Minnesota winters are some of the coldest, longest, and snowiest in the states. Usually by the end of January, after the joy and excitement of the holiday season has worn off, I’m sick and tired of the cold and I’m longing for flowers once again. Unfortunately for me, the soonest I will get any of my own blooming is months away in April or May, and I ain’t got no money to spend on buying flowers in winter.
This winter, I’m making a conscious effort to continue working my creative muscles and honing my design skills through the season, by using the floral materials that are available. This January, I made a bouquet and hairpiece entirely out of dried stuff.
All throughout the growing season I save every flower that can be dried. I’ll pull them out of unsold market bouquets and arrangements, and save any left over from harvests and weddings. I dry greenery and orange slices for wreathmaking, as well as collect pine cones. I’ve amassed quite the hoard of dried materials, so this project had the twofold benefit of allowing me to play with flowers, and also making good use of my stash.
The bouquet includes lotus pods salvaged and given to me from various family members from past arrangements, as well as pine cones foraged from the forest on our property, orange slices and dried greenery left from Christmas, leftover brunia berries from last year’s June wedding, some cotton I bought like two years ago and never used, and flowers and seed pods from my garden and Hawley Hill Gardens.
When I asked Alyssa (left in the photos) to model for me, she mentioned that her friend Mari was visiting and would like to model as well, so I made a half-crown out of gold wire, dried orange slices and some of the flowers and greens used in the bouquet.
I put the girls in a couple of vintage mink coats that belonged to my great-grandmother, and stuck them in a snow drift for photos. They were so dedicated to the ***look*** and were troopers in the snow, but it was about 10 degrees so this shoot was very short! Thankfully, I was able to get some great shots before we went inside to thaw.