Winter Wreath Making

There are several schools of thought on the history of the humble wreath. From the ancient Greeks and Romans using them to symbolise status and victories to the Pagans and Christians making wreaths to symbolise the changing seasons and Advent. Most nowadays are simply a festive decoration, a simple and visual reminder that Winter and Christmas are upon us.

Inspired by the rather lovely wreaths which have been popping up all over Instagram in the last week or so I decided to try my hand at making my own.

winter wreath making

For the base I used a circle wreath of honeysuckle vines I cut from the garden earlier this year and then collected some items from around the house

silver birch stars

rusty bells

mini pinecones

eucalyptus

pussy willow

Using no skill whatsoever, I just interwove the eucalyptus and pussy willow in to the honeysuckle wreath, both are rather flexible and easy to slot in to gaps in the wreath.

honeysuckle and Eucalyptus

The pinecones I attached using a hot glue gun, the stars were slotted in to gaps between the wreath, eucalyptus and pussy willow and the bells with a piece of twisted wire.

bells and pinecone

pussy willow

All in all it took less than 5 minutes and didn’t turn out too shabby.

winter wreath

It was only after making the wreath that I discovered there is a whole bunch of symbolism attached to the items I used to make my wreath.

Honeysuckle vines for the wreath – Signifies happiness and fraternal affection.

Silver birch stars – Silver birch trees around the world symbolise renewal and protection whilst a star symbolises good luck.

Rusty bells – Bells have long been a symbol of protection, the ringing chimes used to ward off evil.

Mini pinecones – Pinecones are symbolic of long life and prosperity, as well as a symbol for good health and protection.

Eucalyptus – Besides smelling amazing, eucalyptus is a symbol of healing and protection.

Pussy willow – The pussy willow symbolises good will and motherhood and represent protection for the home.

I realise that symbolism it totally subjective, but I do rather like the connotations which go with the items I chose for my wreath, now I just need to find the perfect place for it.

Firsts and Lasts

When you become a parent there are many firsts you experience with your baby, many are expected and looked forward to, a few come out of nowhere, leaving an emotional blow you never expected.

The excitement of those firsts; steps, words and smiles is soon eclipsed by the realisation that there are a limited number of these experiences, and as the years pass us by, the firsts become few and far between.

It’s been a while since we had a first, and then on Friday Ethan lost his first tooth.

FIRST TOOTH

A teeny tiny little tooth, yet it still tugged at my heartstrings, this baby tooth is yet another sign that the baby years have been left far behind, the toddler years are fuzzy in memory and childhood is well established.

It doesn’t matter that we’ve had 7 years of firsts, this one still hit me as much as the  first ever first, perhaps even more so, knowing that most of these experiences are behind us.

Over the years I have doubted my parenting, thought for sure I was doing things wrong and messing up these two amazing little humans, but as we meet each first I realise I’m doing something right.

Reality Bites, Depression my old friend

Think happy, be happy.

If only it was that simple.

It’s now almost 84 days since I had my last antidepressant, and the thoughts that maybe I’m not as strong as I believed are creeping in.

There is a shocking lack of assistance for those with depression once you seem to be in recovery, and whilst I understand that funding is disgustingly low, being cast out and expected to manage this on my own is terrifying and honestly, I wonder if it would be easier to let the dark thoughts seep back in and take over.

Over the past 7 years I forgot how to function in so many ways, I still don’t know how to function in some situations and I have no idea how to go about relearning how.

As we grow up, our ability to cope with and handle ourselves in certain situations comes about via trial and error, peer influences and through education but as an adult, I should know these things. I do know them, I just no longer know how to actually get my thoughts in to actions.

Somewhere along the way I’ve lost the parts than made me…me.

It’s exciting to a degree, I’m in a sense a blank canvas with the ability to start over. But I no longer feel I have a base on which to establish who I am. Am I confident, outgoing, strong willed and passionate or am I this meek and lost person who is stumbling through life trying to find some place where I belong?

I fear I’m the latter, I don’t want to be, she makes me mourn for who I was.

It’s evident I’m struggling this week, there’s a whole host of reasons as to why, some significant, some ridiculously inconsequential that I shouldn’t even waste my energy on them

I’m lucky I got 12 weeks in before I started to feel like maybe I wasn’t as free from depression as I thought. I knew there would be periods like this. I knew I would doubt myself and want a prescription for drugs which numbed me from many of these thoughts, but I’m hopeful that this is a blip. A day or two of vacillation before I perk up again.

I hope so, I’ve so enjoyed these past 12 weeks, the feeling of being alive again is a wondrous thing. But the reality is that after so many years of severe depression I’m unlikely to ever be free of it completely, and I’m truly okay with that, if only I could figure out how to manage these days of doubt without setting me back months of progress.

depression and me

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