Sorry things have been quiet this past week on my Facebook and Twitter. August marks the first anniversary of Letsu Go!, and I was finishing up a 6.5 foot surprise for you … the Letsu Go! kazari (decoration) for the 2nd Annual
The opening ceremony is today, August 13, at 5pm outside the Japanese American National Museum and MOCA in Little Tokyo, and it’s just one of over 200 kazari that’ll be on display through this Monday as part of
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the festival, it’s based on a folk tale about two celestial lovers, banished from seeing each other, whose wishes come true when they’re allowed to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. People in Japan celebrate this “star festival” by making paper decorations to wish for various things.
Last year, Letsu Go! kicked off with a video of the festival, and I wanted to come full circle with my own tanabata kazari to thank all of you for your readership and to wish you good luck in the next year. Though they’re traditionally made of special paper called washi, the Letsu Go! decoration is made of recyclables and well, trash, as a way to promote recycling and repurposing and to act as sort of a three-dimensional pep talk to say that the resources you need to make something awesome are right at your fingertips … now letsu go out and do it!
At the Little Tokyo Koban and Visitor’s Center, I picked up a kit that served at the skeleton for the decoration:
The folks there were very generous with their time, teaching me how to connect it all together and how to make the flowers that are clustered on the top “ball” portion:
See the bits of green on the brown flowers? Those are sliced up plastic shopping bags from Fresh & Easy! The white flowers are made of bags from everywhere in-between JCPenny and Banana Republic, but mostly from Mitsuwa and Albertsons.
Below that is the ring on which I attached paper chains:
Let’s just say I wasn’t the only one going crazy with more than 1,000 individual links rustling about the house. If you’re able to see it in person, look out for the red stripes from a Fosselman’s Ice Cream “keep it cool” paper bag, magenta and dark blue from The Container Store, or a rainbow of colors from a Nordstrom’s anniversary sale.
To make the chains more easy on the eye to focus on, and to give the kazari a little sparkle, the inside of the ring has a wall of long streamers made of snack wrappers with their silver-linings facing outward. Here’s the view if you were to stand underneath it:
And here’s the finished piece of recycled art I dropped off yesterday afternoon:
I snuck in as many sevens as I could in the patten, like the seven individual flowers that make up each larger flower and the seven rows of the paper chain checkerboard. Coincidentally, I used up about seven rolls of double-stick tape!
Please come out to the Tanabata Festival! Thanks again for following Letsu Go!
P.S. My hands. They need a massage. I can barely type!