Search Terms for Holiday Crafting

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  • how to attach a birdhouse to a post
  • how to with mesh ribbon
  • can i move vegetables in the boot of my car?
  • can you make a snowman from buffalo snow
  • how to make a kissing ball for christmas
  • outdoor christmas containers + how to make evergreens last
  • storing container grown canna
  • decorating with mesh ribbon ideas

The “search terms” listed above are exactly as typed by the searchers on my blog recently.

I am thankful you stopped by to look around for information and answers on Container Crazy CT’s blog .

Many seem to be looking for ideas about holiday decorating, so here are some tips on some of the questions above…

How to use Mesh Ribbon

I wrote about this last year, or was it years before? Not sure. Time is flying! Mesh ribbon seemed wildly popular last year and a few years probably before that – but, I don’t see the trend “as much” this year – but that is me.

However, I watched Scot Haney of Channel 3 put a mesh ribbon wreath around his waist yesterday. It made me laugh!

Mesh ribbon is incredibly easy to bend, use, gather, staple gun to projects, and is super festive – However, it does FADE in the sun. FYI on that but I’ve used it and still enjoy this wonderful ribbon that is amazingly easy to use.

Here’s another link on my blog about mesh ribbon uses:

https://containercrazyct.com/2013/11/18/three-easy-ways-to-use-mesh-ribbon-for-holiday-decorating/

How to make a Kissing Ball for Christmas

Ah, will be doing so with a very large group of attendees tomorrow. If you are located in Connecticut near my area – check out WORKSHOPSCT.com for information on that. This will be our 7th Annual Workshop – and we not only make the kissing balls, we make wreaths, candle centerpieces and more creative items with fresh greens. It is a great kickoff to the holiday decorating season for many – and I can’t wait for tomorrow.

Additionally, we have a weeknight workshop coming up on Dec 7th, Wed., 5:30-7:30 pm. There’s still time to sign up if interested, just text me 860-977-9473 or use the links on our WORKSHOPSCT.com site to get in, Registration and pre-payment is required.

Private parties upon request at our studio location in Broad Brook/East Windsor is an additional option for small groups. Advance notice is required however. And I also offer custom orders starting next week, if you are local.

And of course, you may find information on how to make them just by browsing this site. Use the search field and type in Kissing Balls.

Outdoor Christmas Containers and How to Make Evergreens Last

Ah, this IS the magic question – and I go over tips in my workshops on this based on my experiences creating and installing containers filled with lush greens – but there are three basic ingredients – cold weather, Wilt Pruf Plant Protector spray product found at local stores which may be used on some greens (not all apply so read the instructions on the bottle), and getting fresh quality greens. I have some other little secrets I use – shared with my regular and loyal attendees and followers.

Starting tomorrow, I officially turn into Mrs. KB Claus, greeting and teaching my attendees. They are in for a GREAT workshop.

Oh, BTW, here are more items coming up – hope to see you there!

Book Club Bookstore & More – Pop Up Vendor’s Day
December 11, 2016 – Sunday
December 17, 2016 – Saturday
Various holiday items made and custom designed by Cathy T

Ellington Winter Farmers Market
January 28, 2016  from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Demonstration on “Growing Nutritious Soil Sprouts”
Kits will be available for purchase

Thank you,

Cathy Testa
Owner of Cathy T’s Landscape Designs and Container Crazy CT
Located in Broad Brook, CT
860-977-9473 (texts welcome)
containercathy@gmail.com

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What a Month!

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And what a year ahead…

2016 will be filled with exciting new workshops and garden talks, but I have to comment on what a wonderful past month or so it has been installing container gardens for business clients with greenery and festive fun, holding the big “Kissing Ball and Holiday Creations” workshop with 35 attendees this month, and making wreaths, kissing balls, evergreen garlands, candle centerpieces, swags, and more for clients all month long.

These photos of my Instagram feed say it all.

It’s been a pleasure serving you and I’m looking forward to the new year!

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Thank you again everyone, and have a Festive Holiday and Christmas.

Only two more days to go!

Cathy T

 

 

Wreath and Kissing Ball Workshop on Sat, Dec. 12th

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Flyer Sq Wreath

Hello Everyone,

Sorry for all the posts this week, but I feel the Claus energy and need to share this workshop as it is the last chance to attend one of my workshops this season until next year.

