Sunday, November 30, 2014

How To Decorate Your Christmas Tree Like a Pro: Tips from Roxie of The Southern Mercantile

Y'all! Today we have an awesome and timely guest post from my friend, Roxie. She is the creative genius behind The Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry AND the their new online store, The Southern Mercantile.

Before Thanksgiving, I shared pictures from the beautiful Christmas Open House at the Shoppes and today Roxie is sharing her secret for decorating all of those beautiful Christmas trees in her store. Decorating a Christmas tree can feel a little overwhelming, but whether you're working on a designer style tree with themed color coordinated ornaments or your hanging your kid's popsicle creations on your tree, I think these tips will help you to create a cohesive beautiful look for your tree this Christmas.

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Merry Christmas! I'm Roxie and I have owned a retail store for the past 11 years and Christmas, of course, is our booming time of year! We go all out! This year, my team of elves and I decorated 7 large trees for the store and countless table top trees. Over the years I feel I have perfected my tree decorating methods and wanted to share them with you! I like a Christmas tree to be very full and to have lots of layers. Whether your tree is fresh or faux, follow these simple steps and you’ll have your tree looking as fabulous as the ones you drool over in magazines!

Step 1: Lights 



My Dad (to whom we lovingly refer as "The Wizard") would tell you that this step is the most important one. He has a 10ft tall faux Frasier Fir that he puts over 1100 lights on every year. You have to put your sunglasses on just to enter his home through the front door. I am not as patient as he is, though I do believe you need a well-lit tree. If you have a pre-lit tree, then just plug in and you are ready to roll, unless of course some of your lights won’t come on! If you are putting your own lights on your tree then start at the bottom of the tree at the back and begin to work your way around. You also want to run the lights up and down the branches as you work your way around so that your tree has lights in the center as well as the outer branches. Remember you should have no more than 3 strands of lights connecting to each other. If you have a large tree you may need to run an extension cord up the center of the trunk to start a new strand of lights. If you end up with extra lights at the top of the tree you can run them down the center of the tree to help illuminate it from the inside out.




Step 2: The Topper 

Many would save the topper until last but I like to put it on before I do anything else. If you choose to use a classic simple topper then this will not take you long. If you like to have a bow at the top of your tree, it is good to put it on first so you can place the tails where you want them without having to worry about bumping your ornaments. I like to put unusual things in the tops of my trees. You will see from the sample pictures that the sky is the limit! From wooden reindeer to chandeliers, we are willing to try anything!
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If you choose something like a chandelier that lights up, you will need to run a separate extension cord up the middle of your tree to the top to plug the topper in. Do not plug this item in to your lights! If you choose to use a bird’s nest, or bird cage, wooden cut out, etc. you will need to affix it to the top of the tree with a little floral wire. If you will wrap the wire with floral tape first it will not damage or scrape your decorative items and will be easier to work with. Sometimes I also like to add large branches, or stems of berries in the top of the tree. These will usually secure themselves in the braches but if you have trouble, just grab your trusty floral wire. 

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Step 3: Garland 

If you are using any type garland or ribbon around the tree, now is the time to do it! You want to wrap the tree before you fill it with stems and ornaments. With paper or stiff garland you want to tuck it in at certain points to create a billowy effect. If you are using beaded or glass garland, you want to drape it loosely so it doesn’t look too tightly wound on the tree. 



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Step 4: Stems 

I love to add glittery stems or berries of some sort. I even love to add picks of pine and different greenery. You can see in the sample pictures that I added butterfly picks to the garden tree. This really adds some depth and interest to your tree and helps to create a nice full look. I usually have a higher concentration of picks at the top and then intersperse them through the tree all the way to the bottom.



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Step 5: Large Ornaments

I like to put on all the larger ornaments first. Be sure to work your way from the inside of the tree outward. You don’t want all of your ornaments dangling on the end of the branches and have emptiness in the middle. The larger ornaments are great for filling the spaces between the branches on the inside of the tree. Concentrate most of your large ornaments in the middle and the bottom of the tree. Sometimes they can be a little overwhelming at the top. 




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Step 6: Small Ornaments and Ornament Clips


Finish the tree by decking it out with the rest of your ornaments. If you have any ornaments that clip (i.e. flowers, birds, candles etc.) clip those on the outer tips of the braches very last. Don’t be afraid that you are using too many ornaments. It is my opinion that less is not more when it comes to your Christmas tree! 


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Step 7: Tree Skirt

Last but not least, add the tree skirt. If you have a premade tree skirt that you love, go for it. If not, don’t be afraid to use an old quilt or yardage of fabric that matches your décor. I have even used table cloths before! Just find something that really goes with the personality of your tree and your room.


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I hope this little tutorial was helpful! Try out these tips and post your pics to The Southern Mercantile Facebook page. We’d love to see your handiwork!https://www.facebook.com/thesouthernmercantile

If you like some of the items you have seen in the pictures, head on over to the store page and treat yourself to some new Christmas Décor! http://www.southernmercantile.com/store/c7/Seasonal.html

-Roxie

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Teepee Details!

Y'all. I looooove making these teepees, and I'm so happy that so many of you love them, too. 


Here's some of what makes these teepees so awesome (besides being REALLY cute).  They're constructed from durable canvas, making them very sturdy and safe for toddlers and children. (They do fold up for easy storage, but you have to lift the whole teepee up for it to collapse, meaning that your little one won't be able to easily knock it over on his own.)

