Saturday, December 14, 2013

TToT5: The Flying Pig

Anyone who had read one week's worth of blog posts from me knows I like to make things. It provides the creative satisfaction I need to continue to feel like myself when mostly just taking care of two little ones. If I were to make a list of what I was most thankful for in my life right now, having time to be creative would rank just below the members of my family. Well, maybe a home and food to eat would squeeze in above it, too.

But I am not making that thankful list today. Today, I will be thankful for my poor, scarred flying pig.


Some projects, you can envision the process/outcome beautifully. Then there are some that get a little tricky, but you work them out. Then, there are some that end up being a great big old snafu. The fact that I have a complete pig instead of felt pieces in the trashcan is what I'm thankful for this week.

Since The Dude and I have been married, I have bought a new ornament for the Christmas tree every year. I always tried to buy something representative of what had happened that year or of where we were living. Fortunately, Asheville is such an arts community, handmade ornaments were easy to come by.


This year, in honor of our desire to pinch pennies, I decided to make one. What I had in mind was a pig because I find pigs to be cute and charming when artistically rendered. And I had all this leftover pink felt from Olivia's and Ian's ears.

Then, lo and behold, I get an email with this tutorial in my inbox! Commence inner monologue:

"Yay! I wonder if I could add wings to that?"

Reviews felt stash and cuts out pieces. Sews wings and stitches them to outside pig pieces.

"Easy, peasy so far. Adding wings was no big deal at all. I should totally take pictures as I go and then use this on my blog."

Begins rest of pig.

"Wait, these instructions don't make sense. There are no solid or dotted lines as written!"

Yes, Martha, your instructions for your little stuffed pig suck balls. There is a major part missing from from the pattern which means poor, amateur crafters like I have to just guess where to fold and stitch. Bad form, Martha.

"Hey, I think I worked it out! You rock, Sarah! I'm going to post a better tutorial than Martha's on my blog!"

Realizes she sewed the wrong sides together. Throws pig to floor in disgust and goes to bed.


OK, that's enough inner monologue. I gathered up my perseverance and tackled that pig again the next day only to discover after ripping out my stitches and trying again that I had genuinely sewed it wrong the second time. So I ripped out the stitches and tried a third time. That time worked. But then I discovered that is impossible to turn a small piece of stitched felt (like a tail or an ear) inside out. Impossible, like hours of trying impossible. So I just decided the rough edges could show on those pieces. I was going to finish this pig, dammit! Oh, and trying to stuff a pipe cleaner in a felt tube? Next to impossible. The rough wire end gets caught on the edges over and over. I began thinking the whole project was metaphorical. A flying pig that's impossible to make? Obviously.

But I finished. The pig and the ears are wrong side out, the end of the nose balloons out oddly, his legs look as if they can't support him, and the poor pig has scars all over his body from where I had to do additional finish stitching because you know what happens to felt when you tear out stitches over and over? The felt rips and tears. Stuffing would have been leaking out if I hadn't given my poor pig stitches.


Hmmm...wasn't this TToT?


1-3. Completing the pig surely counts for more than one.

4. Extra crafting supplies on hand. No purchase necessary.

5. Children who take good naps and go to bed early.

6. The ability to put hubris aside when it was clearly misplaced (no tutorial).

7. The ability to accept imperfection.

8. Sense of humor in adversity (this was adversity, people).

9. The ability to persevere.

10. Lizzi, who I hope will accept my whiny excuse for a TToT this week.

Your hosts

41 comments :

  1. I am also the victim of a Martha Stewart project. I tried to make a hat for my dog for this blog
    http://heylistenlifebymegkra.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-walking-dead-took-over-my-life.html.

    I followed some Martha Stewart directions for a halloween costume for the dog. The decorations said to cut out the parts and glue together. Each piece was a different shape and she never explained how each piece should be glued to the other pieces. I ended up getting frustrated and buying a small hat.

    I love that pig though. So cute! Glad it worked out.

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    1. Well, with this experience and your report, I'm never following Martha down the garden path again. Thanks for checking again so soon on my blog. How's it going with The Walking Dead?

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    2. The Smooch and I just finished the mid season finale. When did shows start having mid season finales? Now we just have to wait until the show starts back up in February.

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  2. Love your TTOT this week and seriously your ornament came out perfect. And even if you feel it didn't so much better then whatever I could come up with and so why I cave and buy an ornament, because god help me I can bake and cook, but crafts are whole different ball game that I am just not good at. But then I am the one who married an artist, so go figure. If my kids need help with art project, I always send them his way, but I am good at (even taught) math, so there is always that!! IT is the little things, I suppose :)

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    1. Divide and conquer, Janine, I hear you! My husband and I laugh (and grimace just a bit) because we divide so much on traditional gender lines. I won't be helping on the math homework, but the cooking and sewing? That's me. Oh well, it's what works for the couple.

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  3. I love this pig and still can't tell there's anything wrong with it

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    1. I can't tell what's wrong with your face!

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  4. I think your pig is great, and I love your list!

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  5. Your ornament is awesome. Kidzilla looked at the picture over my shoulder while I was reading and called it an "angel pig." That's a pretty good quality review, no?

