The Christmas tree is up and decorated although it's hard to be joyful.

This tree was inspired by last year's tree in the dining room.  I wanted to see
if I could achieve a nature inspired tree that evoked the feeling
of a walk in the woods...well, a woods decorated for Christmas.

Let me show you some of the details.

As I revealed in my earlier post, I cut two Boston ferns and have used them as decorations.  In the end, it wasn't at all necessary to wire the ends.  I didn't like the look of them hanging as ornaments.  If you're going to use them, I would recommend adding them last, and it's really easy to stick the fronds in to the needles and just let them hang.  

Below the bird's nest are hops.  I don't know if they're naturally green or whether they're dyed.  I think they look like little caterpillars or bumble bees or something and I love their droopy nature.

I've also added pine cone garland, a few gold hydrangea, pine cones and vintage ornaments.

Even though I have a collection of vintage ornaments, I wanted a restrained palette of colors that fit the theme.  Spacious skies, amber waves of grain, green green grass of home, from sea to shining sea.  It was difficult not to use some of my favorite ornaments.

I made several of these bird ornaments just like the ones we made when we were kids.
I spray painted clothespins in a dark green paint (Montana's "Toad") and glued a nest and a partridge on each one.  The "eggs" are rose hips I cut out of the garden but you can use two or three beads.  Pearls always look nice.

In places where the clothespins were visible, I just stuck a little moss underneath.

My brother makes really beautiful rustic birdhouses and sells them.
He whipped up the cute little birdhouse ornaments are few years ago.

I was going to make a grapevine star and fill it with moss for the top but
I came up with this "birdcage" in a moment of pure genius.

You may remember my gothic light pendant from an earlier post.  I thought it make
a great crown for the top of the tree but I couldn't figure out how to attach it.

When I turned it upside down, I thought it looked like a chinoiserie birdhouse.  So I
took it apart, stuffed it with moss and added a sweet little bluebird.

The tree at dusk with a blue reflection from the mirror in the front hall.

Yes, the tree skirt is leopard.  I guess it's a little element of humor but it also kind
of looks like a speckled egg print. 

Yes?  No?

A night shot.

So there it is.  Not as inventive as last years but it's much more elegant.
And I enjoyed doing it.  

I still haven't figured out the secret to taking a great photo of a lit tree.
I did this one with two lamps on in the room.   Just automatic setting.
No flash, no extended shutter speed.  Have any secrets?

I also shot this at twilight when the camera picks up the sky color
as a beautiful blue that I think looks great.

I still have a few things to do around the house so I'll show you
when it's all done.  Are you ready?


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