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Forever Flowers

Word of the Week

Floriography (floor-ee-oh-graf-ee): The language of flowers. In other words, flowers have been used for years and years as a form of communication without actually communicating with words. Different flowers in different colors, combinations, or arrangements symbolize particular things. Remember last week's blog about Morse code? There are a lot more forms of communication than you might think. The word itself comes from Victorian times, though I've had trouble tracking down it's official origin. For that reason, I'll greet you with a simple hello.

Hello!


Spring has sprung into full force, and summer will be here before we know it. I'm enjoying the green grass, and I'm anxious to see more and more flowers in bloom. They just put me into a great mood!


So let's go back to floriography. Maybe you've heard that different color roses symbolize different things. A red rose stands for love, while a yellow rose represents friendship. While I was reading up on this form of communication, I learned that when a suitor was interested in someone, he would send her a bouquet containing several flowers and herbs. He would then watch from a distance for a response. If she was interested, she would hold the bouquet upright, near her heart, and if she was not interested, she would hold it down towards the floor. How interesting!


While that interesting piece of information seemed to come up over and over across the internet, there doesn't seem to be an exact science to floriography. Different cultures have likely created their own meanings over the years. I can assure you that if you take the time to read up on it more, you'll learn all kinds of interesting facts about flowers.


Something special is happening Sunday, May 9th. Mother's Day!


Since Mother's Day is just around the corner, I wanted to give you a head start on what I think is the perfect gift for any mom! Or grandma, or aunt, or. . .you get the idea. Any special woman you look up to should be celebrated. Flowers just might be the perfect way! Consider a pretty plant she can enjoy for a long, long time.


Celebrating someone doesn't always mean that you have to give them a gift. Spending quality time with them is usually all they want. Still, I've always loved finding people the perfect gift.

I think I have the perfect thing for you to make and gift your mom this year! Trust me, you'll have a lot of fun while you work on this project. Create your own floral tote using flowers as natural dye.

Here's how.


Handmade Floral Tote


Supplies

Cotton tote (think thin, not canvas)

Alum powder

Rubber gloves

Wax or parchment paper

Painter's tape

Flowers

Wooden board

Rubber mallet


Here's How

  1. Wash your bag.

  2. Mix 2 cups of hot water with 1/4 cup of alum. Add bag to soak.

  3. Use gloves whenever handling the alum. Remove bag, wring it out, and hang to air dry.

  4. Once dry, iron your bag to remove any wrinkles.

  5. Put a piece of wax or parchment paper inside the bag to keep the dye from leaking through to the other side.

  6. Arrange your flowers and leaves into a pattern you like. Try to pick really bright, saturated colored flowers to get the best effect! If your flower is too bulky, the outline may not show up as clearly. Don't remove the green stem entirely from your flower, or your flower will fall apart! Just try to avoid hammering over the stem.

  7. Secure the flowers down with your tape. Don't be afraid to use too much. You want them to stay in place.

  8. Place the bag on the wooden board, grab your mallet, and hit away!

  9. Be sure to hit every part of the flower to get the best print.

  10. Peel off the flowers and tape. Happy with your print? All done! Need a little more? Go ahead and add a few flowers, and try again.

  11. Once completely dry, add a piece of parchment paper on top of the bag and iron over the design on your iron's hottest setting for a few minutes. Don't use steam- make sure to keep it dry. This helps lock your colors in.

  12. Yes, your tote can be washed in cold water when needed.

Have fun, and enjoy seeing the look on your mom's face when she sees your masterpiece!


Gram

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