A Remembrance Tree – Or What to Do with 855 Pieces of Costume Jewelry!

Chirped by Cass

3-Trees-Complete

The three trees completed

So first I want to start out by saying my mom loved Christmas…everything about Christmas.  The second thing I want to state is my mom had a lot, I mean a lot of earrings and jewelry.  And a combination of those two things is how I came up with this craft for Christmas and remembrance.

My mom was a collector of things.  She had a collection of Longaberger baskets, Boyd’s bears, clothes, jewelry, etc.  If she liked and enjoyed something, she bought it.  When she passed 6 years ago, my dad and I had the task of cleaning out her closets… yes closets (she had 3 filled with clothes).  Some we donated, some I gave to friends and family, but most were taken to consignment shops.  She also had a large collection of jewelry which included several jewelry boxes of clip-on earrings.  The consignment shops wouldn’t take the earrings and everyone I knew had pierced ears. The owner at one of the shops said she does have people ask for clip-on earrings for craft purposes.

Pinterest-Tree

Pinterest Tree Idea

So I started to research what you could make with those kind of earrings. While browsing Pinterest, I found this picture of a foam Christmas tree decorated with clip-on earrings… how perfect! My mom’s favorite holiday was Christmas and what better way to use her earrings than to decorate a Christmas tree.

I was on the hunt for a tree, not too big or small, and one the earrings could adorn.  I liked the look of the one I found on Pinterest, but I wanted a tree that was a bit more natural, to have a little rustic with the bling.  So I scoured the internet and found these grapevine trees by The Grapevine Store and ordered them.

I was very pleased when they came in because the grapevine was quite dense and I wouldn’t have huge gaps between branches and earrings.  Of course I had to attach a few to see how it looked.

Lights-inside

Putting craft lights inside the tree

I also picked up little LED light strands and tried wrapping them around the tree, to add a little light to the display. After thinking it through, I decided to switch to a string of craft lights and put them on the inside of the tree… that way if the lights stopped working, they could be easily removed and replaced.

Star-topperStrolling through the craft store to buy more hot glue sticks and the craft lights, I found the perfect size stars to put on the tops of the trees to finish them off.

 

Next was the task of dividing up all the earrings for the three trees. I forgot to mention -I’m making trees as well for my brother and sister… Luckily, my  mom was very organized in her collection and she had all the earrings sorted by color.  It was very easy to go through each bag… one for you… one for you and one for me.  She also had several pins that I divided between the three trees as well.

After dividing up the jewelry, I had three plates with a colorful assortment of all different colors, shapes, and styles of earrings and pins, ready to be re-purposed.

Tina joined me for a few afternoons to decorate the trees. We broke out the hot glue guns and got to work. I had some lazy Susans that we placed the trees on so we could easily spin the trees while attaching the jewelry.

Like I said, my mom had a lot of jewelry and she also had a large assortment of necklaces and bracelets.  So we sorted through them and selected ones that we could wrap around the trees like garland.  We attached them together and hot glued them to the branches.

Then we started clipping and securing the earrings and pins with a dab of hot glue to the grapevine trees.  About 855 pieces of jewelry later… yes, that’s not a typo… all three trees were complete.

Finally, to finish off the project, I had found a picture of my mom at Christmas opening up a gift, which happened to be a necklace I had given her. I bought three frames, got the photo reprinted for my brother, sister and myself, and added a remembrance.

Tree-in-Window

 

I placed my tree on a table in my front window.  I love how the sun makes the jewelry sparkle in the middle of the day and I love how the tree lights up at night.  Each time the tree catches my eye, I think of my mom and remember…

August’s Cheep Trills

Chirped by Tina and Cass

Unexpected Treasures

Sometimes Nature just plops a drop of sunshine in your path to brighten your day. I photographed a variety of perfect little mushrooms while hiking with my sister a couple of weeks ago. And I’ve never seen a feather like this – I’m guessing it’s from one of those purplish finches that love to nest behind our shutters. Since it was unaccompanied by ants, gore, or signs of struggle, I choose to think of it as a little present left on my doorstep. The cobweb was wafting in the breeze one dewy morning as my son left for his Continue reading

July’s Cheep Trills

Chirped by Tina and Cass

As you’ve probably noticed, we like to end each month by highlighting ten great things that we enjoyed over the course of the last 30 days or so. Whether it was a fun event we participated in, something we read for book club, a new recipe we tried, a craft that we loved, or an awesome life hack we discovered, taking the time to make our list helps us appreciate the good stuff and stay positive even through difficult or trying times.

Favorite Books for the Month

Ok, full disclosure, Cass and I didn’t actually finish/read July’s book club selections, but you’ll be happy to know that if our clubs didn’t think a book was really great, or we didn’t actually read it ourselves, we’re certainly not going to list it as a favorite! So we’ve gone back into our pre-blog archives to pull out two favorites from last year.

IMG_6166At the Edge of the Orchard, by Tracy Chevalier. Set in the mid 1800s, this novel introduces you to James and Sadie Goodenough, who headed West with some cuttings from the family orchards to stake their own claim… on the edge of a swamp in Ohio where their wagon got stuck. I loved being immersed in the brutal realities of frontier life, and was fascinated by the descriptions of cultivating and trying to maintain an apple orchard. When their youngest son escapes the crazily dysfunctional family to head to California, we learn all about the giant redwood Continue reading