I took nearly four hundred photos in the few hours we were there this year, which I've whittled down to about 90. Obviously those won't all fit in this post, though, so I'll just post the ones I most want to talk about it here. For the rest, head over to my Flickr account.
Now, on to the goodies!
Since Christmas trees always look like a jumbled mass of sparkles from a distance, I tried to take both a full shot & a close-up of all my favorites. (Click any pic to embiggen.) This one had a great earthy theme, with mushrooms, branches, leaves, and iridescent bubble ornaments.
I was surprised to find that some of the prettiest trees in person - like this one - looked far less impressive on camera, and vice versa. The spotlight lighting made it hard to capture, but that topper was a gorgeous fan of peacock fathers and glittery berry-like sprigs.
The tree topper has always been the hardest part for me to get right, so that's the first thing I look at when I see a Christmas tree. I love how creative these designers get, using everything from stuffed animals to floral findings to... telescopes?
Yep, they glittered up a telescope for this retro robot/space themed tree. Isn't it fun? This one had some of my favorite individual ornaments, too, so I took a bunch of close-ups:
I'm seriously considering using that last pic for our Christmas cards this year. Retro kitschy goodness!
Most of the Festival trees were 10 feet or taller, but there were also plenty of sweet mini trees like these mixed in. It's hard to see at first, but there's an adorable fawn figure on the right one. I love how that tree is wrapped in grapevine and twigs, too, so the lights really glow from the inside.
This tree would be perfect for my bedroom - if it could fit, of course:
There were full-sized Moroccan lamps used as ornaments, and jewel-toned silk scarves for garland. You can't see it in the close-up, but they also had brass "genie lamps" tucked inside the branches.
This next one had a lot of people oohing and aahing over it, but I think it's crazy creepy. See what you think:
That's a life-sized mannequin on top, except she had no legs. John and I giggled in horror at the thought of getting up in the middle of the night only to see THAT staring out at you. o.0 (Why not just spray her with granite texture and go full-on Who Angel? [shudder])
But if that's not unsettling enough for you, then the two "angels" that were beside the tree might do the trick:
They have no arms. Just sayin'.
Still, that tree did give me another pretty ornament shot:
I like the soft pink glow and silvers. Hmm. Maybe *this* should be our Christmas card...
Alice in Wonderland is always a popular theme at the Festival, so I saw at least three or four Alice examples. This one had a whole themed display around it, in addition to the tree itself:
Great colors - and I love the vintage vibe of the White Rabbit.
This was beside the tree:
Lookit the little hedgehog!! And the "drink me" display is just gorgeous. (I think pale blue and red is my second favorite color combo - after teal and orange, of course.)
The red paint and brushes are a great touch. The photo on the right is of another Wonderland tree at the show, and I am LOVING that card topper. I believe it was made with flexible wire and Styrofoam balls painted with glitter, so not too daunting to DIY. Then add some vintage teacups, and you're golden!
Next to the blue Alice tree was this Beauty and the Beast one:
I think this one got way too drippy - you can barely tell there's a tree under there! - but I do love the way the garlands form a kind of lattice work on top, and the red roses with the gold.
Here's another one I'm not sure I like, but it's definitely...interesting:
I think I just like symmetry too much, so that giant gift box on top is throwing me. The unicorn is nifty, though.
Oh, and the biggest new trend I saw this year? That wide mesh ribbon stuff. It was EVERYWHERE. (Look back through my photos, and you'll see most of the trees used it.) It makes a great puffy garland, and seems to hold its shape really well. Some designers even used just that to make their wreaths - no greenery at all.
I found some giant rolls of both gold and silver mesh at Cracker Barrel (yes, Cracker Barrel) last week for only $10, so I'm going to give it a try this year. (It's as wide as a roll of wrapping paper, to give you an idea of just how big this stuff is.) I've always used wired ribbon for garland, but that's such a pain to get it to lay right. Here's hoping the mesh is easier!
Ok, back to the trees:
I don't think my pictures do this next mini-tree justice, because it was just stunning in person:
The grapes were lights, and the whole thing was wrapped in grapevine, with rich teal and wine-colored ornaments. So, so pretty.
Next to it was what I dubbed The Alcoholic's Tree:
A few wine corks = rustic charm & character.
A whole tree-full = time for an intervention.
The Festival also had a few room vignettes set up, and I fell head over heels for this one:
I'm such a sucker for black and white checks and stripes - and it looks fantastic with all the red and green!
Another random close-up, and an especially pretty tree topper:
Those roses look like a still-life painting. I never would have thought to use flowers like that for a tree topper, but I like it!
Which reminds me: butterflies were another popular theme at the Festival. Two more of my favs:
The blue butterfly ornament has a large hole in the glass on the backside, in case you're wondering (as we did) how the pine cone got in there. The right photo might be another card candidate. (Decisions, decisions...)
I know most people aren't as crazy for Christmas decorations as I am, but I hope you guys still enjoyed my photos!
Next I'm going to post some of my favorite wreaths from the show, since there were plenty of stunners with fantastic ideas to
rip off lovingly copy. ;) Stay tuned for that, and in the mean time, head over to Flickr to see the rest of my tree photos!