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SPARKLIES!!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

One thing you guys know about me: if it glitters, I'm sold. Which is why Christmas decorations, with all their sparkling, glitter-soaked shiny bits, send me into a nirvana-like state of hypnotized bliss. Mmmmm.

Anyway, every year here in Orlando the local art museum holds a big showcase of amazingly decorated Christmas trees and wreaths, usually donated by local design firms. For a Christmas nut like me, it's heaven.

Here's some of the eye candy I brought back with me:

I like to take these close-ups of individual trees and then make a slideshow for my screen saver. It's kind of like decorating my computer. :)



You may be surprised by which tree was my favorite, though. (I was!) Here, I'll start with the close-up:

The theme was "green," and every decoration on it was either natural plant life or recycled paper. I fell in love with this little cardboard owl - isn't he adorable?

And see that garland? It was made from the pages of a book. Each page was folded over a piece of string and stapled - I can't imagine how long the 20-odd feet of garland took to make. So. Cool. Also, if you look closely you'll see the woven paper tree skirt, and my own bright green sneakers. Heh. (John and I both had cameras; he got the wide-angle lens, while I focused on the close-ups.)

[Now imagine with me if you will: a tree like this one, with paper garland and natural wood accents, PLUS - brass ornaments, a distressed leather tree skirt, and lots and lots of antique keys and GEARS. Eh? EH? Steampunk Christmas tree, guys: I totally want one. Who's with me?]

In addition to gawking, John and I also consider a trip to the Festival research: we get lots of fun ideas to try out at home. For example, check out these quirky tree toppers:

For a storybook theme. There were a lot of finger puppets used as ornaments.


How perfect would this be for a Harry Potter tree?

Hedwig!
(Ok, so the theme was actually "birds," but I'd totally put a more magical twist on it.)

And speaking of wings, how's this for heavenly?

I could see this working with fairy wings, too, which I bet a lot of you already have in your closets left over from Dragon*Con or Halloween.

And, of course, gotta have the big glitter spray:

We first saw the spriggy explosion/burst-type toppers at this show a few years ago, and we've tried a few different versions over the years. (You'll see mine soon: one's in gold, and one's in peacock feathers. [ooooh, aaaahhhhh])

And here's the whole tree:



A few more full-tree shots:

This one was deliciously orange-y:

Sidenote: do you know how hard it is to find orange ornaments? DO YOU?!?
(It's ok: I eventually found a few.)

Here's the most fun specimen of the show:

It's jam-packed with construction toys: trucks, hard hats, little plastic tools, etc., and that giant crane is lowering the star on to the top! I love it!

John's favorite (and really high on my list, too):

Seriously, check out that color fade: from red to burnt orange to gold to white! I was amazed they found ribbons in all the graduating shades, and the effect was simply stunning.


I don't know how they made it, but I'm digging this awesome tabletop diorama:

It's shaped like a giant glass ornament! The mirrored back made it ├╝ber extra sparkly, too.
Ooh, hey, and there's John looking sexy in the reflection! [rawr] And also my hat. Looking less sexy.

And finally, a few glittering tablescapes:

*sigh* Ah, to set a table this lovely...

Oh, and check out this nifty idea:

As far as I could tell, the centerpiece was a clear glass vase with tinsel wreath topper on it. The ornaments inside were then all hanging from the wreath. Clever, right? I think I want to try this - although of course on a much smaller scale. This thing was massive:

Also, you can't beat a wide-angle lens for making stuff look professionally photographed. Sweeeet.

One last shot of the place setting:

I love the big puffy bows of tulle used on the gift boxes. They looked like little clouds floating around all the crystal and glimmering gold. Just magical!


So, guys, what's *your* holiday decor like? Any tips or tricks you'd care to share? Tell me in the comments, and then stay tuned for pictures of my own decorations! (You know, just as soon as I replace the *&%$! string of lights that decided to burn out a SECOND time on the tree but that I can't remove because it's wired on and the tree is covered in ornaments and I thought pre-lit trees were supposed to be LESS work and grumblegrumblegrumble...)

