Saturday, August 22, 2009

More Questions MORE Answers More Tips

Again, please accept my apology for deleting some comments on the last post. That is just a rookie blogger not paying attention..I will try to be much more careful. If you spend enough time commenting, I sure want it to post.
I have received so many emails from bloggers that are loving the questions and answers in this series. A few have questions regarding price, which I don't feel comfortable talking about on the blog. Every home is different. Let's just say this is a luxury service and not a necessity. But if you really want to know you can email me It is not that it is a big secret, I just don't want my customers to have their business out in the blog world.
Ok,for more questions....and still feel free to leave more if there is something you need to know. Once I actually start working on trees I will post pictures that will actually show you what I am talking about. Maybe I can get a friend to help me and we can do a little video...I so understand that many of you have said that it is just too early for you to think about Christmas. I get that, but in my business, if I don't do this now, I will not be able to. As of this week, my tree schedule is almost full. Getting everyone scheduled is one of the hardest parts of my job.

Several bloggers have ask about garland for the banisters and the mantle. INVEST in good garland. There is nothing that makes a bigger difference. Skimpy garland is one of my pet peeves. If you already have "thin" garland and need to use it, then double or triple it. Full garland makes everything look better. Personally, I like fresh garland, but since we start decorating so early,that is not always possible. So we use a good fake garland (preferably pre lit) then we add more lights to it. If the customer wants some of the "real stuff", we go back and add it closer to Christmas or on the day they are having a party. It is easy to cut up and stick in and then if it becomes a fire hazard, just pull it out.

I am going to make a confession here.. I am normally so tired after the holidays that I do not take my stuff down until the end of Jan or Feb.....So our trees stay up from October until late January. Another confession, and this one will probably scare you, but unless we are going out of town, I rarely turn the lights off my inside trees. There is nothing more peaceful to me than all the trees on,(white non blinking lights of course)a fire in the fireplace,(and in our case sometimes the AC on at the same time) Christmas CD's playing,(that's another post), great candles burning and rocking one of my grandsons to sleep. That's it...I have never typed that before, but that's the ultimate peaceful night for me. And because my little ones live really close, that happens several nights a week. Thank you God!
I put a small tree right by Jack's crib, so if he wakes during the night,he sees his tree and hears his Christmas lullaby CD.
Another admission (which Amanda laughs about often),
I have a CD player by the crib and I make sure that it plays all night...right now my favorite is Celine Dions Miracle lullaby CD. OK,I got off track....but a great tip if you have little ones.

Back to the garland...the best way to attach it is to use the garland itself and twist stems underneath it to keep it in place. I will try to do an entire post on banisters and mantles. I have a mirror behind my mantle, so the last few years I have used mega garland....then wedged "cheap" candlesticks of all different sizes and heights all through the garland and topped them with heavy large glass ornaments instead of candles. I use pre lit garland, then add fresh garland and add lots of pearl lights. Once I get them out, I will show you a picture, in case you are not familiar with them. I use the green and red balls that are heavy... the leaded glass look..At this point I realize things that I use all the time,I may not be very good at conveying to you.
Another tip...never throw out an old tree. Use it outside with lights and you have an instant outside decoration.

At my house and at many of the houses I work on, we use 3 and 4 ft trees, usually with a theme, throughout the house. It just adds so much to a bathroom, bedroom,kids have a special little tree. I will give you some theme ideas in a separate post.
Another tip....if you find a great ornament at Walmart, Big Lots, etc, that is a great price and a great look, buy them all. Do not try to figure out how many you need to even the tree out (don't make the tree uniform) buy them all. They will not be there when you go back.
I cannot tell you how many trees I do in VERY expensive homes, that are full of 1.99 ornaments.
As soon as Walmart and Target put theirs out, I will show you some good buys in pictures. I was in Hobby Lobby today and if their ornaments are on half price next week, which they do at least once a month, I have my eye on about 10 different ones and I will buy everyone they have of each of those.

