Saturday, December 13, 2008

Advent Activity: Tree Trimming, Big & Small

TREE TRIMMING, BIG: I love going to pick out a fresh tree each year. One of my favorite moments of the season is the knowing that you've found the right tree. As we were describing this to Big B on the way to our selection, we told him the tree had to "speak" to him. After years of being a Frasier Fir family, this year a new breed spoke to us: The White Pine. It has a sweet softness and density that we love, and the price was right.Some of my favorite ornaments, mostly vintage or handmade:This ornament was given to me last year, as we were busy creating our own winter nest for little b, born on the Solstice. For more holiday nesting ideas, visit A Natural Nester and check out her gorgeous wreath.
I cherish this set of handquilted ornaments, made by a dear college friend. Click here for a similar tutorial.
Papa and I have an annual tradition of exchanging ornaments, and his choice last year reflects the celebration happening in our house. I love the color palette; it adds a big spark to our tree.
Mimi often finds unusual ornaments at thrift stores, like this little forest dweller, and this adorable fruitcake bearing hostess.I am lucky enough to have a complete set of handblown glass ornaments from Somewhere Glassworks in Gainesville, Florida. Each orb is unique and crafted beautifully.This paper crane was a gift from The Laughing Monkey, who offers a tutorial and some history behind this incredible symbol.Remember the amazing yard sale day we experienced in November? This was one of my favorite finds that day. I cannot look at him without smiling.
After all of the lights, garland and ornaments were hung, I was rewarded by hanging our sweetgum balls on many a bough. The effect is just what I'd hoped for.

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TREE TRIMMING, SMALL: I was thrilled to win a recent Crafty Crow giveaway: a download of the Kids Craft Weekly Christmas Craft Guide, a 20 pager chock-full of great ideas. Using the scrap green wool felt from the Advent Calendar project, and some leftover party hats, we adapted their cardboard trees into these adorable soft miniatures.


MATERIALS: used party hats, green felt (or paper), spray adhesive, kid-safe glue, beadsSTEP ONE: Carefully take the party hat apart so it lies flat and create a template.
STEP TWO: Using the template, cut your your felt.
STEP THREE: Spread out some newspaper and spray craft adhesive onto one side of the felt. Stick it to the outer side of the party hat, smoothing out any wrinkles.
STEP FOUR: Quickly troubleshoot any wonky areas near the 'seam.' I love craft adhesive because it adheres quickly yet is forgiving enough for repairs. The party hats we used had a tab and slot construction, so I simply lifted the felt from above the slot and inserted the tab back in. Voila.

STEP FIVE: Now comes the fun (and slightly messy) part. Using beads, sequins, foil stickers, or anything else that strikes your fancy, decorate your tree. Big B and I experimented with dabbing glue onto the tree first, then sticking on the beads; we also tried using toothpicks to pick up the beads and dip them in glue. The dab-then-stick method seemed to work best. Elmer's glue dries clear, and spills just enhance the 'snowy' effect.
THE BIG FINISH: We used a bit of poly-fill for the 'snow,' and a sweetgum ball for the star atop the decorated tree. I got this adorable incense log cabin as a gift last year, and it's right in scale. From our little house to yours, we hope you have fun trimming your trees, big and small.

1 comment:

kollene carlsson said...

what a beautiful site... this blog is something I will check and be inspired by! You're such a super-mom Laura! Love your beautiful words! Thank you for being such a sweet friend!