Three Easy Ways to Use Mesh Ribbon for Holiday Decorating

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This is one of my most viewed posts on ContainerCrazyCT’s blog recently, so I’m reblogging it to be front and center. Do you use mesh ribbon? How and what do you love about it?

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Project No. 1: Grape Vine Wreath with Mesh Ribbon and Decor

This is super easy to do, and no glue gun is required!  Select mesh ribbon (or Ruban en maille in French) with the colors you like and just make sure your decor colors work well with your ribbon choice.  This project can be done in less than an hour easily.

Here is what you will need:

  1. One grape vine wreath (20″ size was used)
  2. 4″ and 8″ green zip ties (a.k.a, cable ties)
  3. Roll of Mesh Ribbon (20.5″ width was used).  Length is dependent on how big you want to make the puffs.
  4. Your choice of matching ornaments (holiday balls, florist picks, etc.)
  5. One large tin decor (snowman face with hat used)
  6. Sharp scissors or snips

Mesh Ribbon Projects_0002

First step is gathering the end of your ribbon and attaching it to the wreath.  Zip ties work extremely well for this. They…

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Giving Thanks for another Great Gardening Year

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Container Garden Install

Container Garden Install

Another gardening year has passed quickly.  It was filled with lots of plant-loving activity, including garden talks for garden clubs and farmers markets, ‘walk and talk’ home tours of friends’ special gardens, and several classes hosted by guest instructors and Container Crazy Cathy T related to combining nature with art.  And along the way, I had many moments of thankfulness.

Now arrives the week of Thanksgiving.  A day approaches when we share time with our families to count our blessings – and enjoy home cooked meals. We may say a few words during these events to express our gratitude or a hug may suffice as you welcome your treasured family members and friends to your home and table.

As this fourth Thursday of the month approaches, I reflect upon many opportunities for which I am grateful.  Some may seem minor in the scheme of life, but each is something which helped me along my way and thus, here it goes, my “Give Thanks” List:

My, My – What a Beautiful Summer

We were blessed with an amazing summer where almost every weekend provided sun and comfortable temperatures.  I know this because I pay attention to the weather forecasts, especially for weekends where garden events are scheduled.  And, on every single summer weekend, the weather cooperated for my special events – how lucky am I!  Even on the only day when I had my family over for a summer picnic and pool time, well – that day was the warmest of all – it was perfect timing.

There were so many summer weekends when I looked to the skies and said, “Thank God it is beautiful out this weekend!” So, thankfulness prevails for cooperative weather. Hopefully, one more blessing will happen for good weather at my annual holiday evergreens class on December 6th to cap off the year. Please, no big snowstorms.

Supportive Gardening Friends and Family

As I look at the history of growing my small business, many times, it is friends and family members suggesting ideas to help improve processes and my classes.  And, it IS mostly friends and family members attending my gardening events. However, each new season brings new faces too – and thus, new gardening friends.  One of the best parts of working with plants is communication is almost universal in the gardening world – you don’t need to speak the same language or have the same gardening style to appreciate the beauty of nature and how to bring more of it to your surroundings. Thus, I am very grateful and thankful for all supportive people, new and old, and how they help me along the way. Each and every client is appreciated as well – and many are treasured friends and family members. Thank you for hiring me this gardening season and attending my events.

Healthy Me and Healthy Parents

This year, Thanksgiving Day falls one day before my big 50th birthday. Sure, I have more aches and pains than I did in my 30’s, but I am really thankful there have been no big health problems.  Truly a blessing – and good health becomes more important as we get older – the importance of health – not only for ourselves, but for our family members is of the utmost priority in life. And, for those who have struggled with tough health issues this year, I pray they are always getting better and feeling healthy once again. I’m thankful for when those prayers are answered.

As for my parents – gosh, they are elderly, yet both very healthy and still with us – Every single moment I spend with them, I thank God for sharing these two beautiful people with me.  And to be spending the upcoming Thanksgiving Day with them warms my heart and soul. They, along with my extended family, are a blessing for which I am grateful – and glad I can continue to have them in our lives to share special moments.

Small House with a Big Yard

The home I share with my husband (he is another blessing in of itself) may be somewhat on the small size, but it is cozy with plenty of outdoor space to enjoy. I’m so thankful for the day we were told of this home being for sale, and that we snagged it up over 20 years ago. I’m thankful for a solid roof over our heads, and a large outdoor space we enjoy with our animals, plants, and trees.  Years ago, when we stood on our former small 4 by 4 deck to toast the purchase of our new home, we knew it was what we wanted, because it had a big yard – but we had no idea how it would grow into so much pleasure as our personal daily destination – right in our backyard. When we sit to admire our space around us filled with plants and nature – we always think about how thankful we are for our own little place on earth, and how we love to share it with our friends and family.

