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christmas lights… wow!

  • Posted on December 4, 2018 at 7:43 pm

that is my son’s comment every time he sees lights. since it is december i promised him we would set up the tree, but life intruded and we just haven’t done it yet. as a compromise i decided to add lights to the mini tree and put them out on the table. he seems happy for now.

i had dental surgery today and apparently did some rather odd things while under the sedation, but i’d recovered enough by tonight that meg said she would help me untangle the lights. i was grateful for her help because they were rather a mess. the little tree wasn’t too bad. it was 16 feet long, and while it uncoiled like a spring when we took it off the cardboard, it was at least in more or less a straight line. we wrapped it round the tree, looping around the branches and the length was pretty much perfect!
small tree with lights
the lights can be either white or multicolored and have an option of several different patterns solid, blinking, fade in and out etc. the lights on colored mode are a little pale, but i like the concept.

the larger sting was more of a challenge. it was 33 feet long, which i figure would be about right. but they had wrapped it double around the cone so first we had to untwist the whole length which was springy and kept trying to re-twist. then get it wrapped evenly around the tree without tangling again! the whole thing reminds me why our full-sized trees are pre-lit. these one are going to get stored pre-decorated as well.

finally after much work, and several cup of cocoa on megs part, and ice-cream fudge bars on mine (dental surgery, remember, no hot liquids 🙁 ) we were done and the results were definitely worth it. the string would have been perfect if it just had 3 more lights, but i doubt anyone will notice, other than meg and me.
meg with tree
this tree has lots of different patterns in the lights as well, but they are always colored, since the covers give the color not the leds. as a result they are much brighter.

when i am feeling better, we plan to set the tree up in front of the fire place and try and corral the littles for some christmas pics (if we can get them out from behind the tree where the controls are!)

in the mean time, we’ll leave you with one last picture of our lovely lit trees
reflections

third try is the charm

  • Posted on November 18, 2018 at 3:13 pm

i have a 24″ mini tree i bought several years ago and have slowly been changing into a prop for my mnf and smaller girls. it is approx 24 inches tall so on the scale of a 7′ tree. i wish i had thought to take a picture of it “before”. it used to have really ugly outsized berries and huge globs of “snow”. i have removed most of that and replaced them with better scale, mostly homemade ornaments. adding a few more each year. unfortunately while i was working on it, i left it on my south facing kitchen windowsill and noticed that this year instead of having a nice green pine, it has faded to more of a blue spruce :(. not sure if it is possible to recolor it? especially since the ornies are wired on and would be hard to remove. if you have any suggestions on how to fix it, please comment below. otherwise my girls will just have a spruce tree. something that is much more common here anyway, so i guess it works?

the tree had a burlap bag around the bottom and i have wanted a tree skirt to cover it since the beginning. i had elaborate plans but never got around to doing it so today was the day!

my first attempt was to make an origami white felt skirt using a pattern i’d saved ages ago. it looked nice flat but didn’t suit my tree, so into the recycle bin it went.

second attempt was to make a lined skirt. this is the fabric i’m using
tree skirt
i spite of careful measuring, the lining made the skirt too stiff, it stuck out and didn’t hit the floor. so attempt two also went into the recycle bin.

this time i decided to make it just a single layer. i cut the appropriate circle, then slit up the back and trimmed the center till it was just wide enough to wrap round the trunk.
tree skirt
already a vast improvement. but of course i couldn’t stop there…

i went through my lace bin and found some red ruffled elastic. i folded over the outside edge about 1/4″ and pinned the elastic to that edge. then top stitched them together. the back slit and center were just turned and stitched. while looking for buttons to do up the back, i spied a bunch of floral shaped mother of pearl buttons and scattered them around the edge to see what they would look like. i liked it, so tacked them down with glue to keep track of where to put them and then sewed each one on by hand. that looked pretty good but it was still a bit sparse, so i tried adding square mop buttons and some assorted red ones. almost there…. it just needed a few green ones for pop. happy with the number and placement i glued and stitched those as well. several hours later this was the result
tree skirt
i think it is kind of fun and quirky. it’s all made from supplies unearthed in my craft purge, and should be plenty big enough to hide the battery pack from my fairy light string that will go on later this week.
tree skirt done

(here is a picture of the tree taken 5 years ago just so you can see the scale)
merry christmas!