Saturday, February 11, 2012

Going with the Flow

(Click on any photo to see a larger image.)

The final Valentine's Day craft class took place at the senior center this week and once again I decided on a bit of a departure from the norm. I was going to have the ladies craft little treat boxes shaped like miniature Chinese food take out containers.
Although we have made little treat boxes before, this time I left a lot of the work up to the seniors. I cut out all the pieces as usual but I didn't package everything into neat little kits. Instead I spread everything out on the table in boxes and let them choose whatever pieces they wanted to decorate their boxes. I also brought along a few "toys" for them to play with -- embossing machines and embossing folders. This allowed them to press raised designs onto paper panels that they then glued onto the sides of their boxes. I demonstrated how to use the machines and also showed them how to color their embossing with the side of a colored pencil to highlight the raised designs. I provided them with charts illustrating the available designs they could choose from and then I let them loose.
Oh boy, did they get a kick out of that! I thought they would be a little annoyed at having to get out of their seats and walk over to the adjoining table where the machines were but not only did they not get annoyed, they were having a ball choosing designs and using the machines. A few of them were very enthusiastic about the project. Fortunately I had made double the usual number of projects because the boxes were very small and because I wanted them to make one for themselves and another one to give away to a someone they loved. And, of course, what is a treat box without some treats? When they completed their boxes, I filled them with candy! The class lasted much longer than the usual 45  minutes to an hour but no one seemed to mind a bit, least of all me. 

The preparation for this class took quite a lot of time and those embossing machines and supplies were REALLY heavy (I needed a rolling bag to carry them) but we had such a good time that it was all worth it. As the class was ending, one of the ladies gave me one of her completed, candy-filled boxes. I thought it was such a sweet gesture and it gave me a big smile. 

After each class, it is my practice to take the prototype I create for the project and place it in the display case with the other class projects. In this manner there is a constantly changing display with older pieces being replaced by newer ones and I get to look over all the work we've done in the past. This week when I added to the display, something had changed. It was as if I was seeing all those pieces for the very first time through a new set of eyes. I was taken aback by the true beauty of it all and I had to hold back emotional tears of joy. 

It's funny how you can be so close to something that you don't really see it. 

Ballo ergo sum

- Gitana, the Creative Diva

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