Monday, April 26, 2010

Cut and Color

One of the members in the Oriental Stamp Arts group I belong to recommended this blog post as a source of inspiration for our own work. How right she was. I've linked to it here so you can enjoy it also. Just click on the title below and it will take you to the post.

Cut and Color

Ballo ergo sum- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Monday, April 19, 2010

Taking things up a notch

The ladies of the senior center and I have been busy assembling cards and this has been keeping me very busy. Here you see the cards we have assembled in the past two weeks. The green tree is specially made to commemorate Earth Day which this year falls on April 21, 2010.

Because many of them have physical limitations that prevent them from completing many of the tasks required to create a card from scratch, I create card kits at home that do not require anything more difficult than gluing down the card elements or removing the protective liner from double sided tape. Essentially I'm doing all the work that I would normally have more able bodied individuals do themselves and leaving them to put together the pieces. However I have overdone it a bit with these last two cards. Because I am doing so much work assembling the card kits, I tend to forget that the seniors themselves are left with very little to do. These two cards were so simple for them to assemble that they were done in under 15 minutes. The younger seniors in the group were done in 10 minutes. Worse than that, they were left wanting more of a challenge. One thing about seniors...they let you know what's on their mind. It's a good thing because it's just what I needed to step up my game. I promised them that this week they would have something a little meatier to sink their teeth into and I think this little gift/favor bag should do the trick.

I had found the tutorial for this favor/gift bag, created by Diana Gibbs for the Splitcoast Stampers website last summer and knew immediately that I had to make it at some point. I finally got my chance this week and on Thursday I'll be leading a group of seniors in assembling the bags for themselves. The front of the bag has a medallion and I added a coordinated gift tag on the back. Inside the bag there is a little candyholder/card (not shown) sized perfectly to hold one square of Ghirardelli chocolate or some folded currency. This project was designed by Theresa Momber for Splitcoast Stampers and I thought it would be a great add-on to the gift bag. (Go here to see that tutorial.) I haven't created the kits for those yet but I'm hoping to complete them before Thursday. The seniors should find these two projects enough to keep them interested.

Now what do I do next week? If you've got an idea, throw it my way. Just leave me a comment below. Thank you.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

More than Just a Card

If you follow this blog, you know that I am volunteering at a local senior citizen's center. Once a week for an hour, I lead a group of seniors in assembling a card kit that I create at home. Many times I will build in an element of choice so that they don't feel that their cards look exactly alike. Just before Easter, I created a card that featured a verse on the front that said "Easter Greetings" but knowing that not everyone there celebrates Easter, I created alternate greetings that could easily be substituted instead. Those greetings were "Hope You're Feeling Better" and "Where Flowers Bloom, There is Hope".

My story today is about Yolanda, the beautiful lady you see in this picture. She is holding the card she made in my crafts class. Yolanda chose the "There is Hope" greeting for her card and set about to putting the pieces together. As she was crafting, she began to think about who she would send this card to and her thoughts turned to a dear friend of hers who had just undergone a very serious operation and for whom she was concerned. It was only then that she really noticed the verse she had chosen for her card and how appropriate it was for this particular situation. When she spoke about her friend and how perfectly the card would suit her, she became emotional and had to fight back the tears. If she seems a little misty-eyed in the photo, she was. To paraphrase her words, "I didn't even think about what I was choosing when I picked the verse, but I chose the perfect words for her. There is hope."

I highlight Yolanda because this experience is not all that uncommon. For the most part, when one is crafting as part of a group effort, attention is usually paid first to the instructor and then to the task at hand, but if you allow yourself NOT to think, NOT to get hung up on the details and just let your mind relax, a whole new realm of insight is possible. This is what Yolanda felt when she realized what she was actually doing. She wasn't just crafting a card, she was sending a message of hope, and the realization of that brought her to tears.

I regularly inhabit the world of alternate insight and my vehicle is my art. That someone else has been able to visit that world due to my influence is an awesome and humbling realization.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva