Monday, January 19, 2015

The Christmas Hedgehog

My brother once had a real hedgehog named Pinecone, who after months (weeks maybe?) of love and affection never got any less prickly. She liked Scott, if I remember correctly, but bristled at the thought of the rest of us. Pinecone went to live with a loving family that hopefully didn't get poked too much. 

My brother does love animals. He has a bunch of goats right now, and also bees, which I don't think you can really love. When he was little, he loved the plastic piggy banks Old Navy used to sell, so I'd get him one each year when they'd come out with different styles. I think of him when I think of animal shaped things, because he appreciated them when he was like 12. He's almost 20 now, and probably doesn't appreciate being thought of when I see funny animal things anymore. That time in his life is over. But it's never over for me. 

(well, now it probably is, because what's coming in the pictures isn't pretty)

Some time ago, I was online and saw someone's tutorial for a stuffed hedgehog. Not taxidermy, of course, but a stuffed animal version of the little guys. Immediately, I thought of Scott's former hedgehog. I could make this! Scott would love it! And then I remembered that Scott was a teenager (this was probably three years ago) and thought that I should cool it on the animal thing. So I deleted the tutorial from my ideas list and never looked it up. Mistake.

It came to mind when Christmas brainstorming this year, and so I thought "What the heck? Why not?" Everyone needs one weird gift from someone who doesn't have a clue what to get them, so I stepped up to the plate.

My vision was a long, 2D version of a hedgehog, something like this (which I didn't see until now. It would have been smart to google image this idea first). I drew my idea on printer paper.

I cut it out, realizing that it was a lot flatter than I imagined. Oh well, I could sort of loosely use this as a pattern. 

I used a plaid flannel that we found at Jo-Anns for the body.

Oh boy, things are shaping up a little weird. 

I used a linen-looking fabric for the nose of the hedgehog. (the same fabric I used for the bathroom curtains in our last house

I did this during our Christmas movie marathon, and we watched A Christmas Story during most of this creating. 

I sewed the little guy together (I had to hand-sew because my bobbin case needs to be replaced - which made the hedgehog look that much more wonderful...) and turned him right side out and his face looked way longer than intended. His body looked okay, but I forgot to account for what he'd look like stuffed. 

Carson took this picture when he was just finished being sewn. 

And for whatever reason, I put my initials and the year on it so people knew that I was 25 and not 7 when I made the hedgehog. 

And then I sewed beady eyes on him (couldn't decide if I wanted to make a pink nose, but decided against it) and stuffed him with fiber-fill. I used a chopstick to get the filling in his spikes and nose. 

Nervous laughter erupted when Scott unwrapped the thing in broad daylight. "What IS that?" my sister asked. Nobody said it was "kinda cute" because it really was so horribly bad that it was funny. I wouldn't REALLY say that the hedgehog was the joke of Christmas, but certainly a joke. I didn't take it personally (although I do know that I have no future in making stuffed animals unless I have a firm pattern) and it was kind of fun to have something I made laughed at and passed around even though it was embarrassing to have my name attached with the creation of this creature. He made it into the preliminary round of the family Christmas picture. Even Mini is like "WHAT IS THAT THING?" although she could be confused about the disco ball.

Anyway, that is the story of the Christmas Hedgehog. Should you want to make your own, I'd recommend looking at pictures first, and make sure you're okay with your creation being mocked mercilessly. 

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