The Riverside Festival this year has now passed. It was the 6th and 7th of June. It was two fabolous day for Footpaths to promote the Green Festival of Making and Mending.

The Riverside festival involved some preparations. Ultimately, my first proper experience in making something useful and beautiful. Organising events for other to enjoy is one thing but I always shy away when it comes to make something with my hands. Zina mentioned to me that it will be very good if we had a banner for people to see. She asked me if I wanted to make it. The voice inside my head was saying ''YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO DO THAT... IF YOU DO IT ANYWAY, IT WILL BE UGLY''... How confident could I possibly be? I shared my worries to Zina. She divided into simple steps how to make a banner: Make an outline of the letter on a fabric using a pencil and then fill it with paint. She gave me all the materials I possibly would need - paint - fabric etc. I had brushes at home. I said to myself. I am going to do it.

I did.

One day before going to Paris for holidays. I left the banner on a side for a week mushing away my feelings and focusing on other easy activities before tackling it.

Here was the results. Not great at all, isn't it? 

banner1

I did not follow any of the outline I had made. The paint was sticky. I was nervous. At the end, I just messed up the whole canvas with some fuzzy shapes and misguided inspirations. I was angry, annoyed with myself. my voice inside my head said 'I TOLD YOU'.

I was not going to give up on that. I may not have the skill but I know people who do. Before heading to Paris, I called my sister, Sophie. I asked her: 'I need a favour from you. Can you help me to make a beautiful banner for the Green Festival of Making and Mending,?', I have made a mess.'

In the evening after my arrival, she drew some letters on some spare cardboard paper she had. I cut them with her. She took a pencil and started to draw on the bedsheet I collected from my mum. I started to fill the letter with coloured pen. I was uplifted and really pleased with it all. We also had a very good time. Chatting away...

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I came back to the UK with half finished banner but so much more confidence. I printed some shape of tool and the logo from the festival. I finished to fill the letter.

banner2shape

My colleague Winta offered her help in drawing the tools on the canvas which I coloured. I am very good at colouring. We had such a lovely conversation. I could not stop smiling. It was coming together as I envisioned.

Here is our final banner. It was proudly displayed at the Riverside festival

banner2

(excuse my lighting and camera, the banner is brighter than that!)

It was not the most sustainablle project ever but it is about learning to use initiative and creativity to make something beautiful and useful. If you want learn more about banner making, there is an event coming up in Loughborough by Sarah Green - Craft and Activism - on the 30th of June. You can learn about it more by clicking here. We are also thinking to have a stall on banner making at the festival. We will keep you on the loop about that.