Sunday, December 31, 2017

To the stars!

If only we lived in the happy world propaganda paints.
Ah well, I can still rally to wish us all a Happy 2018! 
Soviet-era ^ "Happy New Year" postcard, found on Pinterest

I've been looking at the work of "teddy bear artists"--humans who design and hand-make modern, one-of-a-kind, stuffed bears.
I'm usually not keen on new bears artificially distressed to look as if they're old and worn, but I have liked some bears of that type made by Russian teddy-artist Olia Mayorova.
She photographs them beautifully; here she dressed one of her bears as a cosmonaut for this New Year, in her Instagram, Olga's bears:

That's Yuri Gagarin behind the bear, you know––first human in space, in 1961, the year I was born. I like him––he was a lovely looking guy with a radiant smile. [Oh, huh, I see I even have an index tab on him.]

I decided to see if there were any affordable Gagarin things on eBay. Of course there are.
Of course!
I was thrilled to find this batch of 5 Soviet pins commemorating Gagarin's spaceflight, for $10. I especially like the blobby depiction of his ship, Vostok, because it looks like a space capsule out of Star Trek (Nomad, specifically).

And then I found this little rubber, squeak toy--below, left, with a clouded and scratched helmet––listed on eBay as "Yuri Gagarin Doll, from Czechoslovakia, 1962".
You cannot rely on eBay for the full story, so I googled it.

I found pictures of the cosmonaut without his helmet (far right),
and, while there's nothing that says he is Gagarin per se (there are none of the usual signs, like his orange spacesuit), the toy has got a very cool backstory:

It was part of a bunch of squeaky-toy workers designed by Czech toy designer Libuše Niklová, one of the first to use plastic in toy-making.

In fact, this little spaceman was in the "Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900–2000" exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in 2012 [exhibit slideshow]

along with other Niklova toys, including her most famous--an accordion cat, below, on her shoulder.

She got the idea for the accordion toys from a bendy plastic part used in new flush toilets of the era. MoMA calls the toys "artistically conceived and technically ingenious."

Originals of Niklova's toys are expensive online ($50 to $500) and, as far as I can see, not very common, so I was pleased to buy this one on eBay for $9.50.
He's probably barely been able to see out in decades:
I look forward to popping his helmet off. 

Once again, I wish you a great big HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

It's cold.

We're at 11 degrees below zero here, and I am baking shepherd's pie, using up the potatoes leftover from Xmas Eve's pot roast. 
This weather would definitely kill you pretty quickly, but to think people live where Fahrenheit and Celsius meet, at 40 below...

1964, Photo by Gennady Koposov, Russia
"A composite image of a baby and a funeral procession of a reindeer shepherd at 55 degrees below zero in the northern tundra of Evenkia, in what was then the Soviet Union."
--via the collection of World Press Photo

Friday, December 29, 2017

Red Hair Girl Meets Easy-Bake Oven

I brought Red Hair Girl to the new Lucky Oven Bakery this morning, which has about 20 of these toy ovens mounted on one wall. My parents did not approve of plastic toys like these--we always had tasteful, educational toys. 
They taught me something all right. They taught me envy.

I envied all the girls in the neighborhood who had Easy-Bake Ovens, and Barbies, and portable record players that played 45s, and comic books, and who got to watch daytime TV and eat Twinkies and bologna sandwiches, while I had to memorize Shakespeare sonnets, eat leftover lamb-and-garbanzo bean stew in the school cafeteria, wear linen dresses, and other improving stuff like that.

I liked those things well enough, but I've always wished my parents had given me both worlds: 

why couldn't we have watched Death in Venice AND Bugs Bunny?

I've made up for that imbalance since.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

This blog is pro-Porg.

Star Wars has not always made good non-Earth creatures (the Ewoks, Jar-Jar Binks) but this latest installment, The Last Jedi, has several good ones, most especially the Porg, who I immediately recognized for what they are: Space Puffins. 
(Really--they were filming on an island off Ireland that was covered in puffins.)

I was a little surprised that some people hate them.
 But then, some people feel strongly about Star Wars--I am not one of them. Star Trek, yes. Star Wars, eh. But I did like this movie a lot.

