Best Laid Plans, and All That Jazz

When I left work on Wednesday, I was full of high hopes. After all, I had a four day weekend ahead of me. I was not in charge of preparing the Thanksgiving meal, and there were no pressing concerns I had to attend to. It was a chance to get some work in and get pieces ready for Steel City Con (December 7-9, 2018, in Monroeville, PA).

The great thing about this plan – in my mind – was that I knew my daughter would be on board. She likes to sit with me and watch television and color or talk to me while I crochet. My husband would be able to attend to his blog, or have some much needed time to himself, and I could finally get work done and get some of this black cloud away from me as I stress that I will not have enough for the convention.

Pretty much as soon as I got home Wednesday things started to go off the rails. Four months ago, my father had asked me to make him a rainbow sock monkey, like one I made for last Steel City Con. I actually had started the project before leaving for Rhode Island and had made good progress, I just needed to finish it. As fate would have it, Thanksgiving this year also marked his birthday. Because it was his birthday and he had been waiting so long for the sock monkey (he affectionately calls “Bigfoot”), I wanted to work overtime to get this done.

Even though I had a lot of the sock monkey done, there was still a bit to complete, and because of the multiple color changes, it makes for slow going.

Nevertheless, by the time I went to bed Wednesday night, I had completed the sock monkey.

And because I can never wait to give people their gifts, I had to text my father right away. He was so excited because he had been waiting for this for a while.

When he came over the next day, Desi proudly gave him Bigfoot – who he had to point out indeed did have a big foot (he thinks that I make one foot larger than the other).

And if anyone wondered where I got my sense of talking to stuffed animals and making them take on people traits – it comes from my father. When I went to get into his car, I found the sock monkey already strapped in and ready to go out to eat. I had to convince my father to move Bigfoot (and I then held him to and from our destination). Like father, like daughter, like granddaughter.

Okay…..so, Wednesday night didn’t work out in terms of stock of Steel City Con, but I still got a piece finished and I didn’t have random parts in my living room.

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Yeah, about that…when I was straightening up to get ready for my next project, I found a Target bag. When I opened it, I was greeted by a doll’s head. Eeks!

This was another project that I had ambitiously started in Rhode Island, but hadn’t completed, and hadn’t touched since I came back. I don’t like to leave half finished projects. Because usually if something is half finished, I’m never going back to it – that’s just the way my brain works.

So, Thursday night I start working on this cutie. My father was over for his birthday cake and he asked me what I was working on – I mentioned this was a doll for Steel City Con.

“What time of year is it?” my father inquired.

“The holiday season?” I asked, puzzled to where he was going with this.

“Yep,” he replied, taking a bite of his cake. “Don’t you think you should be working on Christmas themed items?”

” …….. ”

“You really should, ma,” my nine-year-old piped in, unhelpfully.

” …… ”

“Tis the season,” my father said, taking another bite of cake.

*Sigh*

I put the doll to the side again and started working on another project.

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By the time I went to bed that night, it looked like I had a stuffed animal head fetish, as that was all I had to show for my day of work.

Friday, I was determined I was going to be on task, I was going to get multiple pieces done. I was going to be a rock star. And then, I got sucked into social media for three hours – some of it was business related, but some was just horsing around and having fun. I really need someone to take my phone on those days and if it is business related they can answer for me.

Friday was fairly productive as I was able to get two Christmas themed luvvies done (patterns by StorylandAmis).

I was able to get a gingerbread boy and an Elf completed. For some reason when I went to sew the heads on both of them, they started out straight and then went sideways. I don’t know if it was the way that I was holding them as I was sewing or what. It’s not terrible, but I was mad at myself that there weren’t perfect.

The elf, however, I was super proud of because he was very intricate and it was the first time I was making him. If it wasn’t for the fact that Desi already has one, I would definitely make this sweetie my new elf on the shelf.

So, with two holiday themed cuties in my stock for the convention, I of course started on an Axolotl. A say what now? An Axolotl…a Mexican Water dragon.

I’m not big on the traditional type of crochet stuffies. I like things that are a little unusual, hence the desire to make an axolotl.

I was happy that he worked up as quickly as he did. I basically made him Saturday night while my husband and I watched the first “Creed” on demand. Because I was engrossed in the movie, and in my work, I grabbed a wrong part for his head, but I think it just gives him a little character. Overall, I couldn’t be happier.

So, by Sunday – the last day of my vacation, with but a fraction of what I wanted to have done, completed, I went back to work on my doll. Traditionally, I steer away from true dolls. I don’t seem to have a knack with them, and I worry that skin tone won’t be right, or will be too exclusive and make people feel left out. However, I liked the pattern and I wanted to see what I could do with it.

She took a good bit of work, and some trial and error, but I was pretty happy with the finished product (her head was also the straightest of the weekend). This was also the first time I made a Luvvie that was wearing clothes that I didn’t overstuff the body and the clothes actually fit correctly. I was so pleased with that I can’t even explain.

My first attempt at dressing a Luvvie resulted in a fat bear with a mumu. It wasn’t pleasant. Although that is perpetually one of my problems – I want there to be enough stuffing and a good squish to the plushie, so I tend to overstuff. I’m trying to hone that fine balance between over and under stuffing to find the happy squish center.

And just because I was determined to try to get one more Luvvie done before I had to go back to work I was able to make a voodoo dollie last night while watching the Sunday night football game. I tried using a different yarn that is self-striping. You can sort of see the variance in colors, but not as strongly as I had hoped. I love these little guys, and they are so fun to make.

The interesting thing is, according to the pattern (by BlueRabbitToys) this voodoo doll really can be used as a pin cushion for sewers. I was curious to see how he would fit in with my sewing notions to see if he would make a pin cushion, and he really would. Of course, I think it is more fun to cuddle him, but pin cushion works, too.

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So, that was pretty much my Thanksgiving break in a nutshell. My husband wasn’t thrilled that I basically set up base camp on the couch and didn’t move for the weekend. I finished two pieces that i started in Rhode Island, and started and completed four more. Six pieces in four days…not bad, but not as good as I hoped. We’ll see what I can get done in the next 11 days before the convention. Fingers crossed.

Hugs and kisses,

Elisha

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