Thistles! I used to cut them (wild long stemmed) after they had dried on the stem. Then I would go to the local body shop and ask them if they had any auto paint that they were going to throw away. Typically I would get several colors and many of them had metallic flakes. I would take a can of cheap spray paint (white/brown/whatever) and spray the long stems. When they were dry I could turn the thistles upside down and dip them in the various auto paints. This would make a very unusual and nice dry arrangement that would fit in a tall vase, old milk can or any other container that would hold them. Oh yes, right now is a good time to cut cattails (before they get too large) and do the same with them (or just leave them natural to have contrast to the painted thistles).
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Wow! How creative! I have a lamp that was my grandmothers. It is ceramic, a duck that is backlit by a long lightbulb. In front of the duck, the base of the lamp is like a shallow vase. It had floral foam in it and some plastic leaves stuck into the foam and arranged beneath the duck. I was thinking it might be nice to get some cattails or something to replace the more than 60-year-old leaves. Your idea sounds like it might work really well for my project. Hmmm…
Good luck. I hope it works.
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