My house is still a mess, but the tree is done, as is much of the indoor decorating. I am currently relaxing next to the tree, with a fire in the fireplace, and a glass of wine in hand.
It's pretty sweet. (The setting, not the wine. I hate sweet wine.)
My least favourite part of decorating the tree is the bead garland. Around here this garland is better known as "those God-forsaken beads." Sometimes the language might be a little saltier in fact.
The beads seem to have a mind of their own, and, if not properly managed, they manage to cascade themselves all over the floor. That is,if they haven't already gotten themselves so tangled up you begin to start eyeing the scissors sitting with the wrapping paper.
But those scissors may in fact be just what you need.
Here are just a couple of tips that I find help me to cope with the wayward beads.
1. It is perfectly ok to cut the strand of beads into shorter, more manageable lengths. You can loop the strands on the same branch to "join" them and keep the flow looking right. Once the tree is done and the lights are on, no one (except maybe that friend with the Martha complex) will notice what you have done.
2. It is also perfectly ok to not bead the back of the tree, which no one sees anyway. Looping the long string of beads around and around the tree is probably the most difficult aspect of this operation. Unless you've got a helper. Which never happens in this house. The top of the tree should be properly looped, but always use your shorter strands for this. Once you get down to the area where part of the tree almost touches the wall or window, simply reach back part-way, then loop around a branch and double back. No one will notice. Honest!
3. I find it easiest to keep the strings of beads in a zipper closure baggie. It's easier to hold onto while hanging the beads than is the tube they originally came in. Plus, to make it even easier, wear an apron with front pockets, and you can slip the baggie in there to give you two hands free to work with.
4. And finally, aesthetic tips. Be sure when you are hanging your beads that you stagger the pattern. If the row above is hooked up on a branch, make sure you loop your beads down under that in the next row. If you are using two colours, never hook the two strings up on the same branch.
If you use beads on your tree, I hope this made sense and will help you. Do you have other tips to share?