I know this is early but. . .

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I know this is waaayyyy early, but our B & B is going to be featured on a holiday home tour and going to be ther last stop where guests have drinks and apps. I love the idea of classic christmas decorations golds whites, etc. what are some orginal things that you all do to add a special touch and stand out. thanks for any tips ladies because I'm already starting to stress!!!

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you all think in ways i never would! thanks!!!

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PS I can no longer post tinypics in here.  Frustrating. 

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swirt's picture
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IT's not this site, it seems to be tinypic returning a file not found error.  I'm not sure whether they block files when they get busy or if they just have servers down fairly often.

Here is the direct link to it. 

http://i37.tinypic.com/xofv36.jpg

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Eye-wink i noticed... Smiling  oh well. still l like the idea.

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They do not do this here yet, but if it is early DEC then photos are a great idea since people can use them as or in their Christmas cards.  If it is an evening event and people are dressed up with hats and scarves, it works well.  Sitting on a horse drawn buggy or with Santa etc.

This is the pic we took near our gate/buggy.  It was a hot Indian Summer when we took this, the poor lady was sweltering under all those petty coats. I mixed it up a bit to be printable for the brochures.

  http://i37.tinypic.com/xofv36.jpg

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I couldn't get either one to work... boo hoo. But I love the idea. we have a town photog that may do this. I 'm sure my dh wouldn't want to.

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You guys are a wealth of info! Thanks!

Well I made the calls and have our first 'planning' meeting scheduled for next Tuesday! yay! only two people couldn't make it. Thats pretty good for such short notice. So far I have one person from each of these, the Chamber of Comm, City council member (a real mover and shaker), Economic Development Director, Asst president of the historical society, a local merchant, The manager of the hotel that is three doors down, and a resident that is in the historical district. Thats a pretty good collection of folks to get this going I think!

One thing we ran into  is we can't block off the street... I guess its a main hwy! yah, i forget that these little towns do that. Sad boo hoo) I had the whole thing pictured in my head. But we can use a side street, it just won' t be the same as doing it on "main". Hopefully we will be able to get all the merchants to buy into the idea and they will all stay open and do up their shops big! The merchant who is on the planning committee, had in her shop a 'living' window last year. It was pretty awesome.

We have a big empty building on one of the corners with big windows (it used to be a JCPennys bldg). I was thinking since the library is out side of the down town area we could set up the Santa reading childrens stories there. It'd be kinda neat because everyone walking by would get to see in.  

 

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I fill the outside pots with greens and red ribbons.  Looks great and is not costly.  I also bought personal lanterns like they have at the Christmas Tour at Mount Vernon. They are hung on Shephard's hooks with candles.  The candles last all night. We have a huge iron pot in front also. In the summer it has flowers, in the winter it is full of greens and red ribbons, one lantern coming out of the center.  Works great, but if I let it get too frozen, then I have to thaw the dirt to get the greens in place.

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Strawberry Farm B and B
Muscatine,Iowa

 

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I fill the outside pots with greens and red ribbons.  Looks great and is not costly.  I also bought personal lanterns like they have at the Christmas Tour at Mount Vernon. They are hung on Shephard's hooks with candles.  The candles last all night. We have a huge iron pot in front also. In the summer it has flowers, in the winter it is full of greens and red ribbons, one lantern coming out of the center.  Works great, but if I let it get too frozen, then I have to thaw the dirt to get the greens in place.

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Garden Ridge is a big one around here. So is Olde Time Pottery. Do you guys have Flower Factory stores?

 

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None of those here.  I do miss Garden Ridge...sigh...

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GeorgiaGirl's picture
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Never heard of Flower Factory Stores!  Funny how they name some stores!

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I bought some crochet doilies from them to cut down on my use of paper doilies.  They are value priced and you can buy online.

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Don't stress about it.

I am sure you have some perfectly wonderful holiday decorations packed away at your place right now.

If you are the last stop and they are coming there for food and drinks..that is where you want to "wow" them.

Your place is fantastic as isSmiling  Are any of the other B &B 's on the tour? I know several of them were last year. Check with one of them..I am sure Janice will be most willing to give you some tips.

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I don't if anyone has a Hobby Lobby near them, but I just got back from there and they have their Christmas wreaths, garlands, swags, ribbon at 50% off  (there might be more but that's all I can remember).  I was going to look for some Fall decorations but ended up buying Christmas garland!

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We actually do have one here in town.  We just got a Jo-Ann Fabrics store.  Woo hoo! 

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hmmm a girl after my own heart! Yep, I was at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago and they already had all the Christmas stuff out.... yipee... yahoo.... yay!

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This town in Georgia has a pretty impressive Fall event.  Here is the full story.

This small northeastern Georgia town's population boom is frightening. In a bid to break a world record for scarecrows and scare up some fun for the fall season, thousands of straw-stuffed newcomers are creeping across town.

Here is their website

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Hmmm...I didn't know about this but it's not far from Hotlanta.  They probably get a few folks from the metro area that head their way.  Interesting...thanks for sharing!!

