Thanksgiving is done, it's cold and snowy; time to think about Christmas. It was a great weekend to visit the 'Hall of Trees' at the arboretum- six large trees in the great hall decorated with handmade ornaments made from natural materials. I am an avid collector of natural materials, I'm always picking up pinecones, seedheads,leaves, and flowers when we go for a walk and now I have lots of ideas.
These little box cottages are simply made, covered in paper or birch bark and decorated with seeds, dried flowers,twigs, and the seedheads of ornamental grasses for the 'thatch' roof.
These looked like large flowers on the tree and are dyed or painted corn husks.
A couple more little cottages- I like the curly dried leaves on this one's roof.
This one below uses my favorite material- lightly pink tinged maple 'whirlygig' seeds.
They make such perfect little shingles.
Each tree is a little different, but all unlit- they didn't seem to need lights.
One tree had fanciful 'bugs' and 'butterflies' made from leaves and flowers and then varnished so they were shiny.
It's hard to tell in the photos but grass seed heads form the bodies and the leaves are multiple wings.
The one below uses a dried chili pepper for the body.
They are so pretty even if you can't see the 'insect' in them.
Some were just a simple bouquet of dried flowers sprayed with shellac- so pretty.
Nestled in the branches were little gift boxes decorated with shellacked leaves and flowers. This would be beautiful on gifts under the tree.
This butterfly was gorgeous!
Of course the arboretum is the perfect place to gather all these materials. Our long Fall lulled me into thinking I had lots of time to do a little foraging myself- I had my eye on some really big magnolia leaves- but then the snow hit and I missed my chance. Next year I will be prepared.
This idea for packages was one of my favorites.
Another great idea was the dried and painted milk weed pods coupled with a pinecone to form a poinsettia.
A couple more pretty little 'bugs':
Dried berries attached to a pinecone:
A corn husk doll:
Pumpkin seeds varnished to a shine :
This little plane made from a corn cob is so cute:
These milkweed pod poinsettias have been lightly painted a pinkish red:
A little birch bark and seed star:
Candy canes from dried and pressed flowers:
The garlands on this tree are made from the feathery heads of ornamental grasses:
Dried seed heads:
and more grass heads formed into star shapes with a little square of mirror in the center for sparkle:
A very tall, very snowy white looking tree:
All in all a very inspiring display!