Friday, April 26, 2013

Seasonal Decoration Fun

In the month of December in Sweden you can find Christmas tree lots all throughout the city. Less than five minutes away from our apartment there were at least four of them this year. Outdoorsy Swedish men man the lots and are ready and at your disposal to trim the base of your tree and bag it up in a giant net tube for easier transport. Trimming the base of the tree has the same affect as trimming flower stems. It allows more water to be absorbed by the tree once you get it home and upright in its stand. Hopefully it will live happily, retaining all of its needles until at least a week after Christmas day. 

Two years ago our poor little tree died very early in the season and while we sat on the couch watching TV we could hear the sound of pine needles raining down onto the gifts under the tree. By the time we took the ornaments off there were very little needles left and my husband took out the vacuum cleaner and vacuumed the rest of them off. We carried the tree skeleton down to the Christmas tree grave yard and when we returned I scooped up a few handfuls of the needles and put them in this mason jar:

But not to get too far into a story about Christmas, another result of trimming the bases of the trees is that hundreds of small tree trunk disks are left over, scattered about the frozen ground. As we walked by one of the lots one day I grabbed a few and carried them home. After Christmas when the lots had moved out there were still hundreds of these disks lying around. I wasn't sure what I planned to do with them but I knew I *needed* another good handful or two for a future project. 

A month or so later I found myself gluing paper hearts to toothpicks for cupcake decorations for my February book club meeting. It was just a couple of days before Valentine’s Day so several of the heart toothpicks were left over after the cupcakes were eaten. My creative husband surprised me by painting one of the hearts red and then gluing the toothpick base into a tiny hole he carved into one of my Christmas tree trunk disks. It was so adorable! I completely loved it and it gave me an idea to make little sets of toothpick-tree-trunk-disk decorations for each season and/or holiday. I'd just skip the glue so that they could be switched out according to the month or holiday at hand. 

I think the results are pretty darn cute. What do you think?