get those children out of the muddy muddy

So sometimes I do this thing where I work for two months straight on a craft project, and the whole time I'm working I'm thinking about how wonderful it'll be when I'm finally done with this stupid thing and I can get some photos up on the blog. And after a billion late-night sewing sessions it's finally done, and then I pester Dan to take nice photos, and then I pester Dan to get the photos off the camera, and the I pester Dan to send me the photos, and then I upload the photos, and then I'm like.... duh, writing is hard. Explaining this project might take like a total of three paragraphs. That's like half an hour. Who needs that kind of effort.

Which is why it's almost two weeks after Harvey's birthday and I'm just now showing you what I made for him. I made an ark.

the passengers inside the ark

coming aboard?

The entire project is constructed out of felt - recycled plastic felt to be exact. The ark took the longest part because I made up the pattern for the body of the boat and did a demo. Dan helped tremendously in drafting the shape of the top decks. The little house on top was all trial and error.


there's gonna be a floody floody

Of course, there are animals on an ark too. I figured the farm animals were the most important, so I made those first. First I made some pigs.

two pigs

La La

Because felt has a tendency to pull apart if it's stretched too thin, I had to stitch these pigs entirely by hand. I learned this after the first pig I made came apart in the stuffing. Total time spent making pigs, 5 hours. You don't want to know the time total for the whole project.

stuffed cows

two cows say moo moo.

The cows were a bit bigger so thankfully I could make these on the machine. The draw-back is that they had like a billion tiny pattern pieces to cut out. I bought a pattern for a 9-inch cow and scaled it by half. All the animals had to scale with each other and the door of the ark, you see, which also had to fit the normal stuffed animals that hang around the living room. So much thought went into the sizing. It's called OCD. Or parenting.

And of course I had to make Noah. He's entirely hand-stitched, although I used the machine to make his clothing. He has hair and a beard that are removable, because it's a long voyage. I figure he either grows a beard or loses his hair over 40 days.

noah without hair

before 40 days adrift

Harvey isn't so keen on Noah, although he likes the ark to put things in... out-of-playset things like legos and sippy cups. And he likes the cows very much, probably because every time he picks one up I say "Moooooooo." These days he's starting to grab one and say "mmmmuuuuuuh." He's pretty smart that little guy.




berry monster

Before I became a parent, I dreamed of raising a child who would be as excited for delicious fresh fruit as other people's offspring are for, say, pixie sticks. It's still early days of course, but so far so good! At the farmers market he lunges violently at tables of strawberries, and waiting for me to pick him some raspberries he produces a truly alarming grunting laugh. In the cereal aisle? So far no response.

I've been indulging his desires at the markets because the end of strawberry season is nearly upon us. As always, I failed to fully appreciate the bounty of the season (never mind all that jam: I never did make the vanilla strawberry). I count myself as a sufferer of fruit guilt, the existence of which I was not aware until recently, but which symptoms describe me pretty well. That's what drives me to make jam: I just can't handle the pressure of eating fruit when it's available! Someday we'll have our own fruit plants producing at the level we want, and then it'll be a good thing that Leah and Harvey will be picking and eating because I sure won't be able to manage it.