Friday, December 20, 2013


It's time for finishing touches-- on the house, the gift pile, the card list (there's always those two or three people who send you a card you didn't expect, notice that?) Finishing touches are my favorite part. Yesterday found me spray-painting weeds-- that's right-- and then playing with spray-painted weeds. Somehow it was one of my favorite things I've done this holiday season.

I was inspired by this gift-topper project, though I used actual dried weeds from my fields and garden, not natural floral stems. He-LLO, weeds are free. I used yarrow and Siberian iris seedpods and spirea and just plain old, regular runner-grass (not its technical name) plus some sprays of fake red berries I had, and some real multiflora rose hips, which I use just about every year. 

I made wreaths out of Virginia creeper vine I ripped from of the weeds, which was surprisingly easy. A new tradition, I think. 

When we lived in Binghamton, I used to gripe about how whenever you need something, in a city, the only option is to buy something. I hated that. I missed foraging, though I still managed to find spots to gather cedar and bittersweet and pinecones (on hikes!). But this is so much better. So much more space, more to explore, and lots and lots of natural resources-- weeds and twigs and vines and pinecones-- to create with.

Adding a little color, and a little sparkle, to those dead flowers and grasses was just the thing to make them a little more festive. I painted the iris pods gold, the yarrow silver, the spirea copper, and the grasses white. I brought in a little bit of white pine, too. Thoroughly enjoyable.

The baskets are all ready to go, packed with hot sauce and tomato sauce and peach salsa and pickles and homemade pasta and pesto and shortbread and chocolate-covered almonds. I had so much fun putting these together, and managed to stick, fairly faithfully, to my Plan for not buying much. That makes me super happy. Almost every year, Christmas gives me this great excuse to play with repurposed materials-- labels cut from catalog pages, secondhand baskets, 12-pack boxes covered with wrapping paper to serve as baskets when I couldn't find enough at the thrift store, ribbon and wrapping paper I save like a fiend. I'm still using up scraps of ribbon from our wedding, five years ago. It's such a fun, crafty holiday, and I'm glad I started bringing in more natural materials this year-- more colors and textures to add to my palette. Sad it's all going to be over soon-- SIGH-- but until Tuesday, I'm just going to slow down (and clean) and relax (and clean) and absorb as much cheer and brightness as I can. (And clean!) I hope you can afford to take a little time to do the same!

See you Monday...
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Becky said...

So envious of your gift baskets! Love the finishing touches!

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