Yesterday was Jon’s 30th birthday and I wanted to make it special even though our cash flow is quite low at this time. Since Jon grew up with playing Nintendo and thinks of that time in his life so fondly, I decided to do an “old school” Nintendo theme for the occasion.
It all started last year when I made him a coin purse featuring a Mario star. He liked the purse, but it wasn’t quite long enough to hold his credit card and ID, so he suggested that I make him a new one and even drew out the design he wanted; a ruby from Legend of Zelda. So the first thing I did to prepare for his birthday this year was make the coin purse that he had requested so long ago. I used some bamboo yarn and the tapestry crochet technique to execute the design.
Looking around my studio, I brainstormed about what else I could make for him using materials I already had on hand. A couple of weeks ago I found someone’s stash of wool crewel yarn in awesome 7os colors at a thrift store. I also had a bunch of plastic needle point canvas scraps given to me by my Grandma Virgie a few years ago. So I put two and two together and came up with making….you guessed it; coasters! (Jon, however, has declared these babies too precious to set a coffee cup and wants to have them framed.)
While looking online for source images to use for the coasters I came across some images of Mario made out of Skittles. That’s when I got the idea to put a design on Jon’s cake using M&M minis. The design fit really well on the 8″ cake. The side of the cake is a play on the phrase “1 up.” In case you’re wondering, no, M&Ms do not come in packages of single colors, you have to sort them yourself. It actually didn’t take that long to segregate the entire bag, then once I was done I played around with which image I wanted to use.
Along with the change purse and coasters, I gave Jon some Burt’s Bees Saving cream and deodorant. The only thing left to do now was wrap it all up and make a card. Again I looked around my studio and found an oatmeal canister we had recently emptied. I removed the label and replaced it with some white paper, then used a glue stick to paste on more pixellated Nintendo images.
On the card I did a line drawing of an old school Nintendo controller. (Incidentally, when I used to work as a caricature artist and some kid wanted to be drawn playing a video game, I would always draw them with one of these controllers, as I never really liked video games but used to play the original Nintendo once in a while with my older brother.) The inside of the card reads, “Jon, you always know how to push my buttons.”
Jon, I hope your birthday was a memorable one!
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