Saturday, November 25, 2017

Decorating For Christmas!

First, my apologies if any of this is odd sounding or misspelled;  the cat fell asleep on my right arm, hugging it.

My Christmas Tree

 As most of you know, I moved to Italy in September. I didn't bring or send any of my Christmas decor from home so I had to buy new stuff.  I'm on a limited budget for the next month (long story but moving is not cheap!) so I went to one of my new favorite thrift stores here in Italy.  There, I bought this  5" faux tree for €15!   Really, once I got it home and fluffed out a lot of the branches, it started to look pretty decent. 

Next, I had to get the lights and the decorations.  I bought the lights at the local five and dime for about as much as the tree cost me.  The nice thing is that the lights have 8 different modes - you can have them fade in and out, blink, chasing, randomly flicker, or be steady as well as a couple of other modes. 

The decorations I had to get creative with.  Although I found some decent ornaments at the thrift store, I also made a few as well.  First up is the very decorative "icicle".  One of my tiaras didn't make it through the move - which is fine.  I can easily get a new one.  However, I saw an idea for reusing old jewelry as decorations and figured I'd take the pieces of the tiara and see what I'd come up with.

I took a thick pink ribbon, ran it through the arches of half of my old tiara, and took one of the pearl drops, adding it to the bottom.   I tied the ribbon off at the top with silver glitter gift wrapping ribbon. Below is what I ended up with:
Recycled Tiara
 Since I doubt many people reading have broken old tiaras lying around, also consider using that one earring you can never find the partner to or other jewelry odds and ends you probably do have about.  I also used two old mardi gras "pearl" necklaces as garlands.  They covered about 2/3s of the tree. 

Behind the stylized icicle, you might notice the white lace.  Like anyone that does historical costuming, I have a lot of trims and fabrics as part of my stash.  The lace is a wide one I use for 18th C undersleeves.   I have yards upon yards of it.  I used it as well as a garland.
 Not the best picture - I'll take a better one later.   I bought 12 paper doilies for 99 cents at the local five and dime as well as some pretty nylon Christmas ribbons.   From the local yarn and trim store, I got a bunch of ribbon roses for €1 which I used in making a few other decorations.

For the snow cone, I cut the doilies into quarters.  I took one of the quarters and put taped the edges together.  I used silver glitter tape because I like glitter tape.  :-)  However, you can also use regular gift wrap tape.   Once the cone is done, I added the lavender christmas ribbon  to the back in a loop to hang it and on the sides as bows.  I had to be careful not to rip through the holes on the sides of the paper.  I also had these very generic cheap "snow ball" ornaments in Styrofoam and used that as a...snowcone.   

Simple Paper Fan
Mom wrapped a few of my items in the financial times.  The FT has always had a very distinctive pink paper.  I straightened out the paper and did the typical fan fold.  I cut the paper in two and then brought out a doily.  I folded the doily so that both edges of the lace were visibly, rather than one on top of the other.  Folding the doily in a fan was a bit difficult, but as long as you pay attention to where the center is, it will come out.  I then cut off the bottom of the doily.  If you cut it off to start with, it might be easier, but I didn't do that so...

Anyway, I then matched the folds of the doily and the pink paper so that the doily covered most of the FT.  I then took my yarn needle, put the lavender Christmas ribbon in it, and punched through the papers for a bow at the bottom but also to keep the papers together.  You can also use a little bit of glue at the edges to keep them together.  I added three of the purple roses for a bit more of pretty.

One of the Thrift Store ornaments

My sad attempt at decorating one of the Styrofoam ornaments
The above looks very silly but gets lost in the rest of the tree pretty easy.  I took some ribbons and wrapped the styrofoam and topped it with a ribbon.  It's pathetic but eh, it's pink!

Silver Star
I bought a door decoration at the five and dime for €1 and, when I took it out of the bag, one of the stars fell off.  Rather than just throw it away, I put a bit of the silver curling ribbon through it and hung it on the tree instead.  The rest of the door decoration looks lovely without it still.  

I hope everyone is having just as much decorating as I am! 

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