My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Looking Back

All the Christmas cards have been blogged about.  I think my grandfather would have been proud.  Eight of the cards were originally grouped together and put in a frame.  This picture was taken about ten years ago.
One of the most enjoyable postings I did was about my DAR job and I was looking forward in sharing it with my fellow DAR co-worker and friend who shared the love of genealogy with me, she is the one I wrote about at the end of the first paragraph.  Prior to Christmas I wrote her an email, and never heard back, so I contacted another former DAR employee to see if she knew anything.  This person began wondering about our friend, and called her house.  She soon wrote me telling me that Bonnie died on November 27th.  Her obituary stated, "She was passionate about genealogy."  Yes, that is my friend, she was passionate about genealogy. I had a little smile along with my very sad feelings on the inside.  Bonnie, I will always treasure our time together, and you will be missed.

Les Larrabee whose blog is A Bit of the Pieces went back to the West Plainfield Cemetery in Plainfield, Connecticut and took more photos for me.  Per my blog I Did Everything Right, but Couldn't Take a Photo! I failed in the picture taking department.  He sent me new tombstone photos on December 7th.  The most startling thing was, I saw that the Bishop names were on two sides of the monument, and not as I had them listed, all on one side.  He was smart enough to take the photo at an angle, showing both sides with the names.  I learned a lesson here, always include an angle shot.
A trip to the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) on Dec. 29th for research accomplished what I wanted, that is finding several sources.  In addition, I made a side trip to the Boston Public Library for some information, which will be used in an upcoming blog article.
 After my post of December 8th regarding Anne Dudley Bradstreet, I realized I hadn't entered sources for her in my genealogy software.  Fortunately, I discovered the source copies in a pile of her file papers.  So, 10 years later, I am doing now what I should have done a decade ago.  Writing about my ancestors is giving me a second chance to see what I am missing in regards to sources, see if I should add anything else, and also make any corrections.  It is pretty embarrassing because my entire file is on and I do not want to appear as one of those individuals who doesn't use sources.

The month of December was filled with wonderful blogs about Christmas traditions.  Although, I didn't participate much, I sure enjoyed being on the receiving end and I will remember many posts for years to come.

On Dec. 29th, I noticed that hit 40 million entries.  The day before, it was at 39 million, I sure would have loved seeing the number change.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Robert Chapman
Moodus Cemetery, East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut

Born:  April 19, 1675, Saybrook, Middlesex Co., Connecticut
Died:  December 04, 1760, East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut

He and his wife, Mary Steevens, were my 7th great-grandparents.
Mary Steevens Chapman
Moodus Cemetery, East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut

Born:  December 03, 1674 at Killingworth, Middlesex Co., Connecticut
Died:  June 05, 1764 at East Haddam, Middlesex Co., Connecticut

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Christmas Gift from the Newberry Library

Imagine my surprise when on December 23rd I received an email and attachment of a beautiful photograph, an oil, taken of my 2nd great-grandfather, William Frederick Poole, the first librarian of the Newberry Library.  When I poured through some Poole papers in November, I realized I still didn't have a copy of his portrait which is hanging on a wall in the Library.  Immediately, I became a "Facebook fan" of the Library, thinking I could make a connection with somebody who lives in Chicago and who wouldn't mind taking a digital picture.  No connections were made, so I wrote the Library, only to get a reply that they would be glad to do it, but I would have to fill out a form, and pay $20!

Yes, I was a little miffed, because I wanted a cheap digital shot, nothing formal, and I didn't want to pay the big bucks.  When I wrote them back, I pretty much stressed that.

Well, as I stated above, I received a copy of the the photo and a very nice note.  I was also given permission to post it in this blog and share with anybody I wished, just as long as I credit the Newberry Library.  Very nice gift.

Note: Diane MacLean Boumenot wrote an excellent blog about her trip to the Newberry Library. You really get a feel for it, plus she had some nice surprises for me. Please see her One Rhode Island Family post, A Visit to the Newberry Library.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wedding on December 25, 1888

I love this tree and think it goes well on this post for the Victorian Wedding of my great-grandparents on Christmas Day.  (Used with permission from Thomas MacEntee.)
Marriage Announcement of their Christmas Wedding, Dec. 25, 1888.

