Tuesday, December 6, 2016

To BOW Or Not To BOW!?

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Recently the subject of bows has been brought to my attention by a few readers so I am going to post a blog post I wrote in 2010 on the subject. I have added a few more pictures since this was written 6 years ago and the style of decor has changed. My opinions have not changed, and if anything I am more adamant about when to use a bow.

To bow or not to bow, 
that is the question? 

Why would I ask that question? After all, it is the season of gifts, trees and decorations, so of course we have to “BOW!”

 A Little Girl flower Dress:

Not necessarily! This is where I have to tell you that I have  a love-hate relationship with bows. I know that sounds so silly, but I have my reasons.

 jingle bell wrapping - would feel so festive hearing them move around the room!:

In the eighties (dreaded country decor gone badly era) everyone was putting a bow on everything. When in doubt put a bow on it! Wroooong! 

 Jenny Steffens Hobick:

Everything in design and decor evolves over time and so did the BOW!!

 Elegant Christmas wreaths dress up any door or wall for the holidays. Greet guests with a wreath on your front door. Merry Christmas!:
 (1990's version of a bow, stiff and contrived.)

Trust me I have made plenty of pew bows in my time and have actually taught several people how to make these types of bows, but times have changed to a more simple, natural look in Christmas decor. (Thank goodness! she says quietly under her breath.)

Over the years design has become a bit more sophisticated and now bows are thoughtfully put on certain items like presents, trees, wreaths etc. 

 jingle bell wrapping - would feel so festive hearing them move around the room!:

Now comes the hate (such a harsh sounding word) part. Pleeeeeez do not put bows on everything!!! 

 A slow natural christmas:

Sometimes I think certain vignettes or accessories can stand on their own and they do not require a bow. 

 Image de renne Cartons Silhouette Situé dans la crème:
Since it is the Holiday season we will obviously be putting a bow on our presents, trees and wreaths.

I love ribbon and at times I would call myself a ribbon fanatic. If I see a beautiful ribbon I have to stand and stare at it, feel it and imagine what gift I can put it on. 

 Our Favorite Holiday Gift Wrapping Ideas:
In this post I am showing you the good, bad, and the ugly, but mostly the good. I think you can see the differences.

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I like this bow! It is simple, laying naturally and looks elegant to me. My favorite ribbon to use is a beautiful velvet, grosgrain, or a double sided satin.  I put this bow in the good category.

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This is a very typical bow we all see at Christmas time. Notice how stiff the ribbon looks and it is made to look perfect.

The ribbon is perfectly made to make an unnatural wave pattern.

I made these types of bows for my wedding in the 70’s and for floral arrangements and wreaths in the 80’s. That was a realllllly long time ago!

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Gorgeous use of ribbon! No bow needed here and yet it still gives the affect of a bow in a more sophisticated natural look.

This is double sided satin in at least 3-4in. width. The length of ribbon is long enough for it to hang naturally from the sophisticated knot that holds the pine and pine cone.

untitled (327x382)
So simple and so elegant. This is double sided satin in a nice width. Notice the way the bow lays naturally on the package. The tail of the bow is long enough to drape and not stick out stiffly. This is  a perfect bow to me.

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In this image you can see a less expensive looking package tied with double sided satin ribbon. Notice how the loops are large and yet the tails of the bow were cut off to short in proportion to the bow. This would look more lovely if the bow did not look so stiff and the tails were draping over the box.

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 No Bow needed here! This is  a fun use of ribbon that does not have any need for a bow, although I would imagine most people would have put a bow on the chandelier. This person chose to just tie a nice knot and the let the ribbon do what it does best if left alone, it just flows.

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There is no bow needed here. The wreath has some nice wide ribbon holding it up and some ornaments are attached to the end. I would not mind a nice loose bow with long tails on this wreath, but this look is so much more interesting.

11 martha stewart (328x400)
Lovely satin ribbon tied loosely in a knot.

Of course design is always subjective and you need to do what makes you smile. I only write post like this as guidelines.  I only hope to open your eyes to different possibilities. Nothing is ever in cement in design.

I must leave you with one more image of a bow!!

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Now that is what I call, “ A BOW!!!”

