Saturday, November 29, 2008

1+1=3: Try a new style this holiday season

After spending 6 weeks working in the 'Elf Factory' on the Festival of Trees, I have had my quota of inspiration for holiday decorating. One of the best designer tips I heard over and over again was a very simple one...use what you already have in a new way this year.

Sounds easy enough but I needed some visual aids to get my creativity in gear. Late Thanksgiving afternoon, I had some quality time with my mother's extensive magazine collection....after an hour or so with Veranda, Southern Accents and Architectural Digest, I was ready to roll. I hit my mother's silver closet and then took my treasures home for experimenting.

Recently, I've been hooked on the concept of the no.3 which appears repeatedly in Christmas traditions...the wise men, for example. This obsession came from a conversation with the Captain (the professional groomsman) about the philosophy of 1+1=3, otherwise known as 'the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.' This idea is one that can be applied to many areas of life, but it seems particularly appropriate to holiday decorating...after all, tinsel without a tree is just shredded up foil....but add it to lights & ornaments and you've got something.

So back to the project...embracing the advice of using things in a new way and having the no. 3 as a guiding force, I took ornaments, silver containers and a mirror to create a very cool, anthropologie-like centerpiece. My mom declared it 'avant-garde' when she came by to see it the next day. My 3 elements (ornaments, silver pieces & mirror) came together as a stylish holiday decoration. Oddly enough (pardon the pun), I used 3 types of ornaments (balls, birds & pinecones) and 3 types of silver containers (compotes, egg cups & a vase).

The Captain's point of 1+1=3 was fully supported by my new centerpiece. None of those items would have been out this holiday on their own. Together, however, they compose something very interesting and perhaps a bit beautiful. This project is a great example of a thought we can all take with us throughout the Christmas can we become a part of something bigger or better than ourselves? What can we use that we already have to create something beautiful, meaningful or helpful?

A Must See: Four Christmases

If your family puts the 'fun' in dysfunctional, then you need to run not walk to the movie theater to see Four Christmases. Vince Vaughn & Reese Witherspoon are absolutely hilarious. The movie is only about an hour and a half so you can squeeze it in between all the holiday madness. Trust me when I tell you, its worth so much MORE than the $10 you will pay to see it. You will laugh until you cry over and over again!

Great Holiday Gift Ideas

With December 1st looming over us like the original Manic Monday, it is a good idea to get your holiday shopping lists together if you haven't already.

So far, we have had lots of shoppers return to the classic favorites....monogrammed stationery, sterling silver gifts, and monogrammed plates and glasses. These gifts make a statement but are always appropriate.

Lets start with acrylic serving pieces...a guaranteed hit and a great price! Our customer favorties are:
12" square acrylic tray $33 & Set 4 Wine Glasses $45

Shown here with Interlocking Script 3 letter Monogram, other styles available

For stylish personalized stationery, you can't beat Sweet Pea Designs. You can get a box of folded notes for less than $25 for almost everyone on your list! We love this new design of the aqua and brown trellis with script monogram. You can design your own on our Sweet Pea Store site...
We will continue to share holiday gift giving ideas through out the next few weeks! Happy Shopping! Visit and have a look around.

Holiday Spirit

We realize its been awhile since you've heard from us...the MM girls have been preoccupied with big events...the 2008 Festival of Trees and a Thanksgiving weekend move to Chicago.

Festival of Trees was a huge hit this year with incredible attendance and big sales in the holiday boutique. 100% of the event profits go to the Orlando Museum of Art so its important in these lean economic times to do our best to support cultural, community and social services organizations. If you want to learn more about the event, you can visit the OMA's website

The Monogram created a table display called 'Cocktails on the Rocks' with our friends Gay Harrison Couture Jewelry and designer Sam June. It was a big departure from our normal pink & green preppy holiday traditional style but every now and then its good to color outside the lines. We used zebra striped chairs, a travertine coffee table, a mirrored console with jewel-filled hurricanes, a vintage Hermes tray and a Swarovski crystal monogrammed evening bag. Monogrammed china by Pickard and etched martini, champagne and high-ball glasses put the personal touch on the setting. We selected a piece from the OMA vault to hang over the table...a Mark Bennett blue print of Jeannie's bottle for a special Florida touch. We think Sam was channeling his inner 'Major Nelson' in creating this unique scene.