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  6. I laughed SOMUCH reading this.

    I am honestly the crappest sew-er in the WORLD and I would never have started the project, never mind had the presence of mind to try it THRICE. Wow! That's some dedication to your cause, but look - it paid off - your pig is BEAUTIFUL. Scarred and imperfectly perfect and a result of trying and trying and trying and still getting it wrong but being beautiful in the end...and what the hell do you mean, whiney excuse, GIRL YOU MADE A METAPHOR FOR LIFE. And it hangs on your tree.

    I'm blown away :D

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    1. Yes, I love the higher meaning of it all. That's definitely why I'll hang on to it, scars and all. Or because of the scars. Hey, I dedicate this pig to Lizzi, may her winter be productive!

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  7. How cute this piggy is! Will sew on a couple of little black buttons for eyes??

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    1. You know, I wasn't thinking about it, but now I feel bad leaving the poor fella blind. And I do have lots of buttons.

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  8. The post, start to finish cracked me up. I could picture the entire thing, both because of your description and because I've experienced the same craft frustration. Good for you, seeing it all the way through.
    As a pig expert, I have to say, your pig looks pretty good. And for decades to come, each time you hang it on a tree, you will have the story to tell about how the pig came about. Those are the best ornaments.

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    1. Aww, thanks, for the vote of confidence in the humor department.
      I agree with you about the best ornaments. I have an aunt and uncle who invite guests to ask about anything in their house because every item has a story. I've always tried to fill my home with that in mind.

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  9. A flying pig... love it! You could market those suckers~! Hey... didn't you say you were sick this week... you didn't whine nearly enough....it was you right!?

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    1. I was! I am! I'm the codeine girl, and it was worn off! I am working up the nerve to take another dose because that stuff is NASTY.

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  10. I can tell you that your pig is way better than anything I would have been able to make! Needle and thread are definitely not my gig...I think it's a great pig!
    I can relate to being grateful for extra craft supplies on hand since my son reminded me Friday at 6:30 am that his vocabulary parade was THAT day and he needed to make something for the word 'crystalline'.....extra craft supplies + 15 minutes = lucky kid!

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    1. I know! I raid the dollar bins at craft stores year round. Plus, after raiding them for years and not having enough time to create, I'm really stocked. Glad to hear you were stocked in a pinch, too!

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  11. Pigs can Fly! Yes pigs can fly with determination. Accepting imperfection makes us unique which is why Pigs Fly! I love that you stuck to a plan, bent when needed, winged when you could, and made something from your heart.

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  12. I love your pig! That is so cool. I am not crafty at all. I imagine things but hardly ever actually make them (maybe that means I'm just lazy!) I would be so happy right now if I had just made something like that. He looks so cute on the tree! Sending huge happy Christmas wishes to you and your family and your little piggy.

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    1. Same back to you and your family. I went over and read your post on your ex getting remarried. It was really excellent. You touched a lot of people with that honest post.

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  13. Now I am thankful for this absolutely gorgeous pig. And for your craftswomanship!

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  14. you would have made a great 8 year old boy… I would have invited you over to build model cars and words spoken would have been un-necessary. (for those non-8 year old, non-boys among the Readers): "hey! I got a new model car…lets build it! you still have those parts left over from the last one we built?… cool… no, I think it totally needs headlights aiming out the back window…for tailgaters…" lol etc)
    to go the more main stream route… 'instructions? we don't need no steenking instructions!'

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  15. A crafty success definitely counts as more than one for the thankful list! I love that you get a new ornament every year- a special tradition.

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  16. LOLOLOL for real (like not the dumb online LOL but the kind that makes noises all alone, in an office by yourself!!! I love your flying pig. Maybe I got a D- in 7th grade Home Ec for a failed Pig Pillow...
    I salute you. Big. Pig big :)

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  17. Still cracking up. He needs eyeballs (don't kill me)

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    1. Kristi, a blind pig he is, and a blind pig he will stay. That is, until I unpack him next year and have motivation once again. Thanks for your suppport!

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  18. I am confident this pig has earned a spot front and center of the tree for years to come!

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  19. *grinning* Love this post! I adore that you stuck with it - against all odds - with the stubbornness and tenacity of a mule while making a pig. haha! And I think it's the cutest thing EVER, made even more special and cute cuz of the story behind it. It was a perfect TToT. :)

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    1. A mule! That's what I need to make next year! Can I use pink felt?

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  20. I *LOVE* this post, and it sounds so familiar. I mean, except for the crafty part, I struggle with that but I do try. Humor is so important to me, and having creative outlets. I love the part about imperfection, I feel like the poster child for Imperfection! And I'm okay with it, probably a little too okay :)
    Great post. I was grinning and laughing the whole way through!

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  21. Please create an Etsy account and let me buy a flying pig ornament from you. My family has a thing with flying pigs and I think your flying pig is awesome. I'm not even joking. If I had tried to make that it would have been in the garbage. Completely.

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  22. That pig is adorable!!! You know I'm jealous because I can't make jack squat, right? I am a craft-fail. I cracked up at your inner monologue, particularly your integration of the words "suck balls." That made me laugh. Congrats on your victory!

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