Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beautiful Family (Christmas) Tree

Once again, the timing of this post may seem just a bit off--too much to do to think about any kind of project just days before Christmas. But I absolutely LOVE this idea and want to share it. The reason that I am posting it now is that if you decide this is something you want to do--perhaps next year--you may want to keep your eyes open for supplies when they are on sale during your after-Christmas shopping

I have a wonderful, talented friend who is truly a Christmas decoration artist. Her home is a holiday fairy land which includes four large trees, each with a unique theme. They are all gorgeous, but my absolute favorite is her "ancestor tree." This picture doesn't begin to do it justice:

I learned from my friend that the key to creating this look is to layer the decorations; start hanging ornaments near the trunk and work outward. She also stays within a chosen range of colors. The palette for this tree includes crystal, muted purples, ivory, greens and golds.

What makes this tree especially meaningful to me, however, is that tucked among the lights, ribbon, silk flowers, balls, and other ornaments are tiny jeweled frames, each containing a photograph of a beloved relative.

Many of her frames came in boxed, Christmas ornament sets that she found in department stores like Dillards or in craft stores like Hobby Lobby. Others she found at novelty shops, like Hallmark stores, and at thrift stores.

Hint: An easy way to obtain small, quality copies of pictures for this project is to scan photos into your computer and then go to an online photo store like Walgreens and plug your photos into a collage. It gives you a format that provides room for a lot of small pictures--just what you want for this project. Once the collage is printed, you can carefully remove the glass from a frame, place it over a photo, trace around it, and then cut out the picture to fit into the frame.

Since my parents passed away, I have scanned hundreds of family photos, including many pictures of ancestors that I never had the opportunity to meet. But I feel like I know them from hearing their stories, reading their journals, and seeing their faces.  I love the idea of honoring them next Christmas with a special place on my Family Christmas Tree.

Merry Christmas!

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