Thursday, March 08, 2012
Meet the Hoot Hoots, Your Friendly Neighborhood Stuffed Owls
Mrs Hoot Hoot and her brother Hoot Hoot
cotton chenille, upcycled felted wool, clothing scraps, upholstery remnants and wool blend felt, thread, poly fiberfill.
approx 18" tall
While I'm doing this business of paying attention to the creativity that I am actually taking part of, I thought I'd post some of the things I have made while I've been away from the blogosphere.
I know a lot of people are addicted to pinterest (as am I) and we talk about how it is a time suck and makes us less productive and all... well I just wanted to say that it doesn't have to be that way. Yes, I haven't blogged much since I started pinterest (oops) but I really do use pinterest to fuel my creativity.
My son is obsessed with Harry Potter right now, and so for Christmas I decided to make him his own Hedwig type owl. My daughter has always wanted a pink owl for some reason, so I went through pinterest looking for ideas. One of my favorite versions of stuffed owls is Mimi Kirchner's, but then I love her work and much of my stuffed animal making is inspired by her. But I never just copy what I see online, I use it for inspiration. Combined with Mimi, I also found things like this, and this and this. Looking at these things helped me consider what I could do with the media that I had on hand. On top of that, I also searched pinterest for visual references of actual owls. Ok, well, I just searched owls, but it helped me to know that a barn owl was different than a snowy owl, and some owls have ears and some owls don't and they have different patterns and shapes and all.
For instance, please note Hoot Hoot doesn't have a face patch, but Mrs Hoot Hoot does. Mrs Hoot Hoot also has ear tufts. I did my research. Snowy owls are round as eggs, but other owls aren't. And if you were to turn them around, you would notice that Hoot Hoot is chenille all the way, but the girl is not a fan of white unless it's covered over with pink, so I made sure to put lots of pink and the back is another pink pattern. If you are a long time reader, you might notice also that I used Mrs. Hoot Hoot's tummy fabric before. Yes, this is a scrap from Pink Kitty. I like to use what I have, plus it's such a cute fair isle pattern and I'd already felted it for the Christmas before. And now her owl and her pussy cat match. Oh dear.
Another thing you might notice is that Hoot Hoot is far more worn than Mrs Hoot Hoot. I suppose that is a the sign of a successful stuffed animal, because Mrs Hoot Hoot is basically just another pillow on my daughter's bed, but Hoot Hoot himself is much loved, squeezed at night, carried around during the day, and brought out every evening when we read our chapters in Harry Potter. He has also been through a bout of boy stomach flu and a whirl through the washing machine. In retrospect, I shouldn't have done that, as the upholstery fabric does not seem to like being washed. Everything else held up reasonably well, although the felt eyes pilled. Lesson learned. Either say "don't wash" or make everything a washable material.
Anyway, I am sticking to my goal of a return to blogging, despite the fact that I am now running late for work. So I'm going to hit publish and hope that I didn't need to edit too much of this. I am at the point in my creativity where it is more important to get it done than it is to get it done perfectly. So I hope you will forgive me my flaws. And forgive yourself your creative flaws while you're at it. Creativity is not about perfection anyway, it's about adventure, experimentation, seeing what happens, using what you have and going for it.
On that note, I'm going to stop talking and go. I wonder what today will bring?