Monday, November 28, 2011

Dear Mermaid - a special Christmas Tree

Last Monday, my neighbor and I put up a Christmas tree at the Concord Museum.  Each year there is an exhibit called "Family Trees" showcasing about 35-40 trees.  Each tree is decorated with a children's book as inspiration.  Families tour the museum to see both the historical exhibits and the trees.  Some of the authors and illustrators come for a special event in the middle of December.  The exhibit will stay up until just after the New Year. 

This year our book was Dear Mermaid.  The book has beautiful illustrations in lovely glowing pastels and we took these colors, along with the images of beach and sea life, as the inspiration for our tree.

We made about six dozen ornaments, using the Life is a Beach Cricut cartridge with the charm feature.

The solid back of each ornament was cut from Core'dinations Core Couture glitter cardstock. The top design layers were cut from various shades of  Core'dinations gemstone cardstock.

For each image, we made ornaments at 2 1/2, 3 and 3 1/2 inches.  There were six of each shape with a few extras in additional shapes (treasure chest and seaweed) to make the backgrounds and the tops come out even!

All of the ornament charms were threaded with ribbon in a variety of colors similar to those in the book.

In the story, a little girl finds a purse on the beach.  She thinks it might belong to a mermaid - and it does!  She writes notes to the mermaid who replies by leaving notes and little gifts in the purse.  The mermaid is searching for a small gold key that she secretly took to open her mother's jewel chest.  Her mother will need the key to open up the jewel box before the Mer Festival so she can wear the shell tiara and other gems for the festival.  We made the shell purse by adding a shell from the Disney cartridge, Dreams Come True, to a purse from the Tags Bags Boxes and More cartridge.

The key is finally found inside a shell that the little girl was saving.  She gets it back to the mermaid just in time and the festival goes off without a hitch!

We had a lot of fun choosing the elements to  cut for the ornaments.  This little sand castle is very cute!

There is a lot of fabric cut in strips and woven through the tree.  We started with purple at the bottom and then blue and finally pink at the top.

Isn't this little whale with the hearts coming out the spout just adorable?  I usually am not into "cutesy" but this makes me smile!

This tree sits in a small room between two larger chambers.  We put it up on a box wrapped in fabric to represent the sand and the waves.  This will help to keep it a little safer from tiny hands (but there is very little on this tree that could be damaged by over-enthusiastic visitors).

When I have a chance, I'll try to post some photos of other trees I have decorated for this event.  Every year the books are different and the decorators have a lot of fun planning and creating the ornaments and putting their trees together.  If you live in the Boston area, you might want to take a trip out to Concord to the Concord Museum to see this exhibit.

While you are at the museum, you can also see the famous "one, if by land, and two, if by sea" lantern, that you may remember from Longfellow's poem, "Paul Revere's Ride."

(I am on a trip to see our son and daughter-in-law in Spain this week.  I wanted those of you on the email subscription to have something arrive each morning as usual, so I am sharing photos and short updates.  If I have internet access and time I will try to add some new photos from Spain when possible.  I have lots of crafty projects lined up to tackle when we get back, so stay tuned!).

Subscribe to Capadia Designs 



  1. Diane, you ladies did a beautiful job on the tree. What a great thing to do for the museum. Hope your trip is going well.

  2. What a great idea. I hadn't thought about creating a theme tree before as I always thought it would be so expensive, but with the cricut anything goes!

  3. That is so clever! What a great idea!

  4. I think the tree turned out simply wonderful. I love how you finish out the story and not just have the few elements in the tree. What a fun tree and exhibit ;- )

  5. I haven't heard about that book before. You have certainly covered the storyline perfectly with your decorations. The museum is so lucky to have you. Beautiul tree Diane. I hope you are having fun.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I love to hear from the people who read my blog. I moderate all comments to keep spam off the blog without making you decode the squiggly letters so your comment may not appear immediately.