An Evergreen Idea

A Whitman resident drew inspiration from discarded Christmas tree stumps to make ornaments.

Dominique Colanero has prided herself on being sporty for virtually her entire life. That affinity has helped the 24-year-old to pursue a burgeoning career at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation. As December dawned, though, she discovered an enthusiasm for art. Her newfound talent has been making locals happier this Christmas season, thanks to ornaments that take their inspiration from an unlikely source.

“It all began very recently,” the Whitman resident said of her November 30 date with destiny, “and I’m glad that something so unexpected has been able to bring joy to people.”

On that day, Colanero and her boyfriend ventured to a New Jersey-based Home Depot for a Christmas tree. She found it puzzling when an employee asked them if they would like to keep their evergreen’s stump.

Colanero became curious about potential uses for the customary throwaway item. She brought it home and soon initiated a side gig through which she is “tree”-ting the masses: painted ornaments fashioned from slices of the stump. Colanero is offering 11 original designs and as many customized concepts as people can send her way.

“I come from a big Italian family, so I thought my relatives would be the main ones who’d buy everything, but they’ve become pretty popular among everyone,” Colanero said.

Her artwork includes ornaments with text, such as a “Let It Snow” creation, and others with seasonally-inspired drawings like snowflakes and peppermints. All are proficiently painted on first the giveaways from Home Depot and then supplemental finds at A.C. Moore.

“The pace has been crazy so far!” exclaimed Colanero. But, she adds, “Working on these has become an additional way for me to experience Christmastime, too, so I’m fortunate that these have gotten such a nice reaction.” The Ss. Neumann-Goretti High School and Immaculata University alumnus plans to develop other crafting skills after the holidays.

Colanero, who noted that people can contact her through Facebook to set up orders, concludes, “I never would have thought anything other than purchasing a tree would have come from going to Home Depot that night. However, I’m glad that something else did.”