Posted by Jen at 1:09 PM Labels:

71 comments:

  1. I *love* Christmas sparklies! :D

    I wish I knew how to post pictures in here, I'd post a couple pics of my Christmas tree. :p

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  2. So beautiful! I, too, am a sucker for a good sparkly.
    I actually ended up keeping things pretty simple with my tree this year...I found a pink synthetic tree last year in the post-season for like $20, so that's my tree this year. I had a few ideas, but on my broke college budget, just ended up going with white lights, pink and white ornaments (fuchsia disco balls and glittery snowflakes, white iridescent puff-balls and a few Hello-Kitty ornaments in pink and white) with a white paper chain and home made paper snowflakes on the wall behind it and dangling from the ceiling on jeweler's wire.
    It came out pretty.

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  3. I hit the IKEA "tent" in the parking lot each year for Scandanavian/Nordic style to celebrate my Norwegian heritage, and deck my halls in traditional paper decorations. It's much more fun to celebrate being a Norge at Christmas than during the summer!

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  4. i'm so with you on the steampunk christmas tree. if mine wasn't prelit and sparlky silver i would do that this year. :)

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  5. I have a small tree (about 3 ft) that is done in blue lights, with green bulbs, butterfly garland (colorful fake butterfly made out of feathers on clear filament), and then whatever odd nature ornaments strike my fancy (currently it's sporting a cute sissel squirrel). The top has a nesting dove.

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  6. My decor is green, blue and silver, with snowflakes that way after Christmas is over I can leave up my decor for the rest of winter (though I do take down the tree). Oh, and I bought some cute little owls last year to represent my DH and children and I. They are one of my favorite parts of the tree. Oh, and I love that graduated color tree too. And orange. Love orange!

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  7. Our tree is basically a "memory tree". Each year my sons each pick out a new ornament. It is so fun to decorate the tree and see how their tastes have changed over the years. We have everything from trucks, trains, and Veggie Tales from the younger years, then we merge into Star Wars (several years' worth of those), to Corpse Bride, to Star Trek, then toss in a few more traditional, like Rudolph and Frosty. These are all mingled in with ornaments from when Hubby and I were kids, as well.

    The topper is my fave. No glitter and lights here. Our angel is made by Hubby's aunt out of a quilt that his great-grandmother made. She is supposed to be a wall-hanging, but she fits so well with the "theme" of our tree!

    Our tree skirt is one that we started when the crew was small. Each year we painted their hands in gold glitter paint and pressed them to the skirt. So we have a glittery reminder of how they've grown over the years. The skirt is full now, but I'm sure that at ages 15 and 13 they'd balk at gold glitter paint anyway. ;)

    I love my Christmas tree!

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  8. Those trees are all gorgeous! My tree this year is 1" black tree decorated in teal, pink, purple, gold & silver. Last years was a small pink one I decorated in Lantern Corps rings.
    My goal one day is to have a full size tree done entirely in Star Wars. That would be amazing.

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  9. Our tree is blue and silver (with our yearly personal ornaments tossed on. Nothing like a hot pink flamingo to catch the eye!)

    This includes some awesome super-sparkly keys I snagged at Walmart and lots of white feathery birds!

    Since fiance's surname is Bear I intend to, one year, have a tree that is entirely bear-themed. I imagine finding a bear treeskirt will be next to impossible, though.

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  10. I too LOVE sparkly Christmas stuff, unfortunately my family's Christmas decorations re a bit more...rustic. We live in a log house, and we're foxhunters/horsey people, so the rustic look really fits with our equestrian decor as well. One of my favorite parts of our decorations are the pheasant feathers we stick in the tree and garland, as well as a few fake pheasants. (wouldn't that look really cool on a steampunk tree too!?)

    One of my favorite things to do is to go to the Biltmore House during the holiday season b/c they do amazing trees every year. I remember one year there was a room with around 7 different trees in it and each had a different fairy-tale theme. Just MAGICAL!

