Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Nature and Spice, and everything nice

When I feel inspired to decorate my home for Fall, one look at a wreath designed by Francoise Weeks, and I'm all over it. Francoise, a fellow Chapel Designer, is a trail blazer in the woodland design department, and foraging is her game. Read here...for a sample of some of Francoise's work.

Now, don't I have a moss wreath base laying around here someplace? Why, yes I do.

I designed this wreath with combinations of materials foraged right from my yard. I decided to start with hydrangea heads, which added a base of softness and provided nooks and crannies for tucking. Maroon and green hydrangea leaves, as they begin to turn, give some depth of color, and help to hide some of the mechanics. Note to self: next time, glue the leaves down completely, so that they don't curl in the sun.

My astilbe blooms, which were clearly past their prime, were perfect for their conical shape and rusty color. A large succulent, cut from my patio planter, provides a focal point, and provides visual weight to the overall design. Snips from my one ornamental shrub mimic the forest floor, and some pine bark provides a little contrast and texture.

As I continued to look for things to use, I came across my columbine flowers. They had bloomed a beautiful shade of violet-blue back in June, but now looked a bit wispy and fun, and thus were added. Coneflower pods were the perfect textural element, and some even had a few curled leaves still hanging on. A dark burgundy mushroom (a purchase) provided a pop of color. Another note to self: probably should have incorporated more of that dark burgundy on the left side of the wreath.

Lastly, while angrily pulling some Crown Vetch from my garden bed (and muttering a few choice words), it occurred to me that I could put it to use. I envisioned it cascading down one side of the wreath, for a bit of whimsy.

In the spirit of Fall and my intense desire to eat something with a touch of spice, I decided to dig out an old Weight Watchers recipe called Crackle Spice Drops. My family goes ape over anything with nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and it's a 100% guarantee that whatever it is, it won't last long. My girl was pleased when she got home from school to find a platter of these awaiting her arrival, and it managed to take the sting (no pun intended) out of her afternoon flu shot.

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