wreath evolution

Growing up, my mom had a little cave-like space off the garage that she used to create wreaths and sprays (non-circular wreaths, basically). She spent hours at a time messing around with dried plants, her clippers, metal wire and a hot glue gun. My mom and a couple of lady friends would put on an annual holiday “boutique” filled with hand-made treasures of all kinds: silver jewelry (I still have a silver bracelet my mom bought me nearly 30 years ago), confections, clothing, toys, glass ornaments, and wreaths, of course, among other goodies. Even I got in on the action, baking “Hum Yum” brownies and boxing them neatly in parchment and tying with a festive ribbon. I sold them for $5 a box.

My mom sewed, baked, and made her own screen prints long before the maker movement became a “thing.” She is the O.C. (Original Crafter) in my life, and my source for answers to tricky crafting (and especially wreath) questions.

But I never thought I would grow up and make wreaths. Until recently, I didn’t even like wreaths that much. Wreaths are often cheesy and lame, created with plastic holiday-themed trinkets and fake garland. But, like Luke Skywalker, I had to accept my destiny to become who I was meant to be: a wreath maker.

Luke Skywalker

Fall and spring are the busiest seasons for my regular (i.e. paying!) design work. Summer and the holidays… not so much. I like to be busy, and I go nuts when I don’t have projects to dig into. So I channel my energies into home projects and making during slower work times. I experimented with using sparkly things to create a glitter ball wreath and played with yarn-wrapped wreaths that I saw all over Pinterest. I even made a wreath out of Sweethearts. Then I came across a hip and modern wreath here (which was inspired by this one) and decided to make one like it myself (for mom, of course).

Multicolor Felt Wreath

Multicolor Felt Wreath

This process of making these felt wreaths is very repetitive, and thereby a bit therapeutic. It’s also an opportunity for “distracted engagement” while the kids are doing homework. I started selling them on Etsy, and since have shipped wreaths as far as England, Canada and Australia. It feels like validation of my craft and also financially supports my “hobby” (which, considering it’s barely a break-even, is how I like to look at it). The great thing about not being motivated by profit is that I am accountable only to my creative self. I can make whatever I want! It’s a bonus if someone wants to buy the outcome of my labor; it feels like an honor if another human being wants to hang my work in his or her home.

Lately I’ve been making felt “petal” wreaths. This one is for Easter:

Easter "Petal" Wreath

Here’s a close-up:

Easter "Petal" Wreath Close Up

I’m also super excited to create some of the cool wreaths found in the Wreath Recipe Book, written by a couple of talented plant lovers at Studio Choo, that I received as a gift:

The Wreath Recipe Book

What I love about the wreaths in this book is that they feel organic but modern, like me! Maybe this “recipe” book of woody, wonderful creations will provide new material for the wreath evolution. Bring on the wire and twine… it’s my destiny to wield a glue gun.

spoon butter

I got a fancy new Montana-shaped cutting board from my man for Xmas. I love it, but the wood seemed a bit dry and vulnerable to the kitchen elements. So I did a little research and found a recipe for spoon oil. Spoon oil (or spoon butter) is a mixture of beeswax and mineral oil used to treat and {READ MORE}

resolutions

My New Year’s resolution is to wash my face every night. Just kidding. My New Year’s resolution is to be brave. I don’t mean cliff diving/rock climbing/swimming with sharks brave; I mean internally brave. Vulnerable. Living in NYC has made my outer shell even more thick and crusty than before. This place hardens you to the {READ MORE}

nesting

“They want to eat pizza,” my man calls after a session at the batting cage with the girls. “They are begging me.” “Go ahead.” I tell him. “I’m totally nesting and shit.” What is it, this nesting? For me, it’s finding, collecting, creating and adding shiny and lovely things to my nest. Rearranging, and making everything neat and {READ MORE}

1970s Counter Stools

I am super excited to have these vintage stools at my kitchen counter. A friend gave me a pair of old 1970s stools during an ambitious house clean-out. I’m normally not a ’70s person, veering toward the more minimalist aesthetic of the 1960s. But I really like the design of these stools; they are comfortable while not {READ MORE}

Best Antiques in Missoula

Small towns in the United States tend to have great vintage goods for reasonable prices. And Missoula, Montana is no exception. A visit to Missoula is not complete until the local antiques stores have been thoroughly perused and the best treasures have been snatched up. One of the reasons I like to buy antiques is that older things are generally made out {READ MORE}

Oh, Missoula!

We arrived in Missoula, Montana for the summer awakening this year. Flying in at midnight, the girls and I felt a chill in the air and a barely perceptible mist, rare for the dry climate. By the time our man arrived a few days later the thermostat had risen to 90. I quickly caught up with my friends’ sandal-tanned feet {READ MORE}

crush(ing) my gaming addiction

It’s a big joke these days that we are all glued to our phones. But it’s sad commentary on the human condition that we simply accept that people no longer make eye contact with the barista when ordering Caramel Macchiatos at Starbucks. (I wonder if the diminishing of eye contact will have a real, societal effect. Someone should do a long-term {READ MORE}

vintage metal outdoor chair redux

Remember this chair? You know, the one I bought with grand ideas of refurbishing it myself? Yeah, that chair. After scraping the flaky paint and rust spots off as best I could with a wire brush, I wondered if this was a job I could accomplish myself. There was a lot of rust still on the chair, and {READ MORE}

When inspiration (doesn’t) hit

As all creative people know, the waxing and waning of inspiration is a part of the deal. You can force it, but why should you (unless a deadline looms)? Instead of trying to coerce yourself into creativity, or beating yourself up for a lack of ideas, take the opportunity to be lazy. Watch an episode of “Mad {READ MORE}