Looking for photos of porgs, I found this GIF:

They're cute for the same reason lots of stuffed animals are cute: they look like babies.
"The leading theory for why humans find certain animals cute is they remind us of young children. Baby-like characteristics, known as 'kindchenschema' (German for 'child form'), include a relatively large head compared to the body, a big cranium, round eyes and chubby cheeks. In studies where pictures of animals or babies have been artificially manipulated, participants prefer images with cuter facial features."

Well, if they're ugly, are babies ugly?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Animals in Art (not stuffed)

Sometimes I see animals in art that would make great stuffed toys. These are some of those:
"Mice Burying the Cat", The World Turned Upside-Down fairy-tale theme, Russia,  hand-colored woodcut, 1760s,
via The National Library of Russia, Pogodin's Collection

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Flying Monkey Returns to the Wild

Remember the stuffed monkey toy I picked up in the alley wet, dirty, and run over by a car?

Just now this Christmas-Eve afternoon I put it up, wearing the jacket I made for it, on a telephone pole at the end of the alley, with a sign explaining I'd taken it home and cleaned it up.

                  FLYING MONKEY NEEDS A HOME.


Happy Christmas-Eve Day!

Soviet Space Santa

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Did you know fondue can FAIL?

I had no idea. 
I thought it would be fool-proof to melt cheese into wine.

Turns out, [thank you Internet] 
the cheese can "seize" in the acids of the wine and simply melt into a rubbery lump.
Which mine did--in full view of the dinner party guests I was making it for.

we laughed so hard, the failed fondue provided more pleasure than a successful one would have.

And we did manage to scoop up and eat the melty cheese before it got too rubbery. (It tasted great.)

I am making pot roast for Christmas Eve dinner tomorrow, which I have done several years in a row.
I use my mother's recipe. She was something of a gourmet, but she swore by Lipton's dried onion soup mix as the perfect seasoning, sprinkled on the roast, which is then baked slowly in a bottle of cheap red wine.
Knock on wood, nothing has ever gone wrong with it.

I've been in such a great mood the past few months. That began with starting to darn the holey blanket and progressed with Bear Repair. Often I go to bed thinking about some technical problem––lately, how to work with jointed limbs––and wake up eager to get to it.

The only problem is that my apartment is covered in sewing scraps and bears in various stages of reincarnation, like 
< these five (from c. 1960–1980). 
The problem being, they will have to shove over to make room for six of us (humans, that is) on Xmas Eve.

All five of these bears arrived flat and dirty, all are now clean and fluffy again.
I could just re-stuff them and and call them done.
But I've become much more interested in altering them, even just a bit...
This takes me a lot of time, which is happy-making too. I wouldn't want to just whip through them---it's nice to spend time musing on what they might be.

Stuffed Animals, Here & There: "They can be magic."

From video "Sewing teddy bears for sick kids - meet 12 year old Campbell", Oct. 2016, on YouTube

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fandom & Fondue

OHMYGOD! My book! It's finally finally here!
I'd half-forgotten about this book, which I started writing TWO years ago. By the time I turned the final edit in this May, I felt disgusted with it---a feeling familiar to many writers, I think.
But enough time has passed that I'm excited to read it, which I would do right now but I'm in the middle of chopping up cheese for fondue I'm taking to a dinner party in half an hour.
The book is something of a melty swirl through fandom and fan arts, come to think of it.

So I'll just leave it here with a mini-review, one of the first, by a librarian blogger.

Stuffed Animals, Here & There: Truck Grilles

"They're Soft and Cuddly, So Why Lash Them to the Front of a Truck?" asks a 2005 article in the New York Times.

Are you kidding? I say. Because they love it! 

Photo ^ by Robert Marbury, rogue vegan taxidermist

From the NYT article:
Mierle Laderman Ukeles, the artist in residence at New York City's Department of Sanitation, said that when she noticed the animals on garbagemen's trucks in the late 1970's,
she "felt they were like these spirit creatures that were accompanying them on this endless journey in flux.
. . . I always felt, with these creatures that they withdrew from the garbage and refused to let go of, that there was an act of rescue involved."

That is certainly true for Julio Hernandez, a laborer for Aspen Tree Specialists in Brooklyn.

The GMC chipper-truck he rides in is graced with 11 figurines, each defective in one way or another -- Hulk Hogan with both hands missing, a Frankenstein monster with a hole in his head, a nearly disintegrated black rubber rat.
"People throw them out because they're broken," Mr. Hernandez, 38, said in Spanish. "They catch my attention."

