It’s gonna be MerMay!

Closeup of a plush pug in silver with black mask.

One of the viral art challenges on Instagram and the fediverse (at least on mastodon.art and other art-oriented instances) is #mermay. I noodled around with a conventional mermaid embroidery but wasn’t happy with the result and didn’t really pursue it.

Side view of a plush pug/orca mermaid.

And then recently I got to thinking, well, I should just put a tail on some of my plushies, what would be the best one… oh.

Underside of a plush pug/orca mermaid.

I considered a manatee tail first, since that seemed kind of obvious, but wasn’t really sure if the blobby round tail of a manatee would be recognizable by itself (even if a pug face does sorta resemble a manatee’s). And then I remembered I needed to do a silver pug anyway, and here we are.

Another view of a plush silver pug face

In related news: just to prove I haven’t entirely gone over to the embroidery-machine side I ordered a fat quarter of pre-printed pugs (just fawn and black) on fleece which will hopefully arrive on Monday.

And yes, this should have been my Friday post, but my husband took the day off and we visited the Rittenhouse Fine Craft Fair, and then yesterday I fought with the griffin pattern and didn’t end up with anything worthy of a photograph.

Owlbear dice bag

A tiny plush owlbear that is also a dice bag.

Having given the dragon dice bag by Vanessa to the kid, I guess I had dice bags on the brain and well, I went off on another rabbit trail. What would happen, I wondered, if the top of the owl[bear]‘s head was a drawstring?

The result is not quite as round a critter as the stuffed version (one of which is in the shop right now) even with a handful of polyhedrals, but overall it came out okay.

Back view of a tiny plush owlbear that is also a dice bag.

Most of it happens in the hoop, but this time I sewed the bottom dart on the conventional machine, and of course the paws and tail are hand-sewn on.

Looking into the drawstring opening of a tiny plush owlbear that is also a dice bag.

It’s a pretty conventional lined drawstring bag on the inside. I think I’d make it a little shorter if I did it again, so the top draws closed a little close to the face. Not sure I will do it again; I really need to get my “real” stuff in the shop. The silver dragon is very sad that I haven’t been paying it enough attention:

A silver dragon fabric sculpture work in progress.

Stash panda, guardian of the fabric

Did I work on the hand sewing yesterday? Nope. Did I work on Mew today? Nope.

Instead, I worked on getting some bookshelves cleared off and rearranged. And I thought to myself, “I’m going to take this tall one out of the living room where it doesn’t fit, and use it to store my active fabric stash so I’m not burrowing through tubs of fabric.

“Fabric… stash. STASH PANDA! I MUST MAKE A STASH PANDA!”

(Karen’s brain, ladies and gentlemen.)

The pattern needs a little fine-tuning (gonna make the hind feet more properly trash panda-ish) and then I’ll publish it, but this one will be the guardian of my fabric stash… as soon as I figure out where to put that shelf.

The distractability spider

Yesterday’s pattern development kind of encapsulates how I work.

I decided to release the in-the-hoop dragon as a pattern on Etsy, which meant I needed some pictures for the instructions. I cut some kelly-green minky squares and went through the process. I gave it orange eyes because St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and I was thinking Irish flag. And the more I worked with it the less I liked that green, until I realized it was the unnatural green of a plush Cthulhu. It only took encouragement from one person to get me haring off on an in-the-hoop Cthulhu, even though there are already way too many chibi Elder Gods out there already.

I rushed things a little too much and, in the process of changing the pattern entirely between colors, managed to mis-align the eye-shines:

Dragon and failed embroider

As I went to throw away the goof, I went “ha ha looks like a cute little jumping spider instead” and, well, my heart really wasn’t in Cthulhu anyway.

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