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  11. I have three, yup, three trees. One 7 footer with all sorts of ornaments, but its mostly pop culture related. Then I have 2 four foot trees. One is black and is covered in Nightmare Before Christmas ornaments. The other is all Star Wars, completed by a Yoda tree topper. I used to do a village under this tree of all Star Wars micro-machines sets, but its too darn time-consuming to keep it up!

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  12. Oh the steampunk tree idea! Genius! My husband would FLIP over that. Maybe... hmmmm... I love the color gradated tree. Though I would like to see it in blue :)

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  13. @str4y, your tree and decos sound gorgeous! I love seeing new and innovative ideas for trees. I have always enjoyed single color trees, like the orange tree in your photo, or trees that are decorated in colors like silver and blue or red and gold.

    My plan has always to have a black 6" tree with white lights to simulate space...the final frontier. I have tons of Hallmark Star Wars and Star Trek ornaments, so that tree would be covered in them. I would also make garland out of styrofoam balls painted to look like planets, and probably put a futuristic looking star on the top, like the one on that construction tree in your photos, or maybe something that looks like the sun.

    In my new design for my office, I'm going to put up a 4" black tree I have that will be covered in Nightmare Before Christmas ornaments and red and green lights. It'll be a permanent fixture.

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  14. Well, I have a TrekTree... I've been collecting the Hallmark Trek ornaments ever since the first one came out. My family finally rebelled, 'cause our big living room tree was getting crowded with all my Trek goodies, leaving little room for our other ornaments. So I went out a few years ago and bought a 5' artificial tree. It stands in the dining room bay window, loaded with years' worth of Trekabilia and red accents (balls, jingles, lights, star and garland). Looks WONderful! And the family has the "real" tree in the living room, covered with three generations' worth of goodies.

    Merry at Annie's Book Stop

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  15. We have young pets this year so we've only decorated the top half of our tree. We went with the little hand made ornaments the kids have made in years past and we used contrasting optical ribbons to tie glass balls on. I got fancier with the mantle, used a grey silk sari to cover it then put up my moose village, our drummer boy electronic chimes, garland, and put my santa tapers in my iron candle holder.I love sparkly and glitter too, but for me Christmas decorations are all about sound, light and movement. So far this year my fav has been the string of lights that plays snippets various of Christmas songs, you have to poke santa in the eyes to control the volume and light pattern. After a couple of hours I don't mind giving the fat man a quick jab to shut them the heck up :)

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  16. Our tree is a memory tree as well. I have ornaments from all through my childhood and my daughter's years as well. I buy ornament souvineers when we vist special places too. I've always loved my ornaments, but I realized when my basement flooded and I lost some that they are a piece of my heart. My tree is my memory and my heart.

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  17. Our decor currently consists of whatever the kids wanted on the tree that the cat hasn't managed to knock off yet. Before this new cat, we had two trees (one was destroyed last year by a cat perching itself in said tree), and the one in my front window always has pretty glass ornaments - very old-fashioned looking. I do look forward to teh cat getting older so I can have multiple trees again!

    Oh, here's a link to a cool new decor item I made for this year. If I can find time, I have a second frame to make a coordinating pair.
    http://savingmine.blogspot.com/2010/11/cricut-circle-monthly-challenge.html

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  18. Two years ago my family purchased a nine-foot pre-lit tree. Last year only one strand wasn't working, so we turned that part of the tree to the wall so no one noticed. This year however, the entire bottom of our tree isn't lit! Needless to say we're thinking about getting a different tree in the near future, so I feel your pain!

    Oh, and I would *love* a steampunk Christmas tree, if you could find picture of someone who actually has done one. You would have me squee-ing like a little girl!

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  19. My family celebrates our own holiday- we call it LEON (think NOEL backwards). It involves a tree with many decorations and our LEON candles which are individual candlesticks in the shapes of elves made out of china each in the shape of one of the four letters. Mostly though, our holiday is about the food!

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  20. I'm with you on the Pre-lit tree... mine has strands of multi colored and white lights that you can light up separately. Except that one half of each strand on the top half of the tree decided to not work... so the middle of my tree is dark, but the top and bottom work just fine... no idea why. All the fuses are fine. So frustrating.

