Single paper flowers from maps

© Lisa Benjamin
© Lisa Benjamin

Mandy from Dorset contacted me in early July with a request to make 20 single paper flowers from maps to be used as table decorations for her upcoming wedding – and liked them so much she came back to me to ask for 16 more!

She requested red, white and blue button centres – for some reason I didn’t get any red ones in any of my photos, but I promise they were there!), so there was clearly a bit of a patriotic theme going on – being based in Poole, perhaps ‘English seaside’? Read more

Crochet Remembrance Day Poppy

Remembrance day poppy for Royal British Legion or Help for Heroes
Handmade crochet poppy for Remmbrance Day. I do not charge for these poppies, but request that you make a suggestion donation of £5 to the Royal British Legion, Help for Heroes or another military charity. Please contact me if you would like one.

It’s that time of year again when a familiar little flower starts appearing on the lapels of newsreaders, politicians, and ordinary people on the street.

The poppy signifies, of course, Remembrance Day – the 11th November – on which we remember the end of World War Two and the servicemen and women of the armed forces who have died in armed conflict.

To mark the occasion this year, I have come up with this original design crochet Remembrance Day poppy. Crafted in soft poppy red merino cotton yarn, with a green merino cotton leaf, this poppy also features a shiny black button crocheted into the centre and a brooch pin to secure to the lapel of your favourite coat or jacket. Read more

A Handmade Information Age Bouquet Fit For a Queen

As well as being a creator of handmade paper flowers, I am also a science geek.

As a graduate in Biological Sciences from the University of Warwick, I am a science communicator by day, and a crafter by night. So imagine my joy when I read a news story combining both passions: science AND handmade paper flowers!

It all started with a tweet. Not just any tweet, but the very first tweet made by Elizabeth II, Queen of England as she attended the opening of a new ‘Information Age’ gallery at the Science Museum in London.

Using the official @BritishMonarchy Twitter account, she said:

Read more

Guardian Small Business Live Q&A: How to start a craft business from home

How to start a craft business from home
How to start a craft business from home? (This is not my office by the way – far too tidy!) © Ianus Keller, via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Yesterday I took part in my first Guardian Small Business Live Q&A session, ‘How to start a craft business from home’.

The live question-and-answer session was conducted via the Comments section on this article, and the moderator Emma also fed in questions from Twitter directed to @GdnSmallBiz. Questions were answered by a panel of experts, including Jane Guaschi from Direct Line for Business (@DL4Bnews) which sponsored the event), representatives from Folksy (@folksy), UK Craft Fairs, the Craft & Hobby Association (@CHA-UK), and several successful craft business owners.

I had a number of questions for the panel, and they gave great advice. I started by reiterating a question I’d previously asked on Twitter during #handmadehour, which was “What are your top tips on how to start a craft business from home?” Read more

New Handmade Flowers Projects

Gorgeous new Wool Warehouse yarn for new handmade flowers projects
Gorgeous new yarns from Wool Warehouse – I went a bit crazy and ordered one ball in almost every colour :-)

Now that our wedding is well and truly behind us (sigh…), it’s time for me to get serious with this business and start some new handmade flowers projects!

My website is functional at the moment, but not very user-friendly, or well organised, and it doesn’t yet show off the range of my flower-making skills. So, this weekend I am busy working on creating some sample products to display on my website. First project: some crocheted buttonhole samplers.

As you will see from my image gallery, my groom and his his groomsmen all wore handmade crochet buttonholes (or boutonnieres, if you like!) fastened to a pair of braces for a laid back, casual wedding look. Traditionally, buttonholes match the bride’s bouquet, which in turn incorporates the colour(s) of the wedding theme and bridesmaid dress(es). Read more

Paper Flowers for Anna Politkovskaya Memorial

Paper flowers for Anna Politkovskaya memorial
A Russian activist holding an Anna Politkovskaya banner at a public demonstration. © Amnesty Finland, via Flickr (CC-BY 2.0)

Yesterday, October 7th, was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s birthday. It’s also, I discovered, Anna Politkovskaya memorial day.

Anna Politkovskaya was a Ukrainian-born Russian journalist and human rights activist. Between 1996 and 2002, she  worked as a journalist for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, known for its hard-nosed, outspoken investigative journalism. She became particularly renowned for her commentary on the Chechen wars in which she often criticised the Russian government and military forces, accusing them of committing atrocious abuses of human rights against ethnic minority groups and refugees. Read more

Handmade Flowers Instagram

handmade flowers instagram
© HandmadeFlowers.co.uk. All Rights Reserved.

I’ve set up a Handmade Flowers Instagram!

I’m rather late to the party as people have been ‘instagramming’ for years. But, after setting up a Pinterest board for my handmade flowers, I’ve also decided to get on board with Instagram. The main reason is that I’ve finally got round to getting a new mobile phone with a decent camera and a data plan. I can now Instagram to my heart’s content! Read more

New Handmade Flowers Pinterest Board

Handmade flowers pinterest boardDo you use Pinterest? It’s a kind of social bookmarking website. You can create virtual pinboards, onto which you can ‘pin’ images, websites and movie clips of all the interesting things you find on the internet.

Like quite a few other ‘pinners’, I started using Pinterest when I first got engaged and created pinboards to collect images of wedding dresses, hairstyles, decorations and accessories. I also use it to pin recipes, knitting patterns, crochet stitches, crafts and fitness inspiration, but there are a thousand different uses!

You can find me on Pinterest here: http://uk.pinterest.com/lisaamartin82/. I’ll confess that the idea to create a bouquet of handmade flowers for my wedding wasn’t a new idea – it was something I found on Pinterest. Read more

My Handmade Wedding Bouquet – How it all Began

Handmade wedding bouquet made from maps
This handmade wedding bouquet was made from maps, atlases and the pages of travel magazines. © HandmadeFlowers.co.uk. All Rights Reserved.

Seeing the pictures of my handmade wedding bouquet on Facebook, my friend Hannah said:

These are truly amazing!

Then Katherine said:

I NEEEEEED to know how you did this!!! Amazing xxx

Mark said:

Beautiful. Very clever.

And Sara texted me to say:

I thought [your bouquet] was incredible! You should set up your own company making them.

Well, I thought, with encouragement like that perhaps I should give it a go! Read more