Why She Shines
Santa moves to the coast
If I had to pick a word that defines 2021 for me it would have to be CHANGE.
Our City and Home changed, our church changed, our family dynamic changed a TON this year. We moved away from three of our kids and their families, our grandkids and our parents. We lost family to Covid. A daughter moved into her own home, a daughter moved to college, and another daughter moved out. We've talked for years what it would be like to go from 9 kids down to the three younger boys at home and this year circumstances changed and with no warning or time to adjust, the winds of change hit our house like a hurricane and EVERYTHING CHANGED. It has definitely taken adjustments but we are trying to embrace it. I am also trying to embrace my thankfulness for all God has done and provided for us in this year of change. As we creep ever closer to turkey day I am thankful for a longer summer that stretched into fall. Fall on the coast has been different, but beautiful. We miss the family we left back in WNC terribly, the crisp leaves beneath our feet and frequent visits to our local mountaintop apple farm, but the exchange has been 80 degree days on the beach in the off season. The weather here is perfect for long bike rides and outdoor dining by the sea and long walks with new friends. I'm thankful for our new community here, our church and the relationships we are beginning to build. I'm embracing the change with my big girl pants on but some days I just need to do things that take me to my Happy Place. One of those things for me is creating. Creating beautiful spaces and beautiful things. It makes me happy. So Since Santa moved to the beach I decided I was gonna change the theme. The theme of ALL of my trees that is. I have been dreaming and making mental pictures in my head for years of what a Coastal Christmas would look like, and it was finally time to make it happen.
The holidays always present an opportunity to be creative with our centerpieces, our desserts and our decorations and this year I decided to keep with the theme of my year and Change it ALL up!
Transforming my Christmas Decor from Mountains to Coastal Except this One
Most of the last 30 years we have lived in Western NC and my trees and themes have made many changes but it has mostly embraced the mountain or Traditional Christmas themes. So mountains to coastal was going to be QUITE the undertaking!
HOW TO GET STARTED
Make a List:
First, I made a list and checked it twice, but not the kind you are thinking. When I change my themes like I did this year, I make a list of the rooms I want trees or decorations to go in. I decide what color will compliment each room. In most cases I unload the room of the most of the decor already in there and change the pictures. After I choose the color scheme (Usually no more than 2-3 colors) I decide if I want a theme or just let colors do the talking. I will often try to tie the theme throughout the house, but if there are rooms that are easily separated from the rest of the house I might do something totally different. My dining room was already painted a pretty green color with the design stenciled on it when we bought our house. It reminded me of the mountains when we moved so I kept the paint. Its the room I house my favorite mountain and farm pictures in during the rest of the year. It was one of the only rooms we didn't paint when we moved in and I decided to play off of that wall color for my theme. Pictured Here is my dining room table scape. I used different shades of Green and trees of different organic textures to compliment the color of the room. I carried this from the table to the tree. Although I wanted to change most everything to coastal this room just feels a little like home. Western North Carolina Home that is.
Emerald, Mint and Ivory
GET ORGANIZED and MOVING ON TO THE BLUE
When change is happening around me I need to clean out, de-clutter and get things organized. So that is what I did for my Christmas decor. We have a large attic that houses about 30-40 tubs full of my Christmas decorations. I spent two days taking inventory of what I had and what I could use again. I moved things to new tubs and made stacks of things to give to people who might like what I already had, stacks to go to Goodwill and stacks to throw away. I separated every tub of ornaments by color and re-labeled them as to where they would go. This took a while but it was worth it when it was time to decorate. It cleared my mind so I could continue to process what I wanted to do in each room.
Here's a few of the themes
Blue and Red Nautical Tree
Light blue and White Beach Theme Tree
Mint Green Turtle Beach Theme Tree
Navy and Royal Blue Jesus and Beach theme in honor of my late mother in law
A pink and green Lilly Pulitizer Tree
Two bright rainbow color Hispanie themed Trees
A Blue nutcracker Tree
The Green dining room tree with a Nativity theme
I went BACK to my LIST and made lists of what I already had for each room and what I needed to buy.
