HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR 2011! – BUNNY ENSEMBLE


My Inspiration
I woke this morning to a reminder on my calendar that today, 3 February 2011, is Chinese New Year – the year of the Rabbit. FYI: in the Chinese zodiac people born in the year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious; affectionate and pleasant with lots of friends.

Always looking to “recycle” my heirloom objects when making a design statement, I dug up a couple of stuffed bunnies, hand-made by my Tutu (my Hawaiian grandma) eons ago, and dressed them for the “Chinese” holiday.
In Chinese culture, the peach is a symbol of longevity and is believed to defend against evil.

Historically, peach blossoms were placed above front doors to stop evil spirits from entering the house. Peach blossoms that bloom during the New Year period indicate good fortune for the ensuing twelve months. Not having a “snowball’s chance” of finding a peach blossom under all this snow here in the Northeast (USA), I decided that maybe peach-colored blossoms might just do the trick and bring me that good fortune for the upcoming year. Wish me luck!

Gather Tools & Construction Materials

  1. Small Basket, preferably of Asian design
  2. Tape
  3. Decorative Ribbons
  4. Multipurpose Scissors for paper, cardboard, ribbons, and flowers
  5. Floral Water Tubes
  6. Rabbits – porcelain, stuffed, chocolate, or whatever – the more the merrier
  7. 3 inch (7.6 cm) Feather Butterflies – available at http://www.floraltrims.com/butterflies.html
  8. Wrapping Paper
  9. Peach Blossoms – I used peach-colored carnations, available at your local Walmart or florist
  10. Accent Flowers – I used purple statice for contrast, available at your local Walmart or florist
  11. Compass – or use a round object twice as wide as your rabbit’s head to trace with a pencil

Bunny Ensemble Instructions

  1. Make rickshaw hats for your rabbits

    1. Trace a circle at least twice as wide as the head of your bunny on the back of a piece of wrapping paper using the compass or round object and cut out the circle with scissors
    2. Cut a slit from the edge to the center of the circle
    3. Make a hat-shaped cone by tucking one edge of the slit under the other and tape together on the top seam
    4. Fasten the rickshaw hat to your rabbit’s head – I pushed a pearl pin down the top of the hat to my bunny’s head
  2. Decorate your basket and fill with peach blossoms

    1. Trim your basket with decorative ribbons and bows
    2. Strip the flower stems of all leaves and remove any damaged petals
    3. Fill and cap your water tubes
    4. Cut the stem lengths to fit your basket
    5. Stick each flower in a water tube and fill the basket
    6. Accent your flowers with feather butterflies
  3. Assemble your Ensemble!

    1. Arrange your rabbits and adorn with feather butterflies and decorative ribbons and bows
    2. Place your finished basket of peach blossoms in the mix
    3. OPTIONAL: scatter some flower petals around your ensemble
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