Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Holiday Decorating Questions

I am going to answer a few more questions tonight...and in a few days a surprise, so tell your friends to check out my blog. It seems like just sharing as I think..which is scary, worked fine in answering the questions last night...so I will do that again tonight.
I really do want to give you some tips that will give you a new look, make decorating your tree easier and give you some new ideas.

One blogger wrote today that she could not imagine having someone else decorate her tree. Most of my clients are so thrilled to leave home early in the morning and come home and their halls are DECKED. Several have told me it is the happiest day of the year to them. So that makes me happy.

One question was about her tree being too short for her ceilings, what do I do?....I have several customers that have that problem.....Using plywood, make a box to place your tree on top up...It works perfect, and you can use lots of fabric or an extra large tree skirt over the plywood and it not only lifts your tree, but gives you a beautiful way to display your packages. If you have questions about this email me.

Many of you want to see pictures of the trees from years past...I will be glad to post them, but want to be sure and check with my clients first. ....plus I will be posting (hopefully) every few days as we finish trees this year...and mantles and staircases and buffets, front doors (we go no further than the front door wreath)! NOTHING OUTSIDE!!!!!

Do I use my clients things or my things? In
most cases I have originally bought their things at market in years past and helped design their look, but I always incorporate anything of theirs that they want to use. (unless it is so ugly that I just cannot do it). Believe me I have seen some UGLY stuff... We normally figure out some way to use any heirlooms. Also, most of my clients want to add something new every year. This is something we normally discuss the year before. I am always on the look at market for new things for my trees.

I am a big advocate of letting small children have a tree in their room and have it just special for them. I have seen some of the cutest trees that kids have put together....that express their interests...As a matter of fact you can use so many different things on a tree....not just ornaments.

Do you like colored lights? Just a flat no, though I do them at a very few houses. I don't like blinking or colored lights. I like the peaceful look...We will discuss this later.

No, I do not have a degree in interior design...just have a business tax number and just work....

How did I get started is repeated over and over. WE all know and have the confidence in SOMETHING that we just do well, with little effort. I do trees! I don't cook, I don't sew, I don't do a million other things, but I can decorate a tree.

Memory ornaments? Put them on a special smaller tree....You will be able to see them better and they will not get lost in your big tree. I have a customer that has all his grandmothers old ornaments...the thin, easily broken glass ornaments...He loves the memories that each represent...so we show them off on a special tree.

What are some of the big don'ts? Don't use hooks, don't think too hard about getting things balanced when you are decorating the tree. I start in the middle, move to the top,then move to the bottom, no particular reason....it just all comes together like a mosaic. Don't be afraid of mixing many different things. Don't have one tiny thing sticking up on the top of the tree....Use the gauze netting. It covers a MULTITUDE of SINS. (I will show you this later)

Do my clients give me free range? Almost always...I know what they like but rarely are they there when we are working. (I know most of their housekeepers well and most of them cook for us which we love)

Do I do just the tree or the whole house? Normally the entire house. Do I still enjoy it? I had to laugh at this question..It is super hard work. I hate the banisters and normally have someone working for me, do these. It just kills my legs. I don't take chances on 12 ft ladders like I did for years. I am much more careful, but I will tell you I am tired to the bone every night. Come home, unload and reload for the next day. My SUV becomes a traveling tree. I have to be ready for anything that comes up. Most days we work 12-16 hours. We count down, as in 33 to go, 32, etc....But what I do still love is the feeling that I have made someones life so much happier. I keep using the words client and customer and really all these people are my friends.

Ok...that's probably enough for tonight. I will leave you with a few pictures....that happen to be on my computer...most of our trees from last year are on a computer that one of my best helpers EVER, has. She is our photographer. And she did send them to me, but I cannot find them tonight. Just the truth...
In a few days there will be more questions and answers and you can always ask me anything as well. In the next post I am going to tell you how to LOAD your tree very inexpensively. I have a feeling it is a trick you have never seen. (unless you know me)

I would really rather talk football than trees, but I am thinking most of you would be bored.

This happens to be my mantle which is larger than this and I will show you a better picture later. Yes, that is fresh garland layered over artificial garland.

This is part of my collection of Disney ornaments. I am going to do a big Disney tree this year, but this was the centerpiece on my table. I loved it and we figured out a way to keep it lit by using a tree skirt and running the wires under it and down to a plug. Everyone wondered how I had it lit. This is not a great picture of it. I will find a better one later. And to top it off, it was on one of the old green tinsle trees. (one I had to buy new and pay way too much for)


Kat said...

I know you make so many people happy. I enjoy decorating my own tree. I once had 8 trees in my house. Big trees too. It was a lot of work, but worth it. Great post.


JanMary said...

LOVING this series - thanks :)

ethelmaepotter! said...

I LOVE this series!!! And I am so looking forward to more and more great hints and ideas!
Hey, I have those red mouse ears ornaments, too, big ones and little ones. My mission last November at Disneyworld was to find a good looking Epcot ornament, Spaceship Earth, of course. Couldn't find anything I felt was worth the price asked, so my Fred MADE me one. And you guessed it - he used a golf ball! Spray painted it a silvery gray, and it looks fantastic. I'll have to take a picture of it this season.