This Weekend:

Workshop is this weekend, Saturday, Dec. 12th, 2015 if you wish to make your own holiday creation with a wonderful mix of greenery including variegated holly, berried eucalyptus, yew, boxwood, juniper, red cedar, fir, coned cedar, and more.

To Attend:

To attend, text/call: 860-977-9473 or email: containercathy@gmail.com.

Cost: $37 pp + sales tax

Location: Broad Brook/East Windsor, CT

Included: Greens, mechanics, hooks, and florist picks, etc. There are a few items you will need to bring based on item you elect to make (florist wire for wreath makers).

Options to make are a kissing ball, round or square wreath, candle centerpiece, candy cane wreath, swag, or garland.

Time: 11 am is official start time but if you prefer earlier in the day to have time to do your holiday shopping, please ask. It is doable.

Payment at class, but let us know if planning on attending for head-count. (No credit cards, sorry. Cash/check only.)

Happy Holidays,

Cathy Testa

http://www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

 

 

Making Your Own Evergreen Creations – This Saturday at the Mini Workshop!

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Just a quick heads-up – If you missed the big Holiday Evergreens Creations Workshop this past Saturday, there are other opportunities to make your own evergreen creation – via appointment this week or attend the Mini Workshop on Saturday, December 12th, 11 am.

(Note, the start time is 11 am but if you prefer earlier in the day, or later, just let me know – I realize everyone has super busy holiday schedules right now – we are flexible).

To attend Saturday’s class, email containercathy@gmail.com or call or text me at 860-977-9473. Payment in advance is not required – You may pay at the class, but a confirmed headcount is needed, so sign up by Thursday of this week if you wish to join the Mini Workshop on Saturday.

We have fresh beautiful greens to make a Kissing Ball, Candle Centerpiece, Wreath, or Candy Cane Wreath.

Here’s more details!

Open Studio Days – The week following the Big Class, if you prefer a one-on-one instruction by appointment, you may contact Cathy T to book a date and time – any time of day the week of Dec 7th, Monday through Dec 11, Friday.  This is convenient for those having time during the day or prefer to make an item after work or even before work.

Saturday’s Mini Workshop

Saturday, December 12th, 2015 – The Mini Workshop:  This session is perfect for anyone, nice for mothers and young daughters, or anyone that could not make the Big Class. It is quieter, no festivities other than making your beautiful evergreen holiday items with more one on one personal instruction directly since it is not a big crowd. You will learn the techniques and tricks to making gorgeous greenery arrangements and take home your holiday creation.

Cost: $37-$40 based on item you elect to make.
See the menu bar for descriptions.

Location: 72 Harrington Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016

I hope to hear from you! Cathy Testa

860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

Photos by Bonnie of the Home Place Blog. That’s her on the top left in pink! She is wonderful and shares posts about food, events, and fun happenings in Connecticut. Check out Bonnie’s award winning blog for more on her amazing topics about places to eat and enjoy in Connecticut.

One More Day to Kick In Festive Decorations for the Holidays

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It is just one more day until my big workshop where woman gather to create their evergreen holiday creations and get into festive gear mode!

I literally feel like I’m turning into Cathy Claus as I work on preparing everything – So much goes into the planning, timing of fresh greens, getting the craft mechanics, setting up the workshop room, decorating, cleaning, decorating some more, inside and out but I find the spirit within me each year.

Where do I get all this motivation?

Well, let me tell you – and you will think I’m a bit “crazy” – but I can hear the voices of the Kissing Ball workshop attendees of the past.

As I take out the shop vac, clean the floor in the workshop, dust off the upper light fixtures, and set up tables and chairs – I hear the ladies laughing, I hear the background holiday music, and I hear the chatter woman make when they are having a good time. Literally.

Holiday times can be tough – at times…

Also, I’ve noticed a few posts here and there on Facebook by friends – and holiday times can be tough for some.

Some of my lady friends have been challenged, I sense this, but when one friend recently wrote, “The holidays are not like they use to be, but I will cheer up at Cathy T’s Holiday Workshop!” – You have no idea what that meant to me.

You see – I could use some cheering up too at times. We all do. When we go to the crowded malls and see everyone rushing around – sometimes even I get a little down and think – What is this all for?

But I do feel from the bottom of my heart, the gathering tomorrow is a big gift to me. It is when we can have fun before we have to shop and prepare big meals for our families – which we all love to do but it is sometimes a lot of work. No doubt.

