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  1. Alex @ northstory
    December 13, 2012 @ 10:27 am

    Do not get me started on the Like button. It is such a mixed bag of I love it and yet it allows people to avoid making comments and pressing Oh that’s cute b/c I am too lazy to write feedback comment instead. I installed one anyways on my site even though it’s not the same as the WP ones so I can’t tell “who” is liking it.

    “but also capitalize on society’s absolute obsession with decorating the shit out of our houses.” Christmas I keep saying is the one time of year that your house can have what I call a decorating hangover and everyone will still think it’s awesome. The garland that fell over? Totally intentional. The mix matched decorations? This years new tree look. Too many Christmas lights? Please tell that to a 2 year old who claps every time we pull into our street. Bah humbug to the nay sayers.

    Christmas SEO is awesome. January is a whole other ball game. Damnit..


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 13, 2012 @ 10:45 am

      I had NO idea it was optional… I guess I never scrolled down that far, and I was like, WHAT?? I can get RID of this?? Plus, it assumes that everyone on the planet has a blog… and while it may seem that way sometimes, I’m pretty sure it’s not actually true.

      I do love Christmas and all the decorating craziness that goes with it… but I am totally lazy about getting it all down. I am the person who still has lights out front way into January. Plus, there is always one day where it is not freezing, and I think to myself—I should really take that stuff down today. And I don’t, and then the rest of the month is like negative wind chill temps.

      p.s.- I am dreading January.


  2. Karen B.
    December 13, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    First of all, as a shallow Christmas in all it’s glory lover, let me just say, your dining room looks over-the-top beautiful! So, for that I am happy and you’ve given me some great, glittery ideas for next year.
    Secondly, I totally have the best Google search topic for your once the shine of Christmas has dimmed…a series of posts on how to increase traffic. Because, even with a son that understands all this crap better than his mom, no one has ever given me the tips and tools on how to increase traffic to my site. In fact, I’ve been at this a long time and I assume I’m pretty boring to most who by accident drop by. So this would be a tremendous service to those of us who struggle with the same endless craving for attention!
    As always, hilarious and entertaining.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 14, 2012 @ 8:10 am

      I’m pretty sure that it was random internet blessings… not any particular skill on my part… because my bow-tutorial mysteriously made the front page of Google image search, but my subsequent quest to get my front porch there too was a dud.

      Maybe this is because EVERY single other blog/website on the planet has already maxed out the front porch designs?

      Plus, I think the ribbon I chose was ideal. It stands out among ALL the red Christmas bows. In retrospect, I should have chosen neon orange.


  3. patinaandcompany
    December 13, 2012 @ 11:25 am

    “Obviously, this is incredibly easy to do! All you need to do is go find a Victorian gilt pier mirror. (Try to do this tonight.)”–BAHAHAHA!!

    (a) If I am any indication, you have infected the blogging world with a bow-making virus for sure, because my house is be-bowed and beribboned like never before and I’m still twirling and tying; (b) yours are the only blog posts I can actually send my girls and get a response–a really giggly one, at that; and (c) your contribution to mental health at this time of year, through your witty intervention into our morning plans cannot be undervalued!

    Your bow-image googling cracked me up because I was JUST doing that with words like “beautiful christmas planters” and the like . . . HEY, where did MY PLANTERS go?!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 14, 2012 @ 8:12 am

      That’s what I said about my porch—like, hello? Why have you not featured my twenty-four disco balls?? What could be better than THAT???

      Thanks for the like-minded support of my bow/ribbon craziness. It’s amazing to me the IMPORTANCE this has taken on. And when I heard myself telling my husband about my bow/google ranking. I kind of stopped short and was like, this is insane.

      Plus, I’ve basically turned this into a blog about blogging, wrapped up in Christmas stuff. Which is weird, and not at all my intention…


      • patinaandcompany
        December 14, 2012 @ 11:12 am

        Well, whatever goes, I think! I sent this link to my sister yesterday, and I think she followed you for the laughs!


      • patinaandcompany
        December 14, 2012 @ 11:13 am

        And I think sister is also making bows now . . . .


  4. ralna cunningham
    December 13, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    yes. I confess. I went out and bought ribbon for 60% off at Jo-Ann fabrics. And there it sits on the living room floor, not a single bow anywhere. But you know what? The led red ribbon from Home Depot is way better. So much so that we never got around to putting regular lights on the tree since my daughter couldn’t wait and started hanging ornaments before we got lights on. So our tree is rather dim, but our ribbon lights up.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 14, 2012 @ 8:23 am

      As I type this, I’m googling led ribbon. I never even heard of such a thing. My front door bows would be AWESOME if they lit up! I may have to run to Home Depot this afternoon.

