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Grayanna and Macaroni

With two years of competition riding under her belt, my youngest daughter, Grayanna, and her sidekick, Macaroni the Pony, have earned over 350 ribbons.

Our home is gracious enough, but the children’s rooms are quite small and their closets tiny. I am committed to being a clutter buster, but I am easily overwhelmed at how many things children collect over the years.  My youngest children are 9 and 10, and I am still challenged with what to do with all the things they collect. To complicate things, my daughter genuinely loves everything and everyone that has ever crossed her path, and she has particular attachments to things as small as McDonald’s toys that come in happy meals. I do believe she was sent to me partly to help me learn what to do with all of this stuff and how to cope with its constant ability to multiply!

Shadow box displaying Dayton Horse Show Association Ribbons

Primarily, I am trying to create some good, meaningful display ideas for the ribbons Grayanna has won.  We have done the usual, such as hanging them throughout her bedroom, but even she agreed this just ends up looking like clutter. We tried hanging only the most current ones on lampshades, but this ended up making her room look small and messy. I found a company that makes quilts out of them, but her room is aqua, cream and brown, and the winning ribbons of blue, red and yellow just don’t seem to fit in! We have tried a rotating shadow box that contains space just for the most important ones. Currently, all the ribbons reside in small separate boxes, neatly labeled, organized and packed in Martha Stewart acid free paper, all beautifully displayed UNDER HER BED! They are patiently waiting me to come up with some clever way to display them in a beautiful and non-cluttered way.

Shadow box display of riding ribbons as pictured by the Denver Post

I have professionally advised many of my South Carolina interior design clients on artful displays of their own collections. I have even done some pretty clever things myself, such as framing my grandmother’s favorite hankie after monogramming it with her favorite quote. I have built cases specifically for items, commissioned humidors for cigar collections, designed various shelving units to house trophies and other paraphernalia. But for the life of me, I cannot yet figure out what to do with these ribbons! Pictured are some shadow boxes I found online displaying ribbons in them, which could be a desirable option. However, being the free thinker that I am, I would love to come up with a more unique and creative alternative for my daughter’s ribbons.

So, as a designer and mother, I GIVE UP and plead for your help. What do I do with these multiplying ribbons?????? That is one of my challenges for 2010, and I cannot wait to delve in and really focus on a solution to this problem. If any of you readers have ideas, please comment. It will be an exciting challenge, so stay tuned as – hopefully, with your help! – I come up with just the right solution to this common problem of what to do with an unusual and growing collection!

NOW, GO HAVE AN “It’s So Fabulous!” DAY!

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