Monday, December 17

What's on the tree?

A lot of ornaments are on my tree, that's for sure..........
This is the tree that we have named "The Memory Tree" because it's full of ornaments that evoke more than fifty years of Christmas memories. Granted, we haven't been married for that long but there are ornaments on this tree from my mother and my mother-in-law so yes, some are more than fifty years old. I can't really choose a favorite. They are all my favorites.  Many are hand-made, some are store-bought, gifts from family, friends, memories of trips and more.
When I was a kid, I remember the bubble lights on my Grandma Goldie's tree. From the tree of my own childhood, I remember tinsel and how I loved the glittery look it added to the tree. As a young mother, I enjoyed making ornaments with my kids. I've shared before about how our house was one where glitter and glue were common.........and often the glitter bits were waxed right into the kitchen floor! We made felt ornaments, crafted with construction paper, painted ceramic ornaments, decorated styrofoam balls and made lots of homemade clay ornaments.  Most of the those homemade clay ornaments did not survive. the late 1980's, I learned about polymer clays and I loved working with the clay, baking it and it did not crumble or break!
A few years ago, I made some clay trees and added some "bling".............
This past October, I taught this ornament at a class for Sibley County Extension. I made a new sample......sorry about the blurry photo..........
You can see it on the left in this photo............

I'm going to share how easy it is to make a little clay tree for your Christmas tree. You will need polymer clay. I use a mix of clays that can be purchased at most craft or art supply stores. You will need some "bling" and that is easy.......just buy some of those glitter rhinestones that you can find at Michael's or JoAnn's or find some costume jewelry at a thrift shop and remove the rhinestones.
To begin..........I rolled together a bit of two shades of green and a bit of brown..........
I rolled it together until it was all one color.
Next I flattened the clay into a triangle tree shape with a roller.
You can use cookie cutters to cut your shape or a knife.
I like to "custom cut" my trees and stars so I just started snipping here and there ........
to get the tree shape that I wanted...........
 When I had trimmed away all the pieces and had the tree shape I wanted,
then I smoothed the edges with a wooden cuticle stick.
 To make the tree base, I rolled a bit of brown clay,
then inserted half a toothpick in it and inserted it into the tree.
I also made a hole in the top of the tree for hanging.
Some of the students added a star to the top of their tree.
Then it was time to add the "bling" or the tree ornaments.
Just peel the rhinestones from the plastic sheet,
then place on your tree and press gently into the clay.
 In the photo below, you can see that I added some texture marks to the tree.
I used the cuticle stick to make the marks.
The final step is to bake your tree. I bake my clay ornaments at 265 degrees for ten minutes. Then I remove from the oven and let them cool completely. They can be very hot to touch so don't burn yourself!  Add a bit of yarn or string for hanging your ornament. Write the date on the back and you have made a memory! 
I had some more ornaments I was going to share today but they will have to wait. I spent the day writing our Christmas letter and addressing Christmas cards. The letter is finished and all the cards are signed, sealed and ready to deliver to the post office on Tuesday morning!! I am so happy to know the cards will get to friends and family before Christmas!  Just one more week to finish some gifts and do some last-minute shopping. I just love the Christmas Season!!


Pat said...

Love your tree!!! For over 30 years, we only had room for one tree and it has always been a memory tree such as yours. When we moved here, we gained enough space to have two trees and the main one remains our memory tree. I so enjoy looking at those ornaments each year and it is a large part of the "specialness" of the Christmas season to me. Thanks for sharing how to make the little tree. I'm sure your friends will enjoy the Christmas letter, too. I really love reading them and sometimes I've written them but not for a couple of years now.

Needled Mom said...

Very cute little tree. I love hanging the ornaments the children made through the years.

The bubble lights are always a hit here with the grandchildren.

Beth said...

Thank you for the cute tree tutorial. Looks so cute on your tree.
I remember bubble lights. And big lights on the tree too. My Grandma Mc had a silver tree with a color wheel when I was little. I loved watching the color change on the tree. (Easily amused even then) LOL.
I got my cards out and I am done shopping, but still no decorations up. I might put up the tiny tree and call it done.

Dawn said...

Your tree is beautiful!! Thanks for the cute tutorial. I might have to try that with my granddaughter. Merry Christmas to you and yours! :)

Cindy said...

Wonderful tree!! Love the memories as we bring out the ornies from the may years. Peace, live and harmony coming your way

Anonymous said...

Love the tree. I hope Hobby Lobby carries that stuff, because I think it's the only store around here that would. Oh, for an old fashioned Woolworth's! =) I love your tree. It has a lot more on it than mine, but I have all kinds of hand-made things on mine, too.

burun estetigi said...

Nyc christmas tree...good job done with nyc creative arts..
Burun Esteti─či

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