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Behind the Scenes: Holiday Envoy Photo shoot

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When E4C’s communications team went on site to shoot the cover for the Holiday Envoy they met Elaine who was recently housed through the E4C’s Shelter Exit Team (S.E.T.). Elaine had been a resident at E4C’s Elizabeth House and with the assistance of S.E.T., she found housing which was affordable, centrally located and close to Norquest College where she is currently enrolled.

On the cover, we wanted to show off Elaine’s new home and brought her a house-warming gift to welcome her. Tipped off by the S.E.T. coordinator, we brought Elaine a collection of beading supplies so she could pick up her craft in her new home. We discovered Elaine has a tremendous talent for aboriginal beading techniques.  She uses different beading styles to create an array of items, which includes jewelry, small figures and even cell phone cases.

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Elaine discovered her talent after a short ½ hour beading lesson and grew her skills through her own research and trial and error. She knows how to work in all techniques, but favours the Brick Stitch and Embroidery Beading.

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Elaine used beading as a way to distance herself form alcohol and drug abuse. The craft took away anxiety and was a therapeutic and calming distraction from addiction. Beading taught her patience and skills that gave her the opportunity to share her beading knowledge by teaching people weekly at the Native Womens Resource Centre of Toronto.

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Now in her home since November, Elaine’s beading has taken a back burner to her studies at Norquest College, though she is using her holiday break to work on some projects. Once she completes her studies at Norquest, she plans to attend the Native Studies Program at the University of Alberta.