Tuesday, April 16, 2013

into the wild for wreaths

 This weekend was a big weekend.  I cranked out the exciting beginnings of a new wreath on Friday night.  Saturday we went to my brother's and SIL's house for a turkey fry.  Then Sunday morning me, C, R, Mom, and Dad took a hike in my back yard.   We back up into an unofficial nature preserve.  It's where all the strange critters that visit my house live. 
It's also very wet and wooded.  Back in the day Mom used to make baskets.  She would go hunting for natural plants and trees to use in her baskets.  Mostly grapevine, dogwood, and willow.  She came up with the marvelous idea of me trying to make my own wreaths for my flowers instead of buying them.  So we went on a little adventure.
 Mostly we found lots of grapevine.  The wreaths I buy are made of grapevine, but a very different kind.  The store bought ones have very small twigs and tendrils and are not really woven together.  The wreaths we made with the grapevine we found were thick, and heavy.  Mom taught me how to twine them, I wasn't very good at getting them nice and tight.  She did a much better job. 
 We also found some grey dogwood, red dogwood, and willow.  Dad was able to identify them for us so hopefully I can remember where and what each looks like.  He also showed me how to ID poison ivy when it's in vine form.  Don't want to mistake that for grapevine!  The red dogwood and willow were the most flexible, but that really didn't make them the easiest to work with.  I still managed to snap the few good branches we got. 
Here's me attempting to twine some grapevine.  The grapevine is interesting.  There's really no taming it and getting perfect circles.  You never really know what shape or texture you will get from a piece.  This is kind of exciting.  We just made round wreaths but the idea of maybe a tear drop wreath or even just an abstract shape could be fun. 
We didn't find much dog wood and willow so we were only able to get one wreath out of it.  Below  you can see a smaller wreath toward the right with a touch of red and green in it.  The red is the dogwood and the green is the willow.  I wish I  had more dogwood, red wreaths really appeal to me.  Plus the bark is smooth which I like as well.
These handmade wreaths are a lot more rustic than the store bought ones.  The wreath on the far right (above my foot) is a store bought wreath.  It's lighter weight, probably dyed so that its a darker brown, and it's mostly perfectly round.  Fresh grapevine is heavy, gnarly, and the bark is very loose and looks messy.  I want to spend some time with these wreaths, maybe picking away some of the loose bark and laying flowers on them.  I think there is definite potential here.  I just need time to refine the process. 

1 comment:

nordwolke said...

Strolling in the fields for wreath-making sounds like a lot of fun. I love the pictures!
Snailmail has brought a parcel this week. Many thanks for that! :)