Tag Archives: bridal flowers

Beads of Cherished Flowers: 1914

flower beads

Beads made of red roses. You will find complete instructions on how to make these beads at this link: https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/rose-beads

Beads Made of Fondly Cherished Memories the Latest Fad

New York, May 9.

That precious first bunch of violets and the wedding bouquet that followed it need no longer be thrown away. Not that it ever was of course. But it need no longer moulder between the leaves of the biggest wedding present book.

A little New York art student has discovered a process by which she can turn the flowers into beads. They retain their color and most of their fragrance. And they will never wear out, for they are as hard as china.

“I began experimenting during my Christmas vacation,” says Miss Louise Wood, the inventor who lives in Cranford, N. J., and attends the Cooper Union classes in design. “I had read about the orange blossoms in California but they came out black. So I began to experiment to find a substance that would harden the flowers and give them body without spoiling their color. My mother helped me and at last we found a sparkling substance that could be boiled up with the flowers, and turned them into a mass of dough. I worked this upon a bread board, kneading it like the most careful housekeeper. Then I moulded the beads in the palm of my hand, some round and some pear-shaped. They were baked on pins to make them hard and give the opening to string them.

“I combined them with real beads, crystal of the same shade as the flower beads, to heighten the artistic effect. Sometimes I used contrasting colors. It was hard to get the flowers during the winter, but I found that faded ones would do just as well, so I made arrangements with the greenhouse at home to take theirs at wholesale.

“A month ago came my first commission A little neighbor won a prize in an oratorical contest and her mother sent over the bunch of salmon pink carnations she had carried to have them turned into beads. They came out the loveliest rose pink and the child was delighted with them. She can show them to her grandchildren They were like this.”

Sighs for White Beads.

She picked up a lovely string combined with pink and cut glass beadlets, with all the fragrance of the flowers. It is amusing to identify the strings lying on their white cotton beds in their little square boxes. The purple ones were violets of course. But what were these dark red pear-shaped ones strung with silver that look as if they were made to match the new mahogany gowns? Carnations–the kind Galsworthy talks about in the “Dark Flower.” And the grays that look as if they were meant for some dear old lady? French lilacs. Lilies of the valley are corn colored.

“We haven’t been able to make a white bead,” sighs the experimenter. “I’m sorry because wedding bouquets are almost always lilies of the valley–and a wedding necklace should be white! But the chemicals give them this cream tint. I think they are pretty, though, with the little gold beads. And I am making some hand-painted boxes that will be dainty enough for any bride. I have asked Miss Wilson for a spray of her bouquet so that I can make her some beads. I won’t need it all, so the lucky bridesmaid who catches it can keep most of it. But I should love to do it for Miss Wilson, for she was an art student, too.

“What are those green beads? Ferns. Some of them came with the flowers one day and I tried them. The maidenhair makes those soft green ones and the real ferns the bright ones. I use only the tip ends of the fronds. The dark purple beads are made of heliotrope and the mottled ones are pink and white sweet peas. Of course I have to work them up together in my hands like marble cake–but it gives the effect, don’t you think so? The saffron beads are jonquils.

“I’m sorry the suffrage flowers don’t come out a bright yellow.

“I can hardly wait for summer to bring the roses. I am so anxious to work with them. They are so expensive and in such demand that I haven’t been able to get hold of many. I had a few American beauties once and they made the loveliest beads–almost the same color. I strung them with black beads and they were bought at once.

“Could I make beads of mistletoe? If there were enough of it, though I am afraid they would come out gray. But holly ought to be lovely, the red and green beads together. Oh, I try everything. Mother does, too. She makes the beads when I am not at home.”

Mrs Wood who looks hardly older than her daughter, smiled brightly. “I used to try to write,” she said, but my typewriter is getting a long rest. I believe in doing the thing that comes to your hand. And every time I make a bead I think it is another coin toward Louise’s going abroad. She must if she is to be a successful designer.

The “Weezy-Wizy” Beads.

“We call them the ‘Weezy-Wizy’ beads from a childhood nickname of hers–her name is Louise Eliza. We had to have a name to patent, so we took that.

“It’s rather hard work, for every single bead has to be separately and carefully molded, and baked in a very hot oven. At first I had a queer feeling that it was Saturday all the week. But now I think more about the romance of it. I try to picture the bride who wore the lilies I am working over. I wonder what her dress was made of, and how her veil was arranged. And I am, oh, so careful not to mix in a single petal of some other bouquet.

