Mind Clear for the New Year

A small parrot is facing the camera, showing a pink hooked beak and light grey head, while perched on a colourful rope perch that is attached to its cage. The bird is angled at 45 degrees, making his white and cream coloured belly appear wide with his turquoise-green wings tucked into his sides.

Hey everyone, hope the holidays had been restful and relaxing for you all! I have been taking a lot of time to think about all the ideas I had this past year, and what to do about them coming into year 2021.

From straight out of 2019, it had been a feat to accomplish so many crocheted projects in one year! I had thought I could keep it up for 2020, but it ended up being so chaotic in general. A lot of disruptions meant a lot of personal projects were delayed.

First off, I had been taking time to learn more about myself; since realizing that I am trans, I have been working towards my own transition. While this had been going on for most of the year, there were a lot of adjustments that needed to be made for my workplace, my relationships, and my own mental health. It has been a privilege to be able to stay at home, while I have been figuring out work and my own self-expression.

I also did end up getting my bird buddy, just before the start of the first lock-down in Ontario; definitely was worth it, having Bick during these times! He reminds me that any time spent with him is appreciated. I usually aim to give him at least 2 hours a day, so I have been getting used to having to fit more activities into my schedule.

A small parrot is looking at the camera, showing the side view of a pink hooked beak and light grey head. The bird is on top of the owner's leg, and has his back facing the camera, showing his turquoise-green wings tucked into his sides.

Most of what I had mentioned has been taking the time out of my days; while I managed to complete some more personal projects, I didn’t have enough time to write posts about them. To start out with a cleared queue, I would like to mention the things that were already completed:

1. Giant worm on a string

This was a fun quick exercise, about trying to upscale a regular worm on a string toy by 10 times the size. I measured out each segment in millimeters, converted to centimeters, and drew out a pattern on a roll of paper. I tried finding a fabric that could stand on end like the original worm; I also crocheted a thin tubular frame, to anchor parts of the fabric onto.

A worm on a string toy in neon orange. the tiny googly eyes and long snout are facing the camera, with the rest of the pipe cleaner-like body tapers in a c-shape on someone's hand.
A size comparison between the original worm on a string toy and a giant plush version. The plush version is a teal to blue colour, with eyes made of pleather and buttons.

I captured a good portion of the worm’s likeness in proportion, but the bugged out eyes are still hard to emulate at a larger scale. I tried imitating the eyes with my Halloween costume, by using two small sauce containers, lined with white felt and filled with two small pompoms.

A mask resembling a worm on a string head, with added features such as glasses, crocheted brown hair, and eyebrows.

2. Bilhah

This one was delayed, mostly because I couldn’t decide what the character should wear. I revisited my usual patterning technique, which involves designing around the 4-piece sphere design. Nowadays, I hear you can develop patterns on a program, but I am still stuck with my old habits. One day, it would be nice to make a tutorial about conceptualizing a sewing pattern.

A plush character, resembling a cross between a deer and a chinese dragon with huge cat eyes; the skin is a tan colour and the claws are brown. Horns are white and light blue. The character is wearing a red shirt with a white jacket, and dark blue shorts.

3. Reflective carry pouch

This was the first time I have ever created a fully-functioning carry bag, complete with multiple pockets, lining, and a patch that I embroidered. I had fun setting it up, and it turned out alright!

A hand embroidered patch, made with black, pink, blue, and metallic silver thread. The design is of an abstract burnt bird squawking the phrase "EEE!!!"
A pouch work-in-progress photo, showing the reflective material used as the outer shell. A hand-embroidered patch is attached on one segment of the bag, which have been made to accommodate two front pockets. One section remains incomplete in the photo.

I am hoping that this year will be one where I can balance work with my own personal projects. I have been thinking about a way to create patterns of my new projects, while creating the actual plush. There’s a lot of processes that I felt I could streamline; most of these weeks have been about starting new practices. So far, these habits are working for me; I’ll have to wait another couple months before I know for sure!

Now that I’ve freed up some space in my queue, I’m looking forward to making new projects again; anyways, I’m hoping everyone is staying safe, and thanks for reading!

A small greenish and grey parrot, eating a small banana. The parrot has his head upside down with his beak open, trying to get at the centre of the banana.

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