Today is absolutely gorgeous. Gorgeous. The temperature outside is as warm as inside - in the middle of March. The sun is shining, and the breeze is so gentle. This weather is insane, but you know what? I'll take it. I puttered around outside most of the morning, just finding stuff to do rather than spend time indoors. I pulled the covers entirely off the cold frames, planted some burdock, smoked the bacon I'm in the process of curing, admired the purple crocuses, watched the cats chase flies, set the hammock up, and generally basked in the finest day of the year so far.
A pile of grapevine trimmings has been hanging around since my husband did a severe pruning a few weeks ago. I'd been meaning to check them out, but what decent weather we've had lately has been devoted to more pressing chores. But today - ah, today. Any excuse to be outside would do today. So I made these.
Now I know they aren't exactly works of a master craftsman. But I was pretty pleased with them. For an hour's mucking around on a balmy day, a few snips here and there with hand pruners, and not a clue as to how to go about making a wreath, I'd say they turned out fair enough. Maybe it's just that I get a kick out of making something from nothing, out of finding a use where other people only see garbage or something to be gotten rid of. It tickles me every single time I manage to pull something like this off.
If I'd had more grapevines, or longer grapevines, I could have made more wreaths or bulked these two out a bit. Many pruned vines were too short to be useful. The vines were clearly starting to dry out a bit; if I'd worked with them a few weeks ago I think they would have been more flexible. Still, the vines and especially the curlicue tendrils were surprisingly resilient. Given my total ignorance of the proper way to construct a grapevine wreath, it was a very forgiving medium to work with. Next year I'll encourage my husband to make the cut pieces as long as possible, and then see what can be done with them when they're freshly cut.
Not sure what I'll do with these yet. The nice thing is that if I decide I don't have any use for them, they can either be gifted away, or composted! Okay, now I'm heading back outside.
P.S. to those who entered the homesteading books giveaway, I haven't heard back from one winner. So stay tuned. If I don't hear from her by tomorrow evening, I'll draw another number. You still might win! And if you entered but didn't check to see if you won, well check it out.
Cooking and Eating Shad
6 hours ago