Well, that was fun! I made 26 wreaths this year, including eight today. I'd begin working on one order while my gold- or copper-sprayed pinecones were drying outside in the alley for another order. By the last day, we're running low on all the best materials unless we managed to hoard them from earlier in the week — and keep everyone else from poaching them as soon as we go home. Lots of hunting, foraging, bargaining, and trading is going on by the middle of Day 4.
Here's today's product:
This customer gave us a faded photo of a wreath from a previous year so we could copy it — an unusual, somewhat scary request. We didn't have all of the original materials but we did have the ribbon and the pinecones and pods. As I was adding the holly, the customer turned up and made me stop before I added some greens and glass balls, saying she said she wanted it as it was. I love a happy customer.
These copper wreaths will be hanging on our street. I'm not a big fan of copper, or sprayed pods and pinecones, but the customer wanted copper, so I went bananas with spray paint for maximum impact. I wanted these to look splashy from the sidewalk; I've noticed that wreaths with lots of little items don't make much of an impression until you're practically at the door.
My next wreath was for indoors, and "designer's choice," meaning I could do anything I wanted. I'd been wanting to use this gorgeous, "indoors-only" ribbon all week. It's thick and glossy, with shiny gold beaded edges. There was enough yardage left for one wreath. When I tied it on, I wanted to stop right there. "Designer's Choice!" I said in triumph. "I'm done!" "Oh no you're not!" said the Wreath Police, reminding me that the customer was paying $75. So I proceeded to tart it up:
A little more than an hour later, it was covered in golden-brown pinecones, green and purple eucalyptus buds, and sprays of gold "pearls." I think it turned out well. This is my kind of wreath: lush, simple, and old-fashioned.
The order for this one called for these glittery red bows and all-natural materials. At this point, we didn't have much around besides holly and pinecones, and those weird yellowish pods. (There are other, more-fragile materials that other people use freely but I end up destroying whenever I try.)
This pair will hang on Beacon Street. They are for one of the leaders of our club — in charge of critiquing every wreaths to make sure it's up to club standards. So no pressure.... She'd picked the bows and I chose the rest. I used the last of our coolest pinecones, which had fused together in interesting clumps on rugged branches. I sprayed them gold, and added cedar, eucalyptus buds, rose hips, magnolia leaves, and glass balls.
And then it was nearly 7 o'clock. I went racing from the church basement to have dinner with my husband at a quiet little fondue restaurant on the other side of the neighborhood. I'd been looking forward to it, since I love cheese, chocolate, and playing with my food. (Plus I could sit down!) I was still dressed for dirty work, in a long flannel shirt and leggings, and my fingernails were black with pitch, but I didn't care.
I'd made our reservation via OpenTable.com, and then changed the time so I had an extra hour to work... but when we got there, the place was dark with a sign on the door: "Closed for Renovations." What the heck? We went to an Italian place instead, which was crowded and too noisy for conversation. A quiet restaurant is a rare thing in this town; don't ask me why.
My husband told me I had glitter on my face.