With an agreement that we would not be meeting in November, simply due to each of us having so much else on, this third Saturday in December saw the 4th meeting of what we small group of creative friends have called ‘The Art Shack’. Originally, and still, a Facebook group by that name, we now try to meet monthly for a little creative fun, a good catch up and some nice food.
This time we were back at the lovely home of our friend, Darren. With pastries, pies and nibbles, plus a very welcomed flow of coffee, Darren hosted a lovely day for those of us who could be there. In fact, on this occasion, with a Christmas Farmer’s Market in the village of Snape, here in Suffolk, Darren, Kevin and I decided to go to the Christmas market first and then get back to Darren’s in time for ‘The Art Shack’ activities.
The Christmas Farmer’s Market was held at Snape Maltings and there certainly were more than the usual number of visitors to the venue, all arriving at the same time. The market, itself, was inside a large marquee. Snape Maltings has a wonderful range of shops; artisan, art and crafts, food, stationery, galleries, cafes and so much more. All of this, set beside the beautiful River Alde.
Here are some photos from within Snape Maltings:
One of the things that was difficult, for me, was that I had to keep stopping to rest. I could only walk short distances and then my Parkinson’s symptoms would kick in and remind me that I live with limitations, these days.
In fact, I made a live video, while I was in the Christmas Farmer’s Market marquee and broadcast that to ‘Parkinson’s Road’; the Parkinson’s support group on Facebook that I co-facilitate. I had to explain to members of that group what I was experiencing. I was experiencing repeated bouts of ‘freezing’ and simply had to exit the marquee and stand somewhere less packed with people. Thankfully, Kevin noticed that I was in difficulty and that ‘freezing’ was happening and so he stood by me while it happened and then helped me to exit to a more comfortable place. His awareness helped me, hugely.
Here’s a video on the symptom of freezing, made by Parkinson’s UK. If you do not know how freezing works, take a look. It’s a short video but is very well done and informative. Please watch, it is just one minute long:
In spite of this, I still enjoyed my visit to the Christmas Farmer’s Market and we picked up a few nice things to add to our festive food stock.
From there, it was time to head to Darren’s and start doing all things creative. The aim of ‘The Art Shack’ is to just encourage each other to be creative. Whether it be art or crafts or even if someone wanted to bake while others are being arty and crafty, then it is all wonderful.
I had a couple of art projects on the go. One, was to paint a village scene and the other was to progress a drawing of our local pub. Kevin used his time for writing and Darren was dabbling with knitting. While some people could not make it and with a few having to cancel last minute, Helen and Kim soon arrived and Helen was making paper snowflake decorations while Kim was knitting a scarf.
Here’s a video on making paper snowflakes, if you would like to give it a try:
One of the benefits of getting friends to form a group like this is that it makes an extra social gathering happen, which is always good, but that it also keeps creativity on the agenda in our lives; not only the ongoing practice but the additional benefit of sharing ideas, teaching each other new things and progressing projects.
Here are some photos from our lovely afternoon together:
I would recommend that you and your friends create a monthly art and crafts group. Set up a Facebook group page so that you can share your ideas, progress and activities between meeting up. I’ve learnt so much in just four of these sessions and we have had so many wonderful chuckles, as well.
If you would like to ask questions about creating such a group or if you would like to share something about your own group, then please feel free to leave a comment, below.
(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2019.