Simple Floral Summer Decorations (and a sneak peak at our solstice party)

Davina & Hannah here - On Saturday we hosted the first Seeds and Stitches Summer Solstice dinner party with some close friends. It was wonderful (more on that later!), and the perfect excuse to play with flowers. We experimented with a few different floral ideas, mining both of our gardens for greenery, 2 hydrangea plants and the local market for summer flowers. 

Materials:

Using garden greenery for party decoration looks surprisingly sophisticated and relaxed. It's also free (or at least very cheap) and looks gorgeous literally all year round: using whatever is in abundance in spring and summer time and holly and evergreens in the winter time. We only used garden cuttings from hedges and trees that were large and established, and could have done with a prune anyway. We bolstered our greenery with some brighter seasonal blooms from the market. We used Floral wire for all of our displays. 

Welcoming Guests:

To welcome our guests we hung a jar of flowers and fragrant rosemary on the front door. We wrapped floral wire around a jam jar, and attached some sticky pads to the back of the jar to prevent it from bashing against the door, and hung it out of the letter box. 

We were too busy enjoying the party to photograph this on the day - so this is a photo of it 2 days old!

We were too busy enjoying the party to photograph this on the day - so this is a photo of it 2 days old!

Table Centre Idea: 

We collected long branches of leaves from our gardens, choosing leaves that were thick and closely spaced together, and used floral wire to bind them into a long green and leafy table centre. We attached hydrangea heads but they wilted within about 20 minutes, so opted to put our hydrangeas in little GU jars and nestled them in the greenery. We learned many lessons on the fragility of flowers that day! Our next hydrangea wreath all be made with dried hydrangea heads! 

Floral Crowns:

We also made simple little floral crowns by joining two long pieces of greenery or flower stems together with wire to make a circle, then adding smaller flowers and Rosemary to add colour and texture (again using florist wire).  This meant as guests tucked into their evening feast, they were treated to the occasional heady waft of Rosemary emanating from their floral crowns as they ate.  It was divine! In fact, Rosemary was the winning element is all of our decorations; maintaining its colour, shape and smell much longer than all of the other flowers, and adding a frothy layer of texture to the floral displays. It also grows abundantly on gnarled old branches in Hannah's garden so was readily available. It will play a big part in any future party decorations!

Crowns in the making

Crowns in the making

Floral food:

As well as making the meal vegetarian and seasonal, we tried to keep our floral theme in evidence too. Our friend Nadeen infused Rice Pudding with Lavender and served it with Lemon biscuits; a wonderful combination of creamy and crunchy, floral and critrus. Yum. We also bought some Courgette flowers from Brockley Market, filled them with goats cheese, sprinkled with olive oil and baked for 20 minutes.  

So, this isn't our typical Making Monday tutorial, but more of an ode to the joys of faffing around with garden greenery and flowers. We attempted to make our first floral wreath at this party, and have learned so much! (sorry, wilted flowers. You died too young as a result of our ignorance, but your deaths were not (totally) in vain! We have learnt!)  We are looking forward to having another crack next time….

We’ll share some photo’s of the party later in the week. 

Did you end up celebrating the Solstice at all? 

Father's Day Beer (Labels)

Davina Here - Both my husband Nick and Hannah’s husband Dave love micro brewery beer. Its something, which seems to have really taken off in the UK over the last few years and makes a positive change from the over consumption of big branded beers and gives communities a local drink to be proud of. Our local beer is Brockley Brewery - if you live near by I recommend you try some!

We thought for Father’s Day it would be lovely to give the dads some beer with special customised ‘Happy Father’s Day’ labels made with our daughters. 

What you need to make ‘Happy Father’s Day’ Beer Labels

  • Kids drawings or something you have decorated
  • Washi Tape
  • Scissors
  • Alphabet Rubber Stamps (optional)

How to make ‘Happy Father’s Day’ Beer Labels

  1. Measure how big the pre-existing label is and cut out a new label that size from drawing
  2. Rubber stamp or hand write ‘Happy Father’s Day’ in central area of label
  3. Wrap round bottle, covering old label and secure with washi tape

All photography by Kristy Noble. Hannah, Kristy and I got together a couple of weeks ago to shoot this and had a grand ol' time throwing flour around, crafting and cooking at the same time, eating, and making a REALLY big mess in Davina's house. Fun fun. 

 

Super Dad Pin Badge & Father’s Day Card in One

Davina here - One tradition that most families I know seem to have is a handmade Father’s Day Card. This is something Nick and I have always had fun doing for our dads, even before Elfie was born - often we’d collaborate and treat it as a mini art project! Now its really lovely to collaborate with Elfie to make one for Nick and sometimes all three of us will work together to make cards for the granddads. 

This year I was inspired by a shrink plastic pin badge I saw in Yellow Owl Workshop’s book Little Prints and decided to make a pin badge for Nick but out of cardboard to make it cheaper and easier as shrink plastic is a nightmare to get hold of in the UK. 

I spent a rainy afternoon with Elfie painting some old cereal boxes and then used them to make this pin badge.

Materials to make Super Dad Badge Father’s Day Card

  • Painting/drawing by your child
  • Felt (we used black)
  • Scissors
  • Safety pin or brooch clip
  • Washi tape
  • Blank card
  • Glue (PVA or Glue Gun)
  • Rubber Stamps and ink pad (optional)

How to make Super Dad Badge Father’s Day Card

  1. Work with your child to make an image
  2. Choose a shape for the pin badge - we chose a Pow shape
  3. Cut drawing out into shape
  4. Stamp or write message on shape (we wrote ‘Super Dad’)
  5. Cut out a ribbon from your felt and glue onto reverse of badge
  6. Using washi tape secure brooch clip
  7. Again using washi tape secure pin badge into greeting card or pin it through front of card

All photography by Kristy Noble. Hannah, Kristy and I got together a couple of weeks ago to shoot this and had a grand ol' time throwing flour around, crafting and cooking at the same time, eating, and making a REALLY big mess in Davina's house. Fun fun.