June 21, 2009

Let's Dry Roses!

How often have you received beautiful roses or a bouquet of mixed flowers for a special occasion and in a short time they were no longer beautiful and had to be thrown out. All you can think about is the money your loved one spent.

Let's dry those roses! Let's preserve that beauty and the memory of the giver. It's usually quite simple.

Note: All roses are not the same. The dried flower will vary depending on the compactness and the color of the bloom. You should experiment.

Watch that bouquet. Don't wait until the petals start to fall. It's Too late now.
Enjoy them a few days and then remove them from the water. You may or Not remove the wires from the stems. Carefully secure the stems and hang a small bunch upside down indoors. You may try a closet or other spots in the house. Experiment! I seldom think about what room in the house to hang them. Just hang them. My only bad, and I do mean BAD experience was trying to dry lots of roses in a semi open area in what turned out to be the wettest, rainy season ever..There was too too much moisture in the air around them for far too long... Costly lesson.

To Spray or not to spray: Someone asked today about spraying with hairspray or polyurethane clear paint..my personal opinion: It is NOT NECESSARY. When your dry blooms collect dust use a hair dryer [at a distance] to blow them.

If you are concerned about dried material falling - Don't place them in a high traffic area where one is likely to brush against them. I do like wall pockets for two or three dried blooms. My very fav wall pocket is the long neck of a dipper gourd stem end down. I have one on our bedroom door with dried roses in it.

Your dried roses will last longer than you want to keep them..Then you just toss them and start over with the next delivery of expensive flowers you receive.

Drying Things

What can be dried? I'm not talking about laundry or any other household 'chore'. I'm talking about "pretties" like your flower garden successes or woodlands discoveries.

My very favorite flower to dry.. For me it has  to be hydrangeas. Of course the oak leaf hydrangea takes care of itself. Don't worry about drying it. It's the mop head, the endless summer and others I'm referring to.
When there are several options for drying a specific bloom I choose the easiest every time.

The easiest for these Hydrangea blooms is air drying in small bundles upside down. The trick is knowing when to harvest them. When I asked friends they all had a different answer. when I read articles or books it was hard to interpret the instructions. Basically you pretty much have to figure it out for yourself.

 My advice goes like this: Don't get in a hurry. You cut too soon they are a total loss-they shrivel up. When I reach out with slightly cupped palm to touch the large bloom and the feel I get could almost be described as a slight stiffness as opposed to the touch of  tender vegetation. You can almost [not really] sense a slight paper rattle.  They are now ready to harvest.

 I gather a nice handful, strip many of the lower leaves off, bind the [usually] long stems with either wire, string or rubberbands and hang them on a wire or against the wall indoors or perhaps a covered space like a porch or patio.
Let them be.  When they are finished there is no doubt . If you especially appreciate the various colors..the easiest way to get this is to spray with two or three shades of color..a floral spray/aerosol.  Experiment with distance and mixing the various colors..you'll figure it out.

When you become super comfortable with choosing when to cut for drying you will be able to cut, place in water and  let them dry in the container as you enjoy them.
When I am trying to make a new convert to dried flowers I usually  tell them It's just another kind of beauty and with the dried blooms you can enjoy the same beauties often year round....first the fresh cut and later as they are perfectly dried.


June 14, 2009

Where My Mobley Grandparents Lived

The only house I ever recall My Mobley Grandpa and Grandma living in was the primitive dog trot farmhouse down  the lane from Uncle Jack and aunt Laura Mobley's. (a mile from the Mershon-Crossroads)


That farmhouse was always immaculate..the yards didn't have a sprig of grass [it was promptly chopped up with a sharp hoe] and was literally swept clean with a handmade brush broom made from a bundle  of branches.

This is NOT my Grandma and Grandpa Mobley's house. It is the
1906 dog trop farmhouse we owned during our Texas years.

And Do You Remember Those..

Bubble Glass Picture Frames & Mirrors

Stacks of Wonderful Hand Made Quilts


A Green primitive Short Settee


[That's where I put out my letters to Santa ]

More Remembering

Colorful Depression Glass neatly lined the shelves of a Pie Safe.

They didn't know it was "depression glass." That label or description was given later by people as they came to value those dishes Grandma got free in a "box of something" she purchased or a premium at the movie theater, in a box of oatmeal. 

Reminders of My Grandma's House

 Hand Embroidered - 100% Cotton Pillow Cases

 Those cotton hand embroidered pillow cases on Grandma Mobley's beds come to mind when I find these.
Grandma's had the fronts adorned with dainty embroidered ladies in flower gardens & little birds perched on branches, large flower baskets filled with hand embroidered flowers.