Become a Collection Partner

We invite schools, libraries, daycares, community centres and events to join our network of “collection stations”, where families can drop off kids’ art and contribute to our archival collection for preservation.

Participating organizations can have their logos and website links displayed on our website. Participation is free.

The program is as simple as A-B-C: a) Confirm participation with start and end dates; b) Get our art portfolio with flyers and send a confirmation photo; and c) Let us pick up artworks from portfolio, and you start refill cycle.

Save and share this program description sheet if you know other potential participants.

For now, the program is available in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). We hope to expand our reach as more funding becomes available.

If your school or community organization is interested or have any question, simply email us at info@cdic-cide.org.

Portfolio, flyers and holder. Source: CDIC-CIDE.org.

Thank you!

They are two simple words and they come from the bottom of our hearts, for our past current and future volunteers. It has been challenging times for everyone and for a young organization like ours over more than two years into the pandemic now. So we are grateful for the help we get and full of hope for the years to come.

We join thousands of community organizations in Canada in celebrating the National Volunteer Week. Volunteering is empathy in action and we are proudly putting our and all volunteers under the spotlight they so deserve. Together they contribute to a better world. We share with you the coloring page for kids, kindly produced by Volunteer Canada.

There is more. Each of you reading this post can also give five minutes of your time to help us out. It is as easy as answering our short Needs assessment for a database search tool questionnaire. It is anonymous and we are looking for as diverse perspectives as possible. Professionals in the humanities, education and arts professionals, parents, grand parents and everyone you can share the link with can answer. Your answers to the questionnaire will guide us in developing our online searchable catalogue. A mere five minutes will go a long way for us.

National Volunteer Week. Source: Volunteer Canada.

Beautiful pysanka

We pay tribute to an Ukrainian folk tradition that goes back thousands of years: the pysanka. Join us in encouraging everyone to learn about the beautifully dyed eggs, with bright geometric shapes, strong contrasts, fine motifs and familiar images.

Your homemade pysanka can be an Easter egg, but it does not have to. The tradition predates the arrival of Christianity in Ukraine. Floral, animal, agricultural and celestial imagery are all part of the long tradition. The pysanky are sometimes free of any figurative representation and simply made of symmetrical, repetitive lines and shapes. As long as you keep strong contrasts and symmetry in mind, your pysanka will shine. According to the best documented website, pysanky.info, the symbolism of the imagery varied greatly throughout the ages. So, the joy it brings is more important than matching any predetermined meanings. Feel free to personalize your pysanka and to include elements inspired by your immediate surroundings and experience. After all, bee wax and eggs predate humanity.

The world’s largest pysanka is nearly 40 meters high and located in Alberta, Canada. We found that out from the Parliament of Canada’s Library, where gorgeous wooden pysanky of great symbolic significance are preserved.

We have seen crafty pysanky made with regular crayons and food coloring found at home. The kistka is the special tool for applying hot wax between dips in liquid dye. For a list of supplies, see this how-to article on MyModernMet. It shows where to find an electrical kistka, and there is also a way to make your own. Bunny eggs are optional.

The fun challenge of continuous line drawing

It is the kind of thing that you cannot fully appreciate until you try it. One line or continuous line drawing is usually known for being at once simple in appearance and stylish. Hidden behind its projected ease and expressive flow, is the intense visualization of its author. Making a figurative drawing with only one line, without lifting the pen, pencil or marker off the page, brings many surprises, and helps to explore new creative horizons. It can be as rewarding as it is challenging.

For inspiration, discover the touching story of artist Dane Khy who found comfort in drawing, after the loss of his canine companion. On his WOL (With One Line) website, we see how his large scale murals integrate the continuous line approach and also how well the technique mixes with colors and portraiture.

One of the best how-to lessons and video, is by Matt Fussell, The Virtual Instructor. Matt breaks it all down into four simple rules and clear exercises. His advice to “embrace the imperfections” that bring character is right on.

Let’s end this post with the ultimate vintage, low tech continuous line drawings. Those are made with Etch A Sketch toy by American artist Jane Labowitch, a.k.a. PrincessEtch herself. See her playful, uplifting selection for sale on Etsy. She is also a prolific illustrator and web designer.

Etch A Sketch toy. By Spin Master. Source: SpinMaster.com, 8 March 2022.

Mandalaland

Explore mandalas and you will find one of the most versatile family craft activities you can think of. From a modest pencil circle from which you scribble spontaneously, to an intricate meticulously drawn and harmoniously colored mandala, you will find the one for you, by you. You might only want to pick one ready for coloring, or put together a few found objects, for an ephemeral mandala.

The tradition of the mandala has transcended cultures, spiritualities and now is even found in our pop consumer world. Profound and superficial all at once, that is how wide and deep the mandala’s reach is. There is no way around its mesmerizing beauty and the joy it brings. Individually or collectively, making mandalas is a way to deepen our sense of patience, connection, and introspection.

Read Joshua J. Mark‘s richly illustrated and well researched article on the subject, published by the much praised World History Encyclopedia. Several artists have made mandalas their trademark, so to speak. Thaneeya McArdle interviewed mandala artist Stephanie Smith for her Art is Fun blog. The perogies mandala looks savory. See also the artisan products by Jamie Lockeart. The meditation benches are awesome. As for “Mandalaland“. Well, it is a festive online mandala for coloring bookstore in Bogota, Columbia.

