Activity of Creativity: All You Need is a Box & a Brain

Cardboard coffee shop photo via ~ LOVE!

Cardboard coffee shop photo via ~ LOVE!

Sometime last week, I posted this far-fetched, remarkable & dishy diorama made from recycled cardboard on my WRM Facebook fanpage. Talk about patience, skill, & mad talent! This little miniature coffee shop is just out-of-control cool! It made me start thinking about trying to build one FOR REAL. #lightbulb

I’ve never really set forth to make a diorama for the sake of making a diorama (other than when it was an assignment). Yet, in RETROspect, I have realized that I’ve been making them for as long as I can remember, maybe just not always in the exact definition of a diorama. I was always making my own houses for my small playthings. I was mildly, if not maniacally, obsessed with the cartoon The Littles. I used to imagine that I was only a couple inches tall, and then I would look at EVERY thing; from a thimble to a toothpick, and wonder what it could be in a home (id est: barstool… stripper pole… You know, the first things needed when just moving in. #stopbeingafuddy-duddy #that’sfunny #admitit #it’sokaytolaugh #joking). This was just how my egghead & imagination has always worked (creatively, not contortedly ::chuckle::).

This is my *exact* CPK pencil box from the 3rd grade.

This is my *exact* CPK pencil box from the 3rd grade.

In fact, I am not sure how I managed to graduate to the 4th grade, because I can also remember doing this in class with my pencil box. Unlike today’s rube, ho hum, plebeian plastic pencil cases in about 5 different primary colors to choose from, we lucky lads & lassies of the 80’s had cardboard boxes with characters & themes on them. I can remember being in Mrs. Janikee’s 3rd grade class like it was last week, and that year I picked out a Cabbage Patch Kids pencil box. Once I got settled into my assigned seat, I dumped all the contents out, willy-nilly, in my desk and began to build a house inside of the pencil box for my Garfield & Odie pencil toppers. (Another funtastic thing we had in the 80’s, to which our poor, depraved children have (again) plebeian pyramid eraser tops in about 5 different primary colors. SNORE.) I am sure that my mother would be so pleased to know that all the purposeful school supplies she bought for me had been converted for another purpose — giving a sarcastic & sometimes sardonic cat and his slow-witted, unsuspecting sidekick a sweet pad. And twas it sweet indeed…! They had bunk beds, an entertainment console, and even a mini fridge! If I didn’t know any better, that was one heck of a bachelor pad. They evidently ditched Jim and moved to Partytown U.S.A. and threw some real feral shindies — got a keg of milk, had lots of lasagna delivered when they got the munchies, and well… This blog is rated PG-13, so I am NOT going to make the obvious unchaste joke that is blaring out like a beacon. No matter how locker room my sense of humor can be at times, I am not a crude dude. I’m gonna keep it ladylike (while gibbering in my head like Beavis).

So, for all you spry, youngster hipsters reading this blog who were born after 1990 and consider the 80’s “Retro” (also to bring the innocence back to the post ::smirk::), here are some examples of our cardboard pencil boxes & rubber pencil toppers from an era gone bye-bye…

I would have LOVED these! Count Chocula is still, and always will be, my ultimate favorite cereal!

I would have LOVED these! Count Chocula is still, and always will be, my ultimate favorite cereal!


Who didn't love Troll Dolls? This gal STILL does!

Who didn’t love Troll Dolls? This dame STILL does!


I still, to this day, don't know what in the hello a "Snork" was, but I never missed a Saturday morning episode.

I still, to this day, don’t know what in the hello a “Snork” was, but I never missed a Saturday morning episode.


And here was *my* Garfield pencil topper who had one pimped out pad in 1984.

And here was *my* Garfield pencil topper who had one pimped out pad in 1984.

An example of another cardboard pencil box.

An example of another cardboard pencil box. I actually remember some of my playmates having this one!


Now, going back to dioramas… The Mini Maven & I made one together a couple months back. It was actually a project for her AIG math class. She had to make a diorama that was one of her favorite places to go, and then go in and point out what WAS and what WAS NOT a polygon to her peers. She choose the library (bestow my heart, the girl really *is* mine!). We even went so far as to outline ideas and draw out actual blueprints. We picked out some of her favorite books from a tender ageĀ (because, you know, being 9 is considered a “Tween” now ::grimace::) for the posters on the library wall. We made a projector screen for Powerpoint presentations, a MAC laptop for the checkout desk, & a stack of books to be re-shelved. Belle from Beauty and the Beast was the media specialist (appropriately, since she loved to read and scoffed at Gaston for being an illiterate buffoon). And Jessie, the cowgirl, from Toy Story was a library devotee brushing up on her classics. This was a super enjoyable & companionable activity to do with my Mini Maven! We had such a high time pulling it together, and when we were done, she was SO proud to take it to school. We now want to do them, just for the fun of it! Here’s what it turned out to look like…




I’m not one of those parents who oversee all their children’s schoolwork and push for flawless grades — not in the least, I have a real laid back approach — but when it comes to projects of the creative & artistic type, I tend to jump in like a kangaroo with her kid still in the pouch. It’s the only area & arena of having a Mini Maven where I may live vicariously through her, a smidgeon, all over again. She doesn’t mind. She likes art, but she’s a math, science, & writing whiz…… those are her passions & fortes. #WillNyetheScienceGal

If it’s too cold to go outside and play on this Sunday FUNday, maybe you can do a diorama too! That’s my indoor “Activity of Creativity” (as I call them here at headquarters) suggestion for the day. All you need is a box & your brain. Anything can come to life with those two things playing well together.

Keep calm & IMAGINE on!

~ Angelika Frangelico *Gros bisous*
216471_5660732749_3578_n*** Please don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook & follow us on Twitter! There’s a lot more fun ideas & wonderful links to divine retro/vintage gems. Don’t miss them! There’s more What’s Ravin’, Maven? to be had elsewhere, as well!

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