Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wreath-Decorating: Day 4

My hand was a bit swollen after yesterday's wreath adventures, so I limited my morning activities to pruning and fluffing up a half-dozen wreaths that were getting our signature big, beautiful bows and nothing else. It's fun, easy work, and I often think that a good balsam wreath only needs one of those bows to look stellar and all the other stuff we add is extraneous.  However, after four days of sitting on the bottoms of our tied-up stacks, the Day 4 wreaths often need a lot of help to look good. Among the last wreaths are the ones everyone kept rejecting earlier in the week. But foofing and manicuring can work wonders and it's my special gift.

I fell into a routine of eating one of those two-bite cinnamon rolls from Whole Foods after each wreath was finished. I'd take it upstairs for the delivery people and pass the rolls on the breakfast table on my way back to my table. Since I finished six wreaths in the morning, please do the calorie math for me and tell me if my old  J. Crew matchstick jeans will still fit me tomorrow, or if they'll be unbearably tight and relegated once again to the depths of my closet. I was amazed to find that they fit me last week, despite everything I ate on Thanksgiving and my recent discovery of the Trident's Cape Codder sandwich (turkey, cheese, and cranberry mayonnaise on grilled challah — and hold the bacon for mine but give me sweet potato fries). I was so delighted to zip them up easily after a couple of years of it being a very iffy proposition.

In the afternoon, I decorated just one wreath and took it slowly, to spare my hand. I used velvet-covered wire to wrap the boughs, pinecones, etc., onto the wreath instead of my usual weapon: sharp wooden picks with fine wire. This is harder for me to do but less painful for my hand, and it results in a wreath that doesn't have pointy wooden picks hidden within it that can stab unsuspecting wreath handlers. It's a better way to work, but much slower and more cumbersome. But I can see the writing on the wall, and it's written with my sore left hand.

This wreath has a spectacular pleated gold bow that called for more gold in the wreath. I'm not a fan of a lot of glitz so I just used several gold-sprayed pinecones. I added plain cones, and a base of light green incense cedar, which has golden buds that harmonized with the bow. Some chartreuse balls added a little understated sparkle. I think it came out well, and I'm glad I managed to make 18 fully decorated wreaths this year despite my "battle injury."

Now all the leftover materials are packed away until next year and you'll start seeing our signature bows as you stroll around Back Bay, Beacon Hill and the South End. I know some of the addresses where my wreaths are hanging and I look forward to visiting and foofing and fluffing a little more.

In other news, it's time I got down to the business of my next writing project for the MFA, which is due in about two weeks. I'm hoping to have help not only from Possum but from Harris and Toffee. I assume Harris is learning about art history from Possum since they spend so much time together. And I've been reading to Toffee about Gauguin and he purrs, so that's an excellent sign that he has an interest.

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