In 2019 the Stepping Stones Network held their first Festival of Trees Fundraiser. Local designers and businesses created one of a kind Christmas trees to be auctioned off at an event held at the Cuneo Mansion with proceeds from the event benefitting the charitable organization that supports survivors of sex trafficking.
You can find more about the Stepping Stones Network and their mission over here.
When I found out about the event, I jumped at the chance to sponsor a tree.
My dear friend Sherri helped me come up with a theme.
It centered around one of my favorite things, any guesses what that is? I will let you think about it for a minute.
First things first, we need to set up the tree. It was a beautiful 4 ft tree that came from Balsam Hill.
When I opened the box, I was impressed with everything that came with the tree.
There were two pairs of gloves to protect your hands during assembly and opening up the branches.
Spare light bulbs and even a light bulb tester!
The Balsam Hill Christmas tree was super easy to assemble. 3 pieces in graduating sizes that are numbered.
Start with the largest piece and place it into the base.
Then slip the middle piece into the trunk.
Finally, add the top piece.
Once the tree is assembled, join each section of lights before plugging them in to the wall socket.
I always plug the lights in prior to decorating, to make sure they are all working properly.
You don’t want to find out that half a strand has dead lightbulbs after you decorated the tree!
It’s time to open up the branches that get smashed in storage to make the tree look nice and full!
Once the tree branches are all fluffed up, the fun really starts.
I always get a bit giddy because there is so much joy that come with decorating a Christmas tree.
So, did you guess the theme for our designer tree for the Festival of Trees to benefit Stepping Stones Network?
It’s tea time!
Since the tree will be auctioned off, I wanted it to contain little gifts in addition to all the ornaments.
There was the added care we needed to take when decorating the tree, because we would need to move the fully decorated tree to the event location. Once the auction was over, it would be moved to the winning bidders home just in time for the holiday.
I started with the foundation decorations. Some glittery ribbon tied with a few bows and drippy crystals were draped all around the tree and securely attached with floral wire.
I love how the glittery ribbon just sparkles with the lights.
Every ornament was wired to the tree to keep them secure during transport.
First came the antique tea cups. I used a coordinating glittered ribbon to hide the wire that secured the tea cups to the tree.
The focal point of our tree was an antique tea pot.
I used Museum Wax to secure the lid to the tea pot and then wired it to the tree.
Yes, I actually wired an antique tea pot to a Christmas tree.
A antique pink depression glass creamer and sugar were added to complete the set.
Now that the focal points were set, I could start adding more traditional ornaments.
Then added some mercury glass ornaments that were white washed and several traditional glittered ball ornaments.
If you look closely, the “ornaments” wrapped in baggies, you will notice that they are actually cookies.
Because if you are going to have a tea party, you are certainly going to need cookies. Pretty cookies really make it special.
I made sure to include some of my favorite imported blown glass ornaments. They are so beautifully handcrafted, each one is beautifully unique.
The tree was filled in with silk hydrangeas in a coordinating soft ivory and blush pink.
I also used some sparkly branches tucked in the branches around the tree.
Our Tea Time Tree was topped with a crystal beaded snowflake.
If you look carefully at the bottom, I fastened several bags of loose leaf tea to the bottom of the tree (because you can’t have a tea party without tea!)
For a final treat, individually wrapped Victorian inspired cookies were tied with ribbons and wired to the tree like ornaments.
Who else thinks that Christmas Trees look more magical when the all the other lights are turned off, and you just see the glow of the lights on the tree?
I think the tree is ready for its new home, but first it needs to get ready for the auction.
Special thanks to Sherri and her hubby for carefully transporting the tree to the Cuneo Mansion for the event.
The Cuneo Mansion is was beautifully decorated for the Holidays.
Not only did local businesses and designers create beautiful trees, but there were many local businesses present to support the event.
I met the most adorable young woman who owned her own Tequila distillery – FINO Handcrafted Premium Tequila.
FINO – Failure is NOT an option, how cool is that?
They graciously created two signature drinks created just for the event.
There were so many amazing designer trees at the auction.
My darling friend Sherri, who helped design and decorate the tree, attended the event with me.
It inspired ideas for the 2020 event.
The 2019 Tea Time Tree was only a 4 ft tree, next year I plan on at least a 6 ft tree!
I feel grateful to be able to support such an incredible organization. The women who run and support Stepping Stones Network are inspiring, generous of heart and have the most beautiful souls.
You can support the Stepping Stones Network, even if you aren’t local by contributing to the Butterfly Fund.
It was so much fun to design a tree for the event, I am already planning for the 2020 Festival of Trees.
Any guesses for the theme?
HINT: it has to do with the logo for Stepping Stones Network
I am looking forward to the 2020 Festival of Trees, so I can create another fabulous tree to be auctioned off.