Showing posts with label sock creatures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sock creatures. Show all posts

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Week in Sock Creatures

I've fallen behind on my sock creatures.  As a means of covering my butt, I will point out that, thankfully, I did say "thirty days or so"  on my original post about this (or words to that effect).  I got four done this week. I've decided to go for quality rather than finishing on time.  My excuse:  I've joined Americorps.  (That "s" on the end just seems wrong to me, but that's the name.)  Americorps now have a volunteer program open to everyone from college students through retirees.  I'm serving half-time as a volunteer coordinator for an elder care facility.  In any case, here are the four completed this week.

This is #10.  He's Homer Simpson's evil twin.  Don't you think they bear a resemblance or is it just me?  I've named him Gomer.  This was my first attempt at teeth.  I think it went well.  The problem I have with this one is that it completely lacks symmetry.  I love symmetry.  It's hard to get when using leftovers from other creature ventures, though.  The Stupid Sock Creatures book has some rather rustic looking ones, too.  This one actually looks good in comparison.  It's growing on me.

Number eleven:

It's definitely part hamster.  From the back you can see the coordinating sock used for the underside.

I'm particularly pleased with the ribbon tongue.

I'm doing more of the sewing around the mouth and closings by hand which looks much better.  A mistake with this one was using loose stuffing without any batting.  It's lumpy looking.  Next time I'll wrap batting around stuffing and squeeze that in.  Since she, like Bob the Blob, is rather nondescript, she has been named Bobbette the Blobbette.

Number 12:

I like this one, but it is totally different than it was supposed to be.  Those flippers were supposed to be wings.  Everyone thinks they look like flippers including me.  I placed them too far back.  I also should have put something inside to stabilize the flipper/wings since they rippled a good bit.   I sewed about a quarter of an inch in along the edge of the flipper/wings and another line about a half inch from that to try to get rid of the rippling effect.  They are better but still not flat.  To get something resembling wings next time,  I will use some stiff interfacing.

I love the tongue sticking out.  It kind of resembles something prehistoric.  Name:  Sarah Jurassica Parker.

And last, #13:

Originally I was going to have the ribbons sticking out all the way around.  Because they are several inches long, however,  I soon realized that it would be nearly impossible not to catch the edges in the other side.  I'd like to try this again with shorter ribbon pieces.  It was late when I was doing it, though, and there was no way I was going to start cutting the ribbons down.  Name:  Whiskaretta.  I am sure if sock creatures could sing, this one would have a whiskey tenor.

Goals 10, 11, 12, and 13:  complete!  I'm almost halfway there!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Ninth Sock Creature is Here!

This one is already named:  Eelinore.

She does appear to be part eel, hence the name.  My knowledge of eels is pretty much limited to knowing they exist and reading tiny bits about them in books.  I'm thinking eels would not have that food bulge, though. Yes, I did that bulge on purpose.  Those who have seen Eelinor hint that I just stuffed her poorly.  That is NOT true.   The stuffing shows through in the picture but not when you see her in person--or should I say in creature?

I'm particularly fond of her multifaceted gold eyes.

I'm feeling kind of guilty for not using sock fabric for the back ridge.  Frankly, my sock supply just did not have something that would give the right effect.  The blue sequins are spectacular. 

The eyes are kind of insect-like and the belly bulge more along the line of snake.  I think those features combined with the eel-ish shape and back ridge qualify Eelinor as a true creature.  Goal 9:  completed.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day 8 Goal Complete and Not Bad If I Do Say So Myself

It is not even 11 a.m.,  and I have completed the day's creature!  I think it's a record.   I am pretty happy about "it" because I don't know what to call some of the parts when describing it.  Hair or tentacles?  Nose, mouth, or something else?  That's a good thing when going for a creature.

I must admit that originally there were to be three legs just as there are three things on the top of the head.  I tried to eyeball this rather than to measure as I did the head piece.  I ended up with two fatter legs and one very thin one.  I am obsessed with symmetry.  That third skinny leg would have had to go in the middle.  With the third leg looking quite different than the other two, I feared it might be misinterpreted as being some other body part that often holds that place in the anatomy.  I decided to use it as a navel, but  it was still a little too close and open to misinterpretation.  After the debacles with the two face creatures, I am intently trying to keep the bawdy level down.  I finally settled for placing it higher up which seems to have eliminated the problem.   

