Dream trees, star trees, and art trees

In one corner of my living room, I have tree branches that extend from the floor to the ceiling, upright. I collect the branches outside my home in the autumn, when local landscapers prune the trees, and September storms bring down tired branches, too.

Initially, I just stood them in the corner, with a light in back of them on the floor, shining upwards through the branches and making dramatic shadows on the ceiling. It looked artistic and a little mystical.

Later, I began the Irish tradition of tying strips of fabric to the smaller branches and twigs, each strip representing a wish, goal, or prayer. This has been a delightful ritual, as well as a way to decorate and use scraps of fabric too small for other purposes.

Then I had a dream in which I saw Easter eggs decorating tree branches. I realized that I could do that with my own "trees." I found lightweight paper mache eggs at the local crafts store, and I attached wire to each of them, to hang among my branches.

My next addition involved beads, and copper craft wire (from any hardware store or larger crafts supply shop.

I wound about a foot of the wire around my pliers, stringing a dozen-or-so glass beads in the middle, and then finishing with another wound section of wire.

I tugged on the wire as I slid it off my pliers, so it stretched in interesting shapes.

I made about half a dozen of them. Then I wound these odd decorations on branches in my living room forest.

The latest additions to the branches have been foil stars. I?ve cut golden stars from 38-gauge craft foil. Then I punched two holes (one in each of two points) using a Fiskars 1/16" round hole punch. Using the same copper craft wire as I did with the beads, described above, I wound the wire at one end in a similar manner. Then I threaded the star onto the wire, and wound the remaining end around my pliers, and stretched it. These have been attached to the branches in the same manner as their beaded counterparts.

Now the light on the floor, shining upwards, catches the sparkle of the glass beads, and highlights the foil of the stars, as well as the spirals of wire. The effect is dazzling. I have my own enchanted forest!

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All original text, photos, and art are 2000, Aisling D'Art.