Mr. DiVittorio, 27, said, "I don't see anybody that wouldn't be a halfway decent person putting something on their truck."

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Happy Winter Solstice, from Starsky & Hutch

This is an adaptation of a photo-manipulation/paint-over by Starsky/Hutch artist extraordinaire, Mortmere---
her original is S/H on a snowy beach: "Wonderland", here.
(Note: If you look further around her Dreamwidth site, be aware some of it is explicit and NSFW.)

I just cut out her paint-over of the boys and put them in the north woods--because I wanted to see them in wintertime Duluth, where Hutch is from (that's canon). 

Stuffed Yellowstone Bear Cub, BEFORE & AFTER

The eBay seller posted this photo of a traumatized stuffed bear cub (sold at Yellowstone in the 60s). 
And someone bought it...

Me. I bought this squashed & torn toy, with its wood-shaving stuffing coming out. Despite damage, it held up to being repaired, instead of disintegrating. 
(One word. Plastics.)
Yellowstone, in process-- ear repair and reattachment:

Yellowstone AFTER:
The weight of the cub's plastic nose caused it to fall forward (since I replaced its wood innards with polyester fluff).
To weigh it down, I gave it metallic back paw-pads. 
Now it's prancing.

Stuffed Animals, Here & There: Grown Ups, 1970

Grown-up humans with their teddy bears, photos by Nina Leen from Life magazine, December 1970 [links to Time article from 2014 with gallery--click on arrow to right of Teddy Roosevelt]

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My eBay Animals

No surprise, but, without my conscious intent, many of the things I list for sale on eBay feature animals.
Here's a selection.

 ABOVE: one of my favorite finds---a bronco on a mini cup, a souvenir of Montana, made in Japan (1950s-69s). The image is not much bigger than a US quarter.

ABOVE: Paint-by-number "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", set manufactured by Craft Master in 1965. 
The bears look so odd--it's like Willy Loman married Caroline "Ma" Ingalls and they became parents to an Opie Taylor. And she's pregnant again.

ABOVE: Papier-mâché turtle, with lift-off shell, handmade in Kashmir, India, where such painted boxes have been made from recycled paper for centuries. (Kashmir is also where the British found the designs they exported to the textile mills of Paisely, Scotland.) [This sold as soon as I posted it.]

ABOVE: Is that a shih-tzu? A pekinese? Prints of paintings by Huldah (American, 1901-2001) were everywhere in the 1950s-60s.

ABOVE: The light somewhat obscures it––I hate photographing shiny things––but a terrific red dragon perches above Diana & Charles on a mini-plate commemorating the royal wedding in July 1981.

"... all the living and the dead."

It's snowing. I think of my mother, she who has been dead fifteen years this week, and of how she loved the last lines of James Joyce's "The Dead":
"A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead." 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

An Ursus upon Saint Lucy's Day

For Saint Lucy's Day, December 13, "the year's deep midnight..."
"I am every dead thing,
         In whom Love wrought new alchemy."  
(--John Donne)

Photo by me, after "Saint Lucy" painting by Francesco del Cossa (b. Ferrara, Italy), c. 1473, National Gallery, London, UK:

P.S. The round box on Lucy Bear's chest is the broken squeeze-box I discovered un-stuffing the bear today. 

Other toy re-creations of art/images: "toy tableaux".

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Reeking Kapok

I feel like a museum archivist handling a special find.

This bear I'm calling Firefly

(RIGHT: body de-stuffed) >
has all the things I've been reading that antique bears have,
starting with glass eyes,

mohair fur,
and velvet(een?) paws,

all obvious from the outside.

When I opened him up, 
he had the other classic, standard things:

A noise-making box [BELOW], 
broken of course, wrapped in "wood wool" (shaved soft wood, often birch--also called by its brand name Excelsior--same stuff used to stuff furniture and, I think, taxidermy animals).

While it's called a "growler", when you tilt the bear the sound it emits is more like the bleat of a sheep.

Its head and all four limbs are articulated with metal-and-cardboard joints [BELOW], which makes it impossible to wash the bear by immersion---the cardboard will warp.

