A bunch of dried pussy willows in a booth at the farmers market caught my eye. What if I picked off the fuzzy blooms and replaced them with polymer ones?

This bunch of blossoms in my living room would provide a splash of color and a clever visual pun. Here’s a closer look.

I raided my old canes and piles of color scraps, recycling them to make hundreds of little ovals. I baked them and fired up the hot glue gun. The worst of the whole process was removing the fine webs of glue threads that draped themselves on the branches.

I considered saving this idea for my class on polymer and power tools at Maureen Carlson’s facility in Minnesota in late July. But by then all the pussy willows will be gone.

Tinapple on PCDaily

Besides, I have plenty of ideas for tweaking our medium with the help of simple tools and an adventurous decorating spirit.

The Poly Willows may never make it to our living room. The other artists want them to stay on display in the studio.

  • reply Debbie Crothers ,

    wow what a sensational idea – just love it.

    • reply Alice Stroppel ,

      I love this idea, talk about recyling!

      • reply Claire Maunsell ,

        This is a lovely idea….so wonderfully subtle. I love that one might not notice the polymer from a distance, so that it becomes a treat for someone who takes the time to look closely at the piece.

        • reply Joan Clipp ,

          Cool idea, thanks! A tip for those annoying hot glue strings: go over with a heat gun, lightly, they melt away and disappear.

          • reply Sharene SUE Screws ,

            Joan beat me to it. I was going to suggest a hairdryer on low to ‘melt’ the webs away. It’s an old trick for artificial flower arrangements.

            • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

              Thanks, Sue and Joan. I never would have thought of that. Is there also a trick for not scorching your fingers?


            • reply Selmaandrews ,

              Love them and what a great idea!

              • reply Dorothy Siemens ,

                Such fun! What a cool idea! Love it.

                • reply Charline ,

                  I love this!! I wish pussy willows grew in my area – this would be fun to do!

                  • reply Tejae ,

                    So clever! love them!!

                    • reply Laura ,

                      Wonderful idea. Now I have an other reason to never throw away those poly scraps. Also love the vase the poly willows are in.

                      • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

                        Forgot to mention that the tall box elder vase was turned by my husband, Blair Davis. Lovely, eh? Handy guy to have.

                      • reply Susan ,

                        Very cute and clever idea.

                        • reply Sherry ,

                          Outstanding! Your creativity knows no bounds!

                          • reply Mary Morris ,

                            Very clever and pretty too. Now you have inspiredme and the mental wheels are turning. Thank you for sharing.

                            • reply Leslie Blackford ,

                              Oh wow !!!! I am in love with these!

                              • reply Aims ,

                                I adore this idea!! I can hardly wait to head out and nab some willows for myself!!

                                • reply maria p ,

                                  Very clever! I detect the beginning of a whole new “branch” of polymer applications !

                                  • reply Cassy Muronaka ,

                                    Really fun idea.

                                    • reply Cindy Lietz ,

                                      What an inspired project Cynthia! I love it! I was going to suggest the heat gun/ blow dryer idea but the others have done that already. As far as avoiding scorched fingers, dip them in cold water before trying to glue something together and the glue won’t stick to your fingers and burn them. You may also want to spray the sticks and polymer with PYMII to seal the wood and keep it in better shape for longer. (Sometimes the bark will flake and peel a bit in the dryer environment of a home.)

                                      • reply Becky Acosta ,

                                        Such an awesome idea!

                                        • reply Georg Dinkel ,

                                          Wunderbar! I love the way you use the clay for unexpected things.

                                          • reply Barbara Sosna ,

                                            These “spring buds” certainly made me smile!

                                            • reply Lorrene Baum-Davis ,

                                              See my happy face!

                                              • reply laurie prophater ,

                                                I saw Cynthia’s Poly Willows ‘in person’ today. They are are absolutely delightful and brought smiles to Hollie Mion’s and my face. So Clever!!! HMMMM!!! Do we have Pussy Willows in South Carolina…I think not…DRAT!!!

                                                Leave a comment