Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My Ancestor Tree

This Tree Hint - The topper on this tree is a variety of objects. A toy doll, a family picture, ribbon bows and metallic stars. You can use anything for a topper. Choose something that goes along with the theme and have fun with it!
This is one of my all time favorite trees to set up and to see during the Christmas Season.
It rotates so every side is filled with assorted treasures.

I wanted to do a tree for a tribute to our ancestors. I searched the internet for ideas and found several trees that had photo's of familiy members. I had quite a few photo's of ancestors back about 6 generations. Then I remembered that I had several boxes filled with trinkets that were never seen by anyone and I decided that I would make those into ornaments. The common color theme of these items was pink and green. I went to the craft store and the colors and mood were perfect for a shabby chic. I bought scrapbook paper, sheer ribbon, silver ribbon, pink and silver glitter. It was perfect!
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For our grandmothers I made a big heart ornie and put young and old pictures on them with a piece of their jewelry, a hanky, and a short list of there talents and dolled them up a bit.
My other Grandmother For my grandfathers I made them rectangle, added a young and old pix and a small item I have of theirs as well as a little about them.
I did glass balls with the photo's printed on velum and then put in the balls. They were ok but didn't have quite the zip I wanted. Some were also hard to see. I printed out another copy of the photo's and made shabby chic ornaments out of them. I did mine on pink and my husbands on blue with names , so our kids could see who went with who. These ornies are easier to see, but the glass balls add a charm to the tree.
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This is my great grandmother - both a young and an older picture of her. (Born 1861) My great grandfather picture in the glass ball.
The following are random items I used for other ornaments.
Train and fire truck we used to play with at my grandmothers farm when I was little. Salt Shaker
My grandmother's candles were one of those items.
The price tag at the top of them reads 10 cents.My mom's temple shoes
My grandmother's jello tins
My dad loved tobasco sauce. When I cleaned out their fridge after their deaths, I coudn't part with this silly bottle. I am so glad I kept it.
It is truly a treasure for me and a great memory of him.
A pink poodle from Santa when I was little in my stocking.
A necklace of my mom's
My grandmother was blind when she died. She would get scraps of fabric, cut them into long strips and braid rugs out of them. All of the sewing was by hand because she could feel what she was doing. I got a bag of fabric strips that had been braided but never sewn into a rug. I took it apart and made these nettie dolls out of them and gave them to my children and nieces.
Paper doll from my mom's. I added tulle and ribbon to chic her up a bit. There are 3 of these that are perched in the branches. They are about 18 inches tall.
I had a bunch of my mom's jewelry. I put necklaces in glass balls, but still had pins and earings left. I covered a styro wreath shape with silver ribbon and added the jewelry to it, it is lovely. I also did this with my dad's cufflinks and tie tacks.
Necklace in a ball (I did about 12 of these)
My grandparents letter opener. I remember watching them use this when I was little.
Hot pad crocheted by one of my grandmothers.
I had about 40 hankies that belonged to my grandmothers, my husbands grandmothers and my mom. I made alot of them into hanky ornaments, covering glass balls.
I put some into a basket and tucked them in the tree.
Made some into angel ornaments and some into ornaments themselves.


I had a sheet of my grandmothers. I cut it up and made a variety of shapes and sizes of heart ornaments. I also used the scraps to cover glass balls for mod podge ornaments. Part of it is also being used as the tree skirt.
Hair curlers from the early 1900's
A train from my dad's train set.
My grandfathers glasses
My grandmothers soap dish
A rose from my grandmothers wedding dress
My mom's purse she used when she went on dates with my dad. I remember laying on her bed and playing with it while she would get ready to go someplace special. My dad's scriptures he had with him in the Korean War.
Yo-yo chains made from my grandmothers slip with some pink glitter added.
My mom's shoes
Glass box filled with flowers from my mom's casket. Glass ball with flowers from my dad's.
Glass angel, belonged to my husbands grandmother.
My dad's heart bracelet in a glass ball.
Cookie jar belonging to my grandma - tucked inside the tree.
Wire bench made from spam can by my grandfather.
There are many other ornies on this tree, a puzzle box my dad brought from korea, glass cups, pixie dolls, other knick knacks, grandparents address book. my dad's war medals, etc.
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The Tree
I found the tree at a yard sale for $10.00. The lights didn't work so I had to cut them off and restring them. When I put it all together I discoverd it was a rotating tree - perfect! It is 7 1/2 feet tall and is just the right thing for this theme.
The Filler
When I got the tree all together, there were still bare spots. So I cut up some pink net and white tulle into strips. Put them together and stuffed them in the bare area's. It was perfect! The lights shine through and give it a soft glow.
The Topper
The topper was another challenge. I had a dolll also in this box of things tucked away, a bride doll that Santa gave me when I was five. She need a new veil, so I added a long wispy one made from white tulle and tucked her in the top. On the other side is a current family portrait of my husband and I and our family. Below that are family pictures of my famiy and his. His parents are still alive so I don't have alot of items from his family ancestors. But we do have a lot of their pictures.
We have Mayflower and pioneer ancestors. There are ornaments also with a tribute to them, their list of names and pictures if I have them.

I also made a geneology chart so when our children look at all the items and pictures with the names on them, they can see where each person fits in relation to them. I want our children to know what an amazing heritage they have.
Here is the finished tree



Picture side of tree

Tree's not on tour - White Tree, Peppermint Tree, Angel Tree, Teddy Bear Tree, Hall of Snowmen Tree, Burgandy and Lime and Nativity Tree. They are part of last year's tour and you can see them there. if your scroll down to see last years post. Thank you for stopping by!

18 comments:

Rue said...

I love this idea! I don't have many small things from my family, but I do have enough pictures for a small tree. I think I'll try it next year :)

Have a Merry Christmas!

rue

Shelia said...

I have so enjoyed seeing your decorations! I'm going to go and see your last years that you've told about.
Be a sweetie and Merry Christmas,
Shelia :)

Debra from Bungalow said...

So much here to see! I love your tree! I'll be checking out some of your links.

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

What an incredibly wonderful idea! I've never thought of doing this. You have given it a lot of thought and careful planning! I would so love to do a tree like this starting next year. Might be just the thing to help get hubby in the Christmas spirit as he is very into Ancestry.com right now! Thanks so much for sharing! Please stop by my holiday home when you get a chance!

Big TX Hugs,
Stephanie
Angelic Accents

Cara said...

Wow! What an amazing tree! I so enjoyed looking at all the ornaments, great job!!

Blessings,
Cara

FrenchGardenHouse said...

What a great idea! Your decorations are beautiful, as well as personal. Merry Christmas! I just finished my decorating, and am ready for the holidays. xoxo Lidy

Michele said...

Love your tree...and your decorations!

Merry Christmas!

Hugz,
Michele

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

HOw pretty everything is! Thanks for joining the party.

Cate said...

What a thoughtful tree Paula.
And your home is as stunning as always :-)

Cate

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Joni said...

What a delightful idea. I think I may try it this year. Thanks for the ideas.

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