The white stuffing I'd thought was cotton is––exciting to me!––kapok---my first encounter with the seed-pod fluff of the cieba tree, a tree cultivated for its fibers in south-east Asia (also grows in equatorial regions of other continents). 
Kapok is all-natural, waterproof, lightweight, and fluffy and was much used in stuffed animal making before the advent of artificial fluff.

The growler is wrapped in wood-wool because kapok fibers get into and clog its mechanism.

So... I've read that its best not to mess too much with these old bears unless they NEED it, because they're fragile. 
But this bear reeked, right through its kapok.

Does the smell, in fact, mean the bear had dry rot or something that is unremidiable?

I don't know, but I figure I may as well go ahead and see what I can do.

I just ordered online 5 lbs. of kapok---it's about $9/lb.
I think that should be enough for all the antique bears I got. 
The ones with polyester fur I figure can get polyester stuffing, which is cheaper and also bouncier, though kapok does have a nice loft.

I did not (yet?) unstuff Firefly's head though. It's stuffed with wood-wool, which gives it a nice, firm shape, but its woodiness also makes it easier to tear the material when you're taking it out.  
Maybe I can just leave it...  

Bear Popsicle

I hand washed this polyester bear with replacement button eyes (from the '60s? 70s?)--in great shape, just filthy--and put it out still damp on the back porch last night, with all the other newly arrived dirty bears who are airing out, as well as freezing out any possible wee beasties.

("Controlled low temperature treatment, also known as “freezing” [oh, really?], has become a routine pest management and eradication method for museums..." via Museum Pests)

The temperature last night was about 13ºF (- 9º C).

Of course this morning it was a Popsicle.

I like that this bear is a dark-chocolate brown---though that's a common color for real bears, toy bears are often more caramel.

Bear still has bits of the original nasty shredded-foam filling stuck to its fur. I've just rewashed it (thawed first, of course) and put it on low in the clothes-dryer to finish cleaning and fluffing it up again.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bear, Settling In

Man-oh-man, I thought this old bear was fine when I saw it on eBay, but in person, it has Personality.

When it first came out of its box, it was worried.

 Then it was curious.
After sniffing about, it became confident. It reminds me of Wash, the pilot on Firefly. (Perhaps that is it's name...)
"I declare this land Bear Land."

I hesitate to clean this bear, but it stinks. 
I pulled some stuffing out through a hole, and it stank. 
Wash . . .  no, Firefly! must have lived with smokers. 
For a hundred years. (Possibly that is literally true.)

I don't see any signs, but I even worry about bugs.
For now, Firefly is out in the below-freezing temps of the back porch.

Use These 9 Words in a Sentence!

OK. Michael posted the nine runner-up Words of the Year from Merriam-Webster, and I asked him if he could use them all in a sentence.
The words are
complicit, recuse, empathy, dotard, syzygy, gyro, federalism, hurricane, and gaffe.

Of course he did, here

So then I had to. I didn't know what syzygy meant, and I also looked up recuse and federalism, never having used them in a sentence! I also added some substantive words, because otherwise, really, I couldn't make those words do anything much fun.

I imagine my sentence illustrated by Jules Feiffer's dancer. Here it is:
The modern dancer spun in syzygy with a gyro on a spit, presenting without a gaffe a hurricane of moves meant to represent an empathetic federalism, while the judge was recused as a dotard, complicit in seeking to block the inclusion of "foreign" meats in dance. 
 I'm sure Feiffer's dancer would be up to it. 
Here she is after the US "won" the first Gulf War in 1991... twenty-six years ago, and counting.

If you'd like to play, please do! Email me your sentence or leave it in the comments, or if you're a blogger, I can link to your sentence on your blog.

YaaaAAAYaaaAAAAAAY! ! ! !

(And so Trump lost too.)

Thank you, humans, some of you, for proving humans can make rational choices. 
Black women, eh?
Representative Maxine Waters of CA on Twitter:
Hidden Figures (which I'd said wasn't very good as a movie) sure works as to illustrate a story though. On Twitter last night:
From Mashable ^ "Why people on Twitter are giving black women the credit for Roy Moore's defeat"

2. Other nice things this morning:
I'm going to the PO to mail to California the set of spun-aluminum kitchen canisters I'd mentioned yesterday--(and this time I double-checked postage beforehand).

