3/15/2016 – Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
Well, you more than likely know the rest. And if not, WOW! I mention the poem because of the most amazing Brush Pottery Humpty Dumpty cookie jar I grew up with in our kitchen. It rested not on our kitchen cabinets. Nor did it have a special place on a table. It was located, instead, on top of the refrigerator. Yes, the refrigerator. And I never recall cookies being kept in it. I do, however, remember S and H green stamps finding their home in its egg shaped belly.
But speaking of eggs, this post is not about that wonderful English poem or even about the memory-filled cookie jar. It is about Easter and how I was able to transform the use of the jolly jar into a flower container for the holidays. A very fitting container, don’t you think? Picking up a few bunches of flowers from my local grocer’s floral section and adding a pastel checked cloth (which was one of many used at my brother’s wedding rehearsal dinner) created a fresh and very simple spring arrangement.
How easily this could be used in the foyer of one’s home to greet family members or on the Easter table. Sprinkle dyed eggs in complementary hues that you and your children made together over the weekend on top of some soft mood moss as well. How much more special to use a family heirloom as your centerpiece for a most glorious holiday weekend. This is very similar to the special family bunny a client wanted me to use in their tablescape a couple years ago.
Not sure how to accomplish this for your spring event, whether Easter or not? Allow Jason Ivey Design to assist you with this and any other event this year. It would be our pleasure.
Happy Easter and Happy Spring!
1/6/2016 – Happy New Year…and Beyond
It is so hard to believe that 2015 has come and gone. And we all say it every single year. Time just flies by.
It was no different for Jason Ivey Design, as well. The company underwent a name change for stronger branding, new marketing strategies by my wonderful team, creation of a fantastic and user friendly website, and redesign of the Jason Ivey Design Facebook page.
And if that wasn’t enough, we experienced the greatest year of the company since it began in 2013. So many wonderful new clients allowed me to be a part of their remarkable moments. Whether interior decorating (and a bit of design as well), event planning, or seasonal décor, I was able to be a part of some very exciting moments in the lives of some very special people. I cannot thank these dear friends enough for placing their trust in JID. You are awesome!
However, 2016 is positioned to be the best year yet, and we are excited about all of the upcoming opportunities. There are so many great holidays as well as beautiful seasons just around the corner:
- Fat Tuesday for Mardi Gras – Tuesday, February 9 (It’s so early this year!) – Perhaps you need a tablescape for friends as you “let the good times roll.”
- Valentine’s Day – Sunday, February 14 – Want to celebrate this special day with your special someone by having a beautiful candlelight dinner at home? Let JID help you create that special table.
- First Day of spring – Sunday, March 20 – Don’t neglect your home’s entrance. It can be just as remarkable as when you decorate for Christmas, whether using a wreath or garlands, or both.
- Easter – Sunday, March 27 – This is a special time for families. Let JID help you in creating a beautiful table for Sunday’s gathering. Check out the gallery for past events.
- Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 8 – Mom deserves to be celebrated in style and beauty.
Plus factor in Super Bowl Sunday, proms, high school and college graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. Well, JID can assist you with these events too!
I’ll be heading to the Atlanta market this month to check out the latest trends and beautiful items for decorating your home for all of the special holidays as well as year round. And, yes, I will be very interested in what is available for Christmas 2016…in January. Perhaps you are simply tired of your Christmas decorations and are ready for something fresh and new. I’ll be happy to assist you with a whole new “décor wardrobe” that will fit your style and taste.
Don’t forget the annual Antiques and Garden Show at the Nashville Music City Center February 12-14. This event should never be missed and features some of the most beautiful furnishings, informative lectures, inspiring floral features, and fun people. You always walk away with fantastic ideas. This year’s featured speaker is Gwyneth Paltrow. Yes, that Gwyneth. J Also speaking is famed interior designer/decorator, Bunny Williams. I love her! And the Editor in Chief of Veranda magazine (a fav!), Clinton Smith, will be signing a new book. What a superb line up, but that is only a few of this year’s guests.
Lastly, if you are not aware already, Pantone released the 2016 color…oops colors…of the year. They are Rose Quartz and Serenity. And oh the possibilities that could be introduced into your home’s décor, interior and exterior, using either of these two colors. I am a huge fan of blue and white, so Serenity could become a new best friend for 2016. Let’s meet and discuss how to incorporate these into your life. They are also fantastic colors to use in spring events. I’m thinking Rose Quartz and taupe or wonderful greys. But the possibilities are limitless. And you don’t have to saturate your home with them. Small touches of either can provide a fresh approach to the year.
So, 2016, here I come! Jason Ivey Design looks forward to sharing it with you.
