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hello there.

Well, whaddya wanna know?  Here's the plain and simple truth:  My name is Rebekah Tennis and I love design.  I love paper, the way it feels, its weight and texture.  I love extra special touches on little things: homemade tags on gift-wrap, old stamps on an envelope, and twine on nearly everything.

My husband, business partner and all-around solid rock Matt would probably tell you that he likes tools - lots of 'em, finding the perfect way to do something, taking things apart, and precision in everything. 

So you might as well have guessed by now... we are the perfect match for an old letterpress studio. Together we farm rice and have three adorable and active boys ages 5 and under.  This keeps us fairly busy, but whenever we have a spare moment, we crank up our 102 year old Chandler and Price platen press and pull some prints, or whip out a card line on the Heidelberg. 

There's more, oh yes, there IS more - but that's what this blog is for.  Take a look around, get to know us, our great town of Chico, California and our beautiful presses.


a leaftacular wreath.

Feeling crafty?  Here’s my {ahem} attempt at a little DIY fall decorating goodness for your enjoyment (or mockument, as the case may be).

Little disclaimer here:  I’ve never considered myself to be a “craft” person.  While I love being creative, and creativity in general, I often lack the ability to pull things off.  “Things” being anything involving a glue gun or Martha Stewart.  A project is just as likely to go south as it is to succeed – which is a bad ratio, I’m sure.  But this project was easy – super easy, like no-fail easy. So, if I can do it, I have no doubt anyone can, and with greater flare!

And pull out your timer, set your stop watch – it only takes 20 minutes, start to finish. That’s not even a full episode of the Office, for you TV heads out there. What are we waiting for?

EASY CRAZY CHEAP DIY WREATH

For this project you will need:

1) A grapevine wreath base.  Mine was 18″ – I bought it at Michael’s for $3.99.  If you had one of their 40% off coupons (which I always forget) it would have been even cheaper. It looks like this on my garage floor:

fall_wreath_22) Bendable wire.  I’m sure you have some lying around.  I did.  If not, it’s easy to find for around $1:

fall_wreath_53) Nature. You’ll need to go forage for leaves – I didn’t have to go far, I just harvested the pile that’s collecting under our maple tree in the front yard.  I didn’t pick just the perfect ones, because I wanted a very rustic wreath.  This part is up to you.  Here’s my pile:

fall_wreath_3And now, the instructions.  My leaves were pretty dry, but it never hurts to make them a bit drier.  Microwave them with paper towels for 60 seconds (longer if they are really wet).  This just ensures you are working with dry leaves.

Next, gather a couple of your leaves together and wrap the stems with wire, like this:

fall_wreath_4And keep adding stems as you go:

fall_wreath_6See the vertical garland we are creating?  Very easy!  Now, I checked it against the base as I was working, to make sure it was full enough:

fall_wreath_7You can make it as full or un-full as you would like.  In no time you will have made a complete circle:

fall_wreath_8Once you have a shape you like, fasten the two ends together with the wire and trim the wire.  Now, fasten the leaves to the grapevine base with more wire, in about, say four or five key places.  Voila!  You could be done.  But here’s an extra step I did, I sprayed the wreath with this stinky Dried Materials Preservative I had lying around…

fall_wreath_9To help preserve the color.  I think I got it at Joann’s originally, but I can’t be sure.

Then I hung it on the front door:

Fall!  No fake stuff here!  And how easy was that?  Plus, only $4!  And, you can pull the leaves off at the end of fall, and keep the grapevine base for next year – reusable and earth-friendly, right?  The leaves, RIP, were going the way of the ghost anyway!

Nature, it’s all around you, and it’s perfect for seasonal and free decor.  Got to love that.  What crafty things are you doing this fall?  I’d love to know!

P.S.  Any credit for inspiration on this post goes to my dear mother, who could always pull off the perfect Christmas table by “going out back” and rummaging in the woods for the perfect pine cones, branches, etc. It’s from her that I came to love the real, the natural and the free decor and inspiration that is in our very backyard.

October 27, 2009 - 1:12 pm Rachel - Wow, this is gorgeous! I love it. This would be perfect for my front door...

November 1, 2009 - 10:37 pm Erika - Awesome! Something my leaf-obsessed daughter and I can both enjoy. We'll be "going out back" tomorrow.

November 2, 2009 - 8:56 am SusieQ - Very creative and beautifully executed!

November 2, 2009 - 9:25 am casey - i have been looking for a fall wreath to make with my 2 boys who are obsessed with picking out the "prettiest" leaves. this will be perfect to showcase those pretty leaves and will make them proud in the process. great idea and it looks really easy too.

November 2, 2009 - 4:26 pm Nissa - Beautiful! I will definately be trying this!

November 4, 2009 - 1:40 pm Lisa - I love this!!! Do you mind if I post this on my blog? I would love to share it with my readers!!

November 4, 2009 - 1:43 pm rebekah - Lisa, no problem, be my guest!

September 24, 2010 - 3:10 pm Kim @ Starshine Chic - It's beautiful! I just wish I had leaves like that around my house. The leaves don't even fall of the trees around here (SoCal)until Christmas time.

September 24, 2010 - 7:50 pm lauren - Pretty & simple...just how I like it:) Your door is beautiful too!

September 26, 2010 - 5:41 am Linda @Lime in the Coconut - LOVE this....and might even love your fab door more!!

September 26, 2010 - 8:26 pm Carmen - Wow! I really love the natural look of this. Pretty! And could your front door be any more fabulous? I don't think so. It's gorgeous.

November 12, 2010 - 10:01 pm EMily - Love this. I totally wanted to do it but was scared. I have the wreath base I found at the dollar store and a pile of leaves in the front yard. I'll tackle this project this weekend. Thanks!

October 19, 2010 - 8:42 am { another wreath } » Wild Ink Press - [...] you remember last year’s leaftacular wreath, you know that a) I like things that are real and not artificial, and b) I like things that are [...]

October 25, 2012 - 2:18 pm a rosemary wreath. » Wild Ink Press - [...] can see my previous autumn wreaths here: rustic leaftacular, barberry flame bush, and glam magnolia. [...]

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