I spent a long, busy day decorating wreaths for the garden club. I don't usually do this much physical labor. My back is sore and my left hand is a bit stiff — a little reminder of the tendonitis that hit me on the first day of wreath-making two years ago. My fingernails are black, despite the block of Crisco we use to remove pitch — and the supply of plastic scrubbing brushes that Penny C. of BostonZest.com thoughtfully gave us. There's always a great atmosphere in the church basement where we work, with everyone hard at work — we have orders for about 200 fully decorated wreaths this year, plus a couple of hundred more that just get bows after they're pruned and fluffed.
I made five wreaths today, which makes me a "fast" worker. (I was actually taking it easy because of my hand; I'd normally make seven.) I always take photos because I forget what each wreath looks like as soon as I finish it and begin another. I swear my wreaths look less wild and hairy in reality. My camera isn't kind to my wreaths, flattening their 3D aspects. (Actually, my wreaths DO look kind of wild and hairy in reality. But the garden club ladies keep me around, so I'll keep fooling them as long as I can get away with it.)
This one will hang on the front door of a Beacon Street townhouse, and that spiky stuff is much cooler in person — black Japanese pine, or so they tell me:
This big, all-natural wreath doesn't have a bow, which presents an interesting challenge. It's fully loaded with pinecone clusters (still on their branches), lotus pods, rose hips, eucalyptus, and Japanese pine. It's going to Beacon Hill:
This equally loaded but smaller wreath is for the same Beacon Hill customer. I prefer wreaths without bows. Tomorrow, I'll need to revisit that big spray of pine on the upper left. It was added at the end of a long day and looks like it needs trimming. Right now, I am going to put on more hand cream and go to bed.