Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Tea Party

A rustic box, flowers and a string of lights

The past three weeks have been a whirlwind of activity!  While the art studio has been put to great use, there haven't been any paintings in progress.  The watercolor palettes are tucked away in the refrigerator for a while longer.  My parents spent two and a half weeks with us; what an incredible joy to have them here for my birthday, Thanksgiving and a special Christmas Tea.  If you haven't read previous posts, my exercise ball and I had a misunderstanding.  After a fall to the floor, my pelvis and tailbone needed some recovery time.  My parents arrived just when I needed them most, making it possible for me to keep up with several commitments.  They kept this house busy with activity, cleaning, repairing, organizing and decorating.  I just can't thank them enough!

Last time, I shared the making of seed packets to share with my table guests at the annual Christmas Tea at our church.  I've been planning my table decor since September but had to make some adjustments to those plans.  Simplicity and ease were now more important than ever.  Thankfully, most of the hard work was behind me.  I just needed to set up what I had envisioned in my head; whether it would look like I imagined, I needed to see for sure.

"The grass withers and the flower fades 

but the word of our God will stand forever!"

Isaiah 40:8

That was my inspiration for this table decor.  As I mulled over what to share this week, I thought that it might be fun to share the process of putting all the separate elements together.  Hopefully, you'll find this fun and interesting.  I believe home decor IS art.  My sister claims she doesn't have the same talent I have but I disagree.  Her home is just lovely and her ideas are fantastic.  I draw so much from what she does with every room of her home.  She doesn't know how much I quietly observe and gather ideas from her.

The table design began with flowers in the garden.  Below is a photo of the luminaries I really wanted to create for the table.  Kelly Wilkinson shares a tutorial at A Practical Wedding titled, How To: Luminaria with Kelly Wilkinson if you'd like to try this.  I think the variety of flowers and leaves would be key in creating the same effect.  I wanted to take pressed violas and make luminaries with them.  That idea went by the wayside for simpler ideas.  I'll pack the pressed flowers away for another project in the future.

How To: Luminaria with Kelly Wilkinson at Meg Keene's "Practical Wedding" Blog.:

Another key piece in this table design was a plain, hinged wooden box with a leather strap.  It was found among all the shelves of boxes, crates and suitcases in a little known local shop (it's really not a shop, but hard to describe) run by Timeless Tom as we know him.  I like to tag along when my husband goes to check out the car parts Tom is selling.  My eyes carefully scan the shelves for great finds like this box.

This box apparently held some sort of telescope equipment from Jamaica Plain Station, Boston, Massachusetts.  The instructions are attached to the underside of the lid.

This little tray fits perfectly in the frame of the upper lid.  It was purchased from another second-hand store.  I wanted to have the lights reflected from inside the box and the shiny surface works perfectly!

My plan, to fill the box with green moss and flowers, meant I needed to find a way to fill the box space and need less moss.  The dollar store sells bags of moss and I purchased four bags.  I have a bag of mini pine cones I purchased last year for my table decor.  I planned to use them again.

With some spare cardboard and a box knife, I built a frame to support a "shelf" of cardboard.  The photos show it plainly but comment if you have questions!  The four pieces of cardboard are cut pretty much identical and they fit together to make a sturdy support for the fifth piece of cardboard.

Soon, you'll see why I've cut out the rounded shape in the cardboard shelf.  I'm having such a great time with this project!

A leftover piece of grain sack makes a simple cover for the cardboard shelf.  Burlap would have worked well, too.  It will be covered with moss, pine cones, and flowers so I'm not worried about it being perfect at this stage.

This galvanized flower bucket fits into that space like it belongs there!  The green branches, pussy willows and sunflowers are artificial like all the plants/flowers used for this arrangement.  I'd wanted to use potted herbs and violas but that seemed too complicated a design to pull off well.

A stand of battery operated lights is placed on the fabric; the battery box fits in to be hidden with moss.  I spread the lights evenly and moved on to the next step.

The moss is laid over the string of lights.  Then the flowers, pine cones and other natural accents are placed over the moss.

My mom spotted the galvanized planters and tray at the second-hand store and they soon became part of the display.  With moss, more artificial flowers and battery operated candles, they were transformed to fit the garden theme.

A second set of battery operated lights are tucked to the bottom of this basket.  The battery box is also tucked inside and then artificial lavender is added to the display.  The little lights shine from inside the basket weave.

There's so much more that I am excited to share but this is all for today!  I'll give you a preview for the next installment soon to follow.  The tall glass vase with Isaiah 40:8 looks like frosted glass with painted black lettering...but it's much simpler than that.  Vases such as these can be found at the dollar store or at a second-hand store for very little money.  Craft stores sell vellum by the sheet...and that is where I'll leave you for now.

In Part 3, I'll tell you more about the place card tags and the gift bags.

Check back soon when I'll give you the step-by-step process that you can use for your own home decor accent.  I've got enough tips and tricks for sharing in three separate posts...  The other ideas will be up in the next three days.

So, see you again real soon with more...


because she must make art... and crafts... and table decor...

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