January 22, 2018

A shift in gifting

Cheryl Dorschner demonstrates five steps to paper folding in preparation for cutting snowflakes. She says she hopes that hanging them in windows will act as a lure so this will be a snow-covered winter.

Julia Shaw of Williston cuts finely detailed paper snowflakes with her daughter, Simone Diaz, during Transition Town’s Create-A-Thon on Dec. 3 at Kismet Place in Blair Park.

Transition Town Williston’s first-ever community event – a “Create-A-Thon” of holiday gift-making – drew roughly 50 people earlier this month at the Kismet building in Blair Park.

Kids and adults went home with elaborate paper snowflakes, juggling balls, colorful paper chains and ornaments, greeting cards, pine-cone bird feeders and hand-sewn cloth bracelets, among other things. All materials were provided.

“Transition Town Williston’s intention was to create a space where people could gather, mingle and make heart-felt, handmade gifts upcycling familiar materials and create little waste,” said Marcy Kass, one of the group’s founders. “We wanted people to build connections by meeting neighbors and making something together.”

Transition Town Williston was founded about six months ago seeking to build community resilience, engaging at the local level. Early potluck meetings introduced interested people to organizers and accomplishments of other Vermont transition towns, including, Charlotte, Jericho, Montpelier and Manchester. Transition Town is a global grassroots movement of communities. Vermont has 11 transition towns in total.

Observer courtesy photo
Myles Penny, from Williston, makes a lard- and seed-covered pine cone for feeding wild birds.

The group’s next event is an afternoon of board games Jan. 28, 1-4 p.m. at the Kismet building in Blair Park.

“Transition is a worldwide informal network of local people, organizations, businesses and projects to face the challenges of our times with creativity, courage and a positive vision,” says Ruah Swennerfeldt an organizer of the Charlotte group and author of “Rising to the Challenge,” a book about transition towns. More information is available at transitionnetwork.org

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