“One little bride sent me not only her wedding bouquet, but a sample of her gray traveling suit for me to match. It was a blueish-gray, and I mixed French and purple lilacs, and got it exactly. I strung it with tiny black beads, so that it came down below her waist. We make them any length, of course.

“It’s fun to wonder what the postman will bring me every day, and to turn the faded flowers into bright new beads that will never fade. It’s like quickening a cooling love. But the flowers must be only faded, not dried. I can’t make over dead sentiment. That would take Cupid himself!

The Washington [DC] Post 10 May 1914: p. 6

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire:  One can still find instructions on how to make flower beads, such as at this site.

There was loudly-voiced scepticism over commercially produced floral beads, with many persons suggesting that actual flowers would discolour and that, to be attractive, beads must be made with added colour, corn-starch filler, and fragrance. This description of flower-bead necklaces given as party favours is candid about the materials used:

At his annual lawn party given by Mr John Lewis Childs to the little girls of Floral Park, three hundred guests. received a favour of “a necklace of beads, made of flowers grown on Mr. Childs’ grounds in California, including orange blossoms, roses and violets. Some of the beads are natural color, others colored with ground mineral, such as turquoise and malachite. In most cases the beads retain the fragrance of the flowers.”

Times Union [Brooklyn NY] 16 July 1915: p. 7

 

 

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdote

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.

La Fête du Muguet: 1912

faberge lily of the valley

A spray of lily of the valley in pearl, nephrite and diamonds, c. 1900, by Faberge. http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21517/lot/93/

[In Paris] the palm of popularity must be given to the lily of the valley—the muguet des bois.

What the forget-me-not is to the German Gretchen, the muguet des bois (the wild lily of the valley) is to the Paris grisette, and thus it has been for untold generations. The first of May is known as the Fête du Muguet, and on that day, not only is it traditional for children to make presents of bunches of wild lilies of the valley to their elder brothers and sisters—the flower seems to be dedicated to youth—but in the streets surrounding the opera-house, where all the big dressmakers are, you will see at luncheon-hour troops of the young girl apprentices wearing bunches of muguet in their simple bodices. The muguet brings luck, and it appeals more than any other flower to the humble little Parisienne’s sense of poetry, this delicate spike with its double row of little milk-white bells, its broad tapering leaf, and its peculiarly evocative scent. No doubt she feels that in a sense it reflects herself. Is not her life just such another ringing of the changes on a chime of little silver bells, whose flash and tinkle last for the brief space of a spring season? She has the same native wildness, and simple unconscious elegance. To start forth on a bright Sunday morning for one of the woods near Paris, and pick muguet, is her ideal of a holiday excursion.

“En cherchant du muguet,
Du muguet dans la clairière;
En cherchant du muguet,
Du muguet d-a-ans l-a-a f-ô-r-e-t!”

[In search of the lily of the valley,

the lily in the clearing,

in search of the lily of the valley,

the lily of the valley in the forest!]

she sings, and on her way back she pets her lilies of the valley as if they were human beings: “Oh, the beautiful muguet, how sweetly it smells!” Elaborate are her plans for disposing of it. One large bouquet will remain in her room for at least a week, reminding her every moment of the delightful day she has spent. A few sprays will be given to the concierge, or janitor, whose good graces are to be cultivated; while the remainder will go to grand maman, who will not fail to be tearfully reminded thereby of her own sylvan excursions in search of muguet in those far-off days when there were hardly any railways, and it was half a day’s journey to the woods at Meudon.

According to the herbalists, the petals of the lily of the valley contain a toxic substance, which, like digitalis, has a directly stimulating effect upon the heart. Perhaps this may account, by some subtle process of sentimental telepathy or suggestion, for the charm which the muguet so potently exercises over the heart of those essentially Parisian little beings, all made up of nerves, gaiety, and emotions, the midinette of the dress-making atelier, and the grisette of the Latin Quarter. The street-cry, “Fleurissez-vous, mesdames: voila le muguet!” (Beflower yourselves, ladies: behold the lily of the valley!), followed by, “Du muguet! Achetez du muguet! Du bon muguet parfume!” (Lilies of the valley! Buy the lilies of the valley! Fine scented lilies of the valley!), is one of the oldest in Paris. The muguet harvest is as much a godsend to the pariahs of the Paris pavement as is the hop-picking in Kent to the submerged tenth of the London East End. The May morning has hardly dawned before a procession of ragged, footsore tramps comes streaming into the city from the neighbouring woods, loaded with muguet. On May Day waggon-loads of muguet arrive by train. The flowers are picked when they are still in the earliest bud, for the little Parisian lady likes to see them open out under her own eyes, and so have the illusion that their lives are linked with hers. In some of the great forests round Paris it is forbidden to pick the muguet on pain of a fine; for the pheasants are laying at this season, and to steal the eggs on the pretence of looking for lilies of the valley is a common trick with the villagers.

