How to Make an Autumn Wreath

I have been a mother for 10 years now.

Almost to the day.
And, I can quite honestly say, I haven’t learned a damn thing yet.

3:30 pm.

The bus brakes screech in the distance.
The front door opens.

Backpacks are thrown to the floor, shoes and socks are ripped off, and two little Woo’s find their way into the kitchen where they begin to gorge themselves. One of the “Little Woo’s” happens upon a brand new sack of marbles, and begins to make a place for herself on the living room floor.

Pretty, pretty marbles.
Silver, blue, purple and every color in between.
You can play with them alone.
Or with a friend.
Or even with a sister.
Or you can hog them all to yourself.

The smell of marbles is quickly detected in the air, and a 4 year old little sister wanders into the room. DYING, albeit politely, to play.

Shockingly, the usually generous and loving 6 year old, has turned into a bit of a stingy goat.

Bella (6): GO AWAY!

Soledad (4): But Bella, do you want me to play marbles with you?

Bella: NO! Go Away!

Soledad: Are you sure?

Bella: Yes. Leave.

Soledad: Okay, I’ll just sit here and watch you play.

Every so often a random marble flies across the room. Soledad hops up, and quickly retrieves it. She scampers back to her stingy sister Bella and very sweetly hands it to her. She sits down, and waits to repeat the routine.

The unjustness of the scene is too much to take. My heart begins to break. A few cursory words are mumbled under my breath, and I tell the 6 year old child, “God does not like ugly!” Completely ineffective. But, it’s all I could think of.

Soledad wanders over to me and tells me, not to worry. She’s happy to sit and watch Bella play with the marbles. Noting also, that Bella has bestowed such graciousness upon her that she might even let her play marbles with her tomorrow, should she not get on her nerves too much today.

This mother (me) decides to call another mother. The better mother. The GRAND Mother. Nana in these parts.

Nana: Nicole, Bella is not stingy. She probably just doesn’t feel well.

Me: I don’t care if she doesn’t feel well. It’s still not right! I don’t know why she’s acting that way.

Nana: Does she even know how to play marbles?

Me: I don’t know. What does that matter? Probably. They’ve seen it on Little Bear.

Nana: Just get down on the ground and show Bella how to play, correctly. Then I’ll bet she’ll want to play with Soli.

Me: But I have a headache.

Nana: It’ll only take a minute.

Me: It won’t work.

Nana: Just try.

Me: Fine. Hold on.

2 minutes later.

Nana: Did it work?

Me: Like a charm.

Nana: Try not to stress yourself out. You just have to outsmart those suckers.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

2 days later, Nana arrived on a plane to help a mother out. She just left yesterday to a group of howling, screeching, and crying children who couldn’t bear to see her go. I was a little choked up myself.

But, she didn’t leave before buying Soledad her own set of marbles, complete with a really cool Cat’s Eye.

Shelbi got hooked up on the electronic game front.

Even Bella, who has since turned back into her generous loving self, got the gift of play money, coins and a cash register.

Nana even left a present for me.

She helped me make this beautiful wreath for my home.
But she’s the real present. This house seems much more like a home when her love fills it.

How to make an Autumn Wreath
What You Need:

Artificial Flowers, leaves, fruit, etc.*
Wire Cutters
Hot Glue Gun

*Note: When buying artificial flowers look for items in natural colors that actually appear as they do in nature. This will be the key difference to a wreath that looks like you spent $3 versus $300.

What You Do:

As the base of our arrangement we used one of my old weathered wreaths made of dried tree limbs. The body of the wreath was strong, just the adornments were long past their prime, dull, and falling off.

If you are not using a new wreath, remove all old leaves, flowers, and fruit from your canvas. Set aside items that are still salvageable.

Using your wire cutters, start to cut off manageable stems, about 5 inches long that can be placed into the wreath.

Gently lay your flowers around the wreath to get an idea of where you want to place them, and how full you’d like your wreath to be.

Using a Wreath Hanger or the back of a chair, hang the wreath so that you are able to work and see it from a standing position.

Now, the fun part! Start weaving the flowers into the wreath, making sure to position them firmly. Pay close attention to where you place the flowers. They should look as they are growing naturally (i.e. Different heights, in groups (odd # pairings seem to look better, and facing the same direction.).

Once all the stems have been placed, go back through with a Hot Glue Gun and secure.

Hang and Display.

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