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My Cat Rufus: His First Christmas or
            Why I Never Used Tinsel Again

Rufus and I spent a lovely evening decorating our first tree together. It was an enormous amount of fun, as only a kitten can make it. Everything was delightful, every piece of ribbon or tinsel, a cat toy to be attacked with complete abandon.

Rufus and tinsel

It was the beginning of our favourite Christmas ritual. Rufus removed the ornaments just slightly more slowly than I hung them. Eventually the tree was done. It would be redone every time I returned home for the rest of the Christmas Season. His was a real talent. He could remove ornaments from the top of the tree without bringing the whole thing down. Magic, I suspect.

All was well at our house......until a couple of days later. Rufus was strutting around as only the king of his kingdom can, when I noticed dangling from his bottom was a piece of Tinsel, a kitty Doo-Doo delicately attached, dangling from the end of it. Not my idea of pretty.

We were lucky, it did not kill him, but it put the fear in me.

I resolved that tinsel would never again grace one of my trees.

I also decided that there would be no more of those wire ornament hooks, all my ornaments have string loops. The sharp hooks just made me nervous.

                                             The Problem:
I love Tinsel on my Christmas Trees

I remember as a child, my mother teaching me to hang it just right. In those days tinsel seemed to be heavy and fragile, like it was made out of lead. It hung perfectly vertically, and that was how I liked my tinsel. I had a whole year to ponder this question. My tree would be naked without tinsel.

The Solution

Really, I just needed something that would sparkle and hang vertically, so why not strings of sparkly beads. I headed out to the craft supply store and found some faceted clear plastic beads. I bought 2 shapes because I thought that they would sparkle more, if the string of beads was more irregular. It seems to work.

The bead strings I developed, to keep Rufus safe have turned into a tree ornament that I would always choose ahead of tinsel. I once gave a set of these bead strings to a friend who recently said to me that they were her favourite ornament and that she had used them in many different ways. She even mentioned combining them with feathers.

Close-Up of Bead Strings

Craft Supplies:

I threaded the beads, alternating the two bead styles, into lengths varying from 12" to 24". The more strings you have the better it looks. If you wished you could try a set of 12" strings to see what they look like.

Mustaphia loves Christmas Trees Too

To finish the bottom I looped around the bottom bead and tied a knot at the top of the bead. I added a tiny spot of glue to prevent the knot from coming undone.

To finish the top I looped around the top bead, and then use the end of the thread to wrap around the tree branches.

The Christmas Tree lights reflect beautifully through faceted beads.

Mustaphia, the Barbarian Queen
loves Christmas Trees as much as Rufus ever did.

****************************************************
My bead strings have sentimental value, but if I was going to redo this project I would search the Internet for the best price for Crystal beads and do them in crystal. They would be gorgeous. I would be torn; the temptation would be to do a tree with a color theme, using pink, purple or blue crystals.

I would also do more strings. To me more sparkle is always better.

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email: suze@fabact.co

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Cheers

Suze