I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Friday, December 13, 2013

Oh Christmas tree... oh Christmas trees

We finished hanging the outside lights today. I helped the Prospector curve a PVC pipe over the iron gate that is the entrance to our front yard. Then we wrapped the pipe with garlands of green and added some Christmas lights, from the house, over the gate to the end of the fence. It is so pretty tonight, looking out there and seeing the lights outlining the fence. So very Christmas.
I've spent a couple of days decorating the house. There are three trees this year. All small but different.

The first one is near the piano. It was going to have a cowboy theme but I haven't found too much to fill it yet. So far I've hung our son's old handmade ornaments from their school days on it.
They are old and have been repaired many times.
I love these ornaments. They are filled with memories.
This tree is also were the animals live. The little dogs and cats with wings ( in honor of pets that are no longer with us), the glass pine cones and cowboy bells and anything that makes us think of country living...
The assorted deer and antelope...
I set the four foot tree on the folding metal chair that I painted chartreuse last year and covered the seat with an old tablecloth that was my Mom's. The boxes are empty. I store the ornaments in them the rest of the year.
"Carl? You are not to touch any of the Christmas things. I know that you will chew any sock if it's left laying around, but all of this is off limits. Do you hear me?"
His ears were listening but his body was not moving.
Then he slowly turned around.
He looked at me.
I repeated, "Did you hear me, Carl?"

"YES! I hear you. I just can't make any promises."
He gave me his best "How could you blame me for all those socks." look and then walked away. 

The second tree is a 3 footer. It's on the chest in front of the porch window.
This tree holds a few gourd ornaments that I've made and small collector ornaments that I have collected over the years. The paper mache deer was a thrift store find that had an ugly, faded crape paper flower on it. I took it off and make a rosette for it. The deer was $.50 and my labor was free.
The P. Schifferl ornaments that I've collected over the years are in and under the little tree.
 I love these little carved ornaments. Most are very small and hang on the tree... but this one, with Santa riding an owl, sits below the tree waiting for Christmas Eve. He's ready for his big flight.
 It's one of my favorites. I like the idea of a huge bird flying Santa around the world with his bag of toys.

The third "tree" was inspired by my sister. She cuts manzanita branches when she's here, takes them home, sprays them with different colors and hangs them over her kitchen window. Black for Halloween, white for Christmas and sometimes just natural with leaves that she makes with old pages of a book or sheet music.
So while she found some pieces to take home, I cut some branches and made a "tree" for the buffet.

This was so much fun. I used my mom's old brass bowl and filled it with foil and paper to hold the branches in place.You can also use rocks to hold the branches steady as well.
I'm not finished with this yet but when I am, it will hold all the felted and paper ornaments that I've made or have been given to me. 
I made this one out of vellum paper, an old thrift store, wood ornament, plastic sparkle pieces from the Dollar store and some lichen from the oak trees.  There are also some sea shells attached that I found at the ocean. Added some glitter and old ribbon too.  These small ornaments make great additions to the top of a gift box.
And any wonderful things that I find on my hikes, like this nest, below, that I haven't had time to find a name for. It was kept in a bottle for a few days when I first brought it inside, just in case there was still something hibernating in it. There wasn't. I would have died if thousands of baby spiders had crawled out of it in the warmth of the house.

There are memories of my trip to Germany, last year, hanging here and some photos of the snow, in Montana, that my friend sent me for my birthday. She doesn't have "glitter" where she lives. She has lots and lots of snow. It's beautiful.
The little heart ornament from Munich reminds me of all the snow we saw there and how lovely the city looked from my hotel window on my birthday last year. I was sick. I came home sick. But Munich was beautiful in the snow.
I will show you more as I add things to the decorations. It's fun to change the living room into Christmas. I honor the tradition and love the whole, wonderful season.


  1. eeep...the thought of a 1000 baby spiders pouring out gave me a shiver...ha...i hope carl can hold it together...we have lots of superhero and football ornaments right now...smiles.

  2. Want to see everything when you finish decorating. Love what you have done so far. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  3. Oh Christmas Tree, indeed! What fun and beautiful ornaments. (And the pictures of Carl's take on the whole thing are great! LOL.)

  4. That picture of Carl is priceless! I love how you kept all your old ornaments and how they all have stories. My daughters old ones were lost to dampness in the barn.
    They are like little gifts to reopen every year and remember the past. Your little branch tree is going to be lovely. I'll be decorating my Christmas Chandelier tomorrow.

  5. Lovely trees, especially with all those personal touches.

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  7. I’ll bet your outside lights are beautiful. So where are the pictures? You have the best Christmas trees. And all the old ornaments are such a treasure. That expression on Carl’s face is priceless. Love, love, love Santa in the owl sleigh! Your decorating descriptions have almost inspired me to bring out my tree after all. ALMOST! The decorating is fun, but don’t you agree that someone else should be required to do all the putting away? ~Dawn


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