Mind Spirit a repeat winner
of Madisons decorating contest
store was featured in
Country Sampler magazine
Lela Jane Bradshaw
(December 2012) Tami Brindel Tatman has been
bringing a smile to faces of Madison, Ind., residents for years with
her Christmas decorations that draw from the traditions of days gone
by. Whether visitors stop by her house or walk by her downtown storefront,
her flare for design has viewers pulling out their cameras and reminiscing
about their own past holidays.
by Lela Bradshaw
Tatman each year uses her
creative talent to build
beautiful holiday displays.
However, this year her signature vision is delighting
and inspiring lovers of an old-fashioned Christmas across the country
as her 1800s log cabin home was featured in the November edition of
the nationwide magazine Country Sampler. Through the photos of Bill
Mathews, readers can enjoy a Madison Christmas in the comfort of their
For Tatman, her home and store are just more canvases to explore. She
explains that Art is my first love, and her artistic eye
is evident in her uses of color and her ability to bring out the beauty
and character in aged and vintage items. While she can appreciate modern
trends in decorating, for herself she says, I like the traditional,
and I love old things.
She describes her style as primitive and believes that things such as
weathered sleds and colorful quilts add a welcoming feel to a room.
I like the way they decorated in the 1800s, she says.
Tatman makes frequent use of fresh evergreens in her Christmas decorations
appreciating not only the look but also the scent they lend to the area.
Tatman sees decorating as a way to capture not only the past of the
frontier days but also her own personal past as well.
I love using family items my dads toy truck,
my grandmothers buttons, she explains.
Tatman holds the copy
of Country Sampler magazine in
which she is featured for her decor.
To Tatman, who lost her parents early, using family heirlooms
is a way of staying connected to relatives who have died. Decorating
has become a favorite hobby of hers and she says, Its like
my fishing or golf.
She estimates that she changes the decorations in her house three or
four times a year, and says that it is not uncommon for her family to
come home and find that she has rearranged the furniture yet again.
While Tatmans home may be providing inspiration for readers across
the country, her talent for decorating is also being recognized by local
residents. Her storefront decorations at Body Mind and Spirit Therapeutic
Massage, 324 W. Main St., were voted first place in the decorating contest
sponsored by the Nights Before Christmas Candelight Tour of Homes. On
Friday, Nov. 16, the Ayers Windy Hill Bed and Breakfast provided
trolley tours of downtown to allow riders a chance to enjoy the decorations
and to vote for their favorites. Tour of Homes Coordinator Marci Jones
explains that The whole idea behind the contest is to get businesses
dressed up before the tours, which begin the day after Thanksgiving.
The Candelight Tour of Homes offers prize money to first through third
place in the contest, with the top award being $250. Tatmans hand
painted Santa Claus, homemade snowman, and festive greens caught the
eye and votes of downtown visitors.
Jones says Tatman has taken first place in the contest before, adding,
Shes very creative. She also notes that Tatman doesnt
just decorate for Christmas but that her store is kept eye catching
throughout the year.
She changes her store with the season, Jones says.
For Tatman, it is important to take the time to give shops a good presentation.I
think it reflects who you are. It draws people in, she says of
the attention store owners put into their decorations.
She sees a nicely trimmed door as a way to show that she cares about
her business. Neighboring store owner Cara Fox agrees with the importance
of having a nicely decorated space. It sets the mood for the customers.
Everyone want to see something pretty.
For the owner of the Little Golden Fox, who characterizes her store
as Pinterest brought to Main Street, keeping her own shop
decorated is a natural extension of her business selling eclectic handmade
and antique items. However, she points out that as Tatmans Body
Mind and Spirit shop is not a retail store. Her decorations draw from
a love of creating and a desire to see someone smile.
Fox has owned her store for a little over a year and has found Tatman
to be a wonderful neighbor during that time. She is definitely
a pleasure to be next to, she says.
As Fox favors a vintage style, it was natural that the Christmas decorations
of the neighboring stores fit well together. I wanted it to kind
of blend, Fox says and is grateful to Tatman for helping to hang
the greenery that provides the backdrop for the classic silver ornaments
that add sparkle to the corner shop.
Whether decorating a tree or decorating her store, Tatman starts off
with a particular vision in mind while allowing for some of the smaller
details to develop during the process. She explains her method saying,
I have a plan. It might veer off. You set your foundation and
then you just add to it.
However, her strongest decorating advice is for people to simply pay
attention to what they love. She says, I always tell people whatever
speaks to you, you should do. Dont decorate for someone else.
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