12/11/2015 – Forty-four…and counting
For some time now, I have had a very different approach to the holidays than many. I see and hear the typical, “I can’t believe it’s that time again!”, “Where has the year gone?”, “The store already has their Christmas decorations for sale in October”, “It’s become so commercialized”, and “I’m not even going to put up a tree this year”, etc.
STOP, RIGHT THERE! BACK IT UP! SHUT…YOUR…EVER-GREENING…FACE! Get it? 😉
Let me explain how I view it. If I am really fortunate, I may live to be somewhere between 75 and 85 years of age. Let’s just take the number 75, then. That’s only 75 Christmases I’ll celebrate in my lifetime. 75 days out of 27,375, in the event I should pass exactly on the 365th day of the year. Or, if we are liberal with the math, I will fully celebrate the span of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas day, which is approximately 28 to 30 days. That’s approximately 2,250 days or 8% of my life devoted to the holiday. Eight percent. 8. That’s not a lot of time. At least not to me.
I was fortunate to come from a family where Christmas was celebrated with abandon. It was a time for wonderful rich foods, choir “cantatas,” and fruit baskets for the “shut ins” (which was usually a shoe box wrapped in cheap Christmas-themed paper and filled with apples, oranges, raisins, peppermint, and those horrible jellied orange slices…although they do make a crazy good cake). We enjoyed fruitcakes made by my grandmother, packed full of candied cherries (green and red) and pineapple.
I loved not being able to sleep on the night of the arrival of Santa, school choir concerts, a different menu and mix of friends and family on Christmas Eve, unwrapped gifts from Santa followed by wrapped ones from mother and daddy. I loved calling my cousin, Christy, after all the Santa hullaballoo so we could compare what we each received for Christmas.
I was intrigued by the annual addition of new handmade ornaments by my mother based on whatever the trend happened to be that year. (I’ll have to say the red yarn and Styrofoam head gent and lady ornaments were some of my favorite, circa 1978). One never tired of displaying the three ceramic elves given to my mother as a gift by one of her closest friends, Sue Kelly.
I loved caroling with church friends at the homes of some of the elderly of our community. And I even loved the love/hate relationship of attempting to decorate those HORRIBLE, AWFUL, EVIL, MEAN, NASTY, DISGUSTING Scotch pine Christmas trees. It was always like attempting to decorate a V shaped steel wool ball. Ornaments didn’t hang beautifully. They simply leaned against the tree.
I adored watching favorites like, “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph, the Red Nose Reindeer,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” AND “The Wizard of Oz.” We enjoyed candles, lots of friends and family, sending Christmas cards, spicy sweet potato bread baked in coffee cans (yes, they were not always plastic), and those amazing cookies from John’s Bakery every year.
So, why would I want to give all of that wonderful thrill and excitement of the holidays away just because I am a little older and it’s still an overly busy and stressful time of year? It’s so simple. I wouldn’t.
I really think all of my efforts to have a beautifully decorated home and help others to do the same stems from my desire to hold onto those delightful memories. Every dusty artificial garland and tree I have to “fluff,” every box filled with tissue wrapped ornaments (sometimes, toilet tissue), every light strand I have to untangle, every minute detail and decision that has to be made to create an atmosphere of celebration and warmth, is worth it to me. I am gifted with the giggly feeling as a child and teenager all over again when these things happen. All of the countless hours of preparation and work simply produce an environment that is welcoming and fun. Crazy fun. Crazy silly fun. Crazy filly sun. So, until my body can’t physically do it any longer, and then I hire it done, I will continue to make Christmas a period of décor abundance galore.
I hope you will as well. Whether you celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, remembering the birth of Christ, or just a fun month of shopping and overeating, extravagantly or simply, please never stop. Not. Ever.
I’ve had 44 Christmases so far with my 45th only days away. Some of them were the most fun and joyful times protected in childhood and naïveté, and some were clouded and dampened by immense grief such as in 1986 just only a few days after the passing of my maternal grandfather, Claude Edward Manley, or the first Christmas without mother in 2010. But all 44 have been gifts. And all 44 were worthy of celebrating, whether through laughter or tears.
So, stop the holiday insults. Plan ahead, do a little preparation all along – even in October and November, have friends help, cater your events. Do whatever it takes to make the most of this beautiful holiday season, which may include having Jason Ivey Design help you. I fully support that decision. But, enjoy the time with abandon.
44 down…and counting. And I’m already thinking about what I can do next year.
11/23/2015 – Happy Transitioning Day!
It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving is almost here and Christmas is barely a month away. How does this happen? Autumn is my absolute favorite season of the year but it is quickly becoming a distant memory. So many have already moved ahead to decorate for Christmas, however, I try to dig in my heels and wait until the absolute last minute before switching creative gears.
