November 19, 2008

How To Make A Christmas Wreath

I think wreath making at Christmas time can be a great family activity and tradition. Tramping around outside is good exercise and shaping the wreath, choosing and making the bow satisfies an urge to be creative. Having said that, I always make the wreaths alone as no one else in the family has ever been particularly interested in participating. So it has become a solitary ritual that gives me great satisfaction when I look out and see the fir wreaths around the property throughout the winter. (I don't take them down after Christmas but make them part of the winter landscape.)
Yesterday, I wound my way through the wooded areas of our property to collect balsam fir tips to make this year's Christmas wreaths. I always cut the tips carefully to preserve the shape of each tree and never take more than I am actually going to use.

Today, as the first snow storm of the season developed outside, I began making wreaths on an old work table in the basement, using wire rings recycled from last year.

I bundled fir tips (about seven per bundle) and fastened each bundle onto the ring with a couple of twists of florist's wire.

The finished wreath is hung on a basement post to check for symmetry.

I make new bows or recycle them from the previous year - a fairly good quality wired ribbon bow can often endure a couple of Nova Scotia winters! The choice of color and style bow depends on the location of the wreath - on the split rail fence "up back", on the lattice work of the deck, on the front door, or on family gravestones!

I chose deep cranberry red for this wreath as it what I want to see when I look out the kitchen window at the wreath on the split rail fence.


movita said...

Dear Rosie Beaucoup,

A**face crushed my wreath with his golf clubs last year. (He sucks.) Any ideas for a new wreath to be placed upon my apartment door?


Rosie Beaucoup said...

I have another eucalyptus wreath if you want to go that route again - add a ribbon and pink or red berries?
I saw contemporary wreaths at Zellers that reminded me of you - silver metal super thin needles with blue beady berries - very chic. Early Christmas gift?
How about a circular montage with photos of all your ex-boyfriends. It could double as a dart game after the holidays...

movita said...

Okay, the dart game is obviously your best idea, but I should probably hang that in my bedroom.

Do you think if I hang the eucalyptus wreath that A**face will be tempted to destroy it? I hope not. Maybe we should go with that in the name of recycling. And it does match the 1980's Miami Vice carpet in the hallway...

Thanks Rosie Beaucoup - you're the best!


Mr. Otherford said...

If I were in Halifax I, too, would be lobbying for a fresh wreath. But why must there always be death/graveyard references? And why would a man be moving golf clubs around in the dead of a Nova Scotia winter?

So many questions.

-A confused Ontarian.

Rosie Beaucoup said...

Ah, well, you see, 'tis a province that remembers its dearly departed! Not "out of sight, out of mind" for DownEasters - they remain with us to either haunt or delight!
One year, we had a very, very young friend visiting. I loaded her in the car with wreaths for my parents' grave, their parents' graves, and my sister's grave. As we drove along, a solemn, tiny voice drifted toward me from the back seat of the car:
"Rosie, is there ANYONE in your family still alive????"

Mrs. Otherford said...

I've made wreaths with grapevines before. But you could also use just plain old long, bendy sticks. They don't look as refined as the lovely evergreen wreaths here, but they have lots of character.

Just hack off a bunch of vines or sticks and start twisting in a circle. They look all crazy and witchy, but you can gussy them up with little fake birds from a craft store (which I am obsessed with), or lovely ribbons, etc.

Rosie Beaucoup said...

Now that is the thing about the Otherfords. They live in a chic urban condo in the middle of Canada's busiest city and connect with the publishing, academic, business, and arts world but Mrs. Otherford can still share tips on wreath making, active clothing for outdoors, and how to introduce livestock to the dinner table. They are amazing!

movita said...

By livestock, I'm assuming you mean Grammar the Cat.