"So, where are you?" I asked Colleen Dee, Dee for short to me.
"VAB's Open Studio. Working on my next lesson for the seniors and talking with you" was the reply.
Both Dee and I are Visual Arts Brampton members and attend in person or Zoom Open Studios weekly and other workshops, such as soft pastels, batik etc. Dee is a sculptor and, as she says, "I'm comfortable calling myself a practicing artist." Along with other very talented people, she is an instructor as well as sitting on the board of directors of VAB.
"Ohh, and what might ye all be making next? I love the ideas you come up with for people, Dee! Doesn't matter if it's Boys and Girls Club, people from Community for Living, kids, teens, families ... ya got something for everyone woman."
"We're doing snowflakes; just like the ones we did as kids at school. Folding the paper, cutting and notching, then unfolding to see what we've created. I tell them it's good for hand-eye coordination, dexterity, maintains their cognitive development, which really perks them up, and is something they can go home and do with their grandchildren."
It didn't take much to start reminiscing about other homemade decorations and seasonal habits we had when growing up. There were crepe paper chains made by folding the red and green strips back and forth at right angles, which became so intricate looking when opened up showing their alternating colorful facets. And yes, the snowflakes were a favourite then, too.
That's when I learned there were going to be some holiday crafting events that were being hosted at the large shopping centre, Shoppers World, at Steeles and Main Street in Brampton. VAB is directly across the road on the other corner and enjoys an ever-evolving relationship with the mall management which focuses on community activities and engagement.
One of the three workshops people had just finished was making Christmas ornaments, with the next two still open for registration. This Saturday there will be card making, December 10, at the Shoppers World, pre-registration is encouraged to ensure you get a spot, with a nominal cost of $10.00 for supplies.
Such creativity and engagement is involved in these simple activities that Colleen Dee and other VAB instructors continually come up with, whether for children, adults, families, teens or young people. While one can step back and marvel at this, my best suggestion is to throw yourself into the fray, and get caught up in the excitement and joy of your own creative expression!
Just imagine! No batteries needed, no computers, laptops, or digital devices necessary. You get to unplug. Simply show up and let yourself relax as somebody guides you, a friend or family member, on your personal journeys of creative expression. Engage the spirit within you to craft a personal design and compose a personal message with card making.
Live large and sign up for a family workshop or ask about a group experience. You can give the gift of creativity, just waiting to be discovered, to somebody on your holiday wish list. Check out the classes for adults, kids & teens and studio sessions available at this amazing organization, where they are all about Encouraging Creativity.
Article by: E. Connie Munson