Friday, September 4, 2009

A Cultural Experience

How often have you had delicious ethnic food and yet not learned much about the culture from which it originated or even visited the country? We have so many festivals here in Toronto celebrating different cultures. I love learning about different cultures and just by making this card I learned a little bit about the Muslim culture. There's a romantic story that goes along with this so bear with me.

When we lived in San Diego, I worked with an Irish-Canadian-American who ended up marrying an Egyptian-American. They make one gorgeous couple! The Irish lad loved his fiancée so much that he converted to Islam and they ended up moving to Cairo for a year about the same time we moved back to Toronto. The guy came to visit us last month while on a road trip and took home two of my cards for his wife. Just last week she asked me to make a card celebrating the end of Ramadan.

I was thrilled and a little scared to make a card about something I didn't know anything about. I wanted to do it justice so I did some research on Ramadan. One of our friend's favourite images of the festival are the bright, colourful lanterns (called fanoos in Arabic) hung in the streets and that's what I decided to use for this card except for the fact that I didn't have any lantern images. I called on a graphic artist friend of mine to quickly draw up some for me. They were fun but hard to colour because of the small size I chose. The scene I imagined was a gorgeous sunset on the Nile with lanterns hanging in the foreground. Eid Mubarak is the greeting Muslims use during the festival meaning enjoy this blessed festival. I had a hard time figuring out what font to use. I ended up printing out a few different ones, placed them in position and photographed the card with my favourites until I decided on the one that looked the best. As it turns out, it was the more traditional looking font.

Sources: SU (whisper white), Halcraft (smooth white) & The Paper Company (kraft) cardstock; Provo Craft (coloured) paper; SU tearing edge; Joan Mann lanterns & sentiment; Gutermann thread; SU scallop oval & large oval punches; Copics; Atyou Spica glitter pen; SU crystal effects; Offray ribbons; Lewiscraft 24 gauge stainless steel wire; PSX Diamond Stickles; dimension squares

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