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Sep 29, 2011

...my fairytale olive tree ~ a tutorial

...hello sweets!!

i have been in the mind-set of "re-locating" this week
~ i am at the beginning stages of it

lots-o'-reflecting time
and although i am not usually one to panic,

i believe someone has hit that button!

it has kinda been like looking up the side of mount Kilimanjaro
and thinking to yourself,
"i'm supposed to climb up THAT????
surely you jest!"



maybe it's not that bad...
but there are a LOT of details that need to fall into place,  
and a peace of mind sure sounds good to me right about now!!

and you know what?
it is true what they say ~
be careful for what you ask for!!
'cause you just might get it!!

(stay with me, this post gets better!!)

this is what i have been creating in the studio this week

~ my fairytale olive tree ~

i have been thinking ahead for the holiday's
as we are set to move around the end of the year
(didn't ask for that, just how it's shaping up to be!)

so in trying to prepare for the festivities NOW,
i made a list of things i'd like to create.
on the top of my list was

(suspense sound!)

an olive tree!

as i am constantly dreaming upon the pages of Jeanne d'Arc Living magazines,
i couldn't help but notice
that photo after photo,
 there is always an olive tree or a rosemary plant!

and as i have alllll the "rosemary" i need
it was an olive tree that i desired for my very own 

but alas,
there were none to be found...
so i looked online...

yah ~ no!
not going to spend upwards of $80 - $ 150 for a plant
and a silk plant to boot!!

so you know me,
i simply made one instead!

and you can too!

sooooooo easy i tell ya'!

you may want to make a few:)
perhaps for holiday gifts?!?!

so without further ado

here is my "fairytale olive tree" tutorial

* supplies needed *

~ lovely urn to suit your fancy
~ an urn decorative adornment
~ liquid nails to glue on urn adornment
 ~ 3 olive branches from Michael's Craft Store
(see below)
~ 1/8th yard of lace yardage
~ silver glass glitter
(if you're going for the fairytale look!)
~ 1 graceful Mary paper doll
~ a roll of florist tape
~ paint for your olive trunk and olives
(2 complimentive colors)
~ paint brush
~ mod podge OR elmer's "no run" school glue
~ toothpicks

i started with my urn adornment
i found a few of these fabulous rusty metal decorations at "Tuesday Morning's"
they were in the Christmas ornaments section
and two were sandwiched together on one ornament
i wanted the back part flay to go against my urn, so i pulled them apart

which made it much easier to shape and bend
against the contours of my urn

then i glued it onto my urn with liquid nails glue
 which, by the way,
would you believe that
i found my urn at the thrift store!!
 from the moment i spied it with my little eyes
i was taken with it's awesome texture
and knew that someday, i would find the perfect place for it in the land of odds!


here is the info on the olive branches from Michael's
they are in the "Mediterranean" collection
and the day i purchased them
they were on sale for 1/2 off
(Michael's was the only place i could find ANY olive stems what-so-ever
but you may be able to find them elsewhere in your area))

this is what the olives look like

but being that orange doesn't go with anything in my home,
i painted the orange ones with
folkart's "mushroom" color

once they were dry,
i took off the painted olives
so i could cover them in lace!
hence the "fairytale" olive begins
as i have never seen a lacy olive

have you??

i poured a little mod podge (or glue) over the lace that i had cut into squares

i then enveloped each olive into a square of lace
and then tied each one at the top with gossamer, silver thread strands
~ as, i am part crow and like some sparkle!

this was a little messy because your fingers get covered in the glue,
so keep a wet rag handy to occasionally wash off your fingers.

are they not lovely lacy olives??!

next, i removed the darker green olives from my stems
leaving only the black ones left for contrast
and placed them on the ends of a toothpicks
so that i could paint on the mod podge (or glue)

and dust them with more fairytale magic ~
silver glass glitter!!!

i.  love.  this.  stuff.

it makes anything you put it on ~ instant glam!

