Monday, November 24, 2008

Holiday Wreath Clinic 2008 - Part I

Since the year 2000, I’ve offered an annual, sometimes semi-annual, Wreath Clinic. It all started when I headed up the school auction at my kids’ elementary school and we were trying to drum up inexpensive ways to raise money. Parents of the school community offered tickets to a wine tasting party, Oscar party, a Harry Potter treasure hunt, a tour of the Stanford Human Genome Center, and we even auctioned off tickets to a lecture called “How to Get Your Kid into Stanford” offered by a Stanford admissions staff member. These items were not only fantastic, inexpensive ways to give to the school, but they proved to be great community-building events.

I love making wreaths, so I decided to offer wreath-making lessons. I provided all the materials to make Christmas wreaths plus continental breakfast and lunch.

The Wreath Clinic is now a two-day event and the students now also have the option to make kissing balls, centerpieces, or topiaries and the food is offered by The Roving Gourmet, Michelle Bailey and her very handsome baby boy:

This year I offered six spots to a corporate community-giving auction and the other students made donations to Second Harvest food bank.

We start the morning with mimosas and a delicious frittata,

then we work, work, work,

followed by a break for lunch. Michelle made a yummy chicken salad with almond sesame dressing. I can’t believe I forgot to take photos of the food!

The beautiful wreath featured at the top of the post is made by three-time Wreath Clinic veteran, Mary Ann:

Here is Shelley's wreath:

and her cousin Kellie's:

Their grandmother, Martha, made a kissing ball:

Shelley's mother, Susan, made a fresh topiary:

Kellie's mother, Ginger, made two dried topiaries:

Lydia is rightfully very proud of her centerpiece:

Some people are done with their creations by lunch; others finish up or make a second piece after lunch. Lydia made a fresh candle wreath after lunch:

The Sunday crew asked if the Wreath Clinic was a sleepover. Last year, Tracy Lou and I were still making topiaries after dinner in the dark wearing warm gloves.

Since I can't seem to cover these events in only one post, you will have to wait until next time to see what Tracy and her friends created. You will be amazed!


A Cuban In London said...

Very beautiful post and lovely images. Not being very dextrous at making things with my hands I can never fail to be amazed at the sheer quality of people's skills at making flower arrangements.

Greetings from London.

Dutchbaby said...

Thank you, Cuban! I am convinced that you are more creative with your hands than you give yourself credit for. As a musician, you are obviously very coordinated and dextrous!

It is so satisfying to have first-timers come the Wreath Clinics and then to watch their faces filled with pride when they leave with their new creations. Like Martha this weekend, she told me that she was only going to help Susan with her topiary, but she ended up making a beautiful kissing ball.

Relyn Lawson said...

A wreath clinic. I really, really love this idea. I wish,oh how I wish, we had parents like you at my school. You are so very talented. I'd beg you for a wreath clinic this summer, but I could never get it home. You are obviously a great teacher. Love this idea. Love this post.

tangobaby said...

OMG! The baby! I am so glad to see a photo! He is adorable! I'm sure you all had a wonderful time!

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Relyn,

I wish I was a parent at your school! We may all show up on your second-grade doorstep one day! We want to sing that morning song with you!

Dear tangobaby,

Isn't he just the best? He is looking more and more like his mommy every day. My talented hubby took the photos of the baby.

You would have loved Michelle's food that day!

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