Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Darn That Eddie Ross!

First let me tell you that Alberto and I absolutely love and respect Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar, and cherish their friendship tremendously. That being said, I would like to wack Eddie with a wire hanger!

Last year he published a little how-to project on his new blog. It was an immensely popular project and post, with scads of people writing in saying they were doing the project. That post and that idea has haunted me all year long. It involves making a wreath with about 80 round Christmas ornaments, a wire hanger formed into a circle, a glue gun, and a pretty hank of ribbon. Of course you can buy a similar looking wreath at Target for around $25., but where's the sport in that?!

I have had my eye out at yard, garage, and estate sales, and searched eBay and Craigslist looking for some vintage ornaments. Of course I didn't want to pay too much. Who does?

Finally last weekend I found a huge box at an estate sale. I was already "checking out" when I saw it hiddden near the door.
"How much for the box of old ornaments?"
"What do I know, I'm Jewish, make me an offer!"
"I'd like to pay 50 cents, but I'll give you $20."

So I got my box of the 80++ ornaments, amongst them some drek like 1980's twee, and treasures like a few New Orleans Saints (Go Saints!) ornaments, and over a dozen truly beautiful vintage beauties destined to be displayed in a mercury glass blow. And there were plenty of just-how-I-like-them tatty ornaments for the project.

I have chops. I have been a hired (glue) gun for Martha Stewart (amongst others). I have hand wired thousands of flowers, and hand tied thousands of bridal bouquets. I have made thousands of bows. I have pouffed and fluffed thousands of napkins. In other words, I fear no project, especially one like this that seemed so easy peasy.
And this is my little bone to pick with my dear Eddie (and Martha for that matter). Even if they don't actually say one of their DIY projects is easy, they imply the ease when they do it for us on camera.

This project was not easy. First I did not go back and read the instructions. There are no wire hangers in our house, so I had to scrounge one I found banished in the garage. Bending it in a circle is not that easy. My circle was a little irregular.

Then I just started to happily string the ornaments on the wire hanger. Ooops! I forgot you had to glue gun each and every one of the 80 (!) little silver caps of the ornaments BEFORE you string them along. They started popping off, flying to the floor (don't you just hate the sound of an exploding Christmas ornament!). So I removed them all, plugged in the glue gun, went to Eddie's post to read the instructions, blah, blah, blah.

I had some large balls, some medium and small, but no tiny ones. My wreath did not take on a circular form very easily to say the least. I tried to hot glue some filler balls to the balls already wired on. This was a disaster (I took them off and peeled off hot glue globs). I turned the wreath every which way to see if the balls would fall into some pleasing resemblance of Eddie's gorgeous wreath. I did this for over an hour, futzing and fussing!

Then I tried to hang it somewhere. Eddie showed his hanging on a door. Well my wreath was so fat, it had no flat side, so it didn't work on a door or in a window. What was I supposed to do, suspend it like a mobile? And I had some empty space on the wire hanger, where I could not make it work by filling in with ornaments, so the pretty band of ribbon Eddie showed as a hanger, was a total flop for me.

But, I did not give up! I used the hook from the hanger as a way to hang the thing, and finally found the only place it would work, which is hanging off the edge of the fireplace mantle. I wiggled and jiggled, and put a pretty satin bow in the gap at the top, and finally it looks kind of cute. Or does it? It took me about three hours of huffing and puffing, and laughing so hard at the image of brilliant Eddie watching not so brilliant me execute his "easy" project.

Here's Eddie's masterpiece! Go to his blog HERE for the easy instructions!
And do send me a photo of your Eddie wreath!


Anonymous said...

LOL thanks for the ha ha Valerie :)

I remember his post thanks for the reminder I want to give this a try !!!

Kathy :)

ps yours is beautiful !!!

La Maison Fou said...

I did one of these, ala not Eddie's instructions but from dollar store silver balls that were plastic,( they melted nicely into the wire form) then I sugar coated them with glitter that instantly aged them. I glued them to a wire wreath form, wrapped with aged tinsel in silver and started gluing away, it was hung by a wired vintage cream ribbon. A pretty easy project, but no wire hangers!
Yours looks great!!

Jan said...

Yours turned out great (in the end)
Yeah I've tried that bending wire hangers thing before and it's not easy !

An Aesthete's Lament said...

I like yours very much! Beautiful job. I'm actually thinking of making the Martha Stewart one featured in this month's issue, the wreath of walnuts and such.

Blondie said...

I love this! What a great idea! I can't believe it, but I'm just not that into decorating this year for Christmas yet...what is wrong with me? Kori xoxo

Anonymous said...

Darling Vamp,

We love you too!

Adhering the tops of the ornaments is a must! And as far as bending the hanger into a circle, we've seen your brawn first-hand. All it takes is patience and finesse.

For that pretty band, it's the same as the Fiendish Feather Wreath we did for Halloween:


Use floral wire to support the wreath. Cut a piece of ribbon, then tie around wreath to cover up the wire. Finally, cut another piece of ribbon and double-look like you're tying the first tiem you tied your shoes.

Anyway...I don't know what you're complaining about, darling. Your wreath is gorgeous!!!


Irene said...

I know how you feel, I have reinvented some of the "easy" projects just by frustration. I took my wreath apart and have not started it again yet. Your's does look good though.

vicki archer said...

The truth behind the easy project....but it is very pretty, your wreath Ms V. xv

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Oh You had me busting a gasket here!

First things first...your wreathe is adorable!

