Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Decorating With Fresh Greenery: Getting Ready For Shopping in a Winter Wonderland at The Farmington Valley Arts Center

The Only Holiday Greens I Knew About (Until Yesterday) Were Spinach and Kale 
I am very proud to announce that yesterday marked the first time I helped decorate for Christmas. I've had a lot of experience with blue and white banners, dreidels and this year Thanksgiving latkes, but not much floor time with greens and wreaths. In fact, the only greens I really know about are spinach and kale. 

Decorating The Farmington Valley Arts Center For Winter Wonderland 

So please understand  it was a big deal for me to show up at holiday workshop to help make holiday swags to adorn the outside posts and doors at The Farmington Valley Arts Center in Avon, CT. where I have my art studio (Studio 9B). 

Getting To Know My Holiday Decorating Greens 

I arrived to our beloved classroom in 3A ( a place I have taken many classes before I became "a real artist" LOL). It was there that I was introduced to a whole new variety of holiday "greens" gathered from the landscape around the art center and brought in from our artist's gardens.  I learned that you can use, White Pine, Virginia Pine, Junipers (fragrant), True Cedars, Firs, Spruce, Ivy, Holly (green and variegated) and many Evergreens such as Hemlock. 

Making Holiday Swags Is A Hand's On Experience: Protect Your Hands

By the end of the afternoon, I had a whole new appreciation of the bounty that was available for FREE. But let's get back to the actual hands on experience. You need to be prepared for working with your hands and protecting your hands. Old gloves are helpful. Forget about using the thin surgical gloves that many of us Mixed Media artists use in our studios. You will never be able to wrap wire around your bunches of greens with rubber goves on. You'll get all jammed up, trust me!

Making Holiday Swags

So what actually is a holiday swag? It is an arrangement of greens bound with wire, a colorful holiday ribbon and dressed with embellishments such as coloroful ribbons and bows, berries or  acorns if you wish. After the first four swags I made...the rest were a piece of cake. Making the bows was another story. 

You can see our holiday swags this Friday night, December 6th, 2013 at The Farmington Valley Arts Center Open Studios and Shopping in A Winter Wonderland 6:00-9:00 pm. Sample chocolates in each of the studios and visit The Drezner Holiday Gift Gallery and the Fisher Gallery for a wonderful glimmering exhibit.

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