Everett R. Bishop
Mira J. Kilborne
Tuesday, December 25th 1888.
New Haven, Conn.

At Home after February first, 1889.
40 Walnut Street
New Britain, Conn.

Marriage Certificate for my great-grandparents.

Christmas Card #22 #23 The Last Two (now in his mid-80s)

You didn't think he wouldn't do a genealogy tree, did you?
And the artist in me, couldn't even white-out the names.

The last card.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - James Bishop

James Bishop
Grove Street Cemetery, New Haven, Connecticut
James was my 7th great-grandfather.

He was lieutenant governor of Connecticut in 1681-83 and deputy governor 1683-1691
Born:  About 1625, Kent, England
Died:  June 24, 1691,  New Haven, Connecticut

A few weeks after posting the above picture, taken in 1999, I noticed that Rob Johnson had a nice marker in front of the above stone. He gave me permission to post them to this blog. See FindAGrave for all the photos.

James was not listed on my Cemetery List because I wasn't organized enough or I just forgot to list him.  That is what happens when your photos are in many files and boxes.

From Wikipedia---
"Bishop was very involved in the early governments of New Haven and Connecticut colonies, serving at various times as deputy to the legislature, colonial secretary, clerk of court, assistant judge, and sergeant in the New Haven militia. Bishop served on the Committee on Indians in 1668 and later served on the wartime council in 1673-1676 that dealt with King Philip's War. Finally, Bishop was lieutenant governor of Connecticut in 1681-83 and deputy governor 1683-1691."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Advent Calendar - December 21, 2009 -- A Church, A Chapel and Music

This post was originally going to be the photos of the Church and Chapel my grandfather, an architect, designed, but I always think of music in them year round, but especially at Christmas. So, this has become my creative way of combing the two.  I have no memory of my immediate family ever listening to holiday music, but I sure do now.
Ah, the music, one of my most favorite things about Christmas. And, way before the month of December, you will find me playing my Christmas music. There is no one favorite song, I like the traditional, as well as the more modern songs.  I usually start with my record (yep, a record) and play Handels "Messiah." Then move on to a few cd's, and for a number of years, I would buy a new one each year. I have ones by Neil Diamond (2), Elvis, John Tesh (2), Celine Dion, Dolly Parton, Charlotte Church, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Sanders Family Christmas, and throughout the year I will play Trans-Siberian Orchestra music, really, really loud. The Sanders Family Christmas album is actually from a wonderful Christmas play, a musical. The play was presented at our local Repertory Theatre about seven years ago, and was so popular; it was brought back the following year. The neat thing, for me, was at that time I was a volunteer usher, and ended up seeing it about 12 times!

Recently, a friend said she doesn't like Christmas music! That is hard to understand, I can agree with not liking snow, the shopping or the cooking, but music…it is so innocent, and best of all, it is free. Our local radio station plays it 24/7, and wherever I drive, I am in heaven.

While I can't carry a tune, and never sing in front of anybody, I belt out the tunes, esp. when I am at my beloved computer listening to my Christmas tunes on ITunes...what an invention is that. Several years ago, I got out a lot of the Christmas cd's from the local library and copied them to the computer, saved a lot, and had a ball. Now, I will pay for some, and recently added "White Christmas" and "Last Christmas."

Whenever we visited my grandparents, classical music was always on.  No wonder, he was an organist at his church for many years.  And, he could repair them as well.  Truly, a man of all trades.  I got my love of classical music from his house.
Church (Univ. of Connecticut) designed by my grandfather, photo bef. 1930.
Photo taken about 11 years ago by a relative, and used as a Christmas card.

Lester Larrabee of  A Bit of the Pieces provided the link to me.

Inside the chapel.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Advent Calendar – December 20 - Religious Services

Lexington Green in Massachusetts, with the church I attended for eight years.