    On the fun side, I make and ornament to give to each member of the family each year and I'm particularly proud of this years which is a tribute to my husbands grandfather who passed away this yet. I'll post a picture on the Epbot facebook page as soon as I get around to taking one... it pretty and green and sparkly. :o)

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  21. Our tree is kind of half a memory tree, half a geek tree. We have our traditional ornaments from our son's first Christmas, our wedding, first house, stuff like that. Then we have a bunch of Star Wars ornaments, Simpsons, Ninja Turtles, Fairly OddParents, and various computers floating intermingled. All topped off with multicolored LED lights :)

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  22. HarrypotterobsesserDecember 13, 2010 at 2:46 PM

    OMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!! :O I want a steampunk tree! THat would be the most amazing tree everrr! I neeeeeed one!
    Ohh and I love hedwig (and want one as a pet) buttt an even better completely not obsessive Harry potter tree would HAVE to have a tree topper that was a white stag like his patronus!
    Pshh and I LOVE your shoes :D i have shoes that are newbalance and have the outline of the N in a blue green lime yellow fade thing And the laces match!!! Woohoo!!! (my other shoes have jus as much character.... Some nice comfy worn chucks)

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  23. We have a candy themed tree right now with mostly red and white ornaments and a few green thrown in for highlights.

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  24. I'm with you! That would be *amazing!*

    I LOOOVE sparkly everything, one of my co-workers teases me endlessly about it.
    This naturally means that Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year!

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  25. All my pretty ornaments are in front and all the ugly-but-too-sentimental-to-be-thrown-away ornaments are facing the wall. Plus all the breakable ones are on top with the durable, plastic ones on bottom because I have a two year old. Add your standard colored lights, and no tinsel, and it's an unremarkable Christmas tree. But it's mine :)

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  26. Our trees are always pretty traditional, the old fashioned type, you know, made out of wood ;). They've got all kinds of ornaments collected over the years from baby's first Christmas to ornaments collected on vacations to those gifted to us. The real highlight is a newly finished homemade tree skirt, which is double sided. On one side is a patchwork pattern with various Christmas patterns in a pattern that gives it diagonal stripes of alternating patterns in similar color schemes (blues, greens, whites, and white with reds). The other side is a single fabric, a red poinsettia pattern with gold embellishments. It was a lot of work but it was so much fun :)

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  27. My tree and decorations are a true mish-mash. I'm not a big fan of themes for Christmas. The one thing I insist on is getting a real tree from local farmers (I imagine that's easier here in Toronto than Orlando)

    Our tree topper is a Pirate Nutcracker.

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  28. My husband and I have been talking Steampunk Christmas Tree for the last couple of days.

    Our current tree is "enchanted woodland" theme and we have a pair of lovebirds as the topper along with glass acorns, apples, mushrooms, icicles, and pinecones as the ornaments.

    We always put our Christmas Tree in our bedroom so we can enjoy it at night.

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  29. My tree is also a memory tree. I have to admit that I have quite a few of those bug, bulky ornaments that flash, talk and sing and totally weigh the tree down. My Christmas tends to be all schmatlz, all the time :)
    I'm a sucker for anything Nutcracker though, and I *love* that ornament you found at the festival! So pretty.

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  30. Really long, probably pointless intro to my actual comment: I have never posted before, but I've been a lurker since the beginning. And today I found a link that I just had to share. But I remember a post awhile ago teaching us how to leave links that actually work. I, of course, didn't learn it by heart and didn't have the time to look through your archives to find it. So I was going to come here and leave the link with profuse apologies for not knowing how the html to make it actually link. And what do I find when I get here? A cheat sheet at the top of the comment page! You think of everything! Thank you. :) (also, this is obviously my first try using the html code. Please be patient if I do it wrong...)

    Okay, here's my link that actually goes with this post - and I just found it today and it must be fate. Merry Christmas!

    robot ornaments

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  31. Oooh! I love the screen-saver idea! How festive! And I can do it without standing, which works well for my lazy self...