Between my old camera and the fact that the "things on top of the head fall to the back or sides, it was hard to get a good picture.  In any case, here it is.  I think the third leg problem becomes more obvious here.

I'm going to have to think a while about a name for this one.  (Update:  He has been named Bob--Bob the Blob) 

Major lesson from today's work:  invest in some black stuffing.  Those legs didn't turn out as well with white stuffing.  Another piece of information:  don't use those tiny safety eyes with knits if it can be avoided.  It is difficult to poke a hole large enough for the eye stem and small enough to be  covered by the actual eye part.

Day 7 Goal: Completed But...

I did finish the sock creature yesterday, but I had to sleep on it (not literally!) to come to terms with the results.  My intention was to create one from the winking Betsey Johnson socks again.  I had two reasons for this.  First, I bought two pairs of these socks for a grand total of four faces.  I have to use them up.  Second, I was thinking about Rue McClanahan who just passed away.  I loved her in The Golden Girls. While I didn't get to see the show often when it was first on,  it was always good when I did.  I happen upon reruns of it all the time now when channel surfing, and it stands the test of time well. 

Rue's character, Blanche,  was what my niece, Binnie, would call sophisticated with a touch of sleaze.  My intention with this creature was to honor Rue by making a doll-ish creature that would also be sophisticated with a touch of sleaze.  Unfortunately, my sewing is much like my bowling.  The results are seldom what I intended.  I have just as much chance of getting a strike as a gutter ball.  Amazingly, I never improve from that.  I joined a bowling league once.  Everyone assured me I would get better.  That didn't happen, and  I was not invited back the next year.

I can kind of understand the bowling (and tennis).  I lack depth perception.  Both my eyes work, just not together.  Sewing, though, I do not understand.  Yesterday's creation should have been an improvement from the first face sock.  I tried to give this one a neck.  The garish coordinating socks were changed to a floral for the torso and arms.  This one has more hair to eliminate the punk look.  I made sure she wouldn't look naked by making the legs the same color as the face and putting a skirt on her.

Somehow, though, I missed the sophistication entirely.  This one looks like an older alcoholic housewife after a serious binge.  How I managed to make the very same face that is on Charlotte the Harlot look so different I do not know.  I've named her Betsey the Boozer.  The Betsey is, of course, for Betsey Johnson.  I think she should bear some responsibility for these off-the-mark characters.  So here it is:

Unintentionally, I left some of the oxox Betsey signature the socks have on the neck area on the doll.  It came out as, "xox ETSY" which I find rather amusing.  Can you just see the Regretsy people finding this on Etsy?  They would have a field day presenting this to their followers.  If  you have somehow not used Etsy or seen Regretsy, just click one of those words.  I've linked them all.  I just love creating links.  Etsy is an online mega-store where people can create their own smaller stores for selling handmade items.  Regretsy is an online site presenting  the bizarre and just plain bad items listed on Etsy.  By and large, Etsy has incredibly wonderful items from very creative people.  Everything I've purchased has exceeded my expectations on arrival. 

So based on past experience, I should  unintentionally over-compensate with today's creature making something that resembles a baby toy rather than a creature.  The only thing I can guarantee, however,  is that whatever does happens, it will be unintentional.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Success! A True Sock Creature

Attempt #6 was  a success, I true creature.  And it was finished by 5 p.m.!

Is it acceptable to make the legs from mini boas rather than socks?  I've not seen any official rules for what constitutes a true sock creature.  The boas were supposed to be for a Charlotte the Harlot (she was creature #4, I think), but they make perfect legs for this one.  Obviously, the name had to be Bo'a-Dora.  I don't know why so many people are putting all the apostrophes and hyphens in names, but I am going with it.

I like the way the head stands up:

And that his mouth is underneath.

I got Zombieland from Netflix today and my night is free.  Life is good.

