The nice thing about a break in the weather that occurs around Memorial Day is the beginning of the growing season. You can celebrate the gift of flowers in your life by making these unique floral arrangements that are “frozen” in time.
It's not certain where the image of Uncle Sam originated. One theory is that Uncle Sam represented Samual Wilson. During the war of 1812, Wilson, owner of a meat-packing plant, sent provisions to U.S. soldiers in large barrels. These barrels were stamped with the letters “U.S.,” which some jokingly suggested stood for “Uncle Sam” Wilson. Through this link to the army, Uncle Sam became a symbol of the federal government. Thomas Nast, a prominent cartoonist, drew some of the earliest cartoons of Uncle Sam, but they didn't resemble Sam Wilson at all. One of the most famous portrayals of Uncle Sam was the “I Want You” WW I Army recruiting poster painted by James Montgomery Flagg in 1916.
Level: Moderately easy
Time involved: Two to three hours
- Newspaper or plastic
- Latex gloves and protective clothing
- Glazing dip
- Disposable cup
- One dozen dried roses or summer flowers with stems
- Glass vase (Use one with a wide opening and wide base for best results.)
- Decorative glass pieces or marbles (optional)
- Floral-arranging gel
- Saucepan of hot water
- Cover your work area with newspapers or plastic. Put on protective clothing and gloves. Pour the glazing dip into the disposable cup to the depth of the size of the roses. Hold the flower by the stem and dip the head completely into the glazing dip. Raise the flower over the cup and allow the excess dip to run off. Hold the flower upside down for several minutes until it is no longer dripping. Place the flower in the vase and allow it to dry. Repeat this step with the remaining flowers.
- Once the flowers are dry, remove them from the vase. If there are any dried drips on the flowers, you can cut them off with scissors.
- Prepare the vase by adding the decorative glass chips or marbles to the bottom if desired. Place the unopened bottle of floral-arranging gel into a pan of hot water until the gel liquefies. Carefully pour the gel into the vase. Arrange your roses in the gel and allow it to solidify.
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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Holiday Crafts © 2002 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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