Yay: I'd put them up for auction starting at $9.99, but had also provided a Buy-Now option, for $19.99. Still a good deal, even with postage ($12).    
So, while I'm not expecting to make much money on eBay, it's more like a hobby about Me 'n' Things, I am happy to make some---

3. helps pay for this BOX OF BEARS!!! that I found on my doorstep this morning, when I ran downstairs to talk to my neighbor about Moore's defeat!

(And... ewwww. They're dirty. Bathtime for all, after I destuff them.)  
Have a happy day, Bloglanders!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

eBay, I'm liking it

I. My "rookie error"

Yesterday I took a 1967 Spirograph to the post office and paid $11 to ship it to the guy who'd bought it from me for $4 on eBay.

The thing is, I'd only charged him $7 for postage. 
Minus eBay's fee and the $1 I'd paid for the Spirograph at Goodwill ––(a steal! though 1 of its 18 plastic wheels was missing, the set still had its instruction booklet, board, pens [dried out, but cool], pins, and other pieces)––I lost a couple bucks. No big deal.

I wrote the customer that he'd see when the package arrived that I'd made a beginner's error (being new to eBay), but it was in his favor.
I was happy he got a good deal, I wrote, and this great classic toy was going to a new home--it was one of my childhood favorites.
"I'm chalking it up to a learning experience."

Later in the day I got this message from PayPal:

This brought tears to my eyes. Who expects kindness and humor in online sales?

But in fact, after being on it for two weeks, I'm experiencing eBay more like a garage sale/thrift store than, say, an antique or a department store. I'm surprised. I'd expected to like researching and writing up stuff to sell, but I'm also love the smatterings of personal chat and bits of bargaining. 

I'm listing things for sale mostly at fixed, buy-it-now prices--mostly around $4.99–9.99. 
I've sold four out of twelve items, for a profit of $8.50 (before my $5 tip), a profit I immediately spent on packing tape.
 So, it's small potatoes, but the dollar amount isn't really the point. I've seen people be mean over pennies.

II. "I don't care for your kind." 

eBay's like Wikipedia--I'd expected both to be hostile but have mostly met nice and helpful people. I'm not very involved in either site though. I expect if I stick around I'll eventually run into some unpleasant types.

It happens, as this seller writes in their description [sorry, the screencap is wide--scroll right > to see it all]:

 And that's another thing I'm liking on eBay---getting to read the writing of people who aren't writers. Mostly it's bland, but sometimes it's blunt like this.

III. Mid-Century Modern Spun-Aluminum Canisters

I'm getting a lot of pleasure out of having a reason to buy, research, and [hopefully] pass along some cool stuff I find at Goodwill that I don't want myself.

Like that classic Spirograph---it sparked vivid memories from childhood--taking it home, opening it up and handling the parts, but I didn't want to keep it. 

Other stuff, I'm just curious about--like this little (1" tall) elephant stamped Made in Occupied Japan. (It's one of a lot of 11 elephant figurines that I listed on the auction option.)

Also up for auction this week is the thing I personally like the best:
a set of mid-century, brushed/spun aluminum canisters labelled flour, sugar, coffee, and tea, with pinkish anodized aluminum lids.
Empty, they nest inside one another like Russian dolls.

GW was selling it for $2.99--cheap!  even if they are a bit dinged (aluminum is soft).
I started the auction at $9.99. (Sadly, the buyer pays postage, which adds a lot.)
If they don't sell, I'm keeping them!

The non-fiction photography is a neat challenge:
you want stuff to look good, but also be honest so buyers aren't fooled.
And you want to arrange stuff so it shows up, attractive and informative, on a phone screen--and choose a good background. eBay suggests plain, solid backgrounds, but I like the black and white I used here (my bathroom floor).

Shooting the stuff is tricky, especially if it's reflective, which lots of thing are (and I don't any lighting set up). I'd like to work on that.

Writing the descriptions is fun---you want to choose searchable terms in the title and then write up things succinctly but interestingly.
They say to write plenty, but not too much. Was mentioning that interior/home designers picked up aluminum from the aerospace industry TMI? 
Well... not for me---if I were a buyer, I'd love that detail. I love knowing it now.

Finally, I even like the design challenge of wrapping stuff up for shippping. The Spirograph, for instance---I put two boxes together, and I also folded foam sheeting around each corner, to protect them. (And boy was I extra glad I'd done such a good job when the buyer was so nice to me---he'll see I took care with his toy. Nice, all round.)