Kalachakra thangka painted in Sera Monastery, Tibet. Photo by Kosi Gramatikoff. Exploration of esoteric dreams of the Himalayas. Source: ResearchGate, 23 February, 2022.

Drawing child abuse

Just a year ago, Frontiers in Psychology journal published a revealing article by Limor Goldner, Rachel Lev-Wiesel and Bussakorn Binson: Perceptions of child abuse as manifested in drawings and narrations by children and adolescents. Their study will not fail to captivate school and family psychologists, art therapists and researchers in this domain.

In their preamble, the three scholars begin by reminding us that “child abuse is an underreported phenomenon despite its high global prevalence.” Studies such as theirs are pointing in the right direction, for clinicians certainly, but also for parents and citizens to become better equipped in recognizing signs of child abuse and making reporting more prevalent.

This is by no means a large scale study. A mere 97 Israeli children and adolescents aged 6–17 participated. The authors judiciously gathered and analyzed the narratives which accompanied the drawings. The perceptions of both physical and emotional or psychological abuses are under scrutiny. There are brief comments about the differences between children and parents in their perceptions of abuse.

The results become quite interesting with the presentation of dissociative techniques used by children in their drawings. This can be expressed through a discrepancy between the image and the narrative, or going as far as refusing to conform to the task at hand. Dissociation may result in a colorful image with no visible negative element. That is to say, an innocent looking drawing may in fact shield emotions difficult to express or provide a coping mechanism. This is a reminder that the simple act of drawing have an intrinsic powerful impact on our thoughts and emotions. The high prevalence of such mechanism found in the study is a lot to think about.

Perceptions of child abuse as manifested in drawings and narratives by children and adolescents. An example of drawing and narrative of parent-child abuse drawn by a child. ©2021 Goldner, Lev-Wiesel and Binson. Source: Frontiers in Psychology, 13 February 2022.

A clothing line starts here

Recent posts discussed miniature art and paper dolls. It seems fitting that we talk about clothing design that children and teenagers can indulge in.

We begin with two simple consumer products that will appeal to younger children and inspire them to create, express themselves and develop their dexterity. We found two companies that sell complete miniature kits. MasterMind Toys offers several kits including, clothing, knitting, tie dye, handbags and more. At Earth Song, you can buy a fashion design studio kit which includes a 30 cm mannequin.

There is also a lot of drawing and family fun to have with online seller Picture This Clothing. This company lets kids use their own images and turn them into wearable personalized items. Also worth a visit is DesignX. There, we find camps and courses that will appeal to children of all ages. Their captivating programs include textile design, toy design and upcycling. Have fun on the runway!

Collage in yellow. Yvon, c1965. Source: CDIC-CIDE.

Volunteer with us

Come help our cause

We are expanding our board and establishing a permanent committee structure. More committed individuals will be needed in the coming months and coming years. Please consider joining our ranks and submit your nomination or share this post with someone you think might be a good fit for our charitable organization. We are looking to put together four permanent committees, each requiring its own set of expertise and interest. For detailed committee descriptions and how to apply, see our Join in and volunteer page. The committees are…

Governance Committee

Community and Professional Outreach Committee

Fundraising Committee

Data Governance Committee

The not so flat world of paper dolls

We may be way beyond the golden age of paper dolls, but their enduring presence over centuries does not lie. They are fun, engaging for toddlers, and usually affordable for parents. Today, we owe their survival more to book publishers and artisans than toy makers. It can be tricky to navigate through what is on the market, if you are mindful of stereotypes, diversity and body image issues that can arise. In our opinion, Dansereau by Dominique Dansereau and Paper Thin Personas by Rachel Cohen offer the best commercial options.

Better yet, say Kelly Burstow of Be A Fun Mom, make your own, from family photos. Use your photo cutout to draw a silhouette and create a paper wardrobe. Drawing them is also so simple. Making a paper doll brings a fine opportunity to draw, cut and manipulate images and to stimulate imagination for family story telling.

There is of course the long history of paper dolls and a vast vintage market out there, for history buffs and collectors. Paper dolls and the fashion industry are inseparable. For this reason, like their 3D cousins, paper dolls too carry a long history of woman’s body representation and gender roles. For a brief women’s perspective on the history of this “innocent” toy, see this documented articles published in 2016 on the (American) National Women’s History Museum website.

On the contemporary arts scene for grownups, it is impossible to ignore the life size realistic works by New York artist October Lane. The Paper Doll Project makes you think and will serve as an excellent helper to parents with teens.

Clothing in color sample. Source: Dansereau.co, 23 Janurary 2022.

Hooray! Goodera!

We raise two thumbs up for Goodera who came up with a new sleek introductory video presenting our mission and Collection. Friends at Goodera are kindly watching over us, as difficult times drag on.

We are a cultural charity with a specific educational, archival mandate, so understandably our organization has not come out at the top of foundations or philanthropists’ list of priorities since the beginning of the pandemic. Getting the word out is important to us and we invite you to share this post as much as possible. Today may be a good day to make a donation, we thank you in advance for doing so.

As a global platform, Goodera facilitates corporate volunteering. Like other charities, the pandemic has prevented us to hold in-person events and meet our regional community directly. Goodera’s online global reach and technical expertise is a much appreciated support. On top of all they do, they have just launched their Karma App, in partnership with Zoom and you will find it at Zoom App Marketplace. The application lets people take ten minutes of their online meeting to make a group contribution to the cause of their choice.

An Introduction to Children’s Design International Collection. Production: Goodera. Source: CDIC-CIDE.
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