Friday, December 17, 2010

Fire hazards Make the Best Centerpieces...

We went out for a lovely and loooong hike on Gold Mountain the other day. Every time we stopped to catch our breath, Dave would admire the view - I was bent double with my hands on my knees trying to suck in oxygen(there's more of it at lower altitudes so I figured closer to the ground would help).

With my gaze fixed on the ground at each of these stops (all 123 of them in the 3 hour hike) I noticed that were a lot of really cool branches on the ground.

And really cool branches make really cool candle holder centerpieces...

I confess, I have probably been somewhat influenced by the 17 hours of HGTV Christmas decorating I have watched in the last week...they were all about bringing the "outside in."

As luck would have it, last winter a huge tree fell down in our backyard. I know most people wouldn't think that was lucky but I'm making holders.

A huge ice storm actually pulled it over exposing the root ball.

Now Dave wanted to hire someone to chop it up before we got a ticket from the county for the fire hazard. But we own a chainsaw and I wanted to do it myself!

So I did.

Then I removed the stump - which took 17 hours of digging.

The stump was out and I still had all my limbs - it's Miller time!

Then I set it all out by the street for the county chippers...except they didn't take all the big branches.

Back to our hike - by the end of it I was too weary to even pick up one branch to bring home - but I noticed yesterday that the chipper guys left some branches under the trunk pieces...and they were the perfect size for centerpieces!

The branch possibilities...

So a quick trip to the hanger for some quick chopping.

You have to love a good chopsaw!

Scratch the "quick trip" - since I locked my keys in the hanger, Dave had to walk down to the airport in 30 degree weather to bring me keys. He was less than thrilled.

Back home, it was time to drill. I don't actually have a vise so I had to hold the branch between my feet to drill with two hands.

If you don't have a vise - rubber rain boots work in a pinch.

But the results are lovely...and a fire hazard...perfect for holidays on the edge!
So pretty!
Another HGTV success story...assuming I don't burn down the cabin!

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