And I was the learner!
Holding classes on how to make Evergreens Creations has been fun, challenging, exciting, nerve racking, and more – but I didn’t expect that I would learn so much from the attendees in addition to teaching them.
Over time, every year, as I continue to expand this class in December, I find I learn something new – whether it is how one makes a bow a special way, or how a person may consider using a new tool for their creations, or in one case recently, the husband of an attendee brought along some heavy wire to show me how it can be used for hooks in the kissing balls.
Here it is in the above photo. It is actually used for electric fencing. It is easy to cut, bend, and very strong. So next year, I will take the suggestion and try to find this material to be used as hooks for the Evergreen Holiday Kissing Balls. He gave me a couple pieces to test out, so we will see. I did like how easy it was to bend, and it beats cutting wire coat hangers and straightening them out.
Skip and his wife, Cindy, attended an Open Studio Day this week where anyone can sign up by appointment to make an Evergreen Creation in my classroom with my instruction and theirs (LOL). When Cindy asked if her husband could tag along, especially because of the driving in the snow that day, I said, “Sure.”
And I also learned something else by having a hubby here with a first-time attendee.
He was available to help Cindy with the snips and cuttings of various fresh evergreens. And as you can see, he did that with a big smile.
I had an “Ah-ha moment.” Maybe husbands should attend my classes to help their wives. Former and ongoing attendees know by the end of class, your hands can be sticky and worn out from all the tips needed to make a kissing ball.
This time of year, I end up with cuts, sore spots, and difficult to remove sap on my hands from all the various evergreens used in my classes and for custom orders.
My hands get tired. Maybe that is why I have such a darn hard time trying to make bows using the old fashioned twist and turn method for bow making.
Cindy told me she has made beautiful bows for many of her friends in years past, but due to some troubles with her hands, she no longer can make them that way. I have difficulty with my hands too when doing the floral technique of bow making with the pinch, twist, turn method. I never seem to be able to keep in tight in my hands either.
So during my classes, I share a trick on how to make bows with a simpler method. This is what the bow ends up looking like.
It is suitable, and you can make two, then bunch them together to make it a bigger bow if you want to, or just create the one – but they ain’t as elaborate as they could be or should be.
I especially love the BIG huge bows on the Ellen Degeneres show. I just twittered her this morning to ask she show us how they make those gorgeous bows which sit on top of the big gift boxes she displays during her 12-Day Giveaways. Like yah, I doubt she will find my request in her millions of tweets. But that would be sweet if she did – after all she always helps those in need – Help Ellen, I can’t make a big pretty bow. Well, of course, there are bigger things in life to worry about – but this time of year, big bows are a must-do, right? Ellen, won’t you show us how you make those bows on the show? Pleeeaase.
In the photo above, you can see I also create tails for the bottom of the bow. Attaching them to a green florist pick with the wire is helpful and then I just insert it into the bottom of the big ball at the end. This really finishes off the look.
During my annual Kissing Ball Making Class, one of my regular attendees, Maryse, is an excellent bow maker. So I asked her if she could help some of the attendees make bows which she gladly did for me. She also tried out a bow making device, but found it cumbersome, so for now, I’m still struggling with bow making – but I will say this – I think the mesh ribbons are way easier to use to create big fluffy bows.
The mesh ribbon material seems to puff easily no matter what – so I have been using this more often. Yesterday, I created a big fully bow with it for a mailbox evergreen swag. Photos on that later. See my earlier post on how to use mesh ribbon three different ways.
Everyone seems to like my bubble bunch with mesh ribbon hung at my door. An attendee told me she was going to make one at her house. I forgot to ask her to send me pictures of it when done – I want to see – and perhaps she will add something new to it to share.
While Cindy and Skip were here making a kissing ball, we talked a lot about farming, property in our town, common friends we know in the area, and more – but this was the first time we met. And ironically, they live on the street I grew up on. When I asked about where their house was exactly on the street, I told them – Oh yes, I know that house – you put out two big pots at the end of your driveway every year. I absolutely love them because the plants are flush and full – and colorful. “Coleus, right?” I asked.
Cindy responded, “Yes.” I have been admiring those two big pots for many years. Sometimes, I have slowed down to see the plants, and always thought it was Coleus. So you see – it was fate. She found me via my postings on my classes, they came here, we met and now I see a long-lasting friendship forming.
By the way, there is another session today scheduled at 2:00 pm to learn how to make a kissing ball. You around? Want to join us? Just call, or call for a specific time at your convenience for a personal appointment.
Thank you, Cathy Testa