Blithewold is officially back open for the season, warmly inviting visitors to tour the Mansion and grounds all beautifully decorated in the theme of A Grand Tour of Europe. And one of the favorite attractions every year is the big tree that goes up every year, the glory of which is made possible by the hard work and dedication of decorating volunteer Joanne Murrman and her willing helpers.
Joanne, a seven-year decorating veteran, looks forward to the challenge of creating new ideas and combinations of colors for the tree, all to the end of wowing visitors. This year, Joanne was inspired by one of the decorating elements in the mansion. “This year I drew inspiration from the embossed ribbon that reflected the design as the red flecked wallpaper on the second floor.”
Joanne bravely balanced on narrow wood planks high above the mansion’s floor, getting all the way to the very top of the tree near the ceiling. She was determined to make every last inch of the tree dazzle with magnificent ornaments and other unique decorations. To many decorating volunteers, getting to the high places was one of the biggest challenges they faced, but when Joanne was asked what problems she had, her answer was simple: “None.” Spectacular!
Joanne says that one of her favorite parts of working on the tree is organizing her volunteer helpers (who have been with her for 3 years) then getting together with them to design and fabricate the decorations. And she loves strolling through the Mansion to see how the other volunteers’ interpretations of the main theme reflect their own style and tastes.
Roger Williams University 2014
Blithewold Communications Intern