Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Stork //De Ooievaar

In The Netherlands there is practically no baby born and welcomed into a new home without a wooden Stork or other type of announcement, sign or figure in the front yard.

People have been looking for creative alternatives. We've seen the Disney look-a-likes, and now we see the more showy inflatable babies you can rent and place in the front yard. Personally I like the tradition of the stork. But I have never seen an actual realistic looking stork anywhere. Of course I see why. Not everyone can draw one on a wooden panel and paint it. You usually see abstract versions of the stork. I think the stork can be stylish too!

I would like to make one everyone can use! I asked my sister-in-law who is expecting her first child in December if she and her husband had plans to make a sign.

If grandpa was already in the shed painting and sawing a sign that would be wonderful and I would leave it at that. I have seen gardens stuffed with signs of all of Disney's characters and it didn't look swell I can tell you that. You can see the creative wars of family members making the biggest & bestest. "But," my sister-in-law continued, "we don't have a front yard, so I don't know where to place it anyway." Ahah! I'd like to solve that problem too.

I first thought I was going to make some sort of window sticker. But then challenges arose on how to print such a large white bird and I saw limitations to cut the sticker smoothly.Hmmm. Then the charm of making something yourself by your family members or by the future dad came back to mind. That is lovely.

So it had to become a DIY kit. My love for textiles combined with this idea lead to me making the stork into a banner you can hang in front of your window. I love the idea of the mom-to-be or grandma-to-be sewing this banner, and making it with some basic materials. You can hang it in front of the window when the baby is just born or even outside. You will be able to write the name on the banner or sew it on the banner with felt letters or something.

I am thinking about an alternative that is more suitable for grandfathers perhaps, or just people with front yards. I want to have a stork image you can paste on a piece of wood and place in your front yard. Or you can secure it on the wall. It has to be big, but classy, and new!

So now I had to draw the bird! I first drew a sketch; I know, this always looks a bit daft.

Then some basic shadows and the eye...
Then some feathers....
And then I got feedback from Martijn that the eye was a bit scary, and I softened it a bit as you can see in the final version above. And you can see the legs are now straight. It has to be cut out later, and if that becomes too difficult, the grandparents will go crazy.
The first samples for the DIY kits are being printed as we speak!

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