The Gentle Caress of Autumn Comes to the Cottage ………………… by Trenda

“… the gentle caress of autumn steals the sultry heat of summer …” author unknown

Autumn comes gently in the South with the days slowly becoming cooler and just the tips of burnished leaves can be seen shining in the golden sunlight.

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Our Beauty Berry Bush is laden with brightly colored berries in a gorgeous shade of purple … autumn delicacies for our “feathered friends.” 

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A little birdhouse tucked among the leaves and blooms of an Encore Azalea that is putting on it’s “final act” with brilliant autumn blooms.  A flying squirrel, while house-hunting, decided this little house was going to be his new home with it’s green roof, lichen covered walls, and view of the lake.  Without waiting for “a showing” he gained entry by nibbling his way into the opening and took up residency! (;

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The sunlight in autumn highlights the green of the grass and leaves against the azure blue lake and sky.

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Lantana with harvest gold and red blossoms, red periwinkles, and Marguerite (ornamental sweet potato vine) “glow” in the autumn light.

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“The gentle caress of autumn” can also be seen inside our cottage as I add some touches of the season.  

Copper glittered ACORNS rest on golden leaves …

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Are tucked into moss-lined nests …

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… dangle from a display stand and top a Fitz & Floyd “trinket box.” 

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An array of soaps in scents of pumpkin “and spice and everything nice.” 

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Glossy pumpkins perch on chunky urns …

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And contrast strikingly with blue and white Ginger jars …

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And in the kitchen … a Swarovski crystal squirrel “gathers” provisions! (:

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I love adding whimsical touches and reminders of the season to our home … and for all of us, this is just the beginning of all things pumpkin and harvest to come!  Have fun using your imagination and “putting some autumn jewelry” on your house!

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From my cottage to yours ~  Trenda

 

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Thank you so much for reading my blog today!  This week I’m joining:

Lynn of the Vintage Nest

Courtney with Feathered Nest Friday

Spring Cleaning and Cottage Decorating

by Trenda

For the last two weeks we have been cleaning out landscape beds, training wandering Wisteria along trellises … and raking, raking, raking!  With our beautiful shade trees, there are a LOT of leaves! (:  This mountain of leaves is just one our many heaps we burned from the gigantic pile of leaves Richard raked up!  With all the debris we cleaned up, it’s hard to believe this is just the “remnants” or leftovers, after all our autumn raking!  After our day of work, we sat in the twilight and enjoyed watching the last embers glowing … gazing as the last visage of our winter went up in smoke!


Inside the cottage … spring cleaning and decorating continues. (: I love this time of year and bring out my collections of birds and little nests filled with eggs.  You can find them perching in unexpected places, peeking out of nooks and crannies, and on tabletop vignette’s.

A Saucer Magnolia swag drapes over the hall tree …

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A little nest nestles at the base of this Angel garden statuary …

front CupidDown the staircase is a favorite picture … “The Lord is my Shepherd” and a metal vase filled with fragrant eucalyptus and peacock feathers.

staircase finalA little alcove under the hall tree … another perfect nesting spot!

niche in halltree“Bird watching” (; … this vertigo green bird blends beautifully with the green shades of this collection of antique dishes from England.

bird sentinelAntique dishes on the lower deck … “The Old Curiosity Shop” by Currier and Ives.

left finalA nest entwined with spring buds and new leaves is perched on a miniature bird bath filled with millet.

milletLittle birds stand guard on a cake plate watching over two sweet eggs nestled on a bed of moss.  A mercury glass bird and a fairy tale toadstool look charming together, sheltered under the glass canopy.

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A blown glass cloche with a bird “finial” covers a little nest holding a glittered acorn.

bird clocheA silver bird perches on the edge of his nest … the perfect cache for a little treat of birdseed! (;  The color of the millet matches the hues in the painting above and the in-laid wood of the tea cart.

tea cartA beautiful azalea from our own front yard almost “glows” in an antique bird planter.  Under a “twiggy” lamp with a little wire nest ensconced in it’s branches, a cloche covers a pair of sweet owls and a moss-lined nest filled with speckled eggs.

owls and nestThe dusty red blossomed “trumpets” of  Crossvine cover our fence and are climbing over an antique variety of Boxwood growing nearby.  The buzzing bumblebees and bright blossoms seem to proclaim …

“WELCOME SPRING…!”

