Friday, 15 November 2013

Elephant No. 74: Bunting

Bunting is pretty popular right now, and when I saw some bunting-style banner kits in the dollar store a week ago, it occurred to me that it might be fun to try making some elephant bunting.

I decided not to buy the kits, because they were oddly expensive and nothing special. Instead, I bought two packages of sparkly 6 x 6-inch (15.25 x 15.25 cm) paper in white and mauve.

Because bunting usually has uniform pennant-shaped pieces, I made myself a template out of sturdy cardboard. I also punched guide holes in the spots I would need for stringing the pennants.

I cut out eight pennants, then tried to figure out how to "elephantize" them. My original idea was to punch elephant-shaped holes in them with a Martha Stewart punch a close friend had given me. Then I thought it might be nicer if I cut out elephants from the paper scraps and glued them to the pennants.

I decided to draw my own elephant shape, and created this template.

I cut out four elephants in each colour, making sure that half of them faced left, and half of them faced right.

Thinking that an elephant alone might look a bit plain, I cut out four stars in each colour with a star punch that I happened to have.

And, since I already had sparkly holes from making the pennants, I thought I might as well use those, too.

Using a heavy-bodied white glue, I glued everything down in a pattern I found pleasing, then placed all eight pennants under a heavy box to make sure everything had properly adhered.

I was originally going to use a white cotton ribbon to string everything together, but the piece I had was too short. Luckily, I had some purple satin ribbon that was perfect, so that's what I used.

Although this was a bit fiddly, it was relatively easy, once I decided on a design. And at three dollars for paper and maybe a dollar's worth of ribbon, it's an inexpensive way to create a rather nice party decoration.

Elephant Lore of the Day
Although the elephants don't get bunting for this particular party, they do get treats each March 13 for Thailand's  National Elephant Day. One of the largest celebrations occurs at the Maesa camp in Chiang Mai province, where more than 100 elephants gather for an elaborate feast of fresh fruit. The yearly all-you-can-eat buffet features tables piled high with bananas, watermelons, sugarcane, pineapples and more.

National Elephant Day banquet at Maesa Camp, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2012.
Photo: © AP

The elephants live with their mahouts at Maesa, which is home to one of the largest herds of elephants in northern Thailand. Maesa is actively involved in both conserving and breeding the animals, in an attempt to halt their precipitous decline. A sobering statistic: at the beginning of the twentieth century, there were around 100,000 elephants in Thailand; today there are a mere 3,000 or so left in the entire country, only half of which are wild.

Although Maesa's elephants go through about six tonnes of grass and sugarcane a day, the yearly elephant feast is a way of acknowledging the elephant's importance to Thailand's history and national consciousness.

Elephants chowing down at Maesa camp on National Elephant Day, 2012.
Photo: © EPA

To Support Elephant Welfare

No comments:

Post a Comment