Handmade with Love

By Abigail Janzen

Has the increased commercialization of a certain holiday been getting you down? Right after Christmas I was already being bombarded with overflowing ads (in my already broken mailbox) of candies and gifts that I just had to buy in order to make friends, family or a significant other feel loved this month.

Just the thought of entering a big-box store to hand over my money for a “gift” that has been mass produced and will likely be forgotten or broken within the year (planned obsolescence) can be depressing.

I find that making or buying handmade gifts is much more rewarding for all parties. In this way, I am supporting myself and/or other local artisan vendors in my own community. We build each other up by purchasing from each other, referring/recommending to others and sharing our skills through demos and workshops.

You can be sure that human rights are respected in the making of the products and are more ecologically sound than mass-produced “gifts.” When buying handmade you are supporting an individual who has put positive energy, creativity and love into the product. The best part is that the receiver of the gift will feel this energy! Handmade is the essence of connecting to the real world and to real individuals who are passionate about their work.

Reconsider contributing to the already overflowing pockets of corporations. Feel good about your hard-earned funds being part of an economic model that truly rewards hard work, talent and uniqueness. Buying and giving handmade is, at heart, a loving act.

So here is my gift to you—skill sharing!

For this art craft, I am recycling and up-cycling materials and items that I already have on hand. The Loteria tablet cards are from numerous games played during Christmas. The frame was picked up months ago at a yard sale and I spray-painted it red. I have a massive amount of cardboard and paper just waiting to be molded into unique pieces. Enjoy!

8” × 10” frame (glass removed) Loteria game tablet cards Cardboard Newspaper Red crepe paper Glue gun Scissors X-Acto knife Marker/pen
8” × 10” frame (glass removed)
Loteria game tablet cards
Cardboard
Newspaper
Red crepe paper
Glue gun
Scissors
X-Acto knife
Marker/pen
Using scissors, cut out the “corazón” from the photocopy and trace it onto the cardboard. You may also draw it free hand or get a local artist to draw one out for you (make sure to tip!). Cut out the “corazón” using an X-Acto knife.
Using scissors, cut out the “corazón” from
the photocopy and trace it onto the cardboard.
You may also draw it free hand or
get a local artist to draw one out for you
(make sure to tip!). Cut out the “corazón”
using an X-Acto knife.
Take a piece of newspaper and crumple it up to fit on top of the cardboard “corazón.” Glue the newspaper to the cardboard.
Take a piece of newspaper and crumple
it up to fit on top of the cardboard
“corazón.” Glue the newspaper to the
cardboard.
Wrap the “corazón” with red crepe paper, gluing the edges to the back. Crepe paper is pliable and can stretch over the newspaper. Add “arteries” and “veins” using a glue gun drawing it out with the glue on top of the “corazón.” Use the photocopy as a reference, or again call up your artsy friend. Sprinkling the glue with glitter before it dries is optional; otherwise, use a marker to color in the details.
Wrap the “corazón” with red crepe paper, gluing the edges to the back. Crepe paper is pliable and can stretch over the newspaper. Add “arteries” and “veins” using a glue gun drawing it out with the glue on top of the “corazón.” Use the photocopy as a reference, or again call up your artsy friend. Sprinkling the glue with glitter before it dries is optional; otherwise, use a marker to color in the details.
Using leftover cardboard, make a spacer (size of a matchbox) to place on the back of the “corazón.” This will elevate it and give it a “floating” effect.
Using leftover cardboard, make a
spacer (size of a matchbox) to place
on the back of the “corazón.” This will
elevate it and give it a “floating” effect.
Prepare the frame by gluing a Loteria tablet card to the back. You may need to cut it to fit properly. Glue the “corazón” to the middle of the frame. Done.
Prepare the frame by gluing a Loteria
tablet card to the back. You may need to
cut it to fit properly. Glue the “corazón”
to the middle of the frame. Done.

 

*****

Abigail Janzen is a founding member of Dulce Upfront, a community multimedia arts collective. She is a fulltime artist and hosts workshops. Contact her at abby.dulceupfront@gmail.com.

 

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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