Each teepee is about 54 square inches at the bottom and stands 5 feet tall.  There's plenty of room for an adult to crawl in and play with their little one, while not taking up too much space in your house.


My favorite part is the added detailing around the door. It is made from designer cotton fabric that YOU CHOOSE! (Check out all of the fabric options at the bottom of this post!)


We also have coordinating pennant banners ($12.50) and pillows ($45 for pillow, $28 for just the pillow cover) to complete your teepee hideaway.  The pillow covers are easily removable for washing.

Don't you think pennants are perfect way to add a pop of color to a nursery or playroom? We're obsessed. 


Greener Grass Handmade Teepees are available for $165, SHIPPED. 

(If you're local to Fitzgerald, let us know and we'll work out a pick up.)

To place your order, email Jessica, at <greenergrasshandmade AT gmail.com>. 

She'll send you a Paypal invoice and get your information. Please also let her know which fabric you'd like to use and if you'd like to add a pennant and/or pillows.

Orders take 2-3 weeks to fulfill. Each one is made with love and care when you place your order.

Please note: THE LAST DAY FOR TEEPEE ORDERS IS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5TH. 


Below are all the fabric options for this season. I've divided the fabric into three coordinating groups for your convenience if you'd like to order pennant and pillows in fabrics that look cute together. You can choose ANY fabric from ANY group for your teepee; there is no cost difference. 

Group 1:

Sweet Dots

Frolic

Silver Waves

Group 2:

Bright Blocks

Lime Dots

Moroccan Coral

Pretty Pinwheels

Group 3:

Navy Gingham

Circus Dots

Tree Hugger

The hardest part is deciding which cute fabric to choose! If you have any other questions that I left out, feel free to ask away. (Facebook is a quick way to get a hold of us!)

If you are in the Fitzgerald area, be sure to go look at a teepee in person at The Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry. They also have a swatch deck of all the fabric options if you're having trouble picking. You can even place your order there! Friendly folks there would be happy to help you.

Thanks so much for supporting our business and for buying handmade! We love making special things just for you!

Back to the sewing machine…
mel

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Peak Inside Christmas Open House 2014

Last week, some of you may have seen me mention on Facebook about going to the Annual Christmas Open House at The Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry. It was such a fun event and I thought you might like to see some of the pictures! 

The Shoppes on Fourth and Cherry is a store in the our small neighboring town of Ocilla, GA. When you see these pictures, you would never guess that this lovely store (I always describe it as Pottery Barn + Anthropolgie + Southernliving) is in a town that only has one traffic light. It's a beautiful, fresh, on-trend store that has as all the charm of a small town and the style of a big city. 

At this point, you're probably like, uhhhh "Do you work for them?" I do not. I'm just an enthusiastic supporter. The Shoppes, as the locals call it, also holds a bit of a special place in our hearts. The shop owners are friends of our family and became OUR friends starting back when David and I got married. Roxie and her Dad are amazing florists and designers and we were lucky enough to have them do our wedding, way back in 2006. We actually had our wedding reception in the ballroom above The Shoppes. The whole place is a beautiful historic building with charm galore. It was dreamy. 

Now that we've moved back to Fitzgerald, we're happy to call Roxie and her husband Matt our friends and I'm THRILLED to have some of my Greener Grass items (teepees, baby blankets, bow ties, etc) carried in my favorite local store. 

Each year, The Shoppes hosts a phenomenal Christmas Open House. They close down days before the event in preparation and then surprise everyone with their over the top window displays and inspiring Christmas decorations. 

(All photos courtesy of Tara Rigdon via Shoppes at Fourth and Cherry)


Each year, the open house decor is based on a central theme. This year's theme was "The Night Before Christmas" and featured giant vintage storybooks (with real pages!) in each section of the store.








One of the highlights of the event is the amazing food. Heavy hors d'oeuvres served out of the Shoppes Cafe (that's open for lunch each day…yummy food + shopping? Yes, please!) on hobnail crystal party plates feel special and encourage people to linger and visit with their neighbors. 



The hot chocolate bar was my favorite. I felt like a kid piling high my cup with all the fixings! 





Not a creature was stirring, not even…these adorable chocolate mice.



Topping off the delicious spread was the beautiful candy bar. The best part? The homemade Carmel popcorn. Yum. 


There are gorgeous displays around every corner. 




 The stockings were hung on the chimney with care… and St. Nick is making an entrance!







This is the children's section of The Shoppes, where you can find Greener Grass handmade items. How adorable is this bed?


Oh, hello there! I was adding my bow ties to the display and getting ready to help people place their custom teepee orders. Yay!



Isn't it all amazing? Now, I know what you're thinking. "How can I get to this store? I need to go!" That's true. You need to come and see it for yourself. (And you can come visit me! Added bonus!) But I do have some good news until we can pick a date for our sleepover.


The Shoppes is growing and starting an online store called The Southern Mercantile. Thank you, Internet! 


You can read their BLOG. Find them on FACEBOOK. And go SHOP

I highly suggest all doing all three. Right now, Southern Mercantile is having a virtual open house and offering 20% off on seasonal merchandise by using the code CHRISTMASSPIRIT at check out. 

Happy shopping!
mel