Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Crazy Crafty: wacky tacky Tree Toppers Two Ways

Grandmas are so crafty, spending countless hours leading up to every holiday ping-ponging between their Pfaffs, tangles of yarn and crochet hooks, and shakers full of glitter.  The only thing more comforting than learning the myriad ways in which pom-poms and bits of felt can be transformed into everything from tree skirts to toilet-paper cozies was the warmth of being gathered into the suffocating succor of her bosomy embrace.

This Christmas' Crazy Crafty projects should prove every bit as comforting as granny crafts of yore; but just imagine, instead of a sweet old granny, a large man of equally heavy bosom slinging a glue gun as hot as a two-dollar pistol.  Struggling every year to find the tree topper of my dreams, it finally came time to make one - or two - of my own.

wacky tacky vintage tree topper
Early drafts of potential tree toppers were expected to follow the cone-shaped body of this
angelic Phyllis Diller lookalike.  But Phyllis' stick-straight lines just weren't going to cut
it for the more womanly angel that I had in mind. 

Inspiration struck in the curvy form of a bell!  As per usual, my craft-making ethos is, "If it ain't in the stash or it can't be found at the 99 Cents Store, then it's probably not going to happen."  So, I headed to the mecca of the impecunious crafter, finding among other sundries a set of three graduated, silver bells.  Gathering metallic rickrack, tinsel pipe cleaner, glitter tulle, and the disembodied doll parts that my brother and his wife found in a dark corner of their garage (p.s.  If you think I'm creepy, what does that say about them and their garage), I began to assemble my angel.

My supplies - if it doesn't include a toilet-paper roll, liquid-soap bottle, or
cottage cheese container then it doesn't really count as a granny craft, does it?

"If I were a bell, I'd be ringing!"

I covered the cardboard roll with colored paper and secured it inside the large bell base.
I shrouded a smaller bell in glitter tulle and finished it with a band of rickrack at the
bottom and at the neckline.

I "fleshed out" the upper arms with tinsel pipe cleaner. 

wacky tacky tree topper
You little snow angel!

I fashioned the wings and the silver petal peplum out of a deconstructed Christmas flowers from the 99.
The skirt is several layers of the tulle, gathered and then trimmed in rickrack. 

I won't say that my mom was dismayed exactly; perhaps "confused" is a better word for her mental state when she discovered two of her thirty-something sons excitedly discussing the merits of DIY doll making and the results of such.  Forgetting about the bag of doll parts he had donated to the cause, my brother though that the snow angel was vintage - a compliment indeed!

Maybe she couldn't appreciate it because she hadn't notice how liberally
I applied the half-used packet of sticky-backed rhinestones to the skirt.

Never one to leave tacky enough alone, I spied the one remaining unadorned figural lady lamp among the wacky tacky archives (you may recall from the Crazy Crafty post about "The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Lamp" that independently of one another, each of my brother's gave me the same sexy-lady lamp base).  Momentarily angry at myself for heretofore overlooking her obvious holiday charms, I quickly realized that it was not too late to explore her tree-topping potential.

sexy lady lamp
"Merry Christmas, boys!"

Following similar steps to the snow angel tree topper, I made a teal under dress with a full circle skirt and an over dress of teal netting trimmed in iridescent rickrack and rhinestones.

Wanting to disguise the socket, I found among the christmas hoardings a fully-lit, flashing tree topper.
Remembering that there exists such a thing as a socket -to-outlet converter, I hid the wires and plugged it in.

vintage tree topper
I think the tinsel headdress transforms this snow girl into
 a full-on showgirl - an ode to Electra from Gypsy.

Devil or angel?
I even made her stacks of rickrack-and-rhinestone bangles!

wacky tacky tree topper
"I'm electrifyin' and I ain't even tryin'!"

Here shine the two of the wacky-tacky-est tree toppers in all of their glittering, yuletide glory.

Do you ever get the feeling, like you've created a cherished family 
heirloom before you've even had time to share your project?
I do.

As you can kind of see, the snow angel was awarded pride of place rather
than our version of "the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window."
It's a good thing for the runner-up that we have erected two christmas trees this year! 

Have you made any Christmas crafts this year?  If you're not thrilled with who sits atop your tree year after year, remember that granny always said, "Idle hands are the devil's playground;" get those holiday hands busy and make your own wacky tacky tree topper!

"You Gotta Get a Gimmick" from Gypsy (1962)


Mr. Tiny