Friday, December 28, 2012

Three Feather Trees

Just a tad late for Christmas but here are three feather trees that are decorated with vintage and antique ornaments. I have them on display on the buffet. We have usually put the village there but it is taking a rest this year.

This 2' tall feather tree I picked up for $2.00 at a Saint Vincent de Paul thrift shop years ago. I almost didn't buy it for not recognizing how old it was. Its branches were loosely crushed up against the trunk, then wrapped with cheap decorations. After paying for it, removing all of the cheap decorations, and straightening the branches I realized that I had a 1920's feather tree.

It has been decorated with vintage and antique cotton batting ornaments for the most part. The green Santa was given to me by Robin, our oldest boy, when he was very young.

The little girl and the metal ball are Victorian. I'm not certain how old the chenille roping is.

I saw this Victorian wooden ornament that was made in Germany in a book about Christmas decorations and fell in love with it. A few years later I came across one at a flea market in Victoria. I bought it immediately!

This is the snowman Santa that was behind the wooden ornament above.

Here is one of the feather trees that I made years ago. Most of the ornaments on the tree and below it are celluloid.

The large red curved item is a hunting horn/party horn. Both this horn and the pink, white, and green horn still work. The large swan is a celluloid bath toy.

The clown head at the top is not made of celluloid, neither is the little girl in the snow suit. The clown is Italian.

The garland is very tatty isn't it, I love it though. It is made of metal tinsel and finely cut cellophane. I have not come across it since purchasing these two garlands. It is less than 1/2" wide.

The little girl in the red coat was bought at the same time as the girl in the snow suit. I think that they may be from the early 1960's. There are lots of celluloid animals on the tree. The angel, or if you are British, the Christmas Fairy, is made of hard plastic dressed in tarletan.

 Tarletan is similar to cheesecloth in the weave but is stiffened and came in a variety of colours. I have some folds of it from 1910, one with a beautiful chromolithograph on it of a costume that could be made using the tarletan and inexpensive fabric or crepe papier.

The other feather tree that I made several years ago is decorated with a selection of chenille ornaments.

Lots of chenille Santas, candy canes, and animals decorate this tree.

The Santa at the bottom is about 8" long with bells on his feet. There is another one close to the top of the tree beside the trunk. The tree topper is made of two flower shapes made of silk bump chenille that are tipped with glass beads I put them together to create one large full star-like tree topper.

I hope everyone is still enjoying the holidays such as they are after Christmas. It is on to New Year's Eve.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Have a wonderful time with friends and family. Enjoy the holidays.

2012 mantle and garlands.

Here is this year's Christmas mantle. The rest of the party hats and noisemakers went onto the mantle. The crepe papier party hats didn't make it out as there is not an easy way to display them. 

Most of the hats and noisemakers are from the 1940's through to the 1960's.

The first thing I did was to centre a 6' faux garland on the mantle letting it hang over each end. The base was ready so I arranged as many hats on the garland and stuck in as many party horns as I could while still keeping some sense of design and order.

And now for the close-ups...

Once the base of hats and horns was done I tucked tiny Christmas trees, vintage tinsel roping, lights, as well as vintage and antique Santas. The big elf like Santa is a favourite candy container. To his right, your left is an early wooden party horn in the shape of a little man. There is a white Belsnickle farther down the line-up.

This is not a great picture to show this Santa in his sleigh. I picked it up at a Salvation Army store about 5 years ago for $21.00, a steal! His sack of toys has old Cracker Jack prizes in it. You can just make out, leaning against the mirror, a heavy Dresden decoration of a deer standing beside a small log house.

In the back leaning against the mirror is a Dresden decoration of Santa in his sleigh on his way to deliver gifts to the little log house in the previous photo.

Lots of hats and horns with one lone Santa standing beside a white Christmas tree.

When the top part of the mantle was finished I draped two long strands of early vintage roping that has glass beading attached to it. After that was done more hats were added and finally the strands of tree lights.