2 Welcome Spring!

“FLOWERS APPEAR ON THE EARTH: THE SEASON OF SINGING HAS COME.  THE COOING OF DOVES IS HEARD IN OUR LAND.  THE FIG TREE FORMS ITS EARLY FRUIT; THE BLOSSOMING VINES SPREAD THEIR FRAGRANCE.”  SONG OF SOLOMON 2:12-13

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 From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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Thank you for spending some time with me today!  Please click on the box marked FOLLOW in my blog above to have each new post delivered directly to your e-mail address.  I’m joining Chloe Crabtree with Celebrate & Decorate (click here) and Lynn from The Vintage Nest (click here) for other great decorating ideas and DIY projects!

 

Cottage Decorating for Valentine’s Day, Romance and Spring …

by Trenda

After seeing the first coral blossoms on a Flowering Quince … a row of blooming daffodils … and a bluebird in our backyard hunting for a nesting spot, it’s time for the interior decor of our cottage to shrug out of it’s winter garments and get “dressed” for Valentine’s Day, Romance and Spring!

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My decorating transformation began on our mantle … using a collection of blue and white porcelain pieces … a favorite over-sized clock with a Carolina Wren painted on it’s face … and two matching crystal decanters (bought near the Czech border) and serving as bookends on either end of the mantle.  Then I took a swag that was covered with roses and eucalyptus and wove two strands of twinkle lights between the flowers – to add a little glimmer and magic (;  before draping the swag across the mantle.  I tucked in a few more grape clusters and moss covered bird nests “here and there” for additional cuteness!

A bird stands near his nest amidst the delightful setting of roses.  A stack of gardening books is a base for a collection of blue and white porcelain pieces and a Delft Ginger jar bought and brought all the way from Holland!


Atop a porcelain box and tucked at the base of the clock are little nests filled with ferns, prickly statice, Scottish heather, and green speckled eggs.

Large Ginger Jars in blue and white porcelain.

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I love the patina of this mirror!  It used to be a gaudy-gold until Richard and I painted the entire mirror frame with white paint.  After it dried, we “distressed” the surface with sand paper to let a little bit of the gold “peek through.”  Now, it’s “one of my favorite things” and one of our keepsakes – it’s been with us since we bought our first home! (P.S. I love this picture showing the beautiful patina of our mirror and the reflection of our dining room chandelier and our kitchen in the background.)

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Now, for the hearth!  Same colors and spring mood are reflected in both the mantle and hearth.  More blue and white porcelain and the “outside is brought in” with a green wreath bursting with white blossoms and sheltering an intricate obelisk.

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       A tiny birdbath is filled with mossy stones and more speckled eggs … a chunky white urn holds a white gardenia on a bed of moss … and two antique books serve as a base and staircase to a blue and white peacock plate.  I love the blue and green book on the top of the stack; everything about is darling! … from it’s jacket covered in dainty flowers and blue and green striping, the green oval “cameo” of a ladies profile encircled in gold, and it’s charming title … Haps and Mishaps Blackberry Jam  ❤

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Well, here in East Texas, the ground hog did not see his shadow.  It was 80 degrees today with warm weather predicted for the next 10 days!  Here on the lake it definitely “feels like” spring and adding to my list and sighting’s of spring harbinger’s … today I saw Saucer Magnolia blooming … a beautiful red-violet blossom unfolding on my Encore Azalea … and my White Lady Banks Rose Bush is covered in buds!

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

 

I’m delighted you read my blog today!  Please click on FOLLOW in the post above or on my site cottagegreenonthelake.com to have all posts delivered directly to your email address.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave those in the COMMENT section!  (:

 

Romantic Valentine Table for Two

~ written by Trenda

On a day celebrating L-O-V-E, there’s no limit to the amount of lace, flowers, hearts, or pink I use in setting and decorating our table for Valentine’s Day.  Richard and I begin our celebration of Valentine’s Day on February 13th and go out that evening for a special dinner.  Then, the next morning I make omelettes and “Berry Sweet Valentine’s” (recipe and pictures in a subsequent post!) and later “when twilight descends and evening begins”  we have a lovely dinner seated at a romantic “table for 2” at our favorite “getaway” … Cottage Green on the Lake! (; 

pink setting.pngA little table right next to the fireplace seems like the perfect spot for our Valentine reservation with the coziness of a fire, the glimmer of twinkle lights and the romance of candles.

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 Nestled next to  the fireplace, I wanted our Valentine table to blend in and be a part of the little nook and romantic backdrop I decorated and wrote about in my last post. (click here to see)  I love the way the mantle decorations look like they’ve tumbled over onto the table!

