A Sparkly Season

 Can you feel the excitement in the air? The holidays are offically upon us!  Time to create, dress up and sparkle.  This is a Christmas project that I did a few years ago inspired by my mom.  As a young girl I watched her gather broken costume jewelry from drug stores and hit the wholesale markets in L.A. for rhinestones and other goodies.  She spent hours putting together these jewel trees.  One was for her and then all her friends and sisters wanted one.
 This is my own replica using vintage jewelry from my grandma (think early 1900's), my aunt (1930's-40's), and mama (1950's-60's).  There are even a few of my own pieces in there  like the black bow earring.  This is a great place to use those earrings that have lost their mate, or unstrung and broken clasp necklaces.  Each one of these jewels have a special meaning to me.  They bring back all kinds of happy memories...seeing my mom and dad go out on a date, my aunt always dressed up in suits going to a meeting or visiting on holidays, and my grandma telling me of the fashions she wore as a young girl. The jewel on the top of the tree is a shoe clip from an early era, probably 1915-20.
Here's the how-to:  Cover a piece of plywood with Burgundy velvet.  Make a Christmas tree template and place it on the plywood.  Drill nine holes from the backside at the branch ends.  Glue the velvet to the front of the plywood.  Arrange lights in the holes cutting through the velvet.  Tape the wires to the backside.  Rhinestone rope outlines the tree.  Then the fun begins...placing and layering jewelry until you get it just how you want it.  I used a glue gun to fasten the jewelry. Frame.

Our sparkly tree has a special place in the dining room  on a beautiful carved easel.  It's one of the pieces of art that I like to gaze upon in the quiet darkness. I think of the women who have played an important part in my life and how they have influenced me... I think I know why I love sparkly baubles.

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