12 Cards for 12 Occasions: A Big L.E.A.P. for Garden Home Seniors



Festive display of greeting cards made by senior participants in the Garden Home’s 2014 L.E.A.P. (Learning Elders Art Program) under the auspices of the PEI Senior Citizens’ Federation through funding from the PEI Department of Tourism and Culture, in cooperation with the PEI Council of the Arts.

The participants (14 regular) attended 12 weekly sessions to create 12 cards for 12 occasions.

The cards were displayed at an Open House Exhibit, where MLA Kathleen Casey handed out Certificates of Completion to the participants. Also in attendance was PEI Senior Citizens’ Federation Director Bill Oulton.

The experience was thoroughly enjoyable for the participants, as well as for myself! I would do participate in the LEAP program over and over again!

(The Garden Home is located on North River Road in Charlottetown)

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MAKING A CONNECTION: Cultures Connecting Through Culture


(also available at http://www.onrpei.ca)


The main staging room at Murphy’s Community Centre was set out with a dozen tables or thereabouts on the afternoon of Monday, November 7. Around 3 p.m., maybe even a little earlier, people began drifting in with boxes, bags, suitcases and other paraphernalia. No, they were not refugees. These people were artists and artisans who had recently arrived in PEI, the majority of them new to Canada as well. And the baggage? These contained works – the products of their creativity that they carefully and meticulously set up on the tables for display.


The event was the 2nd such networking event organized by Culture PEI and the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada, sponsored by the Murphy’s Community Centre. The first such event was held in 2010 and, following its success, the 2nd ever event was mounted this year, attracting several newcomers and representatives from various groups and galleries. Its purpose was to get business owners and managers to meet newcomer artists and artisans to see if they could do business together.


Several calling cards were exchanged, certainly some deals would have been made, and there was also the occasional purchase of products. As this was all going on, a few cultural numbers were staged to entertain visitors and exhibitors alike.

It was most certainly a helpful event, especially to newcomers who had absolutely no connections–or a very precious few—on the island. I personally would never have debuted as an artist had the cultural community in PEI not made it so easy for me to see my dream come to fruition.

What I would like to see, though, is more gallery owners or studio owners and managers or directors of places that would sell works made by newcomers present. I would have loved to have given out every single calling card I brought and maybe even made deals that evening—but that may be just me dreaming a little too much a little too soon.

I do know I’ve made a couple of contacts that seem really promising and hope to eventually follow up on those, but because there is no immediate promise of a solid sale, I know I still have to continue working at my day job (or night job, as the case may be) to support my art.

I would also have wanted an expo-type or fair-type of set-up that might have lasted over a weekend at least (so we could do it despite our day jobs), and we would have the opportunity to sell works as well. Nonetheless, I look forward to participating in more of these events, including craft fairs and such, with the fervent hope that, one day, my art will support me and I won’t need another job!

My table

Still more cans


I do enjoy prettying up the cans. Besides allowing me to be creative, it’s very relaxing–therapeutic, really.



This one (“Turquoise”) is now with Tina Inness.

"Turkish Delight"

“Turkish Delight”

I made “Turkish Delight” for Janine.

"Fisherman's Dream"

“Fisherman’s Dream”

I created “Fisherman’s Dream” for Vera.

"Pink Surprise"

“Pink Surprise”

“Pink Surprise” was a surprise for Rebecca, Vera’s daughter. Rebecca is a little darling and I just love her!



I call this one “Midnight”.



“Summer” is my cookie tin for homemade cookies and other occasional goodies.

"English Toffee"

“English Toffee”

"English Toffee"-angle 2

“English Toffee”-angle 2

"English Toffee" - angle 3

“English Toffee” – angle 3

I was looking for another can to pretty up and just emptied a can of—you guessed it, Nicky—English Toffee powder mix from Tim Horton’s! I thought it would be a pretty paintbrush bucket or some such handy container.


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Yellow and Green Cans


More cans I made for a couple more friends.

The green one is “Nicky” and the yellow one is “Courtney”.

Someone said I should keep them for myself because they’re just too pretty to give away and I spend so much time and effort on them.

I get really great pleasure from creating them, but  the greatest pleasure I get from making them is making them for friends to brighten up their day and know that they’re appreciated!

yellow can1 - "Courtney"


green can "Nicky"


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Red Can

red can 3


I decorated this can for a friend. I used beads, macaroni, buttons, and string.

I gave away another one, in purple, and forgot to take a picture before I gave it away.

Pictures are a nice way of keeping a record of things you’ve done, but too many times, the things we do aren’t recorded in any way.

Sometimes, that’s a terrible shame.