Rabbit Creates Carmen Miranda’s Christmas Hat

Miranda,%20Carmen_05 
Our girl Carmen, check out those shoes!

Okay, it's really the topper for the Christmas Forest Green Green Tree, but it looks like something Carmen would strap on and shimmy across the floor singing something outrageous.  After I saw the tree toppers on the 'sample' trees at Washington Floral a month or so ago, I was terrified. Those things were serious, both large and in charge. I'm a star on the tree top kind of girl and these trees meant business! Throw in the challenge of going green to make it even better. What on earth to do?

Earth! I went on the hunt for a dead globe, I was willing to conscript my son Torin's really nice one for my concept but as luck would have it, I found a second hand globe lurking in the toy section of a local GoodWill store. $3.00 later I had the raw materials for my concept. I had to unscrew the top and bottom and approach it like a squirrel opening a nut, if said squirrel had access to a jigsaw and opposable thumbs. I used my jigsaw, (yes, mine. Girls like tools too) to cut holes in the top and bottom big enough to stick plastic water bottles inside the globe.

Treetopper start 
cutting the earth down to size

Treetopperstart 
who knew Antarctica was so small? 

 I knew I wanted to bring the tree sponsor's theme into my concept for the tree top, the final showy piece de reistance. Rotary is my tree sponsor and their focus is on clean water for children around the world, which mixes nicely with my concept of living more lightly on the earth and leaving a smaller carbon footprint by repurposing used stuff.

I wove a net with wire and acrylic crystals as water drops, glass ones were unfortunately too heavy for this use, and dropped the net over the earth.

Treetopper1 

Next step was to take the net off and cart the globe to the studio to figure out how to make it into a vase and stick it on top of the tree. The solution was those used recycled plastic bottles. One was glued thoroughly into the bottom of the globe with the neck sticking out using E6000 killer glue. A round rod fits into the neckhole and it can be wired to the tree for stability.  The bottom half of a second bottle  was glued to the bottom of the other bottle. Voila! Instant vase.

I glittered the globe  heavily–one half of the world at a time. Interesting that this was the first time the glass glitter got me. When it's stuck down thoroughly and you grab it, it's like glass sandpaper and I have little glass cuts from my careless handling of the glitter globe. Ah, the pain of making art…

After all  the layors of glue dried I put the stake into the globe, stabilizing  it with shiny silver tape around the bottle neck, the kind of tape guys who do ducting use, I love that stuff. I felt so clever-I used my bench vise to clamp the stake in place to finish the whole thing up. I dropped the crystal net over the now glittery globe, glued that down and added three gold and white ribbons that will unroll the entire length of the tree. 

Treetopper detail 

The final step was to create the floral part with white silk glittery poinsettias, this cool glittery mistletoe looking stuff, and some tingle, which looks like wicker with a permanent wave.  I glittered up the tingle and wired more "water" crystals into the top of it. I wanted it to look like water was falling from the top and running off the globe in a metaphorical sense. 

Treetopper 

I love the thing! I was smart enough to make sure I did not glue the flower arrangement in because the finished topper is more than two feet tall and I have to transport it across town and mount it and then dismount it after its sold. Its shiny and catches the light and its fabulous!

Carmen Miranda, eat your heart out!

Treetopperfinished 

Carmen Miranda's Christmas Hat

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