Blend of Traditions

IMG_8581#Christmas2017 #BlendOfTraditions last year was my first Christmas tree  at home and of course I wanted to do it differently and used fresh flowers theme and it was a smashing hit. This year I have been looking into some novel ideas; since I have done hand made diyas on a large scale for Diwali with air Dry clay and painted them with colors and decorated them with small muggulu and jewelry, I wanted to make some diyas and small mason jar decorations for the tree.

I have started looking for small mason jars to put some tea candles and hang them to the tree and also diyas with small tea candles, that is where my amazing journey to the #BlendOfTraditions #ChristmasTree2017 decorations started – #discoveringInnerStrengths; #becomingStrong day after day, #ArtsAndCrafts 

Then started looking into Pinterest for more ideas besides having diyas and mason jars – and decided to buy plain glass ornaments, paint those and draw muggulu (rangolis) on those and then I have entered int a domain that I am not familiar with  – I used to put muggulu and gobbaemmalu from my childhood until I finished my undergrad. but never in my life I was into arts and crafts this way as I am for the past one and half years. I never knew I could be creative with my hands (I thought I was good only at programming).

 

Then my amazing journey started. I enjoyed every minute of this 3 weeks project – running back and forth to Michaels store – could be for paints, or for the plain glass balls or anything in between. It was like a retreat to me, more like meditation, just focusing on the work no thoughts of any sort. #immensepeace #completebliss

I kept my tree at my sister’s place as I do not have space at my apartment and brought it back when I went to her place for Thanksgiving weekend. then I put up the tree after a few days and kept it like that for more than a week. last year we have used 300 lights and Karthi has fixed those as he does it in a typical way and then I decorated with flowers changing them over for 3 times. This year also he has offered his help, but I wanted to do it myself as I want to learn things on my own. he even wanted to facetime.

So ‘decoration of tree lights’ has become a nightmare and every time when I looked at the tree, I felt like it was asking when I would adorn her with lights and decorations and I was feeling miserable. Prithi was coming to New York for a day and I wanted to call her and ask her help, but I held myself from doing that. Christmas Tree without lights looks like Times Square during daytime, no kidding I swear.

I did not want to wrap the light strings around the tree, may be that is how many trees are being adorned. So I started checking for youtube videos on decorating the lights on the tree, the first one or two were not very helpful but then I found the perfect one and I just followed what I understood and it came out very beautiful. I had

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tree with 500 lights

another 200 lights which I bought for Diwali, so I had 500 lights and I thought I was in a good shape. But with those I could come only half way through the tree but I really loved the way it was coming up.

 

of course I had to buy more lights, I have decided to buy 300 more and may be an extra 100 in case. But finally ended up having 500 when I was at the counter to pay. I have used 400 of those.

 

 

9DE68C4D-E4E3-41C0-AADA-63086EE7A09DMy beautiful tree with 900 lights.

I feel so proud as it got its professional look and I also got the compliments for that look

 

 

Then came the ornaments – I have decided to have simple muggulu and some Christmas spirted designs – I am taking pics of every piece of decoration which caught my eyes’ attention and tugs at my heartstrings – let those be on the windows of any place, or Pinterest or even from the cardboard box from Michaels stores, every frame is locked in my iPhone.

I checked for small muggulu on google, I practiced the ones I like few times before I laid my hands on the ornaments. So I used some foam balls too besides glass ornaments.

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IMG_8668 Then came the idea of making snowmen and took some suggestions from Prashanthi and opened the doors for another domain, I bought some felt to make the caps for snowmen and used wool yarn to make the scarfs. Just in time for our first Snow storm.

 

I used foam balls to make cup cake decorations and some with small designs with ‘Sree’.

I did not buy a star but I used last year one not anything specific but I wanted to add pine cones to it and used 25 lights to it.

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I wanted to make a candy cane wreath to hang on the front door, I made it but I do not think it is strong enough to be put on the door so I used it as a decorative piece.

 

 

 

I used 6 small mason jars – painted them inside and filled them up with Epsom salt with eucalyptus fragrance and placed remote controlled LED Tea Candles and used them as decorative pieces rather than adorning the tree with them.

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I wanted to make a wreath with all the different ornaments I made for my tree – a cup cake, a diya, glass ornaments painted and designed with muggulu on them, and a mini snowman.

 

I have made snow flakes with coffee filters and hang them from the ceiling9BCA4E97-8A6B-4F41-B950-8EEB7619E68A

CCBE68AB-A7B1-4309-9E4D-27F0DA880786I bought Christmas train last year. my beloved husband and I had a special fascination for trains and we would love to watch these trains going around the tree around this time of the year and we used to buy these for our dear friends’ kids for Christmas. There is a toy trains shop on 45th street between 5th and 6th Aves into which I never entered into, which is 15 min walk from my place and every time I pass by this store, I stop for a moment listening to the train sounds reminiscing the beautiful memories I had with my beloved husband; and I miss him very dearly especially more during this time of the year. I am sure that he would be so proud to watch all my achievements and I am longing to see the sparkle in his eyes. He was and he is the biggest strength I have on any day.

