Christmas trees are actually a non-topic at our house. Not that we don't like them. We do. It's just that we spend many of our Christmases abroad. Or at home. Depending on the perspective you take.
I mean, what use is there to set up a tree without being able to enjoy it? The years in which we do have our own tree, I almost can't wait to put it up, but am also a bit sad to slowly see it weather away. Ideally, we should have a big garden so we can get a potted one, which we can plant out again later!
Anyway, whatever your thoughts on Christmas trees are, decorating them is undeniably fun. Even thínking of decorating them is. So this week, I'll put up three virtual tree decorations for you - to get the ideas going!
Today I'm starting with the "natural" one: Materials as nature supplies them, skilled crafting turning this raw material into something stunning, and a small idea to get creative yourself.
Cinnamon scented beeswax ornament found at Shaker Workshops, and an example of the "Carolina Snowflake". The "Snowflake" is made of artfully woven thin wooden strips, but you can also use paper for them. Examples and some how to's can be found everywhere in the net. Just google "Carolina Snowflake"!
The "Erzgebirge" region in Germany has a long tradition in creating all sorts of wooden (Christmas) decoration items. One of the techniques used is "shaving" or carving wood in such a way that a beautiful pattern of wood curls appears. The specific star shown above is from Martina Rudolph and can be obtained at Nestler. The garland in the middle is from Crate and Barrel. A traditional cranberry garland made of red wooden beads instead. This simple, straight forward garland adds just the right amount of colour to a tree with wooden ornaments. The item on the far right is a wood cut made by Betsy Sylvester, and is just one out of her extensive snowflake series. Her webpage can be found here.
The last thing I wanted to show in this post is something you can easily create yourself. For the wooden ornaments below I used a set of wooden discs I picked up from my local craft store called "Idee". Unfortunately I couldn't find the same wooden discs in their online store! Furthermore I used sanding paper (small grain), paper & pen, a white gel pen, white acrylic paint, a size 0 paint brush, and a sharp spike.
I started by tracing the wooden discs I wanted to use. This way I could try out some doodles on paper first and see what would fit the individual shape of each disc.
After that, I sanded and wiped the discs clean with a damp cloth. With the white gel pen, I free-handedly copied my designs onto each disc. Then I painted the pattern over with the acrylic paint and the size zero brush. To get a "worn" effect you can slightly sand over your painted discs, and repaint them. Or you can finish them with a varnish to make them glossy.
When dry, make a small hole with the spike (be careful not to put too much pressure otherwise the discs will break!) and add thread or ribbon to be able to hang them in your tree.
That's it for now. Next up: Lots of colour with a folkloristic inspired tree!