the 90’s called…

Marian ParsonsDecorating, Holiday40 Comments

I usually don’t put up my tree before Thanksgiving, but this year, I had some Christmas posts I committed to and putting up a tree was a part of that.  I’m no stranger to setting up a tree at odd times, though.  And late November isn’t odd compared to some of the times I’ve had a tree up.  One year, I had our tree up until February (for a magazine shoot), and then another one set up in April (for freelance projects), and then again in September (for retail), and finally in December for, you know, actual Christmas.

Needless to say, my boys, who were quite young at the time, were a bit confused.

So, back to this year’s tree.  I started with the wool pom-pom garlands (which I have collected over the years.)  The tiny ones were from Anthropologie, maybe three years ago.  The larger poms are from West Elm and Hobby Lobby.  Unfortunately, West Elm doesn’t carry them any longer!  Hobby Lobby has some, but they may only have a few strands.  (And sorry to the people who shop at Rochester North Hobby Lobby…I bought all four.)

And I quickly added a few ornaments…some mercury glass ones I got from Pottery Barn a few years ago (similar to THESE, but mine are smaller and came in a set of 12) and tin houses bought at Michael’s last year.

But the tree was looking a little boring.  It needed just a little bit of color and texture.

The idea started with the checked ribbon I used on the small trees I put on the mantle.  I had some excess, so I cut it into long strips and tied it loosely on some branches.

I sort of liked it, but I only had enough for three ribbons.  So, I went to Etsy to try to find more of the checked ribbon.  Unfortunately, the shop owner is shutting down and only had a couple of yards left.  I ordered those, but I knew it still wouldn’t be enough.

I looked around for more blue and cream checked ribbon.  No luck.

Hmmmm….but I do have blue checked fabric!  I decided to try cutting it into some “ribbons” and see how it worked.  It looked almost exactly like the ribbon and certainly gave the same effect.

I tied one on and waffled between really liking it and thinking it looked too much like 1990’s country.  Like it was the display in a store lit only by waxed-covered flame bulbs that sold potpourri, candles, and reproduction primitive dolls.

But, I decided to go with it.  1990’s country?  Hmm…maybe.  But what I liked is that the tree looked unique and homey and I think the make-shift checked ribbons had a lot to do with that.

And, besides, if Full House is back on TV and Keds are cool again and hunter green is making a comeback…

Well, why the heck not?

the 90’s called…

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40 Comments on “the 90’s called…”

  1. The nineties are coming back with a vengeance! So really, you’re ahead of the curve, because it’s in fashion this year, which means next year we will all be sharing our ceramic roosters and goose-themed wallpaper borders.

    I think it just looks homespun, like you said you were going for!

  2. It’s all about what makes you happy…90’s, 80’s, 70″s….Love the look. Just curious, do you have a family tree with ornaments from your childhood, your children’s homemade school ornaments, etc.? If so, where do you put it? Would love to see it too.We are down to one tree and I gave up what I call the department store tree and opt for just our family tree.

  3. haha! I remember those 90’s trees. I have to say I perfected it in the 90’s and those are still some of my favorite trees to this day (I also put in dried roses with dried baby’s breath). I love when resourceful turns into creative. Love your tree!

    Nancy from Slightly Coastal

  4. I think it is lovely. Look at Tone On Tone’s garland ribbon. It is just draped. Very pretty and great job!

    1. “Victoria” magazine stopped publishing in the early 00’s, but was subsequently bought by Hoffman Media. You can buy a print version (I’ve seen it at Target, grocery stores, and Barnes and Noble) as well as a digital version. I’ve been a reader since it’s first issue when it was published by Good Housekeeping as a special…and I’ve saved This year, they are celebrating their 10th Anniversary since being re-issued. You can google “Victoria Magazine” and fine their website with any info you may need.

      1. Laura, I was a big Victoria magazine lover, too, even subscribed to it for a while and was so sad when it was discontinued! It was revived by Hoffman, but to me it just didn’t have the same “feel.” I am *so impressed*, Laura, that you are a Victoria magazine super fan, and that you have all your issues, that is amazing! I bet you get a lot of joy out of going through old, back issues — it must be like visiting with an old friend!

  5. I’m not a garland on trees person; I find it visually cluttering. I would probably keep adjusting the garlands until they all were hanging and spaced evenly. Stressful. Lights and ornaments are my thing (there must be some scientific reason why I don’t find lots of disparate ornaments cluttering – visual lines all the same?).

  6. I loved the 1990’s country style, with lots of unpainted wood antiques. Now, my house is all white painted furniture with gray colored fabrics. I ❤️ Change and All decorating styles.

