Well hello Willow! This was the shot I left you with on Friday. And now for some explanations. Last weekend we were out at the farm and going out in the ute (utility/truck) to help with the sheep. Anyway, along on the way we came across a willow tree branch that had fallen across the fenceline and across the track. The chainsaw was in the back of the ute and so we thought we'd 'tidy up' as we went - am wondering how I get this thought to reoccur at home, the concept of 'clean-as-you-go'. It's a simple mantra isn't it?! But when does it happen at home??? Well, a similar thing happened out there as happens at home; No-one stayed to help! Mr Chainsaw got on the job, the boy took off up a pile of rocks and I started taking photos....
There were these really cool berries, I'm not sure what these are but I am sure the farmer doesn't love them! Not with these thorns getting into the sheep wool. Definitely good for a photo though.
**Update: This is apparently a briar bush**
However, I wasn't completely ignoring the chainsaw and when the noise stopped I headed back over to help 'tidy up'. Remember that's what was meant to be happening, not a photo session! So we stacked all the willow branches up for a future bonfire. As we stacked I couldn't help but notice that the canes (or twigs) of willow were still a bit green. Which means they will bend. Do you see where I'm going here? You can bend them into circles, and circles make wreaths. And I like wreaths!!! Especially rustic ones made of canes like these. I already have a couple hanging in our courtyard. Hmmm.
So when Mr Chainsaw moved on to the next tree up the track I told him I'd catch up shortly to help.... and then I set to work right there in the pile of branches. Our girl stayed with me and we quickly broke off canes of similar thickness and started twisting. It's pretty easy. You just break off a couple of canes, point half in one direction and half in the other. Hold them together in one hand at about halfway and twist the them ends til they meet. Then twist additional canes into the circle. Start them at different spots and tuck each end into the canes already circled together.
By the time Mr Chainsaw had finished the next tree we'd managed a wreath each and we broke off a dozen or so canes to take with us. When we reached the ute the eyebrows were up. What were we going to do with them, and what about those extra canes? Ah, never mind. Let's just continue to clean-as-we-go!!! We'll explain later.
The wreaths and canes were thrown into the tray of the ute and eventually made it home. I casually sat them in a corner and waited 'til Monday. Then, when they had all gone off to work and school, I started to 'foof'. And what fun it was, arranging pretty housey things!!! For more definitions of 'foofing' check out Sarah's blog @ 'A Beach Cottage'.
I have this cake stand. It entered this house via a delicious brown couriered cardboard box months ago, I haven't yet managed to put a cake on it :-) The surface is a lovely, glossy white that invites all sorts of other things to happily sit on it! The wreath collection was a rustic mix. Some macadamia nuts in a vintage glass jar. Macadamias are a native Australian bush nut that are extremely good. They are bliss raw, roasted or in biscuits with white choc chips! Yum! Next to them we have the wreath. And a stone, I think from the creek. It's rough to hold but just the right size for the palm of your hand. Actually I saw in a shop yesterday some hand warmers with gorgeous grey knitted covers (little hot water bottles for your hands/pockets!), this stone would be just right for that. Might have to try it on a cold day, heat it to a toasty temperature on our fire and pop it in my pocket before I go walking! Bet I'd some more raised eyebrows from the farmer and Mr Chainsaw ;-) And then there is the candle holder.
I bought two of them years ago to use as chrissy pressies for some lovely girlies. Well, I found other presents for those girls and these candle holders have been with us ever since. They live a nomadic existence in our house, moving from room to room and place to place. They are made of some sort of very matt stone-like ceramic. When you light a tealight candle in them they cast the best shadows. All of those little triangles flicker around the room! They are lovely. And all that loveliness comes from a sensible, easy to purchase little candle.
And here's the whole ensemble sitting on my red chair. It came to our house from my lovely Dad's shed complete with multi-coloured paint splatters. I spray painted it a gloss red and it brightens our front entry.
So there you go.
A willow across a fence can lead to many things! Including cleaning as you go. It even led to cleaning at home 'cos I found that a spider had made his home under my stage prop. This red chair had a HUGE web woven through it's legs! And we can't have webs on the blog! It's the one place I can count on to stay clean.... So I cleaned them off as I went.
Now this cleaning thing, it's a lifelong lesson that I try and repeat to the kids EVERY day! Pick up your pj's, put your plate on the sink (or in the dishwasher!), pack the lego up, yadda yaddda yadda. I remember the mantra from my very first casual job as a impressionable teenage McChick (McDonalds staff member!). And I remember it every day as I walk from room to room carrying items back to their place of origin - argh! Ah well, maybe it'll sink in one day. They might remember the lesson from when we cleaned the willow up from across the fenceline!
In the meantime, I'll go have another cup of tea, admire my wreath and eye off the wisteria in our courtyard that is nearly due for a pruning!