“Enjoy the Process” Of:

Making a bow and placing it with love on top of your gifts, that will be the best bow ever!!
13 (700x284) Kathysue


Sunday, December 4, 2016

My Christmas Wreath

The very first time I saw this wreath I pinned it for the future. I just knew one day it would fit in my home. For the last four years it just did not make the cut. However..... 
This was the year!!!

Thanks to Martha Stewart's inspiration I made my own version this year.

As you probably already know I used navy, cobalt and greens this year with an addition of some mercury glass so this wreath was a perfect addition.

It is a good idea to have a nice flow from room to room that has elements that work or coordinate nicely.

You will notice that on the very bottom of the wreath are tiny balls very similar to the falling snow in the pillow I have on my sofa.


I ordered 4 bunches of eucalyptus from our grocery stores floral department and picked it up yesterday.

The plan was to make the wreath and to also incorporate the eucalyptus into the mantel garland. I like to mix some live greens with the faux.

Here is my interpretation of the wreath using silver dollar eucalyptus.

 I love how it sparkles. One thing that surprised me was how the little tiny balls at the bottom are what made the wreath feel special to me.  Like little snow balls. It is always in the details.

 Here is a close up so you can see that I used a lot more of the tiny little balls on the bottom of my wreath. This wreath is almost 3ft in diameter so it has a lot more ornamentation than the original wreath pictured above, which is a 2ft wreath.

I chose to add the ribbons streamers at the bottom of my wreath. It is another tie-in to what is in the Great room. I also have streamers on my mantel garland.

It is fun to mix up the greenery. It gives it more interest, texture and color variation.

I am really enjoying this combination, plus it really smells fresh and clean.

The nice thing about using the eucalyptus is I have a bucket outside with water in it keeping the branches fresh so when they start looking a bit less than fresh inside, it will be an easy thing to replace them.

One good thing about eucalyptus it doesn't look half bad when it starts drying out.


Do you use a mantel nailing board on your mantel? I do!! If you don't know what that is you can read about it HERE!

Thursday, December 1, 2016


It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas around my house and I am loving it!!!

We have been falalaing around the house and adding our Christmas touches for this year.

If you all remember my color palette this year is navy, cobalt and green. Here is my inspiration board.....

So far we have the tree decorated and the mantel so I will share those with you today.

Our tree is full of memories and I call it our memory tree for that reason. The ornaments are always the same. I add different colored ribbons each year.

This years addition are navy and cobalt ribbons, and I actually used some of my plaid gift tags on the tree this year.

These tags tie in nicely with my plaid Christmas pillow...

The other pillows reside on my sofa.....

Some of the packages are wrapped, and waiting for the ribbons so they can go under the tree...

Next came the mantel, which at first I was not quite sure what I would do. I knew I needed to pull the colors over to the all white mantel.

We placed our greenery with lights, and then I stood back and took a look. 

I plan on using a wreath in the kitchen area that will have silver balls on it, so I knew I needed to add some silver to this area as well.

Ah Hah!! I remembered I had 3 mercury glass trees that I purchased years ago, so the hunt began to find which box they were in!! I found them and placed them on the mantel. It was just the right touch.

You know I love simple clean looks so with the new mirror and sconces I was not sure what would look right with the new elements. The trees were perfect!!

It still needed a little something more so in came the ribbon streamers for each side. I used the navy, cobalt and green, they looked warm and rich to my eye. I needed a little more silver so I added a single strand of beaded garland.

Next came the TV niche, since the mantel and TV are on the same wall it reads as one unit, so it has to go well together. I like to keep the TV area simple but have a color tie-in.

This year I chose to fill up my 3ft long nickel tray with all the different blues and greens that I am using with some sparkly ornaments.

It was all looking just like I wanted it to look, BUT it still needed one more element.

Now the picture was complete in my minds eye!!

The glow at night in this room is so comforting and soothing. I only wish I could capture it on film for you.

What's next?

YES this is happening again this year!!

You might remember it from last year. Our very first year in our new home, we had only been here for two months....

I will also be attempting to recreate this wreath. This is why I needed more silver in the great room to tie in with this wreath. It will be my own interpretation, wish me luck.....