About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.

 

He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 

 

The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.

 

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Zentangling



Tim Nicholls, a friend and colleague, had been to a 'Zentangling' training event this week, so he bought the concept to our 'CST Friendship Group', for us to try out the technique.


It sounded as if it might be complicated, but essentially it is just doodling with a purpose. It is a recognised mindfulness technique and can be used to support relaxation and well-being. Especially if coupled with some meditative music - link to Spotify playlist here - https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0tJrTIRyHhLVUMomq1I6Ib?si=b1tGS6KjQKybzQlcOwbnQA


www.zentangle.com describe the 'Eight Steps Of The Zentangle Method' as follows ...



The Eight Steps of the Zentangle Method


Step 01 – Gratitude and Appreciation

Get comfortable, take a few deep breaths and feel gratitude and appreciation – for this beautiful paper, for these wonderful tools, for this opportunity to create something beautiful.


Step 02 – Corner Dots

We teach beginning Zentangle Method with beautiful museum grade cotton paper, 3.5 inches (89 mm) square. To answer a familiar question of what to put on this beautiful paper, place a light pencil dot in each corner, about a pen's width from the edges. Now it’s no longer a blank piece of paper.


Step 03 – Border

Connect those dots with a light pencil line, straight or curvy, to create a square. This is your border.


Step 04 – String

Inside the border, draw a light pencil line or lines to make what we call a "string." The string separates your tile into sections, in which you draw your tangles. A string can be any shape. It may be a curvy line that touches the edge of the border now and then, or series of straight lines that go from one side of the border to the next.


Step 05 – Tangle

A tangle is a predefined sequence of simple strokes that make up a pattern. Draw your tangles in pen inside (usually) the pencil strings and borders. Tangle is both noun and verb. Just as you dance a dance, you tangle your tangles. Draw your tangles with deliberate strokes. Don't worry about what it's going to look like. Just focus on each stroke of the pen as you make it. Trust that you'll know what to do next when the time to do it comes. There is no up or down to Zentangle art so feel free to rotate your tile in any direction that is most comfortable for your hand as you draw.


Step 06 – Shade

Add shades of gray with a graphite pencil to bring contrast and dimension to your tile. The black and white two-dimensional tangles transform through shading and appear three-dimensional. You can also use a tortillion (a paper blending stump) to soften and blend the graphite.


Step 07 – Initial and Sign

This is art you created. You should sign it. Put your initials on the front (many people create a unique monogram or chop for this step). On the back, place your name, date, comments and observations.


Step 08 – Appreciate

Hold your tile at arm’s length. Turn it this way and that. Appreciate what you just created.



We added a 9th Step - Use colour

And 10th Step - Write a positive message of affirmation under each Zentangle



If you want to know more, the Zentangling website describes more advanced techniques and also publicises training courses and markets books on the method.


There are also loads of Zentangling videos on YouTube to look at, which give ideas for your own designs. It seems important that the doodles are contained within squares of about 4 inches and the patterns are somewhat repetitive. Aside from that there are no real rules. Adding colour and words, as we did, can increase the creative opportunities.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBNUnFZYO7s



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