Monday, November 28, 2011

Maps and Mercury Glass

Ever since we moved into our new house, I've been anxiously awaiting Christmas. During the open house I mentally placed the Christmas tree to the right of the fireplace and hung the stockings too.

We have a gorgeous metallic tree, kind of copper-ish, but it's only 4 or 5 feet tall. We've used every year since we got married, and it was always perfect for our little apartments.  Now we've got the space for a big one, so we went for it. Go big or go home.

Actually, our little tree looks perfect in our dining room so it's not left out. It'll probably always be my favorite tree, so shiny and nostalgic feeling, I'll post pics of it soon. I can definitely see myself as being one of those whack-a-doo old ladies with 30 Christmas trees in her one bedroom condo. Time will tell.

Back to the new tree and the whole reason for this post. Having a new tree meant lots of empty branches to decorate. And since, our little copper tree has all our sentimental ornaments, this was a fun opportunity to play with the trends. I've always loved antiques, especially mercury glass, and luckily there are a ton of faux mercury ornament out this year. I cleaned out places like Marshall's and TJ Maxx and even found a some at Target and Walmart. I really only bought a few of each because I love the look of a tree with lots character and dimension to it. I like that the uniqueness of the ornaments keep your eyes moving from one to the next. Throw that in with the soft light coming from the tree and it's the stuff of christmas carols.

Before I threw the ornaments on, I had to add the garland. Garland...garland...what garland?! I couldn't land on anything I liked at the stores this year so I decided to make my own. My mother in law gave me a ton of maps recently and I thought I'd like to work them in. The vision came a few weeks ago and I decided I'd turn them into a pennant banner/garland thing. I also had my eye on my first sewing machine and thought this would be the perfect time to get it. 

So I bought the machine, folded up the map and cut out dozens of triangles, all the same size, but not worrying if they were perfect or not. I like the primitive/homemade look sometimes. 

Next, I threaded my machine with red thread and put it on a zig-zag setting. (I'm a sucker for zig-zags these days.) And then I put my first triangle through, then another and another and so on. This project 
really flies! 

Don't clip the thread in between triangles as this is how you hang them on the tree. (Kind of a "duh" thing to say, but you never know.) I did clip mine about every 6-8 feet or so, just to keep it from tangling en route to the tree.

Voila! What you get is an old world look, and when juxtaposed with the shine of the mercury glass, they really balance each other out. And while the tree and this post may resemble something from Norman Rockwell, let me assure you we have yet to don the Christmas PJs and sip hot chocolate by the yule log. Right after we got the tree together, we left the living room in shambles and fought with the lights on the roof for 2 days. I'm okay with that though, I think Christmas should be the perfect blend of Norman Rockwell and Clark Griswold. 

Oh and Buddy the Elf. :)

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