Saturday, November 22, 2008

Wreath Day, part 2

I got a later start than intended by half an hour... K needed something and then I got halfway down the driveway and had to come back for my wreath forms. Headed out under the just lightening skies, with a brisk wind and barely visible bits of snow blowing and swirling in the road.

As I got to Bangor, there was a bit more snow visible and when I left the interstate to head into the area where my friend lives, the farther I drove the more snow I found. Before I reached Washington county I was in line following the snowplow, though there was only about 2" on the ground, giving the Subaru no problem. One by one we each passed the plow and when I crossed the county line, came onto already plowed road.

I met Robin's husband's truck just leaving their road as I turned onto it. His tracks were the only ones through the snow, and then mine heading in. He had called her on his cell and she was expecting me when I drove into their drive. After a potty call, coffee and conversation we headed into the woods to "tip" trees. Gathering greens for the wreaths is actually fun, even if the ground is snowy and the snow obscures all manner of stuff upon which you must tread. Next time I will take one of my walking sticks I think. It will make this crone a lot more sure-footed.

We broke off bits of branch, gathered into the gunny sacks we were toting and while we worked, kept eyes peeled for a good Christmas tree to come back for later.

Robin's wreath forms were very different from the ones I had -- one old one that has seen many seasons and two newly bought from JoAnnes. Mine had three circles of wire, shaped into a not-quite-flat form; hers (bought in bulk from a professional wreath supply company) were a single strand of wire, slightly wavy around the circle. Hers made it easy to make double sided wreaths; mine was designed for one sided ones.

I learned that professional wreath makers do not afix each individual branch to the form, like I had been doing. Instead, they wind the end of wire, from a largish spool, onto the form and then gather several layers of brush together, lay them on the form and wind the stem end tightly to the form with several winds of wire. The next "hand" of brush is assembled likewise and wired on, spaced to cover the previous wiring, with a continuous wire wrap. It goes amazingly quickly, which is how folk can afford to sell home made wreaths for $7-10, as the signs along side the road were saying.

In no time at all I had completed my two small and one large wreath. I was planning to stop and look for ribbon on the way home but in the end, put that off until my next trip to town on Tues.

We went back into the woods after lunch with my old saw to find the tree we had spotted for me to cut, and Robin dragged it back to the car for me. I was lucky in that we cut one that was able to be -- very carefully -- pulled, pushed and dragged into the Subaru, AFTER I had laid down the seats and gently bent the top around by the passenger seat window. The butt end was in the opposite corner of the back, but it fit.

I stopped and gifted another friend, who had hoped to go with me today, but was unable to, with one of the small wreaths and on Tuesday, after I have added a bow and possibly other decorations I will ship the large one to the Museum in NC where I will be attending their Waterfowl Weekend (with Christmas theme decorations) Dec 5-7, a gift from "up east" to "down east."


Tali said...

any pictures? they sound beautiful. I have made wreaths from vine and let it dry, then decorated it, with mikkee burton. but never a green one. I wish I could for the front of my house.

Jj Starwalker said...

I'll take pix once I have the bows and decorations, if I add any, on them.