The question for today's Christmas Memories is, "Did your family attend religious services during the Christmas season? What were the customs and traditions involved?"
When we moved to Lexington, my parents decided to attend this Church, it is called The First Parish Church; then a Unitarian Church.  My father was an Episcopalian and my mother a Baptist, so they chose this Church.  I attended Sunday School, and my mother was a Sunday School teacher.  My father never went, except on Christmas Eve.  That was very special, because not only because we got out at night, we got to see the children's play of the Birth of Jesus.  Lots of happy people everywhere.  I think the program began at 6:30.
Below is a photo and information from the Church's website.

Our Historic Building

"In the 150 years we have occupied this meeting house, it has been a constantly changing place, expanding and evolving to meet new and changing needs of the congregation.

The town meeting house, built in 1692, was originally set on the Common. In 1713 (the year Lexington was incorporated) a new meeting house was built. This building housed small bands of militiamen and held the bodies of the dead after the Battle of Lexington on April 19, 1775. In 1794 it was torn down and replaced by a new building.

In 1846, after extensive and expensive repairs, the third meeting house burned to the ground on the night before it was to be rededicated. The congregation voted to locate the new church off the Common. Isaac Melvin was hired for $125 to plan the new building, which was to be completed for less than $8000. Pews were auctioned off to raise money for the building expenses."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Advent Calendar -- Christmas Happenings

To write about something I remembered about Christmas, as a child, is rather hard, because I have so few memories. Surely, nothing worth sharing.  And, as a teen, I do remember some things, but those events aren't worth sharing either. I only have three memories as a child.  First, on Christmas Eve we opened gifts from our relatives, they all lived so far away, and therefore all gifts were mailed. I don't remember Christmas Day; it probably was like any other day. Second, we did have a tree, but I don't recall ever decorating it. Third, my sisters were six and four years younger than me and always received more gifts because of Santa.  One Easter, my mother called me into the living room where she was writing a letter, and told me there was no Easter Bunny. To which, I replied, "Does that mean there is no Santa Clause?" Her reply was, "yes" and that was that. (Note: The above flowers are the Santa Clause Shasta Rose.)

As an adult, I made the best of Christmas in my own way.  I took a number of day trips with girlfriends or boyfriends to New York City for shopping, usually for myself.  I loved Saks Fifth Avenue store (photo on left), and Macy's. 

My first year in Virginia was in 1974, and I went to Washington, DC to see the National Christmas tree for the first of many times. This photo was from that trip.  A very nice Christmas memory.
Because I worked so close to this location both at the DAR and Veteran's Administration, I also saw several of the First Ladies place the top decoration on the tree.   They were lifted up in a cherry picker.
My ticket stub from 1982.

For many years, I went to the Christmas Tree lighting, and was always able to get a ticket.  Fortunately, I worked a block or two away, so it wasn't a problem getting there after work.  One year, after the ceremony, I was walking towards the White House, on the way to get the Metro.  And, in front of me was Amy Carter, 6" away. Before March 1981 (when President Reagan was shot), it was pretty easy to get into any government facility, including the White House, without a pass. So, for several years, I would walk over there during my lunch break, and stroll through the President's house during the Christmas season.  It was so beautiful, and I never any lines to deal with, no long security checks, the guards did just a quick peek into my handbag.

Once I married, my husband and I had very nice Christmases and one year we took one of our many trips to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia just before Christmas. It was special because we spent two nights there during the Christmas season, sharing Williamsburg traditions from the 1770s. I wish I had pictures, but don't.  Maybe you could enjoy their site Williamsburg at Christmas  However, I did take the below photos during the day. The entire town was decked out in decorations. See the Colonial Williamsburg webcams at Colonial Williamsburg webcams.

Katharine Hepburn and my DNA

Back in September 2009, the New England Historic and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) send out a notice in their weekly email newsletter with a request asking readers if they would like to participate in a genetics research study,  provided you met the criteria. The screening and research was to be done by Bryan Sykes MA PhD DSc, a Professor of Human Genetics at Oxford, England.  Professor Sykes

The email message stated that Professor Sykes was interested in identifying documented descendants of early (pre-1700) immigrants to New England – and the more lines of descent from early New Englanders the participant has, the better. When I read that, I was thought I might qualify.

