Evergreen Kissing Balls Class 2012

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Candle Centerpiece

Good Morning, or Afternoon Everyone!

Today is the day I have the pleasure of teaching attendees the how-to’s of making gorgeous evergreen kissing balls for the holidays.  Wreath making is also being offered as well as mailbox swags, button balls, candle center pieces, and more.  This is my third annual class on this topic, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to hold it because is it fun, creative, and everyone leaves with a hand-made evergreen decoration.

For those reading my blog regularly, you know this tradition – at least for me – is partly due to my Canadian heritage, and the other part of the formula is being in the world of horticulture.  It can be dreary looking outside in the winter months, and having evergreens around your home in various décor showcases surely cheers one up.  It adds a nice dark green color against the soft snow of the season.Birdbath with Evergreens

I hang two kissing balls from hooks by my entrance door every year, on hooks used for hanging baskets in the summer.  I also make an evergreen topper for my whiskey barrels and insert a big wicker snowman with lights in the center.  I like putting evergreens on a iron garden bench and on the rim of my hearted birdbath.  And I hang evergreen garlands from various places too.  The list goes on.

Festive SnowyAs shown on my latest guest appearance on the CT Style televisions program (See:  http://www.wtnh.com/dpp/ct_style/holiday-kissing-ball#.ULnhI10o7IU), I mentioned kissing balls don’t just have to be hung from hooks or from the ceiling of your entrance doors or wrap around porches, although they look absolutely gorgeous there.  They can also be placed in a pretty holiday tin as a table centerpiece. Or you can create festive and fun snow man by using a kissing ball as the body. Another new creation I invented is what I call a “button ball” which is almost a full ball that is hung on the base of your windows, outdoors, on the center of the base.  Just think creatively.

Yesterday, my oil delivery guy tapped on my door to hand in my bill, and he said, “Your place looks so nice!”  I told him I was setting up a class and had people attending tomorrow.  He asked for what?…, and of course, I pointed to my kissing balls hanging right there, he said they were beautiful.  You know, I’ve had the mail man complement me on plants in summer, the woman delivering the newspapers mentioning she enjoys my big container garden season change up by the end of my driveway, and even an electrician this summer, working here, bought an item of mine on his way out that I just made for the farmers market.  He said his wife still raves about it still.

Candle CenterpieceThree days after my kissing ball and wreath making class, I’m holding a class at my local East Windsor Senior Center on how to make candle centerpieces with evergreens and decor.  My parents go to this senior center every single day, yes every week day, for lunch.  They love it there.  I never thought they would be so involved in a senior center, only because they spent so much time at home on our farm, and many of their best friends were Canadian relatives, but now he has many town friends from the senior center.

One day I ran into a person who is involved in running the center, and he said, at first my father was very quiet, yet now he talks to everyone non-stop.  I’m so glad the center is here for my parents, I truly appreciate this helpful service at a time when my parents are retired.  The senior center staff invited me to have lunch with them before we begin our hands-on session for candle centerpieces.  This is another class I’m looking forward to doing, especially because the attendees are good friends of my parents, and it is a local venue.

ev on plateThen it is off to decorating some business store fronts with evergreen décor and hopefully, after that is done, I can do a little more at home for myself.  Some of my favorite evergreens to use are boxwood, balsam and fraser firs, blue berried juniper, coned cedar, yew, holly, and white pine.  I went over why during my television segment, and will during classes.

I also love collecting pine cones which I bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at a low temperature to kill any little critters that maybe hanging out in there, and this also opens them up if they are closed tight.  The fragrance emitted, as they slowly warmed up, is interesting, and kind of sets the mood too.

Beautiful, fresh, and textural evergreens dress up your outdoor environment this time of year, and will add a bit of fresh fragrance, and create festive, welcoming environment.  Once decorated, they can’t be beat and I think even the birds enjoy them.

A new trend I’m seeing is the evergreens are showcasing more unique light products, such as solar powered lights that can be tucked in the base, or you can put a string of lights in the base on top of the soil before inserting your greens and painted or natural branches for holiday outdoor containers and pots filled with evergreens.  You can even create an ice globe by filling a balloon with water, putting outdoors during freezing temps, it will freeze into a ball.  Then just peal off the balloon and you have an ice globe.  This globe tucked into the base of the evergreens in a holiday pot with lights can look very cool during the evenings.  And if it melts, oh well, that just gives some moisture to the tips and cuttings.

This year’s class is full, but keep it in mind for next season as it will return and grow each year.  Also, if you are interested in a custom order for evergreen décor, do not hesitate to contact me at cathy.testa@aol.com or 860-977-9473.  Thank you for visiting.  Don’t forget to see more photos on my business Facebook page:  Cathy T’s Landscape Designs, and on Pinterest for my holiday boards for ideas.  Cathy T

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2 thoughts on “Evergreen Kissing Balls Class 2012

  1. Happy New Year Cathy,
    I accidentally stumbled across this website while Googling to find a DYI set of instructions for how to make an artificial kissing ball that has lights (so it can be reused each year). Please advise where you would recommend as a reliable online resource containing clear instuctions to accomplish this. I look forward to your response. Thanks so very much!! :))

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    • Hi PJB, sorry for the delay, most of my classes are on making kissing balls with live/real evergreens. The one posted with lites was the extra creativity added by an attendee of my KB Making Class. She strung the lights thru the evergreens after the ball was completed. I don’t know of a site for artificial, but use caution if the lights get warm at all. Good luck – and share if you create one! Thanks, Cathy T

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