Sock Monkeys and Steam Engines

Part of being a parent it seems, is experiencing all those collateral things you would never have dreamed of doing prior to having kids, that you now get to do. Like, Build A Bear. I’ve been to the mall, I knew it existed, but until today I never had to experience it. Now, I’m a hand-made kind of gal, and one of the things I like to give to children as a gift is a homemade sock monkey. I’ve been making them for years; I buy the socks in the winter, then for three weeks in July I sit down and watch the Tour de France every day, and sew up the monkeys. They are pretty time consuming to make, but they make such cool retro gifts for kids and I’ve never met a kid that didn’t like a sock monkey. So you can imagine how my head practically exploded when we went to this Build a Bear place, and they have a MACHINE that automatically fluffs the stuffing (think giant air popcorn maker) and then you step on a little pedal and badabing, your bear is stuffed. I don’t know. It seems wrong – kind of like accidentally typing in a website and up pops porn instead of insurance. Anyways, I’m going to stick to old school, but if I go pro with sock monkeys, I’m going to have to get me one of those machines.

I went to the studio today, and was totally distracted by the brass band playing outside all afternoon to celebrate the anniversary of the steam train housed at the Roundhouse. Every year they pull out this lovely old steam train, and kids can climb on it, it steams and chugs and they (constantly) ring some sort of bell/horn. So all I made was a three part dish out of porcelain. I can’t decide if it will be for things like appetizers…olives, homous, goat cheese? Or would you go more like ice-cream sundae toppings? Ah. Well, maybe I’ll make more than one (possible! molds!).

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