First, he wanted our name, town and email address. And, a brief summary of my New England ancestry including the patrilineal and matrilineal elements. Hum, elements, I wondered about that. He wanted an estimate of the percentage of my pre-1700 ancestors who lived in New England. If I met his criteria, I was to email the information to Dr. Sykes in England, and let him know that I would be available to meet him in Boston during the week of September 14–18.

Since I have a lot of old New England Ancestry, and wanted to participate in his study, I dashed off a quick email. I told him that I had 2064 direct ancestors, and that my parents both had New England pre-1700 roots, surnames BISHOP and POOLE. I wasn't able to give him the percentage though, but gave him an attachment of 52 pages with all the names. I guess I thought he would be able to figure it out.

He quickly wrote back saying, "Dear Barbara, Thank you very much indeed for volunteering to participate in my New England DNA study through NEHGS. I would love to talk with you at the Society on Tuesday and perhaps take a DNA sample. Please let me know if that is still convenient. Kind regards, Bryan Sykes"

So on Tuesday, September 15th at 11:30 I met him and his assistant (his charming collage age son), in the Board room. After I gave him additional information, group sheets and such, he said he was going to tape the conversation. Hum, well ok. But I wondered what was I going to talk about? I knew nothing about DNA. He wanted to know about my genealogy research. Oh heaven, now I was happy. Turns out I managed to ramble for a good 45 minutes all about genealogy and how I got started in it. After my talking, I realized that the saddest thing was, I hadn't even googled his name prior to the meeting. I had no idea how well-known he was. But if I had, I might have been a little bit intimidated. So ignorance was bliss in this situation, and I told him. I felt very foolish because I hadn't done any research on him first, and surely didn't ask a single intelligent question. I learned an important lesson that day.

Once my chattering was done, I answered more questions, and filled out a release form, he brought out two DNA test kits. I was glad I passed the oral part. One test was the simple swab swipe. As for the other, he told me it cost close to $300 and that he was giving me the name of Katharine Hepburn for my identity on the DNA kit. He asked what my favorite movie of hers was, and I couldn’t think of one! And I am a true movie lover. After the testing, he gave me a copy of his book, "The Seven Daughters of Eve" and autographed it. When all was said and done, I had my picture taken.

After the appointment, I spent the day in the library, and while there, I googled his name. Maybe he didn't care that I was so ignorant, he was looking for somebody with my kind of roots for DNA analysis. I sure hope my samples helped in some way. It wasn't until later, that I heard about 200 people replied to him. I am indeed very fortunate to have met him, to have the experience, and to have the autographed book. And now, I know a lot more.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Edward Bull

 Born:  September 12, 1682 at Dunington, Stow, Gloucester, England
Died: August 30, 1717 at Saybrook, Middlesex Co., Connecticut
His wife was Mary Post (no gravestone photo)
They were my 7th great-grandparents

Cypress Cemetery, Saybrook, Middlesex Co., Connecticut
His stone is in the front.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Best Christmas Gift (DAR and Genealogy related, of course)

It was in December, I had only been working at the DAR for about a month, but when she walked in, I was soon in shock. I was presented a large white box about 20" x 14" and tied up in a big red bow. What could it possibly be? It was as light as a feather, and when I shook it, there was a rustling noise inside. With my few quizzical looks at her big smile, I realized it was indeed for me. A quick pull on the ribbon and pushing apart the tissue paper revealed a mass of papers. Some not the least familiar to me. She had done generations of research on my family! A few weeks earlier, I had provided her with a six-generation ancestry chart, done by who knows who in my family, which showed most names and years, but there were also lots of blanks. It was all she needed.

My very new friend had spent a lot of time doing my census look-ups, not on mind you or a computer, but by the old fashioned method. She made some actual copies of the censuses and a timeline of censuses for a good many ancestors. Some I never heard of! I can't remember how many sheets she did, but I am showing an example below. I am so glad I saved a few of her original work. I hadn't even gotten to that point yet in my research, so she had to explain the timelines. Where we worked, all the censuses for New England were housed in one room, so she didn't have to leave the building. Except for the 1920 for Evanston, Illinois, which showed my father at age 1, that she made a special trip to the NARA in Washington, DC. I was indeed blessed to have this genealogist friend do this for me.