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  32. I'm sorry to hear about your prelit woes. My family has always preached in favor of artificial trees and prelit has been our gospel. We've managed to get good use out of them thanks to being loyal customers to the year-round Christmas (and other holiday) warehouse in our neighborhood. They gave us good tips such as being careful what brands to purchase from - they only carry the best of course - and storing carefully. Apparently it's better - if you can swing it - to store your trees upright and open. Something about moisture or less damage possibilities or something.

    As for my decorations, I have two trees this year in my little one bedroom. One is traditional in red, white, and green - it looks like a peppermint - and random funky ornaments people have given me over the years. My other is by far my favorite. It looks like it's snow-covered in all of the silver, white, and a little bit of gold snowflakes, icicles, and traditional ornaments. I got the inspiration from the tree that my grandparents used to put up in all of it's elegance. I already have ideas for twenty other trees including a book inspired tree (I want that book pages garland SO bad - I'm an aspiring novelist and avid reader) and a Disney tree. This is of no surprise as I belong to a family of Xmas fanatics. Just ask my mother who put up at least six trees this year. Luckily, so are many of my friends - most of whom decorated weeks before Thanksgiving, like myself.

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  33. My tree is decorated in 100% Disney ornaments. Tigger is holding a star at the top and a Mickey and Co train goes around the bottom! My favorite ornaments are the moving/singing Beauty and the Beast a under bell jar and ALL of my storybook collections :)

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  34. I started playing French horn in 7th grade, umpteen years ago. So, every year since then, my mom has gotten me a horn ornament. Or two. Pretty much whenever she's found one that I don't have, she gets it. (It's gotten harder each year, and she's kind of given up *sigh*.) Soooo, my tree is covered with horns. Don't make me me type it. You know where I'm going with this.... ;-)

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  35. We have oak trees in front of our house, so my mom took some of the brown acorns and super-glued them on a plain wreath of just brown sticks. Then she wrapped a purple ribbon with gold trim around it. It was so simple but so pretty!

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  36. I actually have 6 trees...I started out with a set of 3 pencil trees(they are only about a foot wide at the bottom but are 3-4 ft tall) when we lived in base housing wich was very small. Over the years as I find more I add them to the collection, my kids love that we have a forrest in the corner of the family room. they range from 1 ft to over 6 ft. I used to have a santa tree a snowman tree with crocheted garland and sowflakes from my grandmother, a toy tree and a couple with the kids' artwork but the last couple of years the kids decorated themselves and everything went on any tree...wich works too
    D.

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  37. Every time you say "sparklies" I think of the Secret of Nimh. Have you seen it? "Oh Ms. Bris, I just GOTTA have the sparkly!"

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  38. We have two trees this year. One is basically a memory tree too, with all the ornaments we've collected and inherited over the years. The other one we've decided is our kids' tree - pretty much just homemade stuff. We have Fruit Loop and paper chains on it for garland, some oragami flowers, and pretty much anything the kids have made in school or church.
    On your prelit tree dilemma - have you tried a christmas light fixer? We ordered one a few years ago when we had problems with our prelit tree loosing a strand. I've seen them in stores this year in the Christmas section. To me, they look kind of like a plastic toy guy since they have a trigger on them. With ours you can check to see if the bulbs are working (while they are on the strand) or you put it in one of the bulb sockets and click the trigger to somehow clear up the electrical lines on the strand. I hope that makes sense. Ours worked a miricle on our tree. Just an idea.

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  39. When my kids were home, we had at least 3 trees. One in the playroom with colored and blinking lights and all the kid-made ornaments. This one the kids decorated. The main one is 10-feet tall, with white lights and filled with ornaments, lots of white & red. The third one is in the dining room, it's white with a Nutcracker theme (my daughter danced in the show for many years), it has many different ornaments, not just Nutcrackers, but ballet themed, mice, crowns, chinese, sweets and lots more. Of course, the skirt is white tulle!

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  40. Ok, I am totally doing a steam punk tree this year. We just got our tree and only have lights on it as this is our cat's first Christmas and I figured I'd let her get used to the tree before putting on the (mostly breakable) ornaments. I will definitely send pics when I am done, as well as how I did it. This is going to be fun!