Removing the "Creature" From Sock Creature

I'm sorry to say that, once again, I've left the making of the new creature until 10 o'clock at night.  I'm a morning creator.  My goal, however,  is a sock creature a day for 30 days, and I will see it through.  This one actually looks far too tame to be called a creature.  Yesterday's looked like a harlot.  Today's looks like baby toy.  I'm almost ashamed to show it.  I promised to show the good and the bad, though, so here it is.

Turns out she is a gymnast.  I dropped her and look how she landed:

I did get to try out some of the safety eyes and a nose on this one. For some reason these are called safety eyes, but the package says they are not intended for children under three because of small parts.  I have searched the net for safe safety eyes, but they don't seem to exist.  In any case,  my first time using these was the larger cats eyes on #3, "Aunty."  It makes me nervous to cut the hole in the fabric to insert the stem.  With these small eyes, it was particularly nerve wracking.  I think the pressure of starting a project at 10 at night that I really want to finish THAT day might be contributing to the nerves.

Okay, goal #5 is complete! I've named her Mary Kay in honor of that cosmetics lady with a thing for pink.  Starting tomorrow I promise to put the creature into my sock creatures.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yesterday's Sock Creature--It's Betsey Johnson's Fault

I left the sock creature job until late in the day which is never a good idea.  The scarf from my last post took priority since it was needed for yard work.  Yes, I have the flowered scarf, but it did not match my brown t-shirt.

So here is the new creation:
Oh, she's from socks all right,  Betsey Johnson socks.

There is the oxox Betsey signature still visible on the other sock.

Frankly, I'm disappointed.  The words cheap, hussy, floozy, and broad come to mind when looking at her.  It's as though I've started a whole new line of red light district creatures.  I wrapped some ruffled edging to make her a dress because she looked--well--so naked.  It's obvious, though, that she would look more appropriate in sequins, silk,  leather, feathers, and/or possibly tulle.  These are not fabrics in my collection that usually puts out utilitarian items and baby stuff.  The white silk makes her look like a tart dressed as a school girl. Now I'm going to have to go to Joann's to buy some new fabric.  (Okay, so I guess something good has come of it.)

Because the designs are weaved into the cloth, these socks have all those loose threads inside.  It was a bit more challenging for sewing and stuffing, but just a little.    Other than that and the fact that clothing becomes almost a necessity,  it is as easy to make a bawdy bimbo as any other creature.

Day 4 Goal:  Completed

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thirty Days or So of Sock Creatures

Off topic for a minute, we bicycled from Glens Falls to Lake George and back today.  Brian rides often including centuries or 100 mile rides.  I, on the other hand, am a leisure rider more interested in the ten or fifteen mile rides.  Let's call mine decades.  Lake George village was crowded! The walkway on the lake was packed with people.

I'll share Brian's picture.  He got there looking happy and rested.  I had severe helmet hair, so you can't see that picture.  It was a perfect day for biking.

Back to the sock creatures.  I've decided that I will do a sock creature a day for thirty days.  Why?  Because I want to experiment with different designs, get better at sewing knits, have an hour or so a day to just have fun, and carry through on a totally absurd goal.

After getting home today, I created Aunty Lame.  Kiefer named this one, too.  See if you can figure out why he chose that name.

Everyone thinks he looks like an anteater!  I beg to differ.  Look at those pouty lips and those cat's eyes.

I went along with the name but insisted that it be spelled Aunty.  Since aunt is pronounced ant in my neck of the woods, Kiefer and I both win. It's kind of a plain name so I'm adding Lame--Aunty Lame.

Day three goal completed!

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Much Better Way to Stuff Sock Creatures

L'ove-Lorna, of the last post, did not get a sister.  She got a brother.  I need some help coming up with a name for him.   (I really should be asking for help getting a job.  Otherwise I fear my house will soon be filled with sock creatures, and no one will have any socks to wear.)
[ UPDATE:  He has a name:  Matt.  Kiefer says that he looks like his friend, Matt.  I guess that makes him Mini-Matt actually.]

