I have very fond memories as a small child of being fascinated with a card game I would play with my sisters and my grandparents. The game was a version of the card game Memory. Each card had a different animal that corresponded with the Alphabet. The cards were worn, probably well loved by my father and his brothers. At this time in my life I was obsessed with animals and I remember being perfectly entertained with just studying each card in front of me--I could care less about the game; it was the images that captivated me most. The more exotic the animal, the greater the impression it left on my memory. I have always been a visual learner. As a child, pictures and drawings made me very happy and were the perfect form of entertainment (this has not changed) .
I suppose it was nostalgia that inspired me to create an animal alphabet garland with the hope that other young children get as much joy from the pictures on the garland as I would have. I also wanted to create a banner that can stay with the child for many years, from nursery to early grade school, something that a child could grow up with, learn from, and become inspired by.
First, Jamie and I decided on which animals to use in the garland. Not surprisingly, some of the letters in the alphabet required more creativity on our part than others. For example, for the letter "X" we went with the scientific name for african squirrel, Xerus (kudos to anyone who was already familiar with that word!). The next step was to paint each animals' silhouette, which you can see on my notebook pages below. I then scanned in all the images. Side note: I highly recommend the Epson Perfection V33 scanner for any artist or novice who has a need to scan their artwork. Once the animal and Alphabet paintings were scanned, I used Photoshop to design each pennant before having the final work printed onto fabric. And voila!