Monday, June 28, 2010

we're in high cotton

Ever heard that expression? It means the cotton crop has grown tall and full and can easily be harvested without bending over. It inferes that we're well off and in favorable circumstances.

I recently purchased a beautiful handmade cotton boll wreath from Jessica's Jacket, that came with an interesting note:

My cotton wreath is made from hand-picked cotton bolls that grew along the South Carolina Cotton Trail. Historically, this trail is known as the one Genreal Sherman and the Union Army passed through during the Carolina's Campaign in 1865. Today, South Carolina is one of the 14 main cotton producing state in the US.

How cotton grows...

Two months after planting cotton seeds, flower buds start to appear on the cotton plants. In a little less than a month, the blossom will start to open. As the flower blooms, the petals change colors from creamy white to yellow to pink and finally to dark red. A few days after the blossom reaches this stage, the petals will start to wither and fall off leaving behind green pods or cotton bolls. As time passes and the boll ripens, it turns brown and fibers grow inside that expand in the warmth of the sun. When the fibers inside expand so much that the pod cannot contain them anymore, the boll with split open and fluffy white cotton bursts out.

In the 1800s much folklore surrounding the cotton and the magical powers it holds was created. Here are a few of the superstitions and beliefs:

*if newlyweds sleep on a mattress made of cotton on their wedding night, they will always have money.

*if that same couple finds a twin cotton boll, they will have twins within the year.

*if an unmarried girl finds a twin cotton boll, she will be asked to marry soon.

*when going fishing, carry 20 dried cottonseeds to ensure a good catch.

*cotton was chewed as a headache remedy.

*if you dream of young growing cotton fields, then you'll have good business and properous times.

*dreaming of cotton in bales is a sign of better times ahead.

*it was taboo to use a cotton tablecloth on one's wedding day - the result would be crippled offspring.

*romancing your lover in a cotton field at harvest time during daylight brought on endless good luck to a couple.

*the cotton plant was believed to possess powers of incredible attraction - this happened to people and animals alike.

*dreaming of cotton field was thought to bring on a peculiar desire to "pick cotton"

The dreamy Jessica's Jacket wreath makes a nice companion to this original watercolor that hangs in our foyer:

Take a moment to visit Jessica's Jacket shop on ETSY...Jessica's Jacket is the place to get all kinds of fanciful items... From wreaths made from handpicked South Carolina cotton bolls to beautiful, one-of-a-kind jewelry and spaghetti scarves, JJ has all the treasures you're looking for!

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