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Journal

Make a gilded oak wreath

willow Christmas wreath with gilded oak leaf

This is the kind of willow ring, decorated with a cluster of leaves of flowers (or Christmas baubles if you want to bling it up) that is easy to make and yet makes you feel casually accomplished in that Nigella kind of way. Once you have your third bit of willow twisted round you will be on a roll!

You need

  • 4 or 5 small and thin pieces of willow - side twigs are best, about 50 cm long and very bendy.
  • Fine florist wire
  • Clusters of oak leaves on twigs (or hydrangea flowers or Christmas baubles).
  • Alder cone sprigs.
  • Sheets of fake gilding
  • Glue stick

making a willow ring

Take the longest, plainest bit of willow and bend it into a circle - mine was about 15-20 cm diameter - with a long overlap. Use the overlap to bind round and round. If you need to, add a bit of wire to secure the hoop at this stage. You can always remove it later when it is used to being a circle.

Add in the rest of the willow piece by piece, jamming the thick end in-between the existing loops and then binding it round and round and tucking in the end. Make sure that you begin each piece in a different place so that the circle is even(ish)

Once you have used all 4 pieces of willow it should be secure. You can cut off wispy bits, or leave them depending on the look you want.

This kind of willow ring can be made in whatever size you need and is a useful base for all kinds of things - from door wreaths to head dresses. If you make your ring larger you may need more pieces of willow to make it chunkier.

making a willow ring

Dab a glue stick or brush onto the oak leaves in patches and stick fake gilding to the leaves - dabbing it on and letting it dry before you brush it off. This also works with hydrangeas and honesty seed pods.

wiring leaves for Christmas wreath

Wire bunches of leaves and cones together using very fine florist's wire. Loosely hold them together so that they form a natural shape and then wrap the wire tightly round the stems, leaving a long tail of wire to attach it to the willow ring.

gilded oak christmas wreath

Arrange the leaves and cones on the ring, thread the wire tails through the willow and secure at the back. You can place them evenly right round the ring or have them as a focal point either at the base or to one side.

Because the willow is so attractive in its own right, it can be nice to have it on show.

The ring will last for a few years but if you get fed up with it you can simply remove the wire and put it on the compost heap.

Gilded oak Christmas wreath

Comments: 1 (Add)

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Chris dyer on December 18 2020 at 13:41

Hi jane I love this idea...I was just about to cut out the straight stem rogues from our corkskew hazel...also I have Holly and mistletoe to use...I love the idea of gold foil to the ring...thanks and happy Christmas...

Snapdragon social

The kitchen is the heart of our home, it is the centre of the ebb and flow of daily life.⁠
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Always slightly messy, often very messy - a place for doing, stirring, tasting, creating.⁠
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I took this photo yesterday for the next issue of A Seasonal Way.  It is for an article on the way I cook and eat  and my addiction to cookery books. ⁠
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The light was beautiful - the first day for a month that the sun has topped the hill across the road. ⁠
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I snapped the shutter on this post breakfast space, charging leads out, scruffy, battered books, underused pasta maker, wilting plants . . .  and it made me happy.

#momentslikethese
#the_gentle_manifesto
#daysofsmallthings
#cornersofmyhome #heartofthehome 
#aseasonalway
#daysofsimpleandslow
#ournaturedays
#aquietmoment
#pocketsofslow
#thesweetlifeunscripted
#folkandstory
Tucked into the sunny side of the orchard hedge - marking the first planting we did when we moved here - a sunny patch of snowdrops, brought in the green from Finlaystone park.⁠
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Heralds of the ending of winter and the looking forward into Spring. ⁠

For even if we have a good few weeks of cold and dark to go, these are messengers from lighter days, antifreeze flowing in their cells, pure optimism.

#howihueit #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #ihaveathingwithwindows #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #floralstories #allthingsbotanical #underthefloralspell #slowfloralstyle #petalsandprops #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow #ihavethisthingwithflowers #moodforfloral #cornersofmyhome #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife #aflowerfilledlife 

These are from last year,  but this week last year, as my head was still wonky yesterday.
An example of how you don’t need to be able to see where you are going for it to be a beautiful route. 

I lost the weekend to a migraine so these are from a couple a weeks ago - a beautiful walk without views. 

#momentslikethese
#the_gentle_manifesto
#daysofsmallthings
#natureandnourish
#aseasonalway
#daysofsimpleandslow
#ournaturedays
#aquietmoment
#pocketsofslow
#thesweetlifeunscripted
#folkandstory
#westhighlandway #scotland
This week I have been taking ten minutes a day to create. ⁠
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To create something that isn't 'for' anything - just a chance to play.⁠
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It is part of the seasonal collage workshop that the inspirational Jenny @wrenrobertsart put together as the winter course for the Studio Club and I am loving joining in.⁠
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There is something so freeing (and addictive) about it - and it is also a great excuse to get my almond scented tin of glue out.

#simpleandstill #gatherandcurate  #gatheredstyle  #floraandfauna #nestandflourish #calm_collected #petalandprops #createsomethingeveryday #cornersofmyworld #aseasonalway #whathomemeans #cornersofmyhome #myhappyviews #myhomevibe #inspiredbynature #natureandnourish #slowdownwithstills #embracingtheseasons #ofsimplethings #foreverfaffing #collectandstyle #whimsicalwonderfulwild #tinytinymoments #aseasonalyear #mystoryoflight #wintercollage
Low morning light shining through the bottles on the studio windowsill.⁠
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The building looming halfway up the slope is the shower block for the airstream conversion.  We are still waiting for a plumber to arrive to connect it up. 

Once that is done, the reclaimed corrugated iron cladding can go on and the weirdly synthetic green will disappear.

#simpleandstill #gatherandcurate #lovelydeadcrap #gatheredstyle  #flowersinbottles #nestandflourish #calm_collected #petalandprops #artiststudio #cornersofmyworld #aseasonalway #whathomemeans #whereiwork #myhappyviews #myhomevibe #inspiredbynature #natureandnourish #slowdownwithstills #embracingtheseasons #ofsimplethings #foreverfaffing #collectandstyle #whimsicalwonderfulwild #tinytinymoments #aseasonalyear #mystoryoflight #scotland
It snowed last week - only for a day - but it transformed the ragged vegetable garden into something beautiful - a muffled glow.⁠
Even the ravaged sprouts - pecked to shreds by the escaped hens last month - managed to look majestic

#growyourownfood #theartofslowliving #livethelittlethings #nothingisordinary #natureandnourish #embracingaslowerlife #aseasonalway #seekthesimplicity #scotlandsgardens #growyourownflowers #cornersofmyworld #greenthumb #cornersofmyworld #simpleandstill .
Bringing the natural world inside when it’s a bit dark and gloomy outside 

It doesn’t take much to change the mood of a space.

The stone vase is by @jennifertetlow 

#howihueit #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #ihaveathingwithwindows #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #lovelydeadcrap #allthingsbotanical #underthefloralspell #slowfloralstyle #petalsandprops #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow  #cornersofmyhome #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife #aflowerfilledlife
We have an extrovert in the family 

Teasel has been living his absolute best life this week - new people to bounce at, new dogs to sniff, new places to explore. ⁠
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Walks and smells and even an unexpected swim.⁠
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Then snuggles by a stove and sneaky treats to end each day.⁠
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📷 @katieannglen  Puppy wrangler @zoeelglen 

#yorkshireterrier #yorkielove #yorkiepuppy
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

 

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