Local florist Christy of Colonial House of Flowers is one of our all time favorites. She is mad talented, so kind and a true friend. Today she's sharing her heart AND providing a simple DIY of how to turn that old wreath in your attic into something spectacular for the holidays!
The art of creating florals that are as beautiful as they are practical isn’t easy to master, and if I wasn’t in love with fresh cut greenery on the front door, the mantle well, everywhere during the holiday season before -- this wreath on a wall in Katrina Barrow Photogaphy’s Richmond Hill studio has me totally feeling it.
With highly praised photography and years of playing a solid part in people lives with her work featured in homes and in magazines, on cards and on blogs, Katrina Barrow surpassed the verge of becoming a full blown Savannah superstar. Hang in here with me, I’ll bring the wreath full circle in just a minute. Her friendly, soulful, heartfelt personality earned her respect amid peers, clients, and me. Katrina’s sometimes grand, sometimes modest but always humbly relaxed style is seductive in a way that makes it the writing on the wall when I try to explain the comfort I feel in her presence and the deep rooted admiration. Despite the fact that we rarely meet in person the effortless kindness and respect and loyalty she exudes makes introverts like me feel at ease. She’s made a down right good mark on Savannah.
But, for now she’s only concerned with moving.
Did my heart ache when I discovered the route of her journey? I’d say so. Having the advantage of a trusted colleague landed a photo she captured of my work on the cover of Florists Review last month. I mean, I just found this person I artistically connect with, someone who doesn’t care about all that pretentious stuff, a few months ago.
Honestly, that tormentous feeling was a big help and also an attraction to the role I played in her recent project: the wreath. I told you everything would come around! I was on a heavy duty work assignment in Portland, Oregon leading a flower workshop for the Mayesh Design Star tour until the day before she needed it. You know, exhausted with no real Christmas greens in stock. Aspiring to work with her one more time, I struck out to provide her with what she commissioned for her upcoming mini-sessions, to create something richly ethereal of uncompromising beauty, meaningful and with depth while quietly poetic and all of the essence of our industry sisterhood.
Katrina’s unique, you see. She sees things like I see things. She values the timeless elegance of imperfection like needles on the floor or a bough dripping out of symmetry. Naturally instinctive, she captures the raw beauty in the deformity, awarding the blemishes of my arrangements in all their shortcomings.
The whole family waited in the rental car, while in the rain and snow somewhere close to the Northwest shoreline as I foraged. They don't understand my unrelentless quest to gather seasonal pine and fir. Certainly, they were pained yet accommodating as I stuffed it into our suitcase before boarding the 8 hour flight home.
Isn’t it just a prop? The wreath? Yes. And no. Wreaths are circles. Circles represent time and the cycles of the seasons and stuff like inclusion and wholeness. Holiday evergreen ones are even more meaningful as they represent renewal and hope, and ongoing vitality. Pine and fir wreaths are given as a reminder that life’s constant - even when it seems withdrawn. They’re also delivered to symbolize strength friendship, connection and memory.
I’ve been a fine artist photography fan for years. I love evocative, sensual, kind southern women who respect uncultivation. Women who balance their marital, maternal commitments while honestly chasing their dreams with unapologetic strength, tenacity and thoughtfulness.
Katrina’s all of that. I’m sad she’s moving. The wreath is my gift to my friend.
With a simple wreath from your attic, thrift or dime store, plus some fresh cut seasonal greens, you’ll have yourself an elegant, organically shaped wreath to give or keep. The whole neighborhood will envy the way you created (or, even your friends and family can join in) an extraordinary arrangement with ordinary materials. This one is modern, custom and easier than you might think!
Faux Pine Branches
1. Gather supplies.
2. Clip fresh greenery into bundles of a similar length.
3. Lay wreath on flat surface.
3. Spread the two wired pieces of the wreath apart.
4. Lay fresh greenery or faux branches (I like the ones from Pottey Barn I choose here) in the middle of the two wired pieces. Tightly wrap the wired pieces around it -- think of a bread twist tie. Yes, it's just that easy!
5. Repeat twist tying fresh greenery and faux branch around the wreath until you love the look.
- Source the wreath from a second hand store, or use one from your attic. Even a damaged wreath will work. It's only used for a base so it doesn't have to be attractive. The base will never be seen so this is a chance to give your old holiday gear a boost to their personality!
- Use the same color fresh clippings a and faux botanicals throughout. It’s easy to get arrangements that are all the same color right. The clippings can be grouped or a look that’s effortless and stunning. To save time and money shop at your neighborhood flower shop for fresh greenery, or holiday tree stands will often give you their clippings for free. And use imitative tree stems. I used the faux needle nose pine branch from Pottery Barn because it looks realistic and one stem of it can be trimmed into at least three pieces. Honestly, you can use any faux branch from anywhere to add additional texture and interest.
- Add them loosely for a natural look.
- Pops of unexpected details. Add personality to the arrangement by incorporating your favorite things. There’s no denying a pine cone is one of my all time weaknesses. I recommend tucking real or faux cones or berries for a prevailing ode to the season. It looks so natural, interesting and fun. Surprise, you can go from common to seasonally extraordinary in a minute!