(credit to Grandmalin's blog: http://www.grandmalin.wordpress.com/)
Robyn of "Tales From Inglewood" recently wrote a post about keeping garden fairies happy, in which she describes making daisy chains. I never made daisy chains as a child, but I told her I used to make hollyhock dollies -flower ladies in fancy ballgowns. She asked me for directions on how to make the dolls. I thought the little girls in my village invented hollyhock dollies, but I find this is not the case. There are actual sites online with directions for making these dolls (a great project for kids - both boys and girls - by the way).
Here are some directions that I cobbled together from a couple of sites:
Nip off one fully-opened hollyhock blossom at the bud. Invert it to form the doll's skirt. (Note - only the old-fashioned single hollyhocks work.)
Use a couple of closed buds to form the doll's head and the ballgown bodice. (Some people peel of the green wrapping on the bud they are using for the head, but stop when you get to the petals.)
Use broken toothpicks to link the buds and the skirt. Some doll makers simplify by using just one bud for the head and skipping the bodice bud. (That's what my friends and I did.)
Optional: Spear a toothpick horizontally through the bodice to serve as the doll's arms.
Use a single petal or small blossom for the doll's hat. I preferred to use a bell- or flare-shape for my dolls' hats, rather than the turban effect shown above. (Harebells were used for the hats on the dolls shown below, but I think they are a bit too small.)
Modern touch: Use a small-point marker to draw eyes and a smile on the doll's face.
Make many dolls with a wardrobe of glorious colors, then find a comfortable shady spot in your garden and stage a hollyhock doll ballroom dance. (Or float your dolls in water to see them bob and sway.) I prefer the one-bud dolls myself, and they float better. The two-bud dolls are top heavy, but they are good if you want to "dance" the dolls with your hands.
Hollyhocks are a must in a garden to keep the garden fairies happy. And garden angels too! See Gemma's post from today about garden angels.
(Below: credit The Cincinnati Post)