My daughter’s birthday is just around the corner, and we’re making all the preparations for a Barbie-themed party. Party planning for girls of kindergarten age not being my specialty, my wife assigned me the task of building a Barbie toy box to be used as a photo booth.I love playing with cardboard, so this was a perfect task for me. In what was clearly a matter of fate, my neighbors had just bought a patio set and were discarding a huge cardboard box in their weekly trash pile. Upon closer look, it turned out to be three-ply cardboard. This is a cardboard aficionado’s dream come true! We’re talking cardboard that is quite possibly sturdier than the body of my compact car, and certainly far superior to the flimsy, run-of-the-mill cardboard that my son used to build this couch bridge.
Using two of my favorite tools, a jigsaw and a hot glue gun, I cut and refolded the box into a suitable shape and size. I finished it with some spray paint, taped some wrapping paper for the background, and cut out and glued some letters. Voila! An afternoon of work and now we’re open for business.
My daughter was thrilled to pick up a “unicorn” for a whopping fifty cents at a yard sale this weekend. Wasting no time, I felt it my fatherly duty to explain to my her that, without a horn, it was technically just a pretty white horse.
My daughter was having none of it. Meanwhile, I realized this to be a parenting blunder that could have easily been avoided if I’d just kept my stupid mouth shut. Next, just to seal my fate, I arranged a quick check of the Barbie of Swan Lake DVD cover, which further confirmed my daughter’s worst fear: Daddy was right. She had, in fact, bought just another pretty white horse.
There was no need to fear, however, because I’d already devised a plan to get myself out of this predicament and to make all parties happy. I had a stash of polymer clay sitting in the craft drawer for several months now, without an ounce inspiration for how to use it. A few globs of clay, a small screw, and fifteen minutes in the oven, and Amera was born (If my memory serves me right, the unicorn in the Barbie movie was named Lila. Not that it matters – I’m partial to Amera).