Here are a few more of my Favourite Santas. All of these were bought at Thrift stores years ago when items such as these were fairly common.

On the left is a hand-carved wooden nutcracker, next is a candy container Santa container. That tall necked Santa is my all-time favourite not because of age or beauty but for sheer sillyness. It is made of hard plastic. You hold by his middle, push it down and all of a sudden, his head, that is held in place by a cylinder of coiled heavy waxed paper, shoots up about 12" and falls back onto his neck. The next Santa I bought at Saint Vincent de Paul for $30.00. It stands about 10" high. The very next day I was at Salvation Army and saw a small table of Christmas ornaments. I didn't think that there would be much of interest but looked anyway. The last item that I saw was this giant Japanese Santa. The larger version of the Santa that I had purchased the day before For $2.95!

Every Christmas we hang paper garlands and lanterns. It wouldn't feel like Christmas without them. Once they are up it totally transforms the room into an Aladdin's cave.

Paper lanterns and garlands are a British tradition. Two lanterns were used to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. The Union Jack is on the front with the words "God save the Queen" circling the base.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 Christmas Tree

Our Christmas tree is up! Well, to be honest, it has been up for about 2 weeks. With shopping and everything that happens at this time of year I haven't had the time to photograph it to show you this year's tree.

We decided that this year we would use the big 6.5' feather tree that I made years ago in place of a live tree and put the $30.00 or more towards presents. For the very first time none of our kids will be here for Christmas but that is life and I am still going to decorate!

Click on the images to see the larger version. I suppose everyone knows that by now but I still feel like I should mention it.

I didn't want to use the decorations that we always use on the live tree so I pulled out my collection of noisemakers and party hats. I like a tree to reach to the ceiling and 6.5' is shy of touching it by 1.5'. The tree was plunked into a large white fiberglass urn from my display props and there we go almost 7.5' tall.

My large noisemakers and party hats are hung in front cascading to the floor. Alphonse, the snowman marotte that I made a few years ago, has a place of honour beside an extremely large party hat. All of my tissue paper and vegetal fibre leis drape from the top of the urn adding texture as well as disguising the blanket. 

Here is a close-up of Alphonse and some of the noisemakers.

I used some of the old tinsel roping on the tree to add sparkle.

The smaller of the party hats are on the tree.

I am rather fond of this cowboy party hat, it was a gift from a friend.

The red rope is 1940's cellophane garlanding. The rich deep red of the cellophane looks amazing against the green tree. Hanging on one of the branches you can see one of the many wooden ratchets that I own.

Anything can be used to decorate a tree. When tinsel and Christmas tree lights are added for some reason it looks like Christmas!

I have collected silver metal baskets from the 1960's and put all of the smaller items in them.

A look at the back of the tree and the disco balls that are hanging from the ceiling.

Last, but not least, is the tree topper. It definitely is not the star of Bethlehem! Those big nose eyeglasses are from the 1950's.

The Japanese paper Santa lantern I bought in China town about 15 years ago for $3.00.  The store called "The Orient", a Victoria landmark, was going out of business and all of the old stock was for sale. I wish that I had bought the lot. Last year I saw a smaller version of this lantern for sale for $60.00!

I'll show you the mantle next post, more party hats and noisemakers.

Monday, December 17, 2012

2012 Christmas Topiary Tree

Last Thursday night the church that we go to had a get together for the adults at a coffee shop in town. Nicole our daughter-in-law did the food, it was amazing. She asked me if I could decorate for the evening. There wasn't a lot of room so I came up with this topiary Christmas tree.

The heavy green ceramic vase  has a narrow base of just under 4", in order to weight the base and stabilize this top heavy tree I filled the vase with marble sand. The marble sand also holds the boxwood topiary in place.

The tree is made from bits and pieces from dismantled window displays. The bows and the cake are from last years Christmas window at Hillside Shopping Centre. The topiary was used in a summer window.  All of the faux crystallized fruit I found at Salvation Army.

This little piece of silliness stands about 5' tall and is now on my computer desk for the rest of the holiday season.