Margaret, one of the ladies in the 50+ group came across these flowers whilst visiting a florist to stock up on supplies. There was a lady doing a demonstration using florist ribbon and a stripper (yes, some of the ladies did giggle at this!). After an investment of said stripper (now I giggle) I set about trying to figure out how they were made as the group agreed that this was something they would all like to have a go at.
I have to say that actually using the ribbon stripping tool is not the easiest tool I've ever come across. It's a combination of strength and manual dexterity. One hand is holding onto the ribbon whilst the other squeezes on the tool and sliding (definitely the wrong word as it makes it sound easier than it is) it across the ribbon. During testing of the tool, I decided that this was definitely not going to be an easy action for the group to perform. I know I like the group to use small motor skills but I think this would a big ask. So it looked like I would have to do the majority of the preparation for this one.
Preparation for this session meant adapting the length of the strips for easy handling and confidence building. Next week I will shorten the strips so they can have a go at some smaller blooms.
One of the first things I always do when I arrive at the Autumn Centre is go round and talk to the members and trying to encourage as many as I can to come and have a go. Of course I have my regulars but I do like make the members feel that can come and join when ever they feel like it. When I presented the flowers to the group and others at the centre, they were delighted. Some who hadn't joined in for a while came along enthusiastically. This is a group I have worked with for about eight years. I have seen the faces change over the years but there is always that keeness to use their hands, to create and share the results..
Their first attempts were absolutely brilliant I'm sure you will agree.