There is no doubt that Harmony at 154th has very talented and creative participants. We’ve seen all types of handmade creations made by our very own participants. These creations can be seen on our walls when you come to our center. Whatever you’re good at doing with your hands we want to see it. Two of the fan favorites here is crocheting and water painting. Here are a few tips on both types of arts that may help you become a better artisan.
- 1. Break for hand and finger stretching: Sometimes you’ll get in the groove and it will be 45 minutes of non-stop crochet. It’s usually paired with a show you may be watching, probably The Steve Wilkos Show or Caso Cerrado! I have found that you need to take quick breaks to stretch your hands and do some finger rolls, otherwise you can get a slight cramp. No fun! I highly suggest you take a mental note to stop for a bit and roll your wrists!
- 2. Watch your posture: As you crochet, you can sit in a sort of recliner chair with your feet propped up. But you may tend to slouch as you get going. Your head is down looking at your work, then up looking at the tv, and your shoulders are now turning into a hunchback! Again, same as #1 and hand stretching, watch for posture and how you’re sitting as you crochet. We don’t need hunchy crocheters out there!!
- 3. Tension matters: Where you position your yarn in your left hand matters. As you pull the yarn through each loop for each stitch with the right hand, you are holding on to the other end with your left hand. It matters how tight or loose you hold that yarn in your left hand and you need to have consistency. Otherwise you’ll get a piece that has 2 rows in the middle that are super tight or super stretched, depending on how tight or loose you were holding the yarn. You’ll start to get into a groove and it will become natural. But just watch for this, it can make your work come out wonky, even if you did the right number of stitches.
- 4. Slow and steady wins the race: Once you get started on a project, you get excited about how it will turn out and start to move too fast. Or perhaps you think you have to get through this project quick because you have 20 other projects you want to complete. You get into a rush. And because of that, you may start to get sloppy, getting into a groove and start going too fast. Try to stick to even, steady stitches, helping with your tension as well, mentioned above.
- 5. Keep a bag or basket by the couch: You should dedicate a crochet basket in your room. You can fill it with current projects, complete with yarn and hooks. You can even place pair of small scissors is in there. It’s better to keep everything in one spot instead of having everything scattered. The goal is to have it all in one handy spot.
- 1. Watercolors Dry Lighter: With watercolor paint, a color will always look more intense (stronger and darker) when it is wet. A color will always be lighter and paler when dry.
It’s something you get a feel for through practice and experience. If your paintings look insipid, make the colors more intense by using more paint and less water, or painting another layer of a color over the first.
- 2. Test a color out first: Watercolor paint dries very fast, so test a color on a scrap of paper or on the edge of your painting before using it. That way you’ll know whether it’s the hue and/or tone you’re after.
- 3. Don’t add too much water: Avoid inadvertently adding more water to your paint after you’ve washed your brush by dabbing the brush onto a dry cloth before putting it in the paint again. If you’ve loaded a brush with paint and decide you needed less paint, hold clean cloth at ferrule end of the brush hairs to soak up some of the excess. Doing it at this end helps keep the pigment at the tip of the brush.
- 4. Water color paint is transparent: Watercolor paint is transparent. You can see through the layers of color you’ve painted, making it near impossible to hide mistakes. Don’t fight against this, but embrace it and work with it.
- 5. Use a decent watercolor brush: Rather have just one, good brush than a handful of cheap ones that splay out and drop hairs. It’ll save you a lot of frustration. A good brush retains its shape so you can get a very fine brush mark from the point; it holds a good quantity of paint so you need to reload it less often.
I hope this has been helpful to some of you. The best tip of them all is “Practice makes perfect.” Come practice with us here at Harmony at 154th we have everything you need here. All you need is your hands. Call us today for a free one day pass to our center. We provide more than just crocheting and water painting. We also offer other activities and nutritious breakfasts and lunches at no cost to you.
At Harmony Social Adult Day Care, we believe everyone’s health is important, which is why we have all of our Certified Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, and staff trained efficiently, so that you or your loved ones are getting the right health professionals providing safe care at our facility. If you or someone you know is having difficulty with activities of daily living due to illness, please feel free to reach out to us for a free consultation at 718-585-5440. Or you can visit our website at www.harmonyadultdaycare.com