November 29, 2007

Thanksgiving crafting welcomes Christmas...

Thanks for your comments about Cleo from my previous post. (and thanks to you, Mom, for listening to me when I had to make the decision...) I go between feeling like it was the right decision, to guilt (both about the new kittens and about making the decision), to relief that her downhill health slide is over (which leads to more guilt, of course...). But, I do think it was the right thing to do, for her... I realize that her situation had been affecting us more than I thought- the last few weeks seem really disjointed, looking back on them... we did manage to have a nice quiet Thanksgiving dinner (it was just us, the dog and kittens, the roast duck and all the fixings, which included a wonderful bottle of wine that Mom, Dad, and Jackie brought with them when they visited!!).

On Sunday, we decorated our brand-new, 7.5 foot artificial Christmas tree... we put it up Saturday night, which was a bit of a task- it took a lot of unfolding and unfurling of all 1385 individual tips. While we decorated it, I was inspired to do some crafting, which is a Thanksgiving tradition... we always had some craft project to work on after dinner, whether it was something Mom had been working on, a project I came up with, or the first steps of my sister Judy's rubber stamped Christmas cards or gifts for her piano students...

I had been thinking about these ornaments for a while, sort of designing them in my head- they are loosely based on the projects I made at Art Unraveled, which used all sorts of recycled materials, beads, and shiny objects. The Santa ornament was made using the lid from an Altoids tin as the base... I painted the edge gold, so it would match the color scheme, then glued super-fine Art Glitter ( a beautiful deep teal color) and mica flakes to the inside... after that, I got out the smelly-but-powerful E6000 adhesive, to glue on the two bead garlands. Once that dried, I glued in the clip art Santa, which is raised above the glitter with some little plastic thing-a-ma-jigs that Tom had in his collection of hardware... I love how this turned out! I also really love that Art Glitter (check out their website for some amazing glittery projects!) I bought a few containers of it years ago at a stamp store, and never really used it for anything before... it looks so much classier than the cheap glitter you get at the craft store, I think. This ornament is for sale in my Etsy shop, although nothing in my shop has been getting many views, lately. (partly my fault; lately I haven't really felt like hanging out on Etsy to be visible or do any promoting...)

This little Victorian girl started life as the lid from an orange juice can, actually! More glitter (brass colored in the middle, and green around the edges) covers the lid... because the lid really didn't have an "edge" like the Altoids tin lid, I didn't think the bead garland would work, so I got out my stash of sequins (another craft purchase from ages ago that I don't pull out very often) and the E-6000 again... I glued a layer of flower-shaped sequins around the lip and decided they looked a bit plain, so I glued a second layer of silver sequins to each flower. I finished the backs of both ornaments with patterned scrapbooking paper and a punched-paper pointsettia... that way, they'll look good from any angle once they're hanging on the tree. (check out my Flickr page for more pics of them...)

This is the tree, before we got it decorated- Tom and I worked for over an hour to "fluff" it up and get all the branches situated how they looked best. It's 7.5 feet tall, and takes up just a bit more space than we thought it would- it sure didn't look that big in the store display! After seeing it, I was a bit concerned about our ornament collection not being quite up to the task...

We worked on it all Sunday afternoon, and we think it turned out pretty spiffy! 450 colored mini lights, 2 strings of bubble lights (we'll get more for next year), 4 packages of gold garland (need more of that, too), and pretty much all of our ornaments. It's always fun to open up the ornament box; sort of like visiting old friends, in a way... mine came from Gram's collection, flea markets, and other places, while Tom's came from his Grandma- she gave him an ornament every year while he was growing up. Some of them are handmade, too- the kind with the sequins pinned to a styrofoam ball in very intricate patterns- do they still make those?? I never see them at the craft store... The only ornaments I left off are the tiniest glass ones (less than an inch in size) that were always at the top of my mini feather tree; they would have gotten lost in a full-size tree, for sure. So far, the tree is still standing, and it doesn't look like it's been chewed up too much... I think the kittens leave it alone during the day, but when we're home in the evening they get more active, and feel like they have to start messing around in the lower branches... the squirt bottle of water is getting a workout! (again, there are more pics of the tree and our ornament collection on my Flickr page) And hey, Mom, if you're reading this... notice the tree skirt? It's a white bedsheet... hint, hint...??

2 comments:

Felicia said...

Thats my favorite kind of tree. Where there is liberal use of sentimental ornaments. The tree turned out lovely :)

K said...

Your tree was really beautiful!