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  41. Oh.. is Christmas near? Hmm I should go buy the tree AND all the decoration since this is the first Christmas we are spending at home with my husband.. I still have time, right??

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  42. Ooooh, pretty!

    I've decorated more this year than I have in the past. My colors are dark red, burnished gold, and a dark olivey green, with lots of glitter. :D I have a trifle dish full of round ball ornaments of various sizes in these colors on my coffee table, on a gold sparkly charger as a "doily." My tree is decorated similarly. I did a strand of white lights around the inside of my screened in porch, and made a floral arrangement of fake maroon poinsettias, spare ornaments, and sprigs of fake holly and dark olive colored fake berries. I also found a really nice tree skirt with an embroidered W on it at Marshall's this year. Marshall's and Michael's were great for supplies.
    I'm also hanging my cards from jingle bells from a ribbon.

    The trifle dish, pre pretty charger
    The tree on the porch
    The flowers, pre spare ornaments
    The cards
    Some of my glitter-laden handmade cards

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  43. Fairy wings aren't left over from a con or Halloween, I've never worn them for either. Ren Faire though, that's a whole other story. I also have many pairs that I've made myself. Yeah, I'm a dork.

    Anyway, my decorations are whatever I have on hand for that year. The mantle of my living room houses my lava lamps at all times so I set up all of the Xmas cards for the year up there with them. If I feel like it, I have a tiny 2" tree that goes up there and gets all red and silver decorations and lights. The mantle also gets my Santa Spawn action figure. Then i might try lights of garland going across but with a chaos cat, that probably won't happen anymore. Then I hang up my stocking that has one of Emily Strange's black cats on it.

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  44. My mom and I made a really nice paper chain. She cut sheet music we no longer use into neat strips, and then we used contact paper on both sides to seal each strip, and punched holes in both ends, and then we tied different colored pieces of yarn to link them up nicely. We did this do we could untie them and keep them neat and flat in a box for next year. We're planning to use ribbon next year. Also this took a long time but was a fun project and the chains look beautiful...:)

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  45. The theme this year was red, not green.

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  46. My one and only comment for making an excellent Christmas tree is get a Noble Fir if it is at all possible. They are less full with distinct rows of branches rather than the shaped cones of more traditional trees. The lack of fullness allows the ornaments to dangle prettily, also you can garland the crap out of a noble.

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  47. I am a fool for Christmas decorations and sparklies!! I love decorating and all that, though this year I've really gotten into the baking of yummies!

    Currently I'm missing all of my favorite Christmas decorations. I moved out for college a couple of years ago (Still one semester to go!), and I really miss all the family decorations I've come to love and look forward to every year.
    My two absolute favorite decorations kinda go hand in hand. I am also from the Orlando area and a frequent visitor of Disney. I love Tinkerbell, and I love purple, so when I found a purple Tinkerbell stocking, I had to have it. I bought it, and haven't seen it in the stores since. The second part of my favorite decoration is a "fireplace" that my dad made ages ago. It's really a fancy giant candle holder, but at Christmas it comes alive. Covered with a winter moose family, a gingerbread house, and beautiful garland, it just lights up the living room. And the best part about it is the fact that my brother and I, who have never had the opportunity, could actually hang our stockings on the fireplace! It's the greatest thing ever! Of course, I currently live in a fireplaceless house right now, so that's what I'm really missing right now.

    Can 'ya tell I'm homesick?

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  48. I'm from New Zealand, where Christmas is in the middle of summer. My tree is usually filled with sparkly silver ferns, kiwi birds, kiwi fruit, carved paua shells, as well as more recent additions of gears, zeplins, and a clockwork orange (I love it when people finally get the joke!) But my favorite part of the tree is my little Santa in a kayak. Because how else is Santa supposed to deliver presents in the middle of summer?!

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  49. We have 2 trees up at our house. We bought a 6.5 foot pre-lit tree for our living room. It's got multicolored lights and red, green, and gold ornaments. We put a pretty multicolored star on top. We also put white garland on it to pick up all the colors in the lights. It's very pretty.

