£391
pledged of £1,000pledged of £1,000 goal
19
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, October 17 2019 6:20 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated October 23, 2019

The Twelve Days of Christmas

An illustrated book, set of postcards and greetings cards, based on the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

An illustrated book, set of postcards and greetings cards, based on the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.

£391
pledged of £1,000pledged of £1,000 goal
19
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, October 17 2019 6:20 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated October 23, 2019

About

The carol The Twelve Days of Christmas first appeared in a 1780 children’s book called Mirth With-out Mischief. It was probably designed as a “memory and forfeits” game, in which singers tested their recall of the lyrics and had to award their opponents a “forfeit” — a kiss or a favour of some kind — if they made a mistake.

Giving someone all the gifts in the song today would be pretty expensive! The PNC financial services group’s annual Christmas Price Index calculates the cost of all the gifts in the song based on current market rates; 2018’s total came to a hefty $39,094.93, or $170,609.46 if you count each mention of an item separately (which would amount to 364 gifts in all). The first day of Christmas is traditionally Christmas day (the 25th December), and the twelve days ends on 6th January.

I wanted to do something romantic, but I couldn’t afford this for my wife (and honestly, who could house all those birds anyway?), so I searched online for some decent images depicting the various gifts. I wanted to print and display them for my wife each morning of the twelve days.

While there were a few good images, I was disappointed mainly by the quality, selection and consistency available. I then had the idea of creating my own set of illustrations which I could perhaps have printed into a set of cards.

I first developed the style I used here while studying a Masters in Graphic Design. For one of my projects, I made a series of flashcards highlighting various social issues in Nepal (see the image below). I wanted the art to be thought-provoking and straightforward, but also to show Nepal’s creativity. After some experimentation, I concluded to use flat 2D images cut out of Nepali lokta paper. The overall effect has been achieved with the use of Photoshop.

Social issues in Nepal cards

My style of art is inspired by the illustrations of Joanne Cole, the artwork of Audrey Niffenegger and the design of David Plunkert.

I briefly considered making The Twelve Days of Christmas for my final Masters Major Study project, but as it would have been too similar to the earlier practice module, I moved in a different direction.

The detail of the lokta paper up close

Once my studies were over, I again thought about this project. The resulting images I decided to have printed into book form, alongside postcards and greetings cards. The latter being an excellent and affordable way to say “I love you” to that special person in your life over the twelve days of Christmas, without having to build a menagerie to house all the birds, not to mention a barn for the cows!

About lokta paper

Nepalese handmade lokta paper is made from the fibrous inner bark of high elevation lokta bushes which proliferate in open clusters or colonies on the southern slopes of Nepal’s Himalayan forests between 1,600 and 4,000 metres.

Lokta is a non-wood forest product (NWFP) harvested from protected areas (national parks, reserves, conservation areas) and is an important reservoir of biological resources maintained under in situ condition in the unique and diverse Himalayan ecosystems. When harvested, the lokta bush automatically regenerates to a fully grown 4-5 meter plant within 5–7 years, ensuring the paper is truly environmentally friendly.

Various colours of lokta paper

Historically, the handcrafting of lokta paper occurred in the rural areas of Nepal. Today, raw lokta paper is produced in more than 22 districts in Nepal, but finished lokta paper products are produced only in Kathmandu Valley and Janakpur.

Freshly made lokta paper

Lokta paper’s durability and resistance to tearing, humidity, insects and mildew have traditionally made lokta paper the preferred choice for the recording of official government records and sacred religious texts.

The earliest surviving lokta paper document appears in Nepal’s National Archives in Kathmandu in the form of the sacred Buddhist text, the Karanya Buha Sutra. The Karanya Buha Sutra was written in Lichchhavi script and block printed on lokta paper and is estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,900 years old.

An ancient letter written on lokta paper

Once the lokta paper is produced it can last for some millenniums (2,000–3,500 years).

Further Details

A website is also in development where, upon successful funding of this project, these products will be available for order. However, all rewards will be fulfilled from this site before any from the website. Prices in some cases will be cheaper via Kickstarter.

Check back for updates on the printing where I will post photos of the process, and hopefully some video footage of the cards and books being finished.

Risks and challenges

Printing in Nepal can sometimes be problematic. The quality is often not to the high standards we would expect in the west.

