This was the first year I decided to tackle the elusive 'Christmas Card'. I've made individual ones before for significant others and family before but had never branched out. This year, an idea came to me and I decided to run with it.
The concept: a quiet night in the museum. A tree stands out-of-place amongst the still forms. I have a peculiar love of taxidermy, dioramas and, as logic follows, Natural History Museums. I am not, however, a train-o-phile. That obsession must have skipped a generation.
A few folks (my mom, basically) thought I snapped a shot of a diorama at the AMNH and Photoshop'd in the tree. Here's some pictures to see what went in to my first official Christmas card and set the record straight...
The lions were bought at one of the only Toys 'R Us still in business. It took a whole day of driving around Brooklyn and Queens to find it (yes, I know... there's one in Times Square but I didn't want to trek all the way into Manhattan especially with the car).
I spent a long time at the Toys 'R Us deciding what animals to use. The lions came in a 'family pack' and the cub offered a nice pose in relation to the tree.
The Savannah tree was cut from a fallen branch pilfered off some church's yard in Red Bank, NJ. The tall grass, faux rocks and yellow 'earth' were purchased at various art/hobby shops.
The center-piece was bought from Ace Hardware through Amazon.com. For all my worrying that it wouldn't arrive in time it was the least stressful part of the project. It came already wired with lights and a battery pack, all I had to do was saw off some of the base to help it fit.
I cut and stained the wood and those pillars are a paper towel tube cut in half and painted. The floor texture and background 'painting' are images found off teh internets and printed at Staples.
And for anyone looking to build their own dioramas, I found this user's Youtube videos extremely helpful as is his website, www.stormthecastle.com.