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Inspired by Alexandra's 2016 Reef Wreath Ornament, for this year's #ChristmasintheCity Holiday Window Competition we embarked on a journey to create an engaging series of wreaths made from natural materials we'd scavenged after Hurricane Nicole and form them into undulating "under the sea" scenes. Have a glimpse into our studio, our concept, and execution all under the watchful guidance of our studio kitten, Gemma.  

Gemma overseeing our planning meeting in October

Gemma tries to make good her escape with our leafy cargo

We gathered our hurricane debris and picked up as many natural bits and bobs as we could muster and started to envision our Reef Wreaths. 

Flowing dried flower stems

Dried and cut palm fronds

Dried agapanthus lily stems

Pampas grass fluff

Palm seed stems

Twisted vines for the base

Hannah surprised us with the first complete mock up of our reef wreath concept on a Sunday afternoon in late October. We loved the look of the cut Chinese fan palms and found they became even more interesting as they twisted when they dried.  The banana leaves made beautiful spiral shell and barnacle shapes. The silvery Spanish moss looked like sea grass and the palm seed stem looked like coral. 

Alexandra arranging wreaths

Even Darren got into the spirit!

Gemma inspected, rearranged, approved, vetoed, napped on, tossed around and bossed around our materials. 

Once the wreaths were complete we began the four night installation process, which we all looked forward to after a day full of jewellery making! On the first night we hung the wreaths with care. The next night we figured out the window's pedestals, which we jokingly refer to as the "kiddie cocktail tables".  On the third night we untangled and hung the maze-like curtain of string lights - and we thought we were done until Darren suggested hanging a sheer curtain behind the lights to offset the wreaths. So on the fourth night of the Christmas window installation we found, hung, steamed and photographed our work, and after we dined on pizza and chardonnay on the shop floor. 

The wreaths go in and we decide that round pedestal 

tables were better than square.

Contemplating the flow of the wreaths 

Kiddie cocktail tables as pedestals.  Wreaths and Lights before the sheers.

Wreath detail - but decidedly hard to see with out a backdrop!

Hannah, Alexandra and Eileen - when we thought we were done! 

Check out our time lapse video of the window installation process below!  

What we thought was our finished window until Darren pointed out it was quite hard to see each wreath without being distracted 

by all the pretty things we have inside the store!  So back to work we went installing the sheers the following night!

Who knew?? Darren likes steaming!  <3

Pizza picnic thanks to Mikal!  Cheers!

Et voila! Here are some details of the final Christmas window!  The photos really don't do it justice, so please come out to see it in the Washington Mall! 

We hope you like our Reef Wreath window, and if you do, please help us win by voting using the button below.  All you have to do is "like" our entry on Facebook!  

With special thanks to Alex & Mikal for all your help lifting furniture, and food and booze deliveries!

xoxo, Gemma, Hannah, Eileen, Darren & Alexandra