Over the last eight years of living here, I have built up a trusted relationship with a small local printer. They know my expectations for a project and when issues arise, are quick to help find a solution. This gives me confidence that the final quality of all the printed materials will be high and finished on time.

The boxes for the limited box sets will be made to order from lokta paper here in Kathmandu and will have the title screen printed on the front.

Postage costs for Nepal show as free. Arrangements will need to be made to pick up the rewards when ready from Patan.

To avoid the difficulties with posting from Nepal, it is hoped that rewards for the books will be posted from the UK in the first week of December. Depending on demand, the greetings cards and postcards are hoped to be posted from Nepal at the end of October, beginning of November. Postage from Nepal to Europe and the USA generally takes about 2 weeks but can take up to 4.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About US$ 2

    Postcard

    An individual postcard with a handwritten message of thanks from the artist, posted from Nepal.

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    Pledge £6 or more About US$ 8

    Postcards

    A set of 12 postcards depicting the gifts given in ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’
    (10.5 x 14.8 cm)

    Includes:
    • 12× Postcards
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    Pledge £8 or more About US$ 11

    Greetings Cards

    A set of 12 greetings cards depicting the gifts given in ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’
    (12.5 x 12.5 cm)

    Includes:
    • 12× Greetings Cards
    • 12× Envelopes (non gummed)
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    Pledge £8 or more About US$ 11

    Paperback Book

    A paperback copy of the illustrated book featuring 12 individual pieces of art depicting the gifts given in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’

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    • Paperback Book
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    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    Early Bird Hardcover Book

    A signed hardcover copy of the illustrated book featuring 12 individual pieces of art depicting the gifts given in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’

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    • Hardcover Book
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    Pledge £11 or more About US$ 15

    Postcards

    Two sets of 12 postcards depicting the gifts given in ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’
    (10.5 x 14.8 cm)

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    • 24× Postcards
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    Pledge £12 or more About US$ 16

    Hardcover Book

    A hardcover copy of the illustrated book featuring 12 individual pieces of art depicting the gifts given in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’

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    • Hardcover Book
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    Pledge £13 or more About US$ 17

    Paperback Book + One Set of Postcards

    A paperback copy of the illustrated book, plus one complete set of postcards, featuring 12 individual pieces of art depicting the gifts given in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’

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    • 12× Postcards
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    Pledge £14 or more About US$ 19

    Two Paperback Books

    Two paperback copies of the illustrated book featuring 12 individual pieces of art depicting the gifts given in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’

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    Pledge £15 or more About US$ 20

    Paperback Book + Greetings Cards

    A paperback copy of the illustrated book, plus one complete set of greetings cards, featuring 12 individual pieces of art depicting the gifts given in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’

    Includes:
    • Paperback Book
    • 12× Greetings Cards
    • 12× Envelopes (non gummed)
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    Pledge £17 or more About US$ 22

    Hardcover Book + One Set of Postcards

    A hardcover copy of the illustrated book, plus one complete set of postcards, featuring 12 individual pieces of art depicting the gifts given in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’

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    • Hardcover Book
    • 12× Postcards
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge £19 or more About US$ 25

    One Hardcover + One Paperback Book

    A copy of the illustrated book featuring 12 individual pieces of art depicting the gifts given in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ in both hardcover and paperback

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    Pledge £19 or more About US$ 25

    Hardcover Book + Set of Greetings Cards

    A hardcover copy of the illustrated book, plus one complete set of greetings cards, featuring 12 individual pieces of art depicting the gifts given in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’

    Includes:
    • Hardcover Book
    • 12× Greetings Cards
    • 12× Envelopes (non gummed)
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    Pledge £21 or more About US$ 28

    Greetings Cards

    Three sets of 12 greetings cards depicting the gifts given in ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’
    (12.5 x 12.5 cm)

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    • 36× Greetings Cards
    • 36× Envelopes (non gummed)
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    Pledge £22 or more About US$ 29

    Two Hardcover Books

    Two hardcover copies of the illustrated book featuring 12 individual pieces of art depicting the gifts given in the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’

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    • Hardcover Book
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    Pledge £35 or more About US$ 46

    Box Set

    A special limited edition Lokta paper box containing a signed hardcover copy of the book.

    Includes:
    • Hardcover Book
    • 12× Postcards
    • 12× Greetings Cards
    • 12× Envelopes (non gummed)
    • Lokta Paper Presentation Box
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Funding period

- (30 days)