Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Driftwood Christmas Trees

I was planning to post this yesterday, but I just ran out of time. Which is, typically, the story of my Christmas! One more week and I reckon I might have been all organised, maybe!

This morning I had to go and make a couple of deliveries to friends' houses. At the first house, my friend's husband was stuffing the turkey, potatoes were already peeled for tomorrow, 'pigs in blankets' were made and sitting in an oven tray for tomorrow. There was a gorgeous smell of a Christmas ham cooking and presents were all wrapped and under the tree. The second house was very similar - at least the turkey wasn't being stuffed but there was still the gorgeous ham smell, presents wrapped and children were decorating a gingerbread house. Idyllic Christmas scenes.

Then I got back to my house. A complete, muddled pigsty, no lovely smells, no presents wrapped! Aaaghhh! I've decided I'm making one New Year's Resolution this year, and one only, and it's to be organised for Christmas next year!

Anyway, back to the post. I've talked a bit about my sewing friends before, but today my wonderful, non-sewing friend, Sarah, is making an appearance. Sarah might not sew but she is extremely creative and she loves wood, especially driftwood.

(By the way, she’s the lucky one with a husband stuffing the turkey and preparing vegetables, and she also has a very creative, sewing Mum, Sandra, who makes wonderful curtains and blinds (thank you, they look lovely!), and is excellent at guiding me through lots of different functions on my new sewing machine - thank you very much, Sandra!)
Sorry, sidetracked again, back to the post. Sarah recently made herself an amazing, driftwood Christmas tree. This is something I've been wanting to do for a while. I made just a small, sort of 2D one last year.

But, especially as the new conservatory is aiming for a coastal theme, I really wanted to make something bigger and more like a proper Christmas tree for in there this year. Something just like this in fact...

This is the amazing one Sarah made. So, spurred on by her success, I set off to the best, local driftwood beach to collect wood. I had visions of a lovely walk across the sand on a crisp, sunny afternoon. Instead it was very mild, drizzly and the boys ran off to look at boats and managed to get extremely stuck in extremely, squelchy mud within seconds of us getting there.

And when I say 'extremely stuck,' I really mean extremely stuck!

I had to take off my shoes and socks, roll up my trousers and wade in there to pull them out! Getting their boots out was even harder and took quite a bit of digging.

But we did eventually manage it and cleaned up pretty well in some rockpools. It wasn't my dream walk but we still managed to have a good time and find quite a bit of wood.

Back home with it, I chopped it up into lengths to give me a nicely graduated tree and then brought it in to dry.

Yesterday I finally got round to assembling it. I'd got a long, thin metal stick from a DIY shop and I cut this to the size I wanted. I drilled holes in my 'base' and all the branches to fit the metal stick. Next it was just a matter of threading it all together, with a bit of help from one of my little helpers of course.

It didn't take long and we had it finished.

I had glued together some pieces of driftwood into a star shape to hang on the top. But stupidly I left it on the ground with the other pieces, and my little helper jumped up and down several times in excitement as the tree started coming together - my star became 2 triangles.

I did have plans to decorate it as well, but they'll have to wait till next year. For this year I think it looks great completely plain!

While I had the drill out, I decided I'd make a quick driftwood wreath too.

Lots of little pieces of driftwood with smaller holes drilled in them, to thread through some heavy duty, garden wire. Once you've got the size required, just bend the wire round as well as you can, like this...

And then wrap garden twine round and round to cover the wire and create a loop to hang it.

I've tied on some holly (wool and buttons) for mine, but you could decorate it lots of ways - stars, snowflakes, robins...

That about wraps it up for my Christmas making for this year. I'll leave you with further evidence of my friend Sarah's creativity, have a look at these beautiful paper flowers she gave me this morning...

Made from maps and sheet music, they're looking beautiful in a jar on my window sill now. Thank you!
I forgot to mention earlier that along with the food preparations well under way in her house, she's also made a table centre piece with these flowers, and name places for everyone with a flower too. I expect by now the table is all beautifully laid! Creative and organised!

Happy Christmas to everyone out there, may you all have a wonderful, joyful day tomorrow, even if, like me, you're still not ready right now!

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