Paper roses……… (and azaleas, camellias, etc)

Had a lovely day on Saturday – over the weekend we’ve been having a Flower Festival at our church, celebrating the talent and commitment of our local community. As well as beautiful floral displays, we had children’s activities, a mini steam engine, a beer tent (local brewery of course) and a selection of displays and demonstrations by talented craftspeople….and me. We had sugarcraft, painting, lacemaking (one item had taken the lady four years to make – I get antsy if something takes me four weeks!). In amongst all this skill, we had a half hour slot to fill so I volunteered to do a ‘have-a-go’ session. I called it ‘papercraft’ thinking I might do some very simple origami animals for kids to try, but then I thought it might be better to do something aimed at adults – but still really simple.

At this point I remembered some beautiful tissue paper pom-poms I saw in a swanky cafe in the Lake District. Now I am a hoarder – I really hate throwing things away that might come in useful. I have a huge stash of white tissue paper that has wrapped purchases from a wonderful seconds china shop in Stoke – I can’t bear to throw it away but there are only so many presents in a year you can wrap in tissue. It’s a bit creased but not too bad and it flattens out pretty well – and besides, I cut each sheet into quarters so any ripped or badly creased areas could be discarded.

Rather than pom poms, I decided we’d do table decorations which were really easy to make and are pretty foolproof as they look good, even if you make mistakes. I started off with half a dozen people politely watching me make one, then they all eagerly pulled their chairs in when I suggested having a go. That was great but just a we were all finishing, another three came up, then another two, and another two….I’d prepared enough for 8 people to have a go but luckily had plenty of spare tissue. Trouble was, I had to prepare one extra every time new people came so I could show them what to do. It was only at the end I thought what a good idea if I had remembered all those episodes of Blue Peter I had watched as a child and prepared several at different stages – duh!

The lovely thing was that every one looked different – we had azaleas, camellias, peonies, water lilies – and all made from tissue paper that would have otherwise ended up in the bin! The picture shows one made by my youngest student, a 7 year old.Image

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