      I have a Michael’s bag that exploded in my living room… and I’m kind of just too tired to pick it up. I got a burst of energy to do the decorating. But the clean up is overwhelming. And I really don’t want to go back and return the ribbon I didn’t use… although I REALLY should since next year I’m guaranteed to think it’s ugly.


  5. Meridith
    December 13, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

    Your staging is gorgeous. A look I can never achieve no matter how many design sites I look at. I hired someone once, to help me decorate for an important holiday party, and she did not do nearly as nice a job as this. ( I assume you are not a professional, since you do not promote design services.)


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 14, 2012 @ 8:31 am

      Hey! I totally love you.
      My best design advice is this: Bigger is better. And when you think you have enough sparkly stuff? Add 100% MORE sparkly stuff. The greenery really helps too… without it, it doesn’t look as full.

      Thanks for leaving me a comment. It really made my day!


  6. Sandi
    December 14, 2012 @ 6:13 am

    You should totally have a magazine spread done on your home. It’s lovely. Just lovely. And then, I’m still into you being a webcaster. Not a spider (I know your head went there, and SpiderWoman would bring a whole new species of fans to your blog, but I don’t know if YOU’D be comfortable with spidey senses tingling) but you know, broadcasting. Because I can *hear* you. Really.

    Glad that you’re getting all the hits. And there is a LIKE button on the WP header for those of us who WP and are logged in and everything so neener. 😉 (I’m so mature to use words like that, I know.)

    Now, I want to see you do a thing on Victorian Open Houses for Christmas. 🙂 You’d do it brilliantly.

    P.S. I’d read your blog w/o any bows. Just sayin’.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 14, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

      You can “like” it. But it doesn’t show up at the bottom of the post.
      Neener neener neener.

      Your SpiderWoman comment reminded me of a party-idea I heard recently (I LOVE costume parties…) where you ask people to make up their own superhero. I am so enthused about this idea; I want to have a party immediately. (Even though nothing good comes to mind. Outside of – fierce pajama-pant-wearing woman.)

      We have a historic house-tour in town, every December. And every year I say I want to do it… and every year Paul says—do you REALLY want 1,000 people looking in our bedroom? And are you REALLY going to let them wear their shoes in the house? (I am a no-shoe-in-house dictator.) And I re-think it.

      I am way better suited to the life of a hermit than a hostess.


  7. the home tome
    December 14, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

    Okay, let’s talk about that ornament-filled cake stand. First it made me sing out with glee, then it made me scratch my head. “What are the physics of this decorative brilliance?” I wondered. Then I made a few sketches, consulted with some physicists and realized that you probably filled it like a bowl, put the base on upside down, then upended it. Am I right? Am I right?! I would like to try this with gumballs, or pinecones, or…tennis balls…or….wow you have opened up a whole new dimension for me and my cake stand (which really gets NO play with actual cakes – it did hold some nice cupcakes one day…but that’s about it.)

    All of this, good stuff: so elegant…and sparkly. Have been sneaking up on a holiday post myself for about a week…just can’t seem to hit it over the garland-be-decked fence… 🙂


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 14, 2012 @ 6:30 pm

      I am someone who hates to bake… and yet collects vintage cake stands. Because I’m ornery like that.

      The physicists are correct. I stuffed it between two couch cushions since it wants to topple over when upside-down. If you do it, I found that you need to line the outside first, (as high as you can without it collapsing in on itself) and then fill the center as you go, so that the outside looks even and the middle takes care of itself.

      I’m pretty sure there is a filling appropriate for any decorating need… and if you have a Wimbledon party, the tennis balls will be delightfully cheeky.


  8. Danielle
    December 14, 2012 @ 1:41 pm

    Martha doesn’t cry… she’s just gonna hire you for all her bow making needs.

    You totally made me laugh and encouraged me to take a break. This is exactly what I’ve been thinking and feeling this week. When did this place that I enjoyed and felt inspired by start making me feel like Gollum… all naked and shriveled and wanting to say things like “My Precious”. Hell to the no!

    PS. I had no idea you could hide the “Like” button. Very interesting….


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 15, 2012 @ 8:13 am

      When I scrolled down far enough and saw the box to uncheck “show likes.” I was like, WHAT???

      I don’t actually mind the intent behind the like button… I think it’s nice if someone hits it. (I’ll take all the encouragement I can get.) However, I very much disliked the visible announcement: # of bloggers like this. That seems random. And possibly paltry to anyone who doesn’t have a blog…

      Plus, I don’t think it’s obvious to non-bloggers that A- it’s limited to bloggers, and B- that you have to have a certain kind of blog. I am sure of this because my best-friend (who is the type who reads the fine print,) tried to “like” a post and thought there was something wrong with the website.

