Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making Balsam Wreaths

It's a Maine tradition, and another one of the many seasonal sidelines us " downeastas'" rely on to make money. I wish I had got my act together a little sooner and made more out of this season. It's also a traditional, much like Grandma's egg and butter money, way for the ladies to make some Christmas money.

Here's a finished balsam christmas wreath. All it is lacking is some decoration. We plan to offer a choice of 3 different hand-tied bows, and then you can pick one up at one of the Farmer's Markets we attend. To get to this point, we have to start somewhere.

First you need to set off into the woods and find yourselves some Fir trees. Don't forget to get permission from landowners first, however on this day we need go no further than our yard just out the front door. This is called " tipping " because you are gathering the tips of fir branches to make your wreaths.

Here, Jude and I are breaking off tips. Notice my standard issue flame orange knit hat. Ironically hunting season always concurs with tipping. the lengths we go to for a little Christmas cheer!

Then you take your tips and slide them on a sturdy branch.

Here is our workshop in our cellar. I've got my wire hoops, wreath wire, stack of tips, hot coffee with Happy's cream, and a black and white snowy T.V. that only picks up one canadian station. Kinda fun catching up on the latest in Canda, especially when they move on to " World news" and talk of the United States.
Dante tried his hand at making wreaths and a local woman told him his was good enough for the " shitter " door. I think that meant there is room for improvement.
He's back to clearing fenceline and cleaning up scrap metal from one of the pastures. Much relieved, I'm sure to be doing that instead.
Stay tuned for part 2.


  1. Ha, ha.............poor Dante! I bet he's happier not making wreaths though!

    Beautiful! I wish we lived closer so I could buy some from you!

  2. The funny thing is, all I could think of at the time of the " shitter " comment, was how cute a little wreath would look on the door of an outhouse! I want an outhouse. With only 1 dinky bathroom and 6 of us potty trained ( most of the time )it can be a LONG line in the morning, and I really wouldn't mind a little privacy with a view......