Favorite Part of the Holiday Month

One year, I told a friend the annual Kissing Ball and Holiday Creations Workshop is my favorite part of the holidays – and I do believe this. It is with friends, family, and new acquaintances. And although it takes effort to set it up and organize all – it is worth it.

No kids of Our Own

Steve and I did not have children – Not by choice, but it was “In God’s hands,” as my Dad said to me when I asked him in my early twenties about what he thought about if someone could not have children.

I remember asking him one day, “Dad, what would you have done if you couldn’t have kids? Would you be sad?”

He immediately replied with, “No, because it is in God’s hands.”

His words were soothing to me at that time – but I have to say, Christmas Day was always one of which I had a hard time. I envisioned the kids running down the stairs to open gifts. It always makes me a tad bit sad on Christmas morning in particular.

However, luckily I married a wonderful man and he is all I need, and we love each other – and by the way – he helps me big time with this event too. He is Mr. Claus right now!

You see, I created my own family. Perhaps, by mistake or as a result of having my small business – but THIS holiday workshop is my happy day, with friends whom appreciate all. It is like opening up presents with your kids on Christmas morning.

Kind of Mushy! I know…

Cathy T

cocktail

Photo by Bitstrips. P.S. The festive drink will be cranberry, pomegranate, lime, ginger and you know what. Cu soon Ladies!

 

Keeping Holiday Greens Fresh after Assembly

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Hello Everyone,

The temperatures are getting a little colder here in Connecticut and the misty rain is making things outdoors a bit damp, but it will not dampen my spirits – In fact, it will make them even brighter.

As my big Kissing Ball and Holiday Evergreen Creations class is approaching – in only 3 days – I welcome the colder temps and feeling of winter – It also helps me to maintain the goodness of my specially ordered mixed evergreens for this weekend’s class.

This year, we have lots of newbies in my workshop. Some of them seem a little nervous, saying or texting things like, “I’m not crafty” and “I want to sit in the front of the class,” but I believe they will surprise themselves.

All my attendees end up making something amazing and they impress me every year with their talents as they decorate the kissing balls and wreaths. I learn from them as well.

FM Kissing Ball Red Ribbon

Kissing Ball with Bow Created at ContainerCrazyCT Classes

But after the class, they may be wondering, how do I keep everything fresh?

For starters, the cold weather really helps – and it best for them to keep their newly made holiday arrangements with fresh evergreens outside.

The natural moisture from misty winter rains and upcoming snow falls outdoors keeps the greens just right. Colder is better to retain needles.

But, the type of evergreen also determines how it will fare in the weather after being cut and inserted into the mechanics.

For example, fir and balsam trees cuttings last very well for a long time. Their needle retention is pretty good – that is why people like them for Christmas trees.

Keep Your Holiday Creations Outdoors

It is also important or helpful, but not mandatory, to keep your wreath or kissing ball out of direct sunlight and wind. The wind may dry out the needles somewhat faster than if located in a protected place outdoors.

You may hang your kissing ball indoors – like from a ceiling fan or chandelier, however, it will dry out faster in a warm house. If you really want to do that for décor during your festivities later in the month, a good tip is to hang it outside the weeks or days before so it stays cold, and move it to your indoor location a couple days before your holiday event.

And be sure to keep any holiday arrangements with fresh greens away from hot rooms heated by wood stoves. That will surely dry them out.

I also recommend any candle centerpieces are kept in the coldest room possible before you display them at your holiday dinner table.

Kissing Ball on VDay

Fake Red Carnations on a Regular Sized Evergreen Kissing Ball

I find my kissing ball, hanging outside by my steps lasts all the way into February with no problems at all. I remember one year, it was hanging there on Valentine’s Day covered with snow and red fake carnations but it was soooo beautiful even then.

Pick Them Fresh

It also helps if the greens are purchased or picked fresh of course, which is one of my goals every year for this workshop. Timing is everything.

If you get greens from your yard, wait until you are ready to arrange them to cut them from your branches, or do it the evening before if possible, and take them when it is cold outside (not warm). Also, I recommend you cut them before any major wet type freeze falls on leave leaves or needles – so be sure to watch your weather forecasts.

Boxwood Plain

Regular Size Boxwood Kissing Ball – Color Lasts a Long Time!

