Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Toopy - A One-of-a-Kind Toy!

Life has been hectic lately, and the needs of two elderly parents have largely taken over.  Actually, we are getting settled in.  We have doctors, dentists, eye specialists, other specialists, new wills for British Columbia and all those "moving" things just about completed.  It's only taken six months!

Through all of this my creative muse has been on hiatus.  I've struggled with wanting to do some artwork, but most times end up just getting through the necessary and not getting to the art! 

However, as they say, I digress.  I have been busy with something creative.  My youngest grandchild is a boy, age 3.  His dad, my son, called and asked me if I would make him a stuffed toy of his favorite TV character because they couldn't find one anywhere and they had been looking everywhere!  He got me with the plaintive words....."you know Mum, like you made me a big stuffed Gumby when I was little?"  Oh all right, I'll try.  Who is this favorite character?  A distorted looking mouse whom I've never seen either!  So I had to google for an image. 

I got several and set out from this picture to create the toy.  I made a prototype body and didn't like the shape of it so re-designed that part.  The legs, arms and feet came out perfect first try.  This picture includes the rejected body shape, and the stitched feet, ears and hands.

This photo is of the finished pieces. I sent it via phone to my son for approval and he loved it....but his suggestion was to send it to them just like that to see what his son said when he opened the parcel. Needless to say I  desire to freak the kid out with a decapitated Toopy!

Then there was the head connection. The skinny neck caused considerable deliberation on construction techniques.  It went together the first time with a piece of flexible PVC pipe inside, but I felt it wasn't cuddly enough and didn't like it.  So I took it apart and tried a different approach.  At this stage a friend of mine came to visit and she told me "Put it together and call it done!  It's for a 3 year old and it will soon be covered with bodily fluids and bits of food!"  Good point!! 

But I got this far, Mum knitted his little sweater and then the head got attached.  But there was one more detail.  See that little tail in the photo above?  I couldn't figure out if it was a twirled tail or a "stack of donuts" or what!  I decided the best way to solve that problem was to try to find the show on TV and actually watch this guy.  I didn't know what channel it was on or what time. 

And at this point I had to go to Victoria with my Mum for several specialist appointments which we grouped into one week.  Victoria is a lovely city and the weather was spectacular.  We went to each appointment, shopped and wandered around a little, and in the afternoon came back to the hotel room for Mum to have a little rest.  Some days I walked to the used book store, others I was reading.  Mum likes to rest with the TV on.  She was surfing through the channels looking for one of her favorite shows and what pops up?  Of course...."Toopy & Binoo".  So we watched it.  We watched TWO episodes!

 I had the most spectacular view of his tail when he turned around and wiggled it beautifully so I now knew what I had to do!  But....I must admit to wondering what my life had become when I am in a hotel room in Victoria, watching "Toopy & Binoo" AND being excited about it! 

Here's the finished product.....going to the post office today.

And there's a label where his heart would be that says "Made with Love by Grandma".  The sweater also has a label inside it that says "Made with love by Great Grandma".  I am hoping that my daughter-in-law takes a video when my grandson opens his parcel!