Creating your own natural Christmas wreath.

IMG_6478Now Christmas might only be 13 days away, but it’s never too late to add a little more festive jazz to your front door (if you haven’t already). While there are some amazingly creative wreaths out there, think brightly coloured baubles, painted feathers & pompoms. I must admit to preferring those that are a little more rustic and show off nature’s bounty at this time of year.

I’ve wanted to create my own wreath for several years, but it’s one of those things that I’d never got around to doing or thought I’d left it too late and instead just admired friend’s and neighbour’s ones from afar. I did toy with the idea of signing up for a workshop, but decided to save myself the £30/£40 and make one myself. I may well indulge for next year, as florists are always going to have a good selection of flora & some good tips to make an interesting wreath. But if you’re prepared to dry some flowers or pick up a few extra bits, yours could be just as jazzy and if you invest in a good willow/wire ring you can reuse it year after year without needing to pay anyone else a penny.

The hunt for a wreath ring turned out to be the hardest part, I knew I didn’t want an Oasis one (that nasty green plastic foam stuff that crumbles when you look at it & makes you itchy). But that’s all the local florists seem to stock. I managed to find a wicker one online at Wilko (click picture for link), but they didn’t have it in my local store.wicker wreath

When asking around, a friend suggested a just make one with bendy twine, so that’s exactly what I did …

Luckily for you, I also remembered to take pictures, so here’s my easy step by step guide:

What you will need:

  • A pair of scissors or secateurs
  • (Optional) An accompanying friend, dog or toddler
  • A bag or a basket to carry home your flora
  • Garden gloves (to protect your hands from spiky stuff)
  • Selection of evergreen cuttings
  • A few bendy stems or twigs (or a willow/wire wreath)
  • String &/or floristry wire
  • Ribbon
  • Christmas wreath door hanger
  • Cup of tea & a mince pie, optional.

 

  1. Find a friend to go foraging with and head out into your local neighbourhood, park or garden to hunt down some green stuff. Don’t forget a bag or basket to put your natural decorations in, secateurs and garden gloves. look out for bendy branches/twine if making your own ring. Here’s some of our final haul:wreath greenery
  2.  Find some bendy branches or twine. I used these green stems cut from our winter flowering Jasmine plant in the garden. Bend to form a circle and tie with pieces of string or florist wire (I didn’t have any florist wire initially so used small pieces of string). IMG_6431
  3. Take extra stems and weave them in and out of the circle you have made. Securing in place where necessary, but once you’ve weaved a few you’ll find they’ll secure themselves. Take a sip of tea and a bite of mince pie. Trim off any ends sticking out. IMG_6438
  4. Start layering your greenery on top of the wreath to see what works together. I used conifer as a base all the way around and then layered a few different textured and coloured evergreens around the circle. If you have some spare christmas tree trimmings, you could use that to make it more ‘bushy’. At this stage I was attempting to use unfolded paper clips to attach the branches as I didn’t have any floristry wire, this worked ok, but didn’t look great. luckily a quick trip to a friend’s house solved that (thanks Chella!). I didn’t fasten the branches too tightly as I wanted a few bits trailing to give a rustic feel. Continue drinking tea & eating mince pie …IMG_6441IMG_6446
  5. Add the final flourishes, or rearrange if you’re not happy with it. For a simple, but effective wreath, try and keep the colour scheme to one or two colours, in addition to the green. IMG_6464
  6. Add a sprig or two of holly and a ribbon and hang your wreath on the front door using a wreath hanger (or you could use a long ribbon). I cut a triangle out the ends of the ribbon to add a bit more detail, but it also looks good without.IMG_6466IMG_6481IMG_6484

 

So there you have it a simple yet effective Christmas wreath for next to nothing! It could also easily be done in a couple of hours. I’m quite proud of it for a first attempt and already have some ideas for next year …

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Under the glass dome

Autumn is upon us and it’s a time for change. For months I’ve been staring at the glass dome in our kitchen-diner thinking I could be much more creative with it’s display, but couldn’t think of anything outside the obvious. It’s currently used to display a bird ornament and while it looks cute, I feel it could be much more striking. I was hoping an amazing idea would spontaneously appear, but no such luck, so I’ve decided to search for inspiration.

Originating from 17th century Italy, the glass cloche was used to protect plants from frost, whilst acting like a miniature greenhouse. The idea soon caught on and spread across gardens in Europe. Today they have moved indoors and become an interesting way to display flowers, books, crockery and other objets d’art. They can be a great way of adding personality or creating a seasonal display within your home and many retail spaces also use them to display their wares. They obviously lend themselves to the kitchen for food storing purposes, but don’t be limited by practicality; they really can be used anywhere.

The displays I’ve been drawn to range in style from intricately beautiful and kitsch, to traditional and more natural. I also love the idea of changing them with the seasons. So to coincide with the arrival of Autumn, I’ve included some creative Autumnal displays. There are so many interesting ones I haven’t yet decided which is my favourite, but I hope to try out several of them!

I hope you like some of the ideas below and I’ll be back with an update when I’ve found one that suits my style.

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Source: toy carsdeutinkamer, mediacache, cotton reels, dilcdn, rootedintime, bymildred, finehomedisplays, rowenandwren, lifechilli, forodecoracion, decouvrirdesign, juxtapoz, raisingmissmatilda, notonthehighstreet, white-living, theloopyewe, bhg, davidstarksketchbook, designsoda

Chalkboard Art

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A few weeks on from the completion of our chalkboard pillar and it’s become a useful kitchen feature. Shopping lists, reminders, growth charts and personal messages have all found themselves exhibited on the pillar at some point. Having proved its usefulness, I am now keen to treat it more as a work of art and have been searching for designs to create an impact. Although not alien to drawing, I am not a spontaneous doodler and need a source of inspiration to follow.

With the rise of the hipster cafe and the blackboard wall, there are a multitude of funky graphics and quotes out there to draw on (excuse the pun!). I’ve gathered a few of my favourites below, which I will be narrowing down and trying my hand at in the near future … Let me know if you have a favourite chalkboard design.

Many of these can also be purchased from Etsy as framed prints, so if you don’t have room for a chalkboard, you can still create interest in the kitchen.

Kitchen themed chalkboard art:

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I’m loving this balloon themed artwork.

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Bicycles make interesting art:

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Quotes can be motivational and inspirational:

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Chemical formulas and symbols can also make interesting displays:

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Source: shutterstockEtsyEtsyEtsyEtsyEtsyEtsyInstagramFineartamericanrdcEtsy

Snap happy

After a couple of busy weekends, arranging a house warming and being reunited with our Scotty dog Daisy, I’m back online and have some exciting interiors to share.

One of my current interiors projects in our Melbourne home is to create a photo wall. So I have begun building a collection of beautiful frames to display family photos and things that remind me of home. I’ve always wanted a photo wall, but never been quite sure where to start. It can be hard to get the proportion of different sizes and colours right, without looking too planned, so I’m taking more of an ad hoc approach and adding frames as I find them.

This is what it looks like so far, although it is very much work in progress.

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In order to gain some ideas to inspire me, I’ve been researching photo walls and interesting ways of displaying photos and here’s what I’ve found …

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