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GRAPEVINE WREATH
2002

Fall in El Paso is my favorite time of year, and when the first cool days hit, I begin house cleaning and decorating with those wonderful autumn colors. The hall tree by our front door is one of the first places I like to decorate.

One fall in the mid-90s at our club's monthly meeting, our project was to decorate a grapevine wreath with miniatures. Billie Haynie provided the wreaths and decorative picks; we provided the minis. So, when Billie called and said, "Bring some minis you would want to put on a fall wreath," I knew exactly what I wanted to go on mine.

One of my earliest displays had been a flower and wreath-making stall called Season's Greenings made inside an open picture frame base. At that time, the mid 80s, I wasn't thinking about how dried materials faded, and also how they loved to attract dust when they aren't covered. Eventually, it was no longer a pleasure to me and I took it apart, storing the elements that I wanted to keep. Among them was a bench and worktable that my miniature florist used in making miniature wreaths, and those are the minis I took to the meeting.

I had bought the little bench, table and an odd-looking little rocking chair in this dusty-rose and a set in a dusty blue at least ten or twelve years ago at WalMart; wish now I had gotten more. I added the checked cushion and the duck pillow.

My miniature wreath-maker likes to use natural materials. These are real pinecones, along with some pickling spices and maybe some of my daughter's birdseed. The little wooden box holding the trimmings was in my stash for a long time; no idea where it came from.

I contrived the glue bottle from beads and clay; the roll of "twine" was in a miniature sewing kit; tweezers were made from some bit from my findings drawers. The inexpensive green-handled scissors are a bit big for scissors, but make great gardening shears.

This basket, an inexpensive piece that I stained dark, holds natural wreath forms and sits among the fall leaves near the upper edge of the full-size wreath.

I made the wreaths from slender grasses and tiny vines that I twisted and tied with thread as we drove from El Paso to a NAME convention in Minneapolis one summer. Any time I saw promising plants by the side of the road, I hollered "Stop!" and my husband pulled over so I could yank out a handful. By the time we got back home I had a supply of mini wreaths and swags that has lasted me many years.

My wreath-maker has these forms already made up so that when the fancy hits, she can put together a new wreath in a hurry.

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