Yes, he is good looking.  He is also less lumpy and sturdier than L'ove-Lorna.  Instead of stuffing, I used rolled up batting cut to the size of the body part.  Since the socks were quite stretchy, I cut the batting to the same size as the body part it was to fill.  You stuff it in kind of like you would put a pillow into a case, just keep gently pushing and pulling.  I found the batting was actually easier than using stuffing. 

Here he is with his big sister.

L'ove-Lorna takes after the taller, Overthekneesock side of the family, while her brother takes after the Kneesock side. They do have some similarities, however,  Both  have those eyes that just scream love and both are into inter-species dating.

A special thanks to John Murphy whose book on sock creatures is so much fun. I don't know how thankful the family will be when their socks start disappearing.   

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Did It!!! My First Stupid Sock Creature

I finally decided to take the plunge and create something from John Murphy's book,  Stupid Sock Creatures:  Making Quirky, Lovable Figures from Cast-off Socks

Stupid Sock Creatures: Making Quirky, Lovable Figures from Cast-off Socks

I've been waiting because I didn't have any cast-off socks.  I like my socks, and no one was offering to donate theirs to the cause.  I felt a certain amount of guilt sacrificing a pair of perfectly good socks.  As it turned out, however, L'ove-Lorna was well worth it.  I am using the new style of naming I've seen in the papers lately which requires one to use an abundance of punctuation.

Is she not a thing of beauty?  Okay, she is cute, at least.  And, look at those eyes!

Filled with love.  And some stuffing.

Here she is in a more formal pose.  Those ears are great fun.

L'ove-Lorna can tie them in a knot but not a bow.

My first sock adventure!  I'm stoked!  I have some pink heart-shaped buttons.  She will probably have a sister by tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My version of John Murphy's monster plushie

In the fall I watched John Murphy's video tutorial on making monster plushies at Threadbanger's site.  By the winter holidays, I had the time and courage to attempt my own.  These are the first two I did.

Since the fabric used for the arms and part of each one's ears was called cheetah fabric, I  named them Tiger and Elliot.  I guess everyone can figure out how Tiger got his name.  If you are from New York State or really into politics, you may understand where Elliot got his.  Since these were not for little kids I went with button eyes.  Elliot had bloodshot eyes (much as he namesake's) as you can see here.  Yes, he is a blue blood.

I decided to birth some more of these for newly arrived grandchildren of my book club members, and Tattletales were born.  I do consider that my monsters are born rather than made.  They take on personalities.  I swear they do.  These new sweet things tattle on the new owners like Addison's below:

Yes, that says, "Addison did it.  Babies have it way too easy.  These little monsters will toughen them up.  I gave this one embroidered button eyes for safety purposes.   I think they look just as nice as the real buttons.  There is the added advantage of using the little beast to help with learning colors.  The nest came from a pattern by Michael Miller that you can find here.  THEY call it a soft basket rather than a nest.  There are a number of  great tutorials on the right side of the website.  Just scroll down to the "soft basket" one that I think should be called a nest. 

This tattletale was for Reid:

He has felt eyes sewn on that give him a bit of a condescending attitude with those droopy eyelids.  I decided to make his feet the same as the hands.  I like that three-fingered and toed look best.  Actually his feet tuck quick nicely into the basket, but I wanted to show his adorable toes.  Eli's tattletale sneaked out before I got his picture.  I'll have to see if I can get the family to take a picture.  If he behaves as badly as Elliot, they have probably thrown him out on the street.

Elliot is still with me.  My nephew, Randy, takes him home occasionally, but he tells me that Elliot behaves so badly he has to keep bringing him back.  Randy has, however, been teaching Elliot how to play lacrosse.  Or perhaps Elliot stole the equipment from Randy.  I'm not quite sure.  That is Elliot's mother in the background, the couch.  They are indeed cut from the same cloth.  Stay tuned for the story of the reupholstered furniture coming to this blog soon.

I got John Murphy's, "Stupid Sock Creatures:  Making Quirky, Lovable Figures from Cast-off Socks.  I'll post my first creation soon. I've had a bit of trouble gathering socks.   It's amazing how attached people are to their socks.  People react badly when asked to part with their them, especially the striped ones.