Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Topping the Tree: The Sequel

As promised, I have created and documented the process of topping my tree. Here's a sneak peak at the final result:

I first had to shop for a few supplies. I chose various berries, garlands (which I cut to size), and my latest obsession, feathers.

I was lucky enough to hit a 25% off sale.

Here's my boring tree top. I used my handy step ladder to reach. I started by standing on the chair next to the tree. Not a good idea. Myself and the tree just about ended up on the floor. Oops!

My first step was to start placing the various items at the top, extending the stems down so that they would stay put, but not poke out.

I added more and more, until it was nice and full, stepping back regularly to identify any bare spots.

A few of the items stuck out at an odd angle. I just cut them down to size and replaced them in the topper.

I wanted to add a bow to the topper. I held up this gold one, and a plaid one. I went with a plaid as I love plaids, and I thought it was a bit more casual, more in keeping with the look of the tree. As I will post later, my tree has a more a collected over time look, rather than a theme, or matching colours. The informality of the plaid was perfect.

I used a handy bow guide, in an old edition of Country Living magazine.

I am no bow pro, but I think it turned out well. I used wired ribbon, and basically created a number of loops, twisting them after each loop.

I then used wire to hold the bow together, and trimmed the tails.

The finished bow.

Here are a few close ups of the finished product. I am very pleased with the results!

Linking to my Favorite Parties!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Topping the Tree

In years past, many a tree have stood naked on top due to my inability to find the perfect tree topper. This year, I stand determined. The perfect topper shall be mine.

We've all seen these common examples. Lovely, yes, but I want something different this year:

The finial style.

A pretty Angel.

And the classic star.

While searching the net for ideas, I was having a very hard time finding what I am envisioning. It's up there, in that head of mine, and this week it shall be created. These last two examples, however, have come close to what I would like to achieve:

Whimsical, unpredictable and beautiful. Not found in a box at a store.

I love these two ideas from Southern Living. While not exactly the look I am going for, they represent the unique, hand created look I crave. How cute are those bells??

And you all know I love sticks. They abound in my Christmas decor this year as well!

My topper will be created with a plethora of feathers, garlands, ribbons and bells, however, it will remain in keeping with my eclectic traditional tree. Stay tuned as I will share my step by step process, as well as the final result, of course! There, now that it's in writing, I can't procrastinate on this another year!

If you know of any fabulous tree topper examples, please, do share!! How do you top your tree?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Festive Lovelies

Tis the season to change up the Autumn Lovely tiered stand. My plan was clove covered oranges, pomegranates, and nuts, mixed in with anything else I may have on hand.

I think it turned out quite festive!

I almost didn't buy the cloves since they were $9.99 for a spice jar, but in the end, I decided that I really wanted the look and a jar of cloves will last me a long time.

I took apart a bunch of garage sale garlands that had different 'jeweled' fruits and pomegranates.

Add a ribbon......

Some nuts and festive 'greenery'......

And the stand is complete. I will add some real Holly as well as we get a bit closer to Christmas.

Linking to my Favorite Parties!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Making of a Christmas Mantel

This year, I was inspired to create a woodsy, nature inspired mantel display. I started with a basic garland, that did have a few pinecones and berries already in it. I bought it 50% off at Michael's last year. These little suckers can be quite expensive!

I have it mounted to a board underneath, so I don't have to attach it to the actual mantel. The garland is going to end up quite heavy, so it needs to be attached, and the added bonus is the hidden hooks to hold our stockings.

Step two was to attach this fabulous garland on either side. I used a staple gun to attach the branches to the board underneath. I bought this garland in the summer, at one of my favorite stores, Chintz & Co. At $19.99 each, I thought it was an ok deal, considering this is an expensive store, and the garland is so unique and beautiful.

I then added two more wimpy, garage sale garlands, but they bulk up the overall look, and blend in very nicely. One of the garland has lights, which is a bonus!

I also added two Home Sense urns.

In each urn, I added tall sticks, and this cute faux lantern garland.

I kept the contents of the urn simple and natural, with just a hit of sparkle.

To the garland, I added pincones, pheasant feathers, nests, birds....basically whatever I had on hand that I thought would fit the theme.

And my Christmas Mantel is complete! Now, if I could just get the rest of the decorating finished!

Linking to my favorite Parties!