Thursday, December 8, 2011

To Quote Billy Joel...

You may be right, I may be crazy...

I am soooo glad tomorrow is Friday!  I have a ton of work to do around here, and I just haven't been getting it done when I get home from the office at night.  Well, last night, I did get one project nearly finished -- I made an ornament wreath of my very own!!!  Here are two photographs of my final results.  To fully appreciate this wreath, please read my partial account of my construction trials and tribulations below:

My ornament wreath.  Lopsided, really really bad bow(s) and beads
that are not actually covering up any of its flaws -- but, what the hell.

I am not a craftsy person.  While I have developed a pretty good eye over the years for color coordination, furniture arrangements, styling, and decorating in general, that 'talent' (if it is a talent) doesn't extend to doing crafts or furniture rehab projects (you known, turn a $10 Goodwill broken down table into a priceless antique kind of thing)!  But lately - I must be going through a second menopause or something, like a roosting chicken? - I've been obsessed first with visiting sewing blogs and now with visiting decorating blogs by regular people.  Regular in the sense that they are not, for the most part, trained interior designers, but are women (haven't come across this type of blog by a dude, yet) who have families and are working with limited budgets.  Some of the things they come up with are ingenious, and I just love reading their stories about and looking at their photographs of how they have turned drab blah rooms into comfortable inviting spaces that anyone would love to be in. 

For the past few weeks I've been visiting blog after blog looking for inexpensive Christmas decorating ideas.  I blogged about the ornament wreath last night.

So - I started constructing it last night after I got home.  Drat - wouldn't you know it.  First, I couldn't get the damn hanger untwisted!  Then, once I attacked the thing with plyers and my fangs (okay, kidding about the fangs) and finally got it untwisted, I couldn't get a satisfactory bend to form a reasonable circle to save my life.  So, my resultant wreath is lopsided.  Argggghhhhh!

And then, I ran out of ornaments!  Yes, I had 60 ornaments; I broke one silver one, and the other 59 went on that not quite round-shape metal clothes hanger!  How could I possibly have run out?  Every set of instructions I read said I would use 40 to 50 ornaments, at the most!  Yeah, right.  What size ornaments were those women using?  Three inchers? 

Since I do not want to buy another box or ornaments (I've spent more than enough over the past week!), this evening when I settled in for another bought of decoratitis,  I closed the gap with some larger size multi-colored ornaments that I normally use to "fill in" the inside of my tree - they're not very pretty ornaments so I put them where they fulfill a vital function of filling in "holes' in the interior of the tree but aren't really "seen."

Fortunately, because of the way the ornament wreath is constructed, these filler ornaments are tucked away at the very top of the wreath and are now mostly hidden by my "bows" - more on that fiasco below.  I used three red, two green, and two gold that blend with the other gold and silver ornaments used to construct the other 98% of the wreath.  When I declared myself satisfied (I was tired of putzing around with the damn thing), I closed the hanger circle with the plyers and brute strength and measured ribbon to hang the wreath on the empty wall of the lower staircase that overlooks the living room. 

I got that done.  I cut the French ribbon long enough!  It is holding the wreath up and the "bow" holding the two pieces of ribbon together around the bottom of the ballister from which the wreath is slung on the wall directly below is holding fast!  Goody! 

But, staring at me was an ugly top of the hanger that has the hanging ribbon through it!  It's not covered up by the ornaments.  I could probably add 50 more ornaments and that sucker wouldn't be covered and in any event that hanger won't hold 50 more ornaments, it would explode for sure and I would probably die from a million cuts from exploding ornaments.  So, time to make a bow.

Now, darlings, I have to tell you.  I have never been any good at bow-making.  My sister, Debbie, she is a wiz at making any kind of bow you'd ever want.  She also has an absolute talent for turning out beautifully wrapped and decorated presents, so pretty you don't even want to open then -- now that's pretty!  But me - nah.  I make bows like I play chess - and that's not very funny, come to think about it...

Well, I tried.  A few days ago I actually watched a You-Tube tutorial on how to make bows with French ribbon.  I'm not kidding.  I actually did that.  Now, granted, I did NOT pile up three different kinds of sheer French ribbon to make my bow, so I didn't have to alternate them back to back and then face up again.  I didn't understand why that was necessary until after I pinched my bow together in the middle, twisted it tight with a twisty tie, and started to "fluff" out the bow.  Half the bow is on the "wrong" side of the ribbon.  For ordinary ribbon it probably wouldn't make much difference, but for this particular bow I used a French ribbon that is not sheer and only had glitter heavily pasted on ONE SIDE. 

Duh.  The result is a right side of the bow that is gorgeously glittery, and the left side of the bow is dull. All the glitter is on the inside curves of that portion of the bow, and can't really be seen!

To add insult to injury, once I got the bow fluffed out as best I could (which isn't very good), I had a hell of a time getting it tied to the hanger with a twist tie, and it ended up crooked.  The story of my life :)  And, unfortunately, while my bow did start out with two equal length "tails", I ended up wrapping one tail sort of behind the bow to cover the rest of the hanger.  While successfully covering the hanger, it added even more to the lopsided effect of the bow, that has a short but gracefully curved "tail" on its right side and NOTHING on the left side.

What to do?  I do not have a second 30 feet of that particular style of French ribbon and I don't particularly want to dish out another $5.99 at TJMaxx for a second spool of the ribbon, even assuming they still have some of it in stock.  They only had a few rolls of that ribbon when I purchased it on Monday. 

I thought about redoing the bow and getting yet more glitter all over me and my living room (everthing in the room and my teeth  are sort of gleaming right now, it's rather eery).  Okay, I won't go on and on any further, darlings - I opened up a different spool of French ribbon that I had bought specifically to tuck into the tree.  I gut about two feet of it, twisted and turned it around and just sort of stuffed it on the left side of the ornament wreath.  It doesn't match.  Not that I'm a stickler for matchy-matchy but the stuff I added is sheer, whereas the original bow is quite opaque.  Sigh.

Regardless, after having two ornaments "pop" off their hangers no matter how gently I was putzing aorund with the wreath, I decided to give it a rest.  It's not perfect, but it's 100% me.  TA DA!  Just to make it even more in your face I twisted a couple ropes of gold plastic beads around it.  Added bling.  All that's missing is some neon lights and the kitchen sink.

That sucker is DEEP!  At least five inches!  It's amazing, absolutely amazing.  And now I understand the instructions in a few of the blogs I read that advised (wisely, it turns out) to hot glue the ornaments to their hangers before beginning construction of the wreath!

Well, live and learn.  Live and learn.  All tolled, I am rather proud of my lopsided, crooked creation :) And from the angle at which I'm viewing it from my desk from below, it certainly is glittery and lush looking with the silly mis-matched "bows" and those after-thought beads in the light from the Christmas tree and the green light (for the Packers) cast by the green bulb in my desk lamp. 

I sure do hope I'm not awakened at 4 a.m. by a loud crashing noise as the ribbon holding the entire contraption up decides to give way...

Does it look any better from this angle?  LOL!  Maybe it needs
fifty more strands of beads...

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