Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

(Click on any photo to see a larger image.)

No sooner does one holiday end than another begins, or so it seems, and the Dorchester Senior Center must stay in step with all of them. So it is with the Lunar New Year which falls this year on Monday, January 23rd. In the Chinese calendar this is the Year of the Dragon and, as with most Asian celebrations, prominently features red and gold as the main colors because they are considered to be of good luck. I love hanging ornaments and the senior center is well suited to them so I created this simple ornament for the first crafts project of the new year. Two old CDs form the base for the focal point of the ornament. One side features a gold foil circle with the Asian calligraphy symbol for "dragon" in bold red and black. The other side features a stamped image of a traditional Chinese dragon (see detail photo below). A tasseled ribbon featuring a large bead bearing the Chinese symbol for double happiness as well as a golden hanging loop are sandwiched between the two discs with foam tape. The most challenging part of the project was the kanji symbol. I had to find it online, then replicate it with a drawing program in a format that could be sent to my electronic cutter because there is no way I could have cut this out by hand.

Here's a tip regarding the gold foil paper I used behind the kanji symbol: it's pretty wrapping paper. Because foil paper tends to be very delicate, I glued text weight paper to the back to stabilize it before cutting.

The senior center has a sizable Asian membership of Chinese and Koreans. I have no doubt that they will enjoy making this project and will appreciate the acknowledgement of their cultural traditions.

Ballo ergo sum
- Gitana, the Creative Diva

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