Chicken Coop Pen at Cathy T's

Chicken Coop Pen at Cathy T’s

Thankful for Likes

One day, my niece told me how happy she was when someone liked her drawing on an artwork related social site, and, I thought to myself, “Do we give too much stock to the “likes, shares, and positive comments” of social media?” But in the end, yes – sometimes it is important.  As we share things we are proud of, often helping to inspire others, we are thankful when someone hits like or share.  For the followers, sharers, likers in my social world – thank you so much for taking the time to notice and for appreciating my efforts.

The Sun’s Rays upon My Face

Lately, I’ve been taking time to sit in the sunniest place available at my home to face the sun during the mid-afternoons before the sun sets. Especially during winter, this is a much needed therapy activity for me because the winter blues has potential to creep upon us as the days are darker and temperatures are colder.

Each time I feel the sun’s rays upon my face, I give thanks for the sun and all it offers to our world. It is such a powerful force – giving life to us, our plants, and our surroundings. Without the sun, we would have nothing, so thus I say, thank you Sun.  You are my Goddess, and I worship you.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone,

Cathy Testa
www.cathytesta.com
www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
(860) 977-9473 (cell)
containercathy@gmail.com

Cathy T at her home in East Windsor, CT

Cathy T at her home in East Windsor, CT

How Do You Decorate for the Holidays?

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We just got through Halloween, and now, Thanksgiving Day is quickly approaching. After that it will be Christmas – as we all know!

Some of us do not like to be rushed into the holidays – and many don’t care for seeing the decorations a little too early at the retail stores either.

But because my work involves planning events and classes to learn how to dress up the home for the holidays with evergreen decor and more, my decorating starts rather early, and so does information about upcoming holiday crafting classes.

Former Posts on Holiday Decorating:

To see some of ContainerCrazy CT’s blog posts on holiday decorating, just go to the red search bar on the right side of this blog and type in Holidays.

You will see results of ideas for decorating pumpkins to using mesh ribbon to create holiday decor in and outside the home, and of course posts about the annual class held by Cathy Testa of ContainerCrazyCT on making evergreen creations in December. Look for photos there, or by going to the top of the blog page for Cathy T’s Classes menu.

Search Bar - Red on Right

Search Bar – Red on Right

The “5th Annual Kissing Ball and Holiday Creations” Class on December 6th, 2014

Large Full Size Kissing Ball created by an Attendee!

Large Full Size Kissing Ball created by an Attendee!

For those who have not attended this class before – Well, let’s just say it is a “Do not miss type of event” if you enjoy creating with FRESH greens — and a large variety of them – There will be 14 different types of evergreens to work with when you make your holiday decor item of choice.

Things you can make at this class:  

A large or regular size Kissing Ball to adorn your front steps, a Wreath to hang on your door, a beautiful long and wide Candle Centerpiece for your holiday table, or even a Mailbox Swag to drape over your mailbox with beautiful, colorful and fresh evergreens.

Getting Ready:

As I prepare for this event, I start going thru my holiday decor to dress up the house.  It includes tossing out old holiday decorations too – or donating them to Good Will, thus me tossing out an old tree! But the goal is to make the environment as festive as possible and to provide more space for our growing group of KB Makers in Cathy T’s classroom located in Broad Brook, CT.

Cathy T tosses old decorations out the window to prepare for new festive decorations!

Cathy T tosses old decorations out the window to prepare for new festive decorations!  Image courtesy of Bitstrips.

Getting Started Early:

In a way, offering this class makes me get started a little bit early for the holidays – it puts me in the spirit.  Just the act of taking out decorations made me want to open a bottle of wine!  And because it is offered early in the month of December, it will get you into the spirit too – your decor will be enjoyed all month long before the hussel and bussel of the holidays.

Four Week Countdown:

The class is about 4 weeks away, on Saturday, Dec 6th.  So, if you haven’t pre-registered, now is the time.  Join a great group of KB Makers, a festive environment, light snacks provided by attendees, and some festive beverages.  All while learning how to make your creation of choice with evergreens.

To Sign Up:

Visit www.ContainerCrazyCT.com and fill out the contact form or reply here at containercathy@gmail.com.

To confirm your seat after pre-registration, a check must be mailed for the item you wish to make at class by next week, so don’t delay.  Once registered, you receive full details.

Onto Thanksgiving:

In the meantime, I will be also focusing on preparing for Thanksgiving (only one week before this class), and a Container Gardening Design class I’m teaching at the Tolland/Vernon location for the Master Gardener’s Program.  The Nov 19th evening class is open to anyone.  To learn more and register, visit http://mastergardener.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/703/2014/08/AMG-F14final.pdf.

Note the MG Container Gardening Design class indicates a Sept date in the above PDF link, but it is on Nov 19th, Wednesday.

Thank you – Cathy Testa

KB Class Attendees working on their Kissing Balls with Evergreens

KB Class Attendees working on their Kissing Balls with Evergreens