Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Birthday Monkey

Before Paddy, there was this little guy. A good friend was turning 30 and I felt like she needed something more than our normal birthday tradition of sushi and a pedicure (pedicure first, and then sushi. Not at the same time). Baby socks are tough to use, because they're so small. The arms and legs are so little, they're difficult to stuff, and it is a careful balance of getting enough stuffing in there without overfilling and making them rock-hard.

Baby socks make the sweetest monkeys, however, as you can tell from this little dude's sweet face. He looks ready for a night of drinking, right? Because I finished it the day of (hey, I'm not a planner, ok? I'm not good at getting things done ahead of time.), we didn't have a lot of time for an extensive photo shoot. We did get a chance to take a shot with Hank, though.

Hank is thinking, "why are you putting this guy in my face if I can't tear him apart? Why do you torture me!?!"

I like the little tip of his tail is gray - part of a new technique I'm using that gives the monkeys a little bit longer tails. I also like how he's got a little crook in his leg. Almost like those Captain commercials. I didn't think monkeys like rum...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Paddy McPolish

When I first started making monkeys, McPolish instantly said "I want one!" I figured her 30th birthday was as good excuse as any. When I saw these beer socks, I knew I had found a good match. Meet Paddy:

Paddy, like many of my monkeys, has an endearingly crooked smile. His arms also seem to hook at a jaunty angle. This guy is ready to bust out a jig at a moment's notice.

My only complaint is on the corner of his face - I couldn't get that little corner of felt to lie flat, so matter what I did. You can only sew felt so many times before it starts falling apart, so I had to let it go. But it bugs me a tad.

A close up, from his good side:

Happy Birthday, Molly!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sleepy Guy

This guy was a request from a lady at work. He's got a night-themed sock. The lighting at work really washes out the color. He's a muted blue-gray, but not quite this muted.

I like his little pink nose. For some reason, he ended up with a really stiff body. I think he'll soften in time. The sock was a little odd. I couldn't get it to fill completely. I had to open him up and add more stuffing three times, just to get his tail to look right. I never did get the little corners out of his head.

Stuffing is tricky, because too much gives you a hard doll. Too little and they sag and fall apart. He isn't hard - just very upright.

I meant to crop the tacky silver Christmas tree out of the shot. It added a lot of cheer to my drab little cube, though. :) As do my cacti and picture of Hank as a pup.

This monkey is one of the first to go unnamed. Maybe because I didn't know the person getting him, he ended up a little generic in my head.

I like this shot - their tails are functional, and help them sit upright.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Weird Little Monkey

I started this guy for my nephew, and stopped because there was something not right about him. I still can't quite put my finger on it. It's like he's been around the block a few times. He's tired and I knew he couldn't handle a two-year old.

When I found out that one of my aunts was sick, I didn't really know what to do. There's not much I could do to help, and I realized that, if I were in her shoes, I would just want to know people were thinking of me. So, this guy went to live with my aunt and help her recuperate. He likes to just hang out and chill. She seemed more his pace. I added a little heart to his chest, because he's got a lot of love to give, and sent him on his way.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Martha & Eddie

Gene (scroll down a bit) was my first and, obviously, best monkey. I loved the pattern of those socks so much that, when a colleague was pregnant with twins, I made twin monkeys in the same pattern. Meet Martha & Eddie:

Though I grew to love Gene's embroidered eyes, at this point, I still felt buttons were best. I make all my monkeys with embroidered eyes now because I do think they have more personality than buttons. But, I think Martha & Eddie somehow work better with buttons. I love them.

There's just something special about them, especially Martha. For some reason, she looks like a five year old kid to me.

Eddie is more of a doll than a kid, but a doll a girl could go climb a tree with. Which is what I would do with him, were I not on the brink of 30 and without a good climbing tree.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Poetry in Real Life

When I was working on my master's degree, I took a class in teaching poetry. Though I personally dislike poetry, I really loved this class. I think I liked it because I have never really gotten poetry. Little limericks are funny, but unless it rhymes and is clever, what's the point? Wouldn't it be easier to just say what you mean?

Forcing myself to figure out what it means, and finding a way to explain that to others made me appreciate poetry a little more.

One of the wonderful forms of poetry that I didn't know about before I took this class was the villanelle. From Wikipedia:

A villanelle is a poetic form which entered English-language poetry in the 1800s from the imitation of French models.[1] A villanelle has only two rhyme sounds. The first and third lines of the first stanza are rhyming refrains that alternate as the third line in each successive stanza and form a couplet at the close. A villanelle is nineteen lines long, consisting of five tercets and one concluding quatrain. [2]
That sounds complex and doesn't make any sense, right? Well, one of the very clever people in my class found this comic strip, which explains it in a lovely entertaining way. (It's by Cat and Girl, which is lovely and entertaining. Sometimes the link seems to go to a random page. So, I'm trying to put the strip in here. If you can't read it, go to Cat & Girl's archives and search for "sandwich" I believe it is called "sandwich are cheap.")

This is all a long way of saying that it warmed the cockles of my English Lit heart to hear that someone at Planet Money wrote a villanelle about the economy. Awesome.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Moncow & Silverbutt

Sadly, these are the only shots I have of these guys. I made both of them with the intention of selling them on Etsy. Before I could get pictures, a friend wanted to buy one. I brought her both, and she ended up buying both (not little Pete, of course).

This guy was dubbed Moncow, because he is a monkey sock, but she thought he looked like a cow. He was so popular, I ended up making a replica for a friend.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Burt the Busy Bee Monkey

I made this guy for my boss, who's baby is now about eight weeks. I'm a little slow in posting. She's named him Burt. He's got the sweetest little fat belly. I love it.

I thought the yellow and black might be obnoxious on his face, but nothing else seemed right. I think he turned out pretty sweet.

The blanket stitch around his face is more consistent than some of my past work, which I love. My smiles seem to be getting more crooked as I go. So far, the results are endearing. I'm hoping they shape up, though, before it starts looking like I have a drinking problem.

I think my signature is starting to look like I enjoy a few too many cocktails.

Oddly enough, Burt is built a lot like me, with long legs and a short torso. Look at him compared to the argyle monkey.

I must have cut the legs funny or something. It's strangely endearing, though. He looks like a little brother, all proud to be with his big sister.