First, I have to say that I am very proud of the fact that nobody else does or (I believe)
even could offer a lifesize silhouette styled outdoor nativity set. There are people out there
selling similar nativities but none of them use a material that is capable of supporting itself
at this size. The material I use is much stronger and stiffer than similar materials and that
quality, is what makes this lifesize nativity even possible.
I have been making and selling outdoor nativities for 7 years now. I love doing it and I'm so
proud of them and how much what I do, has grown. Over the years I've added two new sizes
(with one more to come) and the donkey, angel, shepherds and wisemen. I never expected it to
grow like this, but it has been a blessing. The lifesize came about my second year. That
year I got a call from a very kind man who worked for a hospital in Florida. He had found
my nativity set online and loved it but it was just too small to put in front of a large
hospital complex. Just the week before, I had had a nursing home buy four of my nativities
so they could put one in each courtyard of their facility and provide each of their residents
with a view of one. I tried to talk Aldin into a similar idea, but he was very clear on what
he wanted. He wanted a lifesize version of my nativity. I was very hesitant but somehow,
he talked me into exploring the idea. The critical question was if the material I use came
in thick enough pieces to support an outdoor nativity of that size. It turned out that
they did make a 19mm sheet, which is unusually thick for this type of material but I still
didn't believe it was enough support for the manger posts considering the wind the nativity
would deal with outdoors. So, I called him back and told him I couldn't do it and be confident
that it would last. But later that week, I was telling my dad (the engineer) about Aldin and
my dad suggested that I could laminate a second piece of the material where it was needed for
support and it would be fine.
With the right glue, this material bonds like a weld so I could
actually make the manger posts as thick as I wanted. So, I worked with my dad for a few days
until we had a design that would work. Then I called Alden and gave him the good news.
Three weeks later I was shipping him my first lifesize outdoor nativity set. Every year
I look forward to his call when he orders my “additional character of the year” for his
hospital. I'm very grateful for the push he gave me to do this. I have now sent lifesize
nativities all over the country, including Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico. It's brought joy
to a lot of people and that is what I do this for.
I couldn't really tell you where the inspiration came from, but I can tell you that
she was absolutely inspired. I've never had a design come so quickly and easily.
She was my addition to the set in 2011.
When I sat down to draw a nativity angel,
I had in mind that I was going to draw a male angel with no wings, blowing a trumpet.
I was planning on something like the angel on the top of most Mormon temples.
But in less than 2 hours, I had drawn a female angel, with beautiful big wings,
leaning slightly forward gesturing to the baby. It is so much softer and peaceful.
I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't know she was the angel my nativity needed.
But thankfully, my pencil did. She just quite literally, drew herself.
It was a wonderful experience and she is the perfect addition to the nativity.
Learn about my inspiration for each extra character
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