Every year for the past couple of years I have made my Grandma a Christmas card. She always leaves the card on display pretty much all year round. It’s usually based around something she enjoys; birds, figure skating, or her dog. Every year it seems to get a little bigger and a little more non-cardlike. This year I just could not think of what to make. I wanted to make something special since she recently suffered from a stroke and has been experiencing a lot of anguish. I sat a brainstormed for a long time. At around 10 PM the night before I was to give it to her, I got an idea in my head. It was going to be a lot of work, and there was a pretty high chance it would just fail entirely. Four or five hours of speedy work later, this was the result:
To explain things a little, I made the frame and then tried to make a 3-dimensional scene inside of it (with lighting in the background). The frame is made out of oak, which I cut from a plank laying around the garage. I cut an eighth inch slit around the inside of the frame for the glass to sit in. I stole the glass from an old dollarstore document frame and cut it to fit inside the oak slit. I had no idea what would be going inside the frame yet; I would worry about it while that while the wood glue was drying. So I went onto the computer and started making something with vectors. I knew I wanted a mountain scene. After a while of playing around, I had something I was happy with. Silhouettes of all the stuff I know my Grandma enjoys, in a night scene which I tried to make look like the foothills of Alberta. I printed the foreground and background images I made, and cut them to shape with scissors. Now I was onto the final step, the lighting. All I had was green LED’s. I would have preferred a variety colors, but I had to make do with what I had. I didn’t even have resistors, but I believe the LED’s were each 3V, so I soldered two of them in parallel with two AA batteries. I found a little toggle switch and mounted it to the backing of the frame. I hot-glued everything down inside so nothing could jiggle around, and closed it all up. It was complete.
I don’t really like how it looks with the lights on, but whatever, at least it’s optional.
I’m not sure what’s up with my terrible pictures. It must’ve been the lack of sleep.