Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cirque De Noel

Tis the season...

In each of us there is creativity. In some of us it flows like a rain swollen river and in others it comes as often as rain to the barren desert. But still, there is that spark of inspiration in each of us that comes out in so many ways. It seems to be especially prolific this time of year when our hearts turn to home and loved ones. Beauty is created out of imagination, wonder manifests itself from love, and  joy comes from the appreciation of ones work.  
For the last four years Heidi Nebecker who is a member of our art group has decorated a tree for the ChristmasTree Jubilee held in Ogden Utah at the David Eccles conference center.  Each year I am amazed at the beauty that comes from this girls heart and imagination.  She puts her whole heart and soul into each beautiful tree she decorates.  For this years Christmas Jubilee she created a Cirque De Noel themed tree.  The tree glitters with glass ornaments and garlands.  Cheerful St. Nick banners and teal taffeta fabric weave through the sparkled branches.  Animals are dressed in their finest attire as they await the arrival of Santa Clause in handmade hot air balloons.  A netting of lights and a charming hand cranked Ferris Wheel set the scene for magic and imagination. 

My pictures hardly do the tree any justice.  To see the tree in person is purely magical.

Each beautiful tree created for the Jubilee are auctioned off and the funds collected benefit the special-needs children of the Weber School District.

The magical details...

The animals are from the Bethany Lowe Halloween collection that Heidi redressed with Christmas attire. The small glittering lights at the base of the tree and on the Ferris Wheel are from Restoration Hardware .  They are the prettiest lights I have seen. 

The beautiful Christmas star are two seperate stars from the Pottery Barn that she glued together and glittered.  It is stunning!

To create your own magical hot air balloon follow Heidi's picture tutorial.

Blow up the balloon and tie a long string to the end.  Tie the balloon between two chairs pulling to get the shape of the balloon.

Apply wet plaster guaze over the bottom third of the balloon and let dry.
Dick Blick has a wonderful plaster cloth 

Tape a string to the other end of the balloon so you have a way to hang your hot air balloon.

Plaster the rest of your balloon and hang from a light fixture or closet rod.  Let dry completely and add a mixed joint compound that you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot.  Mix per directions dilluting the compound so it is thinner than sour cream.  Brush on the compound with a two inch brush.  The thinner the compund the smoother the finish will be.  When completely dry the balloon is ready to be sanded.  A foam sanding block works great.  

Create or purchase a netting and attach to a basket.  An old fishing net would be perfect.

Paint your hot air balloon and glitter it using a pretty German glass glitter or our BFF Martha Stewarts beautiful glitters.  Combine two colors of glitter like a silver and a gold to give it some depth.  Glitter your netting as well.  Attach netting and basket to the glittered balloon and decorate using christmas trims and tinsels, stars and such.

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. 
Norman Vincent Peale

Enjoy the Season!


  1. WOW!!! I've heard whispers of what Heidi has been up to with these trees, but I had NO IDEA HOW AMAZING HER TREES ARE!!! You are a true artist, Heidi! Thanks for sharing, Lorraine.

  2. so completely amazing! thank you both for the lovely photos and instructions...
    I want to make one of those hot air balloons :)
    happy holiday wishes,

  3. I LOVE the little sparkly hot air balloons! They are so clever!!!