Friday, May 21, 2010

How to make a Victorian Tussle Mussle

A tussie mussie is a round nosegay bouquet comprised of several varieties of flowers. As such, the tussie mussie conveyed different messages of romantic sentiment when given from a special admirer. They were usually wrapped in a lace doily and tied with a ribbon. Later, silver tussie mussie holders became popular, and Victorian brides often walked down the aisle carrying these elaborate and beautiful bouquets. To make your own tussie mussie, you can choose fresh or silk flowers. Consider creating a fresh arrangement as a centerpiece for your next dinner party, or a silk arrangement to brighten up your home for the summer. You can make a random arrangement of flowers, as shown in the picture below, or a more formal arrangement. For a random arrangement, you can exercise your artistic creativity and place flowers in any fashion that pleases you aesthetically. Let your personal imagination run wild! The instructions below are for a formal nosegay arrangement.

A large rose or cluster of roses
1-2 varieties of smaller "filler flowers" like Baby's breath, pansies or hydrangeas
Large, leafy stems such as violet leaves, or lamb's ears
Florist tape (or hot glue if you are using silk flowers)
Paper or cloth lace doily
Colorful ribbons

1. Trim down extra leaves from your flowers so you have a clean stem to work with.
2. Begin by holding your large rose or cluster of roses. This will be the center of your bouquet and you will work around it.
3. Add your filler flowers around the rose(s), making a full circle around the center.
4. Repeat the process for your next layer of filler flowers.
5. Wrap large leaves around the arrangement, making sure not they are low enough just to frame the flowers.
6. At this point, wrap floral tape around the arrangement. If you are using silk flowers, you can hot glue the arrangement together and let it dry.
7. Wrap your lace or paper doily around the entire arrangement and tie with colorful ribbons.
8. You can also include a Victorian charm or some pretty faux pearl sprays in the arrangement.

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