Happy 12 more days ’til Christmas, y’all!
Our internet and TV has been out for the past 3 days, (I’ll tell you why a little later in the post … just a wee tad bit embarrassing :), but while I’ve been all “livin’ off the grid” it’s given me so much time to do something that I LOVE to do, and it’s so simple, but when you have no internet and no TV, you get to do this in much greater capacity …
THINK —-> UNINTERRUPTEDLY –
and y’all, it’s been wonderful!
Just working my fingers to the bone, from wee hours of the morning to getting back at it by 6:00am, (loving every minute of it!!), because we’ve had 2 huge projects going on this week. But here’s what has been on my calendar for 2 months now –
Rip left this past Saturday to go on his traditional duck hunting trip with our son, Tucker, and a couple of Rip’s long time friends, and I knew he was going to be getting in late Wednesday night. So, I got busy!! I lined up carpet installers, (Rip likes to wake up and feel “some fluffy” under his feet! ), so new carpet all in the master. I called my painters and got them all lined up, bought my own paint brushes, rollers, and my new favorite Chalk Paint – Swedish Gray by Jolie Paints, because I was going to be doing some serious chalk painting on a few pieces, and then …
I blocked off Saturday – Wednesday to work in our home, but I also needed to stay engaged with the work in the Brown Family’s new home, (major changes happening in a 5400 square foot home Johnstone here in Madison – all wood floors being sanded down, restrained and sealed, walls/trim being repainted, some electrical getting installed), before they moved in from Florida to Madison TODAY!! I’ve also worked some on a new client’s home, the Montgomery’s in Lake Caroline – the overall layout of new furnishings for their home. So, it’s been a busy week, but because I’ve been able to be inside our own home working so much, and because it’s been so super quiet … no TV an no internet … I’ve been able to just work and think about Christ and His birthday and it’s been so so soooo nice.
But what I’m sharing with you in this blog is a home I was invited to decorate for Christmas last week on Friday. I call it the “Have a Very Berry Christmas” home because, well, you’ll see why! This family was my last family for the season who wanted Christmas decorating services and what made it so special is a man who was there literally all day long to help me. He went up and down a ladder no telling how many times. He hung wreaths and garland like a pro. And what really got me is … what I worked with was all fresh so the clippings just kept falling as I would work with it, adding decor to it all. And then I’d look up and here comes my helper (and now friend, Mr. Jackson), with a vacuum. He would literally clean up as we worked together. WHAT A BLESSING HE WAS!
He was the kindest man and as we talked, I asked him if he knew the Lord, if he knew Jesus? And I will never forget his reaction — he immediately had this smile come across his face and he said to me, “Oh, yes, I love the Lord. Oh, how I love the Lord. I’ve known Him for many years.” Then he said, “I’ve had the pleasure of serving Him as a deacon in my church for many years now, too.” We just kept talking about Jesus and how good and faithful He is, while we hung Christmas garland and placed wreaths here and there. And then Mr. Jackson said to me, “Have you been to seminary?” I told him no, but have always wished I had gone and would still love to go if it was God’s will for me. He talked about going to seminary, too, as though he would go if he had a chance and he is 58 years old. He then told me all about his wife for over 28 years, and how they met, how he cares for her, their two adult sons, … I left that day having not only made a new friend, but I looked at him and said, “WE are family! You’re my brother in Christ!” And he just smiled and said, “Yes, ma’am we sure are. We will spend forever together in glory.” (loved every single minute of this special day!) Oh, and not to mention the family who had invited me into their home to decorate? They are also “family” and such giving & humble folks! The homemaker met me at the door with a smile and she, too, has a settling joy about her that (I could clearly tell) resonated all throughout her home and family’s life.
But here’s what Mr. Jackson and I did together all in ONE day – I arrived at my client’s home at 9:30, nothing was decorated yet, and this home was ready for Christmas by 5:30pm. The first several photos are what I took when I first had our initial consultation and was able to see what all I would be working with and what the vision could be for the rooms/spaces.
Family room – she told me that she was having a luncheon and would need to sit 20 ladies in this space, so we did some furniture shifting, brought in another settee, removed 2 french doors, and then made it so she could bring in kitchen or dining chairs, too. But this is how I initially saw the space.
Kitchen table and side serving table.
Dining Room … and where she had all the boxes of “stuff” I could begin using in Christmas decorating.
If you look at the foreground bottom of this photo, you will see a bag full of faux cranberries and THAT is where my vision began! I saw that bag and visions of sugar plums danced in my head! Well, actually it was visions of cranberries!! haha
So, I cleared out all the boxes and bags to make a clear canvas in the dining room, and then each room branched from the dining room.
This is the dining room BEFORE, and I gave her table a good polishing!
AFTER … digging around in some of her cabinets & drawers, etc. I found all sorts of things she already had that I could play with!
The pine cones were just your ol’ brown cones, so I took my gold wax and tipped each one off. Loved how it worked with the copper placemats, then I placed a heavy starched linen table cloth vertically across the middle of each copper placemat. Then used a gold charger, with her own Christmas dishes. Matching linen napkins.
Moving on to the Family room … As you walk out of the dining, you walk straight to this little tree that we placed on top of that small rudder table behind the sofa. Added some garland around the door frame to the bedrooms, a poinsettia and a couple of vintage handmade stockings on the secretary desk.
We removed the two french doors (one on the left and one of the right) and centered the two sofas in the room. Brought in the settee and placed her two matching chairs in front of the fireplace with a small table in-between. So, now we were ready to add Christmas to this room – the mantle, the top of a highboy, tables, small pillows and the perfect nativity added to the bookshelving. And in her sunroom, we placed more poinsettias in the windows and wreaths on all the interior windows.
Berries were added to the fresh garlands on the mantle, in the wreath, and tucked on shelves.
Now for the kitchen 🙂 … my favorite room in the home!
Wreaths and poinsettias in each window.
And it’s the grandchildren who love to play with this little wooden nativity! But … I know I sure had fun placing each piece, too.
Yes, this home was such fun for me because God supplied Mr. Jackson – an unexpected surprise of help!!
Oh, and why didn’t we have internet and TV for three days? Why did Rip have to call a technician out to the house on Friday? Because … … … I had unplugged the booster from the wall while I was painting, and apparently if that one small black box is not plugged into the wall, NOTHING Xfinity related works. He walked into the house, went straight to that tiny little box and said, “Ma’am, here’s the problem.” And he simply plugged it right back in.
(just a wee bit embarrassed) … but then we both had a great laugh!
Merry Christmas, y’all!
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