Celebrating Votes For Women with a Seasonal Twist

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Originally posted 8 June 2018

Dear lovelies

Last week I celebrated one year of blogging and I received so much love from you here on the blog and on instagram, thank you! I feel encouraged, supported and inspired! You are so very lovely, you really are!

Suffragette wreath 4 DSCN5755

This week, I have some exciting news! Recently, the Head Teacher of our local primary school got in touch and asked me if I would consider curating a craft project to celebrate 100 years of votes for women (of course this was only some women at first) and the start of some major achievements in the fight for democracy for all here in the UK. I will be working with kids across the whole school, from the youngest in the nursery to the oldest at the top of the school in year 6. Each year group have been asked to design their own fabric banner, in true suffragette and suffragist style, which I will help the children to bring to life, using fabric paint, felt, wool and thread among other things.

The culmination of this project will be a procession through the school! Isn’t that wonderful?! It is an absolute privilege and a massive confidence booster to have been asked and entrusted with such a fantastic and important venture. And I am so very pleased that every single child at the school is part of a conversation about equality for all!

Over the years I have willingly volunteered a lot of my time at our inspiring school, carrying out various craft and sewing workshops. However, when this project is completed, I will submit an invoice and be paid for the hours I put in. This might sound silly but it is a long time since I have been properly ‘paid’ for my time and my tummy is doing flips of excitement and anticipation at the prospect. In fact I do believe the last time was about 8 years ago when I worked as a freelance homeopath in a pharmacy in London before I had my third baby!

So I am going to be very busy over the next few weeks working pretty much full time and even though I already feel a little overwhelmed with thoughts of how I am going to balance it all, I know it will be a good experience for me and my family!

Now for that seasonal twist as per the title of this post! I have come up with a couple of creative ideas with the seasons and the suffragette colours in mind. The well known suffragette colours of purple, white/cream and green are possible to find in floral and herb form at flower markets, supermarkets and possibly even your own garden.

Suffragette Colours Wreath

I tried to think of plants that are not only in season now but might also do well drying naturally in a wreath and I was mostly successful! You could make a wreath using florist oasis foam which will keep flowers fresher for longer.

You’ll need a natural rattan wreath, flowers/herbs and secateurs/scissors.

Carefully feed the flowers into the gaps and underneath strands of rattan.

For purple: I used lavender which has just started to bloom in my garden and clematis flowers which are growing over from my neighbours garden. The latter will not dry well so are very temporary in the wreath. I am going to swap the clematis for chive flowers or alliums which are flowering now too! Other possibilities that are in season in the UK now are cornflowers and hydrangea which dry well and aquilegia, astrantia, sweet peas and irises.

Suffragette wreath 2 DSCN5752

For white/cream: I used chrysanthemum flowers which I had read dry quite well but I am really glad I popped them in the wreath before I tried to dry them because they do not look attractive once dried! Other flowers to consider are hydrangea, daisies, roses and dahlias.

Suffragette wreath 3 DSCN5753

For green: I used rosemary because it dries so well. The combination of the rosemary and lavender is wonderful! You could use green chrysanthemums or try using dried leaves.

Suffragette wreath 1 DSCN5754

Paper Clematis ‘Votes for Women’ Banner

Suffragette banner on wall 1 DSCN5775

This is a unique banner, that you can make solo or with kids. In fact it would be a lovely craft party activity! It has been inspired by the beautiful lilac coloured clematis creeping over our neighbours fence into our garden, which I have been snipping to bring in to the flat. I am going to make these banners with my kids ahead of a procession taking place here in London this Sunday marking the centenary of (some) women being able to vote.

Materials

Suffragette banner materials DSCN5758

Card – cream/white, purple, green.

Flower and leaf template – I drew around a clematis flower and leaf to make templates. You will find templates online if you prefer.

Paper straw.

Wool/string/twine.

Green felt tip.

Pencil, scissors, ruler, double sided sticky tape.

Alphabet Stamps or a black felt tip to write the slogan.

Method:

Cut out the flower and leaf templates.

Suffragette banner flower and leaf on paper DSCN5765

Draw around the flower template onto purple card and the leaf template onto green card and cut the shapes out. I cut out lots but used one flower and 9 leaves of 2 different sizes for my banner.

Suffragette banner flower and leaf cut out DSCN5767

Place a ruler lengthways down the centre of a petal and bend it carefully upwards thus making a crease in it. Repeat with all petals and leaves.

Cut out a banner shape from the white or cream card. My banner is made up of a rectangle measuring 18 x 16 cm and an upside down triangle with base measuring 18cm and height 8cm.

Stick a small piece of double sided sticky tape onto the back centre of the flower. Peel off the non sticky section and stick the flower to the top right corner of the banner.

Draw a curved line from the middle of the flower along the right hand side and bottom of the banner.

Stick pieces of double sided sticky tape onto one half of the underside of each leaf. Peeling off the non sticky section of the tape, stick each leaf to the banner at points along the curved line.

Suffragette banner sticky tape on leaves DSCN5768

Stamp or write the slogan to the left of the flower.

Suffragette banner done no string DSCN5769

Cut a paper straw to just less than the width of the banner. Turn the banner over and using more double sided sticky tape, stick the straw towards the top.

Cut a length of string to hang the banner and feed it all the way through the straw. Join the 2 ends together and tie a knot.

Suffragette banner string through straw DSCN5771

Hang up and admire!

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There are so many different variations you could try with this banner, for instance sticking lots of smaller flowers at the top and leaves at the bottom. Let me know if you give it a try!

I’ll be sure to let you know how I’m getting on at school. See you next time lovelies!

Take Care and lots of love,

Lucy

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