Once I had those lists and I knew what I need to buy, I headed out to get it.
TIP: Go Early if you know ahead of time you are changing your theme because Christmas decor goes fast and I usually buy at least 5 of each ornament.
Hobby Lobby, our local pottery store and Home Goods were at the top of my list this year. I watched the stores every week to see when Christmas decor started hitting the shelves (Around Oct 20th this year). Then i grabbed a daughter, my hubby or a friend who could help me choose and help me carry! (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT YALL LOL) Everything's more fun when you do it together!
SCORE! I got what I needed and now its time to create.
MY FAVORITE PART
Watching a plan come together.
Everyone ALWAYS asks me "HOW LONG DOES THAT TAKE?" Honestly because I get things organized days in advance, have lists of what goes where, it doesn't take as long as you might think. 2-3 days tops. I bring all the tubs for each room into the floor and just get to working. I love the feeling of watching a plan come into action. Its like taking your senses on vacation. And this year it was Santa who went on vacation to the coast.
Below is a few of the pictures of the process from start to finish. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving and Seas & Greetings!
In the first two pictures I went through all my ornaments and sorted them by color.
From the Mountains to the Sea
In 2020, when the pandemic hit my husbands company decided it was going to move to Mexico. We are a family with special needs kids and an international move just wasn't the best idea for us, especially during a pandemic. So that left us wondering and praying what we should do. After much thought and prayer we decided to relocate our Family to Wilmington, NC from Hendersonville, NC where we were established and had lived for many years. With everything shut down because of the pandemic the event and decorating business was almost eliminated completely. I had two weddings in that year and our own vow renewal, but that was it. No weddings, baby showers, festivals. Nothing. As I continued to think about it over the year I began to think maybe I should close my business like the other thousands of other small business owners. At least formally. I knew I could possibly volunteer at church doing events (if church ever reopened) or get involved in school events but still it wouldn't be a formal business. We love living at the coast now, but I don't know vendors or have tons of contacts like I did in WNC. It didn't seem feasible to try and start from scratch in a place where I barely knew anyone. I had previously thought of moving my business to my parents farm and have done a few events and weddings there, but my husband could not find a job there and the timing just never seemed right. So it seemed impending doom was knocking at the door for She Shines Events and Decorating.
A month ago my brother Greg called me and said he was going to transition back to the farm after he retires from the Army. He told me it was his dream for each of the siblings to come back and use their gifts and talents on the farm. That got the wheels spinning in my head and the prayers going up. One of my greatest joys is to work hand in hand with my family on the farm. So my husband and I began to talk it out, pray about it and then talked to my parents. The timing seemed as if it might be right because my Dad was going to start the transition to retirement. This might open the door for me to do events there. Was that what God was doing or was it something else?
Sometimes when God gives us a word and it doesn't happen as fast as we think it should, its easy to think we didn't hear what God told us or what we thought he asked us to do. But King David was anointed as King 13 years before he actually became the King. I'm sure he wondered if he really heard what God said as he waited for 13 years to see that come to fruition. God does the same with us. An idea might begin to take root a very long time before we act on it. Sometimes we act on it and all the doors seem shut. Then when we least except it the doors swing open and things begin to move. I'll be honest I'm there right now, wondering if I heard God when I opened a business not long before a pandemic hit. Only to move 5 hours away from where I knew everyone. But God's plans and purposes can not be thwarted and His ways are not our ways. He sees things and knows things we do not. So we stay close to Him and pray so we can navigate this crazy road called LIFE. She Shines is on the road again and even though this crossroads hasn't shown us our final destination yet are so excited to wait and see.
In Gods Grace
PS.. below is a picture of my parents at our vow renewal on our Family Farm this year
"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father in heaven"
"Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it they will want to come back and see you do it again and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do"