Maasai Giraffe Necklace




Now that the giraffe was painted I could move onto making the glass for the beaded necklace, which was going to be a key feature of the giraffe design. I had no idea how many pieces of glass I was going to need to make and couldn’t attach them as I went along as I was also painting 3 coats of varnish onto the giraffe at the same time.Image

I therefore spent hours and hours cutting up small pieces of glass in the hope that I’d make enough. I even tried laying them out on a template in the kitchen to see how far they would go. Despite this I seriously underestimated just how much I needed!


On my 2nd weekend with the giraffe I began attaching the pieces I’d made. Gradually the design began to take shape but I could tell that if I didn’t go slightly overboard with the glass I’d be in danger of it looking a bit half hearted so I was back to making more pieces. This time I made a LOT of pieces. There was no way I was going to run out this time… fact if I did I’d be running very short on time to finish the giraffe so it was all or nothing time.


After several days of battling with the glue that was too sticky …..I say too sticky, it was what I needed so the glass couldn’t be pulled off, or fall off in the rain! but it was still a pain as it stuck to everything and was so thick it didn’t want to come out of the tube!!!……this is what I created….


…..and then it hit me….the glass was all finished and that mean the giraffe was finished. 

I’d expected to be all excited and over the moon that it was all done but I think I was too tired for that. It was a very strange feeling to have. Maybe the other giraffe artist felt the same, who knows but the anti-climax feeling didn’t last for long and just a couple of days later I was all bubbly and excited again as I delivered a completed giraffe to Colchester Zoo.


Finishing the Painting Stage

Sunday morning started with finishing the draping fabric. 2nd layers of red were needed, as were stripes for definition and creases to help it look more realistic. By the time Di arrived I had pretty much managed to achieve this 🙂 so we were ready for the next step.


After a quick cuppa Di also had a paintbrush in her hand and was put to work adding layer 2 of the cream body colour. Di is a few inches taller than me but even she couldn’t see the top of the giraffe from the ladder so out came the digital camera. Photos helped us to see the bits we had missed around the ears/horns. Very handy.



The only bit left to do now was the mask and thankfully due to the scorching weather the paint dried really quickly so I could add the 2nd layers pretty much as soon as the 1st was done, which definitely helped to speed things up.


And so the giraffe was all painted …..



…..and we could go out for tea and cake to celebrate…well it was Di’s birthday so it’d be rude not to 😉 (fab friend for helping me out too)


Stand Tall Giraffes

Stand Tall

Elephants on the streets of London, Swans in Wells and Gromit dogs coming soon to Bristol. These are all examples of similar projects to Stand Tall, the amazing Colchester giraffe trail that I have been lucky enough to be a part of this summer.

giraffe design

Back in December I submitted my design for a Massai Warrior giraffe to Colchester Zoo and then kept my fingers crossed it would be picked. Unfortunately, I had a call from the zoo saying it hadn’t been chosen but…..there was still hope. They wanted to hang onto my design as they liked it and were looking for more sponsors, so again I kept my fingers crossed and at the start of May I was in luck. Imaginative Traveller, a tour company based in Suffolk, had chosen my design and as there was just 1 more giraffe left would I be able to make the final giraffe? Yes yes yes of course I could 🙂 by the end of May? “Yes I’ll do it”….and then I got an email asking me to aim for 24th May “eeekkkk!!!” That was just 15 days away.



I was a woman on a mission from then on……