Other types of evergreens which last and have a nice color in mixed arrangements are juniper, incense cedar, white pine, and as noted above, fir and balsam. The white pine may dry out a little quicker than the others, I have found but no worries, all will be fine.

Hemlock branches are very pretty and they tend to arch which I like in container gardens outdoors for holidays, but they will loose their needles a little faster than other types.

Yew, with its dark green needles, is a great candidate and lasts. For some reason, it is not as popular but I think it looks marvelous and adds a layer of texture in the arrangements.

One new item this year at my workshop, which will be a surprise to my attendees unless they are reading this blog post today, is berried Eucalyptus. This has a beautiful blue coloring and texture – and I’m excited to share it with everyone on Saturday.

Boxwood is another excellent, quality green in arrangements for the holidays. One big benefit is they have no sticky sap and they maintain their dark color even if they get a little dry over time. I absolutely love the classic look boxwood cuttings give to kissing balls and wreaths.

Boxwood along with Pine may be soaked in water prior to your day of arrangement – if needed to re-hydrate, but often it is not required.

Holly can be a little tougher to work with because those spines are SHARP. And holly may turn black if it gets wet and then freezes, but I don’t see this situation too often.

By the way, this year, we have variegated Holly – wait til you see it – oh, la, la, fa, and la-lah. Its gorgeous.

One year, perhaps next year, we will add magnolia leaves to the mix – they have shiny tops and brown undersides to their leaves, and it adds a really nice texture to holiday evergreen arrangements, especially on wreaths.

There are anti-desiccant type products you may spray on your greens to help retain moisture, but to be honest, I don’t bother with that – and everything has lasted well for the holidays.

Boxwood Bow III

Bow on top of a Kissing Ball

Last but not least, cutting the ends of your greens from fresh branches with “good sharp pruners” is important. It not only helps with the insertion into your kissing ball mechanics, but allows water uptake if you set your greens in a bucket of water the night before or if you are using hydrated floral foam.

Timing is Everything

Timing is probably the most important of all (along with cold temperatures).

Everything is timed in the background – lots of busy growers, distributors, and buyers do everything they can to time the harvesting of greens at the right time to shorten the length it sits out – and if too early, that’s not good – if too late, not good either. It has to be just right.

I do my best and feel like Mrs. Kissing Ball Clause as I prepare all for holiday workshops – I feel this magical spirit as I get everything ready – maybe that is what drives everyone in the business of selling Christmas trees, making wreaths to sell at stores, and arranging workshops. They end up working outdoors in the cold or rain but keep on. We are those elves doing whatever it takes to make all merry.

See you soon,

Cathy Testa
www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

Container Crazy CT has Gift Cards Available – See the Menu Bar above – A Great Gift Redeemable Towards Future Workshops!

We have many exciting new workshops in 2016 – See “February’s Floral Design Class” with two experts in the horticulture business of floral design. See “April’s Art class”, and also May for the “Container Gardening workshops” – All hands-on and fun, educational, convenient. Classes fill up early too – so gift cards are perfect to give to someone who will enjoy this type of event at Container Crazy CT located in East Windsor/Broad Brook, Connecticut. And they may be used, of course, for next year’s holiday workshops. We hope to hear from you! Cathy Testa

Holiday Gift Cards and New Workshops

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Gift Cards and New Workshops

Hello everyone,

‘Tis the Season’ to get started for your upcoming holiday fun – So, here’s a heads-up on new items and activities I am super excited to share with you today. Container Crazy CT has new workshops being offered in 2016, gift cards available for the holidays, and more.

New Gift Cards

Container Crazy CT has new “Gift Cards” available for purchase. They are redeemable towards workshops, onsite consultations, container garden gifts, or seasonal plants. Perfect for the friends and family members in your life who enjoy DIY classes, plants, gardens, containers and art fun. The card has a beautiful holiday theme cover with a colorful container garden photo.

Greet Card Gift Card

A beautiful card with container garden photo

Returning Guest Artist

Laura Sinsigallo of timefliesbylauralie is returning as a guest speaker in 2016. We had such a wonderful time learning how to make her unique and eclectic wind chimes the last time she was here and she enjoyed teaching our group. As you know, Laura Sinsigallo has many talents from paintings to cute figurines for special holidays – she is a very creative person. Her program will be in April 2016 and the special Art Work to be made in class will be announced very soon.

