How to Make a Contemporary Crechecomments (13) December 15th, 2008
Ten weeks ago, I threw down the gauntlet (well, gently placed it at your feet, dear reader) and invited you all to take up the mantle "client" and task me with a project of your own choosing. Ten weeks later, all I can say in the wake of your overwhelming response is, I need to be careful what I wish for.
To begin with, there seemed to be a great deal of interest in me re-creating works of architecture. I had suggestions for opera houses (Syndey, London, and Metropolitan). Landmarks came in second (the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal), followed by a hodgepodge of interesting objects (birdcages, prom dresses, a western saddle, and a child's mobile). Bringing up the rear, scenes from nature (snowflakes, waterfalls, deer, dogs, swans, flowers, and trees). A few contributors suggested lofty goals in support of causes (breast cancer awareness, pet adoption, and voting). Particularly difficult suggestions to create them of water also appeared (pools, ponds, streams, and waterfalls). Clearly there is no dearth of ideas out there among the CraftStylish community, and I thank everyone who participated for being so generous in sharing their thoughts with me.
Of all of the suggestions I received, however, three stood out as being particularly interesting to me:
For the sheer ironic whimsy of her idea, I have to applaud Asia_Tatiana for requesting I fabricate "Rock, Paper, Scissors" out of paper. The idea alone made me roar with delight and while I haven't yet attempted this project, I know I will one day soon if only for the pleasure of using scissors to create a pair of paper scissors!
For requesting something that might be suitable to send to her spouse who is serving in Iraq, I also have to thank kangsci. I cannot think of a better use for a craft than to carry a message of heartfelt thanks, relentless longing, and undying devotion to a loved one who is far away. This project has all of the properties I crave in a challenge: It would have to be beautiful, it would have to be able to be shipped (preferably flat-packed and, better still, sent in a simple envelope), it would have to be unexpected (not what one would imagine arriving in an envelope), and it should be something reminicient of home (especially since it would be arriving in the desert on the other side of the world during a time of year when so many families are drawing near to one another). I gave this a lot of thought but found that many of the ideas I struck upon were either patriotic in a predictable way or hopelessly frivolous.
Then, thanks to wildenfunky's suggestion of a nativity scene, I hit upon something I thought might work. Of course, I do not know if kangsci's spouse is Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or Agnostic, and so it was somewhat beyond my knowledge to know if such a gift from home would be appropriate. However, I decided to work from the position of what "I" would send, and this project definitely fits the bill.
The design solution I came up with could not be simpler. I created white paper cards in a variety of sizes (from 2-1/2 inches x 2-1/2 inches up to 9 inches x 6 inches) and cut very simple silhouettes out of each of them. Then, I've added a sheet of brightly colored paper to the inside of each card, resulting in a colorful, easy-to-make, and endlessly expandable collection of nativity components. I stopped with just seven animals, three people, a manger, and a star, but one could add any number of other beasts, the three kings, and flora such as palm trees or even a Bethlehem cityscape.
The project is so self-evidently simple as to not even require much of a tutorial beyond my suggestion that the animal shapes can easily be found online, in picture books, or can be drawn freehand by those crafters with an eye for such things and a steady hand.
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