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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bean Wreath. Do Not Try This at Home

Charming, natural wreaths are popping up all over this spring. Have you noticed?  Some are covered with beans, some with acorns. I was scared off acorns from scary stories like this. Gracious. What would you do? I would absolutely have to abandon ship. Flee the state. It isn't nice to say, especially when I'm going on and on these days about how our newly urban kids have become too separated from the outside world. See also, "Last Child in the Woods" and my genuine delight at our adventures in the wilds of Scotland. But sometimes, nature makes me a tiny bit sick.  Corn on the cob haunts me from a shucking experience punctuated with many, many worms. 

Truth be told (here I really worry we'll start to lose our summer bookings...), another thing I have against nature these days is that we are also having a bit of battle in our flat. A battle we appear to be losing against 4 legged creatures. The stories I could tell would make for a great childrens book if I wasn't so furious that their brethern seem to already be in every single story I open and if I weren't so disgusted, edgey and alarmed about it most days. Ahem. Still. Come see us. We're working on it.

But thickly glued, spray painted nature? I'm all for it!

And even though there are likely thousands of natural goodies akin to acorns (some I'd bet without bug infestations) for the taking in Hyde Park, I went with beans by the sack from Waitrose. Not a moment too soon. Our feather monogrammed capital letter had seen better days. Our letter carrier asked if it we were celebrating a birthday. Yes, indeed. Perhaps Big Bird's!

Anyhow, Baby Sister and I had truly only a few minutes between our morning adventures, something that passed for lunch, and picking up the big kids to complete this project. So we whittled the steps, way, way, down.  See also post title. Do not try this at home. Adapt the steps, though and you're sure to have something clever adorning your door.  Think of me when you do.

Because friends were coming over in the morning, I feel compelled to welcome them with something fresh. Not sure if this really fit the bill after all, but it sure was fun getting messy along the way. Baby Sister loved it and continues to explain it to everyone who arrives. Here's how I'd explain it:

Buy lots of beans.

Line kitchen counter and floor with newspaper. This is a perfect job for Baby Sister until she gets interested in the pictures.  Just like me circa 1985-1988 homecoming float preparations. The newspaper is never more interesting than when it is a dropcloth or being stuffed into chicken wire.

Determine that using glue gun to affix beans to old wreath form with take much too long (and worse, exclude Baby Sister from all the fun!).

Dump entire bottle of Modge Podge onto wreath. Don't ask me how that got by the packers in our move.  Every single liquid or powder or other questionable substance the Mister wanted to bring was seemingly okay, but everything similar of mine got nixed. Except, apparently, this one container of Modge Podge!  Hooray! Anyhow, dump whole load of Modge Podge onto wreath.

Pour, stick, and drop all beans that you can onto gluey wreath. Baby Sister will gleefully help, shouting, "We're sooo messy" and "It is sooo bootiful" alternatively. There is no higher praise from a 2 year old.

(Don't tell the Mister this part.) Skip drying step because you have to get the kids soon. Start first coat of spray paint (left over silver from Big Brother's rocket for school) in the kitchen. Eventually move the whole shebang onto the fire escape. Keep painting. Ignore common sense (and directions) to allow either or both glue or paint to try between coats.

Embellish with ribbon (always), cute numbers (so various delivery folk cannot - understandably - complain that you've covered the actual flat numbers again) and hang. Shazam!

Start noodling through a replacement. Maybe something Jubilee...?

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