Love Being a Nonny said...

As I have gotten older, (52) I would LOVE to have someone come decorate my trees!!! I love having it all up, I just have lost the desire to do it myself. I know you probably won't post the cost, and I understand. But I might check into it locally and consider having it done.

I can't wait to see how you wire everything on! Love your Disney tree. My mom has one too. The grands and great grands love it!

Cannot wait for each post!!!

valerie said...

I think it's great that you get to do something that you love and enjoy....and make money doing it!
I like that you included that there are many things that you "don't do" but this you do and do well. We all have gifts. I am too hard on myself sometimes because I am not creative or artistic etc. You hit it.....find the thing you do, do well and do it. :)
I think your job is super neat!!!
You'd probably love to get ahold of my pathetic tree. :) Mine is the tree with memories that should probably be in a bedroom. ha!
I'll be reading the next few days to get some very good pointers.
(and I'm behind on the past posts. I got on facebook and have sorta put blogging on the back burner. I've gotta catch up)
Have a great day and thanks for sharing your secrets.

Mammy said...

Oh, Lordy, I raced to my computer this morning to see if you had posted another installment of your wonderful Christmas advice. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading your advice. I live in a small house with one tree but it's going to look like a million dollars this Christmas! I know your friends LOVE coming home to their freshly decorated homes. You're welcome at my house anytime. Blessings to you!

Randi Troxell said...

beautiful work you do! and actually i would LOVE if someone came and got my tree done and i came home too it...lol! every year my sister does trees for her kids.. and she'll put some of their smaller toys on it... very cool i think!

Kathryn said...


Do you take all that down, too, at the end of the season?

While a lot of folks i know enjoy doing their own holiday decoration, most don't like the clean up & storage at the end.

I'm really not into it this much. I just wish i had a good place to put our nativity scene (where the cats won't get to the fragile items) & what to do with my odd-shaped mantle.

Thanks for sharing. I know that folks really appreciate your hard work. :)

aguhmom said...

You are talkin tree ornaments,
but thinking football field

Like Brett - i got your numba honey :)
love, p

Rebecca Jo said...

That's what our tree's theme is - Disney - our whole house at Christmas is actually Disney... so you're going to make my tree look bad :) hehe! - I'll be excited to get some ideas & tips with the Disney ideas!!!

Missy K said...

Thanks for coming by Daily Portion-- I love your blog-- all the red makes me smile!

Heart2Heart said...


Oh how you will have me out and about scouring the thrift stores and discounts stores looking for simple innovative ideas to incorporate on a tree.

When setting about decorating a tree for your client, what kinds of questions do you ask them? How do you know which direction to head in?

I too am looking forward to the wiring technique you talk about but worry about how difficult it would be when you have to take it all off?

Great, great post and goes great with my coffee. I will have to break out my Christmas music soon so I can read this while listening to the music in the background.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

monica said...

Beautiful! Thansk for answering all the questions!

linda said...

Thank you for all the great advice about Christmas decorating. I can't wait to spend this Christmas season with you, seeing pictures of your beautiful decorations. It's gonna be fun!

Terri Tiffany said...

That was your centerpiece???? wow! If you could only see what I do, you'd cry. Love the pictures!!!

Mimmy said...

Love the Disney centerpiece. Can't wait to see more. Thanks for taking the time to help us.

God Bless,

Diana...aka...MeMe said...

Thanks for answering my question about the short tree...tall ceilings! I will take your advice!!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great business, Teresa. When I lived in Texas (Clear Lake--south of Houston), the lady who worked with me had a professional group (like yours) come into her home and do all of her trimming and decorating every year. She loved it---and said it was wonderful to go home after work and have her Christmas all DONE.

You do a great service, Teresa, ---and make some money in the process. Neat!!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a happy business you have!


Robynn's Ravings said...

Unbelievable, Teresa! What an ENORMOUS amount of work. You could only do this if you LOVED it because Christmas is already such a busy time of year. I'm so grateful my daughter likes to do this. I wish it wasn't such a chore to me and it's getting less so now that the kids are older. You really DO bless people with your talents. Merry Christmas!

Jerri said...

I love themed trees. And this one is cute. My mom collects antique Mickey Mouse toys and Christmas ornaments, and she used to put up a tree with all Mickey Mouse ornaments. She would love this!

Nancy Mon said...

Love these posts! Girl, you are talented in so many ways. We will be coming that way soon. I will get in touch with you.

Deb said...

It's only August, right?

Maybe I should be thinking--it's August already, and Christmas will be here before we know it.

Thanks to you, I have some great decorating ideas.

Now, if I can just mail Christmas cards on time.

Sweet dreams.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Really great question and answer post!
How I would someone to decorate our home :o) But when our 3 are home for Christmas, they like that we do it together like when they were little. (Last Christmas, my hubby and I went up to them in KY...so I didnt even put up our tree...sshhh! that's the first time in 27+ yrs of marriage...there were a couple of years when he was deployed and may not have felt like it, but I always put our tree up.)

Our tree is short compared to the ceilings, so we do put it up on a big box...I do love the height and room for gifts.

Wow! I am not using hooks this year! Yay! those things are a pain sometimes!

Thank you for choosing to "talk trees" :o)

Blessings & aloha!