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08 April 2009

how to make an album cover part one

i thought it might be nice to share the secrets of how we made the album cover for the law of the playground. here is what you will need for part one of this guide to making your own boy least likely to album cover.

1 pen
1 notepad
2 balls of red wool
6 pipe cleaners
cotton wool
2 white buttons
2 black buttons
1 beak


to begin with we met up with my brother and we talked about all the different things we might like to do with the artwork for the new album. we wanted it to be like the artwork for the last album but at the same time we wanted it to be a bit different, so after very little thought we decided we would get someone to knit all the characters and then take photos of them.

then we thought about what sort of characters we wanted on the new artwork. we wanted the same character to run across the album cover and all of the singles covers and we decided upon a bird. afterwards we would probably pretend that it held some sort of significance, but really we just thought a bird would be fun. there hadn't been many birds on the first album artwork. my brother drew a few different ones. maybe two or three and then he drew one we liked. and that was how it began.

somewhere there is a copy of that drawing but at the moment i don't know where it is. my brother might have it but it will take him years to find it again.

drawing the bird was the easy bit. next we had to find someone to knit the bird from the picture that my brother had drawn, so we went to a local haberdashery, which is called lady sew and sew and we met two lovely old ladies called betty and elizabeth. i don't have a picture of betty and elizabeth i'm afraid. i think they thought we were weird enough as it was, without me insisting on having my photo taken with them. anyway, we explained to them that we were in an indie pop group and asked them if they knew anyone who might be able to knit us a bird. at first they didn't seem to be able to suggest anyone that they didn't immediately decide was unsuitable for the job for either being too slow a knitter or not being a competent enough knitter. until betty, or it might have been elizabeth, remembered a boy that was in her knitting group that she thought would be perfect. his name, she told us, was george. and he worked in the local toy shop.

so off we went to find george. which turned out not to be that difficult because the toy shop was just round the corner from lady sew and sew. george is quite illusive, and i do not have a picture of him either. i have been back a few times in the last few weeks but i've yet to successfully take a photo of him.

when we first walked in to the toy shop he was working with liz. unfortunately we don't have a picture of her either. george was quite shy and seemed to think we were a little bit odd and doubted his own knitting capabilities. he had not heard of the boy least likely to, but i didn't expect him to have. liz had not heard of us either, however she seemed less suspicious and told us that george would definitely do it and that he was more than capable. liz was a little bit like his knitting agent. or a knit pimp perhaps. so we showed george the drawing of the bird and told him we would bring him some wool in the next couple of days.

i went all the way to london and bought some wool. it was red. i delivered it to george.

we returned to see george in the toy shop. liz was there again and told us that she had had trouble finding anything out about our band, but then it turned out that she had misheard us when we told her the name of the band and had been looking up "the boily sweaty two" on the internet instead. she hadn't found any information on them. that is not the name of our band.

george had found out some information on us and seemed to believe us at last. he took the wool and told us that he would let us know as soon as he had anything for us. we waited a couple of weeks and then george told us to come in to see him at the toy shop. george showed us what he had knitted so far and we began to talk about eyes and beaks. george showed us his very impressive collection of buttons, from which we selected two black ones and two slightly larger white ones for the eyes. here are some photos of the bird in its natural habitat of the toy shop that show the way it made progress over the next few weeks.



eventually george delivered to us a bird without eyes or legs or a beak. i think perhaps the wings ended up being a little bit further up his body than we'd originally thought, but it  made them look a little bit like ears which we thought was funny



as he still didn't have a beak, we went to the local hardware store to see if we could find anything that might make a good one, and it was there that we found a beautiful plastic owl. it had the perfect beak. which looked like it was just glued in to place. so we bought the plastic owl and ripped his beak off.


which left him looking like this.


a little bit sad, but there wasn't really time to feel sorry for him. our knitted bird needed a beak and unfortunately the owl had one. we stuck on his new beak and pinned his eyes on and he came alive. we twisted the pipe cleaners together to make legs and feet, and then wound red wool around them all so that his legs and feet matched his body, and that was the bird itself complete.


in part two we will be looking at how we made the tank for the album cover


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