Friday, December 12, 2008

A Christmas Tour - Chicago

[Note: this post was written for the Christmas Tour of Blogs over at the fantastic Moultrie Creek blog run by Denise Olson.]

As if being a Christmas baby weren't enough, your indication that I love the holidays can be seen the in the decorations at my home here in Chicago.  While this year we've scaled things down (like almost everyone we know), I can give a tour of what went on here last year which was a busy but beautiful Christmas.

The main focus of the holidays for us was creating over 300 handmade ornaments for a 10 1/2 foot tall live tree, along with purchasing over 600 glass ball ornaments and 1,500 lights.  As you can image, the process of planning started in June and purchasing started in September and October before the prices on items climbed!

Above you can see the packages of Glass Ball Ornaments in jewel tone colors of gold, champagne, ivory, chocolate, rust, moss green and more.  Also some of the completed ornaments like the Gilded Walnut Garlands, the Copper Pine Cones and the Glitter Glass Pine Cones are in boxes and ready to be hung on the tree.

Once all the materials were in place, all of October and November was spent drilling and painting walnuts, assembling feathers, gluing cinnamon sticks together etc.  Here's a gallery of images of the items I made:

So with all the items ready, and after having picked out a great Fraser Fir tree at my local gardening store, there it sat in the living room right in front of the bay windows.

Here is the finished product and some closeups of the ornaments as they hung on the tree:

And a tree can't be complete without a nice big shiny star:

So with the tree completed, the next task was deciding what to do with the ten gilded walnut garlands each over nine feet long. It turns out the garlands were way too heavy for the tree so time to get creative. I decided to string them along the curtain rods in the living room and then along the oak staircase which is the entrance to my home:

Additional decorations include the gold twig tree in the entrance way with shiny and matte red balls:

Then the rest of the house is decked out with bowls filled with mercury glass ornaments:

Once the house is decorated, well you need sustenance for all those guests and something to give as gifts for visitors and the people who take care of you all year round:

You can learn more about each ornament over at A Catskill Christmas blog which documents by holiday project last year. And if you want Christmas cookie recipes, go visit And I Helped!, my cooking and food memories blog.


FamilyTwigs (Sheri Bush) said...

Oh my gosh, Thomas. How wonderful! Thank you for letting me watch. Could you hand me a cookie?
It's so beautiful.
Merry Christmas!

Jewelgirl said...

Your decorations are wonderful!
I really adore your golden tree
with the red ornaments so simple
and classy. The cookies are divine!
Your home looks ready to celebrate
Christmas. Awesome!

looking4ancestors said...

Holiday Greetings Thomas,
Your hand made ornaments are beautiful. I like the bronze and moss green colour scheme for your tree - very pretty. I enjoyed your tour.

Jasia said...

A lovely tour Thomas. Thanks for sharing your home with us. You've got my mouth watering now...

Bob Kramp said...

Really fine compositions on Photos. A (Christmas) feast for the eyes. So glad I stopped by for a look-see.