Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wreathed in Joy

I decided that since I'm going to be around for the holidays, that I might as well go at it with full force! So, I'm participating in all sorts of seasonal activities. Woohoo for Christmas! This past weekend, I went to a cookie swap.<< cookie swap, cookie swap...hoorah for a cookie swap! >> In case you've never heard of one of those before: it's where everyone brings some cookies and you take home all the different cookies that you want to. I made chocolate cookie pretzels and cream cheese crescents and came home with sugar, chocolate nobake, cranberry white chocolate chip, triple chocolate chunk, chocolate cream cheese, and regular chocolate chip cookies. whew cookies!! The sad thing is that three days later there are only 3 cookies left at our house.

My other seasonal activity this weekend was making wreaths and arrangements with the Finger family. For the past couple of weeks, I've had a strong desire to create wreath! I don't know if you've ever had those strong creative urges but I have them quite often...it usually involves some sort of impractical creative project. Thankfully, I was just in time for the Finger family wreath/greens weekend. Two of the women whom I used to work with at Printworks reserve a weekend in December specifically in order to create things for the holidays from fresh greens. So, I got to join in on the fun and learn how to properly construct a wreath.

Here are the steps to wreath making according to Momma Mary Finger:

STEP 1: Prepare your hands!
Slather lotion on your hands and fingers to protect you from the onslaught of sap created by the fresh greens. Put bandaids on your fingers to protect your tender flesh from sharp wires. (you may want to cover your lap with a drop cloth to prevent sap on your lap)

STEP 2: Create a bag o' bundles
This step is the most monotonous one. You gather greens together (pine, boxgloves, etc) and make bundles by twisting wire around the stems. Watch out for sharp wire edges --sometimes they like to bite (like what happened to my thumb! ouch). Bundles greens, bundle greens, bundle greens until you have a brown bag 3/4 of the way full. With your bag o' bundles you are ready to go to the next step!

STEP 3: Attach the bundles to a wreath ring
Take your metal or wooden wreath ring and tie some green string around it. Put your first bundle on the ring and separate the greens in order to wrap the thread around them and then around the frame. Repeat the wrapping of the string at a different place in the greens and then wrap a couple of times at the bottom of the bundle. Take another bundle and depending on how bushy/thick or thin you would like your wreath place it next to the attached bundle on the frame (the closer the bundle is to the other bundle, the thicker and bushier the wreath will be). Repeat the whole wrapping process again and again and again until the entire wreath is WREATHED IN GREENS! when you get to the end, tie your string to the place where the original string was tied on and cut of the extra.

STEP 4: Protect the back
In order to protect the surface wherever you will hang the wreath, you may want to cover the back of the wreath frame. Hot glue small peices of green to the back of the frame.

STEP 5: Embellish the Wreath
Now comes the fun and creative part: Decorating your wreath. Before getting to far along in your decorating, you may want to take a pipe cleaner and create a loop on the frame for hanging purposes. You can decorate the wreath with ribbon, pine cones, glittery decorations, fake berries or whatever you would like. It's amazing how creative you can get with a wreath!

STEP 6: Enjoy it!
Find a lovely spot to display your wreath and it should last until the end of the holiday season. In the end, you can remove the dead greens and decorations and reuse the wreath ring next year.

Yay for wreaths! I ended up making two wreaths and an arrangement that looks like a Christmas tree. I put one wreath on the Ensinger front door and gave the other to my brother and sister-in-law. I still need to find a home for the arrangement because it wouldn't last long in the Ensinger's house with Tony and Aaron the cat on the loose!


Bekah said...

Impressive! Carrie--you're amazing--just the thought of making my own wreath makes me want to scream and run away in fear...

Zoegirl said...

Yay for being crafty!!!

Bekah said...

Hey--it's been a long time since a new entry has been written--not that I won't see you soon, but I keep looking to see what's new...