Christmas Wreath Workshop

Ok, ok I know, this is waaaaay too late. I promised and I promised I’d get this out, but hey it’s been Christmas. Good will to all men n’est pas? Well men or bloggers who’ve been a bit slack

So about a month or so ago, I saw a question pop up in my newsfeed (Facebook, Twitter somewhere like that) asking whether anyone would be interested in a Christmas Wreath making workshop if Dylan’s Ice Cream held one. Ok two things; one I’ve wanted to learn to make my own Christmas wreath for years (I’m not great at following written instructions so was baffled by the tutorials I’d seen in books and online) and two, it was being held at our local ice cream cafe. Yes it’s December, yes when they opened everyone said they’d be lucky to make it past September, but boy oh boy do we love Dylan’s Ice Cream. So really it was a no brainer. Despite having no one to go with I signed up as soon as they confirmed they were going ahead with them.

I was welcomed by Ben, the owner proprietor, when I arrived. He asked if I’d like a mulled wine. Only I wasn’t expecting the beaker full of warming deliciousness I was handed. I didn’t mean to be feeling quite so full of Christmas cheer before we got started but there you go. I’m sure it helped the creativity to flow!

The biggest mulled wine I've ever had. And so nice I had two!

The biggest mulled wine I’ve ever had. And so nice I had two!

The chap leading the workshop was Peter Clarke of local company Cracking Gardens. Peter has been a gardener for most of his career and when he told us he used to work as Head Gardener for various National Trust properties and made wreaths for the doors of stately homes, well I knew we were in good hands. He started by explaining the different wreath bases available. The foam oasis, the metal ring and the branch ring made for something bendy, like Hazel. Peter likes all three but for us he’d decided metal rings were the way ahead.


We started by filling our rings with moss and bracken, securing it with florists wire. Then began the most enjoyable process of attaching foliage, in small ‘bouquets’, all provided by Peter (some I later found out from my friend Louise’s garden – with her permission of course!!!) I chose to make mine completely out of ewe branches, with fruits and various pieces of foliage added for decoration. At the time it looked wonderfully neat, however as time (and the weather’s) worn on I wish I’d made it more full, more diverse. The Ewe’s gotten pretty flattened by our British winter, as have the delicate pieces of fruit.


None the less I found the whole process completely absorbing. It was so much easier than I had previously imagined, although what I had imagined Im not really sure! The rings and wire are easy to get hold of both at florists and online and from there you can (if you so wanted) make the rest for free. It’s made me look at my garden in a completely different way (it’s also made me think about my friends gardens too – Claire Dennis I might come a knocking next year!) because thats the other beauty of the metal ring, once the season is over, the filling can be removed and the ring used again next year. Winner!


My first ever wreath! So proud!

As it goes I was fairly thrilled with my first attempt at wreath making and am so glad I chose to do it with some guidance. Ben and Peter also ran a children’s workshop the following week. This would be a wonderful activity to share with a child, although probably one older than my boy! The sense of achievement at creating something so unquie and festive is wonderful as is evident in the smiles in this photo!


Slimming World Update – Week 53


What a week! What a crappy week. It’s been glorious weather, but I’ve had so many things go wrong and so many bits of bad news that, well, it’s just been crappy. Ever get that?

I guess it’s best not to dwell. The week’s nearly over and to be honest there have been some nice things in the week (like a fab trip to the Hen House and an invitation to a grown up lunch with a friend sans children!). It’s just been predominantly crappy, that’s all.

Which is why last night’s 0.5lb gain didn’t surprise me in the slightest. What else could it have been?

I’m not upset particularly. I know I could have done things better than I did this week. I was a bit sad though. I stayed to group last night and came out feeling OK, but like I wanted a bar of something (it’ll always be a bar of something with me, never a glass of something 😉 !) I haven’t done that, even on weigh in night, for bloody ages, but I phoned Ben and told him that’s what I was going to do. He said, if I was sure. So I went to the garage on my way home. I walked around saying to myself ‘you can have anything you like. Anything. Only not a massive bar, just a normal size bar. OK?’ So I kept looking and looking and then I saw the ice cream fridge and thought ‘oo maybe an ice cream?’ Then I remembered I had low syn (3.5) Funny Feet lollies in the freezer at home and just like that I left. Empty handed. I could have had anything I liked and I went with the express intention of buying ‘what I wanted’. Only something in me decided not to. And it was so easy too. It wasn’t a great big, stopping in my tracks battle, like I’ve had in the past. I just realised it wasn’t really want I wanted. So gain or no gain I ended up feeling pretty proud of myself last night. And I really enjoyed my Funny Foot!

Wall's Funny Feet. Ice Cream for 3.5 Syns!

Wall’s Funny Feet. Ice Cream for 3.5 Syns!

Looking ahead, I do sincerely want to get back to my 6 stone. I seem to take so much longer to get from one stone to the half, than from the half to the stone. Or at least it seems that way. Out of curiosity and to see if I was right, I took a look at the length of time its taken me to get all my awards. And do you know I was shocked. Each award seemed to take such a long time to receive and yes some took longer than others (my 4.5 and 5.5 stone ones for example) but none have taken ridiculously long to reach and some of the earlier ones no time at all!

Award Date Received Weeks taken to receive
1/2 Stone 6/8/13 3
1 Stone 27/8/13 3
11/2 Stone 10/9/13 2
2 Stone 1/10/13 3
21/2 Stone 22/10/13 3
3 Stone 19/11/13 4
31/2 Stone 3/12/13 2
4 Stone 23/12/13 3
41/2 Stone 20/2/14 8
5 Stone 18/3/14 4
51/2 Stone 20/5/14 9
6 Stone 26/6/14 5

I know it’s going to take longer the closer I get to the ‘end’, but in the last year I lost on average 1.75lb a week.

So (stern voice on) I need stop messing about. Just because I got my 6 stone award, doesn’t give me the right to get all billy big boots. Sort it out!

Right (resuming normal voice). This week I will lose 2lb and I want you to hold me accountable for that. Sara? Can you put that as a mini target in your notes please? I have bought tonnes of fruit this week and all stuff I love. Plums, Strawberries, Peaches, Satsumas, Cherries, Melon, Bananas, Jazz Apples and White flesh Nectarines. Nooooooooommmm! So snacking wont be a problem. I also need to remember to drink more water, particularly in this heat. Not for weight loss necessarily, but more for my health!! I’m terrible at remembering to drink – that’s what motherhood will do to you I guess!

Hope you have a great week (and hope mine is less crappy 😉 )!