      Also, I found it visually distracting. Not loud, or glaring, but still a distraction.


      • Danielle
        December 16, 2012 @ 12:32 am

        Thanks for the tip. I had no idea! I haven’t decided how I feel about the “Like” button, but I always like having options.


        • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
          December 17, 2012 @ 9:50 am

          I am taking a page from you… I was feeling driven to produce one more Christmas/decorating/seo-friendly post. And instead I decided to read a book and drink some soy eggnog. It was so much nicer.


  9. Ralna Cunningham
    December 14, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

    My kind of Christmas craft: one year we hot-glued walnuts to paperclips (bend the paperclip open and cut it). Look, a fir tree grew walnuts! A Christmas miracle.

    Our decor includes a very old cardboard manger scene made from marker and scotch tape, as well as a pink felt circle skirt from a 50’s party that found a new calling as a tree skirt. It’s a nice foil for anything tasteful that makes it onto the tree.


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 15, 2012 @ 10:23 am

      “It’s a nice foil for anything tasteful that makes it onto the tree.”

      This is one of those lines where I laugh out loud and then am sad that I didn’t think of it myself…

      My mother had a set of antique lace angels… they were her grandmother’s… and when my middle brother was little, he took a thick green marker and drew faces on them… they look totally demented. But now they’re everyone’s favorite ornaments…


  10. RedCandy
    December 17, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    Your dining room is gorgeous. Elegant really and not at all over decorated. I can’t tell you how much the disco balls are growing on me. I like them more and more every time I see them. 🙂


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 17, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

      Thank you! I love this time of year… I love all the lights and the sparkly stuff. I hate taking it all down, though. Not just because it’s a chore to pack it away, but because everything looks so BARE!


  11. rabidlittlehippy
    December 21, 2012 @ 6:20 am

    The LIKE button is optional?! Well there you go!
    I too am a slave to my stats although I don’t have too much to offer in the way of crafty posts at the moment and my photography of any crafts I may actually do is lousy (that’s being very nice about it too). However, I was sure Wordpress had made a mistake the other day when I got 640 views in a day! I mean my previous top views in a day which was from when I could still pimp myself on Facebook (I’ve since shut my Facebook account down) was 168 so I was CERTAIN there had been an error. But no, a HUGELY popular blog I have very recently discovered and started following had mentioned me *blush* and her readers had come across to have a stickynose! Very humbling yet also, in that deep dark corner of my mind, extremely satisfying too. 🙂
    As someone who has not yet unpacked a single Christmas decoration (we are moving and have only just moved the fridge and couches today) your house has me feeling very scrooge-like. Time to unpack the decorations suitcase tomorrow I think. JUST in time for Christmas. 🙂


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      December 21, 2012 @ 8:40 am

      If I were you? There is no way I could move AND decorate for Christmas. WAY too stressful. I would just cancel the holiday this year! I guess not a fun option for your kids, but at least would preserve your sanity.

      Nice when the bigger fish share the blog love…:)
      As far as stats go? Next year I am going to be ALL about the crafts. I will spend all year thinking of stuff to do. I will start decorating in August. I will be PREPARED.

      Merry Christmas! Hope you get a day off of unpacking!


  12. Lisa and Robb
    December 24, 2012 @ 10:36 pm

    Dozens and dozens of disco balls. Glorious.

    Who needs anything else?

    (Well, except somewhere to store all those disco balls, because I suppose there’s a time of year when it isn’t considered correct to festoon every possible part of the house with disco balls….)


  13. Terra in columbus
    January 15, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

    How did you get that look for the bows that go around the chairs? Is there tulle in there?!


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      January 15, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

      Sorry… you went to spam jail! Nothing inside bows… they are a double layer of fairly stiff fabric. Something between a taffeta and a grosgrain ribbon.

      The texture gave it enough body for the loops to stand on their own, but if you used a lighter-weight material, you might not need the texture.


  14. dana
    June 25, 2013 @ 6:03 pm

    Just dropping a note to say that I adore this blog. Linked to a recent post today and have started reading the archives. Such a gorgeous house with pretty things, and so much work, told so engagingly!


  15. emily
    July 24, 2013 @ 10:27 am



  16. Jenny
    September 21, 2013 @ 9:29 am

    I love your blog! You are awe inspiring. An artiste!


  17. Fran
    September 23, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

    So so funny!! Indeed you are a writer. Love it all. 🙂


  18. Melissa
    August 8, 2014 @ 9:28 am

    Love your writing. You always give me a good laugh.


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