I feel like I am rambling tonight and that might be because I have been fooling with Christmas stuff all day....but I promised you one CHEAP, GREAT TIP to make your tree full. I wish I had one close by so I could show you..but I will in the next post...
Buy boxes of the cheap glass whatever colors you, green, gold, silver all work well.....In several sizes.....let's just say buy enough to give you at least 100 balls. Stay with me...this is a good investment...Take the ends off them.....THROW them away,(where you would normally put a hook)!! When you start working on your tree, start at the center and work out...NOT the outside of the limbs where you will put your good ornaments but on every available branch, stick those ornaments in as far as you can on the limb... a few will break in your hand....a few thousand have broken in mine, but the light will bounce off these glass ornaments and make your tree look three times as FULL. I promise. I am not sure I explained that great, but will make a picture and show you. You can get these kind of ornaments in boxes at the dollar store.
One other thing, I have received multiple emails about colored lights. By all means use them if you like them. I just don't!. At a few houses that I do, we use them on smaller trees...

AND just so you can have a laugh tonight, this is my welcome home every night during tree season. After working more hours than I can count, aching in every part of my body, when I drive into my neighborhood at night, the first house I see is one covered in every color light you can imagine, very poorly hung, with the emphasis on blue lights(hate them) blinking like crazy. You get the picture. (Please don't write me if you use blue lights, just keep using them...Walmart needs to sell them.) I always just laugh and think what a sense of humor God must have.

That's it for tonight.....surprises coming this next week. Leaving you with a few pictures of my day and something else you MUST have.

This is a must have. I go through at least 200 rolls during the tree season.
I have been organizing ribbon, getting ready for the season.
This is the little guy that I rock the most right now. I wish there were words BIG enough to tell you how much I love him.



Teresa, I know how much you love him. I know you love all your grandbabies so very much. It shows in your writing. You are such an amazing lady. Blessings My Friend, Audrey

SarahMerritt said...

Ah I can almost smell cinnamon... and a fire crackeling in the fire place!!! OH how I love Christmas!!! ( I sadly still have a few Christmas things out.. I had a baby two day after so I guess I get a pass lol) I am loving these posts I look forward to seeing more! I have never used tulle on my tree but I may have to... We also use just white lights on our tree... One of the next projects I am going to be working on is a patchwork square tree skirt...
Keep these posts comming It will get me in gear for shopping... (as soon as we are in our house next month I am going to start that)

ethelmaepotter! said...

Love the free tip, and yes, you explained it beautifully. I can already picture it on my tree and will do it this year.

Kat said...

He's a cutie pie. I love rocking my grandbabies too, except now every single one of them is too big to rock. sigh!

I've never decorated trees professionally (although I've been told I should) but I do everything you've mentioned. I use large clear balls and tuck them everywhere to catch the light (white lights only!) before I add my colored ones.

You're making me think Christmas!


Holly said...

You've got some great ideas!!!

Trasie Bressler said...

I love this little diddy you are doing on tree decorating and Christmas. I love Christmas and hope to put some of your ideas to great use. Do you think you could just move to Kansas?????? :)

Can't wait to see pictures!

Many Many Blessings

Leigh Anne said...

I used a 3 ft tree in a corner on a small table for my stepsons presents. It really dressed up a empty spot and gave him something of his own.

Just Breathe said...

You are truly a hard worker. I have enough with my own tree. I love Christmas. I have over 800 ornaments on my 9 ft tree each year with a few little trees in other rooms. I put my tree up after Thanksgiving but I keep telling myself to do it earlier. I do leave it up until late January.
My latest date is Feb. 3rd. I play Christmas music at the beginning of November. I love it so much. If I didn't have severe asthma I think I would have loved to do other people's trees. Friends always bring friends to see my tree each year. I pray for your energy. I shop all year for Christmas gifts. LOVE CHRISTMAS!

Theta Mom said...

Your ideas are so amazing and your totally getting me in the holiday the heat of August!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I love your ideas and I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the trees and decorations. Do you ever get burned out on doing the same theme over and over again?

What was the most unique theme that you've done?

Sandi (Meme) said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experience and talent with all of us. I'm so happy that you are able and willing to do so. I'm glued to my computer every day, waiting for your next post. Thanks again and have a wonderful week.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Teresa, You need to charge us for all of this 'free' information. You would be rich.... ha

You are a very creative lady--and I do appreciate all of your thoughts and helpful hints when it comes to decorating for Christmas.

