Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Tussy Mussy

Over at Our Creative Corner Astrid is hosting a really gorgeous challenge

It being the middle of Summer here in the Northern hemisphere I thought I would challenge you to create flowers, in anyway you like, and to compliment those, please dye some ribbon too and make that part of your project. And of course if you live in the Southern Hemisphere you can play too, wintry flowers are some of the most beautiful

Flowers and ribbons - I am sure you will all know how thrilled I was when I found out about this challenge! This one is so much in my comfort zone I feel like I am wrapped in a warm blanket with a mug of hot chocolate! While hunting for some ideas of what to make I came across my wedding mood board on my computer - there were some pictures of tussy mussy's (which I had thought about having for my bridesmaids) - Now I had an idea for my creation....

For those of you who haven't heard of a tussy mussy (or spelt tussie mussie) here is a picture and an explanation.........

A tussy mussy is a Victorian-style bouquet where a small group of flowers is placed in a metal vase specifically designed to be carried. The term can refer either just to the metal holder or to the entire bouquet.

 In the Victorian era, a tussy mussy was a popular gift to a lady from her suitor, and typically incorporated the language of flowers to convey the suitor's sentiments and therefore may be used to send a message to the recipient. A red tulip was a declaration of love; a sprig of dogwood returned by the young lady was a sign of indifference; a variegated pink meant that she rejected her suitor's affection.The word "tussy mussy" probably comes from an older word "tus" meaning a cluster of flowers. 

Could I make my own from card? Well, there is only one way to find out.....

I had bought some tin foil sheets ages ago and they sat in my art cupboard. I had no idea what to use them for and I sadly lacked motivation to try and find something, so for a while they were forgotten. Eventually I asked my sister-in-law Alison (butterfly) if she could emboss them for me - I was hoping that that would inspire me. In the embossed collection of foil paper was a beautiful ornate pattern - perfect for the tussy mussy...

I began by forming a cone out of card

Then I drew a circle the same size as the top of the cone on a piece of card and drew a circle around it (about 1cm width) 

The inner circle had lines drawn to mark out segments.

Then I used a craft knife to cut the segments

I then pushed them up

And glued them into the cone

These pictures were actually taken after I made the tussy mussy - I was too involved in making the actual one to take photos! So these photos were recreated afterwards using scrap card. When making the tussy mussy I applied the tin foil sheets to the cone before gluing it into the cone shape and I also attached the foil to the circle before cutting the segments.

I curved some 2mm aluminum wire around a paintbrush as this helps form a neat rounded edge.   I twisted the ends using some jewelery pliers. This formed the handle for the tussy mussy

I wanted a vintage tussy mussy and the foil sheets were too new looking. So I got out my alcohol inks and using Ginger and Espresso alcohol ink on the pad I began to dab all over the tussy mussy. I then added some blending solution onto a clean pad and dabbed over again to remove some of the ink, leaving a rusty tarnished look.

 Well - that looks like a tussy mussy to me! I was thrilled to have made it and finally used some of the foil sheets too!

Now to get onto making the flowers. I wanted a crescent style bouquet using vintage peach and cream tones with some greenery....first I wanted to make some little white blossoms

I used a small flower punch and punched out many of these small flower shapes

I then glued between 3-5 of them together (depending on the required size of flower)

I stuck a pin into the flowers making two small holes

Then inserted some fine silver wire through

Twisting one length around the other to secure it

 Adding a drop of glue to the flower I then began to fold the petals in

And there is the white blossom

I made various sizes

 Now they needed some leaves and I couldn't leave the stems silver! I painted some leaves with a mix of Hey Pesto and Toad Hall Fresco paint. I also applied some of this to the stems...

 When the leaves were dry I dabbed some Aged Mahogany DI around the edges.

 After attaching some leaves to the white blossoms I dabbed the petals with Antique Linen DI

 Now onto the roses....I used the Tattered Florals die cuts. and used Tattered Rose DI

 After covering each flower with the ink I did some spritz and flick with water

 I cut all the flowers up so I had the parts to make up the roses

 Waiting for the glue to dry!

 The finished roses......needs something else....

 A dab of Vintage Photo DI around the edges

 The leaves that had been edged with Aged Mahogany DI were now scored with a craft knife to give leaf veins

 So pretty!

 Now to work on some greenery. While I was doing this I also did some other flowers - and forgot to take any other pictures of them. You can see them here sitting in the stain 'bath' They were two flowers glued together with an ivory seed bead as the center. 

