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'Wreaths for All Seasons' book review: The 'must have' DIY book for all seasons

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Hawaii paid tribute to both the living and the dead in the 64th annual Korean War memorial ceremony held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific on Jude 25. According to the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System, service members, veterans and guests all lined up to lay wreaths at the base of the memorial as their expression of tribute.

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Wreaths have been used for centuries to express respect at memorials, but they have been used to express many other emotions and to mark other occasions as well. They are as varied in shape, color and size as the types of forms one might use to create them, such as dry or wet foam, oil and moss wrapped in plastic, bunches of twigs or grapevines and wire.

In James T. Farmer III's book Wreaths for All Seasons, which contains many beautiful images of every type of seasonal wreath you can imagine (all captured for posterity in photos taken by Maggie Yelton and Laurey W. Glenn), the Southern Georgia author paints word pictures to go along with his actual wreath creation photos for spring, summer, fall and winter seasons.

The Kathleen native does this, in part, to help lovers of great decor and home furnishings create these works of art on their own, in their own abodes, and for their own special celebratory or memorial occasions, without having to order them from him or someone else. Although he will not turn away such a request, providing details for wreath purchase on his All Things Farmer store website.

But the editor-at-large for Southern Living magazine goes a step further in this Gibbs Smith publication, seeking to impart to the reader several basic but important pieces of information within the book's 128 pages. For one thing, he wants the connoisseur of fine living to understand that you can decorate your home and outdoor surroundings beautifully without breaking the bank, as many things you need in order to accomplish this goal can be found for free right outside your own house--or in neighboring woods.

Second, in addition to his book featuring a breakdown of the types of wreaths you can make, and the forms you can use to make them, he goes in-depth about the types of materials and background elements you should consider when creating your own wreath, taking a lot of guesswork out of the equation.

For example, there are a multitude of different greenery options you may never have thought of for use in a wreath: anise, boxwood, cedar, and palmetto, to name just a few that he mentions. And if you want a base of greenery to start with from scratch, without having to forage for it yourself, you can always buy one from a tree farm and then add Farmer's other recommendations to it.

For those seeking color or pizzazz to add to their circle of expression, well, this Southern boy has got you covered, recommending certain fruits (to captivate your guests' sense of smell, not just their sight), as well as adornments of flowers, herbs, seedpods, cones and even fungi, if you can believe it!

The fungi wreath illustrated in his book will make you a believer if you have any doubts about how adding this particular background element to your objet d'art can make a powerful decor statement. And the brief listing I've provided thus far of the book's contents about creating your own wreath masterpiece using unusual items pales in comparison to the exhaustive lists he provides in the DIY book.

That's why this book is the ultimate resource for someone seeking to master wreath-making on their own, but with the kind of flair and ingenuity that commands big bucks from home interior designers and landscape experts. And the wreath-making book sells for a pittance compared to those designer wreath expenses, costing only $24.99 in U.S. markets.

If you are looking for a wreath-making book to give you new ideas for how to decorate your own home door, garden gate, table centerpiece or church fellowship hall for any and all occasions and seasons, then Wreaths for All Seasons is the book for you based upon this Examiner's recent review of the publication, which was prompted by a review copy received in June.

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