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The whimsical piece that visually ties the mantle and table together is a cement statue of “Cupid.” The same roses, eucalyptus and twinkle lights I used on the mantle, wrap around the base of the angel, entwine the statuary and encircle his wings.

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For our dinnerware, I chose Kaiser Porcelain in the Marseille pattern that we bought when we lived in Germany; it’s a fine  porcelain china and the white background trimmed with pink floral garlands and rosebuds is named “Romantica” and seemed the perfect choice for a day all about hearts and flowers!

I love these white scalloped plates with their painted garlands and rosebuds and the Valentine look of the pink, doily-like charger beneath each plate.  White napkins with a bit of crocheted lace and a sweet pink flower and Kaiser Porcelain roses are scattered about the table and adorn each place setting.

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Crystal “King Edward” Waterford glasses and pink blush stemware.

The King Midas touch … gold chargers and goldware add “gleam” to each place setting.

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The drape of roses, eucalyptus, grape clusters and twinkle lights adorning the mantle and Cupid, adds subtle lighting and enchantment to the table.

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Ready and waiting for a party of two … our Valentine table is set.  All that is needed is to light the fireplace and as Neil Diamond sings, it’s time to  … “Turn down the lights.  Turn up the music.  Let’s just be together tonight.  And turn down the lights.” ❤

lights dimmed.png“Love is patient, love is kind …”

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From my cottage to yours  ~ Trend

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I’m delighted you read my Blog today!  Please click on FOLLOW in my post above or FOLLOW on my site: cottagegreenonthelake.com to have all Cottage Green on the Lake news delivered directly to your email address.  If you have any questions or comments, please leave those in the COMMENT section!  For some other great ideas, please join me (click here) for “Share Your Style Link Party #104 with host Lisa from Feathering My Empty Nest.

 

 



 

A Woodland Christmas Tablescape

by Trenda

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“Christmas in the Woods” ~  by Frances Frost

Tonight when the hoar frost falls on the wood,

And the rabbit cowers, and the squirrel is cold,

And the horned owl huddles against a star,

And the drifts are deep, and the year is old,

All shy creatures will think of Him.

The shivering mouse, the hare, the wild young fox,

The doe with the startled fawn,

Will dream of gentleness and a Child:


The buck with budding horns will turn

His starry eyes to a silver hill tonight,

The chipmunk will awake and stir

And leave his burrow for the chill, dark midnight,

And all timid things will pause and sigh, and sighing, bless

That Child who loves the trembling hearts,

The shy hearts of the wilderness.

Thinking of this sweet poem, I created a tablescape that is a little forest haven where woodland creatures … The shivering mouse, the hare, the wild young fox (:  can gather among snow sprinkled bird nests, glimmering candlelight, and fir trees.

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In keeping with the woodland theme, deep green “forest” plates, bought from Pier 1 years ago have embossed edges of leaves and are resting on a “snowy bank” of Battenbug lace place mats … a surprise gift Richard bought for me from a little boutique, aptly named “Waldenwood.”plates2.png

I love the juxtaposition of this rustic twig basket lined with the white luxurious Battenburg lace and filled with silver cutlery … an enchanting and charming caddy for a woodland picnic!

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Christmas fantasies are easily imagined while dining among this forest scene; a woodland “critter” perches at each place setting, lace napkins are tied with red and green plaid ribbon and are adorned with glass pinecone ornaments (a favor your guests can take home in remembrance of their picnic amidst the woods!) and individual salt cellars are placed at each setting for a “light dusting” of seasoning.

critters.png Look at these darling, tiny, sterling silver, salt cellar spoons!  I love using these “fairy spoons” and it feels so elegant adding salt in this old-fashioned and queenly way!

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Each crystal salt cellar is as unique as the pattern of the spoons; I can never decide which is my favorite!  The larger cellar is used for pepper and is placed on the table where several people can share it.

Well, my woodland table is ready and set but before decorating any more I am going to “O bed!  O bed!  Delicious bed … that heaven on earth to the weary head.”    ~  Thomas Hood 

And as I nestle down in my feathered nest, I’ll close my eyes and I … “will pause and sigh, and sighing, bless … That Child who loves the trembling hearts.”

Have a blessed week while you are busy preparing for … the birthday of the King!

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

I’d love to hear from you!  Please leave any questions or comments, below.

