Monday, December 2, 2013

Blacksmithing, Candle Making, and Flower Arranging~ The Advent Wreath

When I was a little girl, we had an advent wreath. It was a flimsy tin wreath, with crooked, spiked posts and the candles always sat lopsided and melted and dripped all over. We were forever scraping pink and purple globs of wax off the stand, the table, the doily it usually sat on, with our finger nails. But I thought it was beautiful! We would light it every evening at dinner. It was one of the rare times, as a child,  where I was allowed to use the lighter. Not that I was some sort of piro-maniac kid, but it felt very grown up and serious. I was always anxious to see the final pink candle lit on the Sunday nearest to Christmas, as there was something satisfying about the circle being completed, and it meant that Christmas was less than a week a way. The story behind the tradition of lighting the candles in Advent is symbolic of the anticipation of the birth of Jesus. There are many variations to the tradition, including different colored candles, different number of candles, but the overall tradition is pretty much the same. To read the whole story and history of Advent click here.  
We've since retired the old tin wreath. We could no longer find the odd shaped candles that fit in the little spiked posts, and any candle that we could jam into was too heavy and would just fall over. Eventually the spikes were left miss shaped and unusable. We went without an advent wreath for many years, and I must say, I missed the tradition.

Last year, Zach forged me an advent wreath. It is beautifully crafted with twisted stems for the candles to sit on. The traditional wreath is supposed to hang from the ceiling horizontally. But as we like to light the wreath at dinner time, there isn't really a spot to hang a horizontal wreath so Zach made it vertical.
Last year Zach was so busy with orders that he barely had the wreath done in time for the first Sunday in Advent. We hung it on the wall bare. It was beautifully made, but I always imagined it spruced up a bit with Christmas decorations.

My mom is really talented when it comes to flower arranging. I will post some of her handiwork as Christmas comes nearer. Because the colors of advent are purple and pink, we used a deep purple velvet ribbon with gold trim, purple and gold mini Christmas bulbs and these beautiful gold leafed leaves and curly cues. We had to make sure that all the adornments were pushed back into the wreath so that the candles wouldn't catch fire.

I melted the wax from last years candles, added some new wax and wick, and made 3 new purple candles and 1 pink.
All in all, the Advent wreath was a group effort, each of us adding our own craft.


Camille said...

So beautiful! This is definitely a family heirloom!

Rita B Caldwell said...

Gorgeous wreath and fairly simple to make!! Thanks for the inspiration!

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Errin Newman said...

HI. Do you have any of these for sale? I didn't see any on your etsy store site. I have been looking for something exactly like this for several years!

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