I bought some ready-made card stock and some nice stamps from a local scrapbook store. Then, I brought ribbons, miniature flowers, felt pieces, flat back jewels, pearls and rhinestones, courtesy of Summer-Ray.
They were having their early morning exercises when I arrived at the center, so I slipped in quietly to wait. I watched as the men and women, mostly elderly, stretched and did their breathing exercises. I noticed; a young mother in the group, her little one playing by her side; a wife helping her wheelchair-bound husband; and two cheerful middle-aged women who were obviously the best of friends encouraging each other.
When the exercises ended, they welcomed me and shyly gathered around the craft table where I had set out the card stock, embellishments and stationery. I explained that the craft activity was for them to make a card for their loved one(s). With the help of my friend and the other volunteers, we showed them how the items I brought could be used to decorate the cards.
Within minutes, they chose what they wanted to use. Everyone seemed to hone in on the miniature flowers and ribbons. While they settled down to embellish their cards, some chattered and discussed excitedly, some concentrated quietly...and everyone took painstaking care to cut, decorate and glue.
Their final artwork may not seem breathtakingly beautiful at first glance, but if you take a closer look, you will see the care and love put into these creations...
At the end, as I left the center, I realised that I was not the instructor that morning, but a student.
(Note: The faces on the photographs have been blurred-out to respect the privacy of the owners.)