25 June 2014

Cardboardia Rises Again

(Note: if you are looking for the *amazing* "Made in Cardboardia" from Russia, click HERE.)

This past Saturday I found myself headed to Kingston shortly after dawn with my husband Milé and a van full of cardboard. I had a mission:  to build a creative kingdom for kids, namely Cardboardia at Skeleton Park Arts Festival.

I've done Cardboardia a bunch of times: at Clay & Paper Theatre's Day of Delight, in our Art Barn for a very cool toddler's birthday, and at Skeleton Park last year. You can tell that I've got a cardboard project coming up when I start skulking around back alleys on recycling day.

The key to a successful Cardboardia, for me, is prepping lots of stuff in advance, and having some spectacular volunteers willing to show up early in the morning to help set it all up.

Cecilia and Elaine conjuring the very popular bat cave
Rogier and Rachael building the city
Although I got a bit fancy putting googly eyes on bats and bees, much of my advance painting used simple black outlines. I brought along tons of art supplies, and the whole cardboard village turned into one giant 3D colouring book.

Inside the bat cave
New this year, I also created an art gallery, so kids could sit and make whatever they wanted and hang it up.

This group of boys hung out for hours, building boats which became cars which became trains. They even built themselves a train station and made themselves drivers' licenses.

But the quote of the day goes to some anonymous little boy who asked Milé in all sincerity, "Do you know where the Queen of Cardboardia is?"

Here I am... with a cute little creeper behind me!
Speaking of Milé, he was doing some entertaining of his own as a "short order cook" on stilts.

I was really touched that Cardboardia was immortalized on this year's festival merch (illustration by Kevin Merritt).

Now for the challenge of re-training my brain to stop ogling piles of recycling... it's hard to resist a good pile of cardboard when all you see are the possibilities!

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