On the last day of the Country Living Fair in Rhinebeck, NY this past June, a nice couple from Connecticut came into my booth. They fell in love with the wreath that was hanging up in the center of my display. It was “Hot Flash.” Unfortunately for them, it had already been sold. Cara, the wife, was particularly attracted to the enormous celluloid deer. I told her that I actually still had one of those deer (they are quite rare) left at home and that, if she wanted, I could make her a wreath incorporating it. After some more conversation, they said they wanted to think about it and left to wander the show.
Just before closing, they came back. They had decided. They wanted me to make them a wreath for their kitchen using my deer and some of their own ornaments.
Some weeks later, 2 big boxes showed up at my house; they were Cara’s ornaments. She sent me quite a lot and when I had them unpacked, I could see that there were 2 distinct directions I could go in. One was an elegant theme, with burgundies and whites; the other was more retro, with traditional Christmas colors. Here are just a few of what she sent.
This is another picture showing a large grouping of Cara’s ornaments along with the giant deer. As you can see, I had a lot to choose from!
They decided on the more traditional colors with a retro, fun vibe to it. It would have elves, Santa’s and other goodies. I finished Cara’s wreath Friday evening. I used as much of her ornaments as I could but there were still ones I would have loved to have included that just would not fit.
If you follow me on Facebook or on Instagram, you may have already seen this picture of the finished wreath that I quickly snapped with my phone.
This is the “real” picture (which still isn’t very good if you ask me – it looks so much better in person):
It always makes me really nervous when someone trusts me to make something using their own, prized ornaments. After all, I know how dear my own collection is to me – all those Christmas memories are so special. Once I start putting their ornaments on the wreath, we are pretty stuck with the outcome (both literally and figuratively!). Luckily for me, these were dream clients, who were willing to put their faith in me and let me decide what the final outcome would be.
Even so, it was to my very great relief that I received an email from Cara the morning after I sent her pictures that said, “We LOVE it!!!! It is exactly as I had dreamed! Thank you for creating a beautiful , whimsical wreath filled with family memories and Christmas spirit. It will be treasured.”
Here are some more photos showing some other views of “Cara’s Memories.”
I love a happy ending!
In other news, I slipped out Saturday morning to hit one of my secret sources. Three hours (!) later, I emerged dirty but triumphant. Check this out:
There is a ton of great stuff in this box and I got more besides. I am particularly charmed by these sweet little angels. They look just like the wonderful wooden German ones but were actually made in British Hong Kong.
Aren’t they dear? I think I see them in a little vignette all their own, with a little bottlebrush tree, and…who knows what else?
Gotta dash now – I’m at work on another custom order. This time for a lady in California.
See you next time!
6 thoughts on “Cara’s Memories”
Hi ,I emailed you earlier on about using my vintage ornaments to make me a wreath and you said yes you would but my question is how are they shipped to guarantee no broken ones.Do I let Fed X wrap or do I. Help please. Thanks Sonja
Dear Sonja, If only one could absolutely guarantee anything, as I am sure your mother told you when you were growing up. The best thing is to use plenty of packing material – bubble wrap, etc, – and make sure it is well-padded, packed in a sturdy box. If you do not feel comfortable packing yourself, then, yes, I would suggest you take it to a mailing store (like the UPS Store, Mailboxes, plus – whatever is near to you) and let them do it for you. It will cost you more but it may just give you some peace of mind, which is not to be underestimated. If you are thinking about sending me some of your things, it’s probably best to just pick a few – a handful – that you think go together well, and not too many. If oyu have other questions, please don’t be shy – you can email me directly from the tab in the menu bar above. Best, Cackie
Absolutely beautiful. If I saw this on sale in a store, I’d certainly buy it. Very festive and original.
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Thank you so much, Hugh! How very nice! Cackie
You’re very welcome, Cackie If you lived in the UK, I’d recommend you went into some of the large department stores like Harrods and Selfridges in London and show them what you make. I’m sure they would order some stock off you and both opened their Christmas department only last week.
Well, now I like you even better, kind sir! Thank you very much. I have not been in either of those places since the 1970’s (sigh)…that would be nirvana indeed. I would surely like to see their Christmas displays, though I confess it’s a bit early in the year – even for me!
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