Doll-making is weird

The Wild Olive embroidery-and-English-paper-piecing project wasn’t the only crafting I did in the Christmas break. When Spoonflower had free shipping (always dangerous) I got a plushie kit from Heidi Kenney- the Tattooed Sailor and Tattooed Lady.

I thought to myself, hey, I’ll make a couple of super-cool dollies. I can maybe give them to a couple of the little girls I know. What’s not to like? Since I can never, ever, leave a pattern alone (seriously, this will become increasingly obvious as I share more of them), I decided to do the tattoo embroidery on each doll in colours, rather than just blue. I even added some extra tattooing to the sailor’s chest because it didn’t look tattooed enough.

I was feeling very pleased with the results when I sat down to start sewing it all together.


Ah, confidence.

First, I cut out the arms and legs for the Tattooed Sailor, folded them over and sewed them up, as per the instructions. Which then told me to ‘stuff them loosely with polyfil’. The problem is, the actual gap into which I was supposed to stuff the polyfil was smaller than my pinkie finger. A pencil and a missed bus later, I had the limbs stuffed, but not loosely.

I looked at the limbs. I looked at the doll. All I could think of was Rex the dinosaur in Toy Story 2- “look at my little arms! I can’t push the fire button and jump at the same time!”

It was around this point that, for no apparent reason, the Popeye the Sailor theme music started playing in my head. I guess that would help with the insanity plea.

But the limbs were nothing compared to the shenanigans that were to come. Pin the arms and legs in place, essentially as a sandwich filling, with the body of the doll right-sides in. Cue fun with folding the arms and legs so they would actually fit inside the bit they needed to be in so I wouldn’t sew them wrong, and then more fun with pinning than I had expected when my sewing machine decided to de-thread itself unexpectedly.

And then we came to this seemingly innocuous instruction: sew around the edges leaving a hole between the legs for turning through.

A hole.

Between the legs.

It was bad enough doing the tattoed sailor, who has blonde hair. I’m kind of dreading the tattooed lady, who is a brunette. Because I work on these dolls in the morning, before breakfast, and I have the feeling I won’t want any the day I have to repeat this process with something brown coming through that hole.

It was also fiddly as- the hole in question was smaller than expected (this could get very rude very quick, I am trying to avoid that. This is a family show, people. Well apart from the fabrics that look like vaginas… OK, maybe it’s not a family show, but still.) and getting the arms and legs through and then the head…yeah. Fiddly.

Popeye the Bizarre Sailor Man still needs stuffing and the hole needs to be sewn shut. Ahem.


All I can say is he’s looking pretty smug for someone who just LITERALLY had his head pulled out of his ass.

Monsterful Monday: who invited Moon Moon?

The answer is: my Best Beloved’s nephew, since he invited me and the Best Beloved to a barbecue this weekend, and as of yesterday one of my nickhames is Moon Moon. This is due to to my total inability to throw anything except glitter in a way that makes the thrown thing land where it’s supposed to.

I won’t lie, the week just gone has been frustrating in the extreme in some ways. But are always two sides to a coin.

So while it’s sad that I’ve been seconded to another team at work, the fact that my manager was even more upset about it than I was, and that my colleagues were also sorry to see me have to go temporarily, means a lot to me.

While Wednesday was mostly a day that turned to custard, it ended with a hair appointment (head massages make EVERYTHING better), and a lovely Guy Fawkes party where we took advantage of a friend’s house being on a hill overlooking South Auckland to watch all their fireworks (and they didn’t disappoint).

And other things have been lovely. The weekend just gone saw lots of snuggles with the best beloved, and a trip to the zoo where I saw my first real live kiwis. As in the bird, not the people. I haven’t been walking around New Zealand with my eyes shut this whole entire time. We also saw a baby red panda hiding from its Mum because it was bath time, and its twin sibling who was less lucky getting thoroughly licked. The zoo’s resident elephant out for her walk (closest I’ve ever been to an elephant!). Meerkats keeping watch. SO many birds. And not eels because my best beloved led me past their tank with my eyes shut so I wouldn’t have to see them (eels, snakes, anything like that creep me out). So OK, I was walking around with my eyes shut for a small part of the day.

The Christmas cross-stitches are going well, Friday night saw me have a stitching-and-Charmed evening mostly to myself. I’ve realised that I tend to do best either alone or in small groups- definitely not a born extrovert- and time alone helps me recharge my batteries so it’s something I’m always grateful to get- though, again with two sides to the coin, I’m grateful not to be alone all the time.

The little things:
Fruju ice lollies, watching people jump off the Skytower on flywires, mayonnaise, barbecue, nice views, my Best Beloved’s lovely family, new old books, the library, glitter, compliments from people I respect, new recipes, surprise strawberries, and kisses.
How about you? What are you grateful for this week?