notice how i said "dusted"
i still wanted parts of the olive's color to peek out from beneath the glitter.
to accomplish this ~
simple hold your olive that has glue on it
over a bowl and sprinkle on the glitter,
twirling the toothpick around as you sprinkle.
(as opposed to dipping the olive into the glitter
which would give your olive a heavier coat of glitter) 

let these sparkly olives dry on wax paper
while you assemble your olive trunk.

to assemble your trunk,
grasp all three olive stems tightly
and begin twisting the florist tape around and around
working your way down the stems
all the way to the bottom.

i wrapped my stems up and down a total of 5 times for two reasons
one ~ to secure the three stems together
and two ~ to give my olive trunk some thickness

when my trunk was completely wrapped
i painted it with the "mushroom" color i used on the olives

when that coat was dry,
i brushed the Martha Stewart paint color "lake fog" over the first coat in random places
using your paint very lightly to give some variance in colors as a tree trunk would be

let dry.

then i used one of my hand dyed, sea silk ribbons
to wrap my olive trunk in a ballerina slipper fashion
to add romance and whimsy in an unexpected place

and since this fairytale olive tree was Jeanne d'Arc inspired,
i attached one of my Graceful Mary paper dolls at the bow

to place your new olive tree into your urn
use a piece of florist oasis foam 
fit it snuggly into the bottom of your urn and then
slip your olive trunk into the foam.
i then covered mine with tiny gravel
for a realistic effect and to help support the trunk and to keep it in place

i adore how my fairytale olive tree turned out!

and am charmed by the meaning behind the olive tree!

did you know that
olive trees originally grew by the sea
(well, that explains my draw towards it!!)
and over the years, the olive has been the symbol of peace,
wisdom, glory, fertility, power and pureness.
the olive tree and olives are mentioned over 30 times in the Bible?!
it is one of the first plants mentioned in the Bible,
and one of the most significant.
 it was an olive leaf that a dove
 brought back to Noah to demonstrate that the flood was over!

so my dears,
the only thing left to say is:

peace be with you!

sharing this tutorial with:
My Shabby Streamside Studio's: Holiday Decor Showcase
French Country Cottage's: Feathered Nest Friday
Freckled Laundry's: Air Your Laundry Friday
Romantic Home's: Show and Tell Friday

i hope you have enjoyed this fairytale olive tree tutorial
and are inspired to make one for your very own!

here's to fairytale whimsies!


  1. I just died and went to heaven. I've had the same olive tree problem. This is SO sweet. And now it's my next project!

    Thanks for the huge inspiration!



  2. Rosemary,
    Your Fairy Tale Olive Tree is gorgeous and should be in Jeanne d'Arc Living Magazine. It's perfect!

    Rosemary, I purchased all my trees from Home Depot (beginning of Summer last year), I saw them there this summer too, they were $19.98... maybe you can get one for your new place next year. But, you don't really need one now, your creation is over the Moon gorgeous!!

  3. Your olive tree is spectacular and I love that our blessed mother is part of it.
    The colour is spectacular, so soft and pure
    Thank you for sharing. I wish you much success and happiness in your move.
    Helen xx

  4. This is really beautiful! You are very creative & have done a super job.

  5. I love this it is just so pretty and your tutorial is wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing it.

  6. ...and also with you.
    You have really blown me away with this one.
    I'm speechless, amazed, dazed and inspired.

  7. I love olives and olive trees. Your creation is a work of art, but your tutorial is so detailed that I think I could create something similar. Thank you so much for explaining how to make one.

  8. oh, its gorgoeus!!! you did such an amazing job!

  9. Hi Rosemary,
    Your projects never fail to delight me! This is magical, enchanting!! Jeanne d'arc needs to hire you...

  10. OMG Rosemary you seriously blow me away week to week!
    Your olive tree looks stunning and i love the detail on the pot.
    You need your own magazine or show,seriously!
    Saying a prayer for you sweet friend for peace to fall upon you this weekend xxx

  11. Goodmorning Rosemary!This is toooooo fun,thanks so much for sharing this.I plan on making one soon.I love it, a fairytale olive tree.Im greek too we love our olives LOL.

    Have a lovely weekend!

