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Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Blingy Tree

I've gotten a live tree for the last three years. It's a tradition that I love. What's so great about it?... The ceremonious selection of the tree, decorating with my favorite ornaments, and enjoying the smell all season long. And the warm feeling it gives off to the outside of the house as it sits inside the front window... Yeah, that's pretty great too. 

Here's my tree from 2008... the first year I got a real tree, and also the first year I had grown up ornaments (from Pottery Barn of course)
With all the tantalizing reasons for having a Christmas tree this year, I started to remember all the downsides too. Like the challenge of getting the tree to my house. I don't own a vehicle big enough to fit it inside, and getting it to the house would require me to ask one of my girl friend's wonderful husbands... And let's face it, being a single girl, I feel a teesny bit bad about all the times I've called them to 1) unclog my garbage disposal 2) haul something for me and 3) hang blinds etc. So, I decided to save up my karma for when I really need a favor. And let's not forget the constant watering required so the tree doesn't lose all it's needles all over the carpet or become a fire hazard in my house. And speaking of those needles... Oh those needles! The cleanup is constant! And finally, I've been out of town so much, that I just couldn't validate getting the approximately $65 tree this year. So with that, I decided to skip the tradition of a real tree this year... But no need to worry folks, I've come up with a glamorous solution, and it was... FREE!

Hoot Hoot, Merry Christmas!

This year I was inspired by the trends I'd been seeing in stores like Restoration Hardware. The basic idea is a bunch of branches stuck in a big vase with ornaments hanging off them. I realized I already had the branches. They were in this vase in my powder room.
Side note....Is this ugly? I really love the vase, but I'm not sure about the leaves anymore... They're sort of 1970s as they are velvet... Please someone tell me what you think of this. 
Anyway, the sparkle branches used to be in this vase, and consequently would get glitter and sparkles all over my bathroom floor if they were to be moved. So that is why I conducted the careful operation of removing said branches from the spotted vase into the owl vase upon the toilet in the powder room.

This is how the branches look if you just stick them into the vase...
Big empty spaces... just rollin' around in there...
Also, the toilet is the perfect working height for this project... ;) I got an A in ergonomics people.

So how do we make it look professional like? BTW this is the goal of my life...
We use this:
Bubble wrap and packing paper.
The goal here is to get the branches to stand up by themselves, not touching each other, in an artful arrangement. I put a couple pieces of bubble wrap in first both to pad the bottom of the vase and give some height to the arrangement and also to create some space in between the side of the vase and the branch. Then I just jammed in packing paper all around to create this:
Ta Daaaaa!!
Now for the decorating part.
I added some moss around on the top to create a finished look. And I hung some of my favorite ornaments on the branches.
I've got a woodland creature thing going on this year
A glass birdie ornament from Pier One after Christmas last year
A gift from my fabulous sister - a fabric owl from Crate & Barrel 
A gift from my friend Lindsey last year - a glitter owl from Pier One
A rustic looking bell, a favor from my friend Pam's wedding... I'm not sure if they were meant to be ornaments, but I thought they were perfect for this. And for some reason I had 2. Sorry to whoever is missing theirs... :)
Look how fab it looks with the presents stacked up next to the table!
And I love how it compliments the mantle next to it! It's a sparkly Christmas!
Speaking of the mantle, I couldn't wait to reveal my stars this Christmas...
The Pottery Barn Reindeer! I've been coveting them since 2007, but I'd been resisting buying them for years... always waiting until after Christmas when I think they'll be on sale. So far, it's never worked out as the price + shipping combo was never just right. But this year, I noticed they were on sale for cyber Monday, and with free shipping, I couldn't resist. So here they are in all their glory... And I must admit, they are everything I had dreamed of, and more...
Yup, pretty spectacular
Continuing with a break down of the mantle, the candle sticks are the regular mercury glass staples from Kohls that I use all year long. And the silver urn is another decor staple from Marshalls Home Goods. The candles were 75% off after Christmas 2009 at World Market.

The tree on the left is from Marshalls Home Goods, and I use it on my mantle every year
The mantle is finished off with 2 strings of crystals that I got on sale at Crate & Barrel after Christmas last year and a Bath & Body Works candle in a silver sleeve.
Side note: I am loving white candles this year. I just think they look so fresh and clean burning through the pretty silver  holders that you can get at Bath & Body Works. I stocked up after Thanksgiving cashing in on their 3 for $30 sale and using a $10 coupon, bringing my total down to $20 for 3 candles and pretty much making my year...
And now a look at it all together.

I'm very happy with my Christmas tree work around this year. Does anyone else have any long standing traditions they aren't doing this year? ...Any Christmas tree substitutions out there?

Have a very Sparkly Christmas!

1 comment:

jb said...

That turned out great! Can't wait to be there opening Christmas presents!