Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happy Solstice

 There is a tradition of flower crowns in the summer in my native land, especially at Solstice, when maidens often flocked to fields to gather their seven flowers for prophetic dreams about future husbands. First make your crown, then find out about your husband. A traditional Finnish crown might feature wheat stalks, daisies, cornflowers and maybe even the lupines that bloom later the farther up North you go.

While the traditional methods of braiding crowns are many, the few that I know require quite a bit more time and patience than I have most of the time, so I thought I'd share a couple of really simple, fun ways to make a crown of your own.

Materials:

Cheater flower crown:
flowers (traditionally wild flowers), florist's twine (that soft, green stuff they wrap corsages and bridal bouquets with), or any other soft, pliable twine (I used artificial sinew cos that's what I had), scissors or a knife.

Rose crown/necklace:
Rosebuds, about a 1/2 cup. Make sure to not over-harvest, because while crowns are pretty, rosehips are a sublime source of vitamin C. Remember to gather only very young buds, any petals are likely to fall off as the crorn/ necklace dries. You'll also need a needle and thread and if you want to get fancy, pliers and chain to make your creation into an actual necklace. (Not shown on tutorial, but you get the idea.)

Time: Not very long at all. I kept getting interrupted, but still completing these two projects took less than thirty minutes, photos and all.

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So first, gather your roses while ye may. I usually end up needing more flowers than I think and since the extras can easily be arranged in mason jar on the table, gather plenty. Always remember to forage sustainably, whether it be blooms or edibles. Luckily daisies are aplenty.
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 First, cut a length of your chosen twine about twice the length of your arm.

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Take two flower stalks. Lay them side by side with the flower head of one slightly lower down the first one's stalk. Bend the second flower's stalk around the first one, then bend it back over the second flower itself. Like so:
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Then join the second stalk next to the first flower's stalk. Like this:
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 Good job. Now pick up your twine and fold it in half. Wind some twine around the flower stalk in the same manner you folded the stalk over or simply wind one end of it around the other. You can also use a granny knot to tie it on, though this is not necessary. After the initial wrapping, the twine follows the path of the flower stalks except where additional wrapping is needed to ensure tightness.
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Repeat. Make sure your flowers stalks and twine are taut and the flowers in a nice arrangement in relation to each other. (If you want to leave the twine out you can totally make a crown just by this wrapping method, BUT it's way less secure, and in my opinion, more frustrating;)
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Sometimes, when your flower stalk is too stiff for the bending maneuver you can attach it by just going back and forth over it with your twine.

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Bind off with the twine. You're done.  Put on yer crown and admire the spit bugs.  

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My, but that's pretty. 

 
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Our second project is an even easier one, though it does require the use of a needle, so you might wanna mind the fingers of very small folk here. 
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Thread your rosebuds through the fleshy stalk at their end. Repeat. Measure and tie off. Done. If you're feelin' ambitious, you can sort the buds in piles according to size and make sure the they are threaded in ascending order first and then in descending order. 
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Homemade, biodegradable, dries nicely, works as a crown or a necklace, pretty much the perfect summertime accessory. 
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Happy Solstice everyone! Crown yourselves! 

8 comments:

  1. oh! so gorgeous! the crown and you :D i'm so happy you posted this beautiful tutorial. now i need to make one of these babies!

    happy solstice to you magical milla!

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  2. love! you are so pretty! happy solstice!

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  3. Ah! Thanks for giving me a new project to work on this week! They look so beautiful on you Milla!!!
    Thank you for sharing

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  4. Such lovely lovely loveliness!!! Tomorrow I'm going to see what flowers I can rustle up in the yard. Happy Solstice to you my beautiful friend!

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  5. oh so pretty! and your dress is really lovely as well. xo m

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  6. Happy summer solstice to you. Thats so cute! Love to make one of these.

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  7. thank you so much for sharing this, Milla. I missed this post and didn't realize it was where Anne pulled her skills from :) It was a big hit, and the little girls (or backyard maidens) loved it.

    Happy summer happenings.
    xxo
    J

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  8. Thank you so much for this post. Beautiful photos.

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