Sunday, December 7, 2008

Angels from Nature

This is from my herbal archive. Several years ago, I went on a wonderful bus trip with the Repperts from The Rosemary House to a wonderful herb farm called Buffalo Springs Herb Farm in Virginia. Sadly, the Virginia farm is closed. This is the result of the craft project that we did there. The instructions call it Angels from Nature and Garden as featured on Home and Garden TV's Willard Scott's Almanac and the Angel Tree at the Governor's Mansion, Richmond, VA 1996. I tried to Google both HGTV's website and the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, but came up empty. I think that Don Hayne, one of the talented owners, decorated the Governor's tree either in 1995 or 1996 with the angels. This one that I made has lasted 12 years and has been protected in a paper bag all of those years.

Here is the outline of steps:

Step 1 - Head & Body Stem: Choose one of the following: medium size poppy pod with a 4" stem or acorn or hickory nut drilled and wood twig inserted. (I used a poppy pod.)

Step 2 - Arms: Choose approximately a 3" twig, cinnamon stick or reed stem and bind onto main body stem near the head using 22 gauge wire or strong thread. Or glue on oblong shaped pods. Make a loop of wire at back to use as a hanger, if desired. (I used a cinnamon stick.)

Step 3 - Body: Gather a small bunch of dried materials together to form a body. Fan out material and bind bundle, with 22 gauge wire at top and then attached to main stem at neck area. Suggested plant materials: silver king artemisia, plume celosia, dried plumes of decorative grasses, wheat, oats, rosemary, sage or blue salvia. (I have used a combination of blue salvia and silver king artemisia.)

Step 4 - Upper Body: Using a glue gun or fast drying glue, fill in area from waist up to head. Small bits of dried flowers and leaves work well for this to form a collar and shoulders. Use tweezers if desired. (I used celosia and statice.)

Step 5 - Wings: Using two matching dried leaves, glue wings on to back of neck or shoulder, either flat on each side or at an angle. Secure with glue. Suggested plant material: dried bay leaves, dried salah leaves or pressed galax leaves. (I used four bay leaves.)

Step 6 - Personality: Glue small pieces of dried flowers, acorn tops or Spanish moss to top of head. Paint a face if desired, using acrylic paints and add small bits of interesting plant material wherever necessary to give your angel personality. (I used more statice at the top of the poppy pod and didn't paint a face.)

This is nice as a tree ornament, wreath ornament or atop packages instead of a traditional bow. This is the only one I ever made. It takes a lot of material to make several. I did make wreathes and bouquets for a time. I don't any longer. I thought though if you have dried material that you don't know what to do with it, this may be a solution for you. Hopefully these pictures will give you assistance.

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