The house has no fresh food in it, and very little left in the freezer.
The gardening jobs are still lurking on a list.
The sheets on the beds need changing.
The carpet needs a serious vacuum clean.
Best friend's birthday present is still not wrapped, though her birthday was yesterday*
What on earth have I been doing?
Have I been bringing work home with me? I have not.
Have I been ill? I have not.
Have I been relaxing and reading my book? I have not.
I have been making a cuddly giant squid. A giant, cuddly, giant squid. With LittleBear. It has been an adventure.
LittleBear decided he would really like to have a go at making a cuddly giant squid, and, being the soft touch that I am, I agreed. We found a pattern on the internet; we choose fabric**; we modified the pattern because the arms and tentacles were not long enough; we drew the new pattern on huge rolls of paper; LittleBear cut out the pattern pieces; I cut out the fabric; together we sewed the pieces - LittleBear on the pedal of the sewing machine and me feeding the fabric through. If any of you have ever sewed with two slightly dissimilar fabrics, one of which is stretchier than the other, you will know how slowly and steadily you need to take the process. Try imagining doing this, when you have no control of the speed whatsoever. I am probably more proud of myself for remaining calm and even tempered in this endeavour than I am of constructing a cuddly squid at all.
We stuffed the squid, we made eyes for the squid, we attached the eyes. It has literally taken over all my waking hours at home for the past week. I was sewing eyes on with LittleBear between breakfast and school this morning.
|The mantle and fins are cut out and ready to go|
|Eight arms, two tentacles, insides and outsides|
|Mantle with stuffed fins. All sewing and stuffing by LittleBear|
|A heap of unstuffed arms, three by LittleBear, five by me|
Once the squid arms and tentacles were stuffed came the extremely painful, fiddly, time-consuming and vexing process of joining the appendages to each other, and to the head.*** It required more than thirty pins just to hold it together. Needless to say, I saved this bit for after LittleBear had gone to bed.
|Trying to assemble squid appendages|
But then, the end was in sight. With only another 750g of stuffing, we had a fabulously absurd squid. My fingertips are lacerated, I have bled from under the nails of multiple fingers, my back is still recovering from hunching over a seemingly endless supply of arms and tentacles. But how can I be anything but delighted when the end result is this?
|It really is a giant squid|
|Squidy likes watching Numberblocks too|
|Squidy isn't afraid of anything and will chase all the worries away|
** I am going to offer a heartfelt, and unsponsored, recommendation to use the website Plush Addict, who not only sell awesome cuddly toy fabric, but will also colour-match the thread for you, rather than making you rely on the colours shown on screen.
*** For those not familiar with squid anatomy, here's a handy diagram, with thanks to a blog by the Burlington Science Centre. We have not constructed either a siphon or a beak.