I've never been very good at crafting. I'm useless at knitting and sewing has never been my forte. I'm green-fingered but would say I'm a gardener who prefers to deadhead roses than get my hands dirty digging.
So when I told two of my best friends that I was planning to indulge my love of flowers by making a Christmas wreath, they giggled.
"You, make a wreath? why would you want to do that?" they both asked.
The answer was I wanted to learn something new - investing in myself by doing something I wanted to do whether people thought i'd be good at it or not. But after their response I also wanted to prove them wrong!
Luckily I had the help of top florist Paula Pryke, who runs flower-arranging and wreath-making workshops from the Paula Pryke Flower School in north London, just around the corner from her Islington shop.
I was a little nervous, particularly as the w&h team had insisted I bring my wreath back to the office for them all to admire. But Paula calmed my nerves by explaining it's all about choosing the right flowers (less is more), and to do this you need to decide on three main things: colour theme (I went for traditional red, green and white); texture (I thought the more fragrant foliage the better); and your mood (I wanted a "Victorian woodland" because I live in a Victorian house).
I started a little shakily, gently pushing eucalyptus into the round oasis that forms the base of your wreath. to start with it was all looking a bit too neat and orderly (very Victorian but not much fun!). But with Paula's expertise I became more confident and started adding flowers with abandon. In fact I then had to stop myself from adding too many!
A great tip from Paula is to keep holding your wreath up - that way you can see how it will look on your door.
Two hours later i was thrilled with what i'd made and couldn't wait to show it off. Not only was the w&h team impressed, but so were my two good friends, who said they quite fancied signing up for a class themselves!
I felt a great sense of achievement, at discovering I'm not so bad at crafts after all. My only disappointment is that my wreath won't last until Christmas... but at least I know how to make another one!
Want to try wreath-making for yourself?
Buy a Paula Pryke Kit for £50 with woman&home reader discount of 10%
The wreath that Sue made is available as a flower kit for home delivery to most areas of the UK and includes all the flowers Sue used plus a 12in foam ring and hessian ribbon. When you receive the kit, you can watch a video of Paula assembling it at paulapryke.com. this will give you all the instruction you need to complete the wreath in the comfort of your own home.
Sign up for a workshop
20% off for w&h readers Date: 8 December 2016 Price: £150
Paula's wreath making workshop will give you the chance to watch her make some gorgeous Christmasdesigns and then make your own luxury wreath. The price includes a festive glass of prosecco and mince pies.
To order the wreath kit or book the workshop call 020 7837 7373 or email email@example.com mentioning the code W&H
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