Christmas is my favorite holiday for a lot of reasons. One of those is that it is also my birthday. As a kid, then later as an adult, the thing I loved most about the season was quiet, peaceful nights lying on the couch, staring at the pretty lights.
My beau collects antique “feather trees”. They’re old-school decorations that remind me of scraggly Charlie Brown Christmas trees. I can appreciate them, but my biggest hangup is that they have tiny, clip-on candles instead of my precious, season-defining lights.
It’s cute (or whatever) but THE CHRISTMAS-BIRTHDAY-BOY NEEDS LIGHTS. Sure, I could just buy a tree and hook it up, but that seems too easy or normal. So I started brainstorming how to work my love of holiday lights into our home. A wreath or something? Random lights around doorways & such? Ahhh, but I wanted a lit tree of some sort… What kind of awesome, nontraditional tree could I come up with?
Micah has his feather trees… wait… feathers… feathers… FEATHERS! I can make my own version, a play on words, of a feather tree, using actual feathers. WITH LIGHTS.
So I chose my color story. Dramatic and beautiful. Black, teal, a little green, some silver. Did you know you can buy feathers in bulk, dyed almost any color imaginable? I went online and ordered 423 feathers:
100 black ostrich
100 black rooster tail
100 sea-blue rooster tail
50 peacock “swords”
25 sea-blue pheasant
25 silver-grey rooster tail
23 peacock eyes
The feathers arrived within a few days. Now, I was winging this whole thing. The entire idea and process were experimental. I’d never seen a tree like this & wasn’t exactly sure how to make it work, or if it even would. For the hell of it, I decided to live-post the process on Instagram, while kicking a few teaser links over to Twitter, Facebook & Tumblr.
I started with this southern-twang video: http://instagram.com/p/v4jJRbrMO2/?modal=true and then posted pics along the way.
[Click on the first image for a gallery with captions.]
I absolutely love my feather tree. It’s unique, fabulous, and has those lights that make me happy & feel like “Christmas”. It could have been a spectacular fail—and with folks watching the disaster real time. Meh. I’m a risk taker, and beautiful things never come to pass unless we see our visions to the end. <<< That’s like a moral or something.
If you need me on a snowy winter evening between now and my birthday, I’ll probably be over here blissfully gazing at the lights of my own version of a fabulous feather tree. And if you run in to that Charlie Brown kid, maybe refer him to this post for some inspiration?
(And now, having posted these photos here, I can go delete most of them from my Instagram feed. It’s looking pretty messy, and that just will not do! If you’re on Instagram, I’d love to connect. User: TheLucasHargis)