Anna’s Cherry Blossoms

I’ve been away from my blog for a while. Please forgive me. As I mentioned in a previous post, Spring 2013 has been remarkably busy. The Haley family married off a brother and a sister! It’s been a season of joy–and incredible fatigue. I’m currently recovering and looking forward to the next 3 months when I’ll be finishing my manuscript for HarperCollins. (Stay tuned for that!)

The biggest project of my spring was Anna’s wedding. I know I’m not the only Haley who is saying this. She and Victor decided to get married at my church, so David and I felt responsible for making it the perfect venue for her. We are blessed with a beautiful home-away-from-home in New Heights Chapel, but any sanctuary can be improved for a wedding, right? If NHC’s sanctuary has any problem, it’s the space next to the windows over the altar. I take it back: the space isn’t a problem; it’s an opportunity!

It took 80 hours to make 5,000 cherry blossoms.

Months before her wedding, Anna had expressed a desire to have an outdoor Spring ceremony. This wasn’t practical for many reasons, but I wanted to give her that feeling even indoors. I found a blog on how to make Cherry Blossom Branches and thought I would super-size the project. It took 2 months but cost only $35 for a large hole-puncher and polyurethane.

I started by ironing  tissue paper and cutting it into 5,000 rounds. Then I took each round and rolled it into a blossom.

It took the trees about 2 hours to dry after I sprayed them
with boat-grade polyurethane.

With David’s help, I cut limbs that ranged from 7′ to 12′ tall off the trees at the back of our property. Then I pruned the limbs, set them out to dry until the leaves fell off, and sprayed them will polyurethane.

Mama graciously loaned us “Sue,” her new Subaru Outback. We laid down the seats, covered them in tarps, and took the limbs to our chapel. There David and I spent a Saturday burning our fingertips with hot glue.

The 5,000 blossoms took about 25 hours to glue onto the tree limbs.

David spent 12 hours helping me glue 5,000 blos-
soms the weekend before Anna’s wedding. What
 a husband! What a brother! What a trooper!

The result was worth the time and trouble. The finished trees were a big hit. Not only was Anna pleased with the sanctuary, but the 3 subsequent brides at NHC asked that the tress remain for their weddings. My labor of love turned into a blessing for many. What more could I ask?

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