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Need a hand? How about an eyeball?

Happy Halloween! I was going to make cat ears, but that seemed too time consuming, and I was feeling much too lazy at the end of the day yesterday. I wanted something fast. So, my mom suggested I just make a big eyeball. Okay. One big eyeball coming up. This doesn’t take long to make at all. You can download and print my pattern here. It prints on a standard 8 1/2 x 11, letter-sized piece of paper.

You can wear it in the middle of your forehead as a third eye,

and it works pretty well as an eye patch. You could also attach it to a headband, a bandanna, a gauze bandage, or, who knows, it might look nice pinned to your sweater.

There are only three pieces. The largest is the size of a CD, and that’s the eyeball itself, or the white of the eye. The other two circles are the iris, in any color you like, and the pupil, in black. I used fleece, but you can use felt, or old T-shirts, or anything you have lying around, socks, washcloths…whatever you like, as long as it is soft enough to wear, if you plan to wear it against your face. You’ll need a small wad of stuffing, some strong thread (I used upholstery thread, but you can just double your thread up), a needle, and embroidery floss to match your eye color and your pupil (black), and some white floss for a highlight. You’ll also need about 5 feet of 1/4 inch ribbon, if you want to tie the eyeball to your head. A short length of ribbon works if you want to tie it to your finger as a ring.

Start by sewing a running stitch, just in and out, about 1/4 inch in from the edge of your white circle, pulling your thread a little a you go around.

You’re gathering the edge as you sew around the circle.

It will make a cup. Poke your wad of stuffing in the middle, and tug your thread some more.

Pull it as tight as you can without breaking it. It helps to keep sewing around the circle, picking up the edges of the circle as you go, and pulling the thread. Once you have it gathered as much as you can, knot your thread and cut the end.

Now you have an eyeball. Time to attach the iris.

Pin the iris on wherever you like, right in the middle if you want your eye to stare straight out. Sew a blanket stitch around the edge, using your floss. I have a step-by-step tutorial for the blanket stitch here.

Knot the end once you’ve gone all the way around, and pull it under the edge of the iris, and out the top of the iris with your needle, to hide the knot. Cut the end of the floss.

Lay your pupil on top of the iris, in the middle if you want it to stare straight out, and attach it with a blanket stitch using your black floss. Knot the end, pull the knot under the edge of the pupil, and out the top to hide the knot. Cut the end of the floss.

Take the white floss, enter from under the edge of the iris, and come out on top of the pupil. Take a few stitches to create a highlight for your eye. This is really the same as taking a few satin stitches. You can see my tutorial for a satin stitch here. Then poke your needle back in and under the iris, and out under the edge of it, to hide the end of your floss. Cut the end of your floss.

There’s your eyeball.

I attached a ribbon to the back of mine, trying it on first to see where I wanted the ribbon. Just hand sew it on to the back and your all set. I still like the idea of pinning it to a sweater like a brooch.

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I just got my slugs and toads up on Etsy. I think I am up-to-date now on my available soft dolls and toys, for the moment. I am so tired! We’ve been taking advantage of the nice weather here to do some yard work, and a little home repair, using lots of muscles we aren’t used to using.

We had some cold weather just before this string of really lovely days, and so we aren’t taking them for granted. I thought I’d better take some photos of our chrysanthemums before the chill comes back. I had wanted to photograph our Pixie Kittens with them, but I’ve been so swamped, I haven’t finished their tutus yet.

I still have to draw a toad for my “Hug Me! Toad” hang tags. I’m going to try to do that this weekend, but I’d also like to take some time to just hang out and read. I’ve been very slowly journeying through The World According to Garp by John Irving, not for lack of interest at all, only for lack of time.

This toad looks much wiser than mine, but then, mine are probably just pretending to be innocent and naive so I won’t catch them getting into trouble.

Happy Friday, everyone! Enjoy your weekends!

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Slug gossip

My “Hug Me! Slugs” are all whispering amongst themselves today. Two of them have been invited to visit a host and executive producer of a show on HGTV and the DYI network. This should be great fun for them, but I don’t want them to get too excited before they get there. They will still have to sit quietly in their box for the trip.

I’m going to try to update my Etsy shop tomorrow. I’ve still got a couple of “Hug Me! Toads” and a couple of “Hug Me! Slugs” to post for adoption. Above are, from left to right, Gilda, Glen, Jake, Rosemary, and Paulie. Gilda and Jake are on their way to their new homes right now. They will both be celebrating birthdays when they arrive at their destinations.

I know this sounds very sentimental, but I have to admit, after seeing the way Gilda and Glen have been staring at each other on my desk, it was hard to send Gilda out without Glen. I get attached to some of my toys, but this time, I felt like they’d gotten attached to each other! I’m sure they will make new friends and be loved.

I decided to pre-wash the socks I use for my sock dolls, and my mom has been patiently helping me turn and sort them all. I didn’t want them to pill, and so we’ve been air drying them. This full rack is just a drop in the bucket. My mom had been saying to me, “Don’t you have enough socks?” I didn’t realize quite how many I had, until I filled the entire washer with them. Oh my.

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Next stop, Toadville

Introducing…”Hug Me! Toads”. “Hug Me! Toads” are one-of-a-kind, original, hand-sewn, and hand-embroidered sock dolls.

It was love at first sight between the toads and my “Hug Me! Slugs”. They’ve been bouncing off of one another for the past few days, while I’ve been waiting for the sun to come out so I could take some photos of them.

They don’t mind rainy days at all.

This is Marmalade. She wanted a pink heart to go with her orange self. She heard the combination was very Jackie O.

This is Bernie. He likes flowers. He says they’re not just for girls anymore.

And this is Elvis. He was the first-born “Hug Me! Toad” and as a result, he likes to tell the others what to do. He thinks he’s a big deal.

Marmalade and Bernie have been trying to show him he’s not the biggest toad on the block.

He doesn’t pay any attention.

“Hug Me Toads” really like to be picked up and hugged. If you ignore them, they will bounce in their chairs, wave their arms up and down, and look pleadingly at you until you do.

They don’t come with chairs though. If you want to adopt a toad, and he tells you he needs a chair, craft stores like A C Moore have them, or you might find some on eBay.

“Hug Me! Toads” are pretty excitable. They want lots of things. You don’t have to give them everything they want.

As you can probably tell, they enjoy a good snack. Fortunately, a curvy, ample physique is considered wildly attractive in Toadville.

The toads have fleece features, which have been hand embroidered on with a blanket stitch. They have no loose or removable parts.

They are nice and squishy, and lots of fun to hug.

And they’re really cute.

I have more slugs and toads on the way, along with some more Pixie Kittens, by myself and Max Bailey. We’re busy busy around here.

Enjoy your day!