Friday, November 29, 2013

Ninjago Birthday Give-away Kit

Just recently, my elder son celebrated his 7th birthday. It was themed after his favorite Ninjago characters. I was able to come up with this semi-cloth-wrapped give-away kit with a ninja-ish ballpen-sword as accent.

The cloth part of the package, supposed to be evocative of the traditional Japanese wrapping called Furoshiki was designed to later double as ninja headband; it was an instant hit among his classmates...

...but the best part is, my son thought I was clever.

Ninjago Birthday Give-away Kit

I got lucky to have found this novelty item from a local store, not exactly the Ninjago weapon but did the job fairly well.
Wrapping the cloth is very simple but the idea is to make it really neat.

And they come in other Ninjago colors too.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Bead and Wire Mini-Christmas-Parol

For my part of the world, with no snowflakes or chilly winter, it is usually the warm-colored lights of the parol that ushers in the Christmas spirit as early as September.

A parol is a Christmas lantern ornament unique to the Philippines, it is dominated by a basic five-point star pattern and is usually lighted with bright mini-lights. In most cases, it is made up of bamboo sticks and Japanese paper or colored cellophanes. But nowadays, materials vary, along with the tweaks in the design.

 Essentially, the parol evokes the Star of Bethlehem that guided the path for the Magi to find and witness the birth of the Messiah. To Filipinos it is also a symbol of hope and radiance through the darkness.

How to Make a Bead and Wire Mini-Christmas-Parol

Materials to be used are: wire tools for cutting and twisting; assorted beads of your choice; and craft wire.

  1. Take an approximately 3" wire, put a bead in the middle whilst bending the wire slightly; this bead will be part of the star at the center of the parol.
  2. String two more beads through both ends of the wire.
  3. Twist the wire once or twice to steady the three beads.
  4. Push another bead, joining the bended wire as one.
  5. Add two or more beads, playing on the colors.
  6. Make four more sets of this to complete the parts of the five-pointed star.
  7. Take another piece of wire and string the five initial beads together to form the star at the center of the parol.
  8. Twist that wire at the back and cut excess.
  9. Add more elements like the outer circle and 'tails' depending on your design preference.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Creativity Quote of the Week and a Plea

This post is dedicated to the victims/survivors of  Super Typhoon Haiyan...

photo: "failure is not final..."
"Creativity is a shout of hope." ~ pixellbee

A personal note to my readers...

Growing up in a developing country where most I see from people's everyday life is a struggle to make both ends meet, creativity to me has grown to have a deep personal meaning. The desire to create something akin to a glimpse of paradise is to me an expression of hope for better things, for myself and for those close to me, a renouncement and a way out of mediocrity. When a person translates this hope to something that he then can hold in his hands, that is faith. When the mother of Moses made a basket to save her baby, that is faith and hope at work, that is creativity and God honored it.

Following the recent calamity that has befallen my nation, it took me a while to collect myself and return to this blog. In my projects I have purposely avoided using styrofoams as my little way of contributing to the welfare of our environment. On this note I would like  to feature an excerpt from the speech of Yeb Sano, lead negotiator for the Philippines at the opening of United Nations Climate Talk in Warsaw Poland held last November 11 as he linked the massive devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan to climate change:

"I speak for my delegation. But more than that, I speak for the countless people who will no longer be able to speak for themselves after perishing from the storm. I also speak for those who have been orphaned by this tragedy. I also speak for the people now racing against time to save survivors and alleviate the suffering of the people affected by the disaster.

We can take drastic action now to ensure that we prevent a future where super typhoons are a way of life. Because we refuse, as a nation, to accept a future where super typhoons like Haiyan become a fact of life. We refuse to accept that running away from storms, evacuating our families, suffering the devastation and misery, having to count our dead, become a way of life. We simply refuse to.

We must stop calling events like these as natural disasters. It is not natural when people continue to struggle to eradicate poverty and pursue development and gets battered by the onslaught of a monster storm now considered as the strongest storm ever to hit land. It is not natural when science already tells us that global warming will induce more intense storms. It is not natural when the human species has already profoundly changed the climate.

Disasters are never natural. They are the intersection of factors other than physical. They are the accumulation of the constant breach of economic, social, and environmental thresholds. Most of the time disasters is a result of inequity and the poorest people of the world are at greatest risk because of their vulnerability and decades of maldevelopment, which I must assert is connected to the kind of pursuit of economic growth that dominates the world; the same kind of pursuit of so-called economic growth and unsustainable consumption that has altered the climate system."

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