Monday, December 03, 2012



It was my birthday recently and Sam gave me this fantastic card. I love it and I have to share it!

 Hand Made card from Kenya

This is by far the best 'thing' I've been given for ages! It's like a fusion of stuff that I really get a kick out of!

  • Hand made paper
  • Bicycle theme
  • Recycled materials
  • Fair trade
When I opened my card I was besotted with it! The texture of the paper, the delightful image of a couple of figures riding on a tandem bicycle, copper wire (I don't know why I just like copper... it's a beautiful metal)
Stuff like this just sends me off into some kind of romantic ecstasy! Why? I dunno. I guess I suffer from a kind of phobia of being surrounded by 'Fake plastic trees'! (like in the Radio Head song)
If you've seen the film Soilent Green and you remember the scene where  detective Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) tastes  a tea spoon of 'real' strawberry jam then you can imagine the experience.

Handmade paper - When I worked at the University Library I often felt like I was wasting away, stuck inside, ordering stock, doing library stuff which I'd half trained for but was never really interested in. It got pretty tedious! But once a quarter, I think, a copy of the Hand Papermaking journal would  arrive. It had fascinating stories from around the world about people who make paper. It's an art! The thing I liked best though was that the journal always came with samples of the paper. They were all unique. All had different qualities, some made from rice husks, some from elephant poo, seriously you can make paper from all kinds of plant fibre and the results can be awesome! I would really like to make my own paper. I've had a few goes at it with mediocre results but one day I will have the time and I will learn.

Bicycles - No need to explain this one! The other gifts I got for my birthday were a copy of the Save the Children book titled The Bicycle and a Bike Side T-Shirt from New Internationalis magazine... Here's a quote from the book:
One of the most important days of my life was when I learned to ride a bicycle   - Michael Palin
 Recycled materials -  This is just one of those things that I've grown up with. I don't know how but it goes beyond not wanting to waste anything. I actually get a kick out of reusing or recycling stuff. I love to see things turned from scrap into something useful and if I can do it myself I feel like the king of the world. Some possible reasons for this obsession might be:
  • Watching the 'Wombles' on TV as a kid
  • Wearing mostly hand-me-down clothes for most of my youth. Most of my jeans had been patched so many times the legs were too stiff to bend properly.
  • Not having a bunch of money to by new things whenever I want them
  • Being a little treasure hunter who'd rather find what I need than buy it
  • Being too tight to actually buy new stuff even if I had the money
Fair Trade - Because I hate bullies and greedy bastards. And I foolishly grew up believing that as an Ausie it was my duty to demand that everyone should get a fair go... I think that little myth was a bit like Australia's National Anthem... If you look more deeply into it you'll discover that it wasn't meant to apply to everyone.     ;) Check it out!

Anyway back to the card. It was produced by a group called Kick Trading from Kenya and she ordered it from the New Internationalist Magazine HERE.
I have always hated greetings cards. They seem to be a huge waste of money, but according to cultural protocol a necessary purchase if you want to keep your friends and relatives happy, well at least my mum is always happy if I can say "Yes I bought them a card!". These cards cost not much more than your average piece of cliche junk from the newsagent. I might even willingly buy a batch.

1 comment:

Chandra said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

That's a beautiful card.
Like you, I also don't like store-bought cards, for a variety of reasons. I try to make some using the photos I have taken, for I am no good at assembling things in an artistic manner like Sam.

Have a Nice Day!

Peace :)