Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Charlotte and Lily's Tree Update

Well as far as I'm concerned Fall is fast approaching, which is fabulous as it's the best time of the year. Football, the State Fair, Halloween, sweaters, boots, Cornbelly's, pumpkin patches...it's the ultimate.
It also means that suddenly I have to buckle down on Charlotte and Lily's tree for the Festival of Trees. This is the big main fundraiser for our local children's hospital, Primary Children's
Medical Center, where my girls received much of their care. We decorate and donate an artificial tree in honor of my girls which will then be auctioned off, the proceeds to benefit the hospital. We did a butterfly tree in 2009 for Charlotte which sold for over $3000, which was amazing, and also most likely beginner's luck.
You may remember we are doing a carousel theme this year to fit with the awesome carousel horse we were given by some friends and neighbors shortly after Lily's funeral. See below if you have forgotten her to see how she currently looks, quietly awaiting her days of glory in my basement. I have also received some donations via our paypal button for which we are very grateful, as well as a couple gift cards which I am saving for last minute items. I hit up my parents last week and asked if they would like to buy the pre-lit tree itself again this year, and they accepted my offer to be a vital part of our project.
I just wanted to show you what we have so far and get any input.

I'm not sure what to do with these little guys. They are quite cute really, and originally I thought I could just spray paint them all gold or silver. I'm not incredibly artistic but they could be so, so gorgeous, you know? Anyone have any bright ideas? These could look great or very cheesy. These I found on sale and bought 25 of them. (update--went back to Sundancecatalog.com, they were down to clearance, so bought more, now have 50.) I wanted something to represent the mirrors and jewels you often see on carousels. I'm fairly pleased with them, but might change out the ribbons.

These are the carousel ornaments, most of them from Hallmarks collection. I also came across a few other non-Hallmark items which I snatched up. We probably have about 12 of these. I realize I will be needing more. I have been buying them online. A few of the animals are considered collectors items and are way expensive, (the giraffe for $200) so I am not going after those. My favorite is the tiger anyway. He's like $9.
I'm not sure if we will use these. I have a couple boxes of them I originally bought for Charlotte's "Princess Pea" tree (one of her nicknames) which then I didn't do because I had two newborns, one being Lily, who was in the hospital at the time. I still may do the Princess Pea tree in couple of years so am not sure if I will save these or not. Guess it depends on what else I find. The big carousel horse has a lot of pink and green which would make these ornaments perfect, but the small carousel animals have more jewel tones, which I am thinking I would rather focus on for this one. Green and Blue and Gold and Silver. Red or purple accents. Thoughts?

And here is the star of the show. Isn't she lovely?

I still need to get balls, a tree skirt, garland, and other fanciness which I will be on the look out for over the next several weeks. I am unsure of what to do about the tree topper--I was thinking maybe a flag like you might see on top of a carousel, but that might be silly. Ideas?
We have been assigned spot F-1 which is a corner lot. Which is good but also bad as it means we have a lot of room to fill.
Thank you to everyone who has donated to our tree! I have been so touched! Doing the tree in 2009 was so healing and a wonderful way to celebrate Charlotte and the wonderful Christmas Season. Decorating day is at the end of November and the festival runs the first few days in December. If you are local and have never been you should really go. There are so many awesome trees to check out. It's the kick off to my Christmas season, (if you don't count the day after Halloween, which is my official kick off day. Heh heh. I just can't get enough.)
I would love to hear any ideas or inspiration you have!
Thanks for checking in!


Tara said...

Oh my goodness! So many cute things and ideas! So I'm thinking a white tree because usually the background/main color of a carousel is white. Then the colors will pop more. I say pick 1 or 3 of the colors from the star horse, and spray paint all your other ornaments that/those colors. And have your tree skirt be a solid of one of the colors you chose. I would throw in a white lily and a white butterfly to represent the girls, so they blend with the tree but don't take from the theme. I love the idea of a flag on top of the tree like it would be on a carousel. Then I'm thinking maybe a carousel banner with the same colors somewhere on the display as well. Pennant banners are so in right now, you know! lol!

This was my inspiration:




I know whatever you come up with will be fantastic and a wonderful representation of your beautiful angel babies. Please let me know if I can help, I'd love to! I'll send some more moo-lah too. xo

Sarah said...

Hi Erin. I love that I checked your blog today. I love this time of year, too, for this same reason.

I think a white tree would look great, too. But you may want to bring along some tight-fitting work gloves on decorating day -- the flocked trees hurt your hands. Also, I am a big fan of glitter. You could spray paint those ornaments and glitter the edges.

Maybe include musical notes? Use a small pennant banner as your tree garland?

Have fun. Hope to see you there!

MK said...

Fall is my favorite time of year too!!! I love the tree auctions, they do one here for the domestic violence shelter. I like someone's idea of music notes. Also, think about brass rings...many old carousels had a brass ring you could grab and the ride was free. Have fun!!

Kim said...

I am sure that you know of Moms and Dads that have lost children, after you spray paint he horse why don't you paint names of children on them in bright pink and green. Just an idea. I would love to see your tree in person I am sure it will be a sight to behold.

Becky said...

Wow! I can't wait to see the finished tree...it will be BEAUTIFUL!!!

~plaid said...

So exciting! You have some really great ideas, and it will be fun to take my family to see the finished presentation!

~plaid said...

Oh, I was just on material girl's blog, and I saw this tree skirt. Maybe since I just read your blog, it made me think of the top of a carousel. Maybe you could do something like this for a tree skirt instead of just one color? http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-YbGPVsl3r5Q/TiDxWudd_zI/AAAAAAAACLs/1gRDosmPtrk/s320/6a00d8354930bc53ef014e8950f37f970d-500wi.jpg I took some pictures of THE carousel at Santa Monica Pier if you want I could email them to you (but you could google, too) for inspiration. That is the way I worked through our tree... just kept looking at different ideas and worked with it until it was "right." I know you're tree is going to be amazing!

Brittani Martin said...

It would be cool if you could find some rope/cord that matched the gold and white reins on the horse. Maybe there would be a tree skirt out there with that kind of cord around the edges or something.