Making Balsam Sachets and Surprise Drawings At The Mansion

Claudia with her Sachet and surprise drawing.

We made Balsam Sachets at The Mansion today.

I sewed up a bunch of little muslin bags then stuck a piece of white matboard in each one to make the fabric easier to draw on and so the marker wouldn’t bleed through to the other side of the bag. I made an example of one with a little tree on one side and a design on the other just to give everyone an idea of what they could do.

The surprise came when Claudia, who was the first to finish her tree, pulled out the piece of mat board and on it was the residue of the drawing she had done on the fabric. It looked so pretty, that she and Peg and Debbie each signed their name to their new drawings and had a  small piece of art to go with their sachet.

As each person finished her drawing I helped them fill the little bag with dried balsam and tie it with a piece of red yarn.

Debbie with her Sachet

Debbie asked me to make sure I put her photo up on Facebook so her daughter would see it.

Peg signed her surprise drawing and added a little bit of sunshine to it too.


Ruth came to the class late, she was sitting at the piano, thinking about what music she wanted to play.  Jon wrote about her and her piano playing on his blog yesterday as a small and beautiful miracle. For years no one even knew she could play the piano. Ruth got right to work once she got to the activities room and made two sachets.  One for her and one for her sister.

Nancy and Emily

Emily, the new Activities Director helped Nancy make her sachet. Nancy spends most of her time outside in the nice weather, but now that it’s cold out, she’s joining the classes again.  It’s good to have her back.

I’m back on a regular schedule with my Mansion art classes.  I missed a couple of months when Jon had surgery on his foot and The Mansion was hiring the new Activities Director.  When I go back in January we’ll pick up where we left off making illustrations for the short story some of the residents wrote over the summer.  We have just one more illustration to go then we’ll try to get it printed up.

I missed being at The Mansion, seeing the people I’ve gotten to know.  I always feel so good after teaching a class there.  Not just because it feels good to do good, but because I genuinely enjoy the company of the people who come to my classes. We often find something to talk about.  But even if there isn’t much conversation working to accomplish something together is another kind of communication that connects us in a certain way.

I’m grateful I get to be a part of it all.

One thought on “Making Balsam Sachets and Surprise Drawings At The Mansion

  1. Dear Maria, I am so touched by all of what you and Jon do at the Mansion and Bishop Magin High school. I wrote Jon too. Just want to wish you both a Merry Christmas and for you to enjoy your stay at the Inn.

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