Tuesday, March 20, 2012

My Card Class

Previously when I've worked with a class, it's been for an extended period of time (last year I helped with the school's scrapbooking club) or with what I call a "captive audience" - a whole classroom, whether they want to or not. This is the first time I've done a one-time class, and it was working with kids in a large age range (7-12) and a little younger than I'm used to. Trying to pick projects that would be fun for the whole age range, easy enough for everyone to do, and making sure to fill 2 hours? Yikes! My plan was to make sure that there were at least 2 projects that the kids could bring home and finish if needed. I also wanted to make sure to use up supplies that I had on hand (except for vast amounts of double-sided tape & foam!) Some stuff I can't even source, it's been in my stash so long....Here's what I designed:

Supplies: tree stamp from Stampin' Up;
sentiment from Studio G;
Versamark, Jewel Gold EP; Vintage Photo distress ink;
cream crochet thread
 I have a big stash of this gorgeous gold paper from when a friend was giving up her scrapbooking supplies (I know, I know...the horror!) I wanted the kids to be able to use some of the fun tools (like the embossing gun!) as well as do some things that didn't need anything special. This was definitely a favourite - although next time I'll pick an embossing powder that's easier to see as it melts. The glitter makes this one hard to see.
Supplies: paper from DCWV Sweet Stack;
sentiment from Hero Arts; Broken China distress ink;
Labels 4 Nesties, Standard Circle Nesties;
spots & dots Cuttlebug folder;
pink, blue, and red gems
 I have a whole 12 X 12 pad of this Sweet paper...that was shrink wrapped & a good price. There aren't many sheets that I think I'll use, so I brought the whole thing & let the kids pick what they wanted. I did the die-cutting at home (previous experience has taught me that I get very tense when kids use my Nesties...better to just leave them at home!) and let the kids choose from 5 different embossing folders. That way they got to use the machine, and I didn't freak :)
Supplies: flowers from Stampin' Up!;
sentiment from Hero Arts;
Worn Lipstick and Dried Marigold distress inks;
Offray ribbon
 For this card, I brought both pink & orange ribbons so the kids could choose which they preferred. This is definitely my favourite card!
Supplies: paper scraps from DCWV;
Sheep & sentiment stamp from Pink Cat Studio;
corner rounder & circle punch
 I stamped out the sheep & sentiments at home, so that the kids could bring it home & colour if we didn't finish in time. I cut lots (way too much!) paper into strips so the kids could choose whatever 3 pieces they liked best & go from there.
Supplies: Wilton doily, Spellbinders butterfly
 This card was another meant to bring home.
Supplies: miscellaneous cardstock from stash;
Spellbinders butterfly; Martha Stewart score board
I've only ever made one medallion at a time before, and now I know why! I thought these would be fabulous for name tags...and they were! Hot glue, safety pin on the back, butterflies left off until each child's name was written....but it took 3 hours to make them. Still, the kids liked them, so I think it was worth it.

There's a few things I learned from this class - I over-prepared supplies, and came home with quite a bit. The double-sided tape, while less messy than glue, was hard for the kids to peel the backing off of. Having other adults there to help was essential because of the younger kids (and thankfully I did have stellar helpers!). And, although everyone finished their cards & had a good time, it would probably be better to split the kids into 2 age groups. The younger kids needed a LOT of help, and I had really planned on guiding, not helping every step. With two groups that would allow the older kids to do more complicated things. Something neat that I noticed? The older kids were more determined to re-create the cards I'd made, and the younger kids made what they felt like, decorating all 4 sides of the card, cutting things up, really just going to town. It reminded me of this quote by Pablo Picasso:

The older children get, the less they trust their creative impulses. I spent my high school years, after getting abysmal grades in Grade 8 art class, believing that I wasn't creative. That I wasn't an artist, because I couldn't perform the technical activities my art teacher had set out. I've spent the last dozen years unlearning that, and taking some joy in the fact that that same teacher would probably choke at the thought of me teaching other kids to create! 


JJ Bolton said...

I volunteer with my sons' art teacher every spring for a day-long, multi-station art fair for 1-8 graders, so I can totally relate! I second the idea of splitting them up by age groups. Or you can try using the older kids as helpers for the younger kids. That can be fun if the older kids are game.

I think you did an outstanding job trying to balance creativity with efficiency. I like that you gave the kids so many options! One of my kids is really into art, so art programs mean a lot to me! Kudos to you for being such a thoughtful teacher:)

Lindsey said...

How awesome that you took on this challenge! Great card ideas for the kids to model (or not :P). I may have to CASE the SU flower one myself!

Allison Rankin said...

OMG...are you nuts? I was just pondering if I could do this myself and thought that I would probably need to self-medicate first! I love the roses card...CAS and elegant too!

And I think kids as they get older don't necessarily lose their creative impulse (I have noticed this with C)...I think she just wants to perfect a technique she already knows. She is much more precise with her crafting tools and papers. So maybe they just wanted to make a quality product and knew they were more likely doing it if they followed your lead!

Marie said...

Kudos to you for teaching this next generation of paper crafters. Fantastic array of cards for them to make. I have some women who actually measure with a ruler to get the elements exactly like the sample. Love working with the creative young ones!

Jen W. said...

I tip my hat to you, Miss Jessi. Actually, I bow down in awe to you! A room full of kids in my care is just about the most terrifying thing I can imagine. I think kids are like animals - they smell my fear... You however, just go out there and rock their little lives! What an awesome selection of cards for them to create! A little something for everyone. And I too was scarred by art classes in school. I was thrilled to bits recently when my old art teacher actually bought some of my cards. Hah!

Lisa Arana said...

I agree with Jen, I am in awe that you would tackle such a thing. :) I think it is absolutely amazing that you do this. Funny how I hated jr. and sr. high art too and felt like I wasn't good enough. Art should be fun and celebrated. JMHO.

lostinpaper said...

You are AMAZE-ing! Doing something like this would totally freak me out... it sounds like everybody had so much fun! Well done GF!

walchowDesign said...

This is awesome that you could do this, Jessi! Love all the designs you prepared for the class and thanks for sharing all the tips! Shall consult you if I ever need to do this!!

Jenny said...

Oh my goodness I'm sat reading in awe of your dedication to teaching the kiddos card-making! I love the range of cards for them to copy/try....something for everyone as you say. I have no patience for working with children ( that's why I'm a vet nurse!)..... Love my own of course but they're just two from the mould :0)
Have to say I love the sheeps googly eyes....I bet he was a favourite with the younger kids :0)
Had to laugh about art classes...so many people have been there....art by its nature is a subjective area so why are people so judgemental!!!! I never took art at school!
Jenny x