Bird seed cookie stars and dehydrated fruit ornaments for our trees both inside and out! Our friends Kelly and Joe visited last weekend and brought with them tree decorations that made our hearts sing. It is by far one of my favorite holiday gifts we've ever been given and we've been ooo-ing and ahh-ing ever since they drove away.
When I unwrapped and opened the box of oranges and pinks, I truly felt as if I was holding a box of natural jewels. The kiwi feels and looks almost like thin glass, the orange slices are leathery, and the white of the dried pear flesh against the thin layer of its skin is perfection -- as if it was outlined with a steady hand. Our friends made sure that each ornament hangs on a loop of wool yarn, ready for hanging. That morning, the children placed some on our (then undecorated) Christmas tree and bundled up to hang the rest on our bare birch and maple.
My favorites: the papayas and oranges
Kelly's favorites: the star fruits and kiwis
Chick's favorite: "If we choose a favorite then Kelly and Joe might feel badly about the ones we didn't choose"
The holiday season can feel like a burst of color and love that comes and goes quickly. When I watch these little guys swaying and dancing on the branches outside it reminds me of how far that burst of kindness and love can travel. From Kelly and Joe's home to my eyes to Tom's eyes to our children's eyes to the tree's branches to the wind to the birds' bellies and nests wherever they might be. It is a gift that spreads joy and love in the truest of ways. And, I know that after the snow melts and mud season begins, we'll find little bits of Kelly's yarn in our grass, which will make me a tiny bit sad, but mostly happy.
Kelly told me that she sliced her fruit thinly with a mandoline, dried them in her dehydrator, poked little holes in the top, and tied little loops of yarn through. It would also work to dry them slowly in an oven (on low heat) or next to a wood stove or heater for a day or so. Don't you feel like dehydrating fruit must be so simple since you always seem to find bits of dehydrated apple and pear under your kitchen table? Or, is that just me? Maybe I should sweep a bit more frequently.
I wish you all a happy (almost) winter weekend.
Labels: crafts, family, holiday, nature