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Saturday, November 10, 2012

An amazing afternoon for AZ Bloggers!

Today I had a glorious time at Meri's house making a Christmas wreath, interacting with old and new friends, eating a delicious lunch and participating in a gift exchange.  Meri went above and beyond serving as our hostess and opening her house for this spectacular event.  Meri was so gracious to all of us and encouraged us every step of the way in the wreath-making process.  Here are just a few of the photos from our delightful craft activity.

Meri had our name tags displayed in a little red basket on a desk in her entry.  Her house is already decorated for Christmas and the holiday warmth can be felt in every room.  Please visit Meri's blog for more in-depth photos of her wonderful crafting studio and home.

"Snow" on a window greeted us as we entered Meri's house.

A 1948 metal doll house that is displayed in Meri's studio along with some cute dolls.
 Vintage goodies abound!

Julie and Brian are an amazing and darling couple.  Julie left before the rest of us and Brian came to pick her up.  I recognized Brian instantly from reading Julie's fabulous blog.  Julie is one talented crafter so a visit to her blog would really be a treat.  Also, I could always count on Julie to leave a comment on my blogs even if I only write about a blade of grass!  She is such a doll.

Here's Julie with her wreath that isn't quite finished.  I wish you could see it in person as my photography skills aren't the best.  She has better photos of it on her blog.

Here is Gail busily working on her very pretty pink and blue wreath.  I'm glad that I had the chance to meet and visit with Gail, and I look forward to seeing her at another blogger luncheon.

This is a photo of Jen, Meri's sister, as she crafts her green and blue wreath.  It was very pretty.

This is Rhona's wreath with a Fall theme.  She was still working on it when I took the picture.

This is Joanne's wreath with its many colors.

Another photo of Rhona's Fall-themed wreath.

Sandy spent a lot of time perfecting her wreath.

       Here is Lin, Meri's other sister, diligently putting the final touches on her wreath.

Here is a photo of my wreath taken while I was still at Meri's house.  I had to glue and reglue several pieces because they wouldn't quite stick together the first time!

Jen with Dorie.  Dorie is the mother of Jen, Lin and Meri, and I had a wonderful time chatting with Dorie about my hometown of Rockford, IL.  It turns out that Dorie lived in Rockford for about 18 years so it was fun to talk about the times we spent in good ol' Rockford.  Dorie is older than I am, so we obviously didn't know the same people although she thinks she might have known one of my aunts.

A close-up of Gail's lovely blue and pink wreath.

Here is a photo of my wreath taken after I got home.  There is some symbolism in my wreath as evidenced by its colors and decorations.

This is the bottom portion of the wreath and you can see two vintage birds and a tiny pink "princess".  My mother had birds very similar to these on my childhood Christmas trees and the pink princess is for my granddaughter.  Lily, my granddaughter, loves pink and she's into princesses.  My mother also liked pink and burgundy (I used these colors for their 50th. anniversary party) so I put variations of pink in my wreath.

My grandson, Brandt, loves trains so I put a small wooden train on the wreath.  My mother loved to crochet and knit so you can see the lovely, white snowflake in the center of the wreath.  My mother also liked pearls which is on the snowflake. 

I included another pink princess as seen in the upper right part of the wreath.  I used mainly color variations of pink, light green and gold in the wreath.

The spoon at the top of the wreath is another symbol for my mother.  She was an amazing cook and saved many recipes that I put into a book for my grandchildren. 

Overall, it took some time to put this wreath together.  Once I got the hang of layering the ornaments, I was able to keep up a good pace.  Also, moving from the larger to the smaller ornaments, made a difference in the look of the wreath.  It's amazing how Meri showed us how to use ornaments and decorations as fillers for our bare spots.  I would never have attempted this on my own, but working at Meri's house under her guidance, made all the difference in the world.  Meri provided so much for us:  tons of various-sized ornaments, decorations, embellishments, garlands, ribbons, glitter, and the wreath ring.  Most of my ornaments came from a yard sale last year.  I stumbled (literally) over a box of vintage ornaments that were marked $1.00.  I scooped them up but didn't really know what to do with them until now.  I also found some pink and burgundy ornaments a few weeks ago at a yard sale so I bought them as well.
I still have my mom and dad's vintage ornaments from when they first started putting up a Christmas tree together in the mid-1940's.  I have at least two birds that they had and their old ornaments that look similar to the ones I used in my wreath.  I will hang this wreath on the door to my mom's old bedroom, and pass my parents' old ornaments on to my daughter and my grandchildren.  In the meantime, I put up a tree in my mom's room every Christmas and use their old ornaments as they would do.

I can't thank Meri enough for her generosity in sharing her home and her family (her husband helped carry stuff into and out of the house, and her daughter, Abby, was our photographer).  Meri is a true blessing and I'm so glad that I attended her luncheon.  Many, many thanks, Meri, along with tons of hugs.


Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

It was so wonderful seeing you today!!!!!! Everyone's wreaths turned out AMAZING!! So much inspiration!! I just loveeeeeeeeeeee how yours turned out!!! Just GORGEOUS!!!! Thanks for being such a wonderful friend!!!! :)

ImagiMeri said...

I loved meeting you Loretta, and I mean it when I say I will be happy to show you how to do pretty much anything you'd like to learn.....take me up on this! My door is always open to you, you are a sweetheart and your dessert was absolutely to die for! Your wreath is just gorgeous and I hope you have many years of happiness from having made it.

God Bless,

Sandy said...

It was so nice meeting you today! I just had the best time!!!! I can't tell you the hours and hours Meri put into making this a very special day for all of us!!!! She is truly a wonderful hostess!
Loretta, thank you for including a photo of my wreath! I will copy it and put it in my file...:) Have a great rest of the weekend!
Sandy @ 521 Lake Street

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I so loved the colors you selected for your wreath and sentimentality was just lovely.

Happy Thanksgiving!