The Holiday Inside

Rob’s branch trees have intrigued me for a number of years-I had to have one this year.  These branches came from some remote location where he walks Larry.  It was more than a few trips dragging these a quarter mile out of the woods.  That alone would be enough to make them precious, but the color and surface is really beautiful.  Old wood, as they say.  And certainly perfect for my sole Christmas tree ornaments-3 platinum colored plastic bead garlands.  I love the shapes they make when they are draped. 

Rob was also taken by battery operated LED lights and sticks this year.  He bought them by the caseload.  Very small LED lights on fine silver colored wire of differing lengths-what was not to like?  By the time I got interested in them, we were sold out.  But Restoration Hardware had bought them in by the boxcar load.  The picture on their website of birch branches wound round with these lights was all I needed to see. 

In more skilled hands, every tiny dot of light would look like it was floating.  Not that I didn’t try.  But these lights need much different handling than the traditional lights with their garland like cords.  I think with enough practice, I could delicately place the wire so every light would seem to float.

I also loved how RH paired these delicate lights with heavy vintage style glass ornaments.  Rob was a little taken aback that I would buy Christmas ornaments from another shop, but by the time I was ready to decorate a tree, Christmas was just a few days away.  I rarely carry ornaments that weigh this much in the shop.  They are too heavy for evergreen branches-a douglas fir with weighted branches is not such a swell look.  The primary drawback of most artificial trees is that they are so solid in outline that most of the ornaments lean on, rather than hang.   

Steve took multiple branches, and stuffed them into a terra cotta pot to create a tree like form.  The wood branches interlocked, making for a very strong structure.  The weight of the glass ornaments did not bother these branches a bit.  As each branch is mostly vertical, some ornaments I had to hang from very long wires.  I wanted the glass to appear to float too.

Buck watched with some interest as I layered ornament over ornament on the mantel.  The first groupings of glass had 3 or more ornaments, loosly wired together.  These were the ballast ornaments.  The smaller ornaments I piled on until I thought there was enough.  Next year I may ask for a mantel sized tray with short sides-just so I can pile things up with abandon. 

Another pile of glass is keeping Mary Hode’s stoneware cats amused.  The smoke and crackled glass looks great with my reticulated quartz spheres.

While I was getting the living room decorated, Buck was wrapping packages.  His boxes are impeccably covered with holiday paper.  Every seam meets perfectly.  He is incredibly consistent with this.  I am happy to botch the process, as long as that happens on the bottom.  My love is for what goes over the top of the paper.

All of his presents are wrapped differently, many of them with the bits and pieces from a junk drawer, a tool box, or the workroom shelf.  There’s this one, wrapped in a piece of black poster paper old enough to have faded to gray.


And there’s this one.

And there’s this one-with that same vintage poster paper. 

 I am ready, inside and out.  I only have to make sure that all of the lights are off at the shop, and that MCat isn’t stuck in the garage.  In a few minutes I will load up the corgis, Buck’s boxes, and the wreath for the front door.  We will meet at 6 for cocktails, and celebrate our Christmas.  I am ready, with 2 hours and 8 minutes to spare. 

Wishing you a very bright and sparkly holiday.