Minimal decorating for Christmas was on tap for 2017. I planned to do a tree and nothing more. Let's face it, getting the tree from the basement is a pretty big deal. Getting ornaments from the third floor is another big deal and requires more than one trip as did the tree itself. So that's what I did.
Since I put the tree up before Thanksgiving, I had ample time to get re-energized. Before I realized it I was thinking about what I could do to the mantel in the dining room. I started pulling out more things tucked in that over sized closet on the third floor.
I ripped these beautiful poinsettias from a $5 wreath I bought at St. Vincent de Paul. Can't beat the price. You can't really tell here, but the ribbon is gold with the perfect shade of pink....a Hobby Lobby find this year at 50% off.
OK, good enough. I'm finished.
Then I knew I needed to add a couple touches around the kitchen to balance things out.
I got the bright idea to do something I have been wanting to do for a few years.
here is the process in a separate post.
Getting this done created some momentum and rather than slam on the brakes abruptly, I thought it best to do a little something to the mantel in the foyer as a way of slowing down gradually.
I usually do a little something outside but I was beginning to run out of steam.
But then I needed to pull some color around the corner so I added a wreath to the side door. Remember that wreath I abused by pulling off the pink poinsettias? It didn't sell at my last garage sale even though it was priced at $1. So, I pulled it back into use and doctored it up for the door.
There are so many opportunities to decorate the exterior of the house and I do have some ideas. There are still 15 days until Christmas but I better devote some time to shopping and wrapping real gifts.
Maybe next year I'll start a little earlier.
Friday, December 8, 2017
Normally when you hear "tree skirt" you think of something that covers the base of the Christmas tree and offers a nice background for the presents,
This is pretty glamorous, but the bodice on my form needs to be fully covered.
Love this one too and I might have been able to pull it off...but I didn't want to add the extra work of flocking the branches on my first try at this.
I'm a fan of bright colors but I ended up going for a more subdued look.
You can get more ideas from my Pinterest board labeled Dress Form.
I have posted about my dress form before and you can see that post here.
This is how she has looked for way too long. It was time to let the schoolmarm retire.
My plan was to use my old Christmas tree. However, when I pulled it out of the box, I realized the aging process had continued while it was boxed and it went straight to the dumpster. I thought this might be a good time to find one in the alley until it dawned on me that I had just put mine in the dumpster and digging in dumpsters in the hope of finding something better...well, probably not
productive. I checked St. Vincent de Paul, but theirs were still in working condition and priced accordingly. Next I put out a call for a throwaway on the Community Facebook Page. Almost immediately I was offered one just a couple blocks from my house. (Thanks, Linda)
Next came the hardest part of the job...removing the lights. Even though they could be easily snipped with a scissors, they were wrapped, twisted, wrapped some more and then clipped twice to every little limb on each branch. I thought a lot about how thorough, meticulous, and serious some Chinese worker was about his job. Not once was there one clip instead of two!
Here she is stripped down. So what's it gonna be? I like to make use of things I have on hand so I started there.
Using a tape measure to hold a few branches, I tried out some ideas.
It is already December so I don't have a ton of time to hit the resale shops and find something super cool. I'll save that for next year.
For this year, the skirt will have to be the focal point.
Now, time to attach the chicken wire. FYI: A tightly wrapped roll of wire tends to remain convinced it is meant to retain it's rolled shape, Pleading, threats, and cursing have very little effect on the wire.
Two people would have made this part easier but that was not an option if I wanted to move this project along.
Thank goodness I did have a wire cutter and it worked beautifully. Unfortunately I got a little overly enthusiastic and pinched the pad of my finger tip as I slammed them shut. That resulted in an instant blood blister and a sensitive fingertip for the next couple hours. (and probably a few more curse words)
Not the classiest job but it will all be covered.
Once the wire mesh was covered with greenery, I went back to the bodice. I remembered a short fur cape I had seen at a shop close by and decided to splurge thinking the effect might be worth it.
I so wish I had taken a picture before I returned the fur piece, but just imagine a little shriveled up 90 year old still wearing the fur piece she wore in the 40's. It was a lovely cape in a reddish brown that could have been great if it were made for this petite form.
I went back to trying a variety of decorative ornaments on the skirt and trying to decide just how many lights I should use. As I mentioned, there is a deadline, so I'm pretty much committed to things I have on hand.
There was a slight temptation to rip it all apart.
One more trip to St. Vincent de Paul turned up absolutely nothing. And then the obvious broke through just as the sun brightened up the skies. (Maybe 10 hours sleep the night before cleared my brain.)
I took the few remaining pieces of greenery left from the disassembled Christmas tree and started arranging them over the shoulders of the dress form.
I published this post and then added one little thing so I just had to insert this picture. The pearl clip earring in the center of the corsage was the final detail. I knew something was needed there but I had to take time to look through my "stuff." And that's why I save things like one earring. It's very satisfying, not to mention redeeming, to find just the thing needed for a project in my "It could come in handy someday." stash.