I haven't decorated to celebrate Christmas, X-mas, the Holiday season, or the Vegan Goddess Tofia since I don't know when. I've never bought a chopped tree, and agree with Charlie Brown that those aluminum things just don't do me right.
So this year, I thought, why not make my own tree? We have this handly little store, which I've mentioned previously here, called the Scrap Exchange, in downtown Durham. They sell a bunch of recycled products like old medical equipment, fabric, tubs, paint, wood, etc. Kids can go there and create all sorts of things in their workshop...and grownups can do the same.
Today Mr. Beloved and I braved the warm rain and walked down to the Scrap Exchange with Syba, and the hunt for tree-producing products began. We found the items in the picture above, including three tubes, a candle, some fabric scraps, two old wreath wire holders, two rubber pad things, and a couple pieces of wrapping paper. Most of the items were from .10 to .50 cents. The most expensive was the bag-o-fabric, which was $2.75.
As you can see, I began to assemble it by using a wire hanger to secure the 1st wreath holder, then string for the 2nd. Did I know what I was doing? Absolutely not. You will notice here that there are more pictures of Mr. Beloved than of me decorating the tree. That's because I'm taking the pictures. Though Mr. B. said, before I thought of making a tree: "let's buy a plastic tree!" today he shamelessly tried to take entire credit for my scrap-tree epiphany. Please also notice Mr. Beloved's new "haircut." To save money he bought a razor and trimmed his own head. Things went wrong during the back part. Let's just say he has a higher hairline now than usual, and the hat is coming in handy.
We staple-gunned the fabric on the cardboard tubes, cascading them very tree-like. I put the candle on top, and we put the tree on the piano in the library. As you can see, Mr. Beloved again attempted to sabotage my efforts and took a blurry dark picture of me lighting the candle. I was able to brighten it a bit in Photoshop. Some who follow this blog might also notice that I used Rob's Homer beard from Halloween as a tree decoration. Below are some pics of the finished product, including the candle on top. Seems like that could be a fire hazard, no? Mom, if you're reading this, don't tell Nana about that part. When I was a kid, there was always this constant battle over the christmas lights. Mom would turn them on, and Nana, the moment Mom turned her back, would unplug them. It seems blinking lights would've been a good compromise, but I didn't come up with that back then.
Another thing we haven't done for years...stockings. So when I went to look for mine, it was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, while I was writing this blog, blaspheming Mr. Beloved, he was in the tv room sewing me a stocking from scratch! He even made it big enough to fit my favorite rice milk bar. Aww.
Though I have sworn off making cookies, cakes, and frosting until a cookie party I'm attending this month, I did happen to make these chocolate chip cookies the other day before the swearing. They turned out great - I just made the recipe off the brown sugar package, substituting an egg with Dilip's famous mixture (try it!): 1 t baking powder, 1/2 t baking soda, 2 T flour, 3 T water.
I darkened the background in Photoshop to highlight these beauties rather than the rusted-appearing sheet upon which they were born.