August 12, 2015

A missed opportunity

One must flower to grow for me were Garden Balsams. I had mentioned them several times on the blog and the fond memories I have of them. Like all little girls, and of course some boys, growing up in Korea, dying your finger nails with crushed Garden Balsams was indeed a summer ritual. These flowers would grow all around our neighborhood and we would pick them and have our older sisters and mothers crush them for us to make natural dyes. 

With this memory in mind, I wanted to dye my fingernails again and several weeks ago my Garden Balsams were blooming beautifully. I sowed two packs of seeds in a large round container, perhaps a bit too much now that I have seen how they grew, but still they were bursting in all different colors. But soon later, perhaps because it was just too hot or their peak bloom is now over or they were just too overcrowded, some of our balsams have turned yellow and the flowers have stopped blooming. 

I had a window of opportunity to actually go ahead with the dye during the few days I took off from dog sitting, but I found myself being lazy and lost the chance. But the way it's done is this -- you pick some flowers {people tend to pick a more bolder balsam color - especially orange} and also the green leafs, and with some Alum, everything is crush with a mortar and pestle. The Alum is to give the color a bit more kick. After everything has been crushed together, a little lump is placed on top of each finger nail you want to dye - all or some {I remember little toys just wanted them on their pinky}. Then the dye is secured and cover with a plastic wrap and tied with a string. I remember doing this later in the evening and sleeping with it over night. Some people I think even keep it on for a day, but for me that seems to be a bit too much. 

The dye does also end up dying your fingers as well, but that comes off. 

Ah, memories memories. This will definitely be on my to-do list next summer for sure.

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