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Monday, April 19, 2010

That's Amore

One of the side-effects of being a crafty mom: your kids come to believe that You Can Make Anything. Granted, I have a fair amount of handcrafting skills, ranging from passable to proficient. But by no means am I an expert on everything! Just try telling that to BJ and BB, though. On the one hand, it's sweet to see their absolute faith in my abilities. On the other, it sets everybody up for disappointment when the end results of my efforts don't quite match up with expectations.

Happily, so far at least, their expectations have been blessedly low. Exhibit A: this creation, which BB requested and of which she is quite fond.
Now in case you're wondering -- What The Heck IS that thing? -- I'll give you a hint. It's not a toy sausage embellished with a heart and rainbow rickrack. Nor is it anything more vulgar. (It is, after all, something I made for my three-year-old daughter. Thankyouverymuch.)

It is, of course, a stuffed eel. A pink stuffed Moray Eel. With a heart. (I hope the heart, at least, is recognizable.)

Why, you might inquire, was I asked to make a stuffed eel?

Here's the scoop:

Recently, BJ acquired a stuffed eel (at his birthday trip to the aquarium, to be exact) and since then, BB has begun to covet said toy. It's pretty cool, I have to admit.

Last week, when BB woke up for the day, just about the first words out of her mouth were an involved explanation about a dream she'd had. In which she was playing with a stuffed eel just like her brother's. Except hers was pink. With a heart. "And you could make it for me, Mommy!"

As my heart sank, recalling my first attempt at stuffed animal creation, I tried to smile and look confident. After all, I had redeemed myself somewhat by my later success making a stuffed snake for BJ (which I could swear I blogged about, but I've searched for a ridiculous amount of time using every tag and word choice imaginable, to no avail) -- that one was actually fairly cute. And given that eels and snakes are both fairly similar, and fairly simple in terms of body design.... I agreed to give it a try.

Things were going fairly well, up until I got to the head. BB had originally said that she wanted it to have a closed mouth with a smile. Easy peasy! But then she changed her mind. She decided she wanted hers to have an open mouth like her brother's. With teeth. At least I hadn't finished, but I'd already cut out the fabric, so I had to do some last minute alterations. Predictably, that's where things started to go awry.
The head ended up too small and the mouth is nothing like what I would have planned for if I'd been designing it with a mouth from the beginning, but BB likes it. And that's what matters.

(Never mind the fact that a little voice in my head keeps intoning, "Mammy, Maaammy..." Al Jolson style -- every time I see those big pink lips I inadvertently created.)

Here they are, side by side. The "real" eel and my imitation. No laughing, please:
Side bonus -- the kids had a great time helping me stuff it! Though clearly it was serious work.
When I was done, BJ announced he wanted me to make him a stuffed angler fish. Or a viper fish. Either would do.

I'll do a lot of things because I love my kids. I'll make a stuffed Moray Eel. (That's Amore!) But I know my limits. And viper fish are right out. Sorry kid.


giki said...

Wow! I'm impressed! Amore is dear! Good for you! Did you cut BB's hair? She looks too stinking cute in those piggy tails. And the hair cut makes our BJ look even more like a handsome big 'going to school' boy! Miss you.

cath c said...

i'm sure, even with the al jolson mouth, he is still loved as if perfect by bb!

good for you!

i remember having a conversation with my very erudite eldest when he was about bj's age, having to desperapately explain that no, in fact i could not read the thoughts in his mind, he was going to have to tell me what he wanted me to make or some such. the main part was the mind reading.

if i'd only known he thought i could up until that point, i would have used it to my advantage, behaviorally....

Jen (Mama's Magic Studio) said...

Thank you, thank you!

That's too funny about the mindreading, Cathy. Hindsight, eh?

Yep, we did cut BB's hair as well. Snipped off about 2 inches so we could even up where we were growing out the front. It's not long enough for braid pigtails anymore, but we can still do piggies!

tierramor said...

I think it looks great! Kissy lips for a sweet gurl! And you are SUCH an excellent mom...