In addition, there was a 27 1/2" x 24" ancestry chart, for nine generations filled in with all the information she found; names, dates, and locations! There were no genealogy software programs back then. Looking back, I marvel at her dedication and all the time it took to do this. Almost immediately, I made copies of each section of the huge chart, constantly reducing the size, and then taped it together. Eventually, I got the chart to an 8 1/2 x 10 size, which I carried with me for years, as my point of reference, copy is above.

For many years, I kept the box, but three years ago, it just fell apart. However, I have her original chart, my small reduced one, and several copies of her timeline of census records.

It is indeed the best gift ever, something totally from the heart, and didn't cost much, except for her hours, and hours and hours of time. Thank you, Ann.

In the past 20 years, I have run into her at a national genealogy conference and at least three times at the NEHGS library in Boston. I am sure she has never forgotten that gift to me either.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A Bradstreet, A Dudley and Royalty Part 3

Portrait in Westminster Abbey
Thought to be of King Edward I.

Learning about my Royal connection came about rather unexpectedly. My first genealogy related trip to the FHL at Salt Lake City was in 1999 when my husband and I went with the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) tour group.  The days were filled with research and some lectures. We were given a tour of the city, which included seeing where the 2002 Olympics were going to be held, something I enjoyed visiting.

One of the highlights was my one-on-one consult with Gary Boyd Roberts, from NEHGS, whom I already knew.  Armed with my family group sheets, another sheet with my "brick walls"  and a four page listing of my surnames (see example below), all were prepared a good six months earlier. Gary's eyes flew down my list of surnames, and with the fastest hand I had ever seen, he quickly made notations of where I could find additional information.  He rambled off all kinds of facts, and even noted that I had several Royal lines, but I wasn't too impressed, because I had decided to concentrate my research in the states, not in England.  For Anne Bradstreet, he jumped up and ran over to his book, located in the nearby stacks, and opened it to show me my lineage to King Edward I.  Ok, that was nice, was my attitude and still is.

It is a good 10 years since that visit, and I had completely forgotten all about Anne's ancestry, until I went through my file on her for this 3-part blog.   I do remember though, that in that same one hour meeting, he told me that Princess Diana and I shared the same ancestry, and Gary then solved one of my brick walls.  That wall led me to discovering I had a Mayflower ancestor, John Alden.  Now, that I liked, and I will cover it at another time.

With my good fortune to meet with Gary because I was able to save probably hundreds of hours of research time.  It is one of the best reasons to use a qualified genealogist if you can afford one. And a great benefit if it is included as part of a tour package. I am looking forward to using a professional at the NGS conference next year in Salt Lake City to help me solve another "Brick Wall." I hope. (Note: I went three times alone after that first trip.)

Copies of his book, which were made in Salt Lake City.

Below, the Bradstreet and Dudley names with Gary's notations.  The RD pertains to his book, Royal Descents (above), and the AAP refers to his book, Ancestors of American Presidents

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Bradstreet, A Dudley, and Royalty Part 2

Anne Dudley was born 1612 at Northamptonshire, England.
She died September 16, 1672 at Andover, Essex Co., Massachusetts.

She married Simon Bradstreet about 1628 in Hardingston, England.

As mentioned in Part 1 Simon Bradstreet and Anne Dudley were my 8th great-grandparents.
And, Randy Seaver's 9th great-grandparents.  So yes, he and I are cousins.

It is unknown where she was buried, but on September 16, 2000 there was a memorial marker placed in the Old North Parish Burying Ground, Andover, Massachusetts.  She lived in Andover at the time of her death. Her husband, now remarried, was buried in Salem, Massachusetts 25 years later.

Anne was an extremely well known poet, and I found this site listing some of her poems Anne's Poems.
I was at this cemetery on Sunday, December 6, 2009 and there were major changes.  Many of the old trees were taken down, and now there is just a field of very old cemetery stones trees in the background.  Since it was bitter cold with snow on the ground, I took a few pictures, but will go back later when the weather is better.  I am very glad they are working on the cemetery, and wouldn't be surprised if they find more stones. Previously, the cemetery was hidden within the trees. I have another direct ancestor buried there.

