Well, it was not easy (it never is), but I have finally built and decorated my yearly effort to create a holiday tree that evokes both Hannukah and Christmas and Good Tidings and Winter. For the past several years I have gone down this road, starting out with large tree branches (or even an entire small birch tree) and adding piece after piece of painted, sparkling, and glittered tree branches, until I come up with something that says, "Done. Now decorate me." The effect I look for is as though I come upon a leafless tree in a wetland somewhere, which has been caught in a combination of an ice and snow storm--white and silver and icy looking. I end each season determined to make the task not quite so precarious in years to come, but each year the trees have been wired together and anchored in sand, and, well, you know all about those "shifting sands of time." We always had to end up wiring the trees to the wall, lest they come crashing down.
This year, when I was in NYC in January, I came upon something in ABCCarpet and Home that I figured would give me a head start. And so, this year's tree was built very differently. First I had to order a wooden planter, 20 inches square. Here it is being painted in my kitchen. I think I did originally mean to use more subdued colors, but...well, give me paints and hear me roar. Bright turquoise blue!
When I was done getting carried away with the paints, I put my pre-built tree in the box. It had it's own base, so that was a good start--no sand!
Here are the materials--all the treated branches, gathered up from last year:
I'm not a big fan of the standard glass ball ornaments, so over the years I have collected a number of small objects and items that are not the average fair. Some, like those I showed during the Holiday Blog Hop a few posts back, I have made. Many I have purchased and continue to find. I did have some great plans this year to make new ones, but time did not allow it. I made this one in 1981:
Even the Ficus tree in the family room gets into the act. Remember those globes from Crate and Barrel?
All in all the room takes on a VERY VEGAS look! With the two Elvis lamps flanking the red couch, and all the colored lights strung around a room lit by jukeboxes, the overall ambience is much closer to Caesar's Palace than to Little House on the Prairie. That's perfectly OK since Dean Martin will be leading the Rat Pack in holiday music on the stereo while Louis Prima does a few numbers himself. For the quieter moments we'll enjoy Nat King Cole and Mel Torme.
Happy Holiday to everyone! Have a Very Vegas Christmas! And make it your New Year's resolution to be more creative for the coming year.