On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankfully we cut and paste

I visited a housing unit at Juvenile Hall that I don't get to see very often. Five boys were waiting for Arts and Crafts. Today's activity was to make Thanksgiving Day cards for parents, grandparents, whoever. Usually the boys I work with have had little experience using scissors and paste so the idea of creating a handmade card would be quite daunting if I didn't bring in some samples and describe how I made them. I made three last night, very simple designs, and precut a lot of the materials to streamline the process even more. While I told the boys they were welcome to copy my ideas exactly, I was secretly hoping they would use the materials I brought in and come up with their own ideas -- and for the most part, they did.

Everything has to be counted before I walk in and before I walk out. So it was 6 rubber stamps, one stamp pad, 4 scissors, 5 pencils, 5 erasers, 24 colored pencils, one trimmer with one blade, 5 punches, 5 glue sticks, etc. I didn't have to count the various cards, envelopes, colored papers and raffia. I also brought in designs to color -- these were overwhelmingly the favorite since coloring in the lines puts the kids back on familiar territory. But they also like gadgets so they used the trimmer to get straight, even lines and punched out lots of decorative leaves and pumpkins. After I demonstrated how two tiny holes could be punched into a corner and then laced with raffia to tie in a little bow the kids started punching and lacing and tying little bows of their own.

In the end, the five boys made seven cards and seemed grateful for the opportunity to do something different and to have something to give or mail to the moms back home. They took the activity seriously and put forth their best effort and thanked me several times for coming in. What a nice afternoon!

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