XO XO XO! Valentine’s Wreath

From styeroom.se

From styeroom.se

I saw this unconventional yet very cute Valentine’s Day wreath on styleroom.se (a Swedish Pinterest-like scrapbook site). What an adorable idea to feature the “XO” (kisses and hugs) expression instead of the expected heart. I loved it so much, I just had to knock-it-off! Mine was a little different. I began with a plain grapevine wreath and a plain grapevine bushel to use as the base. I bought separate flowers – pink and purple.

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I trimmed the flowers taking the bare stems off.

IMG_2371I shaped the plain grapevine bushel into an “X” shape and wired them together.

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Using the same wire, I attached the flowers to the grapevine. I put all the purple on the “X” and all the pink on the “O”. I then wired the two pieces together allowing about 2 inches of space between them. I topped it all off with a long vibrant white bow.

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I love my beautiful and unique “XO XO XO” Valentine wreath.

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I hope you enjoyed seeing my knock-off! I hope it inspires you to create something wonderful. Have a very happy and creative Valentine’s Day!

En Unik Adventskrans – A Unique Advent Wreath

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In Sweden (and in many other countries as well), the celebration of Advent (the days leading up to the celebration of Christmas) is very important and an integral part of the celebration of Christmas. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before December 25th. The keeping of an Advent Wreath (adventskrans) is a common practice in homes and churches. It is usually comprised of an evergreen wreath with four candles, three purple and one pink and often a fifth white candle in the center. The first three Sundays are commemorated by the lighting of a purple candle (the color of Advent). The final pink candle is illumined on the last Sunday before Christmas and the optional white one is lit on Christmas.

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Above, Cranberry Morning incorporates a vintage thrift store find with the traditional greens and candles.

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Advent wreaths can be simple and uncomplicated. Better than a box features a simple and elegant do-it-yourself wreath that is both easy and inexpensive.

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 Natalja Oblonskaja incorporates blue spruce with green colored lichens and hypericum (St. John’s wort). You could use any form of greens. Olive branches or eucalyptus would be unique and beautiful.

My older sister, who is a very accomplished artist and overall creative individual, created her own Advent Wreath about 20 years ago. It is the epitome of En Unik Adventskrans! She began by making her own dough. She mixes 4 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and 1.5 cups of warm water. Kneed well. You can double or triple this recipe if necessary. She then formed the base of the wreath and the individual figures of the nativity scene. Applying touches of water to the dough helps it adhere when attaching details. Once finished, bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour. Once completely cooled, she painted her “piece de resistance” with acrylic paint and sealed it with an acrylic spray.

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My sister allowed concaved spaces to hold pillar candles.

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She added animals and the characters of nativity.

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She made the infant Jesus separately so he can be removed and placed in the manger on Christmas day. My two nieces enjoyed placing him in the cradle every Christmas morning. What a wonderful memory for kids.

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My older sister’s Advent Wreath is the embodiment of En Unik Adventskrans – definitely unique and creative. I encourage you to always look for your own unique twist when creating something traditional. And, have a very Merry Creative Christmas!