Saturday, August 30, 2014

Crafting Hedge Besoms with Sweetgrass and Spurge Weed

 Yesterday I made a variety of besoms ranging from 3ft to 1ft long.  A majority of the materials used are hand gathered either in my garden or in local fields.  I also added other fragrant dried herbs and grasses to them.  I took a few of my long sweetgrass braids and unbound them, which gave me the most delicious smelling grass waves to work with.  This larger example pictured above has a base of broom weed with sweetgrass and lichen covered twigs.  Wild dove and guinea fowl feathers, vintage lace, as well as a bronzed triqueta finish the piece.
 Pictured below is a small example of common spurge weed that grows in my hard Texas clay soil.  They create very large low laying medallions that can be pulled up and tied into a tassel to dry.  If you cut or trim them while they are fresh, you will see a white milky sap called 'latex' ooze out of each tiny stem.  Not only does it make quite the sticky mess, it can cause skin irritation and is toxic in large amounts.  Use gloves or wait until plant has dried before trimming.  I tie these little bundles to various prepared sticks that I have collected- lime wood, rose wood, bougainvillea wood, live oak wood, butterfly bush wood... each with its own properties and associations.  I love the waving pattern of bougainvillea especially for a small altar broom.
 Burt the cat was not happy that I removed the spurge fluffs from his paws. He forgave me when I traded it for some freshly picked catnip.

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