be emitted
from some wraps, burning paper can become airborne quite fast and create
carpet burns, or worse.
Instead of burning or throwing the paper
away, shred those remnants and keep them on hand for colorful gift
wrapping, shipping and storage all year.
Need to organize your girt
wrapping supplies? Click below to see an assortment from The Container
||Ugliest Powder Room
Is your powder room an
embarrassment? You could win a free remodel of your eyesore from Northwood
Construction, Inc., a company who has been remodeling homes in Northern
Virginia's Fairfax and Loudoun counties for 25 years. I was alerted to the
contest by a client who had her kitchen beautifully remodeled by the
company, and wanted to pass the information and opportunity on to my
Someone has to win-why not you? More information about the
contest can be found by clicking on the link below.
Calendar from Jacquie Lawson|
Last year I featured the wonderful digital Advent Calendar by artist
Jacquie Lawson. She is back with a new calendar, this time featuring an
animated scene of Christmas in London that changes from morning to night,
according to the time of day. Each day features a different treat when you
click on the date, such as short animated scenes, stories and even
interactive games like a snowflake creator. Each day a new animation
appears, building up to a delightful Christmas scene featuring the
trademark jacquielawson.com quirky humor, delicate artistic style, and
delightful Christmas music.
Click on the link below to learn more
about this year's card and how to order the 2011 version of last year's
Has your old green garland seen better days? If it's really worn, it
may be better to toss it. Before you do, consider if it is good enough to
use as a base for new decorations:
- Wrap old picture frames with garland and decorate as you would a
wreath, as shown in the photo.
- Use pieces to "plump up" or enlarge an artificial wreath.
- Stuff or wrap styrofoam balls in different sizes and use as a base
for live greens and holly to make your own "kissing balls". Suspend from
entryway lights or ceiling with ribbon.
- Wrap an inverted tomato cage and create a "tree" form base for
outdoor display. Decorate it as you would a Christmas tree or wreath,
using lights, floral picks and ornaments.
- Create your own floral sprays by cutting it into pieces. Embellish
it with spray paint, spray snow, pine cones or other season picks. Use
as a filler or accents in your tree, centerpieces, and outdoor
What other uses will you
think of? If you
come up with something creative, please email me a picture of it by
clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter. Have fun!
||2012 - Your Year
for an Interior Redesign?|
You've been thinking about making some
changes in your rooms? Promise yourself that 2012 will be the year you
treat your home and yourself to a room makeover. If you have any questions
about the process, the cost and the time it may take, please call. I'm
happy to answer your questions about how a redesign may help you enjoy and
live more comfortably in rooms that reflect your style.