The Wild Side of Christmas – Part Two
After the last post I did on my new tradition of decorating my tree in a leopard theme, two points came out that needed elaboration. One, pictures of the actual ornaments I made were requested, and two, more evidence was needed in detail via these pictures to determine fairly, if indeed, I had gone off the deep end as I had suggested. So, here it goes. I will let you be the judge of my sanity and promise my feelings won’t get hurt if you declare me certifiably bonkers.
First of all, in order to properly create my leopard inspired tree, there was a meticulous method to my madness and you will note that the tree has several different aspects to it. I wanted a harmonious and tasteful combination of colors and textures that would evoke both Christmas as well as an exotic leopard feel. I artfully mixed carefully chosen assorted shatterproof holiday ornaments in shades of burgundies, reds, greens, golds, and silvers to compliment my homemade touches. The first one being the leopard decoupaged balls. The process is really quite simple if you have the wherewithal to make a bit of a mess for a while. I decided it was imperiatvie I drop everything else I was doing (such as bookkeeping, laundry, and errands) and took all the various sizes of the shatterproof balls that were completely smooth and devoid of any glitters or ridges as the base for my project. For those of you that have received a copy of The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey from me, you know that I wrap the book in a sleeve of leopard patterned tissue wrap… so, I just so happen to have lots of tissue paper handy for crafting! With nothing but watered down Elmer’s glue, torn up pieces of tissue paper, a paint brush, and lots of patience, decoupaging the balls is quite easy. I supported them on my dish washing rack that I turned upside down and outside they went to dry!
The next task was painting gold glitter onto little wooden letter “Z’s” that I had gotten at Michael’s Crafts. I bought every last one they had and I’m sure the inventory person is scratching his/her head at the absence of the letter Z in stock!! Dan (and the cats) helped me paint these while I was decoupaging and they also went outside to dry before I affixed cording to them to hang on the tree.
While at Michaels I happened to wander down the holiday ribbon isle. That’s right, an ENTIRE aisle devoted to nothing but assorted patterns and sizes of ribbons to make holiday decorations. There were literally dozens of spools of ribbons in leopard print so it would seem others might share in my obsession. Obviously in my defense, I had no choice but to buy some and decided to strategically tie leopard print bows at the edge of some of the tree boughs. Again, while I was there, (I was helpless to their blatant willingness to take advantage of my weakness towards impulse shopping) I saw some gorgeous poinsettias that were unlike any I had seen in years past. Rather than your traditional reds, whites, or pinks, these were in delicious shades of creamy mochas and coffees and complimented my color scheme perfectly. I cut the flowers off of the stems and also adhered them strategically to select points of the boughs.
The last step was to drag out my sewing machine and make stuffed ornaments out of a leopard fabric I happened to have left from another project that also might lend credence to whether or not I am bonkers or not, although this project was primarily Dan’s foray into cat insanity. Dan literally pulled apart an old cat condo we had and rebuilt it by adding another floor, new cubbies, re-carpeted it, and more incredibly, custom made windows cut out in the shape of the letter “Z” and a heart shaped door opening to one of the enclosures, and leopard lined beds and walls…. So, we had fabric left from that… I cut out various circles, hearts, and diamonds, and embellished them with ribbons, buttons, flowers, and bows. They were such a hit that Zee decided I had made them as part of his personal stock of cat toys and we find them all over the house. I take this as quite a compliment!
The piece de resistance was found by chance when I was Christmas shopping at Pier 1 for OTHER people. For whatever reason, no matter where I go, leopard print is so popular that I am tortured wherever I go with items beckoning to me to buy them. I try my best to remain strong, but this was just too tempting for me – I found a dainty butterfly with gossamer leopard print wings that was just perfect for the top of the tree. It had been nagging me that I did not have a tree topper and when I saw this butterfly, I felt fate had intervened and my destiny was now complete!!
I added a few green strands of green beaded garland to mingle with the dainty white lights adorning the tree and a leopard print tree skirt finished the overall effect. I must say that it really came out nice. I still love a traditional looking tree, but somehow this one just seemed right for this year. Happy Holidays to All and Best Wishes for a Wonderful New Year!!