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Have you ever thought about having a Magic Lantern show?  This was a really popular Victorian entertainment, somewhere between shadow puppets and films.  I've seen a few of these shows over the years, and they are very cool and not that difficult to set up.  Granted, actual Victorian Magic Lantern acoutrements are expensive antiques, but there are plenty of modern knockoffs that can be bought on the cheap, and it's also simple to build one yourself. You can make xmas themed slides if you like as well.This might be something a bit different and interesting that is historically accurate as well.  I believe Make magazine had an article a few issues ago about how to construct a DIY one.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_lantern

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I do Christmas up big! I stick with a traditional Victorian theme. I use White, Gold and Burgandy. Lots and Lots of garland! Make it as thick as you can using various types of greenery. I mix them and twist them together. Since this is so much work and takes a very long time (I have made over 190 feet), you will want to use the immatation stuff and just add real branches into it. Also anything 'real' that you can add is nice, like pine cones, berries, nuts, etc. Even some fruit like, pears. We start very early so use only the freshest branches so they don't brown too quickly. I also make all my own centerpieces. We really love the smell of pine, and miss it here so much (they even spray paint the trees here to our horror! LOL. Last year we had our old Christmas tree farm from back home (WA) mail us a real wreath! Oh what a joy. All this can get very pricey so watch for christmas stuff at estate sales and auctions. some times you can get some of real good quality for a great price. We lost "ALL" our Christmas stuff in a fire and had to start all over. We got a lot of good stuff at estate sales.

I do have a question for all you though. Last year we had a tree in each room. Now two of those rooms are guest rooms, do you all put christmas trees up in your guest rooms? just wondering.

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 A small tree in each room. Decorated with the room colors. Example The Rose Room Dried roses, lace, very Victorian. The Berry Room has small Strawberries on it.

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Thanks for the great ideas! I have fireplaces in all of my dining rooms so that will be really nice on them! We do not do trees in guest rooms. there simply isn't room. We do a really big one in our front bay window on the first floor (in a main dining room) and i do my personal tree in a turret on the third floor. it works out perfectly because that is my living room and the trees are on opposite sides of the house. it makes for a nice balance

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One more thing.. I am trying to put together a victorian tour / festival for our town.... any ideas? I want to include a home tour, and carriage rides. and victorian dressed carolers and perhaps some indoor venders selling items.

other thoughts?????

I am not doing this alone, btw.

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Last year I was a part of a tour that supports JDRF " Juvenile Diabetes "

It includes 8 houses, is a wonderful event. The gals in charge of it find the houses, do the advertising etc.

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high street victorian wrote:

One more thing.. I am trying to put together a victorian tour / festival for our town.... any ideas? I want to include a home tour, and carriage rides. and victorian dressed carolers and perhaps some indoor venders selling items.

other thoughts?????

I am not doing this alone, btw.

Your weather may dictate things done diff than here. 

We have a "Come home to a Home Town Christmas" each Dec.  Block off the main street downtown - at the end of our street, buggy rides, LLAMAS (diff nno profits get involved so kids can pet animals etc) carolers, chestnuts roasting, craft vendors, local groups sell food, the best part is walkign the street with it closed.  All businesses are open - with specials.  Music inside some of them and giving away spiced cider and hot cocoa.  Library is open with Santa reading stories and caroles.  All Victorian themed, so those INVOLVED are dressed this way.

Businesses all have WHITE LIGHTS for the event and tree decorating contests where people go and look and vote.

I had them come over here and take some pics for the flyers two years in a row all dressed in their gear.

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Yes, this is what i was thinking. Don't know if we could do the whole block of main street thing since were so close adn that would require lots of planning... city politics.....

Thank you so much for the extra ideas! loe it. I forgot the chestnut roasting thing... thats big here!

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high street victorian wrote:

Yes, this is what i was thinking. Don't know if we could do the whole block of main street thing since were so close adn that would require lots of planning... city politics.....

Thank you so much for the extra ideas! loe it. I forgot the chestnut roasting thing... thats big here!

I have encouraged the craft sales.  Not the granny crocheted tissue box covers, but real crafts, handmade jewelery and things that people would actually buy.  So far we have not gotten that - but we are on year 4 of this event this year.  It is getting bigger and better each year.  A local radio station broadcasts and gives away goodies (they advertise and bring in people for it)

The carolers were all in one area, now they are roaming and also in 4 diff spots (bluegrass fiddle is one, choral music is another) so you can go to whichever you like.

Fried pies and traditional WINTER FOOD (things like you mentioned, canning for winter use) are sold.  Then some church groups sell burgers and all the typical fundraising food.

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1.  a gingerbread house .... i make one every year.  since we are near a lighthouse, i like to make one with a lighthouse next to it.  i put lights around it and light it up.

this makes a very popular centerpiece ... especially if you put the name of your place on it and little things that  make it look like your place.  then set out gingerbread men or sweets around it.

2.  christmas ornament giveaways.  my favorite is chenille stick (pipe cleaner) and lace ornments.  just run the pipe cleaner through the holes in lace ribbon, bend into the shape you want.  i like candy canes and wreaths. you can add a tiny bow if you want.  i bought a spool of fishing line to use as hangars.  you can tie on a little tag with the name of your place.  (pipe cleaners - red or green are about $6. for 300 at oriental trading.  you have to watch the shops for sales on lace ribbon.) 

it's not too early to plan.  just don't make stuff and pack it away 'in a safe place' that you can't find!

 

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Something that might be neat is a historical recipe.  I did that when we had the home tour here, it was not fancy, it was a last minute idea.  But I found CIRCA the same as the house and regional and printed them out and let the visitors take them (with our name and website on them all of course).   You could do something clever with those, a drawing like pic them out of a hat or have one with a ribbon attach to something, a glass or something.

Just something that came to mind.

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Ladies and germs.  There are a few germs here as well.

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