All the aesthetics of taxidermy and none of the guilt!

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All the aesthetics of taxidermy and none of the guilt!

Before I go through and explain everything I did to make this particular item, let me say that yes I know this is not for everyone and many of you reading this, or looking at the picture may think this is weird or crazy or creepy or a combination therein.  I personally love these!  I would have to to make them, because they take significantly more time and effort than anything else that I have made for this blog (actually they are a big part of the reason why there hasn’t been a post in awhile).  Approximately a weeks worth of work went into each of these.  I didn’t take too many “as I worked” kind of pictures with this one simply because before it looked like it does now, it looked like nothing at all.

Since i made the deer first lets start with that one.  I had absolutely no pattern starting out with this so I kind of had to work it out as I went.  I did the deer originally in linen because it is so cheap and I could alter it until I was happy with how it looked.  Once I was satisfied with it, I picked out some red and blue paisley that I had purchased during a Hancock Fabric extravaganza and started cutting and pinning.  After it was all said and done I was left with this (yes I know I should have vacuumed up the poly-fill before taking the picture). For the deer, I made the snout out of two pieces with an insert starting between the eyes.  While I liked the shape of the head I think that the snout became strangely pointy and too flat looking.   I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to put antlers on it.  Maybe on the next one.  Opinions?

After seeing the deer, a friend of mine fell in love with it, and commissioned a zebra.  Back to Hancock Fabrics we go!  For this one I chose to use a very low pile zebra print fur.  Zebra’s snouts are much wider and fuller than you would find on a deer, so I knew I was going to have to change how i made the pattern.  I added a lot more sections to the head to make it fuller and wider.  The addition of so many little pieces to the face though increased the time, difficulty, and amount of blood occasionally squirting from my fingers.

As much work as the face was, the eyes were infuriating.    Something about sewing the small folded fabric to the thick fabric was just nearly impossible.  Just thinking about it makes me frustrated, and makes my fingers hurt so I’m going to move on…

After conquering the eyes I moved to the mane and ears.  For the longest time I hemmed and hawed about what to do about the zebra’s mane.  After looking at other stuffed animals, I decided to use a high pile black fur in a strip on the top of the head.  I wish I could have found a fur that was longer, but what I used was the best I could find.  We decided that s/he had just recently had a buzz cut.  For anyone thinking of working with fur like this, be warned by the time you are done both you and wherever you cut the material on (for me the carpet) will look like you just killed something very fuzzy. Also, in all that hair, trying to find your stitches is near impossible.  I think the result was cute though and that’s worth the piles of fluff everywhere right?  Boyfriend may or may not agree…

The last detail requested from my friend was a pink bow, so here is the final product!   I would love to hear what everyone thinks!  Keep crafting!

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