Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Little Barn Update

So, it's almost here. I can't believe I've been working on this barn for the last couple of months and I'm still scrambling to get things done. I suppose that's not unusual though, I typically leave things to the last minute so that I don't have time to second guess my work. That's most often when the best work comes out of me anyway.

I've got several trees in the barn. One was decorated by Meg over at Oliver and Rust when she came over to help. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, I walked in on Thursday, and it was on the ground - shattered ornaments underneath, and one incredibly angry Artie. I think I may have even been green!

Anyway, in getting it up off the ground and anchored to the wall, I came up with a theme for both trees that can be modified to be similar but each unique in their own way. Here's how one of the trees turned out. I'll take better pics to share by the end of the week of the whole space (these were taken with my iPhone).

I wanted to have a lot of fresh greens in my artificial tree. Almost as if you were walking through a forest and decorated the tree from the things you found around you. Yes, I know you're not going to find Eucalyptus and Magnolia and Pine trees all in the same area ... but Christmas decorating is an opportunity to suspend disbelief ... just roll with it! 

Next, the tree - from Balsam Hill. Balsam Hill is by far, the best place to buy an artificial tree. They're incredibly lifelike, perfectly lit, and come with easy instructions and heavy duty storage bags. This is their pencil tree, which you can buy here. I love it because it's 9 feet tall, but only about as big around as a 5-gallon bucket. It gives you a ton of impact without having to buy a million ornaments to fill it up! Not to mention, everyone who has seen this tree has asked me if it was real! Honestly - best money can buy! 

We recently had a few branches on our block that came down during a wind storm. I didn't think twice about them, but after I decided to do this tree with a natural theme - I quickly scooped them up. They had a wonderful natural curve. 

Again, I apologize for the photo quality. I'll get some better pics for you when I'm all done in there! 

The tree is not decorated all the way around. I wanted more of a spray in the front, with very few pendant style ornaments on the side and back. The spray includes some HUGE sugar pine cones, seeded eucalyptus, eucalyptus, magnolia leaf, red and gold ornaments, and some beautiful fern leaves with gold glitter! 

It's totally asymmetric, and I like it like that. The branches throw it into a whole different realm ... just so charming and interesting. It's almost like sculpture. 

The tree will be the first thing people see when they walk into the room. Of course, there are 4 other lit trees they will have an opportunity to enjoy. (Fingers crossed!) 

The lanterns are gorgeous, too. They're from Progress Lighting. They hang a little low - but I needed to create the intimacy. 

A little closer this time. You can see how the spray works. I really can't wait to take pictures of all of this space finished. I've been so busy lately that the last thing I've thought of was taking photos with my camera. I have to get some portfolio shots this weekend, so I'll have a big long post for those of you who can't make the tour. 

So, there you have it. Something I've never done before - will likely not have the opportunity to do again. This barn just lends itself to this very natural looking display - and the crazy branches. But if you think this one is crazy ... just you wait! 

I had to update the blog - just so you knew I was still kicking! And please, when you're missing your Color Outside the Lines updates, check out my Instagram! It's your daily view at what's happening around this part of the world! 


  1. Hi Arty, will wait to see your better photos before making a final decision on the pencil tree decor... my first thought is that the pine cone spray is too large for such a small diameter tree but I usually like your work... regardelss, the theme and decor used is perfect for a barn setting! Post pics soon.

  2. I have that lantern! It hasn't been hung yet but it will go over the new stairwell to our downstairs. Love this barn setting! Are you planning a party in there?

  3. Hi Artie, let me tell you that I think the tree is spectacular, and completely unexpected, which I love. I adore the crazy scale of the width of the tree vs the size of the decorations. It pushes the envelope and I think that's talent. Can't wait for the long post. Good luck in the homestretch!!

  4. Artie this tree is so unique; creating the spray and using so many natural elements makes it so spectacular.
    The Arts by Karena