Since I last wrote about getting eyeballs for my toys printed on custom fabric from Fabric on Demand, which came out great, I went a bit berzerko and decided I needed about eight billion varieties.
I contacted Oliver Bunny’s veterinarian and asked what shaped pupils he thought various animals would have. I am lucky he and his colleagues enjoy questions.
Then I went about designing an exhausting array of colored eyeballs, most of which don’t exist in nature, with both oval and round pupils, along with emblems for Super Slugs and Wonder Bunnies.
It took a while to get them back from the printer, but they look pretty awesome.
They come out of the washer and dryer a little softer looking, which is no surprise with fleece, since it has a fuzzy texture. I am trying to decide if I want to prewash them. If I do, I will do it by hand and hang them to dry next time, to preserve the sharpness. The blacks came out nice and black too.
I had a color map with the hex code numbers for each color printed as well. If you would like to use this color map file, I saved it here. It is 42 inches wide and 36 inches long. So, it will fit on a yard of fabric. It was printed at 150dpi, which is what Fabric on Demand recommended. It is good to have, so you can see what the colors you are picking in Photoshop will look like when printed on fabric.
I am working on revising my Super Slug pattern. I ordered some special cape fabrics. I’m going to make a Wonder Bunny cohort for him.
I’m also going to make some Hug Me Lambs, and I think, some lop-earred bunnies similar to the lambs, with fleece faces and ears, and either cotton print or fleece bodies.
I just received a group of really pretty fabrics to use for these from Brooklyn Fabric Company in Iowa. They have a sale until tomorrow, and they shipped them very quickly.
In other news…I’ve been feeling so tired! I know it seems like I’ve been doing a lot, but I have had so much fatigue. The other night, I was saying to my mom that I thought something had to be wrong with me. At first, I thought it was sleep deprivation, and it may be, but I have also had this strange circular rash under my arm for at least a couple of months, maybe even four months, after my lymph nodes under my arm were swollen, assuming I would have seen it then. I was concerned it was Lyme disease. My mom was sure that kind of rash always had a red center. I got worried and looked online. Looking online is a good way to get more worried! I found that sometimes the red center disappears, because your immune system attacks the bite area first.
After a lot of rigamarole sorting out my insurance in regard to where I was allowed to go, I ended up at an Urgent Care. Since the tests they have for Lyme are unreliable, and they don’t do them at Urgent Care anyway, if you present for Lyme, they usually go ahead and treat you for it. I picked up my giant horse pills, three weeks of Amoxicillin, three times a day. Whoopee. I started taking them last night. My mom cheerfully said, “Only 59 to go!” Ick.
I have bushes and trees to plant and a certain little furry man to take for his checkup. I’ll see how I do. I’ve been warned to expect some side effects.
Psychologically, I felt better last night, since I was blaming myself for feeling so tired. I’ve had a couple of inquiries about custom toys, and one night this past week, I felt so overwhelmed, I thought I would have to say I couldn’t do them. I felt like I couldn’t make any toys at all. I’ve had trouble even thinking straight lately, although I am feeling better and more rested now. I felt like I needed to go to the rest home and take a long, long nap. I have been feeling guilty too, that I haven’t gotten my toys done. I’ve had the same nine monsters in progress since the beginning of January. I am hoping the antibiotic and some sleep will turn me around.
After I last wrote, our nearly nineteen year old kitty, Zoomie, had a couple of stokes, one after the other, at the beginning of February. We didn’t think he would pull through, but he miraculously rebounded, even though he had some mobility issues and needed help with his basic needs. We did our best for him, and he got surprisingly better, only with less energy and unable to jump up on counters. He was also very thin. The photo above was taken then. He was looking like his old self.
In mid-March, he had another stroke, which left him weaker. We hoped for another recovery, but, in spite of his great determination, it wasn’t to be. Before I went to bed one night, he insisted on getting into the biggest cat bed in the house, the one with the highest walls. I helped get him comfortably situated, cleaned his face, kissed him on the forehead, and went to bed. In the morning, on the 23rd, he was in the exactly the same spot, as I had left him. I believe he went peacefully in his sleep, which is the best we could have hoped for.
I found him as a kitten, running around in our back yard. He was a very handsome boy. He had a beautifully plush coat. We used to say he was squishy, like a teddy bear.
The first thing he did, when I met him, was run up to me and hit me on the leg.
He then climbed one tree after another, before sitting in front of the kitchen window, where he growled at the cats inside.
I brought him in, and he really never wanted to go outside again, except for the occasional times he stepped out the door while we brought groceries inside, and the one time the back door accidentally blew open, and we found him, with Henrietta, sitting under the bush by the back door.
He used to carry Henrietta around in his mouth, when she was a baby, until she got too bossy. He was good at taking care of babies.
Later in his life, he ended up with two much younger tabby girlfriends, Phoebe and Bertie, who adored him.
They competed for his attention. Every time they heard him giving himself a bath, they would run to him and ask for a bath for themselves, pushing their heads under his chin. He patiently obliged. He took good care of them too.
We’re all going to miss our boy.
In between the interruptions from our household repairs, I’ve been working at getting my eyeball project resolved. I went down the rabbit hole on this one, and I finally sent my files off to the printer last night, after weeks of fussing and agonizing. Erin, who works at Fabric on Demand kindly answered my questions yesterday, until late last night.
I was watching a rerun of “The Big Bang Theory” recently, where Sheldon has a meltdown while trying to decide between Playstation 4 and Xbox One. I have no interest in gaming systems, but his behavior is so like mine, I keep laughing over it. In spite of collecting every available piece of information to help make a decision, he still fell apart at the store. This is me, trying to buy something that is important to me. I had a dream once that Sheldon was my brother for a reason.
These are the first eyeball samples I got from Fabric on Demand, and they came out really nice. I, however, made the pupils a bit large, which was causing some of the black to get caught by my needle, while adding my embroidery stitching.
I then made a gazillion versions on the computer, which I printed on paper, measured, cut out, and pinned onto toys. I made round pupils, then oval pupils, pupils off to the right, centered pupils, vertical pupils, horizontal pupils, small highlights, bigger highlights, highlights to the right, highlights to the left, solid-colored irises, and graded-colored iris.
I had debates over whether slugs would have oval or round pupils, since the “eyes” of real slugs are very hard to see. I looked up gastropods, and I still couldn’t tell for sure, oval or round. I looked up their mollusk relatives, cuttlefish and octopuses, and found they had oddly-shaped horizontal pupils. But what about bunnies? I found bunnies with horizontal oval and vertical oval and round pupils. I went on like this for weeks.
Above are the styles I chose. I hope they will be awesome. I have no doubt I will continue to think up changes.
I also sent samples for my lamb face, and emblems for my Super Slug a companion/co-hort Wonder Bunny. I got bogged down again over whether Wonder Bunny should have a “W” or a “B” for bunny on her chest. I asked friends on Facebook to help me solve this dilemma, and “B” won. I think that is best, since tags get separated from toys, and kids will probably make the association between “B” and bunny more easily.
Just before I redesigned my eyes, I redesigned our blog headers, my Facebook page header, and my Etsy toy shop header. I guess if my eyeballs work out, I will have to update those later, along with my business cards.
This one is the Ruffing’s blog header, where we have our art dolls and prints.
I also made one of my older-style fleece kittens who was needed as a baby gift. I have a few of these left. I wonder if they should get the new eyes or the old ones!