If not now, when?

One American woman. Twenty acres and a 1650 farmhouse in Tuscany. Random introspection and hilarity, depending on the day.

08 December 2005

What's "Martha" in Italian?

Some people may call my 'yard' some sort of a wilderness, forest, lots of trees and no other houses. Up until about a week ago, I was in that camp, too.

This week, it became a giant 'Michaels'. (US craft and hobby store).

Determined to be living the 'real life' here, I have basically refrained thus far from buying any Christmas decorations (except some spraypaint and little white lights .. TWELVE EUROS FOR A BOX OF 180?!?!?). With the help of the much more-visionary-than-I Renaissance Artist, we set out last weekend to harvest Christmas decorating fodder from the land.

He was gathering to decorate the hotel for Christmas, and I tagged along: if it's good enough for a Five Star "grande dame" Hotel, then it should be more than enough for my little stone house!

Armed with a roomful of cuttings from everything imaginable (oak, holly, pine, cypress, broom, pinecones, cardoons, rose hips, etc.) and a few cans of spraypaint, I went to town.


By Sunday afternoon, I was having so much fun that I started making arrangements to take to my friends in town (Paolo at the restaurant, Federico at the coffeebar, Daniele at the phone card place, Paolo and Carla at the AGIP station.) I spent all Sunday night and Monday morning in the basement, happily humming along to the Christmas carols, sipping wine and feeling like the Italian version of Martha Stewart: "Why of course, NOW it looks like a slightly dead and diseased branch that was cut back from an oak tree taking over the front yard. But just add some silver spraypaint, and VOILA, it becomes a perfect addition to a festive holiday bouquet!"

I'm going with greens, plus touches of purple, hot pink, orange and silver in my house. (More traditional reds, greens, and golds for the gift arrangements).


Tomorrow, I'll pick up the actual tree. (Though apparently, tree-decorating is a relatively new phenomenon here in Italy.) Interesting fact: by law, all fresh trees here are sold with the roots on. (How very earth-friendly, though after a number of years, I bet small yards start to look pretty nasty with all those old Christmas trees planted.)

So, instead of 'glass balls' my tree will have purple spraypainted thistles and acorns. Instead of tinsel, it will have silver glittery spraypainted clumps of spiky 'broom' tucked in. We'll see how it goes. There's always that quaint popcorn stringing option if it's really horrible... !

3 Comments:

Blogger Danza Sorellina said...

wasn't dad's ornament made out of things he found around the house too? What ever happend to that thing? Sounds like even Martha would approve of your very festive and very earthy christmas!

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very beautiful and very creative!! I wish I could go out in the woods and collect things for decorations. Kind of difficult to do in Milan! They sell branches and berries on the street corner flower vendors, but they cost an arm and a leg!!!

5:45 PM  
Blogger The Mom said...

I've been traveling of late and am just catching up on the news...this is the way "we" started our decorating....not far from the oak she falls.....

4:59 AM  

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