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.

A Winter Cake

Happy 2021! We made it through 2020 and have emerged into a brand-new year.  Have you made any resolutions? My resolution for this year is to be kind to myself.  I’m a bit of a perfectionist and that leads to me being my own very harsh critic – so I’m now working on not being!  The other thing I intend to focus on is to enjoy whatever it is I’m doing, even if I can’t create a masterpiece. 

With that in mind, this week’s post is a Winter Cake.  You may have heard them called Christmas cakes but if they’re not finished until January, it’s a Winter Cake!  It’s true!! With all the food we had to be eaten by less people due to the late Tier change rules, we really didn’t need the cake.  However, we’ve now ploughed our way through the festive goodies and so it was time for the cake to make an appearance. I made the fruit cake way back in October using Nigella Lawson’s Boozy Christmas cake recipe.  I also used a cake belt for the first time.  It was genius! The cake rose evenly whilst baking and a cake with a perfectly level top emerged from the oven.  I hate marzipan so I just went straight in with some fondant icing and covered the cake.  I would normally ice the board too but I hadn’t bought enough fondant.

I went for a snowflake theme since the weather is chilly at the moment and cut out a load of snowflakes in different sizes with my handy cutters.

Using vodka as adhesive, I stuck the snowflakes onto the cake in a random fashion and added a few around the board too.  I mixed up some icing and piped dots in between the flakes and then finished with a blast of edible pearlized spray to give a glittery look. 

All that’s left now is to eat it! Mr L’s birthday is in early January so our healthy eating doesn’t begin until after that – very handy indeed!

The Great British Music Room!

You may have seen our jazzy music room wall behind our parents in the Christmas Carol Evening blog post. When it came to decorating our music room, so called because it houses all our musical instruments including Mr. L’s kazoo (!), we decided on a red, white and blue theme. Now nothing is more red, white and blue themed than the Union Jack or Union Flag (I’m never sure what we’re supposed to call it) so that seemed a good starting point. I thought the whole flag would be too much so decided on just a quarter of what would have been a HUGE flag.  It’s quite tricky to draw the Union Jack and have it look right so Google came to my aid and I found out what the ratios should be.

The cross of St. George is red and is one fifth the flag’s height.  The white border is one fifteenth of the height.

The saltires of St. Andrew and St. Patrick are intertwined, with the St. Andrew cross being one fifth the flag’s height.  This is then divided into 6 and then two of the six bits are allocated to the St. Patrick cross.  Confused yet???  Luckily there was this handy diagram to help me out!

Image courtesy of https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Jack

The wall was already painted white so I drew the dimensions on the wall in pencil and then masked off the red and blue areas.

We had a corner sofa in the room which didn’t work with the other furniture in the room.  Basically, it had one too many seats! I decided that we could chop it down and make it a straight sofa instead – like you do.  Well it was almost a situation where I’d bitten off more that I could chew so I roped in Mr. L to help me out.  I have to stress that this is not for the faint hearted and could have gone very badly and expensively wrong.  Lots of head scratching ensued but, in the end, we rebuilt the sofa into the size we wanted.

I completed the look by changing the ‘feature’ cushions from a turquoise floral fabric to a nautical stripe fabric, which I had treated with fire retardant spray.

And so The Great British Music Room was born!