Wednesday, 27 May 2015

A Country Paper Flower Bouquet - Tutorial

I am fortunate indeed to be one of only three bloggers to participate in the Country Baskets Paper Bouquet competition. Lucky, lucky me got to shop in their online shop and choose some supplies to make into a paper bouquet.

A handmade bouquet is a wonderful idea as it can be customised to include favourite colours and flowers. I wanted a simple and fresh colour scheme of lilac, white gold and green.

This one is tissue paper and brown paper roses, and white (I think of them as daisies but they are not really) card flowers.  This rose is very simple to do and perfect for children to make too. But please be careful with the glue gun and if children are making them then craft glue would be a safer idea. It would be a great idea for a meet up with the family beforehand, bride and sisters and nieces (and groom, and brothers and nephews if they wish) all sitting round the table munching on cakes and making the roses for the bouquets and button holes.  You have to have cake.

I am going to show you several things today:
the basic rose on a stem
the rose to which you later add the stem
the white non-daisies
the jar decoration
and making it into a bouquet
The basic rose on a stem using tissue paper. I have used two sheets together and you can mix the colours up as well. This is plain tissue paper but you can also get some lovely patterned paper. I have also used green florists wire but you can use any wire and children could use pipe cleaners.

Cut a square of tissue paper and then cut the corners off so it is more of a circular shape. Starting from one corner cut a spiral into the middle. Play around with the widths and you will get different looking flowers, it is fun to play.

Bend the top of the wire into a loop which will give the glue more of a purchase. Glue to the very start of the spiral.
Then start to roll, glueing every now and again.
Using a handy tool such as this lolly stick saves your fingers from the hot glue (and is a great excuse to eat more ice lollies).

Roll and squeeze, try to keep the bottom in alignment.

You can pinch the bottom and this will open out the petals at the top.

At the bottom just glue the circle in the middle of the spiral and it will become another petal.

Finally to cover up the bottom wobbles, glue a piece of green tissue paper to the bottom of the flower and top of the wire.
You can carry on and cover the whole of the stalk if you want. Just glue, wind the length of tissue paper and squeeze as you go.

And if you want you can add a leaf. Tear a leaf shaped piece of tissue paper and wind one end round the wire, cover up with the length of tissue paper that you have been winding round the wire. 

The Brown Paper Rose is very much the same technique except we are going to add the stalk later. This means that you can use this flower in other crafts, without the wire, such as on cards, or you could add them to a hair band. I like Brown Paper, of course you can colour it but I found it picked up the ribbon and looked gold.
Instead of starting with the wire in the middle, just put a dot of glue at the start of the spiral and then start to wind.

You can make this a lot looser, just a dot of glue every now and again.

At the end I put a good amount of glue on the middle circle of the spiral and then stick it upwards which made it the base of the flower.

If you want to add a wire then you can stick one on with glue and a piece of brown paper over the top.
The middle flower is made in this way, and the two on the outside have the wire in the middle.

The White Non Daisies
Actually these were so easy as I just got the flower shapes from Country Baskets. They are supplied in a pack of three different sizes. Of course you can colour them but I like the white.

 I just glued three together, one on top of the other.

 Then I added the wire to the back. I used brown paper first because it is stronger than the tissue paper, and will hold the wire better.

 Then all you have to do is lift up some of the petals to make the flower more 3D.

If you want you can add decoration such as this gold nail polish dotted into the middle.

So here is the finished flowers. For an extra country touch I used a few Dried Tarwe (wheat).

They make a lovely display like this. The vase is a pasta jar that I have upcycled into a nice vase.
Decorate Jar
It is very simple. You can use any twine or yarn but this one is Green Oasis Bindwire and it has a wire in the middle so it bends nicely.

Glue every now and again and then just wind the yarn on. The middle bit needs less glue as it is just straight but I needed more on the curved bits.
Ta da!

So the last thing to show you is the final completed bouquet fit for a bride or a bridesmaid.

Arrange the flowers to your satisfaction. Cut the stalks so that they are the same length.

I used the bindwire, that I used to decorate the jar, twisting it down the stems of the flowers to hold them together.

It looks rather nice at this stage but for an extra special touch I wanted a ribbon. This is Gold Organza Ribbon. All I did was bring the ribbon round to the front, let it meet, twist then take it back again, twist at the back and then bring it back to the front, all the way down. Then a bow at the bottom.

One finished paper flower bouquet.

To make the bouquet I used:
Papercraft Card Shapes Daisy (Oh it is a daisy!)
Brown Paper 
Tissue Paper - Dark Green, Lilac and White
A Craft Glue Gun
Dried Tarwe
Green Wire
Oasis Bindwire in Green
Gold Organza Ribbon

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Testinģ, Testing.

