For me, as a European, Australia was always a very special place, an inspiration for the human soul, a distant place with great oceans, endless beaches and miracle flowers. But the first thing which grabbed my heart and made me almost cry when I first came to Australia, was not the white coast, not the wild dunes with whispering grass, not the amazing sky, like an enormous blue bowl over the world, not even the best sunsets I have ever seen. The first things that grabbed my heart, were the trees and specifically the trees lining the ANZAC remembrance roads in Kings Park, Perth.
As a European I have in my blood a long list of wars and battles. My great grandfather survived all the three wars between 1912 and 1918 and often, especially in the winter evenings, he was telling me his memories from these days.
But for me these stories were like fairy-tales. My beloved great grandfather was alive, next to me, having a tea with me, next to the window in the warm kitchen. The snow was falling, beautifully covering the gardens and the streets in our neighbourhood and every pain and fear was away, away in the past.
In Perth, these long alleys with trees, every one for someone who died in the war days, were a very physical touch. As a woman and a mother I didn’t see trees, I saw people, men. Sons, brothers, lovers, fiancées, husbands… I saw love and dreams, burned in the fire of someone’s ambitions and political mistakes.
So for me, even thought I was not born in Australia, ANZAC day is a very special day and this poppy flower wreath idea is for everyone who has someone from their family who died in the wars. A small symbol of Love and Remembrance.
The idea was born
The exact idea appeared unexpectedly. I was in a Bocsh workshop, trying new instruments and making videos of how to use them. This is a part of my job I really, really love! The people are great, there is always something new and new ideas are coming to me every second.
So, we were doing some Easter decoration cutting a piece of wood and I saw this small round piece, which was destined for the recycling bin and it grabbed me! The thing that really got me was the cut part – this parting of the whole. Like a symbol of the things which in one moment are transformed and will never be the same again.
My first idea was just to make some flower decoration on this piece of wood, but the breakage wouldn’t let me and the flowers became the Remembrance poppies. And the whole idea was already alive.
To make a flower wreath, you first need flowers. To make them faster, I used my beloved Sizzix Big shot machine, which has been helping me with my projects from a very long time.
I liked the uneven shape of the wooden part, so decided not to make too many flowers, which would hide the wood.
So I made petals for seven poppies only.
I didn’t have enough green paper for the poppy leaves at home, so decided to use my favourite blending technique.
“Tricks and tips”
Here I will tell you my little trick of how to make your own blending instruments.
All you need is a wine cork and a sponge cloth and some glue, of course. Cut a small circle out of the sponge cloth (bigger than the radius of the wine cork) and glue it on the cork. Now you have one great and very cheap instrument.
Colour the sponge cloth part with a marker and start gently blending the leaf.
With this technique you can blend the edges of the wooden part too.
I was thinking to do this, but in the end decided to keep the pure wood colour.
It is very easy to keep all your blending sponges in a box – one for every different colour and the unused ones upside down.
The final steps
Once you have coloured all the leaves, you will see how wonderfully different their nuances are.
The next step is only to fix the petals and leaves to the wooden part (I suggest keeping the cut part visible). I put some more flowers – small white ones and a few red, to make more visible the idea of a poppy field, but it is not necessary for you to do the same. Follow your own instincts.
Also glue on the back side a ribbon for hanging.
Enjoy your craft time! I am sure you will make a great ANZAC poppy flower wreath or just a beautiful flower wreath for your door decoration.