Finishing Up Outdoors

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Four weeks of non stop work installing the bulk of our outdoor winter and holiday decor came to a close this afternoon. Friday’s installation schedule left no time to write until this morning.  Seasonal work can be grueling; there is a limit to the time you have-never mind if you don’t feel good, or don’t have any ideas worth pursuing, or if the weather is uncooperative.  I should finish the outdoor work by Wednesday of next week. It has been 14 degrees here, with high winds, for three days-this is the most compelling reason to finish the outdoor work.     

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Someone asked me yesterday how I manage to avoid churning out work, but produce creative and varied work, under pressure, and fast.  I don’t know.  I do know I dream about work every night in the heat of the spring and early winter season.  I wake up in the middle of the night, in the middle of a discussion about a project.  Its easier for me to talk about the mechanics-those things that make it possible for me to take an idea and translate it into a visual form.  

Dec 1 009My heated workspace, undisturbed, ranks number one.  My tools rank a close second.   My crews know to never borrow a tool without returning it.  Rob on the other hand-if you are reading this Rob, can you return my pruners?  Frustration is a bucket of cold water that will unpleasantly drench any project you might have a mind to take on.  A well lit, warm space, surfaces at the right height, good tools, and I am half way there.   

Dec 1 002Detroit Garden Works is a source of materials for me, as well as the garden, or the field next door. The farmer’s market is a logical choice.  I hear tell that Target is selling pearl lights this year. The materials that are everywhere around me make their own suggestions.  I try to listen. 

DSC_0005Fragments of materials can find a home at the holidays, so I save the bits that have promise.  Having tools and materials at hand set the stage; inspiration can come from a lot of places.  This wreath of wood shavings dyed red is a dramatic dose of holiday cheer all by itself.  The red wood shaving rose brooch came from another source all together.

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The forest floor is a perennial source of inspiration.  Wiring and gluing it all together is pretty good fun. This year’s wreath list is down to the last 6, and then there will be some time to think about one of my own.  After Christmas, we make an evening of a travelling dinner with friends; we share our homes dressed for the holidays. Most of the pleasure of decorating for the holidays is sharing it.  My neighbors put their lights up in big numbers this year, as November was mild.    Dec 11 013

Some gifted person invented a machine that stuffs magnolia into a steel frame in a dense and orderly fashion. They are zip-tied to the floor of a large box for shipping; they arrive with every leaf perfect.  As it will be displayed indoors on a very large stone fireplace, I glued in two more rounds of leaves on the outside edge to give it more presence.
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My favorite part of this wreath-what would you guess?  The individual ends of the jute string bow have unravelled slightly after our first rainy snowfall.  Though the bow is frozen solid, it has a gracefully natural look not one bit my doing. 
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It is 17 degrees this morning.  This is all the reason I need to start moving towards decorating indoors.

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Happy Holidays!

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