Family Trees: setting up the tree

This is what the Pocketful of Posies  tree looked like in my studio before it was taken all apart and transported to its next destination, the Family Trees exhibit at the Concord Museum in Concord MA. See blog posts about making the Posies book  here.

On Monday, I drove up to Concord, through morning rush hour traffic on Rt. 128 with my Subaru full of  artificial tree limbs and Pocketful of Posies felt ornaments. By the time I arrived at the Concord Museum, dozens of volunteers were already setting up their trees for the Family Trees exhibit. There will be over 30 decorated trees throughout the museum, all based on classic and new children’s books.  The museum describes itself as the gateway to Concord’s remarkable revolutionary history. I was led through a maze of narrow, winding hallways, past the Emerson Room and the Thoreau Room, to my assigned location, the blue room.

I got right to work, assembling the tree and hanging the larger parts, including the thread spool garlands and felt-covered wire book title. A volunteer was nice enough to take my picture during the process. Below is a page from my sketch book from last spring, when I started jotting down ideas for the tree. I wanted to make vignettes, that would act as hanging stages for the different nursery rhymes.

I hung dolls and felt purses that I had made years earlier, too.  Some were sample projects from my how-to book, Felt Wee Folk. I also scattered yellow painted wooden stars around the tree. Many other tree decorators came by to see what I was doing. They couldn’t believe that I had made everything by hand. One woman asked, “Are you crazy?” To tell the truth, I think working this way prevents me from going crazy.

I really like the way the tree looks in the blue room with the antique furnishings and bright museum lighting. It also has a security fence, so I don’t have to worry about ornaments walking away.

If you live in the Boston area, go see this exhibit! It opened on Nov. 21st and will run through January 1, 2013.  All ages will enjoy a visit to Family Trees this holiday season (it’s held every year). If you want to see more about the tree on my blog, stay tuned, because I’ll be writing several posts, with close-ups of the individual ornaments.

12 thoughts on “Family Trees: setting up the tree

  1. amazing!! Your talent just blows me away! I hope I become half as good one day! Happy Thanksgiving and hope your holidays are wonderful.

  2. Oh Salley I love your work so much, I want to stand in front of your amazing tree and see it for myself, you bring such joy into my life.
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving day. And no, you are not crazy just amazingly ceative!

  3. I wish I did live close enough to Boston to see the exhibit. I liked your comment that making everything keeps you from being crazy! I feel the same way. The tree and all of your work inspires AWE!
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. Salley, on this most Thankful of Days, I am Thankful that you are in my life and in others that love and adore you. For the past few years, you have inspired, enlightened, and entertained us with your artwork and adventures. You are as Beautiful, Talented Artist and Woman. Your Christmas Tree filled with your handmade ornaments are shining example of your Blessed Talent. Thank you for always sharing.

    GOD Bless You,

  5. Oh boy, oh boy! Thanks for blogging about it for those of us who live too far away! I bought your book, Felt Wee Folk (an early Christmas present to ME!) and am planning to try to make some elves for my tree from it. Wish me luck!

  6. Such an amazing feast for the eyes!! I so admire all the work that went into your tree extravaganza. I don’t think you’re ‘crazy’ at all to be able to create such beautiful fabric sculptures. I look forward to seeing the individual ornaments on future posts. Thanks for sharing all of this! Wendy

  7. The finished tree is a wonderland! Making each item by hand is what makes it so very special and draws us in to view every detail. You are so talented. I’m thankful you choose to share it with us!

  8. Salley it’s wonderful.I wish I lived close enough to go see it in person.I love making things with my hands too.I agree with you that it’s what keeps me sane.

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