Tagged handmade flowers

Handmade crochet poppies at Cheltenham Town Hall

Ash Dykes © Jason Aspinall, via Flickr
Ash Dykes © Jason Aspinall, via Flickr

My husband, the in-laws and I recently went to Cheltenham Town Hall to hear a talk by adventurer and explorer Ash Dykes. Ash is a young man from Wales who, in 2014, became the first person to trek – solo and unsupported – across the width of Mongolia. In 2016 he became the first person to walk the length of Madagascar, while at the same time summiting its 8 highest mountains!

We go to see these “Speakers from the Edge” talks quite regularly – they’re so inspirational! Among others, we’ve heard Sir Ranulph Fiennes talk about his mountaineering and polar expeditions, Ed Stafford regale us with tales of his walk along the length of the Amazon River, and TV presenter Ben Fogle telling us all about the adventures he has had both on and off-screen.

It always strikes me just how normal these people are (with perhaps the exception of Ranulph Fiennes who, it must be said, is genuinely a bit bonkers!). There’s often nothing all that special about their upbringing or their every day lives, they just dared to do something different. Although I can’t necessarily see myself bagging an extreme “world first”, I do always come away from these talks full of enthusiasm and renewed commitment to try and make my own life as full as it possibly can be.

In fact, although it sounds a bit mundane, one of the best things I ever did was to quit my job working for “The Man” (well, actually “The Woman”, in my case) to become self-employed. It was very scary, quitting a stable, well-paid job to go it alone, but it wasn’t making me happy – far from it, in fact. I now work as a freelance science writer and editor, and of course make my handmade crochet poppies, flowers, and kusadama paper flowers too!

Anyway, I digress…

© GCHQ 2017
© GCHQ 2017

What does this all have to do with handmade flowers?! Well, while popping to loo at Cheltenham Town Hall, I was stunned to see a beautiful ‘waterfall’ of handmade crochet poppies on display in the lobby!

After a bit of research, I discovered that these handmade fabric and yarn flowers had originally been on display at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), which is based on the outskirts of Cheltenham. The display contains over 9000 handmade crochet poppies that were made by GCHQ friends and family, children, teachers and parents from local schools, village “stitch and bitch” groups and local branches of the Women’s Institute (WI).

© GCHQ 2017
© GCHQ 2017

The poppy waterfall, as well as the sale of a further 4000 handmade crochet poppies, has so far raised nearly £20,000 in aid of the Gloucestershire branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL). The RBL supports all generations of the military family to live on to a more hopeful future.

The poppies are only on display until mid-April, so they may have already gone. If you don’t get a chance to go and see them yourself, click here to find out how else you can make a donation to this worthwhile charity.

 

Purple crochet flowers for November wedding buttonholes

A trio of purple crochet flowers on their way to three little men in Derbyshire!

A bride-to-be called Charlotte contacted me back in July with an order for three handmade crochet buttonholes for her wedding. I absolutely loved the sound of her colour scheme – “Cadbury” purple crochet flowers with wooden button centres – gorgeous! Is she a chocolate lover, I wonder? Regardless, I knew I would enjoy making them! Read more

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

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

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