Come join me on a Christmas Blog Hop “Celebrate #55” with hostess’ Chloe Crabtree from Celebrate and Decorate and Sandra from Sweet Sensations for more Christmas tablescapes.

 

Part 2 – A “Welcome Home” for Thanksgiving 

by Trenda

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Anticipating and looking forward to our family coming home next week, I love decorating and creating a “welcome home” for each dear person that will be here for Thanksgiving. Last week our “welcome home” to Thanksgiving began with decorating the front door.  Today, we’re going to take a peek behind the front door.

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As you walk in our front door the first thing you see is our antique buffet.  It’s a beautiful piece of furniture; I was giddy when I found it hidden away in a dark corner in an antique store in Tyler. (:  The interior cabinets and drawers are as beautiful as the outside and sometimes I imagine the buffet’s “past life” … and different hands than mine putting away carefully stitched napkins and tablecloths, or special Christmas dishes, into it’s confines.

Come on in!  I’m so glad you’re here! (:  On Thanksgiving, all desserts and pies are displayed out on the buffet; it’s a tantalizing spread for everyone who enters!

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The buffet is filled with autumn’s bounty and has a woodland feel with birch pillar candles, squirrels posing on oak leaves or peering into logs, little nests filled with acorns, and perching birds near their feeders!  A beautiful Fitz and Floyd harvest platter and charming squirrel dish.

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The Friendly Village dishes by Johnson Brothers are ready on chargers for the Thanksgiving tablescape and another stack of dessert plates are stacked on a plate server ready to be loaded with everything delicious!

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Woodland friends … 

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A favorite “souvenir” from a vacation spent in Italy … an inlaid wooden tea cart is stacked and ready to stand-in as a portable side table.  The tea cart is filled with necessary items for the feast … plus a few additional items for a little “glitz and glow!”(:

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Below … more Johnson Brothers Friendly Village dishes, a turkey platter, a stack of antique silver “nut” trays, a crystal biscuit barrel and a silver coffee service.

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Our fireplace is questionably (since it has to compete with the view outside!) the focal point of our living room … and is all “decked out” for Thanksgiving. 

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 Harvest has “spilled out” onto the mantle with pumpkins, clusters of grapes, bittersweet, and walnuts all accenting an autumn swag.

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clock3Our “Beau” Pilgrim (I told you we like to name things around here!) made by Fitz and Floyd resides over the Mantle Harvest and has his own thanksgiving offerings … some maize and a pumpkin, in his hands.

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A Thanksgiving wreath (DIY instructions in a subsequent post!) trimmed with a bow and ribbon that says … Count Your Blessings, Fall Harvest, Thanksgiving Tradition, and Give Thanks.

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Before I have the fun of setting our table for Thanksgiving, I keep a simple setting on the table with all the essentials needed for an cozy autumn meal enjoyed with any friends and family that arrive before “the day.”  A part of the tablescape and ready to disperse are  … a stack of Villeroy & Boch (design Naif) dinnerware, napkins encircled with mini grapevine wreaths (click here for instructions for DIY Autumn napkin rings) silverware in a ginger jar, etched glasses, and a creamer and sugar bowl for after-dinner coffee. 

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Gorgeous view beyond the window … twilight on the lake.

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An autumn ginger jar holds silverware …

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I love these etched glasses from Germany and they are particularly enchanting when filled with ambrosia or holding a miniature compote  …

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Little pumpkin showcased under a cloche …

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Looking around, I love how our “Cottage Green” looks festive and says “welcome home” to all for Thanksgiving.  Now, I have to get to the shopping, cleaning, and cooking done!!!  But, like the ribbon on the wreath says … during this “Thanksgiving Tradition” and the blessing of our “Fall Harvest”  …Count Your Blessings” and “Give Thanks.”

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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 Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted reading what you have to say.  Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.  

Easy Thanksgiving favors & DIY Autumn Wreath

by Trenda

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Today our first dear arrivals are coming for a much anticipated Thanksgiving week of being t-o-g-e-t-h-e-r!  I still have too many things that haven’t been crossed off of my “To do” list, but I have finished some of those special projects that I love doing from my “wanna-do” list. (:

Look at these cute little favor bags!  They were so fun and easy to put together … I made them the night before everyone arrived!  I’ve displayed them in a dear, quirky, turkey wicker basket that my husband found and bought for me at a garage sale, years ago.  Tom has been a regular at our Thanksgiving get-together’s ever-since, and he looks adorable sitting on the counter, filled with Thanksgiving paper napkins, or today … filled with little paper favor sacks.

