Christmas 2012-Burlap, Lace and Crystal

Last year I made this new tree for our front room. (I posted pics from last year in this post. I took the base off the tree this year because I felt like it was too tall and took up too much floor space).

Doing a new tree every year is common for me; Or at least to recycle elements of something I have done before into a new design. I have TOO many ideas to limit myself to the same things year after year!  I had found some wonderful printed French Post Burlap that I used as my starting point when I started this design. 2 years later, I'm STILL not done with the creation of this room! I have more I wanted to do this year, but ran out of time, so I will pick up where I left off next fall.

One thing that I did new this year was to create an Advent Calender set. I found some pre-made burlap bags, but I did not like the jute cord that they were strung on. Instead, I glued them to this wonderful cotton scalloped lace that I found (for cheap at an outlet!). Then I hung it on my bannister at a height where my step-daughter could reach it.
I made each pocket a different design, following along with the decor on my Paris tree: Lace, silver, Keys, sheet music, black and white, and dark brown. It was a little tedious, but only because I wanted every single pocket to be different from the rest! I didn't go in order as I just did the number that spoke to me as I was going along. It took me about 4 hours total to do all of them and put it together. But, I will use it for a long time so it was worth the time I spent.






To go along with the new calender, I had to make a new base for my mini ornaments to hang on. Previously, I had a flat felt calender that my mom made me. I really didn't have a preference for it, and had not used it in years. My step-daughter is very much into Christmas traditions, so I wanted to create something for her to do this year. She seemed very put out last year that we didn't have one in our home. Though I'm certain that she'd have preferred a calender with CANDY in it, I chose not to do that. Instead, I made a small burlap tree to hang my vintage miniature ornaments on.
I started with a basic foam tree base and added small strips of cut burlap strips all around it. I used LOW-temp hot glue, which was perfect for the job. That way I could press down the strips and not get burned, and it didn't melt the styrofoam base.
 While some of the ornaments are newer, many of them were ones I bought 25 years ago, and some I found antiquing more recently. I used pearl head pins all around the tree both as a support for the ornament hangers, but also as decoration on the tree. I "potted" it in a stone pot I found at the thrift store. I filled the base of it with extra burlap, and my tree fit perfectly in the opening at the top.
Here is a close up of the lace and other elements of the bannister wrap:

Back to the tree....
I like it much better with the bottom 2 feet off. The ceiling in the room is high enough for it, but I couldn't see my Eiffel Tower on the top when it was that tall!! Plus, I gained more floor space for some of my decorations when the base was gone. 
My one new ornament this year...Mercury Glass Eiffel Towers. I found them at Kohls. Next year I need to MAKE some mercury glass ornaments to match them. Along with using the Eiffel Tower Paris "Joyuex Noel" stamp that I bought this year (see above). I never had a chance to make anything with it! I'm thinking of shrink-plastic ornaments. Perhaps. 

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