The Lavender bushes are full of their Spring flush of blooms, so I thought I would teach the girls how to make some "lavender bottles."
Tina and Mandy wanted to learn too, so we all sat round the patio table yesterday. That included Amy and Anna, who had stayed the night.
To make a lavender bottle, you need lavender with fairly long stalks. You also need 60- 80 cm of narrow ribbon, depending on how much of a loop and bow you want to make at the end.
You gather together an uneven number of stalks. Usually you need about 9 or 11 stalks, but if the flower heads are really plump, you can get away with 7.
The stalks need to be limp just beneath the flower heads. If they are still stiff, you can bruise them a little with your fingernails, so they will bend. Hold the bunch upside down and tie a tight secure knot just beneath the bundle of flower heads with a ribbon. Then fold the stalks down over the flower heads like a cage.
Leave about a third of the ribbon trailing down through the middle of the flowers, and use the longer end to weave under and over the stalks - basket style - round and round until you reach the base of the bundle of up-ended flower heads. Bring out the ribbon that was hanging through the middle, and wrap the two ends around the stalks, and tie them. You can make loops or bows, depending on whether you are going to put the "Lavender bottle" in a drawer with your "smalls" or hang it on a door or in the wardrobe.
The younger girls had a little difficulty with the weaving process, but Amy (who is 9) persevered until she managed it.
The lavender bottles make a lovely little gift for your friends, and are great for a stall at your local Fete or Spring Fair.
With a bit of practice, you can make them quite quickly.
And the fragrance lasts for years!
Then it was suggested that Tina showed us how to make Friendship bracelets. Out came the embroidery floss (of which I have an abundant supply). Everyone chose their favourite colours and went to work making the knots. Everyone caught on fast under Tina's guidance, and the girls found it easier than the Lavender project. In fact, it kept them engrossed for ages!
Between iceblocks and cups of tea and leftover birthday cake, we all got involved. Well, I must admit there was an occasional bored sigh from the menfolk and the littlies who waited patiently for us to lose interest.
Young Bronte decided to make her own original version, and she christened them "Cousinship Bracelets"!!
It was a wonderful "girlie" afternoon, leaving us all feeling wonderfully relaxed and stimulated at the same time. We must do something like this again before the holidays end!