I'm not usually one for getting into the Christmas spirit during October; with exception of snacking on the giant Toblerones which line the shelves at this time of year, I like to wait until Bonfire Night is out of the way before pulling out the Christmas jumpers and supping on mulled wine. However, there are some festive activities which even I can't resist when the invitation comes my way, and Christmas wreath making is one of those.
Whilst I may be competent in the kitchen, my home-making skills pretty much end there. I am certainly no domestic goddess, and my crafting efforts in particular are usually thwarted by my clumsy hands. So the opportunity to be guided through such a gloriously festive craft by the ever-so-talented florist Katie couldn't be missed, and even I managed to make a beautiful autumnal wreath by the end of the session.
Katie's workshop is absolutely delightful, and everyone who walked through the door commented on the gorgeous smell of the flowers and plants laid out in front of us. Piles of spruce, rosemary and other assorted foliage (which I couldn't name for the life of me...) were set out to make the base, with boxes of berries, dried hydrangeas and other pretty sprigs ready to add the finishing touches. Katie patiently answered our questions (of which there were many) and explained how to forage and find the various materials if we ever wanted to try our hand at wreath-making again.
After consuming the obligatory Christmas chocolates we set to work - trying to copy Katie's skilled demonstration to the best of our abilities, with mixed success. The first step is to wind wire around the frame to create a base, before affixing bunches of greenery around the circumference with yet more wire before tucking in the final bits of decoration. It's safe to say that everyone had a different style - from the neat and delicate to the quirky and haphazard; I'll leave you to guess which end of the spectrum I was on... I liked the 'no rules' aspect of the craft, and how quickly it seemed to come together; despite no eye for floristry whatsoever (I can't keep flowers in the house because Tuna eats them...) it was easy to create a natural, rustic wreath thanks to Katie's expert tuition (even if she did have to take matters into her own hands a couple of times...). In fact, my wreath is hanging proudly in my kitchen as we speak - a little reminder than maybe I'm not so bad at this crafting lark after all.
It took us a few hours to create our wreaths, but it was wonderful to chat as we worked, stopping occasionally for cake breaks along the way and wandering around to admire each other's handiwork. As I said, Katie's studio is absolutely delightful and it was an incredibly cosy place to while away a few hours on a crisp autumn afternoon.
If you're a local, I can't recommend Katie's workshops enough as a pre-Christmas treat. I couldn't possibly do justice in this blog post to Katie's breadth of knowledge and the tips & tricks she shares - I felt like a veritable pro by the end of it, even if I couldn't remember the name of any of the flowers...
Lovely readers of this blog can get a 10% discount on this year's workshops, making them just £49.50 (which includes all the materials to make your wreath) - just mention it when you book, and be sure to send me a photo of your finished wreath!Disclaimer: I attended this workshop for free with some of my blogger friends, but I had an absolute blast. I'm not usually a crafty person but this was genuinely so much fun and I wouldn't recommend it to you if it wasn't! Plus, I get to show off my hand-made wreath to everyone who visits, which makes me feel smug - and I'm pretty sure you'd feel the same with a wreath this good on your door... Oh, and we totally went to Yorkshire Meatball Company afterwards, which was an excellent idea and comes highly recommended from me!