Tis the season to be crafty or so I gather from my friends who all seem to be on Pinterest. I am not sure what Pinterest is because I fear it may be another one of those computer time suckers and I let the computer suck too much of my time now. So for now, I am steering clear. However, on our own both Curt and I got crafty this holiday season. It’s probably because we are cheap or maybe that we have some extra time on our hands (those extra hours I didn’t let the computer suck up!) but for minimal money we came up with some nice decorations.
First was the wreath. We have a large wall in our dining/porch area which usually has a large photograph on it and it has been the place where our Christmas tree usually stands. The picture goes into temporary storage. I have been trying to get away with not having a tree so last year I cut red dogwood, put it in a big vase, with lights and balls on it and called it my Christmas tree. Oh the whining! Mostly from my son -who doesn’t live at home but visits on the holidays- and my mother – who just comes over for Christmas Eve. My mother was so distraught last year she stopped at St. Vincent DePaul and bought a 3 foot fake tree and brought it along. It was one of those trees I affectionately call, toilet brush trees. Lovely. So this year we decided to substitute a big wreath for the tree. We would need one between 28 -36 inches in diameter to look good on this wall. I checked shops in town, too small for anything with natural materials, too fake for anything of any decent size. I checked online. A 36 inch wreath with natural plants would cost me between $50 – $80 before shipping. Curt to the rescue. He first bought a base wreath made of grapevine at a local craft store ($6) and some artificial red berries ($4). Then he walked around our yard and cut red dogwood, grapevine, juniper, yew and arborvitae branches. Stuck the dogwood into the base wreath and wired on the greens and berries. Voilà!!!
My turn. I had recently been to a friend’s house and she had a star made of grapevine hanging in her tree. It looked so natural and rustic and I like the idea of having subtle decorations hanging in trees outside. She had purchased this one but by the time I started searching for items like this they were pretty much sold out already. I forget I have to start planning my Christmas decor about a month before Halloween. Crafty Curt suggested wire stars. To accomplish this in a relatively simple way he made me a board with 5 nails positioned in the 5 points of the star. One for a 4 inch star, one for a 5 inch star and one for a 6 inch star. Then just like you draw a 5 point star with a line, I wound wire around the nails.
So I got all excited, made about 8 stars right away and hung them outside. And ran inside, looked out……and you couldn’t see them at all! Wire stars, even 6 inch wire stars just disappear in all the black sticks and twigs of the tree. Back to the drawing board or rather back to the piles of craft supplies I have amassed over the years where I found a ball of raffia. So back outside, I collected all the stars, roughly wrapped them with raffia and hung them back up. This time they were visible and what’s great is they will look fine through the winter. Chickadees perched near by make them look even cuter.
Are we worthy of Pinterest?
And as to the issue of having a tree this year… will the wreath be a sufficient substitute? Could we put the gifts on a table under the wreath? No. I caved. I went out and got a real 3 foot tree just in case my mother is working on her own craft project with toilet brushes.