 Sensations of Paris, Rowland Strong, 1912: pp. 233-236

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: To-day is May Day and instead of the cliches about May Queens and the famously bad weather of the holiday, Mrs Daffodil thought she would post instead about the French holiday of La Fête du Muguet, the feast of the lily of the valley. This is said to have had its origins with the Valois King Charles IX when he was presented with a bunch of lilies in 1561 as a porte-bonheur. Charmed, he began giving the ladies of the court lilies on 1 May.  Mrs Daffodil suggests that lilies of the valley brought  the King himself scant luck: his reign was marred by the French Wars of Religion and the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.

In the language of flowers, lilies of the valley mean love, luck, and the return of happiness. They are a favourite of Royal brides: Queen Victoria, Grace Kelly and Catherine Middleton all carried bouquets of lily of the valley.

Despite its name, the lily of the valley is actually a member of the Asparagaceae family. However, you would not dare to enjoy the flower, blanched, with hollandaise sauce. Lilies of the valley are extraordinarily toxic if ingested. This fact may explain the curious Devonshire superstition that it is unlucky to plant a bed of lilies of the valley; the person doing so is likely to die within the next twelve months.

Mrs Daffodil wishes her readers a very happy and clement May Day.

 

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.

 

Flowers a Bride Should Carry: 1902

A 1907 wedding couple and page boy. http://lafayette.org.uk/may5353.html

A 1907 wedding couple and page boy. http://lafayette.org.uk/may5353.html

Flowers a Bride Should Carry

By Martha Coman

Flowers  always been pre-eminently a symbol of nature’s bursts of joy, and for that reason, perhaps, more than any other, excepting their own beauteous excuse for being, they have been used lavishly for all festive occasions. But there is no one time when flowers are so universally called upon to play an important part as in the month of June, for then it is that the carved arches of the church and the walls of the home echo back the triumphant notes of the wedding march. There is but one thing fairer than a perfect day in June, and that is a June bride, clad in shimmering satin and crowned with folds of frosty lace.

The flowers the bride shall carry is a question to be decided by her own individuality, for every girl has her favorite, and her wedding day is a welcome opportunity to make her choice a public one. The bride’s bouquet is not invariably of pure white, though the paler colors are more effective and much more acceptable than the deeper ones of red or pink. Lilies-of-the-valley made up into one of the beautiful shower bouquets are about as appropriate for the fair maiden as anything, though there are innumerable combinations possible in the way of orchids and violets.

The shower bouquet is rarely successfully turned out by an amateur, and those persons who save the last sweet service of personally arranging the bride’s flowers for their own fingers had best not attempt much in the way of a shower. But the palest of pink roses or the beautiful bride roses are at hand and can be easily arranged. The sweet, old-fashioned white lilac is a most acceptable flower to use when the bouquet is put together by loving hands rather than by busy professional ones, and it lends itself easily to an admirable result.

White orchids combined with the delicate green of the Farleyencis fern make a stunning bouquet, especially when the whole is tied lavishly with broad, soft velvet ribbon that matches exactly in shade the delicate petals of the rare exotic. This flower and fern, put together in the form called the “Princess Plume” bouquet, is a most beautiful and effective accessory to the bride’s attire.

The violet cuff bouquet was a fad for a time, as was also the Du Barry collarette of the same modest but popular flower. The collarette and cuff effects were generally used only for the bride’s attendants, the bride herself carrying a huge shower bouquet of white violets. Leghorn hats of white, lavishly decorated with pink roses and tied on with broad streamers of ribbon to match, are very pretty for bridesmaids, and it is then a most effective idea to have the attendants carry only large bunches of waving, feathery, maidenhair fern. Wild sweet-brier roses and apple blossoms are very lovely for floral decorations, but they are rather difficult to manage when it comes to the bouquets, and so they are both more popular for wall and aisle decorations.

wedding flowers article illustration

Marguerites are pretty for the little pages to carry, and they are also most effective for banking chancel rails and the like. One extremely pretty wedding occurred not long ago, at which marguerites were extensively used, as this was the bride’s favorite flower, and also because she was a Marguerite in name.

