December 16, 2009
Having a ball, for four bucks.
Since first embedding at the shorehouse, I've scooped up a number of Christmas balls -- mostly at rummage sales, but also at a flea market and a yard sale.
Last year, our first Christmas at the house, I sprinkled out a few. But by this year, if you'll please pardon the expression, I had a lot of balls:
These things are readily and cheaply available, you just may need to do some digging since vendors typically bury them (they're not exactly big movers apparently). Despite my voluminous collection, a little investigating on this here blog showed the entire lot cost me around $4.
I needed to do something other than squirrel them away like a furry nocturnal creature on a pre-winter bender. So this past weekend I finally dragged them out of the basement, inspired in part by the Victorian Holiday House Tour in Ocean Grove, NJ, that I went on which made me feel like a total decorating-challenged underachiever.
I started by placing some of the more dainty and vintagey looking ones on a small but mighty tree I bought at the supermarket:
Then I moved on to jars...
...and bowls, including the one I just got at the SPCA thrift store for $3 specifically for this purpose...
...and my great-grandma's pressed glass compotes:
Then came the mack daddy of them all. I took a wire hanger (free with overpriced dry cleaning) and strung up a collection of blues, and silvers and golds...
...and created something that, if he were alive to see this, I'm sure Elvis would proudly hang in the living room at Graceland.
I turned to the now ubiquitous Eddie Ross model for guidance. I trimmed about eight inches off the hanger with a wire clipper to make mine smaller, and wished I had followed Eddie's advice to glue the metal caps to the balls before I started stringing the ornaments. A few broken balls and several slivers of finger skin later, my gaudy little star was born. The tinsel was a scrap I grabbed at an everything-in-the-bag-for-a-buck sale and kind of forgot about until I dumped the ornaments out of the bag. I tucked it in to cover up the wire in some spots it was exposed. It's not glued down so if I want to make it a little less Vegas, I can easily remove the garland.
After all was done, here's what I'm left with:
Not bad for a day's work.