Laura Sinsigallo with her painting - Out guest artist in April

Laura Sinsigallo with her painting – Out guest artist in April

Floral Design – New!

Mandy Mayer of jemshorticulture.com will be our new speaker at our 2016 workshops. I am so excited to have her join our list of guest artists. She designs beautiful bouquets and floral arrangements for weddings and special events. Her business is called “JEM’s Horticulture and Floral Design” located in Stafford Springs, and you won’t want to miss this workshop. We plan to have her program offered in February 2016. Stay tuned for details.

Photo by M. Mayer, Floral Designer

Photo by M. Mayer, Floral Designer located in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.

Kissing Ball Class

The first class is full, the supplies are ordered, and the workshop space is being adorned! So excited to have NEW and REPEAT attendees coming. If you were unable to sign up for this class, mini workshops are offered during the week following the first workshop date of 12/5. And don’t forget to bring your own florist wire and decor to adorn your balls, wreaths, etc. Looking forward to seeing you!

Special Orders for Wreaths or Kissing Balls

If you would like a handmade wreath or kissing ball, please don’t hesitate to ask. And don’t forget to visit my Pinboards and Instagram pages for inspirational ideas. It’s time to get your jingle on.

See you soon,

Cathy Testa
Enhance Your Outdoor Surroundings…
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

How to Make Kissing Balls for the Upcoming Holidays

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Container Crazy CT offers several classes and workshops year-round where Nature with Art are combined.

There are several classes offered every season, such as the annual Container Gardening Workshop in May and a Kissing Ball and Holiday Creations Workshop in December.

And this weekend is the Storing Tropical Plants Demo where steps will be demonstrated on how to overwinter plants such as Canna, Elephant Ears, Angel’s Trumpets, and banana plants.

During the months between the spring and winter, special guests artists are invited to hold various hands-on style classes with the the mission to educate, share, and create – and most importantly, have fun with friends.

On the drop down menu under the “Nature with Art Class Programs” from the top of this blog, you will find descriptions for each workshop scheduled in 2015 and upcoming in 2016.

Starting Early – Kissing Ball Workshop Dates

We realize that many of us don’t like to start thinking about Christmas or the Holidays until at least early November, but when you have workshops to setup, some things need to be ordered in October so we are ready when December arrives to make our wonderful holiday creations. This is why places like Hobby Lobby are stuffed with Christmas crafts already, where you may find decor to add to your kissing ball or wreath at the workshop.

Kissing Balls_0004

KISSING BALL & HOLIDAY CREATIONS WORKSHOPS

The December upcoming hands-on workshops have been scheduled. Seats are limited for the first big workshop date of December 5th, so register early. We gather to make beautiful holiday creations with a mix of fresh evergreens and socialize. It is a fun day and a great way to make your own kissing ball just in time to place it on your porch or hang it in a hallway.

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See How It’s Done

Kissing Balls Shown on TV by Cathy T. See how they are really fun to make and require a bit of time, but they are beautiful and unique when hand-made with your special touches – and the fresh evergreens smell wonderful – not to mention, when you hang them outdoors, the birds like to perch on them – so pretty when snow is falling upon the kissing balls. You can find steps on how to make Kissing Balls on the web, or watch the video linked above, but when you gather with a group – it makes the whole process extra special because you are with a large group of enthusiastic attendees, the mechanics and amazing greens are here for you, and you learn from Cathy T and attendees with their own unique ideas, such as adding lights to the balls. If you live in East Windsor or surrounding towns in Connecticut, come on down and join us – we have attendees all the way from New Haven joining us annually.

Kissing Balls_0005

Open Studio Days and Mini Session

Additionally, there are other opportunities to craft away and make beautiful round kissing balls with a wide mix of evergreens to adorn your home indoors and out. An Open Studio week is offered where you may schedule your own appointment to make an evergreen creation at a time convenient for you. Lastly, we have a Mini Session on December 12th. We also make square or round wreaths, candle centerpieces, and mail box swags at these workshops – you pick the one you want to make.

How to Register

All you need to do is fill out the Contact Form. Cost is $30-$45 (+ sales tax) based on item you select to make, and pre-payment is required. Once you sign-up here, you will receive the 2015 price list and details with instructions. Location of the workshops is East Windsor, Connecticut.

Kissing Balls_0001

CALENDAR OF WORKSHOPS

For a handy view by month, click on the CALENDAR menu.

