East Dulwich WI gets crafty

The East Dulwich WI arranged for a local florist to come along to our November event to teach us how to make a Christmas wreath for the door.

I was most excited by this as I have always loved the idea of crafts but have never had the skill, space, supplies or patience to actually do anything about it.

It has always seemed to me, that unless you are organised enough to have your very own super craft drawer at home, then much effort is required just in preparation for these kind of activities.  I know that I would simply end up in John Lewis, purchasing pre-packaged craft kits and spending a small fortune on materials that I would continue to find under the sofa for the next 18 years or so.

Yet, craft has always played an important role in the WI and they have traditionally always offered members the chance to develop new or existing skills, as well as provide women with educational opportunities, the chance to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities.

This was one of many reasons why I opted to join the East Dulwich WI in the first place, so I jumped at the opportunity to be able to make something with my very own hands, that I would be able to proudly display on our front door for the whole of December.

It seems everyone else had the same idea, as this was probably the busiest WI event I have been to.  I think there were 50 or so local women who attended the workshop this month.

Sally’s of Dulwich provided all the necessary materials. so all I had to do was join a table and get myself a glass of wine (not necessarily in that order).

On every table, there was a basic foam base for the wreath with a selection of foliage, berries and cones set out for each person.

the basics

mine came with a glass of red

Shirley and her two assistants showed us ‘one they made earlier’ and instructed us how to start pinning leaves into the base from the inside out.

or outside in, no matter...

We then added the more decorative features in to the foliage, such as the cones, various berries and a big red Christmas bow.

Shirley shows us how it's done

Everyone got stuck in.

Some wreaths were simply overflowing with frondescence.

While others took a more traditional approach.

With others going totally minimalist.

I like to think that mine was somewhere inbetween.

Moon face

So, now all I had to do to ensure that my Christmas wreath lasts until 1st December, was soak it overnight in the sink and then water it 3 times a week from then on.  Who knew that a bunch of leaves could be so high maintenance?!

One day, I’ll definitely turn my bottom drawer, that’s currently home to various odd socks, old scarves and holely t-shirts into a proper craft drawer and start rustling up home stitched chair covers in my spare time.  Until that day comes though, there’s always Cath Kidston.

The East Dulwich WI meet on the first Wednesday of each month at The Lodge, above East Dulwich Tavern, 1 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, SE22 8EW.  Guests welcome.  Meetings start at 7.30pm (so please do try to come along by 7.15pm).  

Sally’s of Dulwich have a selection of Christmas wreaths in their shop on Lordship Lane.  Prices start from around £10. 

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