Thursday, April 12, 2012

Recycling Spotlight: How to make a birthday present

DIY gifts have gone a cycle in the past generation. In the olden days, I believe that all gifts were DIY. IN the Bagavatham, it states that when Baby Krishna was born, the gopis who came to exclaim at the baby brought beautiful gifts that they had made.

In western literature too, homemade gift giving was very pervasive. In Anne of green gables, for instance, people were giving each other casseroles, embroideries and baby clothes.

Then shops opened everywhere for everything and buying became a status symbol because it showed that you can spend money. Handmade gift giving became a looked down upon phenomenon, unless, ofcourse, you bought something that was handmade.

As birthday and other presents got purchased, soon homes got overwhelmed with things people didnt want, and things they definitely didnt need. Plastic toys, shape sorts, tea sets etc were all very good toys, but they lacked the charm of old world toys.

In the blogosphere, it seems to me that handmade is coming back. And for a number of previousbirthday parties, given enough party notice, i have switched my gifts from something bought to something handmade and, hopefully age appropriate.

For Ramya's birthday, the girls pitched in with enthusiasm. That is interesting, because the girls have two parties to attend to this month, Ramya's and Cai wen's. Cai Wen is one of Anjali's classmates from piano.

While talking about presents, I asked Anjali if she would like to make a present for Caiwen too. Only for Ramya, said Anjali and Sophia.

I am glad that they give their handmade efforts to the people they love the most.

Now for the present

The box itself is below. It is supposed to be a bag - handles missing still and to be done. I just finished it this morning, but Anjali already started the decoration process
This is what the inside looks like, giving you a clear idea of what it is made of
This is the doll that Sophia made for Ramya

THis is the doll that Anjali made. She refused to put eyes and nose and hair, asking me to pack a set of beads instead - "It is a puzzle mummy", she explained. "Ramya has to do it herself"

That is a nice gesture, though, knowing Anjali, I suspect that she might just have wanted to do something more interesting

Like this. What is it? On the outside, it looks like a notebook or an album
It is. But when you open it, it reveals itself for what it really is

"Ramya's art book"
And inside is a handmade birthday card from Anjali

"Happy Birtday too Ramya"
And a birthday card from Sophia, who, as we know likes to make three dimensional colalge constructions using about two tubefuls of glue

At the back are the compartments - to put in color pencils and markers
A couple of velcro joined tabs for hanging scotch tape
And a pouch for erasers and sharpeners
There you are: a portable art studio

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