I have made about 121 ornaments out of which I gifted 17 ornaments and used 4 for my wreath (the diya on the wreath is the one I made for my Oktofest),

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gift hamper for karthi

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gift hamper for prashanthi as her theme is Santa Clause – so everything is in red and white

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Lakshmi has gifted me this beautiful piece which has live action with Christmas Carols playing

 

 

So finally my gorgeous tree with 100 ornaments with 900 lights and the star with 25 lights stood as a testimony of my passion, hard work, determination and novel approach.

Some of my beautiful pieces

Watch here glimpse of my tree showing every ornament

Check here for my complete christmas tree 2017 picture album

Handcrafted/Handmade has become my signature lately. Thanks to Baba for making me a better person day after day and His immense support and guidance in everything I do. He is the Kartha, Karma, and Kriya

 

 

My floral Christmas Tree

Having a Christmas tree is an everlasting dream for me. I used to tell my husband that we should have one around Christmas time every year and December just passed away without having one. We had one small tree only once with all blue lights decades ago.

Prashanthi keeps asking me about the tree and two years ago, I told her I would have one after I renovate my apartment. Obviously I did not have one in 2015 even though I finished renovating my apartment before summer last year. This year in November, she has asked me again and I said that I was not in the mood to have this year either.

A week or so after I spoke with her, I saw a beautiful floral Christmas tree on Pintrest. And instantaneosly  I fell for it as I love flowers. But unfortunately they did it with artificial flowers – silk flowers so that the flowers need not be changed frequently. But that decoration has inspired me intensely and pushed me to make up my mind.

When I decided to have Christmas Tree this year, I thought of Christmas tree with white lights only and decorate it with #FreshFlowers – NO IFS and BUTS. I know I have to keep changing flowers at least every week, but I decided to go that way only. I do not want to do regular stuff. Something must be unconventional – with #FreshFlowersOnly – a moment here and there I got tempted for plastic flowers, but NO. It would be so very artificial.

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Karthi has bought the tree for me and he came to my place last Saturday and set up the tree and set all lights.

 

I did not have any plan until that day how to do it or what to do. One of the reasons for that I could attribute to is how actively I was involved and be a part of my office Christmas party; another blog story I promise.

#White just flashed in my mind when I was in a shop picking up some extra lights I needed for the tree. We have put 400 lights 🙂

mct3Fixed in my mind – White is the color theme – started with peace 🌲🎄⛄️🕊 I guess,

So #AllWhiteFlowers – decided
But how to arrange them – NO IDEA, which flowers to buy – NO IDEA, how many bunches to buy – NO IDEA. OK

I was very lazy on Sunday to go out to buy flowers until 4:30 p.m.. By the time I stepped out, it started snowing. For a few minutes I gave up moving further. Then I checked a few florist places near my apartment and picked up #WhiteMums – two different types, #WhieSpiderMums, #WhiteCarnations – big, small, #WhiteOrchids.
I wanted to pick #WhiteTulips and #WhiteRoses – I do not think Roses would stay for a week, I got an idea to keep roses alive for few days, for that matter, any flowers. I was running among few places before I ended up buying those flowers. While I was getting home, some thing popped into my mind (I could see an image – a plastic tube which I could fill up with water and put each of these floral stalks). I do not know their name or any sort but I came home and I was searching on Amazon.com with different search criteria. Baba, He always always stays with me and be with me in every move I make, in every act I do and in every word I speak, helped to figure it out. Grateful for ever for His Intense grace and love. Without spending much time, I found what I was looking for and I just saw the image and I did not even read the description, I placed an order on Prime expecting them to be at my place by Tuesday.

I was really clue less before I started decorating, and I pray to Baba to guide me which I do in every thing I do, and He just helped me to do as per HIS wish, half way through, I was so excited and took some pictures and sent them to Karthi, Prashanthi and Chaitanya, Prithi and Lakshmi as I could not hold my excitement. I was really so excited as it was turning out so beautiful.

To my surprise and to my distress, the spider mums seem to be drooped by Monday morning. Carnations seemed to look fine. I did not have a clue of how to keep them alive.To keep my faith in HIM alive, the tube like structures I have ordered from Amazon arrived on Tuesday afternoon, and my joy knew no bounds. They are the perfect solution for my problem. I have bought two more bouquets of spider mums and big carnations and used my water fillers (I made water solution with flower food) and these flowers stay as fresh as the day I bought or even better even after 5 days.

So this weekend I have decided to clean out some of the withered flowers for which I haven’t used water fillers and then fix the tree with few more carnations and may be some roses and tulips (white) and make a beautiful decoration with flowers with vibrant colors for Christmas (very close to Christmas day – may be on 22nd) and one more for New Year and one for Pongal before I wind up this project for this year.

Imct4 still have another desire/dream yet to fructify – to have a train set around my Christmas tree. My husband and I love these Christmas trains. I can not find the one that I am looking for yet – hope to find it before Christmas – crossing my fingers.

I do not know how I would decorate my tree for Christmas – but vibrant colors for sure. And again I have the biggest support anyone can think of – Baba – He plans things for me in the best way possible. My husband had a staunch belief – thakkuvaemi manaku Baba okkadundu varaku – He never leaves me – so much to be grateful for 🙏 – thanking for all the blessings 🙏 …

This is the link for my shared album My Floral Christmas Tree – Week 1

thanks to Baba to help my every move 🙏

My everlasting dream has come into a beautiful reality !

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My floral Christmas Tree – Week 2

My Floral Christmas Tree – Christmas/New Year Week