Monday, February 22, 2010

Life's not gloomy when you're a shroomie!

Unfortunately, last week was not conducive to stuffie-making, as my time at work was taken up with, well, actual work. I know: poor me, slaving away in front of a computer all day, making spreadsheets and answering phones. Doubly unfortunate is the forecast for this week doesn’t look much better. Instead of daydreaming and sketching and sewing, I have to calculate, collate, and frustrate. Luckily, I’ve got my bestest office buddy helping me take care of business: OfficeBear!
OfficeBear deserves his own post at a later date, but for now I will let you know that he’s what makes work days tolerable (bearable!?) for me. No, I didn’t make him, but I love him like one of my own. I drip oatmeal on his head every morning, we go on adventures, and sometimes steal little naps in the afternoon (shhhh!).

I didn’t get any stuffies even started last week, but I do still have a couple I haven’t shown you yet. I present to you: Squat the Shroommate!

Squat likes to root himself under the largest, dampest, and darkest tree he can find in the forest. He is happiest under a blanket of rotting leaves, dreaming shroomie dreams and making friends with the small grey slugs who share his bed. He adamantly denies the existence of fairies or anything of the sort prancing under the protection of his spotted head, but the slugs tell otherwise…

As I have mentioned (and linked to) in my Squidlet post, I made a few of these toadstool ornaments this holiday season and have since decided that shroomies are just too cute to make once. I knew at the outset of this project that I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) just copy the toadstool design and make it larger…I wanted something with weight, shape, and cuddle potential. The shroommate is what I came up with.

His stump and underside are made out of my sister’s old sweater from junior high, and his cap is made of one of Taty’s old t-shirts. His face and spots are felt. I wanted him to be able to stand up on his own, so I stuffed his stump with rice. I like the feel of it, but I’m going to need to troubleshoot this a little bit. If you mold him right, he stands up on his own, but if you just set him down anywhere, his head will flop over. I think next time I will add a roll of felt or something to his core to stiffen it a bit while still adding some rice for weight.

In my original sketches, I thought of folding some fabric in a fan shape to make realistic looking “gills” like mushrooms have, but when I ended up choosing the sweater for fabric, I realized the ribbing in the fabric gave a bit of a “gilled” effect. Perhaps I’ll try that technique with a different design, though…it seems labor intensive but probably worth it.

All in all, I’m pretty happy with my little guy and plan on making more. I like how his face looks kind of Japanese-cute and how on accident the base of his stump formed two “feet” (the ribbing in the sweater stretched kind of weird, but a happy accident!).

I’ll do my best to continue with the regular updates, even though this week still looks pretty grim on the stuffie productivity front. I’m almost done with my first prototype menagerie, though, and I couldn’t be happier (or squealier!)

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