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    Charlie Brown & Snoopy Have Nothing On Isis' Downton Abbey Servants' Hall Christmas Tree

    Bring out your inner valet and come join the servants for tea & Christmas pudding round the tree!

    Lead the way Isis...

    Top of the *Family* Tree

    Naturally the only place for our fearless leaders, Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes (otherwise known in certain circles as 'Downstairs Mum & Dad'). Mrs. Hughes' infamous keys and Mr. Carson's pocket watch were ripe for replication. (The wine is storebought glass from World Market.)

    Also, who remembers what these two crazy kids were up to last year? We should all be so lucky to have someone's hand to hold when we need to feel steady. A shell ornament designed to commemorate a fun afternoon paddling in the sea became quite the loved creation this year. (Even if they have been secretly married since 1914.)

    Carson's Pocket Watch

    I bet Carson wished the hands had disappeared from his watch the day Mrs. Hughes took so long at the village hospital! Bless.

    Mrs. Hughes' Keys

    Easily my most treasured icon in the Downton universe.

    P.S. Anyone who has followed actress Phyllis Logan's career may notice a cheeky little homage to another favourite here...

    Hearty, in more ways than one, Anna

    I know, I know. No show is complete without a little angst.


    LITTLE, I said!

    (This is my not so subtle way of pleading with Julian Fellowes to leave the heart of downstairs alone... at least for half a series anyway!)

    Making Tracks with Mister Bates

    The milk train brought him into our hearts, and an unfortunately vague journey may just take him away again. Stay off the trains from now on, Mister!

    (This train base was purchased from Beverly's. My only add on was a patina finish.)

    Mrs. P

    Oh Mrs. Patmore... I only hope your cooking is a good as your quips & advice.

    This gem required the use of a wood burning pen. The last time I attempted to use one of those, I burnt a hole clear through my floor. (I was 10 and in quite a bit of trouble...)

    You've Come a Long Way, Daisy!

    But you'll forever be my little biscuit snatcher.

    This wreath has been brought to you by holiday pastry cutters, hot glue, and desperation.

    Thomas the Evil Footman/Valet/Butler...

    We learned early on that Thomas' father was a clockmaker. Lucky for Thomas, this gave him not only a skill to flaunt but a roundabout way to flirt with unwitting footmen without giving away any of his sweet cricketing skills.

    Oh O'Brien

    But what of the lovely Ms. O'Brien? Don't quite fancy a cigarette hanging from my tree, and even I realized that a bar of soap would be 50 shades of wrong. So, ribbon lace, pearls, and a thimble it is!

    War Hero William

    What can I say? Life just hasn't been the same without William's sweet, musical, spirit awkwardly roaming the halls and trying to court Daisy. A sweet boy who will always be remembered.

    (P.S. Please visit your father and tell him to marry Mrs. Patmore.)

    Ygritte... I mean, Gwen!

    Gwen was the first maid to decide that she wanted more out of life than to be in service, a theme which has followed Downton through the decades.

    You go be the best secretary you can be... and be wary of anyone with the last name of Snow.

    Starry-Eyed Ethel

    Ethel tore into Downton like a spoiled, lethargic, full of herself hurricane... complete with a huge chip on her shoulder. Like Gwen, she also dreamed of a better life, though her visions included becoming famous and later, simply being loved. She thought she got the love part right, only to be dropped like a hot coal and sacked straight away for her trouble.

    For all of Ethel's brattish beginnings, she certainly ended up enduring her share of hardships and hell. I just hope that wherever she finally ended up that she never forgot her own slice of advice:

    "You've got to have dreams."

    Little Charlie Parks

    The result of Ethel's affair with dastardly Charles Bryant, little Charlie Parks was a rarely seen bairn who grabbed my heart and never let go.

    Besides, in a few years, commander Parks will meet, fall madly in love with, and marry photojournalist Sybbie Crawley. Much to Donk's chagrin, of course.

    Pot-Stirrer Ivy

    Poor naive Ivy. She never meant to cause the odd love quadrilateral that plagued the servants hall for two long seasons, but luckily escaped to America in the end.

    New life, ahead, ahoy!

    Gentle Giant Alfred

    Who didn't melt at the "spoon lesson" scene between Alfred and Mr. Carson in Series 3? Ever the kind-hearted, born without a filter soul, it was hard to believe he was related to one Ms. Sarah O'Brien.

    Thankfully, he didn't inherit the family bangs.

    Beloved Beleaguered Blackmailed Baxter

    When O'Brien ran off to India with Shrimpie & Susan, Thomas recommended a new ladies' maid for the Countess of Grantham.

    Thomas? Being nice? What gives?

    This we still want to know. Baxter's got a secret, and Thomas is using it to blackmail her for all the dirt of the house, upstairs & down. You would think she's Mrs. Hughes or something...

    Merry Molesley

    *Slight characterization spoiler for Series 5*

    In Series 5, we discover that Mr. Molesley wanted to be a teacher! He never managed to sit the exams, but he's a fine man to learn from, even if he does appear daft most of the time.

    His children with Ms. Baxter will be smart as whips... and clumsy as all get out. (Again, head canon. No relationship set... YET.)

    Where's Branson?!

    I had every intent on including our reluctantly social-climbing chauffeur in this project but cannot find a proper automobile!

    I draw the line at pigs.

    If I can rustle up something, I will certainly edit this posting. He has become quite the father and grown ten-fold as a man living in a stranger's paradise.

    If You Take Anything Away From This Post

    I hope that if you find something you love, something that helps fill a hole in your heart, soothe the pain of living, or just makes you smile, that you will not be afraid or embarrassed to celebrate it.

    I hope you have enjoyed this silly little glimpse into my key-filled world. If you would like any information on where I bought the materials to make these ornaments or advice/tutorials, please do not hesitate to ask! You can also find me over at Silly Style Studio

    Perhaps one day, I'll share the story of how I ran away to the UK for a few months, by way of Downton inspiration. Until then...

    - Jen