An Attendee Listens to Cathy T's Instructions at the KB Workshop

An Attendee Listens to Cathy T’s Instructions at the KB Workshop

ARTISTS ARE INVITED TO TEACH

Artists are invited to teach and a page shows the Featured Artists for the upcoming season. If you are an artist utilizing any aspect of plants, nature, or the environment in your designs and would like to introduce your product along with DIY instructions for Container Crazy CT’s attendees, please contact her at 860-977-9473 or containercathy@gmail.com to arrange a date and discuss your ideas.  All classes are taught by professionals and artisans with years of experience to share with the interested attendees.

We hope you will join us.

Cathy Testa
ContainerCrazyCT
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

Container Gardens with Evergreens – Spice Up Your Space for the Holidays

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I’ve worked on cold and windy days to install festive holiday container gardens with evergreens and decor this time of the year – but I have to say, yesterday was probably the coldest day ever experienced outdoors while doing so.

Checking the weather beforehand wasn’t on my list – I knew it was going to rain today, so I thought, I need to get this done first thing on Monday.

The truck was loaded up with evergreens and decor supplies by sun up. Sometimes, having an early start is nice because all is quiet before shops open up for the day.

So off I went.  Within the first 45 minutes tho – my hands were frozen.  It was much colder than I expected. It was like 22 degrees out!

But because I enjoy the process of installing container gardens for the holidays, ignoring the tips of my finger tips getting cold in my not-warm-enough gloves was somewhat easy – at first.

As the owner of a business showed up to unlock his store, he said, “You picked a terrible day to do this. It’s freezing out.”

So, I responded with, “It is suppose to rain tomorrow, and it is time for the seasonal change up, so here I am!”

He agreed, indicating this is his favorite container of the seasonal change outs, and how he is looking forward to the holidays.

After completing his two big barrels at his store front, I went for a coffee and returned to the house for warmer socks, gloves, a neck warmer, and warmer ski like hat – it was THAT cold out.

Back out I went and finished two other jobs, taking a lunch break in between to – yes, warm up again.

Luckily – these are local clients – for which I am very thankful for their business.

Check them out – The Sweet Spot Bakery in Broad Brook, CT offers freshly baked cupcakes, cakes, and more – and they are yummy. In fact, I had them make a kissing ball cake for my latest class – it was much fun as everyone didn’t realize it was a cake at first.

KB Cake by The Sweet Spot Baker (Photo by HomePlaceBlogger)

KB Cake by The Sweet Spot Bakery of Broad Brook, CT (Photo by HomePlaceBlogger)

Then there’s the huge and popular package store, Joe’s Fine Wine & Spirits, on Rt 140 in East Windsor, CT.  When I looked around at the supply of wine and beer, during my warm up breaks in the store yesterday, I thought – “Gosh, what Leslie and his staff has done for this place is amazing.”  They offer a huge selection of wine and beer — and they hold holiday festivities during the year, like wine tastings, and several important fundraising benefits to help raise funds for community efforts.

Barrels in-front of Joe's Fine Wine & Spirits by Cathy T

Barrels in-front of Joe’s Fine Wine & Spirits by Cathy T

After finishing the decor at Joe’s Fine Wine & Spirits, it was off to a local hairdresser’s shop, next to the new TRX exercise studio, which is another small local business to support. The salon is called Carol Jean’s Hair Salon at 144 North Road, East Windsor, CT. Michelle is a great person and offers local salon services.

Container Garden Dressed Up by Cathy T at Carol Jean's Hair Salon

Container Garden Dressed Up by Cathy T at Carol Jean’s Hair Salon

All of these business owners tell me the festive container gardens outside their businesses adds a welcoming environment – and their customers really enjoy seeing them each season, and talking about them with the business owners.

Container Gardens outside of storefronts and businesses lets everyone know – customers are important to their small businesses, and they want to share the holiday happiness too!

If you are interested in an install job for container gardens, call me this week while supplies last.  This is the best time of year to dress up your outdoor store front environment, whether it be a container garden stuffed with greens and decor or a holiday kissing ball or wreath hung on your front door. Tis’ the Season!!

His and Her's Elves Grace the Steps of THE SWEET SPOT Bakery in Broad Brook, CT.

His and Her’s Elves Grace the Steps of THE SWEET SPOT Bakery in Broad Brook, CT.

