If you haven’t heard, Chinese New Year is fast approaching! On February 9th the year of the Dragon ends and on February 10th the year of the Water Snake begins! I would like to wish all of you a Happy Lunar New Year with one of my all-time favorite craft projects: my pink Chinese New Year tree! This tree has been dreamt of for years and has taken me since May to finally get together (and, big surprise, I barely made it in time).
The inspiration for this pink tree were these cute Chinese folk doll ornaments that I picked up at Canton Bazaar (on Geary Street in San Francisco). I got them back in May when my Mom came to visit for Mother’s Day. I had always wanted an excuse to get a pink Christmas tree and decided that this was my chance: to make my soon-t0-arrive baby dragon girl, Kamryn, a special Chinatown-inspired tree! I found this 4.5 foot artificial pink tree (it came pre-lit) on eBay for $24.99–serious steal! Unfortunately, the tree got pushed to the back of my “to do” crafting list when I became frantically obsessed with finishing Kamryn’s crib set before her July arrival.
Having a newborn to contend with while trying to exclusively breastfeed was not conducive to getting my dream tree finished, let alone find the time to change my clothes! All I could do was to peruse eBay on my iPhone (between late-night feedings), where I was able to find the mini LED lanterns (I took off their holding sticks and hung them with ribbon) and the cute tasseled butterfly ornaments. Luckily my sister came to visit me after Thanksgiving and helped me to finally take the tree out of its box and get it all fluffed up (not to mention she decorated my entire house for Christmas–thank you Suzie!). Then, in early December, my Mom and Aunt came to town and they were able to go back to the Canton Bazaar in Chinatown and find me some more of the little Chinese folk dolls.
My Mother and Aunt also picked out the most important element to the tree: this fabulous dragon head ornament that we made into the tree’s topper. Finally, last month, I picked up some pink feather trim at Jo Ann’s and used it as a garland to help fill in the tree (you’ll need about 4 1/2 yards). I liked that it echoed the feathers on the dragon head. I picked up a white mini tree skirt while at Jo Ann’s (on clearance for $9.99). It had two garishly big white bows on the front that I just snipped off. I was going to do a lot more fun stuff on the tree skirt (like white toggle closures and tassels) but with a toddler and a six-month old, breaking out my sewing machine was not the easiest of things to do (um, honey can you watch the kids while I sew some tassels on this tree skirt? I could only imagine his reply!).
I am more than happy to have made my little baby dragon a beautiful New Year’s tree–we wanted to send the year of the Dragon off with a cute pink bang! My plan is to have this tree be on permanent display in Kamryn’s room (first she’ll need a room, I guess!), where we can decorate it for all the other holidays throughout the year. When I was growing up, there was nothing more special than having my own small Christmas tree in my room–so why not have one all year round! I’m thinking: Valentine’s, Easter, Summertime, and Christmas (of course); plus girly themes, like: tea party, ponies, cupcakes, and flowers. So many ridiculously cute ideas abound (honestly, I’m having a bit of a tree-gasim just thinking about them!).
I can’t wait for the days when little Kamryn will make her own special ornaments out of construction paper, craft sticks, glitter and ribbons. What a gift it is to have a daughter, and (as you can plainly see) I am relishing every moment of it!
A special thanks to my sister, Suzie, my Aunt Marilyn and my very own “momma,” Marianne, for helping me finish this tree and listening to all my blabbering about it!
Stay tuned for the Valentine’s edition coming soon (if I can get it done on time) 😉