I’ve been struggling a bit since Thanksgiving to catch-up and get my house in order for the Christmas holidays. I’ve noticed many cars with live trees bundled to the rooftop making their way home for the holidays! We also purchase a ‘live’ tree every year (typically from a local U-Cut tree farm)… but not ’til a week (sometimes days) before Christmas! That’s why I usually put-up a little artificial table-top tree to get us through the first few weeks of December. (There was a time, hee hee, when the kids were little, that I decorated several themed table-top trees and placed them ~ nearly ~ in every room!)
A few weeks ago, I purchased a sweet vintage mock-fir, 3-feet table-top tree from the Salvation Army for $10. I often use them in my shop to display ornies I’ve made for sale. But, this little tree has ended up in my house… smack dab in the kitchen ~ where everyone congregates ~ and in plain view for everyone to enjoy!
Holy moly! What a production!!! I shuffled furniture, blanket chest, turned over pickle crock, wood apple crate, etc, before I settled on just the ‘right’ table for my tree to sit upon. I found the ‘right’ table in my shop (which required MORE re-arranging)! But, ‘it’ was not just right in my mind. It was painted white… and my house is decorated with primarily Shaker… no white… so it was a shocker and needed to be painted!
But, I didn’t want to purchase paint, so I used what I had; Ohio cupboard red basecoat with a coat of eh green (hoping for a black-green) topcoat, grunged w/dark walnut stain & a coat of tinted wax. Not perfect, but just ‘okay’. It’ll do. Then, I had to buy a new string of mini soft white lights, cuz what I had, a string of 35-lights was too few and 100 was too many (too much wires!). But, they were on-sale at my local Ace Hardware! Ace to the rescue!
I placed the ‘new’ painted table in front of the kitchen window. My freshly re-painted table ~ very important ~ sits almost level with the window sill, so it looks nice from outside too!
Now, to decorate. NOT! First, a few rules. 1) I decided on a sheepy theme and 2) decorate with what I had (no spending $$$ allowed). OK, so I had to MAKE a few things before I could get to the decorating part of this project! I have lots of sheepy stuff, so how difficult could that be?? If only I had more hours in the day….
I’m in love with paper sheep ornies! Have you seen them? Netty Lacroix sells a kit! I’ve seen them over the years and have cut out pages from old magazine subscriptions. They’re a bit expensive too. 😦
So, I decided to make my own paper sheep ornies! HOW-TO: I photocopied a ‘sheep’ I liked from an old calendar (told you I save lots of sheepy stuff). This one is a ewe and her lamb… appropriate for a blessed Christmas! Now, you can age ‘tea’ stain (I used coffee) the paper before copying (inkjets will run) or use scrapbooking ‘stain/inks’ afterwards. I’ve used shoe polish before in a pinch too.
Next, I cut out the sheep with a matching back and glued the front to the back, leave an opening for stuffing! The ‘real’ paper ornies are machine stitched, but, my sewing machine only makes a bunch of holes (lol) – I’m sure it’s a tension problem. Don’t forget a piece of hemp, jute, yarn for hanging! Once the glue is dry, I stuff it w/wool or fiberfill. I added just a bit of glitter too (silver or gold glitter pen).
I decided my tree needed a sheepy garland. HOW-TO: I used old book pages (old sheet music is popular) and cut them into just the right pennant-shape and more aging w/coffee spritzing.
I used a fav rubber sheep stamp, a small paper-hole punch and strung them with gardening jute/twine. S.I.M.P.L.E.
My ‘found’ ornies included small baskets filled with my wool fleece, repro putz sheep (geez! the real deal putz, that’s the subject of another post), tin candy mold sheep and a few more collectible prim sheep ornies laying around the house!
Never enough sheep…
…or never too many sheep!?
I added a large wood sheep cut-out under the tree and my vintage grain feedsack (a future pillow project) to wrap around the tree as my make-do tree skirt!
A rustic tin star candle pan is my ‘tree-topper’!
Believe it or not, I’m still not done with the decorations. I plan to make a few simple wool-y felted & glitzed icicles (I’ll post that HOW-TO too).
Now, feeling guilty that I spent ALL this ME-time, I had to whip up a few sheepy bowls for the shop… in my spare time! Sheep are my happy place!!
Happy sheepy decorating!