Did y’all see Mariah Carey’s penthouse on the Today show last Friday? It’s decked for Christmas in 20 kinds of pink. Pink flowers. Pink ribbons. Pink pillows. Steel Magnolia style. Mariah came off drunk and greedy, but you have to admire the woman’s taste in holiday décor. Also, it takes some big hairy balls to put silk flowers on a tree and then ask for them to be comped on national television. Tasteful.
Unlike Mariah, my pink tree is not decked out with flowers but with a far more elegunt alternative: flamingos.
Did you know a group of flamingos is called a flamboyance? I think we talked about this before.
Another thing we talked about – my need for more flamingo ornaments. I asked if anyone wanted to trade, and to my amazement, a lot of people answered!
For one thing, to my shame and horror, the flamingos I sent out were not nearly as sparkly or elaborate as most of those I received. (BTW: If you signed up to exchange, you should have seen my flamingo to you in your mailbox last week of November. If by some odd chance you didn’t see yours yet please let me know asap).
For another thing, WHOA. You guys are crazy talented. I mean, I sorta expect the people who read this blog are creatively inclined, but this was not expected. I hardly know how to thank people or even where to begin showing off these marvelous creations.
Things are a little blurry here because my camera is freaking out trying to handle all the reflections. I so wish you guys could see this in person. At night, I just like to turn on the lights and stare at it all night listening to Hall & Oates sing Christmas carols.
That sounded less creepy in my head.
(below) Okay, starting at the top right, a greenish flamingo from Elizabeth who is in the army. The green is camo duck tape, so I can say with some confidence that I am the only person in the whole world with a camouflage Christmas flamingo. Don’t be jealous!
Below that is a long sleigh drawn by, of course, flamingos. It’s more of an art piece than an ornament but until I get a mantel to display it properly, the team is living on my tree. This is from Jill in Wisconsin, whose has been collecting flamingos for decades and puts my menagerie here to shame. She sent pictures from some of her collection and I’m so jealous I could spit. Either spit or steal. I might have to steal some. Wisconsin isn’t that far and I totally have her address. Don’t tell Jill I said that.
(above) Center, slightly to the left is an ornament of Alice in Wonderland and a flamingo, which is like a three-dimensional version of the illustration in the book. It was a gift from my friend Ann a couple years ago, and in part, was what inspired me to collecting for a flamingo tree. Ann, this is all your fault!
At the bottom center is a diorama reminiscent of a 1950’s television filled with paper clippings and vintage ornaments and bits of sparkly pipe cleaners and…and….oooo! It’s so gorgeous. What a treasure! It might need to stay out year round. It’s from Beth at Dime Store Chic. She has oodles of lovely vintage bits in her store — go and have a look.
(above) That one the left is one multiple salt dough flamingo ornaments sent by Joan in Maryland. Why did I not think of that? I made salt dough ornaments years ago, but they didn’t come out with this kind of character. Also, this makes me want to make flamingo cookies for Christmas. Why do they not have flamingos wearing santa hats cookie cutters? Jerks!
The one on the right is from Carol, who wrote my most favorite email ever: “Your flamingo is boxed up and ready for the post office. He had to make a stop in the basement for some beads, because he understands the true (second) meaning of the season: It’s Almost Mardi Gras!” So true, Carol. So true.
Next to him with the red bead legs is one of several flamingos from Alexandra.
Alexandra sent a small flock of flamingos all the way from Australia! And, and, and, she sent a mini painting of Lola. Actually, it was her cat Merlin who sent it to Lola. Assuminng Lola is okay with me sharing her gift, I’ll show it to you after the holidays once I get a chance to frame it up. You can see more of Alexandra’s lovely painting work here in the meantime.
(above) This one is from Kim in Gravenhurst, Ontario. There must be 50 rhinestones on this fella, and more sparkles on the back! I have named him Liberace, for obvious reasons.
This little guy came from Erin the Creative Broad. Jeepers, talk about quality! I really wish I got a better shot here so you could see the stitch work on this piece. The wings are all hand sewn sequins. I cannot even imagine the putting something like this together. If you are a sewing person, you will appreciate her blog. Go see it!
(Below) At the tip top of the image is a flamingo from Sara in Toms River, New Jersey. I’m 90% sure it’s made on a gourd but I’m not positive. All I know is that it’s glittered and feathered, which are my two favorite things so he is hanging front and center on the tree.
(above) This one here in the brown sweater is Topio the Flamingo, all the way from Niina in Finland. FINLAND. I have a flamingo that flew in from FINLAND. And he has A FANCY NAME. Folks, this is about as exotic as it gets in my book. In addition to his fancy name, Topio came with a custom little velvet hat, hand knit sweater, and beaded legs. I found myself poking around looking to see how Niina put it together, and I can’t. No knots or threads or anything. The craftsmanship here is mind boggling to me.
To the right of Topio you see the beak of a large flamingo which I made. Actually I made twelve of them by glitzing up regular plastic flamingos and using them for the base layer of the tree. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen their festive saga in progress.
The flamingo situation on the tree is so dense I’m thinking of expanding to other areas. I fear it is not kosher to hang flamingos off deer antlers, so until I draw a firm opinion on that matter, I’m doing it up with balls.
Also on the ball front in the dining room, we have another chandelier. You might recall I was considering taking down this fixture last fall because the color was blah and the bulbs were so bright. Now I’m thrilled with it! I swapped out the bulbs for some low-watt oversized string light bulbs and rimmed each branch with glass balls. The ornaments hang from binder clips (office supply section, hayo!) latched on to the rim of each branch. You could do this to just about any light fixture if you so desired.
Not going to lie, these babies might be staying up past New Years. Then I might swap them for disco balls. I’m classy like that.
Chandeliers make everything magical, don’t they?
No fancy centerpiece for me. I would like one but this table is used non-stop, especially for holiday projects, so I keep everything restricted to a little tray and some candles. Easy on, easy off.That’s as much as I can handle.
This concluded the end of the dining room tour. Just next door you will find more trees in the living room and kitchen.
Next up, the bed and bath.The bathroom now has a light-up faucet, It’s not Christmasy, but you are going to want to see it. I know. It’s exciting.
Thank you again to everyone who contributed to my flamingo tree. They will be treasured for many years. I tied little tiny tags with your names onto each piece so I will be sure to think of you every time they come in or out of the box. Not that this is coming down anytime soon. Flamingos forever!