Tree Hangup

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A few years ago I acquired a piece of net. I thought it might make a hammock for a doll. It became just another bit of the clutter in the sewing room, but didn’t take up much space, so just got squeezed into a corner and stayed there well after I decided none of my dolls, or even the bears, needed a hammock.

Earlier this year we helped to cleaned out a friend’s house, and I claimed a rolling-pin. Mind you, I try to avoid cooking, and I already had a rolling-pin, so I claimed it purely because I was thinking I could use it without soiling it with food!

One day I took out the net, and hung one end on a hook, and pulled out the bottom, and it became a triangle … and pretty much any triangle looks like a Christmas tree to me … so … something to hold the bottom out a bit was required. The rolling-pin was waiting for me to work out how the attach some cookie cutters to it to hang in the kitchen … but then the two ideas meshed into one.

The border motifs from a panel (which had already become a swag) needed something to hold them up, and the net was available, along with that lovely old rolling-pin.

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Now, I need another rolling-pin to hang the cookie cutters from though! Or inspiration for another way to use the cookie cutters … without soiling them with food!

 

 

Down Under Quilts Tree Trims

January 2015

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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.

Christmas Card Tree Trims

 

18th, 19th January 2015

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Cards from Christmases past recycled as tree trims to go to market later this year.

In total there are 30 packs with five or more tree trims per pack … all I have to do is get more bags to put them in.

150 individual trims, and way more to come.

Must have rocks in my head!

Flat Pack Parcel Tree Trims

January 26th 2014

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The packages are squares cut from some plastic packaging, the ribbon was part of the wrapping for less flat items.

Love the fact that they are see through!

Hardest part of the project was getting the glue off my fingers.

Vegemite (Security Seal) Wreath

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Have always thought that the security seal part of a plastic lid on jars was pretty much useless.

But what if … you take some fluffy yarn and a crochet hook and cover them up?

Great size to hang on a tree, and very light, but would look better in white or green!

Add a bow and a hanger and it is done in about fifteen minutes.

PS For those around the world who don’t recognize Vegemite and probably can’t buy it anyway, peanut butter is one of many foods which come in similar sized jars.

Might have to try some milk bottle seals for small trees.

Update Australia Day 2014

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Tried using some fluffy yarn which had been crocheted into a chain … like it. Added a gold earring with a silver heart added and tied it to one of the Christmas trees before it went into storage.

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Then found some scraps of yarn left over from making a tree and covered tow more of the Vegemite jar rings … added a trim from some old gift tags and they are ready to hang somewhere next year. next year.

The little one is the security seal from a milk bottle top … now to find something small enough for a trim in it!

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.

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 ……….

Card Stars

November 2004

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‘Tis the season to start letting the Christmas decorations out of the box. In our case, lots of boxes, not to mention a four door floor to ceiling cupboard. And some in a case or two.

I save and recycle my Christmas cards each year.

Glue front to back before cutting for the following

Cut star shapes, or circles or ovals. Make some simple templates, trace around them onto the front of the card, positioning them to get the most suitable design within the shape. Cut them out,

You will need about 60 shapes to decorate a four foot tree.  I tied them on with white crochet thread, and there were enough of them to look good by themselves. They could also be used as fillers between other tree trims.

 

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

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A new scrap book, homspun cover, and some slightly twisted snomen freehand cut from scraps of fabric and fused in place.

I really wanted to use the snowman theme in the title of the book, but in the finish went with the three bells which help hold the book together!

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As with the other Christmas scrapbooks this one is filled with scraps of magazines, these from 1990 to 2005. (All the scraps from this period ended up in a rather large pile, which slipped, and became rather a large paper slide, so they are all mixed up.)

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The overall theme is Christmas, but ranges from primitive through country style to Victorian.

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The page on the right has a six page article about Ol’ Saint Nick.

Starry Starry Night

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Tone on tone, with three stars cut from scraps of fabric fused onto a seeded homespun cover. The book has been stiched with gold thread and a bell added to the top of the spine.

Everytime you turn the pages bells ring!

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Inside are bits and pieces saved from more magazines from 1990 – 2005, and sometimes I slowed down gluing stuff onto the pages to do a sort of collage instead of fitting in as much as possible.

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And sometimes I still crammed them in loosely but with an eye for colours which didn’t actually scream at each other.

Cardboard and Plastic Cookies

My favourite kind of cooking!

March 2008

I wanted to take photos of the cardboard cookies on the Timber T Tree, but found that the ones I used on the Shed Trees were bigger than the patterns in the booklet, Cardboard Cookies, and too big to use on the new tree anyway.

So back to the drawing board, to make enough to decorate the new tree.

While looking for cardboard I found some lovely gold cardboard, which I bought as a box full of bonbons, so made some of the new shapes from that.cardboard-cookies-gold-foil-cardboard

(16 decorations, too big for the tree they are on!)

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In the ‘Cardboard Cookies’ booklet

I suggested using plastic milk bottles,

so thought I should at least try the idea out.

(I made 30 plus decorations)

This in turn led to another arty farty book with the pattern included and samples attached.

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And the Timber T Tree is still to be decorated.

New Species Christmas Tree No 1

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In 2002 I made Christmas Trees for a Christmas in July exhibition, and sold quite a few, gave others away, and kept a few favourites. However, I didn’t take any notes about how much yarn I used, or wire, or anything else. I may be able to teach workshops, but first I need to be able to tell people what to bring, as well as modify the methods I used to make them back then!


The Family Jewels

The stack of books originally held up one of the original trees, but the trunk was too thin, broke and the tree now hangs on the wall.

This time the trunk is much thicker, the tree is taller, and the yarn is totally different!



There are 9 rows of 6 branches each, with double crochet worked over the wire branches before they were attached to the trunk.

The foliage used about 130 grams of yarn, there are 55 beads, and about 4 metres of wire, which should have been more to make it easier to put together.

Planned to decorate the finished tree with trims made with the family jewels or decorations made with beads, including snowmen, angels, tassels, stars and beaded ball. There are a few family jewels, but most of the decorations have been  collected or made using beads.