Aside from the obligatory pint, we’ve never been quite sure what to do on St. Patrick’s Day. Since most of us just aren’t a green plastic bowler hat bunch, we decided to do some serious brainstorming in order to come up with a bit of wearable green that suits our particular tastes. While visiting North Beach’s last week legendary barman Michael McCourt poured us a couple of “lady’s” pints (a half pint) of Guinness to help us get our creative juices flowing, chatted us up about the comings and goings of the neighborhood, and even offered to wear a little of our green himself.
Until recent decades, St. Patrick’s Day was little more than a saint’s day observed only in Ireland. Mike told us growing up there in the during and after World War II, St. Patrick’s Day meant the bars would be closed and there may be a big soccer match to see but the raucous celebrations we associate with today’s St. Patrick’s Day were unheard of. After some investigating we found that some other traditions of the holiday had been lost over time. In previous centuries people made paper badges decorated with crosses and shamrocks to mark the day. Gradually, badge and ribbon making lost favor and most people chose to wear a shamrock in their lapel for the saint’s day, and now…the green carnation. According to Mike, it was a real religious and nationally observed saint’s day, “Until Budweiser realized there was money to be made,” he laughed.
We decided to bring a little bit of finery back to the St. Patrick’s Day celebration by making a shamrock badge (inspired by the idea of Victorian lapel vases) to wear while partaking in our lady’s pints next Wednesday. We happened upon a stash of miniature medicine bottles at a flea market recently that have been the perfect vases for our tiniest flowers in the shop and were a perfect fit for clover (bonus: these bottles are spill proof!). The shamrock is a symbol of Ireland and the holy trinity, but the same clover is a native species on most continents. It usually sprouts little white flowers and is used as a ground cover for areas where little else will grow. Due to it’s tenacious spirit, clover is also considered a weed by many, but how many weeds can say they have their own holiday? Our yards are completely over-run right now with yellow oxalis; the shamrock look-alike we used in our bottle.
CLICK HERE for the rest of Studio Choo’s shamrock badge project (including step by step how-to photos) after the jump!
A little jewelry chain, a few jump rings, a pinback, and some lovely ribbon is all it takes to make our shamrock badge. Measure your ribbons to the lengths you’d like it to hang and then add about a half inch and cut. Fold the end of the ribbons twice and glue, and once it’s set glue the pinback to the ribbon. Using pliers and wire cutters assemble a link of chain around the neck of the vase and attached two lengths of loose chain on either side using jump rings to link. Sew through the end of the loose chains with a needle and thread enough so it can hold your mini-vase and it’s contents. Add some clover and pour yourself a drink.
[ed. note: if you’re having trouble finding tiny bottles, have tons of them for low prices]