my giving tree

The distraction of the Great Bead Garland Caper of 2020 helped. Having an on-going adventure of tedium kept my creative brain engaged and occupied, allowing me to disengage from the preoccupation of a holiday season with no guests.

three sets of three tiers or double-strand garland complete out the big, big tree. I also added two strands of button LED lights to help with the lighting gaps, which I plan to address next year

The third and final set of garland strands has a color set of pink, hot pink, red, gold, and blue. When I was making the bead segments, the completed pile kept screaming at me, “I AM AMERICA! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!” but when I started assembling the strands, the quantity and size of the hot pink ovoid beads balanced it back to holiday bling.

I’ve had my doubts regarding the craziness of this tree. While stringing the second set of garland, it looks a bit overdone and sloppy, but the third set helped it resolve and fill out to a satisfying balance. My goal was to dress a tree so heavily that it became one ginormous decoration instead of a tree holding numerous small ones. I think I achieved that!

For some time, I’ve held the notion that artificial trees are best managed as a vehicle to hold decorations, and not the main focus in and of themselves. Not until they reach the quality and price outside of my budget, anyway. In our other trees, this is accomplished by application of the theme. The Big, Big Tree’s theme is simply “Bling!”, or “Excess!”

In my creative process, I make a point to avoid directly copying a source inspiration. My brain has enough “back burners” that I tend to gather information/materials for future projects as I work on current ones. I prefer to build up a mental idea book, allow it to stew and shuffle and reform a few times, and move forward with the project either when I have enough time, and/or enough materials. At that point, I stop actively looking for stuff related to active projects to help keep the final thing a product of my own processing instead of a direct facsimile of someone else’s creative process.

That said, last week a longtime blogger/social media friend shared the following photo with me:

stuntman/actor Harold Lloyd and his insane christmas tree: my after-the-fact inspiration for the big, big tree

Silent film stuntman/actor Harold Lloyd, as it turns out, is my holiday muse that I didn’t know about. You can find a well documented account of his over-the-top tree here.

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