Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Zen of Creating

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

At the last two craft classes I conducted at Dorchester Senior Citizens Center,my crafty ladies really enjoyed themselves. We made a decorated matchbox in one class that they really liked, so much so that they requested to repeat the class and were giving me suggestions for alternative colors and designs they would like to see for the next time. (Note to self: definitely do this class again.) There's a photo of me with some of my "girls" holding their finished boxes. They were all smiles.

This week I decided to up the ante a bit. Usually I design a project, create a kit and lead the group in assembling it. This time, using stencils donated by The Crafter's Workshop, as well as blank paper fans and markers obtained at Materials For The Arts, I told them that there was no kit. They were going to design their own project. Good thing I brought plenty of supplies for the class. It was a FULL house.

I gave the ladies a rudimentary lesson in the art of zentangling.  I described it as conscious doodling where the aim is to concentrate solely on what you're doing and pay no attention to what is going on around you. I told them there was no right or wrong in whatever they chose to do. THEY were the artists and they decided what they wanted to do. Then I said, "Go!".

Boy, did they take that direction to heart! These ladies dove into their fans and stenciled away. It was so quiet at the table, you could hear a pin drop. When they were done, there were more smiles going around that table as they showed off their finished creations. Just take a look at those fans and those smiles.

When I asked them how they felt during the exercise, the consensus was that they were all very relaxed and focused. One participant said her friend sitting next to her was talking to her and she didn't hear a word, so focused was she on her doodling.

So it's official. The Friday afternoon crafting class is becoming a go-to at the senior center. Autumn, one of my favorite times for seasonal crafting, will be here very soon and I can't wait to see what projects I'll be dreaming up for this wonderful group of women. I'll do anything to keep them smiling.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

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