The pages, two boys and two little girls, carried straw hats tied in the form of baskets and swung over the arms of the children with broad streamers of ribbon. The hats were filled to overflowing with the nodding field flowers, and after they had been decorously carried up the aisle to the altar, and when the ceremony had been performed, the little tots walked down the aisle ahead of the bride and groom strewing in their path the blossoms from the basket hats. It was done so solemnly and so sweetly by the grave-faced children, and was in itself so tenderly significant, that many a spectator found himself looking on with dimmed eyes.

Another most effective idea in the way of a novelty is that of having the bride’s attendants carry shepherds’ crooks, the long, graceful affairs painted pure white, and to each one tied a beautiful bouquet of Mermot roses. From these depend sweeping streamers of white velvet ribbon. The effect is extremely beautiful. When orchids of a pale and most delicate tint are tied with velvet ribbons it is often the fad to have the streamer ends embroidered in the same tints.

Gardenias and violets are a lovely combination, though it is generally the custom to use either the one flower or the other. A bridal bouquet has a certain sweet dignity of its own, and this must not be encroached upon by any injudicious combinations of colors. The “plume” bouquet is one now very popular, and its name really indicates its peculiar shape. The plume is built, not as a round or shower bouquet is, but the plume is made to lie along one’s left arm, the heavy heads of the long-stemmed roses lying over the crook of the elbow, and the stems crossing the front of one’s gown. Sweet peas, the long-stemmed variety, are very stunning made into a double plume, or with great bunches of the flowers at both ends, and when this is the case the centre is carefully wrapped with wide ribbon, which hides the stems successfully and leaves only the pretty blossoms in sight.

At one of the early spring weddings which occurred while the lilacs were still in full bloom, the bride carried a beautiful loose bunch of pure white lilacs, relieved only by the subdued green of their own pretty leaves, while her attendants carried great bouquets of the same flower, but in the purple shade. Great branches of the same old-fashioned flowers were fastened about the altar rail and lined the aisle, and the clean, spring-like fragrance was everywhere.

Perhaps, when it comes to the last word concerning the flowers for the bride, and unless her individual taste is rather out of the ordinary, there is nothing lovelier for the maiden than a great loose bunch of the real bride roses, those heavy-headed white flowers that are at once so lovely and so symbolical.

Frank Leslie’s Weekly, 24 July, 1902

"The Bridal Wreath," by Currier & Ives, mid-19th century. http://art.famsf.org/currier-and-ives/bridal-wreath-19992025

“The Bridal Wreath,” by Currier & Ives, mid-19th century. http://art.famsf.org/currier-and-ives/bridal-wreath-19992025

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: In some families there exists the custom of including a sprig of myrtle, symbol of love and constancy, in the bridal bouquet.

A pretty German custom that is beginning to be observed here is to plant a spray or two of the bridal wreath when it is made of natural flowers. The wife of a well-known German citizen, full of this tender sentiment, brought with her to this country a flourishing little plant grown from her own myrtle wreath. A little while ago her daughter was married and her wreath was composed of the starry blossoms from her mother’s carefully tended shrub. Omaha [NE] World Herald 17 August 1891: p. 3

All royal brides who are related to the Queen have a sprig of myrtle on their wedding day that is cut from a particular tree. This tree was grown from a slip sent from Germany for the bridal bouquet of the Princess Royal, and the tree it was cut from dates back to the time of the Crusaders. Otago [NZ] Witness, 30 December 1897: p. 43

An 1885 brides-maid's crook with flower arrangement.

An 1885 brides-maid’s crook with flower arrangement.

As for shepherds’ crooks for the brides-maids, they are (Mrs Daffodil has personally observed) deadly in the wrong hands, so perhaps the less encouragement they receive, the better. As this 1890 article observed:

Bridesmaids have not yet learned to carry their canes as gracefully as Watteau’s creations handled the insignia of their pastoral calling. Let me advise any lady desirous of adopting this fashion at her own wedding to see that the bridesmaids are well-drilled previous to the ceremony, so that uniformity in the carriage of the canes may be observed.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.