Thursday, December 22, 2016

Holiday Reflections and Decorating

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." Charles Dickens wrote those words in 1859 and their relevancy feels pertinent to me today. The Holidays have always been my favorite time of year. Christmas trees glitter the windows of neighbor's houses, the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg permeate the kitchen, and connecting with family is the priority of the day. Yet, I have this underlying anxiety for the future of our country and the world. I suppose the cycle of humanity moves in this contradictory way: growing towards progression, countered by disrupting regression. And all I can control is my reaction. I choose to celebrate the best of times. Sorry to get so deep with my thoughts today, but isn't the point of the season to reflect?
I do have something to share, besides my meandering reflections. It's a holiday DIY! This is a project I found on Pinterest and I just had to try it out(sadly, it seems the website is no longer around so I can't give the creator of my inspiration credit). This is a DIY project to create your own Christmas tree wall hanging.
This project is especially handy for anyone who can't fit a Christmas tree in their home, doesn't want a live tree in their home, or wants multiple trees in their home(like me!). I hung mine in my bedroom.

Here's what you'll need:
-3(36" long) 1/4" wooden dowels
-hand saw
-12 wood balls, 1 1/4" wide
-12 small screw eyes(I had silver ones that I spray painted gold, but you could just buy them in gold and you'll save some time)
-12 Ornament hooks(once again, I spray painted mine gold, but if you can buy them in gold, go for it!)
-waxed string in a color of your choosing
-acrylic paints in a variety of colors
-wood glue

I didn't take a lot of progress shots, so my directions will mostly be written. Sorry to all you visual learners like me.
The first step is to measure and cut your dowels to the following lengths: 30", 24", 18", 12", 6" and 2"
Cut a long piece of waxed string, about 3 yards long. Fold it in half and tie a knot about two inches down. This will be the top of your "tree."
Loop the left side of your 2" dowel about 3-4 inches down from the top knot. Repeat with the right side. The loop will allow you to adjust the dowel so that you can straighten it. Repeat with the 6" dowel and so on until you get to the last and longest dowel at the bottom of your tree. This is probably the trickiest part. Hang your tree from a pin on the wall so you can adjust the dowels easily. I suggest using a level to make sure each rung is level. Once you are happy with the spacing of the dowels, tie a double knot on the bottom rung and cut the extra string. Apply a small dot of wood glue to the loops on each dowel so they not longer move.
Next, paint the wooden balls in a variety of colors. These paints from Target have a lot of fun hues, but I mostly mixed my own. Once you have a good couple coats of paint on the wooden balls, attach your screw eyes by simple screwing them in by hand. Attach the ornament hooks and they are ready to hang on your tree.
And there you have it. This wall tree is kind of large, so you can easily make a smaller version. I made a mini wall tree for my twin brother and sent it to him for the holidays. I hope you all have a splendid holiday and stay warm.
xo, Alden

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