Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas, there are lights up everywhere and it is now 100% acceptable to drink during the daytime as long as its ‘mulled’. I had somehow avoided any festive fancies until last week, where I kicked off Christmas with an event hosted by Three Mobile. They gave each blogger a Samsung Galaxy Alpha and then took us to Flor Unikon to learn to make traditional Christmas wreaths. It is such a bizarre activity that I had never considered, but the inner crafter in me was instantly up for it.
There were a few bumps on my road to the wreath…I left the phone on my desk at work and a colleague took it thinking it was theirs. Normally not a problem, however a massive problem when they are about to get on a train at Paddington and the event is that night. In a bit of a panic I ran (YES RAN) to the tube, and went a bit James Bond as I tried to race to Paddington before the train left. About the time the tube got to Kings Cross I knew I was doomed, the train was leaving in two minutes. But then I got a cryptic text (love the wifi on the underground) telling me that when I got to Paddington to leave the train, go to the top of the stairs and ask for Phil. I followed the instructions and the lovely TFL man handed me the Alpha – It was a true Christmas miracle!
Anyway, now that I have given the Three PR a heart attack…onto the Christmas wreath making! Flor Unikon is the cutest little florist just near Angel Station. It is the nursery rhyme version of a florist with wooden floors, and at this time of year Christmas bits and bobs everywhere. After a quick glass of mulled wine and a tutorial to get us started it was wreath time.
As with most journeys in life, you start with a little pruning. Each of us was given a branch from a Christmas tree and the task was to cut it into manageable wreath pieces. The trick was to first go for the pretty short pieces, and then cut up the bigger bits of the branch by using clever angled cuts to the back; that way all you see is green and no ugly brown branch shows through.
You start building around a straw base, holding a few bits of green at a time against it and wrap wire around the ends to keep it all in place. Then you layer the next bits of green on top and again wire in place. Making your way around the base (stopping for a short gingerbread break) you keep going until all the straw is covered. Once I had tied off my wire and had a perfect green wreath, Mr Flor Unikon came over and told me that it was very tight and symmetrical and looked like the first wreath he ever made…when he was six. I choose to take this as a compliment.
Then was the tricky bit, deciding what to decorate it with. There were nuts, dried fruit, berries, shiny baubles and all sorts of other Christmas decorations lining the shelves in the florist. We could just grab what we wanted…but what the hell did I want? Honestly, when you have a perfect bushy wreath anything you put on it looks too try hard.
I started by dotting some super mini pine cones around, then layered on berries, crab apples and cinnamon. Then was the final test, we could choose to be traditional and individually wire all the ornaments on, but after one go where I mangled a berry and stuck myself with wire I got a bit hangry and decided to hot glue gun the rest. A good life choice me thinks.
The wreath making class is such a unique fun thing to do in the lead up to Christmas, I highly recommend as a gift for the person who has everything. And as for the Samsung Galaxy Alpha? After being a devoted iPhone user for so many years I found it really hard to navigate, I swear swiping in any direction took you to a new part of the phone. But the camera on the night seems light-years ahead of the iPhone (and the camera is after all all that a blogger cares about) and I was raving about it up until I got the photos back from the PR…I think rather than the camera being better it might actually be the screen resolution which makes the pictures appear so much better. Looking at them on a computer screen and comparing them to the iPhone photos I took on the night they look much of a muchness.
Have you got any super Christmassy crafting planned?