Wednesday, July 30, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

This Christmas – make a scene

By
From page C4 | November 23, 2012 |

Whenever I visit a holiday tree festival where top designers deck the halls (and trees), I come away feeling as dull as a bureaucrat from Buffalo.

I arrive to the affair feeling pretty confident in my holiday decorating skills. I know to layer on the white lights, stick with a unified color scheme and add seasonal bling in the right places. But I leave feeling decoratively deflated. My ideas fall flatter than gingerbread.

My visit to the 26th annual Festival of Trees at the Orlando Museum of Art last week proved no exception. Now, I get that this is a modern art museum so designers have creative license to do the unexpected. They did not disappoint.

But my holiday decorating bar just got higher. Used to be my goal (and I know this makes me sound ornamentally hollow) was to have a tree that looked like a department store tree. However, the trees at this festival are to department store trees what department store trees are to Charlie’s Brown’s tree.

They are exponentially extraordinary, and raise the art of tree decorating to the level of angels we have heard on high. Here’s a sampling:

• A tree made of stacked apple-green Tupperware bowls. The designer graduated the bowls’ sizes — large bowls at the base, smaller bowls on up — to build the tree, then added hot pink ornaments.

• The candy cane trees were a perfectly peppermint couple. One red tree (a refreshing change from green) was dressed in all white and mint-blue ornaments; its slightly smaller partner was a white tree decked with all red and mint blue bulbs.

• The Recycle Tree was made entirely of cut up water bottles, curled into ringlets, spray painted colors of the rainbow, and sprinkled with glitter. The tree skirt was a mesh of glitter-painted and connected bottle caps.

• A tree in the shape of the Eiffel Tower garnished with Parisian-themed ornaments, and a faux French poodle.

Feel dull yet?

For those who just want to throw in the tree skirt (and some cash) and get a great tree without burning brain cells, they can take away a designer tree. The ones at this festival ranged from $400 for a small tree to $4,000, (which included shrink-wrapping the tree and delivery to your home.)

But if that would blow your gift budget, as it would mine, you can take away some ideas instead … within reason. I mean, if I gathered my family to decorate the tree and pulled out a bunch of Tupperware, they would accuse me of hitting the spiked eggnog too hard.

Here are some ideas to help you get out of your holiday decorating rut, courtesy of Linda Cegelis, museum spokeswoman who has been part of the event for 20 years.

• Create a scene. When decorating your tree, go beyond the branches. Decorate around the tree and create a vignette, said Cegelis. Coordinate the tree skirt, the wall behind and the gift wrap. One Under-the-Sea-themed tree had clear ornaments that resembled bubbles running up the wall beside the tree. A winter wonderland tree had white sparkly branches lining the wall behind it like a snow-covered hedge, a billowy white gossamer skirt that resembled a snow drift and a white artificial reindeer standing by.

• Lay on the lights. It’s hard to overdo them, Cegelis said. Don’t just light the tree. Put lights around garland, wreaths, mirrors and the gingerbread house. “Think through the lighting. It should be significant,” she said. The designers strongly prefer white lights.

• Urn it. As part of your vignette, find an urn or large cachepot. Heap it with holiday greenery, ornaments or a scene with nutcrackers.

• Don’t stop at the top. The tip of your Tannenbaum should be a crowning moment. Forego the angel or star tree topper, and instead create an arrangement using large silk flowers, gilded branches and abundant ribbon, so it pulls the eye to top of tree. Toppers that fan up an out work well because they balance the base of the tree, said Cegelis.

• Double the pleasure. Hanging a pretty framed mirror behind the tree gives you twice as much tree and sparkle, plus shows off the back of the tree. Prop an old window behind the tree to add architectural interest. Trim it, hang a wreath on in, wrap it in lights.

• Focus rather than fragment decor. Pick a few areas of your home and go all out. The tree, and the area around it, the mantle and the front door are good places to pour on décor. Hold back in other areas. Spreading holiday decorations all over your house can feel suffocating, and soon nothing looks special.

Happy Holidays!

Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her through marnijameson.com.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
District 2 candidate statements tell of goals

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire nears containment: 66 structures destroyed

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Schedule for Highway 50 blasting closures

By News Release | From Page: A3

Tails wagging over dog park approval

By Julie Samrick | From Page: A3

 
Quarter-acre fire in Kelsey

By Rebecca Murphy | From Page: A3

.

Opinion

My Turn: Privatization of public services

By Mark Belden | From Page: A4

 
Policy book

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4

 
.

Letters

Piano replaced

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Comments sign-in policy

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Save the Guinea Worm

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Large bangs

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

Private property gets no respect

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
GDPUD management report

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

District 2 supervisorial special election

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

 
.

Sports

Ex-Bruin lends a helping hand

By Steven Shaff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Sierra Sharks finish middle of the pack

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

Roundup: July 29, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A8

 
Taz pull through for SSL trophy

By Patty Pope | From Page: A8

.

Prospecting

Nuns discover a pleasant place

By Lexi Boeger | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Bargains can be found everywhere

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

At a glance: Game time

By Mimi Escabar | From Page: B2

 
Barbecue dinner to benefit Blue Star Moms

By Mount Aukum Winery | From Page: B2

Stagecoach story takes riders on a trip

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: B3

 
Help needed to make cool ties

By Sew 4 | From Page: B3

Stroke and osteoporosis screenings planned

By Life Line Screening | From Page: B3

 
Gold Rush Days activities cancelled this year

By Sacramento Convention And Visitors Center | From Page: B4

Master Food Preservers: Tomato time

By Monique Wilber | From Page: B4

 
Sacramento area museums offer summer fun

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B5

 
Build an author platform at the Library

By El Dorado | From Page: B5

.

Essentials

Weather stats 7-29-14

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Building permits 6/2-6/2014

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

Crime Log: July 17

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Merlyn Wilbur Adams

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Wallace Murrel Thomas

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

.

Comics

.

Women’s Health

Love the skin you’re in

By Noel Stack | From Page: WH4

Dump stress and improve your health, productivity

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: WH7Comments are off for this post

Women’s Health Expo

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH8

Find the confidence you need to fight back

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH12

Our choices directly affect our health

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: WH14

They’re NOT your mother’s hearing devices!

By Marshall Medical | From Page: WH17