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...

IMG 20150530 113208

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.

 

 

Project name:-

            Medieval tent tidies

Project number & date:-

          4. March 2015

Why are we undertaking this project? What has motivated us?

We wanted one for our own tent, so we can find everything. We wanted a tidy designed in such a way that at the end of the event it can be rolled up ready for next time, whilst keeping everything secure. If we can sell a few too, that would be great.

Materials used and sourced from:-

Used calico. From a funeral director. J Cardboard coffins are delivered in it.

Length of time taken:-

About 2 hours each one, once we had developed a method of making them.

Total cost:-

          Nothing.

Our experience of this project:-

We liked…

That things can be stored in it between events; that it is quick to put up and take down when setting up the tent; different sized pockets for different things; there are 2 ‘side’ parts that can either be fully extended or folded (and secured) behind it for more personal things such as phone/wallet, making it a bit more secure.

We didn’t like….

          It took a few attempts to achieve what we wanted, so time taken.

We would do differently next time…

It evolved with each version. The one we have kept the pattern for is version 3, so we have already done things differently.

How have we benefited from doing this?..

          No more floordrobe! If we do sell some, then a bit of money too.

What resources did we use?

          Time, and a sewing machine.

There is always the odd junk mail going through your letter box. You did not ask for it. You probably made a sign asking kindly that people do not put in leaflet through your door. There are still coming. 

What to do with it?

Reuse it before deciding to recyle it.

One of the beautiful way you could reuse junk mail is by making beautiful Christmas decorations.Below are two little example of what we did as part of the Making Christmas Decorations out of scrap last month for your inspiration.

Christmas Star

Christmas blue star

If you are thinking to organise a Christmas decorations workshop using predominantly reclaimed materials before the 31st October 2015. We will happily advertise it on our website, so do not hesitate to get in touch.

Project name:-

          Mending some bras

Project number & date:-

          3. Jan 2015

Why are we undertaking this project? What has motivated us?

          Do you know how much bras cost?? J

Materials used and sourced from:-

       Newwire   New under wires from on line shop

Length of time taken:-

          About 10 mins per bra

Total cost:-

          £7.26

Our experience of this project:-

We liked…

The satisfaction of repairing something most folk would throw away. (Yes, I darn socks too…J)

We didn’t like….

It was fiddly, and one wire escaped again. Making them secure seems quite tricky. The end of the ‘escapee’ is sharp and rubs sometimes.

We would do differently next time…

          Not sure – still thinking about this.

How have we benefited from doing this?..

Saving the cost of 3 new bras, and knowing we have enough for another 7 bras.

What resources did we use?

          Nothing special.

Project name:-

          Van tidy

Vantidy

Why are we undertaking this project? What has motivated us?

The van gets in a mess and we had 1 pair of jeans left over from project 1, the rag rug

Materials used and sourced from:-

          A friend

Length of time taken:-

          A couple of hours

Total cost:-

          Zero

Our experience of this project:-

We liked…

          The van is tidy! And putting to good use the left over jeans.

We didn’t like….    

We would do differently next time…   

How have we benefited from doing this?..

          A tidy van

What resources did we use?

          None, we made it up as we went along. And a sewing machine.