Monday, December 11, 2017

bink, Visible Mending Model

bink mended her favorite winter sweater with some of the turmeric wool from Uruguay that I'm using to darn my blanket. Here she shows off the visible darns.

She also models the one and only knitting project I ever successfully finished--the blue wool scarf I gave her seven years ago. 
Not forgetting her new blue eyeglasses!

Addendum to my mention of Franken's resignation: Sin Eating and Due Process

I'd rather casually remarked in a recent post that I thought it was good that MN senator Al Franken was resigning due to accusations that he had sexually harassed several women, though he said he hadn't, or not really, or not much, or, anyway, he was sorry if he had. 
Or something.

I wrote that it was good because I was happy––relieved––to see someone in power, anyone, choose to stand on some moral and ethical ground in this bubbling slough, to hear someone say that women are telling the truth and that there should be repercussions, even if that means they themselves take a fall.

It resonated for me theologically, that someone should be a ... a sin-eater. You know those? People who take on the sins of others, to serve the greater good of the community. 

Not to say Franken is a pure-white sheep. I don't know whether Franken is as not-guilty as he claims, but his accusers are not claiming he is guilty of anything like Roy Moore trolling malls for teenage girls. 

(I know the term "sin eater" from the British novel The Sin Eater, by Alice Thomas Ellis.)


In the movie Calvary (2014), an Irish Catholic priest (Brendan Gleeson) faces the choice of playing the role of a sin eater, accepting or not the burden of guilt for priestly child rape of which he is not personally guilty.

Calvary was directed by John Michael McDonagh, brother of Martin McDonagh whose recently released movie Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri deals with similar issues--collective guilt and collective responsibility---and contains a sermon (delivered by the excellent Frances McDormand, who makes you overlook just how very preachy it is) about how you are guilty of the reprehensible acts of your gang, whether you did the act or not. 

(May I just interject here that while Three Billboards tells a terrific story, the director's earlier film In Bruges is a much better movie, as a movie? 
However, Billboards has STUFFED ANIMALS in it!!!)

[End of Digression]

BUT . . . . 
First, I'm not sure Franken was choosing to make that sort of sacrifice, which takes the moral force out of it. 
Looks like he was mostly bowing to pressure from his party, right?

And, politically & secularly more important,
I'm concerned that reports of sexual misbehavior from mild to horrific are taking effect willy-nilly.
This is bad.
There should be some due process for handling this flood of accusations of sexual abuse. They should be taken seriously, not swept under the rug--and that means they should be investigated.

My default is certainly to believe the accusations of sexual misbehavior and abuse of power (because I know how normal such behavior is).
And yet, why should Franken resign when there has been no investigation?

His behavior seems to have tended toward sophomoric rather than criminal, while others who proudly wave their slimy paws blithely carry on---but that's not the point:

My point is, EVERYONE should get due process, whether I like them or not, and no matter how slimy and how believable the accusations against them are. 
Because that's how we get civilization to work.
Otherwise we're back to blood vendettas... And gratifying as those may be, they leave the ground slippery for everyone.

Due process is most important for elected representatives.
The entertainment industry does not represent me---if the muckety-mucks in Hollywood & Co. want to fire people, as if they're shocked by behavior they've ignored for decades, well... that's more of a... um...

Well, actually, I think there should be due process there too, but the burden of proof is different for people who work in the private sector than for public lawmakers.

Uh, yes. 
So . . . while theologically and artistically I like the story of the sin eater, I don't actually want my civilization to run on those lines.
I want all that rational stuff the US Constitution set up: checks and balances and juries of peers, not bloody ruminants cast into the wilderness.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

I made my first stuffed animal.

A friend is becoming a grandmother in January. This week I made a stuffed animal for the baby shower. 

I asked a woman at the Treadle Yard Goods fabric store what toys her babies had liked. 
She said little babies like toys small enough for their tiny hands, with smiling faces in contrasting light-and-dark colors that they can see (we can't see very well when we're just new, you know), and loops and tags to finger.

So, I made this little animal (2 in./5 cm) with all that in mind. 
It's the first I've made on my own (no pattern) since I designed and sewed a stuffed cat in sixth grade. 
I think it's an otter?

It's a good way to start learning the basics.