There’s a new trend in town and it’s beautiful. At this time of year instagram fills up with Christmas trees and some of them are lovely but, to my mind, the best tree is the one that holds the most memories – clay figures made by your children at nursery, crackers made from old loo rolls and tinsel and a collection of baubles that you have gathered over the years. That doesn’t always make for the most beautiful tree. But, oddly – for me at least – the co-ordinated, symmetrical trees feel slightly soulless. And for those of you who live on instagram, they are an absolute bugger to photograph with all those twinkly lights.
Enter the mantel garland. And boy have there been some stunners this year. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t recreate one of these if I tried. And I was asked by the editor of Red magazine where I write a monthly column. Not me, I said, I’ll stick to the words mate. You want that Melanie Lissack and I’ll write about it. And so I showed you Mel’s last week but since then some other, absolutely breathtaking, examples have sprung up.
And I wanted to show you them here. Firstly, because I know not all of you “do” instagram and yet you might take inspiration from these and want to have a go at recreating your own. Secondly, because on instagram all that beautiful work will disappear in a few days as the images get pushed down the grid and, unless you can remember the name of the person who created it it’s all but impossible to find it again.
So, I have collected them here. Because each one took hours of time and creativity and I think they should have a place where they can live and be admired for ever just a google search away. And also because I will always advocate a blog as a place of record over instagram, to which all of us who work in the digital sphere are bound in a furious relationship of co-dependency from which we cannot escape.
Anyway, breathe… and moving on. These garlands look incredible. They don’t have to be full of of memories but can co-ordinate with the room, your outfit, the current trends as you wish or you can ignore them. They can be full of candles and lights, or flowers and ferns, or as this incredible blue one below, made entirely from paper. And that means you can leave the tree to the children and not have to redo it as soon as they have gone to bed because you have your beautiful mantel garland. And you know who you are that do that.
Now for those of you who don’t have fireplaces, these can be adapted to sit on shelves, around mirrors, on tops of cupboards. While some of them drape along shelves, some are triangle so could be made to sit at one end. You can just take the idea and run with it and if you’re afraid you’re just not that creative then look at the bathroom one by Nikki Bamford-Bowes – some branches and a ribbon. Even I can do that.
All I ask is that if you do have an instagram account and you do feel inspired then make sure you tag the person who inspired you. Now who’s going to have a go?