Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Best Of Orlando's Festival Of Trees 2017

Nothing kicks off the season of twinkly lights and glitter-bombed greenery like the Festival of Trees, am I right? So earlier this week John and I made our annual trek to the Orlando Museum of Art to find some new decorating ideas to steal borrow.

Who's pumped??

 K, let's jump right in.

This year's lobby tree was SO SHINY:

Let's head into the exhibit itself for my first favorite, though, a sweet snowy scene:

The warm yellow lights shining through the tree almost look pink from a distance, and help break up all that white.

I like when designers theme the gifts, too; look at the furry present! Ahhh! Now I want all gift wrap to be fuzzy.

The best part may actually be the tree's sponsor, though: it was a teeth-whitening service.
Well played, guys. Well played.

Usually I break up wreaths and trees into separate posts, but I'm feeling willy-nilly today, so let's head straight down the Decked Hall:

It's about twice this long, and filled to the brim with wreaths (on full-size doors!) and mini trees galore.

 I'm a big fan of themes, so loving this little musical magnolia tree:
The trumpet topper with the blast of glittery sprigs is especially awesome - and the sheet music garland!

 This little owl wreath reminded me of the one at Diagon Alley:

 Feathers! Gotta start adding more feathers to everything. (That and adorable owls.)

A pretty traditional tree, but done to perfection:
The script on the garland ribbon really sets it off.

And this one looks like Spring: all flowers and butterflies!

Some pretty-in-pink poinsettias:

If you really want your tree to stand out, how about some funny little gnomes?

Ok, not so little.

I feel like the tree should have big curly shoes sticking out underneath. :D

As a side note, these match the gnome figure I bought later in the museum gift shop:

 I think mine's cuter, though. :D

You guys know I'm always most fascinated by tree toppers, and I really like this one:

Specifically, I like how the bouquet of magnolias on top has that layer of glittery leaves under it, like a cap. It makes the whole top feel like one piece. Very polished.

More proof that every wreath is improved by putting a cute animal in the middle:
Also look at the balance: bow on the right, fox on the left. It's not just centered up and down.

There's a whole room of gingerbread houses at the Festival, but I'm only including this one, because GUMDROP ROOF:

And it's a dollhouse! (But mostly, GUMDROP ROOF.)

Another full room setup:

I actually liked the rustic accessories more than the tree:

Also, this Barbie tree topper. just look at it:

The tree itself was gorgeous, and a huge 8 footer. It was like, "PHENOMENAL COSMIC CHRISTMAS TREEE!! ...iiiitty bitty tree topper."

(Random Aladdin references are just the sort of service you can expect here at Jen's Festival Commentary, folks.)

I think this next one is my favorite mini tree:

Grape vine, bunches of red and white grapes, wine corks, and even sparkly little wine glasses! It was even lovelier in person, too. So sparkly, and gorgeous colors.

How about the cutest Mid-Century Modern dining room spread?

SO CUTE. Teal and red are so good together. (Almost as good as teal and orange.)

Oooh, here comes John's favorite tree/room setup. (My favorite is in Part 2.) There's so much to take in all at once that it's hard for photos to do it justice, but I'll try:

The theme is Red Cardinals, and I love how many little birds were perched on branches sticking way outside of the tree:

See them on the left there? And also on the mantel?

The tree was packed to overloading with a full-size birdcage for a topper, candles, branches, and interestingly enough, large succulents for greenery:

Again, my favorite part is how they used the branches: extending them way out and then hanging more ornaments and birds on them. Such a cool idea.

(If you're noticing my photos look quite different from one to the next, btw, it's because I edited some with an HDR filter to bring out the shadows.)

It's a lot, I know - too much, even -  but we kept finding new pretty things to look at!

Ack, it feels like I barely started, but since I'm at the halfway point I'm going to stop there for now. Stay tuned for Part 2 with more of everything, including MY favorite full-size tree of the Festival!


  1. Anyone else having a huge ad blocking several of the pictures? I am on an iPad, using safari and there is no way to click out of the ad.
    Love the pics I can see though! That fox wreath is adorable.

    1. Arg, sorry about that. The site isn't designed to be mobile friendly, so I suspect it's trying to show you a desktop-sized ad on your iPad. This is cutting myself off at the knees, of course, but an ad-block should fix it, or just refresh to get rid of that particular ad.

    2. Seems better today, super weird, because I only look at your site on this iPad.
      No biggie, just wondering if it was something others were seeing or of my iPad was possessed.

  2. How do you get your tree photos to look so good? Whenever I take a picture of our tree the lights over shine everything and the ornaments don't show up. If the house lights are on, the lights disappear?

    1. Lots and lots of editing! The best way is HDR; if you don't have an HDR filter (Snapseed has a great one on my phone - that's what I used for a lot of these), then you can fake it by bumping the shadows waaaay up, the highlights waaaay down, and then lowering the contrast. After that boost the color & definition/clarity way up, then maybe add a little glow/blur for that magical twinkly look. :)

  3. Reading this early in the morning, so blurry vision and such... I saw the ginger bread doll house and was like "Uhm... that's not a tree." :D Thanks for including it! Looks awesome, and now GUMDROP ROOF is totally going to be the name of an album by my fictional band, The Jingle Crew.

    Pinkie Welborne, 17

  4. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I forget to anticipate this post every year now and then when it comes its such a pleasant surprise <3

    even beats the joy of your convention coverage. its like reviewing fashion / interior design but with the express purpose of being over-the-top and campy. loves it.

  6. We're homeless for the holidays this year. Living in a little motel room and not being able to decorate is killing me. I'm totally living vicariously through your posts.

  7. Just stunning! Keep the photos coming, Jen!

  8. when this post appears it's like my cue that Christmas is coming...

  9. Jen, I look forward to this review every year!! It just makes me feel all calm, balmy, and happy. Thanks for injecting so much pretty into my day!

  10. Gumdrop roof, yes, but HERSHEY FLOOR!! = )

  11. Owl wreath and Aladdin references.

    Fabulous, Harry, I love the feathers!!

  12. Beautiful! I really love that mini-tree with the scripted garland on it. I need to look for some of that. It ties in my love of Christmas with my love of the written word. <3

  13. I love seeing all your posts & photos, Jen. I also love Christmas decorations. I think the wreaths are all lovely, the settings are mostly great, but I find most of these trees way to overstuffed for my taste. :( (Sorry) Doesn't bother me if the tree is a "different color" like silver or white or whatever, but if it is a "regular tree" (ie green) I like to actually see some tree peeking through... Am I too old fashioned? Do I use too many quotation marks ;) ?

  14. The gnomes look like either Norwegian nisse, or Swedish tomte that are part of the Scandinavian holiday celebrations. We have tomte ornaments and decorations along with julboks--the Christmas goats :-) Thanks for sharing such beautiful pics each year!


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