Last year my Christmas Forest Contribution got tagged with the working title, “The “Tree That Ate Cleveland”. This year I am sticking closer to home with “The Tree That Ate Seattle”, but I have the same high-flying aspirations. The tree’s real name is “A VictorianTeddy Tea Party”, but I kind of like the concept of a project so huge it could devour a city.
Christmas Forest is this marvelous fund-raising Christmas-kicking-off-magical-forest of Christmas trees. Providence St Peter Foundation is the power behind the throne here in Oly and in other cities and other states there are similar events, some with absolutely huge budgets. I’m almost jealous.
We are a bit more modest here and our designers, including I am proud to say, the Artful Rabbit, accomplish miracles between begging, pleading and very small budgets. In my hunt for supplies for a spectacular tree this year I have to give props to the incredibly generous citizens of Olympia.
An entire roomful of beautifully decorated themed trees and wreaths are sold at a gala auction annually to raise funds for services like medical care for moms and kids without insurance, and a lot of other things too.
I love being involved with this charity. Last year I spent quite a bit of my own money on the tree, but you know what? I can’t think of anywere I’d rather spend it than on making something beautiful to be enjoyed by a lot of other people–especially little kids at Christmas! Absolute magic.
I have been prowling garage and estate sales for a full year for just the right ‘jewels’ for my tree and I have found a few beauties. Like the tiny little antique school desk I got for a song, and the darling antique bed frame that my darling husband is laboriously sanding for me so I can repaint it. My wonderful friend Linda is going to sew the linens for my tiny bed- and boy is she ever talented! I cannot wait to see what comes out of her atelier.
The Christmas crew is lined up and ready to roll. My faithful trio of Jamie, Linda, and Carolee are ready to start. I’m trying not to panic.
My goal is to create a beautiful tree that has all the kiddos and the parents absolutely in love with it. I am working extra hard to make sure all the pieces which include Teddy Bears and tea sets can be disentangled, glue and goo free, and shared with children or adults who are kids at heart.
Why no glue which might make life easy? I would love to see the tree taken down after Christmas and know the pieces would be given to kids. That is why I am avoiding a ton of hot glue and figuring out how to fasten things securely without it.
The rule is: the tree has to be able to be wrapped in plastic while fully decorated, put in a truck and carted to its new home when it is sold. This is after a week on display with all the other trees and topped off with the auction. We get to go its new home and “fluff and buff” to make sure its as pretty as it was when sold.
The tree designers’ part is well underway and the installation has to be ready to roll and open to the public on Thanksgiving day. Let’s see, what is that seven weeks from now? YIKES!