the inspiration behind nereid dolphinia fuffalump


Nereid was made with no pattern or plan.  All I knew was that I was staring at a bunch of wonderful, hand dyed blue scraps from Fiber Artist Deborah Gregory and wanted to make something special.   So, I began cutting, sewing, pressing, placing, recutting, resewing, and reassembling on my ironing board.  I had some names running through my head while I was making her like Squidess and Dolphin Maid.  The more she came together, the more I realized she was influenced by my recent viewing of the movies Avatar and Splash.  Nice mix, huh?  So, I thought, Avataid?  Mermatar?  Madison?   I decided to ask my facebook friends for help naming her and here are some of their suggestionss: Mernava, Mernatar, Avamaid, Ayame, Ai (indigo), Siren, Amphitrite, Shellie, Aquatica, Azul (blue in spanish), Finny, Yemaya, Swishy Fish, Squidish and, of course, Nereid and Dolphinia.   Nereids are Greek sea nymphs who are friendly and helpful to sailors in trouble and tend to hang out with Poseidon. Dolphinia also seemed to fit.

For Nereid's face I did some new things.  I used felt and a button for one eye whereas I usually stack buttons or just use felt.  I also flipped a pony bead (plastic) on its side so she is either surprised or singing.

Nereid Dolphinia Fuffalump is up for adoption on etsy: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=40687483


The Fuffalump Dog Toy Challenge

This challenge came about because a woman at work said she wanted one of my Fuffalumps as a toy for her small dog but didn't want to pay a lot for it.  I accepted the challenge!

For the design, I had it stuck in my mind that it had to be my Stressy the Stress Monster pattern.  The first one I made had beads and buttons for his eyes and teeth.  When I showed him off, some people said they wanted to throw him and wondered if I could make Stressy with fabric facial features.

Also, I wanted the doggie toy to have Frozen Fuffalump's teeth so that he was "growling" back at the dog.  I noticed that my mini poodle seemed to like the stuffed toys that were either his size or larger.

For material, I saw from Beau's toy box that he liked the fake fur stuffed toys.  I really didn't have any scraps large enough or bright enough.  Then, I had a eureka moment when I saw a couple towels I was saving up for a special project.  One towel was bright yellow and the other was white.  The yellow one was brand new and was meant to be a duster or dish cloth I think.  The white one had a black stain that never came out and with enough usable non-stained area for Stressy.  I also had saved the squeakers from some of Beau's toys that he destroyed so, one of those went into the middle surrounded by stuffing.


In order to bring the cost down, I thought of figure drawing classes in Art school and how we would have very quick warm up poses so you had to sketch very quickly and I loved the energy that went into those drawings.   So, my goal was to make this Fuffalump as fast as I could and I ended up discovering some new Fuffalump techniques along the way.   

I cut out the pieces of towel, eyes and mouth (magic markered).  I usually hand stitch the facial features of my Fuffalumps but this time I used the machine and sewed them on the main front piece before attaching it to the back piece.  I loved going round and round on the eyes.  Very free form.

update: Thank you for the comments.  I agree that medium and big dogs would tear this apart in a second and that would be a shame.  I think this works better for small dogs or people who just want something new for their dog to fetch.  I got an order a few days ago for another one so, I'm off to find some inexpensive towels.  I'm also going to make one for my miniature poodle, Beau, and see how he likes it.