Monday, September 5, 2011

Hawaiian Flowers

At the last In God We Trust Backyard Bazaar, I went into crafty overdrive and did that thing you're never supposed to do when you're in over your head: I pulled out the glue gun. "In addition to these twenty bags, I'm going to make one million fabric hair flowers!" I declared in a frenzy approximately 24 hours before the bazaar was set to begin. And so I grabbed a bunch of fabric scraps, ran a thread through them to create a pucker, then rolled them into floral shapes of all sizes, from real real big to teensy eensy.  And then I hot glued those suckers onto hair clips and headbands. The response was met with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Many of my friends looked at those giant fabric flowers and simply said, "No, I can't. Not me. Nope." And others grabbed two at a time and wore mismatched prints together (love!). Bottom line was this: Brooklyn was perhaps not entirely ready for the giant fabric flowers.

But Hawaii? Oh yeah. They're ready.
I spent last week in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, and on our second day there, we got to watch some hula dancers do a demonstration. Other than the fact that the ukulele has a slight narcotic effect on me (it's so calming! I suddenly feel so euphoric!), what really grabbed my attention were the size of those dang flowers they put on their heads. Bigger is certainly better in the great state of Hawaii! These girls above were not afraid to mix shiny royal blue with an entire hot pink head bouquet.
And this lovely lady above said who needs long hair when your entire head is covered in orchids?
Even the dudes wear giant flowers in their hair! Whilst playing with fiery torches, no less! (Mahalo, bra.)
Sara, one of our lovely friends we were traveling with, was just as enthusiastic about the flower situation as I was. It started out small, both of us just grabbing tiny little buds here and there to put in our hair. 
By day four, we had graduated to the big time. Here Sara wears her big fuchsia lei along with a giant yellow orchid that she picked right off of a plant in the garden outside our condo. Aloha, Sara!
Because I suspected we would be heading into giant flower territory, I came to Hawaii prepared, packing an assortment of fabric flowers from that last craft bazaar. I thought, hmmm...maybe I'll wear one to dinner one night. But before I knew it, I was wearing them everywhere! I wore one when we visited the lava flow above.
I even wore one in the hot tub! And it matched my bikini!!!
And then things got slightly out of hand. In this one, I believe I'm wearing five flowers picked from trees, a fabric flower headband, and possibly some sort of tropical onion behind one ear. 

Clearly I had gone too far.
And so, by the end of the trip, Robb reeled me back in. As we sipped our farewell pina colada at the pool bar, he picked this flower for me and tucked it in my hair. Simple, fragrant, and huge. really was wonderful indulging in my flowery hair tendencies. And though Brooklyn may not be entirely ready for head decor of this magnitude, I'm afraid Brooklyn will have to indulge me from time to time...or else I'm just going to have to pack up and move to Hawaii. Which, to be honest, does not sound bad to me at all.

In the meantime, if you would like to make a fabric hair flower of your own, here's how:
Grab a length of fabric--lightweight cotton or a silky handkerchief both make excellent flowers--and cut it to about 20 inches long and 4 inches wide. Fold it in half the long way with right sides together and sew a loose hem (either by hand or on a sewing machine) 1/2" from the raw edge. Turn the tube inside out so the fabric is right side out and pull the thread tails on either end of the hem to make the fabric scrunch up. Don't make it scrunch up too should be about 12 - 15 inches long after scrunching. Start rolling the hem up tight, letting the fabric bloom out into a flower. When it's reached a nice shape, thread your tails through a hand-sewing needle and stitch through the base of the flower a whole bunch of times until it's secure. When you like the way it looks, hot glue the base of the flower to a hair clip or a headband or anything you fancy. Wear brazenly, and expect attention.


  1. liana, you never look more like you to me than when you have flowers in your hair. i wish i could have seen you in hawaii, with an entire goddamn tropical greenhouse strapped to your head, i bet you were breathtaking! (if, for no other reason, than to avoid smelling that onion.) come to california! it's OBVIOUS you were the girl they were talking about, and you belong out here with love in your eyes and flowers in your hair...

  2. gorgeous as always. you could wear a freaking tea pot on your head and it would work!

  3. That last flower is so pretty!

  4. Girls! I love you! Thanks for your awesome comments.

    Nicole, well done with the Led Zeppelin reference...I am TOTALLY the girl that Robert Plant was talking about. Clearly!

    Erin, we saved that last flower and pressed it in the book I was reading on the airplane. It is brown now! But still very pretty!

  5. It's funny because when we first got to Hawaii I thought those fake foam flower clips they sell there were tacky. I wondered why people would wear fake flowers when there were abundance of fresh flowers all around? However by the end of the trip I found myself frantically snatching up 3 different flower clips of various sizes and bright colors (one looks exactly like the one you're wearing in the last photo), at the gift shop. I suppose in a desperate attempt to take the essence of Hawaii home with me. So thanks for the flower clip recipe! Maybe I'll start a trend in LA wearing my bright and bold flowers! Or maybe I will just live in denial a little longer about not getting to stay on a tropical island.

  6. My favorite picture is the one where you are wearing a salad bowl of flowers - you look beautiful girl!