I finally have Hug Me Monsters! These are chenille, soft and fuzzy, sock dolls, and I have had them in progress, in my workroom, since January! It feels good to be pushing through to the other side, finishing toys and showing them to you.
This pink one with turquoise horns was my mom’s favorite. This Hug Me Monster got adopted by the time I woke up the next morning, after putting her in my shop.
My mom was so kind and patient to photograph me with a monster, so I could show their size in relation to a person. We have been having such awful heat, as I am sure most of you have, and it wasn’t too much fun being outside, melting while trying to look pleasant. It was so humid, my hair began to frizz and stick up in the air. Photoshop Elements is handy for neatening one’s self up after the fact!
These have the first incarnation of my custom-printed fleece eyes, which I designed and then had printed by Fabric on Demand. I sealed all the colored parts with non-toxic Liquitex fabric medium to make sure the color was secure. Then I hand embroidered around each color of the eyes with floss, using a blanket stitch. The monsters are almost entirely stitched by hand, with a needle and thread or floss. There is only one machine-sewn seam in each horn, which I attach by hand after I stuff them. The monsters took me a while, hours each, as do all my toys.
My Hug Me Monsters come with hang tags, that can be personalized. I can print a name or “For + a name” on the front of the tag, and I can print a message on the back of the tag. I then insert the tag into a clear vinyl sleeve, run a satin ribbon through it, and tie it to the monster.
My dad especially liked the pink-and-tan striped monster with the gold horns. When my mom and I were taking photos, he started laughing. I didn’t understand why. Then I realized he was laughing at the monster. He got a big kick out of it, which made me feel good. If they make someone laugh or smile, then I am doing my job right.
I really like these cuddly chenille socks I used for the monsters. I have a couple pair I put on my own feet in the winter, socks not monsters. I reserved most of the chenille socks I collected for Hug Me Monsters.
I have been feeling better, still tired a lot of the time, but better. I’ve been having my blood retested every six weeks at the hematologist’s, and although my white blood cell count is still high, it is going down. It remains a mystery. I was a bit alarmed when I realized I had been referred to a cancer center, and they sent a sample to the Mayo Clinic for testing, but they don’t seem to think it is anything like that, since normally it would go up in that case. I feel sad and a little scared when I go there, because I know the other people there are sick and trying to make the best of it. I was drawn to all the pillows in the lobby that people make and donate. I instinctively grab one while I wait and it is comforting. That is a kind use of a craft. One had kitties on it, and you know I love kitties. I took the measurements down from the pillows, about 9 x 18 inches of fabric, a convenient size to cut from a yard or fat quarter of cotton, two pieces, sewn together with about 1/4 inch seams. They are a good size for hugging.
My next blog installment will be…Hug Me Kittens. I have more of those finally too. I had hoped to be well stocked by now, as I wanted to make the August submission deadline for the Brown Alumni Magazine holiday gift guide, but I don’t want to apply and then run out of toys by the holidays. I have a feeling I cannot sew that many in time. I’m trying to focus on the fact that I am getting things done, and trying not to dwell on how much time it takes me.