Our coarse kosher salt may not be optimized for salt dough activities. But we make do, because it's the only kind of salt we keep in the house. As opposed to the twenty varieties of sugar stocked in the cabinet. Priorities.

Decked out


We picked out our tree from the neighborhood nursery over the weekend with one child a pathetic, sickly pile on Mr. New Media's shoulder and the other too little to have any interest in the matter of Christmas, present-filled or otherwise. A fine tree it is, though, perhaps the best we've ever gotten. It's certainly the largest, threatening the ceiling with such gusto, it's difficult not to admire. Usually, when we get around to getting the tree, it's either the super cheap one we get at Ikea's promotional tree lot, or the settle-for-what's-left, misshapen, unideally-sized, not dense enough tree that needs to be backed into an obtuse corner to conceal the awkward gaps and protrusions. This year's tree, by comparison is perfection.

So we hauled down the boxes of accumulated decorations from the attic, and upon opening the first box, I was flooded with memories of Christmases past. Which was mostly images of cobalt blue orbs and candy-colored fruits and icicle-shaped glass things sent to their painful deaths on the hard floor below by the indelicate hands of a curious toddler. This year, I decided, and likely for the next few years as The Girlie enters and grows out of the rattle-all-the-ornaments-off-the-tree stage of development, those ornaments will remain boxed. Which means that new decorations are in order.

First off, the topper. We'd had this brassy angel thing that we picked up years ago because it was just a smidge better than everything else on the the shelf. But we've never really liked it. And really, it should be a star up there, anyway. So, while I  let The Boy go to town with a glitter pen and piece of yellow linen, I traced and cut out a star from some red felt. Cut out some diamonds for a reverse-applique look, and stitched all together. Easy-peasy and sparkly. With a good helping of snot from a runny toddler-nose. Perfect.


While I had my pile of felt out (how I do love a good pile of wooly felt) I decided to cut out millions of little swatches, vaguely leafy and roundish. Stitched them together to make twenty feet of garland, which was enough to go around the tree two and a half times. Note to self: cut out another couple million swatches next time, and maybe that will be enough. More felt was sacrificed for some stuffed orbs. 

Somewhere out on the Interwebs recently, I'd seen seen a tree festooned with vellum origami balloons wrapped around the strung lights, making for a lovely glowy aura. Our vellum is of the brittle card stock variety that cracks and tears when you try to coerce some crisp lines out of it. So I turned to, of all things, my stash of origami paper which is durable AND translucent AND has interesting textures and patterns that make for some very cool effects when lit up from inside.


Then, of course, we needed to finish off those gingerbread men with some bright quick-drying paint. After that, all that was left to do was let The Boy hang the goodies as high as he could on the tippiest of toes. Which is about halfway up the tree. Which makes for a tree that doesn't photograph terribly well in its entirety, but does have some pretty interesting close-up shots. So that's where I leave you, today. More shots of our tree in its macro glory here.