Finishing the Hat – First Small Projects

I probably am creating too many projects for myself this year.  I can tell that already because it was only weekend number 2 and we didn’t bake any cookie cutter cookies.  Instead, we spent a lot of yesterday working on Alex’s room. 

It’s been a mess, frankly.

His is the smaller of the two kids’ bedrooms, and since both kids have double beds rather than twin beds, that makes it seem even smaller.  (Double beds because we already had one when we moved in and then Julia’s crib was convertible into a double bed, so rather than buy a twin mattress set, we just went with the bigger bed to fit the headboard/larger side of her crib.) 

Add to the smallness of the room a huge population of stuffed animals, plastic dinosaurs and a whole galaxy of Star Wars action figures, monsters and spacecraft, plus LOTS of books, you’ve got one crowded room.  Plus, he’s eight, so of course there’s all sorts of stuff under his bed and behind it.  Like lonely single socks, clean underwear that never made it into his bureau, and a few shirts and an outgrown pair of baseball pants.

And worst of all (yes, I’m a horrible housekeeper) dust and cat hair.

Oh – and three nearly full boxes of tissues.  No wonder we always seem to be running out!

Over Christmas break Bill put up a couple of shelves on one wall in Alex’s room to help rearrange some of the clutter.  We’d planned to tackle the entire room that week, but that didn’t happen.

So that’s what we did yesterday, and other parts of the house as well.  It took up a good chunk of the day, and part of me whined to myself that I’d really wanted to do something relaxing FOR ME, I’m glad we took the time.  His bedroom is clean and orderly and I’ve redistributed the boxes of tissues throughout the house.  We got rid of some things he doesn’t play with any more, and…well, it just looks good.

Next weekend (fingers crossed), we’ll do the same thing with Julia’s room, though the need isn’t as pressing – her room is bigger.  She and I straightened her room yesterday, so it certainly looks better than it has, but it still needs work.

Anyway, none of that is relevant to the title of this post.

As I mentioned the other day, my creativity project for the year is not to come up with lots of new things, but to finish up all the old things.  Repairs, projects to finish, that sort of thing.

And right after I wrote that post, I started.

I’d noticed a few stuffed animals on my sewing table.  Assuming the kids had been playing with them and had some perfectly logical reason for leaving them on my desk (perhaps it was part of a zoo…or a forest…who knows), I just tossed them all onto the couch and typed that post.

Shortly afterward, two of the stuffed animals – a raccoon and a duck – were back on the desk, and Julia pointed out the reasons.


He’s injured.  See the leg?


And the ears?



And there was also this guy…


So I fixed them both.


The little duckling was first, since he had only one injury.

See how happy he is now?


The raccoon took a little longer.

My grandmother – my mother’s mother – made the raccoon.  It must have belonged to my sister or me when we were little…but maybe it was Calvin’s when he was a baby?  I don’t know. 

My grandmother made a lot of crocheted stuffed animals for us when we were kids…ducklings…a big lion…a collection of four little ones – a lion, a tiger, a bear, and a panda…and more.  Those are the first that come to mind.  She crocheted hats and mittens and little slipper-like bootie things that – this is just coming to me as I type – we called (okay, laugh) – “tootie covers.”  “tootie” should be pronounced NOT like “bootie” but more “footie” – which explains the name.  They were crocheted footie covers, and because we were little, “footie” became “tootie.”

OKAY.  Moving on.

I stitched the raccoon’s leg back on…and the ears…and even secured the eyes a bit better because they looked like they’d be coming off next.





So that was Saturday.

On Sunday, since I was on a roll (a small roll, but a roll nonetheless), I decided to tackle a more serious problem.

Porcine uterine prolapse.

Don’t know what that is?  Well then you obviously didn’t read enough veterinary stories when you were growing up.  I learned all my animal doctoring skillz from the James Herriot books, starting with All Creatures Great and Small, and therefore I know a prolapsed uterus when I see one.

And this sow was definitely in need of help.


See?  Look how upset she is.


Okay – here it is.


I know.  It’s not pretty.  And I’m fairly sure it’s not comfortable, either.  She needed help, and fast!

So I got out my pink pig-colored thread and a needle and carefully reinserted her private inner workings and stitched her closed.


I don’t think there will be any scarring, and she’s back nosing in her trough and rolling in the mud already.


Next up?

A deflated snake.


Julia wants to assist with this one, so I’m not sure when we’ll re-stuff her (the snake – her name is “Pink Swirls” I think).  But I’ll let you know how it all turns out.

After the snake…I move onto quilts.

I’m really looking forward to them.  First, I’ll start restoring the older quilts we have.  The one my grandmother made for me – it’s got a flying geese pattern on the top – and two that are/were Bill’s – one made by his mom, and one made by his grandmother.

Can’t wait to show them to you.    

5 thoughts on “Finishing the Hat – First Small Projects

  1. I love the title of this entry. I hope that you’ll have made a hat where there never was a hat before too long!

  2. Im sorry – I meant to explain that in the post – its a line from the musical Sunday in the Park with George, sung by George (Seurat). Finishing the hat/how you have to finish the hat/how you watch the rest of the world from a window/while you finish the hat… Its a lovely piece about being an artist and HAVING to focus on your art while everyone else goes about living normal lives. Ive just always liked the song.

  3. Oh thank you! I have never heard that.. I will have to go and look at the lyrics (I love lyrics) as it sounds quite inspirational.

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