Here I was focusing on the ivy. I used Antique Linen DS and left it to soak in a puddle

 I used Peeled Paint and Forest Moss DI

 I dabbed the inks onto the craft mat and spritzed with water

 Using Peeled Paint I painted in the center of each leaf

 Then I painted some of the darker green in the center of each leaf and also over the stems

 Because the DI's are translucent, and I was using opaque paints in the bouquet, I decided to spritz the ivy with Dylusioins White Linen Spray. This wasn't intended to make the ivy white or gave a splattered look. It just added a more opaque look to the finshed leaf...

 This was the final piece of foliage - This was painted in Hey Pesto, Toad Hall and Mocha Mousse Fresco Paints

 And last, but by no means least.....The Ribbon! I used some white organza ribbon and swirled it into Antique Linen DS that had a tiny spritz of Melted Chocolate Dylusions spray in it. When the strips were dry I folded them up into three loops and secured the ends with wire. These were then included in the Tussy Mussy bouquet.

And here is the finished bouquet....

Hope you like this Victorian Tussy Mussy - Thanks so much for being here to see it!

Why not come along and have some flower and ribbon play with us! You could be our winner and find yourself in the Top Talent Spotlight! There is also a prize from Nicecrane Designs who is our Sponsor this month! Come and join in the fun!

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  1. a great make , love the use of the foil sheets x

  2. OMG Laura this is utterly and totally amazing!!! You certainly pulled out all the stops for this one! Each and every little element of this was so lovingly and beautifully crafted, I am in complete awe!! This is beyond stunning and thank you so very much for all the detailed photos and descriptions! I think this is the most beautiful tussie mussie I have seen anywhere. Even the embossed metal is completely amazing. I am really starting to run out of words to tell you how much I love this piece, it is incredible!!!

  3. Oh my goodness, Laura,

    you have outdone yourself on this wonderful Tussy Mussy (which I loved learning about)! The tutorial is sensational - as is the whole project. One would never guess it is made from paper and some bits of wire...gobsmackingly brilliant! Thanks for sharing all the wonderful pictures and the stepxstep. It might even lure me into giving this flower-power project a try! ;)

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this!

    Claudia x

  4. This is glorious - I've never heard of tussy mussys. Um - I wonder how tiny they could be made, hint, hint? I can just see them on a counter in the ca 1915 department store ;-)

    1. A miniature tussy mussy? Now that would be a challenge - and you know I can never resist that! xxxx

  5. wonderful romantic flowers and a great tutorial, many thanks Laura! Hugs, Kerstin

  6. What a beautiful and informative post! This is a triumph, Laura! I loved learning not only about Tussy Mussies, but also the flower tutorial and holder tutorial were great! A bouquet like this would be fantastic for a winter wedding! You should create beautiful, arty themed weddings, Laura! Who could resist such beautiful creations as this? xxx

  7. Beautiful, beautiful make Laura! When I saw the picture on the forum, I thought that the holder was an existing one you had. Now I know differently, the whole project moves up even higher in my eyes!! I thought the flowers alone were stunning but I so love that little holder (not so little as the one you've offered to make I hear!). A triumph Laura. Hugs, Julia xxx

  8. Hi Laura! This piece is just fabulous! I love EVERYTHING about it.. and what a clever idea! Ingrid xx

  9. Brilliant make and a fantastic tutorial - and the end result is totally worth all the painstaking work... lovely!

  10. wow what a fabulous Tussy Mussy,( never heard of it before)
    Love all the details of it!
    Groetjes Karin

  11. Wow Laura....the end result is fabulous. Your flowers and leaves are stunning. A fabulous idea to create a tussy mussy. TFS and best wishes
    Annie x

  12. I adore your tussie mussie Laura!!! I have made smaller less elegant ones to hold candy treats before - but this is a true work of art! did you emboss the foil after adhering it to the paper cone? It looks just like metal - and your bouquet is so wonderfully arranged - overflowing just perfectly! LOVE this!! thank you so much for sharing how you created it - it gives us some hope that we might be able to make one too!!

  13. Stunning project, love the embossed foil and your flowers look fabulous, TFS how you created this, Cathy x

  14. Gorgeous! I have heard of them and have seen photos. Yours looks so realistic. Loved learning how you made everything. Outstanding!

  15. WOW! this is absolutely gorgeous, stunning flowers and the holder looks so realistic, exquisite work Laura.

  16. Laura, YOUR art is wonderful and full of love and mystical delight... Love this tussie Mussie... and it is so delicate and lovely... the colors, flowers, the cone everything is WONDERFUL and full of creative LOVE... I have to join in on this challenge... my favorite things are flowers and ribbons... thanks for all this sharing... Love, Light and Peace...Bonnie

  17. Wow!! This is absolutely glorious Laura!! What a stunning piece! Your flowers look so realistic and I love the metal foil holder. Fabulous step by step too!! Loooveee this!! ox


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