08 February 2011

It's All Art to Me

I am a little tired from the Sunday night shindig. We had some family over to watch the Super Bowl, but even with all the kids, the crowd numbered fewer than twenty. So, it was more of just a shin. Nevertheless, the house had to be tidied and decorated, which is a time-consuming, but necessary, project. If it wasn't for family dinners and parties, my house would never get cleaned. I hate cleaning. I especially hate the mundane, routine tasks: changing the toilet paper rolls, loading the dishwasher. So, I had to laugh out loud the day Two asked me if I liked cleaning, because he noticed I spent a lot of time doing it.

I do like a nice presentation, though. I labored over the design of this blog like I might be graded on it. I chose the background, because  the stars have one point for each boy I've birthed. I wanted a dark background, but not black, to convey the intimacy of my thoughts. I considered fonts for a ridiculous amount of time, to find one that would seem casual (like handwriting), irreverent, but not immature. See? It looks fun, but I take this shit seriously.

I approach party decoration from a similar angle. I like a central theme, either in the color scheme (white for New Year's Eve  to express the idea of a fresh beginning), texture (handmade linen sheets as tablecloths for Thanksgiving, to recognize hard work and family tradition), or tabletop (my fave from this year was tools, nursing implements, and teacher supplies in old coffee pots for Labor Day!). Almost no one notices the theme (Labor Day was especially obscure), but it's the party facet I most enjoy.

This year I bought an artificial tree that sits in my dining room as an "all-season" tree. It looks a little like a large, Charlie Brown Christmas tree. I got it from a local place that sells to the interior design trade, so it's incredibly realistic. It was marked down, down, down so I couldn't resist. I put it up for Thanksgiving, changed the decorations for Christmas (yes, it was first a "Thanksgiving tree", decked in cookie cutters and bejeweled fruits), and then forgot about it until the other day, when I realized that winter is probably sticking around because I haven't changed the holiday theme on my tree. That this seems like a reasonable explanation is proof that the weather has driven me insane.

I went and bought many hearts of all makes and models, and have transformed the tree. Three did his homework and watched as I worked, commenting every so often on the placement of a particular heart. The little boys were very excited when they got back from school to see what had transpired. I'm sure I'll tire of the tree by summer (who wants to look at a fake fir in the middle of July?) but today, it made me happy to do it. I hope, in some small way, I am teaching them that creation is a personal expression of  joy. Even if no one else notices, or understands, it.

13 comments:

  1. They WILL notice, and it will become a genuine treasured memory.
    That is such a cool idea. And this might be just me, but I think you won't tire of it by summer. The themes and creativity are endless. I want one of these! (But then, I've been known to keep our Yule Tree up into very late January because I like having trees in the house.)
    Julie
    Oh and I tried to comment about this earlier, ya know, when your blog was hating me, but I am very fond of the number five as well, so I noticed your stars immediately.

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  2. See, I think little sunglasses, palm trees, and lemons would be cute in the summer. But I have big fat sparkly butterflies hanging from the ceiling in my classroom. So classy ain't calling me for a consultation.

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  3. I thought your tree was perfect in the Dining Room and I love the idea of it being a year-round holiday tree. [stars for July 4th?] You could put birthday presents under it, too. And I do notice your decorating, but the labor theme would have probably escaped me I think. Personally, I don't know how you do it all.

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  4. @ Julie: I'm glad the blog doesn't hate you anymore!

    @lora: The store had giant butterflies,and I was tempted, but I think I'll save those for the spring theme.

    @chrysanthe: I always know you'll notice because you and Erin are my Virgo/artiste sisters!

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  5. I have nothing to add but I feel lonely if I don't join the party. Love the post today. And I also love the tree. Birthday tree sounds like a fun idea.

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  6. @June: We also feel lonely if you don't join, so thanks for keeping us company. Yes, I like Birthday tree. I wonder if I can get it up and running by One's 18th. Yes, you read that right, and I don't know how it happened, either.

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  7. We are from the same family tree. I too have on occasion been known to have a "seasonal tree" in our house. It however makes un announced guest appearances on my whim. It all began post Christmas one year, the ornaments had been removed from the fourth and final tree but it stayed in the foyer with its twinkling lights only to be adorned with all the single mittens I found in the coat closet for the winter season, it then relocated to the family and became the "Inauguration Tree" for President Obama decorated with the commemorative Obama glasses, photos and headlines, hearts for valentines day and gold coins and shamrock garland for St. Patrick’s day and pastels and eggs for spring and easter. I have never had a birthday tree but I do like the idea perhaps I will change it up from the usual bedroom door decorating that my children wake to on their birthday morning. I too like a theme for a party or gathering. I only wish we lived closer so I could be apart of your family gatherings too.

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  8. @Stormin: You have given me a brilliant idea. A few times a year, I may have a "Friend" tree, wherein I decorate it with the socks, underwear, t-shirts, and outerwear left behind by the boys' friends. It will open up drawer space, and cut down on my utility bill! (I wish you lived closer, too. What fun we'd have!)

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  9. Hmm.. A tree adorned with orphaned gotchies sounds very aamusing :) Boys' gotchies are a bit different from the 15yr old daughter's and her friends'. Could be QUITE embarrassing, and might actually work to discourage leaving them all over the bathroom floor! But no, the tree shouldn't be negative. Funny thought, though.

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  10. Meggie: Just be sure to have a California-themed tree when your friends from the Golden State come to visit the first week of April. Ghirardelli chocolates would be good ornaments, for example, and all of the boys would help with the clean up.

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  11. @Maccabee: if you bring warm weather, I will provide the chocolates!

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  12. But Maccabee, how can she have a California-themed tree when the Opening Day of Baseball tree will still be only a week old?? I think that would be a waste of all of her hard work. ;-)

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  13. The tree is in danger of being hijacked!

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