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Lara Neel | The Journal Gazette
Gerbera daisies catch your eye in this spring wreath, but did you see the bird’s nest?

Bright floral wreath gives spring feeling

I could not wait for the flowers I planted to spring through the earth and start blooming. So, I made a spring wreath to hang on my door, and it makes me smile and think spring even when the weather isn’t very spring-y.

The wreath is special, and much more elaborate, than the other wreaths I’ve written about for Crafty Living. The reason is that I made this one with my sister, a pretty crafty lady herself.

My sister, Sharon, used to be a floral designer for a florist where I grew up, so she knows how to toss a bunch of stems and leaves and stuff onto grapevine and make it beautiful.

For this project, we went on the hunt in her basement for just the right wreath. I knew I wanted to use gerbera daisies in bright colors (pinks, yellows, purples), but that was about all I knew. Once we had the wreath selected (made of grapevine and with a little picket fence on the inside), we went to a craft center called Pat Catan’s, based in Ohio, with stores in Ohio and Pennsylvania. And, the deals there are fantastic. I probably spent half of what I would have at other places, even with sales and coupons, thanks in large part to a membership my sister has with them.

Anyway, we picked out some pink and purple gerberas, some baby’s breath, as well as a little purple bird to glue to the picket fence.

We took all that we bought and headed back to Sharon’s house to put this together, and I must admit, it came out better than I thought it would as I watched my sister keep adding details to it.

First, we glued the bird to the fencing. Then, I added the gerbera daisies where I wanted them, as well as some greenery. Then, my sister did her thing using the baby’s breath and some forsythia she had in her stash (see, having a stash is a good thing).

While I let her have at it with the arranging of the flowers on the wreath, I went through her spools of ribbon (see, more stash equals good) and found just the right pink ribbon to add.

As a final touch, we used some Spanish moss she had on hand and made a nest structure, then added some pearly off-white beads to mimic bird eggs.

When all was said and done, I was thrilled with my spring wreath.

It is not as whimsical as it would have been had I done it myself (I tend to like whimsy), but it is pretty, and it screams spring at me every time I approach my door.

Having had an opportunity to craft with my sister, I realized that two heads can be better than one when it comes to creativity.

An actual basket

So, I was looking at the papier mache basket I made for the April 10 Crafty Living column, and I got to thinking. If you were a patient person, it wouldn’t take much to make that an actual basket with a handle. Simply cover your entire balloon with papier mache (remember at least three layers will make it sturdy) and then carve out the top-most sides leaving the bottom basket and “handle” intact. Voila, an actual basket instead of just half an egg to serve as a diorama-like decoration.

Joyce McCartney is not a craft expert. She is, however, interested in crafting of all types. She shares her experiences and those of area crafters. To reach her, call 461-8364 or email Also, visit her blog at There, you will also find the weekly knitting podcast Math4Knitters.