The Wild Side of Christmas – Part Two

by Deb at 6:50 AM • Uncategorized28 Comments

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.

A snippet of the full layering effect of decorating the tree – shatterproof ornaments with glittery patterns, leopard accents in the form of bows and decoupaged balls, custom painted letter "Z's," and strands of beads.

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.

The letter "Z" spiked in sales for Michael's Crafts!

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.

You will note the sweet little leopard bows gracing the tree along with the creamy colored poinsettia blooms and homemade stuffed hearts.

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!

You can't see it from the picture, but on either side of the heart opening that Zoey is napping in, is custom cut letter "Z's" for the windows! This is the leopard fabric I used to make my stuffed ornaments!

A close up of one of the stuffed heart ornaments that Zee has claimed for his stock-pile of toys!

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!!

The full glorious effect!!! I love it and thanks for letting me share this with all of you!! Happy New Year from Deb, Dan, Zee, Zoey, Mia, Peanut, Rolz, and Jazz


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  1. Ingrid King says:

    Wow! Just wow! I only have one question: how on earth did you find the time to do all this? It’s absolutely spectacular. Thank you for sharing the details.

    I think you need to open an Etsy shop for leopard print Christmas decorations…

    • Deb says:

      Ingrid – taking advice from a post I recall from you on a certain tree, I just decided it was important to make the time for something I wanted to do and just walked away from my other responsibilities!! One less load of laundry or one less blog post is not the end of the world! Glad you enjoyed the details and you are definately giving me something to think about with Etsy!

  2. Marg says:

    Those are terrific looking ornaments and we don’t think you are nuts, just very ambitious and that is a good thing. It is wonderful to take the time for something you really want to do. We should all do more of that. Have a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

    • Deb says:

      Phew…. thanks Marg!! That’s one vote for sanity! I agree with you – we do need to take more time out for things we really enjoy. I really had a great time this year – it brought back memories of years ago when I used to make homemade ornaments all the time. You have a Happy and Healthy New Year as well.

  3. Kristin G. says:

    I LOVE your decorations!! Looking forwad to following you all in 2012. Happy New Year!

  4. phyllis sloan says:

    I just love that tree!!!!!!! Happy New Year to you and Dan and all the wild life in your home….Phyllis

  5. dawn says:

    It’s beautiful! I love the leopard print balls. Happy New Year!

  6. Wow, the tree, the ornaments and the cat tree are amazing!!! Happy New Year to all of you. May 2012 bring much peace, love and purrs of happiness!

    • Deb says:

      Thank you Layla!! Coming from an artist such as yourself, that means a lot to me!! Happy New Year to you and yours as well and I am so thrilled to have met you this year!

  7. Girl you are crazy and wonderful and that’s why I adore you!! Happy New Year, sweetheart! xo

    • Deb says:

      Angie – the feeling is completely mutual and I am so happy to have you as part of my journey!! Best Wishes for you and yours and hope the book is starting to come along!! xoxox

  8. Cheysuli says:

    Oh that is excellent! At our Craft Warehouse they have a heavier decopage glue that if you dipped your decoupage balls in it, they would have a bigger shine. The woman really likes it for certain things–this might be a nice thing to play with sometime (and if we find some more we would be happy to send you a jar–it’s for a larger project so they say pour the whole thing over the larger project but I bet you could immerse your ornaments in it!)

    • Deb says:

      That’s a great idea Chey – I was thinking they needed a shine and was debating with a poly spray, but I just ran out of time! It’s great to know that a special glue is made for that. I was thinking it would be fun to make some of those larger balls that you find in places like Pier 1 (that are overly priced) that you put in bowls for display…. I will definately look into finding that glue. The woman is a sweetheart for offering to send me some, but I’m sure if I look in Michaels, I’ll find something! Happy New Year!!

  9. If you have gone off the deep end, I will join you there!!!! That is the most fabulous looking tree I have ever seen, and I am so in love with all of the elements but esp. the leopard print heart. If you DID open an etsy shop with some of these leopard decorations, I predict they would fly out of there in a nanosecond. If I could, I would hire you to make me a tree like this!! I would copy you, but my sister got all of the “craft-y” genes in our family, unfortunately.

    Happy New Year from Julia, Annabelle, Rocky and Mickey! =^..^=

    • Deb says:

      Thank you so much Julia – I have always wanted to open a Zee/Zoey type of boutique and you guys are really making my mind spin with ideas! I wish I could have you stop by the house for some coffee and crafting – I would love to show you just how easy they are to make! Happy New Year to you and yours as well!

  10. Brian says:

    I am convinced that everything you do is beautiful!!! From all of us to all of you…Happy, Happy, Happy New Year!!!

    • Deb says:

      Awww… thanks Brian!! I have been crafting since I was a little girl, so I have a lot of years of practice!! Happy New Year to you and yours as well!!

  11. Carolyn says:

    Ok, here’s the thing. I would love to be able to come out and say “Deb, you are completely bonkers!” But as I’m the person who chose a grey laser mouse toy as her angel on the top of the tree, I don’t think I’m in a position to do the pointy finger thing.

    As someone who isn’t a fan of Christmas (my secret is out), I think the end result of your efforts is absolutely beautiful. Quite ethereal!

    Well we have 27 minutes to 2012, so I will wish you a happy new year (again!) and go to bed. Love from us to you >^..^< xox

    • Deb says:

      Fair enough Carolyn – lets just call it even and move on to 2012!!! Thank you for inspiring this post and Best Wishes for the New Year!! Sweet Dreams….

  12. RumpyDog! says:

    Happy New Year you guys!!!! woo woo woo!

  13. Yay Pets says:

    You are certifiably AWESOME! I LOVE the leopard print theme! And the glitter. And the cat post is beautiful! Happy New Year! ♥

    • Deb says:

      Oh my goodness Yay Pets!!! What a great way to start the New Year!! Certifiably AWESOME!! I love it – thank you so much for stopping by to say hello and Happy New Year to you too!!

  14. Crystal says:

    And yet again… The ordinary becomes extraordinary.