Part of the danger of working at an antique mall is the fantastic items that come in, and instantly go out, before a lowly sales clerk has time to count the pennies in her piggy bank. One of those items is the silver tinsel Christmas tree. Every year, we get a few. And every year, they get purchased before we have our chance. The top predator in the tinsel tree food chain is...the pom pom tree. The Blackbird girls LOVE silver tinsel pom pom trees. But, they usually sell before we even know they were in the store. So, imagine the gasp that issued from me when I turned the corner and saw one the other day. There was no question. We had to have it. And at just over 5 feet high, it's just the right size! (Size matters plenty in a house as packed as ours....) At the store, we tested a color wheel on the tree, because you have to be scientific about these things. Our procedure involved 1. plugging in the color wheel and aiming it at the tree; 2. pulling up the two comfiest chairs we could find; and 3. gossiping in the glow (as we would at home--you have to be realistic about these things) for approximately ten minutes. The colors were great, but the wheel got so hot that it burned our fingers. We had visions of the cat knocking over the wheel into something flammable, followed by me running through the yard with a flaming silver pom pom tree in search of the nearest hose. So, we just got the tree. Now, let the assembly begin!
|In a laundry basket for transport purposes.|
|Assembly, part 1 and 2.|
|Our plan for tree domination is nearly complete!|
We had plans to purchase a colored light bulb to put in the lamp nearest the tree, but found something so much better: a color changing LED bulb. Because it is LED, it doesn't get hot. Also, it has a remote control (cue bluebirds of happiness). And...(drumroll, please)...it slowly rotates through 768 different color shades (which is more colors than even exist in the world!!!!). Okay, so it was the most expensive light bulb we've ever purchased (and is now a treasured fragile object), but a $35 light bulb is still cheaper than a vintage color wheel and new house after the old one burns down, so we still feel justified. Plus, just look at it!
We pulled out the vintage ornaments, plus some cool newer ones, and put on the the Charlie Brown Christmas Album for the decorating of the tree. There are some particularly special ornaments that got prominent spots, and we stacked ornaments down the branches to make the tree look rich and full. We also tested the fancy light bulb periodically, for scientific reasons, of course. Then came the moment when the cat crept up on us and tried to jump over our miscellaneous piles of tissue-wrapped ornaments, causing an avalanche and three heart attacks in the process (the cat wasn't happy with the end result of his maneuver). Luckily, there were no casualties.
The light bulb is in an inexpensive clip light fixture that plugs in, but the bulb is a little heavier than a standard one, so we had to use our brains to engineer a very rigged, and currently un-pretty, setup that would allow the light to aim at the perfect spot on the tree, without being too close to anything breakable, and clipped in such a way that it is less likely for the cat to knock it over and break our $35 light bulb (or something else, like pottery, which we have a whole lot of). So, the light is clipped to a stiff cardboard tube that was in a roll of fancy wrapping paper. The tube was inserted into my vintage metal cage hat stand, and the hat stand is tied to the end table, the chair, and the metal record stand, and then wedged in between the sofa and chair. Don't you love our fancy ribbon? As I always say, if you've gotta rig something, you might as well make it sparkly and blue....