My favorite folks ! :)

02 December 2009

I just can't imagine anything . . .

. . . more different than these:

The one on the left is from A Baby Changes Everything. I find these trees that Teresa does fascinating. Not that i would want one (the two on the right are our 2006 & 2007 trees, & this year will probably look very similar) but that i've never seen such a tree outside a department store. It is hard for me to believe that these are in someone's home!

Years ago, for a short time, i was live in help to a well to do family in Portland. Their tree was dazzling, but still nothing like the one above. And i decided then that i prefer the "home made/home grown" look. Duane's grandma's tree was always done by his aunt & it looked very fancy to me with many sparkling ornaments & always done in the Victorian style with burgundy, mauve, rose, sage & gold. But i still had never seen anything like the ones Teresa does. Sometimes i find it hard to tell there is a tree underneath.

Not to be critical. It is very glitzy, sparkling, eye catching (& for
me a bit overwhelming). And if folks like that, well, more diversity in the world! But i still find it rather fascinating.

I think i've mentioned before that my mother was professional-level in her skills as a seamstress. She did professional tailoring & adjustments for one of the fancy stores in town when i was growing up. (Later, when i was a teen & after i moved away.)

When i was younger our "big" stores were J.C. Penny & Sears. I think we had a fancy store downtown too, but it was considered to expensive for us to shop there. Anyway, when we'd be shopping for school clothes we'd be at either Pennys or Sears & mother would exclaim, "This is just too expensive! I can make better quality than this much cheaper!" And i'd spend the rest of the day sitting in a fabric store while she chose fabric & patterns for my clothes. And sometimes those clothes would even get made. (And, often they wouldn't. I've occasionally wondered what i did actually wear then, 'cause looking back a lot of the things my mother bought & even cut out never got completed. I guess i come by procrastination honestly.)

When i was in junior high i began making a lot of my clothes in self defense. I'm sure what i made was never the quality my mother would have given to those clothes, but i did finish them. And they were a bit more stylish than what she would have done, too. In those days the dresses i wore were often 4-6 inches longer than anyone else's & she tended to embellish with lots of lace & ruffles that i didn't want. I do know that i often wore clothes she picked up at the thrift stores. And i was extremely sensitive about that. When you grow up in a town of 20,000 people, getting clothes from the thrift stores means the chances of wearing clothes cast off from someone you sit next to in school is very high. I was teased about my clothes alot. I've gotten over the scar of that. I frequently shop thrift stores now, but circumstances are very different.

Today, i strongly doubt my mother would make the
"This is just too expensive! I can make . . . this much cheaper!" statement.

Yesterday i was at Ross. Duane has a Christmas Party with the Sheriff's Dept. on Friday evening. Most Big Bear affairs are rather casual, but i've a feeling this one won't be. I wanted a simple dress that i can wear, not too dressy but not too casual. I tried on several but nothing was just quite right. They also seemed to be too short. But they were inexpensive, at $12 - 20. But i knew i'd never like the dress & probably not wear it much. So i decided to make one, knowing it would probably fit better.

And, i learned that making your own clothes is no longer inexpensive! The pattern was $15. Pattern & fabric (& a velvet ribbon for the sash) was $60 ! ! !

The style is like the one on the right, here. It won't look like this on me! I'm making it with 3/4 length sleeves. It will be a little shorter. In black knit. Simple, princess seaming. I'm going to try to get it cut out today so when i go home i just have to sew the seams, set in the sleeves, & do a simple finish on the neck & hems. I'm not going to do facings. Most clothes these days don't have facings anyway.

I've not made a dress in some time now. Clothes are cheaper in the stores, but cheaper in all that it implies. They rarely are made well, & they rarely actually fit well. My waist falls below what is normal cut for women, & my bust is larger. I'm hoping that this comes out well, 'cause otherwise i wasted a lot of money.

Lynnette - we have been using the same tree for years now. I do miss the fresh smell, but it is most common in CA to use the artificial trees & we like this little one 'cause it looks real to us. I'll probably put some real cedar garland on our mantle.

Oh, & speaking of smells - i was in Bed, Bath, & Beyond for a little while yesterday. The smelly scents almost knocked me over! I had to hold my nose all the way thru & never did get used to it. I am almost never around that anymore. But i wonder . . . to me it smelled very chemical & not at all attractive. Do people who are used to that not smell the chemicals but just say, "Smells good?" No wonder we have so many folks these days with multiple chemical sensitivities.

Alane - i think your image of the decapitated snowmen funny! It is not something i chose myself, but a gift Duane's aunt made & we do use it.
(The other choice was decapitated Santas! Duane is anti-Santa & we choose the snowmen.)

I'll post pics of our tree & decorations when we get them up.



Rosemary said...

Ah, I love Christmas trees - whether wildly extravagant or very simple - it just makes me smile to see them!

I bet you will look lovely in your dress, I hope you share a photo of the finished product. Yes, patterns are very expensive and you have to have a coupon to make them a bit more affordable! Still a handmade outfit will be so much more flattering and beautiful than an expensive dress!

Land of shimp said...

Yeah, I think I must trend towards a more homespun look. Meaning absolutely no offense whatsoever to the woman who created that first tree, and taste being very individual, to me that looks like the entire Victorian Era mugged that tree. It's visually overwhelming.

On the subject of Bed Bath and Beyond, it's a weird thing, but our sense of smell is subjective. I've never been able to abide the smell of specific herbs, such as sage. Yet to others it's a great smell. Patchouli is pure punishment to me, and I'll flee it. To others, it's a wonderful thing.

I actually use Body Works stuff (no animal testing gooooooo Body Works!) but Bed Bath and Beyond stuff smells...if not chemically laden, rather overwhelming to me.

Just saying, just like the trees, it comes down to whatever and individual's taste dictates. I don't think it's an absolute.

Except when it comes to Patchouli. I'm kidding, but really? You could probably rob me just by threatening me with that stuff. Ugh.

WannabeMommy said...

I think that tree on the left is pretty gawdy! It looks like some fabric/ribbon store threw up all over it... Sorry, but I like your little one much better! :-)

Also, I live in CA and pretty much get a real tree every year. Can't wait cuz this Saturday's the day!

Curly Muse said...

I have to agree with the comment above. I said it in a previous post an repeat it again.. these trees have no no flow..I have seen trees full of things that look great.. This looks like a hot mess. YOur tree rocks! I will be posting a picture of my tree soon!

Lynnette Kraft said...

I'm VERY sensitive to chemicals. I hate walking through the cleaner isle at any store. Scented candles in abundance give me a headache if it's not natural. I use them in moderation.

I like some VERY decorated trees - to look at in a store or a fancy home - but I personally prefer a lot of homemade ornaments, and I like to SEE the green in the tree. Old Fashioned looking - that's what I prefer.

I'm not big on garland, but I think tinsel is cute - it definitely looks old fashioned. I'm thinking I'm going to add some to my tree this year (I've never used it, but we did when I was a child).

Thinking of you. :)