Friday, 18 March 2011

Outside My Comfort Zone!

This post could have been called 'I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No!' ..... but that might give you entirely the wrong impression :P

My Church is called All Saints in Edmonton, North London. We lived in Edmonton for 23 years and even though we moved to Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, about eight years ago, I continue to attend my old Church; it's only about 20 minutes car drive away.

This year is the Church's 875th Anniversary and last year people were asked to suggest things they'd like to see happen as part of the celebrations. One of the suggestions was a Flower Festival. However, at a meeting where each suggestion was looked at more closely and people were asked to volunteer to organise them, no one stepped forward to take on the Flower Festival. So I said I'd have a go!

Do I know anything about flower arranging? No! Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Possibly! However, I'll give it my best shot even though it is definitely outside my comfort zone!

I have already sent off lots of letters to various organisations to see if they want to make floral arrangements and have had quite a few more than I expected. I still have yet to encourage others in the congregation to make arrangements. However, the Church is rather large and it could be a bit of a challenge to really fill it up.

One area that I think people won't choose is the ends of the pews. On the one hand, there are a lot of them! 16 on one side and 17 on the other. Also, using real flowers would be difficult because water and the wood of the pews are not a good combination. However, there is an additional problem ...... Father Stuart doesn't like artificial flowers! Oops. What a dilemma!

However, I recall seeing flowers made from ribbon, so did a bit of searching on the Internet for instructions on how to make ribbon flowers. I actually found loads! What I was thinking was if I can make a few and they don't look too artificial, I can make something or other for the pew ends. So, the little white one that my fingers are holding was the first one I made ...... the ribbon twists were a little too tight I think. I then made the other white one and then the blue one, all from ribbon I already had in my needlework box. I'm actually quite pleased with how they turned out. I happened to mention to my Mum, that if I go with it, I'll use yellow and white as these will be the main colour of the flowers used at Easter ....... and bless her ....... she went out and bought me some yellow ribbon to have a go with. Thanks Mum :)

I shall try making a slightly bigger one in the yellow ribbon, which is wider than my white and blue ribbon, and see how I get on.


Rachael said...

Your flowers look really good Elaine but it sounds like you're going to have so many to make.
Good for you for stepping outside your comfort zone though, I'm sure your efforts will be appreciated.

Elaine said...

Thanks Rachael .... and Yes ..... there wil be a few to do!

My first idea was to have a band of roses along the top of the pew but then I thought ..... not a good idea. That is where people reach to grasp so they will get crushed and soiled looking very quickly ...... plus if I used (say) 8 per pew ..... 8 x (16+17) = far too many to do!!!

My thoughts are to do something similar to what you can see at

Except I'd have a small group of (say) three ribbon roses plus ribbon leaves.

Yesterday, I did find another ribbon rose and leaf tutorial at
which produces a bigger and more flouncy rose which I might try. I can't decide if this one looks 'real' enough mind you although I like the effect of the ribbon leaves .... and I'd need much wider ribbon.

joy said...

the roses look mgorgeous, elaine, well done. I'm all in favour of stepping outside of your comfort zone, its very good for you.
joy xx

Rachael said...

I like both of those ideas and can't wait to see how your project progresses.

Elaine said...

Thank you both :)

The 'Comfort Zone' is not the making of these decorations ..... it's the organising of the Flower Festival itself!

However. I'm taking it one step at a time and hopefully it will all work out :)

Last night, I completed a yellow rose plus a leaf using the instructions on the website I mentioned in the earlier comment and it doesn't look too bad. I could only find some very pale green ribbon to use as a leaf, mind you.

I then found some purple tulle (I never throw anything away but can't think where this came from!) to try to 'mock up' how it might look as a completed item. So ..... colours ALL wrong but you can kind of get an idea of how it might look and I think it should look pretty good.

I'll post about it later today if I get a chance :)

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