It is a beautiful sunny day. Musarat and Milena will be working for the next ten weeks here. We are in a small side room and most of the people have never seen either of the artists before. Today we are going to decorate wooden memory boxes. We have exquisitely patterned colour papers used for decoupage and lots of glitter, paint and feltip pens. Everybody enjoys decorating boxes. More and more people are coming into our small room and Jill, member of staff says – “Have you got another box, I would like to have a go?” But we haven’t, Milena has brought a dozen boxes, not realising there will be so many people! She apologises and promises to bring her a box next time. Everybody is working really hard, trying to finish decorating their box, but in the haste Clive and Raymond paper over the hinges and can’t open the box! “Never mind” says Milena, she will bring sharp craft knife, next time, and carefully cut decoupage, so that we can open them! Gordon is looking lovingly at his creation saying quietly “This is for my wife.” I am sure she will appreciate it! We put boxes to dry, next time we shall make small objects to be stored and treasured!
We have various colours of lace and silk ribbons, fake jewels, decorative buttons and some tiny little bottles, which are going to be filled with coloured sand. Musarat is telling staff where to get such nice craft items, so that they can continue with the craft activities afterwards. But firstly, Milena is giving Jill her wooden box. Visibly moved, Jill is surprised that Milena remembered box and her name! Soon the hinges of all the boxes are free and we can open and fill them with jewel like bottles and various other chosen treasures. We are in the different room today and it feels better being in the bigger room, with more space to work. Next week we shall do more movement with music at the beginning of the session. Milena is keen to incorporate music and movement into every session, as often elderly and disabled people don’t move enough!
We brought some coloured scarves and almost immediately people chose their favourite colour or sparkle and with the music playing, we start chair dancing, using our imagination and swaying with the rhythm of the harp! Afterwards we sit in two groups – one is painting a silk banner, the other is tie dying cotton pieces to be used for cushion covers that we are going to leave for the centre! Most people had never done any tie dying, so it is difficult to imagine how these curious bundles that look like the creatures from outer space can have anything to do with cushion covers. We have some excellent workers, they apply themselves totally to the task! Next week, when the bundles are dry, all will be revealed! Cotton will be ironed and we will see transformation and be surprised!
Our silk banner is complete! People have been working on it during the week, and now we are all seeing it for the first time! Beautiful colours shine through the silk, like a rainbow that descended on the table. Looking at the banner we all feel brighter and sparkle! Milena says, “look at these” – unravelling tie dyed cloth! “Red one is mine” says Clive, and he is right, he loves red colour. But we need more clothes for cushion covers. So, once again we are tieing cotton and painting …
Having finished with tie dying we will paint and decorate little paper lanterns today…. But I am jumping ahead, before that rainbow snake has descended, and we are using it as an exercise rope. Raymond loves it, and Hilary too…..After a good workout, we are ready for lanterns. Firstly we will covered them with paint and afterwards we will decorate them. It is a beautiful sunny day and our lanterns are quickly drying outside. Afterwards we drizzle or paint some glue and sprinkle the glitter onto it, while glue is wet. Not only lanterns are glittering. Celia, sitting next to Milena says looking at her hands – “I’m all glittered!” laughing happily! Lanterns, table, and all of us – are glittered too!!!