Thursday, 31 March 2022

We Can’t Keep Up!

Remember the birthday card I made for the Spurs supporter? I made one for the same customer's dad too. He loves fishing, tennis and whisky, his daughter told me. She also mentioned that he is a huge Zionist and asked me to include an Israeli flag somewhere on the card.
I showed my customer's dad wearing a bright red T-shirt (she mentioned that he likes to wear bright colours like yellow or red). He has a fishing rod, with a fish dangling from it, in one hand and a tennis racket in the other. A yellow tennis ball is flying off the racket.
Behind dad is the river he is fishing in. There are some reeds on the banks of the river and the Israeli flag stands in them! Finally, next to my customer's dad is a tumbler of his favourite tipple, whisky, along with a bottle of whisky too.
"We love you Dad, we can’t keep up!" was the greeting his daughter asked me to put on the front of the card. It does indeed sound like her dad is a busy man!

Monday, 28 March 2022

Jack's Album

Jack recently celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. His mum told me that his hobbies include reading, origami, Netflix and gaming. He also likes the fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons and practices Jiu-Jitsu.  However, Jack's Hanachat Tefillin ceremony, when a Jewish boy lays tefillin (phylacteries) for the first time in advance of his Bar Mitzvah, was coming up and Mum thought it would be nice to show him wearing tefillin on the front of his Bar Mitzvah album. The hobbies all went on the inside pages.
Jack's mum sent me a photo of the first time her son put on tefillin, the cubic black leather boxes containing Biblical verses, with leather straps, that Orthodox Jewish men wear on their head and their arm during weekday morning prayer. I carefully recreated the photo for the cover of his Bar Mitzvah album, adding some Jack playing cards, since the theme of the Bar Mitzvah celebration was deck of cards. Jack of clubs, spades, hearts and diamonds...
I then decorated five pages inside Jack's album, above. The first page had some books on it, to represent his love of reading. Then I cut out some tiny origami shapes, followed by a television with Netflix on the screen. Next I created a paper version of Jack's blue gi top which he wears for Jiu-Jitsu. His mum told me that he has a white belt. The word "gi" derives from "keikogi", which means training gear in Japanese. Keiko signifies "practice", while gi means "dress" or "clothes" (similar to the "ki" in kimono). Finally, I added the Dungeons & Dragons logo and some of the Dungeons & Dragons dice.
Jack's mum was very pleased with the album. "Thank you very much, it's beautiful" she wrote to me. Very often I end up squeezing a lot on the covers of my albums, at the request of the customer. It can look good but, in the case of this album, less is more. I like the simplicity of it being just the Bar Mitzvah boy and his tefillin against a bright blue background and a few playing cards.
Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

Thursday, 24 March 2022

A Spurs Supporter

A new customer asked me to make a birthday card for her husband who was turning 50. He loves Spurs, she told me, at the same time checking if I knew that Spurs are a football team. I did. He loves singing tefillot (prayers) and she asked if I could show her husband holding a siddur (a prayer book) and surrounded by musical notes. Finally, my customer mentioned that he loves meat, particularly steak and burgers and that kind of thing. She also wanted a big number 50 somewhere on the front of the card.
I showed my customer's husband wearing a 2021/22 Spurs shirt. He has a siddur in his hand and is surrounded by the requested music notes. Behind him I added the Spurs' club badge, which features a cockerel sitting on a football, and a big red number 50 to mark his age. Next to him is a burger and some steak.
My customer loved the card!