Google+ House Revivals: Never Forgotten: A Story of Sacrifice and a Remembrance Poppy Tutorial

Monday, May 26, 2014

Never Forgotten: A Story of Sacrifice and a Remembrance Poppy Tutorial

I have loved the little Remembrance Poppies, sold by our veterans, as long as I can remember.  As a little girl, shopping with my mother, I was always given a bit of change to donate for my own little poppy to wear.

Each year, when I get my poppy, I am reminded of my mother, and how she taught me about the sacrifices made by so many.

A few years ago, the reality of this great sacrifice was driven home, when I received a phone call saying that the son of a friend had been killed while serving in Iraq. Our sons had enlisted at the same time, and I still remember sitting with the other young man's father, a veteran himself, during a parent orientation evening.

Our sons were so proud, as were we!  My friend's son was grinning ear to ear, as he and the other young recruits demonstrated their newly learned maneuvers. Less than a year later, the phone rang. I sat with my friend for much of the day -- feeling guilty that my own son was okay -- and feeling inadequate, knowing that I could not even begin to know the pain of such loss.

Memorial Day has never been the same, since that day when I wept with my friend. Each year I weep, and I buy a little poppy, and I remember the cost of freedom.

In honor of those who have sacrificed, I have created this simple tutorial for making your own remembrance poppies (but, PLEASE buy the ones the our veteran's are selling, too)! Start with crepe paper or tissue paper.  I like to use a good quality crepe paper, and have quite a stash of nice vintage papers.

Cut out four petals -- I just freehand cut them, in whatever size I want.

If you are using crepe paper, you can gently cup or ruffle each petal.  I also like to fringe the edges of some of my petals just a bit, but that is optional. Sometimes I use a watercolor marker to darken the edges, or a wee bit of bleach on a q-tip to streak a petal.

For the center, I cut a square from some tissue, and put a little ball of cotton, or even a wad of scrap paper in the center. Then I simply wrap it and give the tail a twist.

To create the stamen fringe, I cut some fringe from anything -- fabric, paper, string, whatever is handy.  In this case, I used vintage crepe paper.

Now, wrap the fringe around the flower center and secure with wire.

Next, you will wrap the first two petals around the center, followed by the last two. Secure with the same piece of wire.

The remaining tail of wire will become the flower stem. Wrap the stem with floral tape or a long strip of paper for a finished look.

This project can be simplified, and used as a child's learning activity, or fancied up, and used to decorate your Memorial Day table. Make several, and tuck into a simple wreath for your door -- there are lots of possibilities! To see a tutorial for a burnt edge poppy, and to read the poem that started the remembrance poppy tradition, click here.

Have a blessed Memorial Day.