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Everything Broad Ripple HomearrowRandom Ripplings Homearrow2020 10 08arrowColumn

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Right in my Own Backyard by Brandt Carter - Hollyhock Dolls
posted: Oct. 08, 2020

Right in my Own Backyard header

Relaxing in my yard today, I remembered when lazy summer days seemed to last forever. Minutes turned into hours watching ants cross the sidewalk, combing the lawn for four-leaf clovers, and picking clover to make chains to wear as garlands in our hair or as necklaces with our sundresses. I was never very good at daisy chains. Mine never seemed to stay together, or stems broke before knots got tied. Luckily, my aunt was a wonder at tying them. Aunt Susie was also the absolute best at hollyhock dolls. She could make them show attitude and personality by the colors she chose, the fullness of the flower, and the shape of the bud.
For those of you who have not had an Aunt Susie to teach you the delight of creating flower dolls, brides and bridesmaids, let me tell you more. Here are some simple how-tos on crafting with snapdragons, daisies, clover, and hollyhocks when summer is in full flower. The first way is easy but the dolls are not as secure. Pick the perfect hollyhock bud (her head) and one opened hollyhock flower with a stem (her skirt). Peel away the sepals that enclose the bud so you can see the colored petals. Push the small stem of the opened flower into the base of the bud's folded petals. There, you have a doll.

hollyhock dolls
image courtesy of Brandt Carter


The second method requires toothpicks, but has more stability. Begin with an open hollyhock flower turned upside down for the doll's skirt. Choose two closed buds to form the doll's bodice and head, threading them onto the toothpick. Anchor the end of the toothpick in the skirt. Stick an additional toothpick horizontally through the bodice bud to serve as the doll's arms. Use a fine point marker pen to draw eyes and a mouth on the head. Add a small daisy or a single hollyhock petal as the doll's hat. You can even make boy dolls by using only buds. Stick a toothpick through the buds to form the body and attach the head.

hollyhock dolls
image courtesy of Brandt Carter


Why not make hollyhock dolls the next time you have a youngster in your garden? You may end up creating a memory that lasts way beyond childhood.


Brandt Carter, artist, herbalist, and naturalist, owns Backyard Birds at 2374 E. 54th Street. Visit her web site www.feedbackyardbirds.com. Email your bird questions to Brandt@BroadRippleGazette.com




brandt@broadripplegazette.com
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