And, by the way, I’m super glad I went out yesterday, despite the freezing cold, instead of today. I hear the ice is slick out there today – black ice, my husband warned. He already e-mailed me from his office to say be careful stepping out on to the driveway today. It is slick.

I think I’ll wait for the sun to come out and warm up everything – this time!

Cathy Testa

http://www.ContainerCrazyCT.com
860-977-9473
containercathy@gmail.com

Rudolph Delivers Fresh Evergreens for Making Holiday Kissing Balls at Cathy T’s Class

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Hello fellow blog followers, friends, clients, and new visitors!

A New Variety at Tomorrow Class - Golden Arborvitae!

Golden Arborvitae Used in Kissing Balls – A New Variety This Year!

Tomorrow marks the date of Cathy T’s “5th Annual Kissing Ball and Holiday Creations Class!

It’s hard to believe, but this class has been running for five years now.

It all started when an idea popped into my head to hold a class on making holiday kissing balls, wreaths, and centerpieces using fresh evergreens after helping a friend assemble her kissing balls at her home.

Each year, this class is coordinated with a mix of excitement, anticipation, and fears.

What do I mean about fears?

Well, when working in the plant world – because plants have the potential to be affected by any number of unexpected surprises, there is always that little bit of fear that something could go wrong.

Just yesterday, I shared a link about a California tree grower experiencing a huge loss of holiday grown trees due to drought. Christmas trees take many years to reach the perfect stage for sale during the holidays, so image his disappointment when 500 trees were so badly affected by lack of rain fall, they could not be offered for sale this season. This is something he really had no control over because his trees were suffering from the forces of Mother Nature.

But, most people in the horticulture trade learn how to roll with the punches, solve any unanticipated – or unwanted bumps in the road and move on quickly. And usually, they never give up either.

On the day I drove to my suppliers to finally pick up my order of fresh mixed evergreens  – a day highly anticipated and enjoyed every year around this time – a blip happened.

When I arrived at their door, they told me a big portion of my evergreens order was not in yet.

Cathy yelling "something is missing here!" Photo Source: Bitstrips

Cathy T is surprised to learn not all is in yet. (Photo Source: Bitstrips)

My reaction was not pure panic, because it was one of those – here we go moments, but disappointment set in. I have things to do and get done, and this would be a slight delay to deal with.

I thought, “I guess this is my unexpected storm this go around?”

As I questioned why and how quickly they could resolve this blip, suddenly, out of no where, a very pleasant gentleman showed up by my side.

I had never seen him before and he reassured me all would be fine. He promised to make a special delivery to my house the very next morning.

When I questioned him on the time of the delivery, he said they would be there by 8:30 am.

Timing was important to me, just like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, a great deal of planning goes into my special day – so I didn’t want this little storm to delay the gift of greens used in my class by all the Kissing Ball Makers.

Thankfully, the next morning, one of his elves did show up, as promised — on time.

“Phew.” I thought.  All looked great and it was onto my next to do’s to prepare for the class activities.

As I was working, I started thinking, “Who was “that guy” yesterday?”

As I mentioned, I had never seen him before in all the five years I have driven to their place to pickup my evergreens. Was he an owner? Is he a new worker?

He certainly was very attentive and saved the day.

Was he my Rudolph?

Perhaps!! To me he was at that moment – he made sure the delivery took place no matter what it took – typical of horticulture people – especially this time of year.

So, long story short —

Making beautiful holiday kissing balls with fresh evergreens will happen yet again, despite those fears or blips which may happen from time to time in the plant world.

Snowmen Wine Stoppers - You know what these are for!

Snowmen Wine Stoppers – You know what these are for!

We will be surrounded by holiday decor, warmed by appetizers and holiday cheer, and share our day with enthusiastic kissing ball makers.

Dark and Classic Boxwood Used in KBs

Dark and Classic Boxwood Used in KBs

You may search the question: “How to make kissing balls?” via Google on the Internet, and you will find many videos and information on the how to’s, but you don’t get the holiday magic which happens in Container Crazy CT’s holiday workshop each year, unless of course, you are a fortunate attendee.

See you all soon new and advanced Kissing Ball Makers!

Ho, Ho, Ho…

Affectionately,

Your Pseudo Mrs. Claus

Cathy T - Photo by Bitstrips

Cathy T – Photo by Bitstrips