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Zombie bunnies

As promised, some details on the zombie bunnies.

About a hundred years ago (or so), I came across the Wee Bunny pattern and, at the time, thought it was just too, too cute and had to make it.  Downloaded the pattern, coaxed my Nan into surrendering some of her dainty chintz quilting cotton squares in order to facilitate same, and then plunked it all in a bag somewhere and went off to do something else.  Probably something more in keeping with my overall personality, since I can most resolutely assure you that making Wee Bunnies out of dainty chintz cotton is so far removed from my personality that I am astonished it progressed as far as it did. I originally thought I would hand-sew them, because that seemed twinky and appropriately wholesome to go along with the whole deal.  I quickly learned that I would rather sew starfish into my pants (although, at the time, I probably just smiled a little wearily and admitted it was less fun than I had thought), and gave that away.  Then a friend fell (leapt?) pregnant, and the shock of the news was enough to mobilise me once again.  This time I whipped out my trusty sewing machine and whipped up the zombie trio:

And promptly started calling them zombie bunnies.  Look at their haunting, featureless faces!  Also, I ran out of stuffing after doing the first two, so the purple one hung around empty and limp like an eerie chintz wraith or something.  Finally, yesterday, as part of my frenzied, post-Masters, post-Tasmania, clear-out-the-old-in-with-another-obsession cleanup, I pulled them out, gave them a stern look, and finished them.  Honestly, I got all three done in the space of half a Stash and Burn podcast, so I was a bit bamboozled about why I have taken so long to get around to it. And just look at their little embroidered faces!  AwwwWWWwww!

Well, I’m really glad they’re done: observant readers will notice there is a bunny, a kitty and a puppy, and their iddy-biddy widdle bumkins will be forcefully dispatched to the first infant who shows up on the premises. Frankly, I’m sick of them.

The thing is this: between obtaining the pattern and completing this trio, I have learned some valuable things about hand-made gifts.  Or, I should say, one valuable thing: hand-made is not enough.  Hand-made is a beautiful, touching, generous way of giving to someone: but you cannot give crap to somebody and expect them to like it just because you made it.  Ill-fitting clothes, poorly-made toys, weirdly-chosen knitted dishcloths, wonky “quirky” wooden toilet roll holders, crocheted coathanger covers — these are all things that plague the craftsperson’s art, as nearly everybody has a chilling memory of receiving something peculiar and hand-crafted.  I am not decrying hand-making: I think it can be one of the highest compliments you can give someone, whether it’s knitting them a jumper or making a wooden salad bowl.  But you can’t expect your sense of value, as the craftsperson, to equal their sense of value, as the recipient.  This is one of the most necessary and hardest lessons for any talented creative person — writers, sculptors, knitters, software writers, woodturners or anyone.  But once you learn it, accept it and truly grok it, you can move on and begin life as a far more aware and competent craftsperson.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Josh | July 6, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Are they floral backed Zombie Jelly Beans Animals? Awesome!

    I’ve found hand made things loose their punch over time. The first time is “Aawww! The imperfections give this thing character! And you made it!” Then after only a few more handmade gifts, it’s a case of “Oh, you made another thing.. and you screwed up again. This will make good kindling”.

    My latest rule at the moment is between zero and one handmade gifts per person. Perhaps that’ll change if I find something good to hand make..

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