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Gail’s Challenge Trees

Yesterday, Sam and I revealed our Christmas Tree Challenge results. I had SOOOO much fun letting my imagination run wild with this challenge! Since she didn’t give me any restrictions other than “Christmas Tree” and that the paper mache cones must be used, I had a hard time figuring out just what I should do from among the dozens of ideas I had.

I have to say, I like Sam’s clean direct style of trees very much! Especially after having my nose in my own varied efforts for days on end (I even brought them to Arizona to work on), it was refreshing and exciting to finally see what she had created.

The same day Sam told me (behind the scenes) that she was going to issue this challenge, I picked up the dark green/white eyelash yarn, a $1 special with some vague ideas for one of the cones. When I found those Lion Brand Bonbon skeins of yarn a couple weeks ago, I finally knew how I was going to finish that tree! Did you have any idea that my project for those pompoms was one of my trees? I thought I was being extra sneaky using patriotic colors — on Veteran’s Day weekend — and not Christmas colors when I showed you those!

The remainder of the bonbon yarn skeins are definitely coming home with me — they’ll be great for crochet flowers and bits of yarny accents on … Stuff. You know! Stuff! Stuff that might need yarny accents!

The edible tree (representing our Eat Drink & Dessert category) was a challenge in the dry Arizona air! Royal icing likes to dry quickly even in our moist western WA air; here in Arizona it takes literally just seconds for it to crust over. On top of that challenge, the cone covered with a thick layer of icing quickly became heavy and tricky to manage! I got it done though, and I hope Becca enjoys excavating the mint candies over the next couple weeks :) The hazelnuts and almonds… not sure if she’ll take her hammer to those eventually!

I’m trying to decide whether to bring the rest of the meringue powder home with me… Hmm.

The paper-covered tree with rhinestone ornaments was actually “decoupaged” by just gluing the paper down. But first the paper was crumpled, sanded, and torn. That was fun! I accented with Apple Barrel gloss white acrylic paint and added some glitz with DecoArt Glamour Dust ultra fine glitter paint in the Ice Crystal color. Since ice crystals, aka snow, were the effect I wanted, this was the perfect color. All the wacky packages were made from DCWV 4″x6″ Jewel Tones matstack, hand cut with a paper trimmer and scissors.

Love my Aleene’s  Tacky Glue! Love matstacks!

That Studio category tree, with the drawn angels (see it full size below): I still plan on adding to that project over my last few days here. I used a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen and also a silver one. Unfortunately the first white pen, with which I did 80% of the work, didn’t flow well. It wasn’t until I started using the silver pen, which worked wonderfully, that I realized it could be a flaw and not the nature of the white pen.

Once I picked up a replacement things went so much faster and it was so much more fun!! Now I want to complete my vision with more snowflakes, a ribbon banner winding behind the angels, some Zentangle designs, and possibly some Christmas hymn lyrics: Hark the herald angels sing…

I wish I had the skills of some of the amazing felt artists out there, so I could have made some wonderfully detailed mini-ornaments for my Craft Room tree! I settled for smooth cutting and a few stitches — do-able by me in a reasonable amount of time. Add the Becca-color-scheme and you have a colorful simple tree that pops!

All the trees are staying with Becca here in AZ! Now that they are crafted and assembled, there’s no way I am going to fuss with trying to take them home on the airplane! Besides, my little bird far from the nest now has a few extra Christmas decorations for her apartment.  I intentionally chose colors that she enjoys most: lots of those tropical brights: magenta, lime, turquoise, purple.

(and she can take them to work, give them away, etc… she’s not *stuck* with mom stuff just because I am leaving them with her!)

Now that I’ve met this Christmas Tree Challenge, I might relax and try some of the other ideas I had, too. Twigs,  gingerbread, fabric… Oh! and … (Yeah, it’s me: the one with the overactive imagination!)

Merry Happy!



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