Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Tower, Poppies and WWI Remembrance...

A couple of weeks ago I went to visit the poppies at the Tower of London - it was both stunning and humbling to think that each one represented a life given in WWI (and that was before the installation was even completed!) I am so glad I bought one ages ago as they are sold out now and I'm very much looking forward to having it in my new creative space when it's finished.

During half term my son was given the task of making something for his World War I topic homework.  One of the suggestions was to make a poppy and, as I'd made loads a couple of years ago after writing the crochet poppy post, it was an obvious one to pick (even his teacher suggested I would do it with him!)  So, while G made a mock up of a trench with soldiers for a photo based project I had a think about how we could do a different sort of poppy this time.  I remembered that he had used some foam clay earlier in the year for another project and decided we would make our own 'clay' poppies as a sort of tribute to the Tower poppies. We made several in both foam clay and silk clay which we bought from a lovely little craft shop called 'All The Pretty Things'....
foam clay

handmade poppy brooch

We made them into brooches & keyrings and G took them to school on the Monday.  Later that day he came home with... an 'order' list for around 30 (!) you can guess what we spent the next few evenings doing...
..they were free on promise of making a donation so at least it should've raised a good bit for Poppy Appeal :-)

I also bought some gorgeous 'Milly' 100% wool while I was in the shop so I could have a go at 'super sizing' the crochet poppy pattern which turned out like this...

handmade poppy

I used a chunky 10mm crochet hook... this pic is to give you an idea of scale
handmade crochet poppy

I still get requests to make those little crochet poppies and made several new patterns for a Simply Homemade magazine feature  (one is now a free pattern on their blog here) However, I also felt I should do a new crochet poppy project for the Centenary and wrote a pattern for this 'Remembrance Style Poppy'...

I used a 4mm crochet hook, some red cotton DK - you'll also need a button, scissors and a needle.
remembrance poppy crochet

Begin with a magic circle and make 2ch into it...
poppy pattern free

Then make 13dc into the circle...
poppy pattern

Join with a ss then make 2ch...
world war one poppy

Make 2tr into that first dc...
how to crochet a poppy

then make 3dtr into the next dc...
poppy for WWI

3ttr into the next dc..
100yr anniversary poppy

3dtr into the next dc...

free crochet tutorial

Finally, 2tr plus 2 ch into the next dc and ss to the next dc. That's the first 'petal' done.
WWI crochet poppy

Start the second petal with 2ch, 2tr in next dc...
WWI crochet poppy

followed by 3dtr in next dc...
step by step crochet flower

3ttr in nect dc...
poppy flower pattern

3qtr in next dc...
poppy red scarlet

3ttr in nect dc...
WWI crochet poppy

3dtr in nect dc...
free crochet poppy pattern

2tr plus 1ch in nect dc...
poppy brooch

Leave last dc empty (it kind of helps to define the petal shape). Finish off and pull the thread end to close the middle circle. Sew in the ends at the back for neatness.
world war one poppy

Find a suitable button and sew it on with black thread.  Add a pin at the back.
crochet poppy pattern free

The pattern is free for you to use for personal use but please do make a donation to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal in return.

crochet  poppy

Lest we forget.

All pictures and text (c) Addicted to Making 2014

Friday, 31 October 2014

Witches, Wire & Wands

I'm still stuck in my temporary crafting space with everything squashed in around me and not much room to create but I couldn't miss doing something for Halloween!  I've done several pumpkin projects in the past so wanted something different.  I cast my eye about for an idea.  Then I saw this stick while we were on the dog walk...

As soon as I saw it I imagined it would make a great Witches Wand for Halloween!  The first thing to do was to strip it (old potato peelers are great for this task)...

I gave it a wash with some soap and left it to dry overnight.

To make the Wand 'handle' I cut a small piece of felt and hot glued it to the stick, wrapping and tucking the ends in as best as I could....

I cut a second, longer piece and glued that on to give it a longer 'handle'..

wicca wand

Next, I took some copper wire and coiled each end loosely...

and wrapped it around the join between the two pieces of felt to embellish the handle a little..

Then I took a much longer piece of wire and did a similar thing at the top of the felt but this time wrapping it all the way up the stick and then back down in a 'criss-cross' fashion.

I used tweezers to 'tweak' the wire which both added a nice effect and tightened it onto the stick.
how to make a beaded wand

After that I just got hold of lots of beads, charms and glass nuggets and, using a dark green covered wire,  began to wrap and attach them all the way up and down the stick in a random fashion (from the handle to the tip).
wire and bead wand

beads and wire wand

A final piece of copper wire was added to the tip  - it's really up to you how you decorate your wand - just go wild!

All you need now is a tall black pointy hat and you are ready to cast a few spells ;-)
witches wicca halloween wand

Happy Halloween!

All photos & text (c) Addicted to Making 2014

Friday, 10 October 2014

Building, Boxes & Dressing for Downton....

So this is the view from my temporary crafting space..  

As you can see it's not hugely inspiring (even worse on a wet day!) but hopefully means I will soon have a lovely new crafting space to play work in.  Anyone who's had building work done will know, it's a necessary mess and you have to play lots of move-boxes-around-the-house which basically means I can't find all the bits & pieces I need to be able to make the projects in my head (still.... it won't be forever...)

It's also very noisy and hard to think straight... as you can imagine I've done very little 'making' recently as a result!  However, this week I had to get rummaging through the boxes so I could find all the pieces & tools to make a necklace for my daughter who is going to a 1920's themed party.  Rather than the usual 'Flapper Girl' style she has gone for a more Downton Abbey dinner dress and I have followed suit with a long beaded necklace with focal tassel. 

I chose a large sequin covered bead for the focal point and decided to add tassels to it. Once you've made the focal tassel bead the rest of the necklace is a's the step-by-steps:

I began by securing the thread to the bottom row of sequins and then threaded 2-3" length of bugle beads before sewing back up through them. This was followed by another few threads in and around the sequins before repeating with the next strand and so on..

Keep going, adding as many beaded strands as you can fit around the bottom of the bead. 

Next add a jump ring to the bottom of an eye pin..

Then sew more strands of beads onto the jump ring..

 Thread the eye pin up through the bottom of the bead...
beaded tassel

make your own beaded tassel

Then turn a loop on the end of the wire so it will be ready to thread onto your necklace.

To make the long beaded part of the necklace, first sort out a pleasing arrangement of beads with gaps of around 2inches.

Then begin to knot them onto some thread (waxed cords or synthetic works well)

Work down the first side (work out how long you want the necklace)
1920s lariat style necklace

Add the tassel bead to the center point and bead up the second side..
how to make a long bead necklace

You can leave long ends on either side of the necklace to make it easy to tie and/or adjust the length.

a necklace for Downton Abbey

You should now be ready to dance at Downton!

Happy Making!

All pictures & text (c) Addicted to Making 2014