Monday, May 10, 2010

One million giraffes

I heard about this guy in Norway trying to collect a million giraffes. The funny thing is I heard about it from a guy I'd never had contact with prior to the Comment Gobbler story, and as it turns out, lives about 20 minutes from me. So the news traveled from Norway to Cleveland to the Mentor area through a REALLY long string and a couple of rusty cans and here I am shouting it from the rooftops so all of you can hear about it as well.

The project is really fun and it's easy to contribute. Heck, I've done it twice now, Lauren has done it, and thanks to the awesome William Porter, the administrator for the Mentor city schools K-8 program, the art teachers in Mentor will be doing it with their students. I'm hoping to get the Akron zoo involved, and I've shouted the project into the ears of all the moms and dads I know who would be likely to do this with their kids. I know a lot of you have artistic abilities, Linda, Laurita, Melissa, Estrella, Anne Tyler Lord, just to name a few, so I'm hoping that you'll all contribute a giraffe and put the link into the comment thread so we can see it.

Even if you don't contribute I guarantee you'll get a kick out of looking at the giraffes and hopefully pass the site on to other people so they can send in their giraffes. When I went poking around I was delighted by some of the VERY creative ideas; a guy who drew on his foot and used his toes for the giraffe horns, a woman who photographed a stain on her shirt that looked like a giraffe, some people who made a giant paper mache statue of a giraffe; really cool ideas.

Ola Helland's only rule is that the giraffe has to be hand made. [no photos of actual giraffes] Once you make it, take a photo and upload it to the One Million Giraffes website. Easy peasy. To show their support, his mom and dad even did it.

A couple of really cool things will come out of this project. One is that the Ha Gamle Prestegard art museum will be showing a selection of the giraffes from June 12-August 29 in their gallery. The other is that a lot of people will have a few minutes of fun creating something silly and knowing that the silly thing they created will be archived forever with 999,999 other silly things where it will spend eternity frolicking with others of its kind to its warm little giraffe heart's content.

So go on, set your inner child free and take a few minutes to make a giraffe. You know you want to.

Link to my notecard giraffe, Link to Lauren's giraffe, Link to my cereal giraffe.

Link to Laurita Miller's giraffe posting

Link to Laurita's giraffe

Link to Estrella's giraffe


Karen from Mentor said...

I just wanted to let everybody know that I named my notecard giraffe "Max" in honor of Max Cantor who told me about the project. Max is currently living on my fridge right between a drawing that Lauren did of Tony the Tiger in his mexican wrestling outfit and a doodle of Big Foot that Rachel made while we were playing cards.

The cereal giraffe was humanely recycled with the addition of some milk and half a teaspoon of sugar. He was delicious.

Anonymous said...

It's good that I have until 2011 to send mine in :P but I'm sure I'll send my giraffe before that.

Love your cereal giraffe, and Lauren's giraffe too :) it's blue! Yay :)

Rachel said...

I like how they change the description of the giraffes each time you view them.

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Estrella, Blue! Your favorite color. :0)

@ Rachel I know, and the description is always something fun.

Oh and just a note? The GIRAFFE named Max is living on my fridge. I don't think a little rolled up piece of scotch tape would adhere Max the man to my fridge.....

Lauren C said...

I love the cereal giraffe! I bet he was crunchy. And containing delicious soluble fiber.

Karen from Mentor said...

And the weird thing is Lauren, if you look at the photo of the cereal giraffe-- in the bottom right hand corner it looks like there's a sleepy giant's face made of metal. I liked it so much that I cropped just that part out and am looking at incorporating it into a visual art piece.
Filing the face under "happy happenstances"
[that's fun to say 3X fast]

I love your giraffe, but you probably got that impression already from all the loud SQUEE - ing yesterday....


Anne Tyler Lord said...

Hi Karen,

I think this is a fun project. My kids will be making some giraffes soon. Thanks for letting us know.

I love your giraffes - so cute and yummy!

Karen from Mentor said...

Yay Anne! And don't forget that you can put more than one giraffe in a drawing. He counts each and every one.

I just found some sidewalk chalk in my art bag this morning. Hmmmm....I'm going to the park later anyway.....

I hope you guys have a blast making your giraffes!


Max said...

Your fridge is comfortable!

Karen from Mentor said...

Oh good, so glad you're comfy.The scotch tape wasn't working out so well at first, but now that I've added the bungy cords they seem to be doing the trick.

Thanks for telling me about the project Max.

Melissa said...

What a great idea. Now I've got to retrain my hands to work with "real" materials. lol!

Anonymous said...

There was an old guy along the road I used to take into work that had his front garden full of little wooden gee-gaws he'd made. Windmill-powered axemen etc.

For a couple of years he had a near life-size giraffe on display that he'd made himself. Had real long eyelashes as I recall.

All gone now. I guess he died.

Karen from Mentor said...

Well if I were writing this as a scene Anton, I'd have you go knock on the door and the new people would have a box of photos of the former owner's gee gaws. Then you'd put the man's giraffe with the very long eyelashes into the 1,000,000 giraffes collection to remember him by.

But of course, right after that heart warming moment you'd be torn to shreds by werewolves.....

Thanks for stopping in. Been a while.

Karen from Mentor said...

@ Melissa, I know! We get so used to making stuff on the computer we forget to do things hands on. That's why I really enjoyed some of the wackier creations. Giraffes made of recycled plastic bags, cassette tapes, pennies, spools of thread, oh and yesterday I saw a giraffe an eight year old sculpted from carrots and a potato. The imagination can just run wild with this thing.

Can't wait to see yours!

Laura Eno said...

Don't you find it the least bit curious how your comment section morphs into a strange dark twist of the original subject matter? Like maybe aliens have taken over your blog and you just don't know it yet?

Or possibly alien giraffes? Think about it...

Karen from Mentor said...

*thought about it a while*

Well, Laura, while it is true that I technically drive the comment thread bus, I can only make the stops that my passengers request.

And most, if not all of my passengers seem to be of the alien giraffe persuasion.

And besides, I do so enjoy partying with the dark twisted visitors-- they tend to be the best dancers.

So are you going to be contributing a giraffe? I just saw a writer make one out of words. It was pretty cool. Have you thought about asking Jezebel to make one? She could spit a giraffe shaped pattern into a pane of glass. That would be interesting. But of course stating her age as 666 might raise a few eyebrows.

Kris said...

Way to stick your neck out and help this guy! You (and your blog) are head and shoulders above the rest!

I'll get my kids on it!

Karen from Mentor said...

Yay! I knew you'd be on board Kris! Don't forget to come back and share your links. Can't wait.

[and yes, I truly wish I had answering puns, but it's been a looooong day already and sadly?No neck puns spring directly to mind. But I can call you at 4:00am if I think of one right?]


Anonymous said...

:) Just posted about my giraffe, which is now up at
Thanks again for telling me about this website, it's so much fun!

Karen from Mentor said...

Your giraffe is so CUTE Estrella! I added your giraffe link to mine and Lauren's and Laurita's.

Thanks for telling the elementary school near you about the project. It'll be cool to see all those little Romanian kids making and uploading their own giraffes! I wonder if any of the art will have a transylvanian flair?
Long necked giraffes and vampires, somehow those ideas coalesce easily enough in my imagination.