One More Week till Xmas!

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Hi Everyone,

I just posted an update on my http://www.WORKSHOPSCT.com site to show the custom kissing balls and wreaths I make this time of year based on requests and orders.

It is only one more week till our Holiday Festivities kick in with family!

If you need any greenery items made, be sure to look me up soon, as each is made fresh so it takes a while to make them if you want a holiday kissing ball or wreath soon.

In the meantime, just want to say Happy Holiday to Everyone!

I hope all is going well with your shopping, decorations, cooking, planning, and events.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Thank you – Cathy T
860-977-9473

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We Put Lights in Our Holiday Kissing Balls and Wreaths

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The lovely lady in the below photo, attending Container Crazy CT’s annual Kissing Ball & Holiday Creations Class, brought a string of holiday lights to put in her kissing ball one year – and that was the moment a trend began at this annual class!

The Official Light Queen at Cathy T's Annual Class

The Official Light Queen at Cathy T’s Annual Class – Photo by HomePlaceBlogger

Magic like this sometimes happens in class – and is one of the best part of holding a session where creativity kicks in by all the attendees. Thus, this light originator has been crowned our “Official Light Queen” at our class.  Love it Eilene!  Thank you for inspiring us.

Lights in our Holiday Kissing Balls

Lights in our Holiday Kissing Balls

In fact, this season, so many of the repeat attendees, which I refer to as the “Advanced Kissing Ball Makers,” are perfecting their techniques as they create their kissing balls, wreaths, and candle centerpieces with fresh evergreens.

Square Wreath with Lights - New This Season in Cathy T's Class!

Square Wreath with Lights – New This Season in Cathy T’s Class!

Here is an attendee also bringing lights, inspired by our “Official Light Queen” above, which she added to the square wreath she made with a mix of beautiful fresh evergreens.

Cathy T shows the class the new square wreath frame (Funny Expressions! LOL.)

Cathy T shows the class the new square wreath frame (Funny Expressions! LOL.)  Photos by HomePlaceBlogger

The square wreath is a new option available at Cathy T’s class this year.  It is created using a 14″ double-heavy duty metal frame – the frame is so strong, it will not bend and lasts for years to be reused. And the lights, which this attendee attached to her square wreath shown above, are battery operated – Great Job Dianne!

Light Queen Demonstrating

Light Queen Demonstrating – Photo by HomePlaceBlogger

I asked our Light Queen, Eileen, to demonstrate her technique for adding the holiday string of lights to the kissing balls, and you can see Renee is watching carefully – as she had plans to do the same in her two kissing balls.

Renee works the blues - adding blue ribbons and blue lights

Renee works the blues – adding blue ribbons and blue lights to her kissing balls

Renee and I attended the same high school (many moons ago). In fact, we sat next to each other in art class back in those days – and I always loved her drawings and clay art, and later in life – well, she ended up in my life even more – because I married her cousin!  So we are in-laws, and to have her here again this year is a treat.  She did an amazing job with her two kissing balls this season.  Way to go Renee!

Two finished with Blue Ribbon and Blue Lights!

Two finished with Blue Ribbon and Blue Lights!

I just love her bubbly personality which comes through in these photos.  More will be posted soon of our attendees amazing creations, and see below – a mini session is underway this weekend on Saturday.

Finished with Lights; Photo by HomePlaceBlogger

Finished with Lights; Photo by HomePlaceBlogger

Tips for Using Lights in Your Kissing Ball:

Evergreens remain fresher if kept outdoors in the cold where they will also receive some moisture from occassional snowfall or rainy days.  So, I always recommend kissing balls be hung outdoors, this way, they will last a long time – even up to February.

And please note: DRY greens are a huge fire hazard.  Never EVER leave a kissing ball with lights on unattended – and the same goes for any candle centerpieces created – do not leave candles unattended in centerpieces with greens if you decide to light the candle – even if it is a non-drip type as provided in class.

In fact, my recommendation is to not light the candle at all – or to use the non-drip type with a catch tray inserted for any potential drippings and if you light the candle, ONLY when you are sitting right in front of it.

Why so cautious?

Ever see a dry Christmas tree catch on fire?  It can be very dangerous and the flames move quickly.  So while lights are gorgeous in all evergreen creations – and many are available now as battery operated – just remember the safety rules – only when attended and better if the creation is displayed outdoors.

Have a Good Day Everyone,

Cathy Testa

Note:  A mini-class is underway for this Saturday, 12/13/14 at 12:30-3:00 pm.  If interested, contact me soon!

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

Decorating your Mailbox for the Holidays with Greens

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Just a very quick post to show you the evergreen swag made by a class attendee this weekend for her mailbox.  I’ve offered this option in my class for two years, but this was the very first taker for this particular item.

The other attendees made kissing balls, wreaths, and candle centerpieces.

And now, I have to say, “I’m hooked!”  on these mailbox swags.  It came out beautiful, and I must make one for my mailbox if I get the time soon.  It’s lovely.  Great job attendee!  You know who you are.

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The swag requires a special frame and evergreens of course and some time.  The technique is covered in my class on the how-to’s.

More photos and tips will be posted on my Evergreen Creations Classes to share with you.  Especially now with the holidays fast approaching.

But in the meantime, if you are local and wish to join a day class tomorrow, December 10th, 12:30 to 2:00 pm, contact me at 860-977-9473.  Location:  Senior Center in Broad Brook, CT.

Stay Tuned,

Cathy Testa

P.S.  You do not need to be a senior to attend the class noted above.  Thank you.