I tried for two whole days to ignore all of the hydrangea and licheny branches while on vacation - I couldn't do it. Couldn't ignore the arrangement taking shape in my head. So when on Cape Cod, cut some hydrangea! Find a pair of scissors and the kitschiest container (think vintage cocktail shaker) in the house and go to town. Your house mates may tease you for gathering weeds - have another gin and tonic and get over it.
Also I gathered loads of fallen lichen covered branches, which will be making an appearance in winter wreaths!