Thursday, December 24, 2009

Festival of Trees Year Two

As I said in a previous post, this Festival of Trees was somewhat low budget. Each tree designer was provided with the cheapest 6 1/2 foot artificial tree known to man! The photo below shows just how small the trees were. I was still in a learning phase and had not yet got creative enough to "wow" anybody (or so I thought).

I do not have a photo of my first year's tree, as it was a bird theme and simply was covered with birds and not much else. All the designer trees were sparse and disappointing. I tried in each successive year to inspire myself and hopefully others, so that we could pull off this event and be really proud of our trees.

Each year a theme would have to be chosen in the Fall for printing of the programs. It was always very difficult for me to come up with a theme. Most of the time my themes were very vague. For this tree I designed in the second annual Festival, my theme was "A Southwest Christmas." I had previously lived in Phoenix and I knew all about the Southwest. The first thing I did was sprayed the tree turquoise to make it stand out. I also made my own set of lights with miniature clay pots. I also used additional lights, since the little pots actually were like shades. Don't ask me what is on top of the tree besides an upside down clay pot LOL, because I do not remember!

The tree was covered with light green prickly pair cactus ornaments that I also made. I sprayed them with a polyurethane like spray to prevent getting stuck (it worked somewhat)! I also had quite a few dried red hot chili peppers on the tree. For a garland I used rope, braided roping and even some barbed wire. For color, there is obviously some silk flowers added.

The large clay pots of artificial cactus was also part of the themed tree and was donated by the store. You can see how different the tree looked in the two photos, depending on how brightly lit the room was.

Well let me tell you. I was pleasantly surprised at how popular this tree was! Corporate sponsors that donated a thousand dollars got to attend a gala and choose a tree to keep. Sometimes they would donate the tree back to the Festival for auction on the final day.

It just so happened that a couple from Arizona had recently moved here and owned a business, and were a corporate sponsor. They instantly fell in love with the cactus and the whole Southwestern theme and chose my tree.

Here's my little girl posing beside the tree for a photo. She had to be about five or six years old. In the lower photo, you can see the turquoise coloring of the tree. I don't know what the hot pink (probably some silk flowers) was on that tree, but Ashley's coat and hat sure does bring it out! By the way, isn't she just adorable! Poor child had to go to all those gala events each year, but she never complained. I think she was rather proud of my work, as I was of her well behaved manners in public.

Don't worry, I won't be posting trees from every year. Sometimes I didn't get a photo!

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kenju said...

That's an excellent idea for a tree and I love it! Your girl is very cute!! Thanks for sharing, and Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

John said...

@kenju, thanks and I'm glad you liked the theme and cute Ashley! I see them now and remember Ashley and I made clay star ornaments too. I hope you saw the other other trees as they were a bit more designed than this one!

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