    The 2nd tree is out in the office/playroom. It's a 2.5 foot tree with fiber optics that change colors. It's dressed with blue and silver ornaments, to separate it from the living room. It's mostly for my 2 year old to look at while she is watching her daddy play World of Warcraft. It's got a paper poinsetta as the topper on that one, as a traditional star or angel would just knock the thing over.

    Here's one of the tree in the living room.

    Christmas Tree

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  50. My mum does the most AMAZING table dressing. I wish I had a better picture than this but that was last year, red, gold and silver themed. There's little gifts on each place setting and the red stars above the table were perforated card so they sparkled with the lights shining through them.

    That's the only one I have a photo for, but my favourite one was when she did a centrepiece of a huge glass vase filled with black glittery twigs and hung silver ornaments from it. It looked so amazing and because she makes a lot of it herself or recycles from previous years it never costs a huge amount.

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  51. I can't get enough of Christmas sparklies!!! Here's our house, aka "Magic House," Jen: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2102449&id=1170956108&l=1901c6a662

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  52. I live in a small appartment and I really don't have room to put up a real christmas tree. But I do have an Areca palm tree in a pot, and I have a big droopy Crassula Ovata, wich is a plant with thick shiny dark-green leaves. Both are naturally green all year round, just like pine trees.
    So I hung silver water-drop-shaped and bell-shaped ornaments in the Areca palm, and wrapped it's pot with silver garlands, and I put golden balls in the Crassula Ovata.
    I'm very satisfied with the result. The clear green of the Areca lookt really light and shiny together with the silver, and the deep dark green of the Crassula becomes very glossy with the gold. They really match each other.
    And they make my living room look festive even without a pine tree :-)

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  53. The Blog-Her network's advertising irony machine must be in full swing. The ad by "Sparklies" is for Pop-Tarts or something with "Sprinkles".

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  54. Those are beautiful. If I didn't have kids I would have a lovely tree, but when a six year old put the lights on and hangs all the red ornaments in a row at the bottom...well, at least it shows I can let go of my need for control right?

    As for prelit trees, I bought one on clearance a few years ago, so the next Christmas I put it together and it had a string of lights out, so I cut them off with scissors, of course it didn't have ornaments on it yet. That makes it tough.

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  55. I'm dreaming of a steampunk style tree. *sighs*
    I'd love to do a tree in gears, old fashioned wooden and clay/glazed ornaments. With a smaller {not quite so fluffy} version of that paper garland. A leather tree skirt and some peacock feathers on top. I'd be in love.

    However, as I still have young kiddos, my tree is a hodge podge of ornaments I've been given over the years and those we've bought them each year. Toss in a few antique ones from my grandparents trees and the boys "trow them at the tree" pipe cleaner snowflakes and you've got quite the menagerie.

    Still it's cute and fun. We top our tree with a Santa hat and the Polar Express runs around the bottom. The boys love pulling out all their favorite ornaments {You'd be proud, Cinderella's castle is one of the favs!}and we've got great surprise ornaments for them this year.


    I think I may have to buy myself one of those little trees and decorate it steampunk just for me. ^_~

    Those are some stunning trees!

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  56. Not that this is a Christmas thing, but the "green" tree made me think of it. A friend of mine served a mission for our church before marrying his lovely wife. Well, what she did was print off all his letters he had sent to her and made her wedding bouquet out of them. She might have used some distressing for color, but it was just gorgeous!

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  57. I have a very traditional tree. Green tree, white lights, and ornaments that have been gifts from family members or that represent places I've been or special experiences. Each ornament on the tree is a memory and I love reliving the stories as I pull each ornament out and hang it on the tree. Some of the ornaments are exactly as old as I am! My tree is jammed packed with ornaments and each year it's harder and harder to find room for all of them, but I love them!

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  58. I didn't want this post to ever end. I want to see more!! I wish they did something like that around my area. I would SO BE THERE.

    Love the pretty trees. Especially the orange one.

