Monday, March 3, 2014

Craft(y) Project: Elsa's Glove and Tiara

Only people living in Korea right now can fully grasp how unreasonably obsessed Koreans have become with Frozen and its soundtrack. It's absolutely ridiculous and a perfect example of the highly trend-focused hive mind mentality here. 
Working outside Daesan I decided to put on a performance with the adorable all-girl second grade class I had for four weeks, and quickly realised that they already knew all the words to Let It Go. I mean, even the kids who couldn't say "Can I go to the bathroom" as a complete sentence somehow managed "kingdom of isolation" and "my soul is spiraling in frozen fractals" with minimal effort. People walking by on the street are singing it, and listening to it on their smartphones. Cafes and bars are playing it nonstop. When two freshman employees from the company I was teaching at took me out to the nearby town to drink, both bars we went to were not just playing Let It Go, they were both playing the soundtrack in its entirety. I've only talked to one person who said she didn't think the movie was that great, and only one more who said his kids weren't into it. Many ubiquitous. So fixation. Wow.

At any rate, it's a good thing I like Frozen, because I now know all of the lyrics to all of the songs, and most of the dialogue. Disney songs are notoriously catchy anyway, so whatever. I sing Pocahontas songs in the shower sometimes. Don't judge. 
It was fun practicing with my short-term class, and because they didn't need really to work on their singing I attempted to have them learn a dance to go along with it. Although they were super excited at first, only two of the eight girls were actually interested in practicing. The rest just wandered off or spaced out once their attention span had expired after 1 - 4 seconds. As a result they look awkward and shifty on stage in the video I took of the finished product. "Huh, see, I told you! Don't know what to do with your arms, do you? I knew it", I chided them; blank stares their predictable reply.

If I'd had a small budget and the actual performance with parents and executives watching hadn't been canceled I probably would've found some sparkly white costume fabric and made simple little skirts and/or capes in addition to the gloves and tiaras, but it did get canceled, and the program was ending, and no one cared anymore. I didn't even have to do what I did; there was no longer a book, curriculum or activities of any sort to draw from. I just thought it'd be fun.

The gloves I found were actually quite nice, and each girl only got one because Ana grabs one of Elsa's before she runs off into the mountains. The tiara is also silver instead of gold and made of posterboard, cardboard and sequins from Homi

We did the gloves first. I printed out and copied a simple blank hand template and asked them all to design one. Then, I used white fabric paint I'd already had to make the design for them. Just after explaining this at the beginning and insisting that it'd be disastrous if they tried to use the paint, the bottle exploded with a classic 'pop' after I gave it a gentle squeeze to remove a clog. Mostly it exploded onto my hand, arm, and Hye Won's discarded first glove design, but it also got my shirt, jeans, and the gloves themselves. Le sigh. 

But, that was okay. I'd already made a fool of myself in front of the class a few times by repeatedly making the mistake of sitting right on the edge of my awkward little rolling chair and having it slide out from under me. We all had fun, my bruised tailbone notwithstanding.

The tiara was stupidly easy to make, though gluing so many little bits exactly the way each girl wanted them was pretty time-consuming. I made a sample and traced the main part onto the silver posterboard eight times. I let them do the cutting and decide how to place the sequins and other pieces. The little girl in the lavender hoodie, Ji Ah, even ended up making her own completely different tiara (which was adorable and that she had lost by the next day -_-) after messing up her template.

The performance video is below. I had them do it about a week early because Hyun Ah, the girl with the big mustard bow on her hairband, moved to Seoul that day. So after they were finished we had a "Let It Go-ing Away Party". 
... I'll show myself out.

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