So our journey ‘Summer at Calverlands’ continues in weeks 6-10 and we sure have had some lovely weather to accompany the theme along with happy, cheerful and enthusiastic customers waiting to get their hands dirty!
The sessions start with a quick warm up activity which mainly involves bright coloured scarves, soothing music, colourful balloons being passed from one side to another, singing and lots of movement. The music plays while the people sway, a good warm up for all.
It is week 6 and we are decorating cd’s today with Posca pens followed by platting the yarns to hang the cd’s. These are going to be put together and made into mobile hangings for the celebration event along with the other work done in the previous weeks. Fingers crossed, we are hoping the weather will continue to be nice, at least on the celebration day so we can display all the wonderful work outdoors and have a garden party!
I can see some wonderful brightly decorated cd’s, Gwyneth also manages to decorate her hands and her top with the blue Posca pen. She laughs as she shows me her blue hands. “Look what I’ve done; I’ve got it all over me”.
Arthur decides to do his Cd in the colours of Leeds City Football club as he proudly shares he is a big Leeds City fan.
Milena gets a whisper from Celia “I wish my husband could come here”. We all agree it would be lovely to invite family and friends to the celebration event to celebrate and share their journey.
It’s decorating glass lanterns today, using laminate pouches with various coloured material, wax shavings, glitter, sequins and lots of sparkles. Layers of fabrics are being applied, I can see some interesting designs being formed.
Customers are really enjoying this; we are getting lots of “Wow, look at this, look how this has turned out”. The wax shavings and the sparkles are working really well together, the laminitor is binding the materials to form a fusion of colours.
The laminates are cut to size and placed in the glass lantern assembled with LED light. They look amazing when put against the window. The outer part of the lantern is decorated with special glass outliners. Most people are going for the gold coloured outliners, I can see why, the gold is looking very effective.
It’s the last session today, where has the time gone?
We start with a quick warm up exercise with balloons followed by throwing the bean bags into the big colourful sombrero. Arthur is particularly good at getting the bean bag in; we are getting lots of cheers for Arthur along with hurrays. Cynthia quite likes this too and is quite competitive!
We are all warmed up now and ready to get our hands dirty. We distribute the plant pots; I can see some customers getting excited about decorating their pots with acrylic paints and glitter. The ladies love glitter, any excuse for a bit of sparkle!
They start by painting their pots; soon the glitter comes out and is added with PVA, we have glitter everywhere, hands, table and on the seats, it’s glitter galore! The pots are looking amazing, everyone is choosing their flowers to compliment their pots. We have made an extra pot for Hilary, she’s on holiday today however we have planted her favourite bright pink coloured flowers she’ll be very excited! We can present this to her at the celebration event.
We are coming to the end of the day and as we remind everyone it is the celebration event the next time we meet, we are getting lots of “Oh is that it, no more sessions?” We remind them to invite their family and friends oh and there will be lots of cake too!
It is the celebration event at Calverlands today, all the work is displayed around the centre, unfortunately because the weather isn’t too great we can’t go ahead with our original plan which was to have a garden party with all the work displayed outdoors. Instead the silk wall hanging along with some of the other artwork is displayed indoors, but we have managed to display the glass lanterns and the plant pots under some shelter out in the garden.
The session starts with a recap of what we have achieved in the last 9 sessions. Customers reflect on all the work they had made, from keep safe boxes to lanterns tie and dye cushions to silk wall hangings and plant pots. Milena gets out a box…” hmm what could be inside the box” She asks everyone. Peter shouts out “Chocolates” while others make various other suggestions. Milena then begins to open the box slowly; we have some very intrigued individuals eagerly waiting to see what comes out.
First an album comes out; Milena explains how a series of photos have been compiled into an album for the centre. Then a set of photographs are presented to each participant that have taken part. First one out is Sheila’s, Sheila is so happy and excited to see herself, with excitement she shouts out “That’s me!”
Celia’s husband has joined us today; it is so lovely to see them both sat together looking through Celia’s set of pictures. Celia had expressed in previous weeks how she wanted her husband Raymond to be at the celebration event so she could show him what she has been doing.
The photos have been presented; we now have an activity lined up – Making and decorating bunting. We start decorating bunting using acrylic paints and fabric felt tips. The bunting soon develops and we have a series of prints lined onto a string ready to go up in the centre.
It is now cake time and everyone is sat around the table having a slice of cake and a drink. Anne the support worker expresses how much she has enjoyed the activities “It’s been very hands on this time, we’ve enjoyed it. Everyone’s been able to take part. Our customers struggle with small fiddly stuff but this has been good”.
It is time to say goodbye, it’s been a fantastic 10 weeks, lots of fun, laughter and creativity at Calverlands. It’s a shame the weeks have gone by so fast. We are certainly going to miss this wonderful bunch for sure!