Rough Seams

When the great shaman Cryptic Stitches led the Moon-Stuffing Clan to their new homeland, the clan found itself in a dilemma. This was certainly the homeland provided for them by Great Plushthanga—when Great Plushthanga appeared, clans miles away knew about it. You couldn’t fake a visitation from Great Plushthanga. He was a demonstrative and mostly polyester god.

But man, the new homeland was not a nice place.

The gentle Moon-Stuffing Clan were not warriors, which is why they had fled their old homeland as it fell under the shadow of the cannibalistic Eaters-of-Plush. This new land was full of ravening stuffed beasts, woolly monsters dozens of feet high, and suspicious clans who were not entirely sure that they welcomed new neighbors. And it was cold. Chill winds whipped from the north, when they weren’t whipping from the east or sauntering in from the southwest. You had to make fires all the time, which is just asking for trouble when you’re made out of cloth. And the stuffing of the woolly creatures was tough and unpalatable and had to be boiled or stewed, sometimes for hours, before it was anything worth eating.

Fortunately for the fate of Moon-Stuffing, they fell in with the last remnants of the Sun-Stitch Clan, fierce warriors who had themselves been almost wiped out by the Eaters-of-Plush. Descended from heroic teddy-bears of old, the warriors of Sun-Stitch joined with Moon-Stuffing to forge a new life together in this strange and inhospitable land.

Great Plushthanga sanctified this union of clans by appearing in the distance and giving his mighty yawp of approval as he drifted over the horizon. So there was that, too.

Rough Seams, one of the warriors of Sun-Stitch, was one of the last two surviving members of the Bonebraid moiety, which wove yarn from defeated foes into their manes, partly as a gesture of respect and partly to keep from freezing their plush butts off in the rather chilly new homeland.


A whole lotta mixed media.

I cannot adequately express how fun this was to do.


You know how I always say that nothing is ever creatively wasted? Yeah. I was so damn right I want to go back and time and high-five myself. The sewing I learned in 7th grade home ec, the very half-assed jewelry making I did in my twenties (which previously had only been useful in providing me with a fabulous set of pliers) all that acrylic painting, the vegetable-tanned leather that was too thin a gauge that I had shoved in a corner of the studio, and of course, my buddy Miss Monster’s very very patient e-mails telling me how to do a cast off a Sculpey piece…dude.



Anyway, he’s about 7 inches tall sitting, although he tends to slouch. The head is cast plastic, from a mold of a Sculpey original, and in retrospect, I’m glad I did that because he’s a little top heavy as it is–I can’t imagine if I’d tried to make the face actually out of Sculpey! The ears, hands and feet are all Sculpey, though, and I weighted the butt with dried rice, which may explain some cryptic tweets last night. (Honestly, you haven’t lived until you’ve shoved a funnel into a stuff-animal’s ass and started trying to pour rice into it.) He’s soft-bodied and stuffed with whatever polyester stuffing crap they sell at Jo-Ann’s fabric. And the rice, of course.

This is the first thing I have sewed in over two decades, and I am so damn proud of the fact I managed to do it. Sewing is weirdly miraculous. Sharp thing + thread + turning fabric inside out = BLACK MAGIC. I tore into the bedroom in mad delight when all I had was a body with no limbs, waving my fingers through the leg-holes, and yelling “LOOK! IT IS A THING! I sewed it together and it didn’t explode and it exists in, like, THE REAL WORLD!”

Kevin slid a few inches away from me and said something noncommittal. I made a rude gesture through the leg-holes and went back to the studio. (He was much more impressed when I’d actually attached the Sculpey limbs and all.) I am not saying it was GOOD sewing, but fleece fabric hides a multitude of sins, and anyway the stuffing didn’t squirt out all over its torso. And for everything else, there’s E-6000 glue.

So I’m very proud. And will clearly have to do another one, because I’ve got the face mold and plenty of fleece left, and I wanna try it with fake fur to see how that looks, too and dude, I MADE A THING!

(It is hard to explain how cool it is to make a 3-d thing when you normally do 2-d, and digital 2-d at that.)

13 thoughts on “Rough Seams

  1. Wolf Lahti says:

    “I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.” —Walt Whitman

    Oh yeah, can I identify with that! I primarily write, which is satisfying but one-dimensional, so I have to now and then do drawy or painty art stuffs. After enough of that, I have to do something 3-D. By the time that starts wearing thin, I am ready to get back to the authoring.

    (Thank gawd! I’d hate to see what would happen if I ever let myself loose on a 4-D project!)

  2. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    Sort of reminds me of a Guide my werewolf aspect, Tanglefoot Trickster’s Son, met on the Moonpaths. He was kind of taciturn on the surface, but once you got to know him he had a diabolical quiet wit about him. Dry, very dry, with an edge.


  3. Suzanne Kowal says:

    Being a fan of sewing, a maker of odd stuff, and a fan of yours for some time, now, I feel qualified to say hoorah for you! And many more creations with your resurrected skills.

  4. Al the K says:

    And it is YOUR THING, like it just jumped out of one of your paintings. Quite the Ursula Vernon-style expressive look and lively glint in the eyes.


  5. Carmen Castells Schofield says:

    Wow! How wonderful!

    I do a Facebook page on handcrafts, prayer, and creativity. He’s so wonderful, I wonder if you would let me use the photo?

  6. Hawk says:

    It’s a thing of cuteness maximus!! I also went SQUEE!

    And you should be proud!! Sewing is pretty black-magicky. I tried to make a plushie last month (a Creeper, for my son’s birthday)…emphasis on tried. Having ruined the muslin, I ended up taking the sad shreds and the pattern to my sister…

    (Clothes, I can make. Stuffed things other than a pillow, not so much, apparently.)

    But yeah! THING! Awesome!

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