Wednesday, 28 September 2011

More on Affordances..

In my endeavour to find more on affordances in relation to paper craft, I explored a few more avenues….
Remember back in my first blog where I told you that I had a history with paper?? Well, those links to history are important for me. They provide me with memories of time spent with my mum and how reengaging in paper craft after a long absence can evoke the same sense of achievement as it did when I was younger.
Aesthetics is an important aspect to paper craft. This is where I like to take time to pick out the best coloured paper or pattern, to blend ideas and recognise a beautiful finished end product. 
So it’s fair to say that paper craft has a sense of meaning for me, not just historically but spiritually. You might think spirituality is a funny thing to say about paper craft, so let me explain…  Crepeau (2007) defines spirituality as “the fundamental orientation of a person’s life; that which inspires and motivates that individual.” That last line of inspiring and motivating is how we as humans are guided to participate; we obviously don’t have the same spiritual needs or wants but it still allows for guidance to engage and to usually find peace and happiness in what we do. It influences performance and defines where and who we do it with, these also link back to history and evoking memories…
The physicality of paper craft is limited if I consider fitness, strength or flexibility however physical aspects also influences performance.  When engaging in paper craft, I consider the objects in my environment like the table I use or perhaps the built environment where I choose what room I do my craft in or even the sensory environment where I decide if I want to listen to the radio or watch television.

Crepeau, E.B.(2007). Analysing occupation and activity: a way of thinking about occupational performance. In E.B. Crepeau, S.E. Cohn & B.A.B. Schell (Eds.), Willard & Spackman’s occupational therapy (10e.d., pp. 189-1980). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkin.

Monday, 26 September 2011


According to Hagedorn (2000) affordances is “anything which the environment can offer the individual which is pertinent to the role challenge and can facilitate role competence”. This statement gives us an opportunity to explore the links that tie occupations together. Below I have set out three sections that were covered in class to examine affordances more closely.
Paper craft can be done alone or with others in a group session. There is no winner or loser in this activity.  The communication between instructor /student can be helpful while you are in a group setting as advice can be given as to how to approach a certain technique. Shared ideas can also be gained from other group members. Paper craft can be viewed in a gift giving capacity where the end product is gifted to someone to express a caring attitude, emotions and respect.
Connections or action properties are an indication of to do next in an activity. It guides us to enable completion of the task at hand (Butler, 2011).  I have found a poem called ‘Paper sniffer’ that I really enjoy and that might help you to understand connections a little bit better…..
I love the smell of paper
Its music to my nose
I sniff it at the store
And say, “I’ll take one of those!”
Some papers have a musty smell
While others smell like glue
Some papers have just one aroma
While others there are two
Some papers smell like flowers
With a fragrance that is sweet
While some smell like candy canes –
A pepperminty treat
If you’ve never noticed
Let me give you this advice –
Become a paper sniffer
Because paper smell really nice!
I have one question
To ask of you –
When you see paper
What do you do?
Do you hold it
And study the design
Or is your nose for paper
As sensitive as mine?
(Smith, 2005)
Burden – pleasure of activity, sacrificing homework
Joy – time spent with friends if done in group, completion of task, something for me, something for someone special
Good – learning a new technique, creating something, working with your hands, 
Bad – can be time wasting, expensive, decisions choosing type of paper, many uncompleted pieces.

Butler, M. (2011). Participation in Occupation II. Unpublished, cited with the permission of the author. Otago Polytechnic School of Occupational Therapy, Dunedin.

Hagedorn, R. (2000). Tools for practice in occupational therapy A structured approach to core skills and processes. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone.
Smith, T. (2005). A taste of paste: Paper sniffer. Mayfield: Bluegrass publishing

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Ergonomics you say...

What is ergonomics I hear you ask?   Well if I think back to high school, ergonomics back then was about comfortable chairs and wrist supports when typing. I was intrigued to discover that ergonomics is weaved throughout activity far more deeply than I imagined. For the purpose of this current blog I have given you a reference for what ergonomics actually is…..

Ergonomics is to “constantly make slight invisible adjustments to an activity to adapt to the needs of those taking part and ensure that it continues to work for its intended purpose” (Caulton and Dickson, 2007, p.93). To explain this further, the activity can be broken down into person, occupation and environment, by doing this you have the ability to view and adapt the task and yet it will still maintain its function.

Person - What I make depends on what I feel like at the time and if I am making it for myself or someone else. It reflects the time I have available and if I can do it mindfully.

Occupation – The type of paper craft I choose to do depend on many factors but mostly what texture paper I have, colours and what I am making.

Environment – The environment chosen can be anywhere but usually indoors. I however choose to do my craft at home on a hard surface like the kitchen table or coffee table. If these tables are messy I generally push everything to one side in to another messy pile and spread my activity out.

Next time you do an activity like the dishes or playing a game or working on a piece of craft work, try and think only of that instead of doing it on auto pilot….

Caulton, R. & Dickson, R.  (2007).  What’s going on? Finding an explanation for what we do.  In J. Creek & A. Lawson-Porter (Eds.), Contemporary issues in occupational therapy (pp. 87-114).  Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Paper Craft.....

So for the purpose of this paper (no pun intended) and blog I have chosen paper craft as the activity that I will be focusing on.
Firstly I would like everyone to know that I have a box of paper! Not just any old box of paper mind you but tissue paper, off cuts, wrapping paper, sparkly paper, thin paper, thick paper, coloured paper, patterned paper…. The list could go on so I will stop here as you probably get the message.
My fascination with paper started as a youngster when my mother worked in a printing and stationery shop. Twice a week I would go in after school and the men working the printers and guillotine out the back would save me the off cuts. I did everything with these bits of beautiful paper that they saved for me from making cards, cutting out shapes and making fans.

To help with the activity of paper craft it is a great idea to pick the type of paper you want to use for a task before you start and if you need glue, scissors, glitter or canvas etc to complete your desired goal.  The only thing that I believe will hinder your ability to do this mindfully is your imagination! 

This is an activity that can be done whenever you want! I prefer to do it at night before I got to bed usually so I don’t have to wait if the end product needs to dry or whatever…  but a word of warning: this activity is best suited indoors otherwise you will be chasing your paper down the road.

Another thing to be aware of is mindfulness and how doing this or not doing this can affect the outcome of the activity. Mindfulness is about focusing on the here and now.  So when I do paper craft I engage in it mindfully which leads me to acquire the desired outcome along with a sense of fulfilment.