Animated Birthday Card

People have been spending their time at home doing all kinds of things. Ian has made an animated birthday card. He’s made five so far.

Ian volunteers at the Methodist Church on Princes Avenue Open Doors sessions, he’s done it for 19 years. Here’s the story of his toys.

The Open Doors was for asylum seekers. Over the years it got bigger. That meant lots of food donations coming in from supermarkets etc. And clothing and furniture and toys. Over the years my role changed from carpenter putting up storage shelves for the food to eventually being the rubbish disposal man. Churches are not designed to cope with the enormous amounts of cardboard boxes, old clothing broken furniture old toys or toys where you did not know where they had been before being dumped on the church, so I removed it each week with an asylum seeker helper and we would get some money from the “cash 4 clothes” shops and then what they refused went to be recycled at the tip along with cardboard etc,

   Sometimes I could repair the furniture and toys. But many toys were stuck up the many trees and bushes in my garden to encourage the grandchildren to fly straight through the house to look for them and any new ones. That way they were not sat in front of electronic gadgetry. As the toys rotted and got bits removed for birds nests I removed them but before binning them took them to pieces and chucked out mouldering batteries and tested to see if they still worked.

   Over the years I collected these mechanisms and in lockdown not being able to shop for b’day cards I made ONE for our 7 year old. Before he got it on VE Day, the weekend before I showed my middle aged neighbours whereupon Leanne said “It’s my birthday then too, I want one.” Well, thinks I, can I knock out another one and the paint dry by Friday? Which I did and she was over the moon and showed it off up and down the road all day as most of us were in our front garden to celebrate VE Day. Both were clockwork cot lullaby devices. We were sitting with the neighbours opposite when Jessica laughingly with a sulk said she wanted one too. I found from her husband that 1st June was the day. So I found an electric innards and she got that one much to her surprise. I already was working on the one for  9 year old Poppy which she got last Saturday.

   Now I am in a position to show everyone else as the recipients had got them.

   The video one was some sort of monster with a little backpack which held 3 cookies of some sort and you pressed its belly and it went through all the different cycles you have seen including the one when it counts to 3 about these cookies. It was much bigger than what I extracted from it and I added the flag waving arm.  The hat is a coffee jar lid and the lips are from an Ovaltine lid ( very hard to cut to shape! Don’t attempt it.) The dress I had to make from one of my old shirts and it has a press  stud closure which I sewed on completely wrong! There is about a week’s work in it, but what fun! I even laughed out loud when I’d finished it and tried it out.

Ian’s animated birthday card

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