Thursday 10 December 2015

Christmas wreath ...

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la ...

Yesterday I had a very merry morning over at Osterley Park doing a Christmas wreath workshop with the lovely folk at the National Trust. And this is what I produced:

We started off with an empty, hollow donut of chicken wire that looked like this:

We threaded yew tree cuttings through the wire to turn it into a nice bushy donut. The trick in successfully completing this stage of the process is to use loads of cuttings and to thread them all in the same direction so that you can wire them evenly, smoothly - and all in the same direction - into place when you're done.

One discovery I made was a wonderful wire called moss wire, which we used to tidy up the shape of the foliage donut when we'd got all the yew cuttings in place. It's pliable, but strong enough to use for a job like this, and came in a shade of green that perfectly matched that of the yew. I usually raid Mr B's spools of electric wire (shush, don't tell or I'll be in a heap of trouble), but this stuff was way better than anything I've purloined in the past. We wrapped the wire around and around and around the donut to tidy the shape and hold everything together ... turning this ...

... into this ...

And then we got on with the serious business of adding decorative foliage ...

... with some lovely pine cones that had been wired with floristry wire, and some slices of dried oranges and bundles of cinnamon sticks.

This is how my own creation looked when I got it back home and laid it out on the garden table. 

As a final finishing touch I added a hessian ribbon bow. I folded the ribbon over in a double loop, gathered it in the middle with some of wire from home (which was much less pliable and elegant than the wonderful moss wire I'd been playing with at Osterley) and then tied another section of ribbon at right angles to the bow, around the gathered middle section with two ends drawn down to form the loose ends of the (pretend) tied knot.

Using the wire around the middle gather of my bow I wired it to the wreath and I was ready for lift-off. 

The National Trust workshops are perfect for people living in a city who don't have ready access to all the greenery they need to construct a festive wreath. You can find details of all their workshops on their website. I had a lovely morning, with great company,  helpful instructors, loads of raw materials and all the tea I could drink included in the deal. Brilliant!

All the best for now,

Bonny x

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