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  59. Those trees are so beautiful! They make me want to join hands with all of the Whos and sing! Instead, I will send you a carol from another green meanie (who probably has a heart buried somewhere in all that oozy blubber)...Jabba!

    Merry Christmas and May the Force be with you!

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  60. I understand your excitement at the book page garland. My school's library has a wreath made the same way and I have just recently made Harry Potter ones for myself. Here are the links; http://papercrave.com/paper-wreath-tutorials/
    http://theredthreadblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/paper-wreath-and-garland-tutorial.html

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  61. I work in a lab, and every year I challenge my student workers to help me make beautiful ornaments out of scientific stuff. Test tubes, rubber stoppers, reflux condensers, sea urchin shells and sand dollars-we use all of them and more! I will try to send some pics so you can see what I'm talking about, since most people probably have NO idea what most of those things are. This year, we were even approached by other folks on campus to see if we'd sell some of them-which we might do as a fundraiser :D

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  62. I acquired a hand blown glass orange and other fruit ornaments from one of those little shops up in St. Augustine. Can't wait to see you do a steampunkesque tree!

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  63. Ahh...Christmas. Looking at some of these, I feel like I'm floating away in dizzy Christmas tree euphoria. They look like the tree equivalents of enormous ice cream sundaes, only made of blown glass and book pages (mega-awesome) and sparkles. Oooh...sparkles.

    Also, STEAMPUNK TREE! I just might...and I was just looking for Christmas tree theme ideas! Jen, you are brilliant...if I don't do it, you have too. It will make my life ten times better.

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  64. Oooh, shiny! I loved the "green" tree with the book pages! And can I pleeeease have a little paper owl?! I've been trying to remember to google steampunk christmas displays but it keeps slipping my mind so thanks for the reminder!

    My most creative idea for this season is using old, solid colored shirts I don't wear anymore for wrapping gifts.

    You rock, Jen. Happy Holidays!

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  65. I love sparklies and I love your Steampunk Christmas Tree idea. I wanted to do something very similar this year (although I hadn't thought of the tree skirt in leather...genius!) but couldn't find old keys for less than a fortune :(

    May have to craft something myself *ponders*

    Natalie

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  66. I went with a single color tree this year. Gold with just a touch of white. It is much more sparkly than when I put the deep red/burgundy poinsettias.

    Also, though I love the look of the decorated table, when I sit at the table I really want to be able to see everyone. And I have to dust off the table many times a day with 4 littleuns messin' it up. So my holiday-into-January centerpiece is a rectangular white tray with some cinnamon-scented pine cones. Very clean and streamlined. And very easy to dust around.

    Oh, and we lit our tree ourselves. Pre-lits just didn't have enough lights. Because we NEEDED 3000+ lights on our tree. And we actually held back a bit on that. We could have hit it with a few more strands. Ya know. We were conservative.

    Shelley in So. IL

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  67. Our colors this year are black, pink, and silver. They are unconventional around Christmas, so we had to make a lot of our things this year. We made a tree skirt that is hot pink fabric and sparkly black trim. We also bought plain white stockings and decorate them with pink, black, and silver accessories. I will post pictures on facebook!!

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  68. LOVE Christmas decorations. Mine is a Santa's workshop theme. Bought a bunch of toys at the dollar store, pretty gifts boxes off ebay, made a contruction paper chain (3,000 links...I'm crazy). So that toy tree I am LOVING and probably going to incorporate something like it next year.

    My favorite part is that because it is a workshop, I can leave my various ribbons and wrapping papers out. Oh and I have some cute elves sitting around.

    I also wrap stunt presents :)

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  69. :jaw drops: OMG gorgeous!! I'm not worthy!

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  70. If you love Christmas and sparkles, you need to stop by Bronner's Christmas Wonderland if you are ever in my neck of the woods. It's in Frankenmuth, Michigan (you were already planning a trip there, right?) and is the world's largest Christmas store.

    It's my happy place.

    They have a website too, if you wanna google it.

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  71. The stocking I upcycled from a Goodwill sweater is not only a high-heeled (steampunk-esque?) boot, it features a detachable peacock feather fascinator!

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