I  am just trying out the Blogger app on my tablet. I  haven't had much success before but I thought it was worth a go as I  do miss blogging and our laptop is so slow that I  rarely bother turning it on.

So I am just going to add a random photo to see if it works. The photo is a book that I am using at the moment.

And now trying to add another photo. 

And failing.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

World Book Day Cometh - BFG Ears if you want them

This Thursday is World Book Day. A day that is greeted by groans throughout the country. If you don't know it, then let me tell you about it.  Parents panic buy, or use what they can, or make a costume for their poor child. This costume is based on a character from a book (but somehow characters from films , albeit books, crop up often). It is not a competition. But it is! And it really is, as many classrooms and schools have prizes for the best costume.  God bless the poor child who's parents forgot and goes in school uniform.

So, this last year of my daughter's primary school, the school gave a list of books to choose from (but of course you can choose any book, they said). So my tall daughter is going as the BFG, as that is her nickname at school.

Panic buy rubber ears and a bald cap. Cut up a black t shirt into a vaguely waist coat shape and bleach it so it is brown. Beg, borrow, not steal, my sister's green trousers. Use an old white school shirt. Find a tiny doll and make her some glasses so she is Sophie.

Have you ever bought those plasticky rubbery false ears? They have a hole that you are supposed to be able to manipulate your ear into and hope they stay on.  Nope and nope.  And anyway they are too small.

I have sewn a couple of bits of string onto each ear in the hope that she can tie the ears on. But they are still too small.

So I have copied and changed some BFG ears and am glueing them onto the rubber ears.

But I thought you might want to have the ears for your own use so here is the image. There are two ears and two ear backs. It is up to you how you stick them to the head but please no staples.

I have put mine in Word. You can fit the right and left front onto A4 landscape and they come out a nice size.  If you cannot copy the images from here then contact me with your email address and I will send you them.

Have fun and let me know if you use them.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Country Basket’s Festive Face-Off 2014 competition
I leapt at the chance to be part of The Festive Face-Off organised by Country Baskets, one of the leading craft suppliers. I like a challenge, I like craft, I like Christmas! Win, win, win.

The challenge was to use my creative talents (ho, ho, ho) to produce a bespoke Christmas-themed decoration for the home or garden using no less than 4 items from the goodies in the box provided, plus other items if I wanted.

Here are the lovely items sent to me.
Wire, Baubles, pompoms, bells, ribbons, mistletoe
The box was appreciated too.

Hmm, what to make?  I knew that I wanted something for our front door as it looked a bit bare. So maybe a garland/wreath. But I didn't want to do a traditional circle one and then I thought of a Christmas tree made using the wire as a base.

So one morning I used to wire, which is very easy to bend, into a tree shape. Basically I spiralled up, then down and then went down each side twisting into the spirals to create a sold frame. I then added the little star at the top.  This tree shape could stand by itself before I flattened it, so that is an idea as well for a freestanding tree.

Christmas Tree Frame in Wire

The wire is a nice gold colour so it didn't matter if it showed in the finished tree.

Now I love snow. Unfortunately I live in the South of England so we don't get to see it very often. Luckily one of the items in the pack was a pompom garland made of little white pompoms on invisible thread cascading from a central point. I cut them off this fixed point so I had strands of the pompoms which I then wove in and out of the wire frame so they looked like snow (hopefully).

Starting to weave the pompoms onto the frame

All the pompoms are now woven onto the frame.

I had a nice Christmas film on the tv and it was a lovely way to spend the morning. Very festive.

So here it is finished. Or is it?

I love green and white. They look lovely together. But you know, sometimes you need a pop of colour to bring the whole thing together.

On the bus home (a great place to think ) I had an idea. So back at home I coloured some more of the silver hearts using nail varnish. I used a gold and a purple plum.

They look rather luxurious. I love the plain silver (matte and shiny) and I love the fact that you can add a bit of colour too.

Finally here is the decoration complete. The star is useful as I can hang it on a nail but another way of hanging it is by threading a length of ribbon through the star and hanging the ribbon up over the top of the door and securing it on the back of the door with some tape.

A few photos closer in so you can see the detail.

I used most of the items from the box supplied. I did not use the mistletoe so my daughter can take it to school and chase after the boys. The only thing I used of my own was the nail varnish.  That was fun. I am so happy with my door decoration. It makes me happy when I come home. And I love  love love that fact that I made it myself. No-one has one like it and it was so simple to do. Thank you Country Baskets