Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wreath Week with the Garden Club: Day 2

Whoops, where did the time go? Things have been busy around here, due to some extended-family issues and getting ready for Christmas. But here are more wreaths:

Another all-natural outdoor wreath. The blue buds are eucalyptus. They are pretty but they smell like cat pee (not that I would know) so they are only used on outdoor wreaths. I also used pale green eucalyptus berries, pinecones, cedar, rose hips, yucca pods, and another woody bud that I can't identify:


I learned a trick late last year that I remembered this year. I discovered that photos "flatten" the wreath in such a way that I could see where the wreath needed pruning and shaping, easily accomplished with my pruning shears while it's still on the easel. I used to take a photo right before carrying the wreath upstairs to our holding area. Now I study the photo and make adjustments before I call it finished, and the wreaths have much nicer shapes.

I also started taking more detail photos because I think they are pretty.


Because I was taking it easy due to the osteoarthritis in my thumbs, I didn't do a lot of matched pairs. But I couldn't escape entirely. Back Bay has a lot of double doors, and we get a lot of orders. The problem with doing them isn't so much that they are twice as much work; they can take less time than decorating two different wreaths because, once you've got a plan, you just have to reproduce it as a mirror image on the other wreath. The problem is that, often the second wreath isn't as cooperative as the first. So, to get the same item to stay in place and look right, I often need to use more force, and that's what can hurt my hands. With just one wreath, I can readjust my design a little if the wreath "objects" to my inserting a florist pick in a certain place. With a matched pair, there's much less wiggle room.

The bows on these wreaths are edged with tiny gold beading, so I used gold "pearls" along with sprayed-gold pinecones, lotus pods, and yucca pods to play up the ribbon, although this customer doesn't care for a lot of glitz. Shiny magnolia leaves always look nice, when I remember to use them. I also used yarrow, cedar, and some spectacular holly that showed up in a shopping bag that morning.


I like surrounding my bows with big pinecones:


My final wreath was for a building where one resident loves glitz and another only loves all-natural wreaths. They both want the wreath to make an impact when viewed from the sidewalk. The bow that was chosen was brilliant red with shiny polka dots, so that provided plenty of splashy color and sparkle right there. Last year, I used some spiky, glittery gold sprays on their wreath and they were a hit, so I did it again. Then I added loads of two-tone cedar, light-colored pinecones (for visibility), and holly to pick up the red in the bow. And for a little more gold: clusters. of tiny bells, which will make a sort of faraway, silvery jingle every time the wreath is moved. Opening the door of that building should be fun.


It had rained on Monday, and our wreaths were still soaking wet on Tuesday. This helped keep them fresh and moist during the week, but the water sometimes ran down my easel so it seemed like the wreath had drooled or had an "accident." Usually it had dried by the time I was done working and took the pictures.
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