First though, I needed some test projects. The frog demonal will be one of the first stuffed animals for realsies, but for now I needed to try things out. See what I wanted to do and see how they look since I don’t really know how to sew. Since I can’t draw, I started out with a simple shape…..a heart. I drew out the shape I wanted on the sketch paper and cut out the pattern. Then I drew a wing that I thought I could live with and cut that one out. I doubled up the purple felt we bought and pinned the pattern to it, then did the same with the black felt for the wings. After I cut everything out, I was ready to sew! From the tutorial I learned how to create a good and easy knot to start out, how to hide the knot, and then how to end it when you’re finished or need more thread. This new knowledge, which was so simple to do, really jazzed me about the whole project.
I pinned the front and back pieces for both sets of wings together and then sewed them up. I wasn’t going to stuff them, so it was a relatively quick and straight-forward task. Once I did that, I decided where I wanted the wings to be placed on the heart and pinned them to the back piece of purple felt. Once those were sewn on, I pinned the two heart pieces together and started sewing on the outside edge a little above the heart point at the bottom. I employed the same simple stitch that I had used for everything else, not really worrying about making sure each stitch looked identical to the other and was perfect placed. Once I reached roughly the same spot on the other side, I stopped and was now ready to stuff it with polyfil. I had a relatively small hole so I only took little bits at a time, pushing it in with my finger and scrunching up the material to reach all the way in. I wanted it squishy because that’s one of the things I love about stuffed animals, so I made sure to not push as much polyfil as would fit into the little heart. Once I was finished, I sewed up the remaining portion and looked at what I had done. It was then that I realized I needed to add eyes. Because of the wing pattern that I had cut out of the black felt, I had some great small pieces that could make excellent eyes. I culled through them and found shapes that I liked and sewed those on. I would have done that before stuffing it if I had thought of it at the time, but that’s one of the things you learn as you go!!
After I did that, I had my first completed stuffed animal!!! We posted a picture of the finished heart on Twitter, and Shawn ended up retweeting as well as posting a quick blog entry on his site. I received a tweet from a new Twitter pal asking about the back story on the heart. I realized then that I had no idea what the back story was for the demonals at all. Shawn and I ended up going out for some salad, garlic rolls and a couple of appetizers at a nearby Italian restaurant the night I finished the heart. Over dinner, we discussed it and once again Shawn’s creativity came out in spades. In going back and forth while we ate, by the time we were done we had the whole story for the demonals and a special place in that story for the heart:
Snarg is a demon who really isn't much of a demon. His problem is that he's.....well......nice. He doesn't want to hurt anyone and he certainly doesn't want to create demons that will hurt others. It all goes back to his name. The demon that created him unfortunately kind of coughed/sneezed during his naming. Other demons have menacing names like Astaroth or Baphomet, but when you have a demon name like Snarg things just aren't starting out on the best note. So, after years of being a failure as a demon he was banished to the world above. He set himself up in a farm out in the country, away from everyone and his own faults. It wasn't long though before Snarg started getting lonely. He may not have been liked in the demon world, but at least there were other demons around!! Every demon has the knowledge and power to make other demons, so Snarg started making his own so he wouldn't have to be alone. He used anything that was around from the local wildlife to inanimate objects. It didn't matter since all he had to do was put a demon heart into it and POOF....a new demon was born. But, true to his demon nature, the demons he made were basically nice and good. Some might be mischievous, some might be a little surly, but all in all none of them were evil.
During dinner, Shawn also went further with the idea of my selling these and said that I could make each heart have a personality trait and be a different color. I figured each heart would have a different shape, and if I could do it, a different set to the eyes that would reflect that trait. I’m not sure if I’ll change the wing design on all of them or just keep them the same. But anyway, people could buy the hearts by themselves, buy only the demonals, buy a combo heart and demonal that matched in color and trait, or mix and match a heart and demon based on color or what trait/demonal they liked. We also talked about starting a blog so I could track my progress and give more content to the demonals website.
It’s a definite plan and one I’m more than anxious to not only work on but follow through on as well as create something for myself based on an idea of mine. Sounds a little selfish and egotistical, but if I ever felt like I had something of my own I certainly don’t feel that way now. These stuffed animals are shaping up to becoming a purpose, a creative activity to get my mushy brain working again, and a legacy in a way. I’m trying not to put too much pressure on the whole thing so I won’t be disappointed if anything falls through or doesn’t go the way I had hoped. But that last word, hope, is what I have with this project and I’m going to ride the awesome feeling of accomplishment and of itching to do something at home while I’m stuck at work for as long as I can. My main problem is the frustration of waiting……..only being able to do what I can at home during the work week before I have to go to bed and wanting to be a lot further along than I am right now. I’m just ready to launch the whole thing and yell out “Ta Da!!” but that’s not very realistic when there isn’t much done just yet. Patience, patience and more patience is what I have to remember. That and thinking everything through and deciding on exactly what I want to do and how I want each part of the project to look before I just leap ahead. Perhaps most of all, I need to enjoy the different aspects and processes in and of themselves rather than treating them as a means to an end. Otherwise, I’ll miss out on some of the fun if I’m only looking toward the final product.