Down Under Quilts Tree Trims

January 2015

2015 1 DUQ Tree Trims

 

Some front covers of the first 20 issues of Down Under Quilts, Australia’s first patchwork magazine, plus two Women’s journal covers, from ads for back issues.

They have been glued to hand made paper back to back, and ready to hang next Christmas. May be turned into a banner to hand across the doorway, and if so, could remain there all year.

I had articles published in these early issues.

Building Block Tree Decorations

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I have used a lot of small toys as decorations on a Christmas tree, and had some small wooden blocks sitting around.

A bit of sorting, and a bit of stacking, some wood glue, a small screw in hook, and something to tie them onto the tree.

Some spell out words, some are just random letter or number blocks, and even when there is a word on one side, the opposite side is random!

I have single blocks, plus stacks of 2, 3 and 4 blocks scattered over the tree, mixed with other small toys and some snowball pompoms.

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Simple but nice!

Oh, I used red yarn to tie them onto the tree.

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Look at the second photo again … the tree has fabric foliage!

I make my own trees too.

The pompoms were made the same year the tree was made, but the original decorations were looking jaded, which gave me somewhere to put the toys.

Broken Glass and Bead Tree Trim … another one!

Bigger piece of glass, more beads, longer wire …

… now I have a mismatched pair.

These will go onto the main tree because of the family connection to the origin of the glass.

However, I have lots of broken glass which will meet the same end, some with a family or friend connection, others from a piece of glassware which had seen better days.

Broken Glass and Bead Tree Trim

A piece of gold wire, some beads and a piece of broken glass rescued from the dirt on the farm where I grew up.

More importantly, I have made something … from scratch!

But it is rather difficult to get a photo.

Plastic Cookies … Laminated Edition

Some time ago I published some pattern books intending to give them to great nieces for Christmas.

However, before I had finished putting them together I realised, when I touched a page with a wet finger after washing off some paint,  that I would need something a bit more childproof in households where some of the users are not yet going to school!

So I reprinted the pages, placed them back to back and laminated them before stitching them together.

The final step was making some of the items following the instructions from the book and stitching them onto the pages of the book.

The finished book will store much better than the first edition, and will still stand for display.

Very limited edition of three were printed, one for me, with two completed, one for each of two families with under ten year old children for Christmas 2010.

The third one is for me to keep as a reminder of how to make more in the future.

(I also have the one and only First Edition … if I sign it will be even more exclusive!)

PS While making the decorations I created some scraps.

Before adding most to the bin I cut a few plastic icicles to add to the collection of designs. I now have to work out if I can easily add a page to the second editions … I know I can add to the original, the only problem is matching the paint colour exactly!

Christmas Card Garland

8th January 2011

Packing up Christmas decorations usually involves some alterations and mending.

This year there is some of that to do, but decided that something new would be fun to find in the collection when the decorations go up again in November.

Nothing too demanding … paired up Christmas cards from the last few years to find matching pairs, trying to match up sizes first, then hoping I could match themes as well.

I glued them back to back then joined them together with thread so I can hang them over a door. (Or narrow window.)

The best part is that they are reversible, or if in a window they can be seen from both sides!

Now, I usually forget new post Christmas projects so this will be a surprise when I open the box next year.

Tinsel Alternative

When we could afford to spend a bit of money on Christmas decorations (after a few years of no spare money for such trivialities) it was the disco era, and tinsel was widely used, readily available, and very, very shiny. It got bigger and brighter by the year. In defiance of the trend I wanted something a little less in your face so that the decorations I was making wouldn’t be overpowered by the tinsel. I had a couple of  lengths of skinny tinsel and refused to add the big, bold new varieties.

To add a bit of colour (red) I used three strands of 8 ply yarn knotted together about every 12 inches, and the kids made a few red pompoms to match. (Unfortunately the pompoms were not tied together very well and disintegrated within a couple of years. Must make some more red ones….. I have already made white ones.)

Some time later I used red and white 8 ply yarn to crochet a chain and draped them around the tree. Then I worked out that if I did a double crochet every five to ten chain stitches and then continuing with the chain it looked much more interesting. Found instructions to do loopy crochet and found some bumpy yarn to make loopy strands of tinsel alternative.

Then came fancy yarns ………… the faux feathers yarn was a bit one sided as it was, but as a single chain …….. beautiful. Then ostrich, and even some with tinsel like bits mixed into the yarn. Perfect!

I found a card with 20 metres of Craft Fibre in Cheap as Chips a couple of years ago. It has some sparkle, and similar to some of the sparkly knitting yarns around, but much finer.

I have just sat down for about half an hour with a crochet hook and worked it into a single chain. There is a little bit of the thread at the top of the photo.

It looks like a subdued version of tinsel, and still being fairly fine it will be suitable for a small tree, though there is about 6 yards or five metres, so maybe there is enough for two small trees!.

The hard part will be deciding which small tree to put it on!

This photo shows it on a tree in the garden and it is so light it hasn’t bent the fine tips of the new foliage. Next time you see it it will be as part of the decorations on a small indoor tree.

The Christmas Tree who fell to pieces…..

Just like an old quilter!

I store Christmas trees in a cupboard with bags made from old curtains and sheets over them so they don’t get tangled together. (There are about a dozen in there.)

The biggest one is store bought, and comes apart for easy storage. However I store it in one of those bags standing straight and tall. Six feet tall. I removed a couple of smaller trees and started shuffling the big one out of the cupboard, and thought a little lift might be good weight training and assist getting it out of the cupboard into a small hall space already cluttered with previously removed trees.

I did say the tree would come apart for easy storage, didn’t I?

Well, it also comes apart when you lift by holding one of the upper sections. And come apart again when I tried to lift by gripping it a little lower, but still above the bottom section. I had managed to wedge myself in the cupboard to make more room for the tree in the limited space outside the cupboard.

The tree was still in the bag, but totally out of control, and sort of collapsed in a bent and twisted shape in what now looked like a body bag containing a very broken body, in this case held together by not one, but three, sets of lights.

At this point the five foot tall tree which had already made it’s escape from the cupboard, and the bag which it had worn over it’s head for ten and a half months, decided to join the party and fell over the big bagged tree and landed back in the cupboard to embrace me.

You are going to have to picture the scene all by yourself.

The camera was out of reach until I managed to get Humpty back together again. And thankfully there were no witnesses.

Bit tree with Handmade Tree Trims

This is what the tree looked likefor a previous Christmas, and all the decorations are still on there even after I untangled the lights and got it all back into one piece. Wonder if superglue will hold it all together. Or perhaps a few screws ……….