  12. Absolutely lovely! You are so talented. Did you try Stark Bros. for the olive tree? I bought my Meyer lemon tree there for 20 when they are normally 80!

  13. Rosemary, thanks so, so much for sharing your creative genius with us!!! OMGoodness, this is so magical looking for Christmas!!! :D

  14. this is absolutely gorgeous! how creative you are :)

  15. What an inspiration this is!! I love what you've done here and the tutorial is great. You are so very creative. Love the way this turned out.

  16. I KNEW it! The minute I saw the beautiful photo at Courtney's party, I KNEW it was YOU, Rosemary! lol! And once again....I can not believe how much you and I think alike! I've been trying so very hard to create a JDA atmosphere in my farmhouse, and was devouring all of my JDA mags lately to see what I needed to add/subtract in my house decor. And like you, I noticed all of the rosemary, myrtle, or olive tree topiaries! NOW I know what my next project will be! Thank you so very very much for sharing another wonderful tutorial. I adore your olive tree and can't wait to make one for Heaven's Walk! :) Love you, girlie!!! ♥

    xoxo laurie

  17. Charming! Will you put anything around the base of your lovely olive tree or leave as is, which is beautiful?

  18. Love your creativity. What a beautiful whimsical tree.

  19. Your creative genius is amazing. Your olive tree is unique and gorgeous as only you can imagine.

    Since I'm relatively sure that I will not try to make you lovely Seaside Chariot, this will go on my list. It is so inspirational!

    Thank you, Rosemary for linking this most lovely project to Potpourri Friday!

  20. What a fantastic tutorial! Very easy to follow and understand and the outcome is beautiful! So creative and unique!

  21. Rosemary, once again I'm knocked out!! Girl you need to write a book or be featured each month in a magazine or something fabulous, You amaze me each week!!!! xoxo

  22. Excuse me for leaving drool all over this post. hehe. BEAUTIFUL! Those lacy olives make me smile!

  23. That is absolutely beautiful Rosemary! All of your details made it incredibly special too, I love your Graceful Mary doll suspended from the little tree. I'm sitting here wracking my brain for better words to describe how pretty I think it is, but unfortunately I'm too tired, but I do think it's fabulous! Thank you for the great tutorial, t. xoxoxoox

  24. brilliant!

    found you via romantichome and would love to add you as a follower!




  25. Hi Rosemary, I just love your olive tree and all of your pretty details. You are so creative! Thanks so much for offering the tutorial. I, too,
    have a list of crafts to make this season.
    It is stressful to move in December, but I hope all goes well.
    Have a great day!
    ~ Julie

  26. What a lovely, lovely post Rosemary!
    Thank you!


  27. I love your Olive tree what a talented lady you are, your blog is such a pleasure to visit:)

  28. oh my goodness - this is spectacular! you are so imaginative and all these little romantic touches do truly make the topiary seem like something from a dream. it's gorgeous!

  29. I'm not easily impressed, but you definitely did it! What a beautiful tutorial...Thank you so much for sharing!!! I loved every word, every photograph and even the music. You have a beautiful blog!

  30. My first visit here after finding you from Laurie of Heaven's Walk. I am completely smitten with your place over here and will be happily following you. Never even knew what inspiration I had been missing! ~Lili

  31. This is quite lovely. I never knew what an olive branch looked like; thanks for opening my eyes to their beauty. Would you mind if I pinned a picture of your topiary (and perhaps other pix on your site) to my pinterest board? May I say I found you indirectly through someone's pin of an image from a different website that had linked to this tutorial.

    Also, I usually dislike immensely music that automatically plays on websites, but your music is so wonderful that I would really like to find out what the playlist is if possible. It didn't work to click on "music playlist" or "get tracks".

    Thanks so much,
    Melody (I don't have a blog of my own at the moment)

  32. Hi Rosemary, what a beautiful blog. Thank you so much for sharing it. And the sound effects are so calming. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  33. You are amazing!! I love this! And the best part is the meaning behind it!! Thanks for sharing it!!


be kind ~ be graceful ~ be beautiful ~ be you!


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