Autumn Wreath

As part of my rehab following my surgery at the end of last month, I have to walk short distances a couple of times daily.  We’re fortunate enough to live close to a country park so it’s been lovely seeing the hedgerows change over the past few weeks and it inspired me to create an autumn wreath for the front door.

The rose hips have been stunning and abundant this year.  There are about 4 or 5 bushes along this path.  This photo doesn’t do it justice but they look fabulous!

I collected a few rose hips, teasels and some grass and weed heads during one of my walks and then collected some leylandii and eucalyptus prunings from our garden for the base foliage.

To form the wreath, I gathered bunches of foliage together…

…and then wired them onto the frame, ensuring the next bunch overlaps the base of the previous bunch.

Lastly, I added the pinecones and teasels, wiring them in to the wreath with some floristry wire.

I’m really pleased how this turned out – I think it perfectly celebrates the beauty of the hedgerows.

OMG! You’re how old?

My year of big birthdays is now at an end.  There’ve been five 50ths (including my own), two 60ths and one each of 70th and 18th

I bought the Sunburst stencil from Sweet Poppy Stencils as I thought it might be useful for making masculine cards.  Indeed, it was when I made this one.

It was whilst I was making this card that I thought it’d be fun to try it with the deco gel and some foil.  The trickiest part with the gel was the circle in the centre – it’s quite hard to get an even layer of gel over that section.  Anyway, after it dried, I applied some rainbow foil and ran it through the laminator. I never grow tired of the reveal!

Next, I got busy with the Cricut and made my letters and backgounds.  I use Inkscape for designing my lettering and the shadow outline is created by making an offset to the text and then import into Cricut Design Space.  There are really good tutorials for how to do both of these things on YouTube.  I used some rainbow vinyl to make the inside lettering.

Working out the next step nearly blew my mind!  I’m normally quite good with this kind of thing but brain fog has blighted me the past few months so this took me literally HOURS (and loads of binned pieces of card) to work out.  Got there in the end though! This would be simpler if you’re OK with a fold in the centre of your pop-up but I didn’t want that.  If it’s just a small pop-up, or number like I did on my other card, a simple mechanism like the right-hand one will suffice.  I needed more of a wiper pop-up mechanism so I cut out the pattern on the left. 

Fold the corners up into a triangle shape and trim the flaps.  Ensure the flaps face the card and put the point of the triangle on the fold inside the card.  I glued my banner onto the mechanism and then glued that in place inside card.  I made my life much more difficult by creating such a ginormous pop-up banner – I should have checked the size before cutting it out!

Adjusting how wide the sides go will determine if the triangle lies flat when the card opens or if it sits up. I wanted mine to be popped up, although I find this stage is very much trial and error and I use Blue Tac to hold the pieces roughly in place to check it will work before adhering.

Anything overhanging the triangle on the left (shown by the arrow) can catch on the card base.  I just got away with this but had to place the banner there otherwise it wouldn’t have been hidden within the card when it was closed.

The final job was to adhere the decorations and mount the front panel onto a black mat then onto the card blank.  I’m loving the 8” x 8” card blanks for celebratory cards!

Here’s a video showing the whopper pop-up in my friend’s 50th card in action.

Here’s the one I made for my God-daughter’s 18th birthday.  I put her name on the front as OMG! didn’t seem appropriate.

Constructing these was quite a workout for my brain – I hope the recipients enjoy the results!

Lest We Forget

Today is remembrance Sunday in the UK.  Since I’m stuck at home recovering from surgery, I’ve not needed a poppy to wear.  I saw a crochet poppy wreath kit on a website (it was sold out) so thought instead of a personal poppy, I could make a wreath for the front door. 

After searching for a pattern, I bought one and then ended up following a YouTube tutorial instead as I preferred the shape of the flower.  To begin, I crocheted the centre in black with 12 dc into a magic ring, and then added some gold glass beads into the front loops.

Next was to crochet the petals.  These are simply made by making 3 dc into the back loops of 3 stitches, turning, ch2 then 2dc in each of the 9 stitches of the previous round.   This is repeated 3 more times.

To form the poppy, the tail from the petal is fed through to the back at the start point of the adjacent petal.  The ends are simply tied together in a few knots on the reverse to secure.

For the leaf, I didn’t like the one in the pattern I purchased so I crocheted a basic leaf shape and then slip stitched around the edge, adding some bumps randomly to make it into more of a poppy leaf shape. 

Finally, for the assembly.  I purchased a grapevine wreath and used the hot glue gun to add the crocheted elements.