My Material Life

Tissue Paper Angel’s Wings

I got this gift to its recipient just in the nick of time, January 6, the last of the twelve days of Christmas.  (I take the long view of Christmas to ease the pressure and lengthen the enjoyment.)  It was an angel-themed gift that I packaged in a nice glossy white gift box from the Container Store.  I hoped that surface would show off a tissue paper decoration well.  I love working with tissue paper – either bought or scavenged.

I used my nativity angel, Celia (my mother’s name), as a model for the wings.  Once I sketched and cut a shape that I liked from plain paper, I traced that template on a sheet of translucent paper with a pencil – something like vellum works well for this.  Best to make your tracing line on the back of your translucent paper, so you’ll be able to see it after you apply your tissue paper.  Then I cut strips of paper that gave an ethereal feel (white, both sides of a gold tissue and a light aqua that I’d saved from a store purchase) in short strips.  Next I used a brush to apply diluted white glue to my translucent paper and then I placed my tissue strips on top of the glue.  This is very much like making a tissue paper candle holder.  Once I covered all of the wing area with tissue, I brushed it again with my diluted glue and set the paper to dry.

When the glue dried, I cut out the wings and applied more of my diluted white glue to the back of them.  Then I placed the wings glue side down on top of the box and topped the whole thing off with a heavy stack of books to make my wings lay flat.  Once flat, I placed a piece of wax paper on top of my wings and used my fingers on top of the wax paper to press out excess glue, bubbles, etc.  The nice thing about the glossy surface of the box is that you can use a damp paper towel on it to remove any wayward glue.

In other news, I happened upon this scene outside of my local Target yesterday.

This is the former Century 25 theatre, most recently known as the Retrodome.  By the time I finished my Target shopping, the whole dome was down.  Funny how it takes such a short time to demolish what probably took a long time to build and occupied this spot for so many years.  There were a number of us taking photos with our phones in the parking lot.  One lady commented on the sadness that everything must change.  I certainly get that and goodness knows we have a real dearth of interesting architecture and/or landmarks where I live, but the older I get, the more accepting I am that things just have to keep on changing.  Haven’t you ever been to a restaurant that has been around forever and though you’re glad it’s still in existence (the familiar is such a comfort), you know that the best of it was in the past?  Well, maybe that’s the way it is with these domes.  Maybe there will be something more beautiful, more useful to the location (now that the Retrodome is gone) to replace them?  Unfortunately, experience tells us this isn’t very likely.  But we can hope, right?  If we could grow old believing that the best is yet to be then the changes wouldn’t seem so threatening, would they?

There is a Starbucks on DeAnza Boulevard that sits on a space that used to be occupied by a Japanese bonsai nursery.  I’m going to have to take a picture of it because even though that nursery was replaced by yet another Starbucks, the new building design actually honors the former bonsai nursery.  You’ll see what I mean when I show you.  Maybe the domes could be honored in the same way?  You know what I’m doing now?  I’m stalling on putting away my Christmas decorations!  Say, how about a nice cat picture?


Isn’t he adorable?

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