This episode is subtitled: ‘The rush and the lull…’
As predicted, it’s been a crazy week so far in Tulips but we’re keeping on top of our orders as they pile in and we’re managing to not get under each other’s feet too much despite us all being in the shop at once, all day, every day, on the run up to Christmas. Even Daisy, our Saturday girl, is working full time from today until the end of Saturday.
We always put a lot of effort in to our Christmas displays but this year we must have excelled because we’ve had more comments from customers than ever before, congratulating us on our festive scene in the window.
‘I bet your house looks amazing, Jenny,’ said Mrs Lucas when she was ordering a Christmas table arrangement to take with her to her daughter’s on Christmas day.
The truth of it was that I hadn’t had time to do a scrap of decorating at home. The baubles were still in the loft, no tree had been purchased and no door wreath or mantelpiece garland had been made. My Christmas cards were sitting in a pile on the table and mine was the only house in the terrace that didn’t have some form of lights on display. I looked like a real Christmas humbug but it was only because all of my energy was going into the flower shop.
‘Not really,’ I replied. ‘I’m a bit busy here to do much at home.’ I hoped Mrs Lucas didn’t know which was my house on Jubilee Street.
The following day, out of the blue, came a little lull. We’d done as much preparation as we could – 22 arrangements had been delivered to a local company (Christmas gifts for the employees) and 10 arrangements were sitting on the worktop in the back of the shop, greened-up ready for the flowers to be added in a couple of days. We had one more big delivery of flowers due from the wholesaler the following day that we’d be using to make the Christmas Eve orders and we were in a good position to deal with any further requests that came through the door or over the phone. So, what should I do with the unexpected pause in activity? I could indulge in tea and cake next door in Teacups, go home and put some decorations up, or I could make a last minute tree decoration that I like to do every year to add to my collection. Yes, my collection in the loft.
It seemed unfair to abandon the staff when things could heat up again in an instant so I opted to make the decoration in the shop while the others went for tea and cake, knowing that I might call them back at any time.
Having made this little reindeer chap it did actually inspire me to at least get a tree sorted.
I started with two jam jar lids.
One of them was slightly smaller than the other so it fitted inside and they locked together very well, giving me a very neat back. You can see that I did have to steal the smaller lid from my mustard pot and decant that but don’t worry if you only have one lid, you can glue a piece of felt to the back to neaten it off instead.
While they were joined together I planned to drill a small hole through both layers for the ribbon hanger. I’ve done this before but thought it would be easier if I used a bradawl to make the indentation first. I found this picture hook to act as my bradawl and discovered that I was able to actually make the hole with it, without using the drill. I then prised them apart so I could add the ribbon.
My inclination is always to pick up my needle with the collapsible eye for a job like this, although you may have a needle that has an eye that will take the ribbon and fit through the holes.
Start by coming up through the hole of one lid then up through the hole of the other, making sure you leave one end of the ribbon inside the lids but bring the tail (the other end) up and out of the top.
Then take the needle back through both holes, making sure the loop stays on the top and doesn’t get pulled through.
Tie a knot near the bottom of the two ends to stop it coming through the hole when you hang it up.
If you are using two lids, now is the time to lock them together again, with the knotted ribbon on the inside. Here are pictures of the back and the front once the two lids have been pushed together.
Now for the decoration. I wanted to use glitter on the outside rim and a reindeer face that I’d bought in Hobbycraft on the front.
I used PVA glue on the rim (pasting about one third of the rim at a time) and then rolled it in the glitter. Any excess glitter on the paper was tipped back into the pot.
These reindeer decorations have a self-adhesive sticker on the back so they are very easy to add.
- One jar lid works fine, you just need to cover the back surface (inside the lid) with a piece of felt.
- If you use a drill to make the holes, make sure you secure the lids in a workmate or something similar.
- It’s easier to work with the glitter if you put a crease in a piece of paper and tip some glitter into the crease. The crease also helps you to tip the spare glitter back into the pot.
- Jam jar lids
Wishing you all a merry Christmas this weekend. Hope it’s full of festive fun.