30 June 2013

Getting ready for the Festival

Help! We have no mascots and the Festival of Biodiversity is just two weeks away! Lots of kind hearted and talented people came together to fix this.
Over the weekend, the "soft toy sweat shop" was in full swing, turning out an amazing variety of one-of-a-kind creatures to be worn by volunteers at the Festival, like we did last year.


The room is packed with people and colourful materials. Here's November and her mum, Nor Aishah, Jane and Wei Ling.
Sean, Sabrina, Melissa, Pearlynn and Yin Xin figuring tricky features.
Melissa made a lovely sea turtle!
Real Men CAN sew!
Joelle is wearing her colourful sweater! Some of us are eyeing it, to see what mascots can be cut out of it. Also working hard were Pei Yan, Ley Kun and Abby.
Thanks to everyone who spent Saturday morning and afternoon, we have more than 50 mascots! All unique, cannot-buy-anywhere and made with love. Thanks also to everyone who brought food and snacks to keep us all going.
Besides making mascots, the volunteers also help to disseminate posters about the Festival. Here is Pei Yan with some to share at her school. Nor Aishah will also try to get them up at the libraries.
In the flurry of work, bits of colourful fluff accumulated on the floor and on our clothing!
On Sunday, a smaller team gathered to make MORE mascots! Thanks to Pei Yan, Ley Kun, November and her mum, Abby, Joelle and Ambert.
November's mum made two amazing 'sotong' that is anatomically correct. She explains that this is because she has prepared many many sotong for dinner!
Abby made a crocodile! Using the underside of the fluffy material!
We are all in awe of Ambert, who turned a simple sock into a wonderful frog!!
Abby made a 'moustache' to spice up our creatures. For example, Mr Turtle looks so much more handsome with a moustache.
Even the Fly gets more character with a moustache!
Pei Yan's Stonefish, however, doesn't look any happier with a moustache.
And the frazzled brittle star looks a little more serious with a moustache.
Ambert later made a tiny black top hat. Pei Yan's dugong does look more distinguished with hat and moustache!
Here's the wonderful assortment of creatures we made on Sunday.
Here's a look at some of the mascots we've already made: Mammals include a monkey (by Sabrina), dugong and dolphin (by Pei Yan), mouse (by Joelle), pangolin (by Sabrina and team), leopard cat (by Melissa) and some fat bats (by me).
We even have some birds: Owls and various birdies.
There's a bunch of snakes.
Reptiles are quite well represented by lots of turtles, a crocodile and some geckoes.
There is only one amphibian, so far, and it's the awesome frog (by Ambert) with fly.
Not too many fishes so far. Pei Yan made some toxic ones like the Blue-spotted fantail ray and Mr Stonefish complete with hollow cheeks. Wei Lin made a "Heart and Solefish". And November made some tiny pufferfishes.
Invertebrates are much more fun to make! So there are various anemones and anemone-like creatures.
Several feather stars, brittle stars and lots of sea stars.
Sea cucumbers are also well represented.
There are lots of molluscs: various snails including an awesome Bonnet snail (by Nor Aishah), a pair of awesome Giant clams (by Ambert), a slime trailing onch (by November), a heart cockle (by November's mum) and lots of limpets and slugs.
There are many cute octopuses, and amazingly done squid and cuttlefish!!
Also jellyfishes!
Bugs include a Giant Ladybug (by Sean of course), a Very Hairy Tarantula (also by Sean), a Very Large Dragonfly, and various caterpillars, butterflies.
In the 'Others' category is a tree with a birdie (by November), a sponge (by Joelle), paramecium (by Ley Kun) and barnacle (by Pei Yan).
Thanks to all who came to make the creatures. And special thanks to Pearlynn and Joelle for booking space for us to do this. And to Chay Hoon for making lots of eyeballs.

Next weekend, the mascot teams are gathering to make more mascots. We need to make enough for the 150 or so volunteers expected at the Festival of Biodiversity.

Come see us at the Festival! More details on the Festival website.
Date: 13 and 14 July 2013 (Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 10am to 10pm
Venue: VivoCity, Level 1, Central Court B and West Boulevard
Website and contact: http://www.nparks.gov.sg/festivalofbiodiversity/

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