February first: XO!

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whoa. what a thing today. for real. Spy is gone, so there is all kinds of crazy single mommy/girl time goin’ on around here, plus it is rainy and grey. i used it all as an excuse for 2 things. first, we are seriously knocking out some of the Valentine’s projects from that Pinterest board i mentioned last time. second, i wanted to try something new. literally. on the first of every month, i’m planning on doing something i’ve never done before. and of course posting about it. it’s probably not ever going to be like sky diving or even at all bucket list worthy, but i figure it’s a fun way to stay out of a rut and get a few new experiences under my belt, even if they’re small. so from here on out, you can look forward to a monthly first on the first day of every month. you’re welcome. 

so my February first is making a Valentine’s Day wreath (and also, unofficially, making cakepops, which are in progress as i write . . . stay tuned for more on that upcoming disaster). while i keep a wreath on the door all year round and change them up frequently, i’ve never actually made a Valentine’s Day themed one. now i can officially add crazy wreath lady to my list of eccentricities . . .

8f02253de813ab79ef59b6cb47db1e4aone of my very favorite things from my V-Day Pinterest board was this gorgeous XO wreath. truth be told, i should have just shelled out the $90 to buy it, but 1) i wasn’t thinking that far ahead and 2) what in the hell kind of fun would that have been for you guys?! so that’s the inspiration for this afternoon’s crafting shenannigans.

it all went down something like this: around $80 in florals and ribbon from Michael’s (at 40% off, even! yes, when they ask why we can’t afford to send Miss Girl to college, i will point to this damn wreath.); a tantrum because somebody didn’t get her 3,789th stuffed animal from Michael’s; Wendy’s on the way home because i felt like i was a mean mom all the way through Michael’s between the no stuffed animals mandate and several terse words over the cakepop options (at this point, Mommy really wanted lunch at someplace with actual servers and a deep wine list, but sucked it up); however long Tangled is worth of crafting; and final photos, clean up and here we are. whew. my end result isn’t nearly as gorgeous as this. remind me sometime to tell you about me and quiches. they all end up more like rustic country pies instead of elegant tarts. welcome to my rustic country pie version of the XO wreath.

step 1: obligatory beauty shot of all my materials

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14 pussy willow stems. 4 stems of pink buds. 12″ twig wreath form. 6′ roll of cotton chevron ribbon. floral wire. scissors.

step 2: shot of hardcore tools i had to bring in to finish the job

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yeah, so the garden clippers were necessary to clip off the ends of the pussy willows (and it was still hard as hell!). the staple gun was how i attached the whole shebang to the door. read on . . .

step 3: make the O

this part was easy peasy. i just stuck my pink flowers into the wreath form, end to end. then i worked around bending and shaping them so they formed a circle and filled in the entire form. in a few places, i used my floral wire to tether the stems to the form.

step 4: make the X

his one was a little harder, but basically, i gathered 2 sets of 7 stems each and bound them together with floral wire (first step here was bundling them with some washi tape, just to keep the lengths even and have them contained while i worked with the wire)t. you really can’t see it at all and it’s pretty easy to arrange leaves and buds to cover them up on the front. i had to use the garden clippers to chop off the extra length. then i tied them together in a cross with more floral wire in about 4 places. if we get a tornado, this thing’s a goner, but for normal February gusts, i think she’ll be fine.

step 5: attach everything

okay. here’s where things definitely got a little weird. this for sure is not the best constructed wreath and the door attachment situation is just one more way i proved to myself i have no idea what the hell i’m doing. (fooled ya up to here, huh?) truth: i craft like i cook. it’s usually a totally fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants event and while things usually turn out okay in the end, it ain’t pretty getting there. long story short, i should have taken the time to measure, then connected everything on the table, then hang it. instead, i impatiently hung the ribbon (staple-gunned to the top of the door), then went about attaching the wreath parts. a few random knots and a prayer later, it was up. and, while definitely not perfect. i kind of love it.

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happy February, y’all!

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