The shop interior is gorgeous, if you haven't made it down yet and you live local to Manchester I definitely recommend you head down. It's a bit out of the way but 100% worth it. And I have always admired Chloe's bouquets at Altrincham market so much so I had to tell the OH any other Valentines bouquet would fail in comparison!
So on a Wednesday evening, 16 ladies (no men unfortunately - I couldn't drag my OH there even if I'd promised beer and food!) settled down round tables with prosecco and nibbles.
The first step was to add spruce to the circular oasis and cover as much of the oasis as possible. The key is to stick to one direction with the spruce, trimming the ends to create a spike long enough to in-bed securely in the foam. It gets quite messy with pine needles everywhere and a good set of sacateurs are recommended.
Next up is the foliage. Chloe had provided everyone with a big bunch of all sorts. I went for everything green and by this point I had accepted my wreath was going to be a bit of a wild beast! I can't really do neat and small.
The Eucalyptus as always smells divine and filled the room with a festive smell whilst listening to a christmas playlist. I used to hate Christmas songs (anyone who ever worked in retail will know the pain of playing them from September onwards!) but sensibly starting in Decemeber has given me a new found appreication of them - old & new. Ariana Grande is a guilty pleasure at the minute!
Once the wreaths were completely covered in foliage, it was time to add all the little extras to help make them unique and personal. I decided to avoid the red berries and concentrate on more subtle colours. Thistles are another favourite flower of mine so I add four or five to the wreath and embedded them in amongst the foliage.
Chloe has also brought a selection of little extras including cinnamon sticks, dried fruits and pine cones. I really want to add them all but the stylist in me decided it would be too much. I could have just kept going, I was having so much fun but the Wreath was already looking pretty wild at this point so i decided to just stick with some dried fruit.
These were attached simply by threading some fine wire through the fruit and tying it around the foliage. I went for four to five again to try and keep a symmetry running through.
I loved seeing everyone else's creation, no two wreaths were the same. Had such a lovely evening meeting new people and chatting away whilst relishing the chance to be hands on. It was a bit of a mission carrying the beast back home and the taxi driver was very nervous about having it in his car but both myself and the wreath made it home in one piece!
I decided against hanging it on my door because a) I want to be able to admire it and smell the beautiful scents at all times and b) I live in studentville and no doubt they would nick it whilst drunk and put it on their heads or something!
After wandering round the house for a couple of days, trying it in various places, we settled on the hallway, hanging it from the banister. This was much to the delight of Bojangles who thought it was purely for his entertainment and spent the rest of the evening trying to unpick the wire which it hangs from (carefully edited out with the help of photoshop)! He did however provide me with some gorgeous Instagram worthy pictures!
So for anyone wishing to do something like this, there are so many going on from Wreaths to Centrepieces and everything in between. I went solo - something I wouldn't have dreamed of doing this time last year and yes it is nerve-wracking for the first 10 mins but as soon as you get stuck in, you realise you are with like minded people who all have similar creative interests. If you have creative friends then it's a lovely little activity to do together which doesn't involve a hangover!
Big thanks to Rose & Grey for hosting and to Chloe Robinson for being an excellent teacher! Can't wait for the next one!