'Wreathmaking'. Photos taken by Hannah Foley (www.owlingabout.co.uk). All rights reserved.The river returned quickly to its normal level after Storm Angus and this week has been full of bright frosty days. Little Owl loved riding her bike through crispy cold leaves on the way to school this morning. They made such a satisfying crunch. At the weekend family and friends gathered to give thanks for the safe arrival of Wren and we had her christening at a local church. It was a lovely day, only marred by the fact that the vicar thought it an appropriate opportunity to preach on divorce! Wren blew bubbles loudly throughout his sermon, which was a fitting response I felt.

On Saturday my mum and I snuck away from the christening preparations to a wreath-making workshop. Over the fields we drove to a nearby stately home, where the event was being run in an old barn full of fairy lights and scented with pine. The rangers had been out pruning in the grounds and there were piles of thick green foliage to choose from. I’ve never done anything like this before and it was so much fun. Here are some pictures of my wreath taking shape.

We started with a wire frame which we covered in straw. Next we made bundles of pine, laurel and fruiting ivy. Some people added in holly but I didn’t fancy all those prickles in my fingers so avoided it. Then we wired the bundles on to the straw frame. This bit took me ages. I found it quite tricky to position all my bundles so that they covered the straw. Everyone was very friendly so we were all laughing together at our attempts. The tutor had made it look so easy! All the while carols played in the background and we were brought steaming cups of tea at regular intervals.

Can you see the covered frame in amongst the other foliage in the fourth picture down? It was a bit wonky but all in all I was pretty pleased with myself. The tutor showed me how to pick out leaves and berries with some spray-on glitter. Lastly we got to choose all sorts of lovely little treasures to wire into the wreath. I changed my ribbon at least three times. There was so much to choose from!

At last, in the growing dusk, lights twinkling from the Christmas tree stood outside the barn, we got back into the car and traced our way back home. There was a marvellous wintery sunset, all bright blue and deep pinks, the kind you only get in the winter. It was mirrored in the waterlogged fields and it almost seemed as if the sky was everywhere.

We were told to soak our wreaths over night and to water them a couple of times over the next month by placing them face-down on the floor and watering them from a watering can. Mine is waiting by the backdoor all ready to go out a bit nearer to Christmas.

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