30 Apr 2018 |
Intricate daintiness on a branch
"We love dried Lunaria annua seed pods. Perhaps it’s because when we were growing up our homes were full of them (gathering dust), but we also think their iridescent, pearl-like quality is so charming. In the language of flowers this pretty plant means virtuousness and sincerity, which is where it gets it common name, honesty.
This project is certainly not for the heavy-handed. It is delicate and intricate and is best hung where no breeze will cause it to tangle as it is almost impossible to disentangle the discs of honesty without damaging them. That being said, they look so beautiful hanging somewhere where they catch the light.
If you are lucky enough to have a little patch of land to grow plants, then be sure to sow the seeds from inside the discs. Although you will have to wait two years to reap the benefits, the purple flowers that appear are worth the wait, as are the seed pods that follow that you can use to create more mobiles. This is a project that keeps on giving." - Terri Chandler and Katie Smyth, Wreaths
1 natural branch (ours was 70cm/28in long)
1 roll of clear thread (e.g. string for threading beads or thin fishing wire)
Screw hook for hanging, if required
Flowers + Foliage
5 long stems of dried honesty with seed pods
This mobile will hang nicely against a wall from a nail, but looks even better if hung from a hook or fixing from the ceiling away from the wall
If you want to add colour to this mobile, you can use spray paint to create different coloured discs. For one project we used sprays in primary colours to make an Alexander Calder-inspired mobile to decorate a child’s bedroom.
1. Each long stem of honesty has approximately 5 smaller, more delicate stems growing from it. Snip off all of these smaller stems until the main stem is bare and then discard the stem. This project uses 25 smaller stems of honesty
2. Strip the seed pods of their outer casing. On the side of each pearl-like disk there is a brownish or purplish covering containing the seeds that need to be removed. At the tip of each disk you will see a small spike, from here gently bend the disk to one side so that you can remove the outer layers. The iridescent disk underneath is very fragile and easily torn, so this needs to be done very gently. Set aside the small brown seeds to sow in the garden later.
3. Once you have prepared your stems of honesty as shown, it is time to get your branch ready to hang. Measure two identical pieces of clear thread and tie them securely to the two ends of the branch at equal points about 10cm (4in) from each end so that it will hang level (here the strings are 40cm/16in long). Tie up the two free ends in a secure knot at the top to create a triangle; this is the point from which the mobile will be suspended. Hang the branch where you want to display the mobile before attaching the individual honesty stems to it as this is the best way to avoid the threads becoming tangled
4. Tie a piece of clear thread securely on the end of each section of honesty. Snip one end of the clear thread and leave a length at the other end long enough for it to hang from. The lengths need to vary so that they drop to different levels. Here the shortest length is 25cm (10in) and the longest 90cm (3ft).
5. As you attach the string to each stem, tie it securely from the branch, snipping away any excess string once the knot is tied. Start from one side of the branch, just inside the clear thread that is already attached from the fixing and work your way across leaving about 2.5–5cm (1–2in) between each stem. Feel free to hang them at different lengths but make sure you balance the weight so it is not too heavy on one side. Here the longest piece is attached to one side with the next longest piece in the middle to help create a gentle shape.
Photography by Kristin Perers