I never have gone overboard--and only have one special tree (except for the tiny one in our bedroom, and the candy cane and bow tree which sits on our front porch). BUT--I do love hearing what others do.

Thanks again.

Heart2Heart said...


Every single one of your posts is like a cliff hanger and has meet just wanting even more and more. Interesting tip and one I will definitely use. I always have all these boxes of glass ornaments left over and never knew what to do with them. Who'd of thought to put them "into" the tree!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Mammy said...

Oh Lordy, Gal! I have been sitting on my hands just waiting for your next installment. I LOVE your tips. My house is small--no mantle or staircase--so I decorate window sills and door frames and anything else that isn't moving. Christmas is absolutely my favorite time of year and I am loving your posts. I'm so glad I found your site. Now what are we going to do with that tulle? By the way, I'm sure you have seen the Aromatique fragrance, "The Smell of Christmas." To me, it isn't Christmas until there's a big bowlful of that pot pourri on the table. Isn't it funny what we use to measure the arrival of the season? Thanks for sharing your expertise with us!

Beth in NC said...

Oh, you're putting me in the mood for Christmas!

I can't wait to see some pictures Teresa!


Kari said...

Enjoying all the tips. Learned a lot of these from my mom who decorates as a business in the Christmas season, but you are filling me in on ones I've never heard. Going to tell her to check your blog out so she can take notes!

Love Being a Nonny said...

Thanks for the tip about the balls....will do it for sure!!!

Tracey said...

Thanks for the tips! I need to make a list, beginning with better garland and lots of glass balls!!

JanMary said...

I totally agree with you on the white CONSTANT lights.

My kids would love coloured/flashing ones, but I tell them they can have them in their own houses when the grow up and leave!!!

Still loving this series - gives me a wee Christmas tingle everytime I read it!

Gram said...

Thank you so much for the helpful tips. I love rocking babies and my grandson does not enjoy being rocked! Looking forward to more tips.

Natalia said...

I'm definitely going to have to try the ornaments on the inside of the tree trick!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Teresa! Wow! You said "just a rookie" blogger? Goodness! How did you get 320+ followers in that amount of time??? (I just bravely -or it could be I'm a glutton for punishment-worked on a post to go up on Weds (Beach theme meme) and followed instruction on how to do my first automatically scheduled post...I was very leary to hit the last button, but I think it will work! I hope you can come over Weds and see if it did :o)

I love your great Christmas decorating ideas! On my current Back to Ky post at the end, I mentioned a wedding shower for our daughter given in Dec at the amazing home of her friend's parents. Everything is elegant and tasteful! Seriously, day after Thanksgiving they start putting up 50+ full size trees throughout their home, by themselves!...I need to get some pictures of each of the trees, but I posted a few pics only with a glimpse of a few in the background.

.so, if I were you or them, I would want to leave my Christmas decor up year round!

How absolutely wonderful to have your kids and grandkids living near you! What a sweetie pie your little guy is!

Blessings & aloha!

DD said...

Thanks for the blog comments...I look forward to checking back with some tree ideas! said...

Oh my goodness :) ! You are revving up for the season. How exciting. It's going to be fun to see your work!

Thanks so much for your kind words and thoughts. They are so very much appreciated.

Jacquelynne said...

I have tons of ribbon too- it comes in so many beautiful colors and patterns now- I love it!

Pam said...

I am soooo excited about finding your blog! I have a question, though. The first picture of Christmas necessities - what are they rolls of?

Angela said...

Teresa, I'm back to this blog I just read what I've been looking for,,where and how to decorate the tree...Some tips I've already done,like buying the bulbs at Walmart!! Oh girl...I have TONS from last years clearance...I'm a thrift shopper, and yard sale diva. Always on the hunt for decorating my home on less but MORE!!

Well I was just about ready to leave and what do I see above on your banner,,Jeremiah 29:11!! Oh sweet sister,,I have that scripture painted with ivy by an artist on my diningroom wall!!!

AMEN AMEN AMEN Jeremiah 29:11, God's promise!