Author Topic: Holiday Images - Indoors  (Read 9588 times)

Offline Phillip Dampier

  • Mayor - BetterMost, Wyoming
  • Town Administration
  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,347
    • BetterMost
Re: Holiday Images - Indoors - Treezilla 2008!
« Reply #60 on: December 16, 2008, 11:50:17 pm »
Treezilla 2008 is up but missing ornaments.  Instead of hollering in the current events forum, I've been tree wrangling.  So here comes the series of photos from dragging it inside to the stand to where it sits right now - lights and garland awaiting ornament hanging.  I dispensed again this year with the bubble lights in addition to the twinkle lights.  It was just too much work.  My tree lights are all programmable - they are set to slowly fade between colors, which is why in the pictures the lights look a tad sparse - they are often between cycles.  This keeps the tree visually interesting, and particularly suitable in the evening where it's not too bright.

The star on top is an LED light that color shifts and cycles slowly between blue, green, and red.

The tree stand pivots to help get the tree standing straight, and the green bottle on the bottom is a water reservoir that keeps the tree supplied with water.  I usually have to fill it daily for the first week, then every third day in week two, and once or twice a week thereafter.  Since I have two humidifiers running indoors to keep our humidity at or near 45% indoors (static electricity is very bad for computers and dry air kills my skin), the tree doesn't lose an excessive amount of moisture through the needles.

Some additional trivia:

In the northeastern United States, most Christmas trees are grown as crops on large tracts of land specifically for Christmas tree sales.  The "crop" is renewable.  In western New York, the most common Christmas trees are either grown in New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Washington and North Carolina.  Among the most popular tree choices here:

 - Douglas Fir: Probably the most popular choice here, it's short and very wide with longer needles.  It's grown in the Pacific Northwest and trucked into western New York.  My mother usually liked to pick a Douglas fir.  Unfortunately, they are so full, it's hard to find open gaps to hang heavier ornaments on inside branches.

 - Concolor (a/k/a White Fir): Also very popular with longer needles, but I have not favored this tree because the branches tend to be droopy, so ornaments fall off.  These are exceptional choices for very large spaces where you can put a 9 foot tree in, with lots of stronger branches and space to experiment with ornament placement, but alas my ceiling only allows for a 7.5 foot tree.

 - Scotch Pine: Very long needle retention and stiff branches make this a popular choice for a Christmas tree, but I've never warmed to them.

 - Colorado Blue Spruce:  These things stay green and hold their needles forever, but they are vicious trees because the needles are stiff and sharp. You have to wear gloves to approach it.  My father put one up one year when I was a child and spent all day cursing that decision as he tried to put lights on it.

 - Fraser Fir: This is currently the favored "premium" tree in western NY.  It carries a premium price too, but I have come to favor them year after year because their stiff branches hold needles forever, keep the ornaments on the tree, always have open spaces where you can hang large ornaments inside the tree and get them seen, and for their fragrance.  These are grown almost exclusively in North Carolina for shipment around the northeast.  Within a decade however, the 'Noble Fir' threatens to displace the Fraser as the "premium" choice.  It's already very popular and common in the Pacific Northwest, so enough have been planted to help start moving them east of the Rockies.

In most areas, trees disposed on the curbside after the season are ground into mulch by the town or city government and used in public parks or given away to residents.  So the cut tree never ends up in a landfill and are almost never taken from the wild.


Our Christmas tree for 2008 in a 7.5 foot Fraser Fir.  I don't venture into fields and select one for cutting - too muddy.  This one was picked from a tree stand and baled in a plastic netting to compact it for driving home.  I leave the netting intact while getting the tree in the stand.
You're a part of our family - BetterMost, Wyoming

Offline Phillip Dampier

  • Mayor - BetterMost, Wyoming
  • Town Administration
  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,347
    • BetterMost
Re: Holiday Images - Indoors - Treezilla 2008!
« Reply #61 on: December 16, 2008, 11:51:44 pm »
The plastic netting also protects the needles and branches from being snapped off during transport.  You can barely see the red plastic netting in this closeup.
You're a part of our family - BetterMost, Wyoming

Offline Phillip Dampier

  • Mayor - BetterMost, Wyoming
  • Town Administration
  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,347
    • BetterMost
Re: Holiday Images - Indoors - Treezilla 2008!
« Reply #62 on: December 16, 2008, 11:54:05 pm »
Once the tree is in the stand, I take the scissors to the netting and cut it away.  You usually have to leave the tree to settle for 24 hours before messing with it if you didn't get it out of the netting right away.  The branches need to settle and fall naturally so you can decorate it properly.