  7. Well yes indeed. It looks lovely and the blue and white “ribbon” certainly puts your signature on it.

  8. Love your tree, Marian! It’s so pretty — and so “country”! We love the “country look” in our home! Enjoy!

  9. I notjced your “ribbbon” in your 1st picture of your tree. I love it and am going to put some on my tree!

  10. Marion your tree is very sweet. Maybe sometime you will happen upon a serger and you can cut and roll
    edges of fabric and create any kind of ribbon you want. I remember seeing a Christmas special of the
    Bush white house in the family quarters. Their tree had the homemade ornaments just like everyone else.
    You know the felt circles with the childs picture in the center.

    I don’t know if anyone remembers Mary Emmerling who actually started the country style decorating in
    the 1970’s? Well that was my maiden name and my classmates thought we were one and the same
    They thought that was why I never went to any class reunions. lol

    I actually met Mary and she is lovely. I spotted her when she worked for Clamor Magazine and wrote to her to
    see if we were related. Actually it was through her then husband John. We kept in touch for a few years.

  11. I love it! The ribbon is “icing on the cake” for me. Do I see faux succulents tucked in your tree? If so, they look fantastic. You always do a great job.

  12. I love your tree. I think our trees should be just what we like, whatever that may be. My tree has had the same ornaments and lights for many years, because we only see them once a year and we like them. It has never been possible for me to change a lot of things often in my house. It would just be too expensive. so our tree has always been a homey miss match of homemade, antique and gifted ornaments.

  13. I am not going to lie – this is about my favorite Miss Mustard Seed post EVER! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve done something similar and felt that “is this great or is this way too yesterday?” feeling!! Or – “is this innovative and creative or is it crazy and tacky?” It helps to know that it happens to super talented designers like you. What a breath of fresh air to hear you say, “why the heck NOT”!!! It really is all about what makes our hearts happy – what makes our family feel comfortable. Thanks for that reminder. Merry Christmas!

  14. I love this post. I love this tree! That’s what makes you so good at what you do.
    Please share what other items (plants) you put in your tree. Every year I struggle with what is good to make a tree look fuller besides more ornaments.

  15. Do what you like, not what trends are, I think I may try some green check ties on my tree this year, I don’t do garland, I can never do it that it looks good. I do like the unexpected, like chandelier prisms and gold spoons and even a pocket watch as ornaments. Hope you do a post with your front door and porch.

  16. I love your tree and checked ribbon. You Bloggers do work hard for (we the public) and i thank you for that, cause little old ladies like me need help and ideas, sometimes we get all ideaed out. Haha!

  17. Call me crazy, but I liked the 90’s! The dollar was strong and everybody at least acted as if they all got along!

  18. Love the ’90s! Loved your tree- so jealous that your family allows a themed tree- my guys would never go for that – they are all about getting as many and varied ornaments on the tree as possible. We talk about having a second tree but have not got there yet- there is also the set up and clean up of said second tree so maybe no…
    But Viva the ’90s! BTW I loved walking by through those potpourri country stores back then..!

  19. I’ve used potpourri in my dough bowl and glass cloche for the past 2 Christmases. I’ve even been looking at getting a wax warmer from Yankee Candle. Do what makes you happy and just maybe these elements were loving are more than just a style trend but more a tradition that evokes a feeling of home and family.

  20. Put me in the Camp that loves the 90’s! I have several folders of articles and pictures from magazines that I loved back then, and still love now. (So glad I took the time to do that!) A lot of them are from Better Homes & Gardens. I look at my collection now and think “Yes – the look was a little over the top with flowers, prints, ruffles and baskets.” But it had such an inviting atmosphere; cozy and warm and cheerful. Over the years I have gained more confidence in my own sense of design, and I often refer back to my magazine pictures for inspiration !

  21. I don’t think it looks too 90’s, I love it! I have used torn fabric for the last few years. It started when a friend gave me a tree I couldn’t really afford to decorate. I had just recovered my dining chairs and I loved the fabric, so an idea was born.

  22. Marian. Can you tell me the magazine and date that featured your blue and white checked cushions on a wooded sofa. I’m replicating that for my basement and can’t find the magazine. Hoping I didn’t give it away. You probably have photos on your site but I can’t find it.

  23. that’s really funny about the pompoms, I walked around with them in my hands for 30 min at Hobby Lobby a month or so ago. I couldn’t make a decision. But yes, Ive seen them in person, they are very adorable!

  24. Love the tree but I especially love the tree “skirt”! Did you make that, Marian? It’s very pretty. I saw an adorable garland made out of those little yo-yo’s that you make out of fabric – really cute with buttons in the center of each one. Some day I will attempt to make one of those!


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