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Each little bag is filled with a sweet mixture of tiny maple cream cookies, some maple peanut clusters, Sixlets in sparkly autumn colors I found at Cracker Barrel and some darling maple leaf-shaped chocolates that Richard found for me at World Market … all in the “flavors of autumn!”

Materials and supplies needed: treat sacks, stamps, ink pad, twine, table confetti, scissors, hole punch, and ruler

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Instructions:

  1. Fill bags with treats before decorating.  Begin by folding over the top of each bag (I bought my treat sacks at Hobby Lobby – $2.49 for 24 count) At the top of each bag, on the folded area, I stamped For You and beneath it I used a Thanksgiving stamp with the words Give Thanks, Gratitude, Blessed, Hayride, Family, Tradition, etc. …  on it.
  2. I punched 2 holes in/and through the folded layer at the top of the bag, with a hole puncher.
  3. For each bag, I cut off 2 1/2 feet of twine (I bought my twine at Michael’s, on sale for only 50 cents!) and “threaded” both ends of twine through the front of my bag; crossed the twine in back and pulled one piece of twine back over the top of the bag and the other twine I wrapped around the back, to meet up with the twine in front.
  4. I bought a small package of table confetti with leaves and acorns (on sale at Michael’s for $1.00) and using my hole puncher, punched a hole in the paper acorns and added those to my twine before tying the two ends of twine, into a bow.

So cute … and these sweet treats all wrapped up and tied in these miniature Kraft bags seem reminiscent of the penny candies that were sold in the old General Stores!

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DIY Autumn Wreath

Now … the instructions I promised you in my last post, on how to make the autumn wreath that I pictured hanging over our living room mirror. (click here to see)

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This is my favorite spot to make my wreaths.  It’s in our kitchen over a little cookbook cubby that has a little counter for holding all my supplies and materials needed to make my wreath.  There’s also an outlet for my glue gun and the knob of the upper cabinet is the perfect height for hanging my wreath, while I work on it.  The first thing I do is to wrap a pipe cleaner through the back of my wreath, forming a loop to hang it from.  This pipe cleaner loop is also the hanger I’ll use to display my finished wreath.

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Making the bow …

  1.  The first step in making a bow is to pull out the ribbon needed for the “tail” of your bow.  I always “allow” a little extra ribbon since I can trim the length of my “tails” when the bow is completed and it is much easier than having to re-make my bow!  This is not a part of the bow you will be looping and twisting.
  2.  Begin working beyond the ribbon you have extended for the “tail.”  Grasp the length of ribbon (not at the end!) and loop the ribbon over your thumb and grasp the base of the small loop in your fingers.  This will be the center of your bow (the extra ribbon for tail will extend beyond this small center loop)
  3. Make your first bow loop.  This will determine how big your bow is. The larger the loop, the larger the bow.  Gather the ribbon together at the end of the loop and hold tightly in your fingers.
    Make sure your ribbon is facing right side up if you are using a single sided ribbon like mine, with printing facing up.  I slip a pipe cleaner into my center loop at this time.  It will balance there, resting on the twisted folds of ribbon, while you continue forming the bow.   bows.png
  4. Make your second loop on the opposite side, remembering to gather and twist the ribbon together in the middle where the imprinted side is facing up.
  5. Continue making loops, alternating sides until your bow is the size you want.  Make sure you have the same amount of loops on each side.
  6. When the bow is the size you want, allow extra ribbon length for your second “tail” before you cut the ribbon.  Twist the pipe cleaner in the center of your bow tightly (I use a pair of needle-nose pliers) several times to insure that it will hold your twisted ribbon; cut off excess pipe cleaner and push down the cut ends of pipe cleaner, so they won’t scratch you.
  7. Pull loops of bow to “fluff” to desired shape.

Hot glue your bow to your wreath.img_0006

I hot glued green leaves on first, as the “base” of my  wreath, making sure I kept both sides of my wreath balanced and “equal.”

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Next, I glued on my colored autumn leaves.

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Last step … I tucked in a few chrysanthemums and some grape clusters, then added my “filler.”  “Filler” is usually diminutive, compared to the rest of the arrangement, and is added to blend and unify the look of the whole wreath.  On this wreath, my “filler” is glittered orange stems and a variegated ivy.

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I hope while crossing off  all your “have-to’s” … you get to enjoy some time decorating and creating some fun special “projects” while you are getting everything ready for the ones you love!

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you.  Please leave any questions or comments below.