I now remember that I bought a ton of bulbs at 90% off after Chrismas JUST for this project.

OY...I don't know if I am ready to try.

Maybe just hot glue to a styrophoam wreath.

Now I need to remember where I put the whole mess of ornaments!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Oh You had me busting a gasket here!

First things first...your wreathe is adorable!

I now remember that I bought a ton of bulbs at 90% off after Chrismas JUST for this project.

OY...I don't know if I am ready to try.

Maybe just hot glue to a styrophoam wreath.

Now I need to remember where I put the whole mess of ornaments!

Olivia said...

Visual Vamp,
Sorry I didn't get your post sooner. Of course I would of voted for you. Love your decorating photos.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Alas I'd be severely handicapped pulling this DYI off. Eddy commented that you need finesse, & I may just lack a heap of that stuff. I know it was not easy, but your wreath looks fabulous, really.

Great post VV ~ deb

Jackie Von Tobel said...

I like yours better it has a more natural look! Nice Job for such an "easy" project.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Oh this did make me laugh. And, Eddie won't be pleased, but I have to say... I like yours best!!! It's really wonderful. Well Done! Just don't think how much it would cost if you were paid by the hour!

Kwana said...

Yours is so pretty! Congrats on working it out. I remember Eddie's post and how much I wanted to give it a try. Now? Not so much. LOL!

Kimberly said...

Oh, Valerie, this is so funny!!! I'm so glad other people have issues like me. It is such a beautiful wreath and great, easy idea. That is when we read the fine print. I wired vintage shiny brites on an out door garland a number of years ago (what was I thinking???) It was SSSSOOOOO awesome. Oops, didn't know to glue the caps. The first day, I lost almost all of them. Trial and error!!! I love Eddie and Martha. What would we do with out them???
xxx kim

Renae said...

LOL...you are too funny...and a great story teller! I could just imagine your angst trying to get that sucker secured! I do like it though and will just have to try myself. I like it in front of your ginormous menorah! BTW...did you see the fab menorah in the Wisteria catalog?

soft furnishing fabrics said...

I love these decors. I also do designs similar to these.

Pigtown-Design said...

OMG! I did one of these wreaths about 10 years ago. Found a bunch of old balls at the thrift shop, glued the tops on, etc. But I glued them to a wreath form instead of stringing them on a wire hanger. Hung the wreath outside on the front door. Looked brilliant. Had a rain a few days later, the colour on the balls all melted off and I came home to about 50 balls shattered on the front steps. Grrrrr.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, I wish Alberto had been there with you filming one of his little documentaries! I bet it would have received a strict rating for language content, or perhaps Alberto would have made his first silent movie? Anyway, your wreath is truly, truly beautiful and voluptuous and celebratory. I prefer its fat, irregular shape with just a small doughnut-hole opening. I love it. I want it.

Laura [What I Like] said...

Well I must say that for all the grief your wreath certainly turned out well in the end! But yes, those projects do look quite easy on the show. Probably because loads of hired (glue) guns have prepped all of the pieces first!

Carol Ann said...

oh that was a great post, I love the way your Eddie turned out...wonderful colours and you did the green thing of not buying new...
Now, very important...measure the piece and find the correct size box with tissue space to store it away after xmas...you do not want to have to do this again next year...hehe
Love it hanging from the fireplace mantel!

ELS said...

Brilliant! I have been planning to do this for Xmas and smugly assumed that 1. I would be the only one (in the UK that is) and 2. pfft, glue gun? I don't think so - far too much like hard work. So thank you for the hysterical post and warning to actually follow the bloody instructions!!


I think it looks fantastic! It almost makes me want to try and attempt one. I say almost because I know my limits. I would end up with balls glued to my hair.

Rachel said...

Oh, I love your wreath!! I kept thinking that it was a picture of Eddie's!! It may have been a pain to make, but it turned out great!

I have a similar problem - I bought a gorgeous wreath a couple of years ago, and after I got it home I couldn't find anyplace to hang it! It was too fat for our front door, and too big for most of the areas in the house I could think of! So I think your solution of hanging it in front of the fireplace is great!

soft furnishing fabrics said...

Is there a chance that it can be applied outside the states? I want to be apart of it but I just don't know how.

Dina Kucera said...

I love you. BUT, witnessing in writing that you had a struggle with a project ALMOST made me feel better about me. I said ALMOST. I will not venture into this project if yu had even the slightest difficulty with it. I will buy the balls, and hang the balls. Dina

Lori E said...

This makes me appreciate the one that I received as a gift many years ago. Trouble was it was all blues and there isn't a spot of blue in my house. Oh well. It's the thought that counts.
You did a great job. You should make 20 of them to give as gifts this year don't you think.

Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) said...

I haven't seen Eddie's post but YOUR wreath is gorgeous! Ooooh Nooooo, now I want to make one! Yikes! ;-) I once made a "pot puppy" that I'd seen in a Southern Living magazine. It was a little doggie made entirely of clay pots. I even bought the fancy, dancy ceramic snipper dojiggers from Home Depot to snip out little doggie clay ears. OMGosh...he came out darling...many, frustrating days later...but I swore I'd never make another one! :-) Loved your commentary...too funny! Susan

Hill Country House Girl said...

Just read this post and I can promise you, I will not try this. I am so "blog technically challenged" these days that one more thing to frustrate me would put me over the edge! Your wreath is lovely, though, and I love the majolica,art, and other treasures above your fireplace!

Anna said...

Super cute...I think you did a great job!