15 December 2011

O... twiggy tree?

This year, and this Christmas season in particular, I’ve really felt the urge to simplify where I can. Perhaps it’s the shoddy economy, perhaps it’s recognizing how much we’ll need to pare down before we move, but I’m really in the mood to appreciate and utilize what we already have and remove the things we don’t need.

So I’ve stayed away from purchasing any new Christmas décor this year (although the new star on our tree, which was a gift from Mr. P, is the lone exception). When I do feel like mixing things up, the desire to keep it simple helps me to be creative. Today’s project suits this attitude perfectly: it took me all of five minutes to create; it appeals to my simple nature this season; and it still has a big enough impact to make me smile.

And I really, really did use what I just had laying around – see, here’s where I got my supplies.

That would be a giant pile of sticks under our deck in the backyard. That is a lot of branches considering we only have three trees on our property, isn’t it? Geez. In a few weeks we’re scheduled for brush pickup, so they’ll be gone soon! In the meantime, though, I raided it for a few sticks that could accomplish my vision.

My idea was to create a “tree” out of natural twigs for our entryway console, so I picked some sticks that were branched mostly in two dimensions. That way they would fan out on the wall, but wouldn’t stick out into the narrow space.

I also thought I’d spraypaint the twigs either white or oil-rubbed bronze, but then I remembered – simplify! Also, the freezing temperatures and sheer laziness helped me decide against it... if I’m being honest.

So, I just wiped down the twigs, stuck them in a narrow-mouthed vase I already owned, and secured them together with a small, hidden rubber band.

Then I just hung a few ornaments! Fortunately the glass ornaments are light and the twigs are sturdy, so they didn’t go all Charlie-Brown-tree on me.

It didn’t take many – having the branches in front of the mirror created the illusion that the “tree” is fuller with more ornaments, which is pretty neat. I did worry a bit about the fragility of the twigs and ornaments and how it seemed carefully balanced somehow, so I considered tying the ornaments onto the twigs instead of using the hooks. But I have yet to knock it all over or even brush into it, so we’re continuing to live dangerously. So far, so good!

It helps that the arrangement isn’t too big that it sticks out far into the small space very much:

Though it’s still quite big, at several feet wide and several feet tall, fanning out in front of the large mirror.

And the best part? Now I can pretend that I put up two Christmas trees this year! Ehh, right?

Okay, maybe not. But it was fun to create a new Christmas arrangement that appealed to my instinct to simplify. And I’m really glad I didn’t bother to spraypaint the sticks, because the ivory ornaments with the natural wood is a really pleasing mix. Plus: free! And five minutes! The other tree took a heck of a lot longer than that.

So... got any branches in your yard that need an indoor home? Even if you don’t... we have some you could use! A whole lot. You can take them all! Just saying.


Shanna said...

You are SO in style, girl! I can't believe how many photos I've seen on blogs this year using painted [and non-painted] sticks from the yard to decorate for Christmas.