Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Friendly Lessons in Key Center

An Alpha Artist Attacks An Alphabet
 With my lovely assistants in tow, we returned to the Red Barn to teach some more paper crafting fun to the teens who came in. We brought along plenty of TWAA's colored cardstock, already cut to standard card size, as well as a heap of coordinating envelopes. This time, I had made the examples for class with more time to spare- at least a few hours more anyway :-)
With those samples on the table, there was an atmosphere of excitement as I described how to assemble each card with the majority of the kids. Just like adults, there were a couple who were more inclined to take creativity into their own hands- this was highly encouraged by their teacher! And just like classes I've taught to adults; when given a choice about whether to do the card everyone else was working on or venturing solo on a card they'd rather start with, there were a few takers for that too. Hey, maker's gotta make!
Even within the standard format of the design, there was plenty of room for personalization. A few of the tips shown here: if your stamp doesn't work perfectly at first, consider markering over those imperfect impressions to form an alphabet style all your own! Even if you don't have a friend in mind, make the card anyway, and by the time you're done, you may have made a friend to give your card too :-)  Personalize your card with a special sentiment inside- smiley faces share your excitement! Even if you don't consider yourself an artist, you can always surprise yourself (and your teacher)!  Embellish to your heart's content. And this was a favorite tip that I rarely implement: Take your time. Don't feel obligated to create yours the same way you've been shown, or how everyone else does theirs. Okay, that last one I don't have any trouble with at all lol.

Now, To Find A Friend to Befriend
Partay Harday Everyday- Doi!



Do I look like an Artist?! (YES!)
Take Pride In Your Creativity and Shine!


The best classes I've taught have been the one's where I get to learn something too, and in this class I was fortunate to be invited to learn more about a student's home life. Our final cards were dedicated to the idea of Grandparent's Day, and M____ here lit up at the idea of a personalized, handmade thank you for his grandparents, who had just gifted him a new pair of desperately needed tennis shoes. At first, I just made the usual non-committal, non-intrusive responses that most adults give, but something about his sweet voice and the enthusiasm of his heartfelt appreciation gave me reason to pause cleaning the table and sit down to give him my full attention. How often does that happen, huh? Our sharing resulted in a nice reminder to me how important an adults attention can be; whether it is an off hand remark to our children meant to "inspire" them (sometimes the opposite is the result), or how just a simple, I Believe In Your Potential from an advisor can influence an already bright kid to continue reaching for the stars... heavy stuff for an afternoon of fun!
The next time we go back for crafting with teens at Key Center's Red Barn for Youth, we'll have our scissors and patterned papers in tow, and maybe even our gardening gloves- you never know what chef Susan's going to pluck from the garden for our taste buds to relish! If you're interested in donating your time or funding to this community treasure trove of young minds, check out their website, http://www.redbarnkp.org/

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