Wednesday, December 2

Previews of Coming Attractions ~ Decor 2009

This console table is on the right in the entrance hall of the NC Governor's Mansion. This year, it has one tall arrangement and a lower companion piece. We use all fresh greenery and branches; most of which is cut from the Mansion grounds, or donated by local businesses. We have bins and bins of decorations to choose from. Each year, the trustees* at the mansion take down and save all the permanent decor. They take bows apart and roll all the ribbons; remove ornaments from the trees and store them and anything else the designers might be able to use again. When we begin to design an arrangement, we "go shopping" from all the bins to pick and choose which elements, ornaments and ribbons we want to use. It is SO much fun!! Mel Day (being the boss) gets his pick first, and then the two designers (Rhonda and I) can comb through all the bins.

*Trustees are prison inmates with special privileges; namely they get to work in the Mansion every day and return to the prison at night.

Above is a close-up of the lower arrangement and below is a closer view of the taller one. I had a great time making these today! (you can see me in that photo

This arrangement is on a sideboard across the hall from the console table. It is partially obscured, but the container is an exquisite Asian piece. I won't hazard a guess as to the period or country of origin, as I'd probably get it wrong, but it's a delight to be able to work with it.

Above is a close-up of the one above. See the butterfly perched on the green ball?

This one (and its companion below) sit on demi-lunes flanking the grand staircase in the foyer of the Mansion. It has a "fan" of peacock feathers. These white porcelain urns are approximately 3 feet tall without the arrangements.

This one has a few peacock feathers, but its height is gained by the use of corkscrew willow branches. Due to reflection from the camera flash, the glittered, split pomegranates look light yellow here, but these are lime green in person.

This is my small arrangement (about 16" across that sits on the coffee table in the library. As I told you last night, in that room we have featured sea shells, starfish and sand dollars in tribute to the home town of our current Governor, Bev Perdue. The round pods that look yellow here, are also lime green - they are protea pods.

There are two very tall bookcases in the library; and I have been privileged to make the arrangements that go atop them for several years. Everything in this room is completely natural this year; no artificial elements were used. Dried hydrangea, eleagnes, various evergreens, real bird nests, Spanish moss, sand dollars and corkscrew willow are some of the items used in making these and the ones in the photo below.

The photo below shows the mantel in the library. Rhonda made the three sprays, and Mel did the mantel with amaryllis and narcissus plants, mised with various evergreen boughs, Spanish moss, birch branches and raffia. Hanging out of the mantel decor are sand dollars.

I did this small arrangement of moss, willow branches, various seashells and holly berries. It sits on a sofa table in the library, in front of the Governor's family photos.


kenju said...

I made all the arrangements shown here except the mantel/wall decor in the library.

Kay Dennison said...

There are enough adjectives to describe these so I'll settle for 'magnificent'! You are soooo gifted, Judy!!!

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Oh, this makes me feel all Christmas-y already! Beautiful1

Joy Des Jardins said...

These put me in such a festive mood Judy....just so lovely. I've never seen anything you've done that I haven't loved.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL! And so imaginative too, Judy...I LOVE the use of the Sea Shells and the other dear things from the Sea, too...I can just imagibe what fun it is to go through those bins looking for goodies!

Mar said...

Wonderful arrangements, you do a terrific job!!

Travelin'Oma said...

I wish I had a florist to come and decorate my mansion. If I had a mansion. You do beautiful work!

Grannymar said...

WOW! That is a weeks work in one day.

Gilly said...

Thiose are just beautiful arrangements! And it was great to see a glimpse of you, too! ;)

If that is real greenery wound round the white pillars, how do you keep it green and live? I tried hard to see the base of it, but it was covered by the other arrangement.

I think my favourites are the two big white urns.

Arkansas Patti said...

I am so impressed with the recycling of the ornaments. Being able to pick and choose from the bins must have been such fun.
You do wonderful work Judy.
Must be hard for the "trustees" to have to go "home" in the evenings.

Ginnie said...

What a fun way to "go shopping".

Pat said...

Fantastic arrangements as usual. You look very elegant in working mode. Do you wear different clothes to normal when working in the Governor's residence?
I love the idea of carefully saving the ribbons etc to be used again. Full marks for that and also for the trustees being given the opportunity to work in a beautiful and creative atmosphere.
BTW there is a superstition that peacock feathers are bad luck and when I first went to MTL's cottage I saw some in the hall way and not wanting to tempt fate, immediately got rid of them only to find they had been a present from my potential DIL:)

rosemary said...

i like the last one the best...unique and lovely as usual. I like the way you do the asymmetrical designs.