I went through a phase when I was about 13 or 14 when I made stuffed animals. I was taking a sewing class as an elective in junior high and somehow there were these kits you could order: “fur”, plastic eyes, stuffing, instructions. I made at least three of them: a cat, a turtle, and a parrot. I never did figure out how to not get the fur caught in the seams, so they all look a little weird, soft and fuzzy except where the fabric pieces come together.
And then I finished the class, went on to high school, and didn’t make a stuffed animal again for years. I’ve made a couple of patchwork bears in the last decade or so, but they hardly count since you can’t play with them (the limbs are not sturdily attached, a flaw, really, when you are giving the bear to a baby). But mostly I’ve sworn off the animal-making, since the fur always got caught in the seams. There’s probably a secret club out there of people who know how to sew pieces of faux fur together and not have the result look like a poodle-shaving session gone very wrong.
Sorry, what was I talking about?
A few months back, I ran into one of TipNut‘s lists, one about bunny projects. There are some seriously cute bunnies on that page, but one just jumped off the page at me, reminding me so much of The Velveteen Rabbit that I read Caitlyn the story that night for bedtime (yes, it still makes me cry).
It wasn’t enough. This bunny needed to come live here.
(As an added bonus, I’ve added Hazelnuts to my list of things I like to read. I like to think we’d go for coffee sometime if she didn’t live in New Zealand. Our girls should be pen-pals or something.)
I’m pleased to say that I finished the bunny a week before Easter. Caitlyn told me yesterday that I didn’t hide it very well.
When I explained that I had made it because it reminded me of The Velveteen Rabbit, she named it Velveteen. Which sounds so much nicer than Felt, if you ask me.
(In other rabbit news, the kids across the alley brought me a newborn rabbit this afternoon, concerned it was being abandoned by it’s mama and asking for “replacement kitten milk”. After explaining that I didn’t have any (Wasabi being adult, male and neutered), I looked up “newborn rabbit care” for them. Turns out rabbit mamas don’t curl up with their babies to keep them warm and only nurse for a very short period at infrequent intervals. I advised the kids to put the newborn in a box with a towel or rags (mama had been alone in a cage before giving birth (the humans unaware she was pregnant) and was unable to make a proper nest), make sure the mama knew it was there, and then let nature take its course. Hooray for Rabbit.org!)