After much research, discussion with hubby and texts with Rachel, we decided to go to Hidden Trails Christmas Tree Farm. This is 30 miles south from our house. Isaac fell asleep in the car! It was a bright sunny, warm day. Not your usual Christmas weather.
The people were really nice, and there were plenty of trees. You cannot cut Fraser firs (the more traditional tree that we are used to), as they do not have any, as they do not grow below 5000ft. So we inspected the rest. They had many varieties, but the strangest to us was Leylandii Cypress trees, cut to be shaped like Christmas tress. After coming from England, where these are privacy trees, that can become a blight, this was very strange. Anywhoo, we had more of a look around, and eventually settled on what I think is a Carolina Sapphire (someone please correct me if I am wrong!). This is a long needle tree. Here are the boys with the tree.
The boys had fun playing around the trees. They were fortunate enough to get a small gift each, a little stocking with sweets, and they all had a photo done with Santa (this was extra). Our tree was $40. Same as it would have cost in Home Depot/ Lowes. But it is a nice feeling to know our money will stay local, with friendly people, maintaining a beautiful place. They shake the tree to get rid of bugs/dead branches, then bag it, and help you get it in the car. Awesome service.
We got the tree home, and stuck it in some sugar water over night. The next morning the decorating began. The boys (and by boys, I mean Paul) had great fun.
The finished product! ( you may notice loads of needles on the floor. These came from moving and positioning the tree. I vacuumed them up the next day, and there has since been little to no needle dropping. Does help the water is getting topped up every day)
While we have been getting all Christmassy, I have been engaging in some arts and crafts. I have had some slate tiles in the garage for ages. You know me, I like a bargain, and picked these slate tiles up in Lowes about a year ago for about $3. They are a pack of 12. While I was clearing out the arts and crafts cupboard, I found a small amount of really thin Christmas wrapping paper. Then I had an 'ah-ha' moment.
I cleaned up the tiles with a clorox wipe, and let them dry. In the mean time, I cut out one of the pictures from the wrapping paper. I put a coat of modge-podge (glue) on to the tile, waited for it to go tacky, then added the wrapping paper. I then waited 30 minutes to an hour, then coated the whole tile in more mode-podge, going over the wrapping paper also. 5-8 coats later, here is the result
I am well pleased with these. Not sure if they are going to be coasters (I need the felt pads for the bottom if so), or just display pieces (I have 2 currently on mini easels that I bought from AC Moore, they look well cool). They made me happy, and are very pleasing!