My grandmother is a collector of beautiful things. Not precious things, mind you, but beautiful. Being a former middle school art teacher, she lit up the creative lives of countless inner-city children over her 25 years of teaching. Teaching in the inner-city over the years taught her to find beauty and purpose in inexpensive and readily available goods. I remember going to her classroom as a child, several years younger than her students, and soaking in the smell of wet clay, school glue, and promise. She inspired each student to look at problems with patience and to create something beautiful. This is a lesson that each of us have learn in our pursuit of a creative life–and my beautiful grandmother has paved the way for me.
When we moved back to Indiana recently, she brought me a stack of antique sheet music. In the pile, there were practice books from 1949 just 4 years after the First World War ended. They weren’t hers, but they were beautiful. We have a piano, so she thought the boys would enjoy working through the books. Well, I haven’t read music since 8th grade (and I didn’t read it very well then!). However, there is something so entrancing about the symmetrical lines and the fluid notes on a page. There was a woman’s handwriting scrawled on each piece, lovingly correcting her students. This reminded me of my grandmother, in a way, and I couldn’t part with the music–even though I am not a “saver” by nature.
So, I thought of my grandmother and her propensity for using every last bit of beauty in an object. She is, after-all, the woman who punches confetti for our birthday cards out of the Sunday Coupon Circulars. It would be impossible in my house of boys to keep this sheet music in a pile on the piano. It must either be framed or hung high to survive in this home. Only the tough get to be beautiful, too.
With a large wall in our new dining room to fill, I settled on a paper wreath.
Items You’ll Need:
- Straw or Foam wreath, any side you so desire
- Hot Glue
- Sheet Music or Pages from a book
- Scrap fabric in a neutral color
- Glue and Glitter, if you’d like to add some sparkle.
Steps to Take:
- Cut or tear fabric into 3 inch wide strips, length is not important and will depend on the length of your scraps.
- Wrap your wreath with strips, hot gluing the ends down when one strip ends. Start wrapping and gluing subsequent strips until your wreath is wrapped in full.
- Roll sheets of paper into cone shapes. You will get the hang of this the more you do, but there is no perfect way or shape. Glue to secure the cone.
- Continue until each of your papers is formed into a cone.
- If desired, coat open end of cone in glue and dip into glitter. Allow to dry.
- If you have more than one size of paper, separate cones into two piles.
- Start gluing your cones, close together, to form starburst around the wreath.
- Glue another layer, if you have more than one size paper or if more fullness or depth is desired.
This makes a really beautiful Christmas or winter decoration, but I plan on leaving mine up all year. It’s huge measuring larger than 36 inches, which is good for my new, in-progress, and practically empty dining room. If you looked closely you could see notes (both musical and written) from 1949, getting some extra play in 2010. My grandmother was spending time at my house when I hung the wreath, and I took a long moment to breath in and savor the beauty in my everyday life.
Born and raised in the cornfields of Indiana, Hayley (aka: The Tiny Twig) has recently moved back to the Hoosier State after a magical stint in Charlotte, NC. She and her handsome husband have three boys who are learning to be good men (in the midst of the wrestling and the dirt!!). Wanting to bring the profound, the excellent, and the glorious into even the mundane things we do everyday in life, Hayley can be found blogging at The Tiny Twig and on Twitter.