When I think of a Tussie Mussie, my first thought is of a Christmas decoration filled with potpourri or a small gift hanging on a Christmas tree. They’d hang alongside other vintage Christmas crafts like strings of popcorn, candles, corn husk angels and hand-cut paper snowflakes, back before we could run out to a mega store to purchase everything.
As it turns out, the Tussie Mussie or nosegay is a language in flowers with each flower having its own meaning. In Victorian times, dictionaries were even written with the meaning behind each flower that could be included for friendship, love, joy, health, etc.
Just after I (Carolyn from Carolyn’s Canvas) agreed to write this post for CheapEatsThriftyCrafts, my sister came across more of our mother’s jewelry that she loved, and it has been incorporated into the larger Tussie Mussie above. All the pearls/beads were hers, including the strand of small pearls that swirls around, the small hearts around the top (it just so happens there were just enough for each loop—coincidence?), gold and pearl earrings with posts removed so that they would lay flat on the surface, and the gold “Mom” pendant between them. Mom’s pearlies were just the right accent for the Victorian look I had envisioned for this Tussie Mussie.
Everything I could get my hands on that might be used was gathered: white florals, laces, beads, beaded tassels that were in some Christmas decorations, cording, buttons, fringe, glass Christmas ornaments, fringe, beaded tassels, and florals.
In foreground – lace yardage fused onto Fairfield Stiffen for Tussie Mussie cone shape. Less than a 1/2 yd of each will make several Tussies.
Mom’s jewelry in center box-pearl/gold earrings in front of box from which posts had been removed, pearl strands.
How to Make a Tussie Mussie
1. Press lace onto Fairfield Stiffen.
2. Cut cone shapes using the patterns below from the lace/Fairfield.
3. Bling it up to your hearts content.
I played with all the components to come up with an arrangement I liked using my trusty hot glue gun to secure them onto the cone. It was easier to glue most of the beads, etc. with the shape still flat before gluing the cone together. Then, it was just a matter of gluing the trims around the top, gluing the handle on, inserting the beaded tassel into the bottom, and attaching another trim around the bottom.
White rosebuds and lily of the valley sprigs were picked from the florals for the Tussie Mussie, and this is another remembrance of our mother from her belongings that will be on display in one of our homes. We have made other decorations from her vast collection of jewelry and trinkets so that each child, grandchild, and great grandchild has a treasured heirloom.
I think I am going to try to find one of those floral dictionaries so that I will be able to send floral messages from now on. Cards are great, but how much more meaningful to receive a little nosegay with a note of the meaning of each flower. How about one of these as a bridal bouquet? For the birth of a child? The passing of a loved one?
May the joy of crafting be upon you
If you created your own Tussie Mussie, what occasion would it be for, and what would its meaning be? Let us know below in the comments!
- Vintage Christmas Crafts: The Tussie Mussie and the Language of Flowers - December 12, 2021
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