There are two entries at FindAGrave for Anne Dudley Bradstreet, one is Anne Bradstreet and another for Anne Dudley Bradstreet.  Clearly the same person, but both are listed in different cemeteries.  However, the entrance plaque reads, "This Burying Ground was laid out about 1660 for the First Church of Andover."

Article written by Mass Moments, "Memorial to Anne Bradstreet Dedicated" September 12, 2000.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Bradstreet, A Dudley, and Royalty Part 1

Simon Bradstreet and Anne Dudley, they were an early original power couple.  Why?  Here is a Massachusetts Governor, 1679 to 1686 and 1689 to 1692, who married into a well connected family, and she became the first American Poetress, and whose ancestor was King Edward I, (and I just found that out the other day).

Simon Bradstreet and Anne Dudley were my 8th great-grandparents.

Simon born abt. March 18, 1603/04 from Horbling, Lincolnshire, England.
He died March 27, 1697 at Salem, Essex Co., Massachusetts.

Buried at Burying Point Cemetery also known as the Charter Street Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Salem, and the second oldest known cemetery in the country, started in 1637.

Additional photos can be found at  There were many photos already posted, but I thought I would show mine.

A lot has been written about Simon, as he was one of many important men in Massachusetts history.  A quick google check will give you all the facts, 64,000 hits as of today.

My family group sheet for Simon and Anne Dudley is below.

Christmas Card #6 1930s

Another card with a scene in England.  I don't know if they vacationed there during the holiday season.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Dear Genea-Santa

On Saturday, December 5, 2009, Randy Seaver decided to play Genea-Santa.  He wrote (in red) my replies (in green).

"Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission: Impossible music), is to write a nice letter to Genea-Santa Here are the directions:

1) Write a letter to Genea-Santa and ask for only ONE thing. It could be hardware, software, a missing family Bible, a record that you desperately want, etc.

Dear Genea-Santa,

How nice of you to give us an extra day to prepare our reply.  My mind has changed many times while trying to decide on One Thing.  Where was your sympathy?  It is like having one M & M or one chip.  Still it has been fun dreaming of something, even if the wish doesn't come true.  However, it was easy to eliminate all the material items, as they could be attainable.  I want all "brick walls' solved, so I can't just single out one to discuss.  So after a lot of thought Genea-Santa, I would love to have lots of free time to do my research, perhaps an additional six hours a day.

2) Tell Genea-Santa what a good genea-girl or genea-boy you've been this past year and give examples.

Genea-Santa, you already know how good I have been, even tho others might go on and on about how good they were, I was the best.  You already know I don't like competing or hooting my own horn, but I have helped about 100 people this year with their genealogy research, And, I love reading your genealogy posts.  What other qualifications do you want to hear about?  Isn't that enough?  In closing, please grant me my wish for an additional six hours of free time, after all, it is free.

3) Exhibit your posts on your own blog, in a Facebook post commenting on this note, or in a Comment to this blog post." 

Genea-Santa, this was posted on my blog, "Life From the Roots."

Thank you, your little genealogy angel.

Christmas Card -- 1930s

My grandfather absolutely loved England, and went many times.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Card -- 1928

This card is also a birth announcement for another child.  The sisters are shown with their brother.  My grandfather probably had the cards completed before the birth, and wrote in the name and date.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Advent Calendar - December 3 - Christmas Tree Ornaments

I don't have any memories of the ornaments on my parent's tree. Back in the mid-60s I became interested in the ornament kits I saw in a catalogue. After making a few, I ventured out on my own and did my own designs. Even made frequent trips to NYC to buy a large supply of sequins and beads. I made so many, that I eventually sold some at a craft sale and gave them away as gifts.  My goal was to stop doing them in 2002, during the Olympics at Salt Lake City, and I did. Each of the mid-size ones took three hours, and my largest a little over four hours.

The tree, not the best picture, but I am sure it was up straight. We always got a real tree, and once cut one down.