But alas, my home is already in the transitional stage, interior wise. The exterior will continue to boast of fall until after Thanksgiving. However, boxes, tubs, crates, bags, etc., are coming out of storage and closets and my wheels are turning as to what direction I will go this year. I’ve already begun the “fluffing” of one of the Christmas trees in preparation for ornaments. Transitions can be tough.
Transition came to mind while finishing an event about a week ago. The palate we chose was based off of a plum colored napkin for guests. Since we wanted to forego the traditional colors of orange, yellow, and red, I suggested a more muted selection of white, cream, black, greens, grey, pink, and plum. While not typical autumn colors, using the proper flowers and plants, it produced a wonderful combination and blended well with the venue.
What if you had chosen those hues for your autumn décor? How easily could those colors transition over to Christmas to save you the fuss of starting from scratch? Quite easily, really.
- Change your container to gold or brass. Add gold floral picks to compliment the flowers already chosen. Place white lights in the arrangement and hide the battery pack towards the back of the container or use a beautiful gold candle in the center of the arrangement.
- Perhaps silver is more your metal taste. Use a silver or pewter container. Spray paint holly and/or magnolia silver and tuck in with the roses and hydrangea. There are even great options in mercury spray paint that will give the items some flash.
- Add pinecones, magnolia leaves, and holly to the arrangement. (I used a bit of magnolia since I find it be a transitional between the seasons anyway.) Simply using natural elements can be quite lovely and classic.
And these are easy suggestions for this one arrangement.
But, Jason! I don’t even know where to start! That is overwhelming to me! Then consider allowing Jason Ivey Design to assist with your next decorating endeavor or special event. It would be my distinct privilege to do so. Happy Transitioning Day!
8/25/2015 – Welcome to “My Little Side Business”
I’m taking liberties with my first blog post of my new website. I assure you there will be plenty of others with doses of my successes, challenges, tips to using your creative side for holidays and special occasions, pics of my newest work, guidance on when too much pattern in a room is too much pattern (as if), etc., but that is not to be the topic of this post. This one is to introduce you to how this “little side business” came to be.
Over the course of the past two years I have called my design company my “little side business” when evangelizing it. It seemed like a polite and somewhat courteous way to introduce myself to the world as a decorator. (In some states I can actually be classified as a designer but there is no need create anger so early in my career.) And it certainly felt sheepish. So why would I do that?!? That’s definitely not southern. Southern is polite and courteous…and bold.
The truth is simply there is no excuse for it. When something motivates me to the point that sometimes I can’t sleep, whets my appetite to learn more, forces me to utilize so many of the strengths I’ve fine tuned over the years (organization, networking, planning, strategizing, coordination, etc.), and tap into my God given creative gifts, then I should embrace it fully and share it boldly. Failure to do so was my error in judgment.
John Green said, “What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”. Don’t know who he is? Same here. I Googled it just to make sure he was not known for a dark side and felonies. He’s not. But it is a great quote. And it would have probably been a super one to know when I began my business in January 2013! But, I didn’t.
The very reason I ventured into my “side business” is because of the immense courage and determination I observed in my mother during her remarkable four-year battle with cancer. She went from having no fear to having no fear “on steroids”. Mother, even before the disease, was remarkable. She did remarkable things. She said remarkable things. She lived remarkable experiences. She invested remarkably in people’s lives. She loved her family remarkably well, which is probably her greatest accomplishment. And she definitely would have loved being given longer on this earth to continue her legacy of remarkability. But she made sure the time she had left was lived fully.
I promise not to go down that dark road of anguish in losing her, but it was a turning point in my life to move beyond being afraid of doing new things and even some big things. Did you catch that I didn’t say I don’t still have fear? I definitely do. Sometimes it’s wrapped in insecurity, rolled in doubt, sprinkled with disappointment and shrouded in confusion. But I step beyond it again and again and again to reach something remarkable. So I can learn from failure and then enjoy success from time to time.
Early this year I assembled a pretty dynamic Vision Team to help guide me into a more focused approach to my business. Their talents propelled me into having the best three to four months since the creation of the business. I cannot thank them enough for their encouragement and expertise.
My commitment to you is to assist in trying to create remarkable moments. Whether it is seasonal décor so a family gathering becomes just a bit more memorable, assisting with the placement of furniture of a home, brainstorming a fantastic table scape for the dinner party, selecting wallpaper for a powder room, or creating that unique floral arrangement for that special event, I vow to give you 100% of my skill and passion for design. And maybe, just perhaps, I will make some remarkable friendships along the way.
I look forward to the days ahead for Jason Ivey Design. May they be simply…remarkable.