Note the tippy top of the Fraser Fir is a bit sparse, but that's okay as it has to be cut off to accommodate the LED star.  BTW, that is a John Passaniti arm in the lower right.  He doesn't participate in Christmas because he is a Grinch.  He usually also dislikes the Christmas tree because he's convinced there are bugs living in it, and anyone who was with us in Alberta in 2007 know what that was like with him.
You're a part of our family - BetterMost, Wyoming

Offline Phillip Dampier

  • Mayor - BetterMost, Wyoming
  • Town Administration
  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,347
    • BetterMost
Re: Holiday Images - Indoors - Treezilla 2008!
« Reply #63 on: December 16, 2008, 11:56:21 pm »
The top of the tree gets cut off to allow this star to occupy a considerable amount of space on the top of the tree.
You're a part of our family - BetterMost, Wyoming

Offline Phillip Dampier

  • Mayor - BetterMost, Wyoming
  • Town Administration
  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,347
    • BetterMost
Re: Holiday Images - Indoors - Treezilla 2008!
« Reply #64 on: December 16, 2008, 11:58:52 pm »
And now the laborious process of stringing lights begins.  I weave them inside and outside of the branches so that some lights appear to be within the tree.  It takes longer.  The cheap Chinese made lights usually require replacement every three seasons or so.  The LED versions are still too expensive.  BTW, wash your hands after handling these cords - they use lead in the manufacturing process and that lead gets on your hands after handling the cords.

You're a part of our family - BetterMost, Wyoming

Offline Phillip Dampier

  • Mayor - BetterMost, Wyoming
  • Town Administration
  • BetterMost 5000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,347
    • BetterMost
Re: Holiday Images - Indoors - Treezilla 2008!
« Reply #65 on: December 17, 2008, 12:02:18 am »
I was considering an Austerity Tree this year to celebrate eight years of failure in America and the new mini-depression we're now in by omitting the garland and going for a more natural look, but one of the consequences of weaving a lot of lights in and out of the tree is the ugly cords that are plainly visible, so I changed my mind and went back to the garland, which are helps reflect some of the light.  I am usually terrible at draping the stuff so it looks nice, but I think I managed this better than last year, with the exception of that one section on the first and fifth ring from the top down.  I'll have to mess with it.

Here is where things stand after the lights and garland, but before the ornaments, which is what I am starting in the next few minutes.  The tree looks better without the flash on the camera washing everything out, and I'll be messing around with the top area to diminish the nakedness of where the star attaches.

You're a part of our family - BetterMost, Wyoming

Offline louisev

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,107
  • "My guns and amo!! Over my cold dead hands!!"
    • Fiction by Louise Van Hine
Re: Holiday Images - Indoors
« Reply #66 on: December 17, 2008, 12:11:01 am »
nice and bushy!  Can I ask how much you paid?
“Mr. Coyote always gets me good, boy,”  Ellery said, winking.  “Almost forgot what life was like before I got me my own personal coyote.”


Offline Brown Eyes

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,375
Re: Holiday Images - Indoors
« Reply #67 on: December 17, 2008, 12:16:36 am »

Wow Phillip!  I'm really enjoying your description of setting up your tree.  It looks great!  I didn't get to set up a tree this year (because I didn't go home for Thanksgiving... my parents and I traditionally put the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving).  So, it's fun to "watch" this virtual tree set up.

Your lights that fade on and off slowly sound really nice. :)

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline Brown Eyes

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost Moderator
  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 10,375
Re: Holiday Images - Indoors
« Reply #68 on: December 17, 2008, 12:43:53 am »
Wow Phillip!  I'm really enjoying your description of setting up your tree.  It looks great!  I didn't get to set up a tree this year (because I didn't go home for Thanksgiving... my parents and I traditionally put the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving).  So, it's fun to "watch" this virtual tree set up.

Your lights that fade on and off slowly sound really nice. :)



<img src="http://www.divshare.com/img/6043784-058.jpg" border="0" />

I should qualify my last post by saying that I actually did, technically, put up a tree in my apartment.  This is a paper tree that comes in a box (the box actually turns into the tree stand that you see on the glass table here).  My Mom sent it to me sort of as a joke and sort of feeling sorry for me not being able to come home and really help them decorate.

The tree was actually fairly elaborate to put together.  And, as you can see, it's approximately the size of one very cute black cat (who was very helpful in assisting me as I put the tree together).  The picture is a little goofy because I took it with my cell phone.

*And thanks go out to Chrissi for helping me brighten up the picture.

the world was asleep to our latent fuss - bowie

Offline belbbmfan

  • BetterMost Supporter!
  • BetterMost 1000+ Posts Club
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,354
  • A love that will never grow old
Re: Holiday Images - Indoors
« Reply #69 on: December 17, 2008, 02:33:57 am »
My stuff this year..

My dining room area. and my front garden view

Kelda, what a great idea to put it in front of the window. You have decorated both the inside and outside of your house. Nice!  :)
'We're supposed to guard the sheep, not eat 'em'