Anyone who has met me in person in recent years is probably aware that I am an adult who likes plushie toys and doesn't care who knows it. At home, there is a big shelf above our bed that holds most of our small cuddly friends. And when I go out anywhere significant, one or more plushie rides in my bag with me.
So, the last time Freezepop played in London was 29th April 2006. That was a long time ago - so long, we didn't even have the smoking ban yet. On that occasion, kasson the person met kasson the dino, and was totally outcuted by him. After Richard took that photo, kasson was still holding dino, and overwhelmed by dino-love said "He is going home with you, right?". He looked disappointed when I said "I'm afraid so" until I explained that dino's been all over the world with me and he looks after me when I'm sick. Then he said "Could you maybe find a twin of him for me?". I said "I'll try to find you one and post it to you...".
Several weeks later, dino & the Plushtrip Posse went back to the Natural History Museum to see if they still had fluffy dinos like him. An adventure was had... but no plushie dinos were purchased. It turned out that the NHM merchandise had gone entirely to "realistic" dinosaurs rather than cute ones. Humph.
Searching on eBay was done. Actually, I had an automated search set up for over a year, which emailed me every time an new item included hit phrases like "baby dinosaur", "cuddly stegosaurus" and "natural history museum". But it wasn't able to find a twin of dino. And, to be fair, would you expect it to? If you lived with a little plush friend as cute as dino, would you go selling him on eBay? I don't think so.
Thus I decided that the only solution would be for me to MAKE a dino-twin. The fact that I didn't know how to sew was merely a minor inconvenience in this goal. My dear girlfriend artremis is a textile art geek and could teach me! Hooray!! One weekend when both Ludy and otterylexa were visiting, we went shopping for suitable materials to make the new dino from. I wanted him to be as similar as possible to my dino, i.e. to be made out of soft fur with shiny spikes and beady black eyes, but changed to be the ideal supportive friend for kasson. He should be shiny and silvery and loving of synthpop music! Lexa and I made the "pattern" by tracing round dino, and Ludy cut the fabric into shapes. And thus, the dino cloning project was started!
... Then Ludy had to move house in a hurry, and all the dino parts got packed away... and Freezepop weren't touring in Europe again, and kasson wasn't touring with them anyway because his job had eaten his life... And then we got to this summer with the 10th Anniversary shows and kasson officially leaving the band due to his job COMPLETELY eating his life, and suddenly getting Shiny dino done became urgent.
So I spent a couple of weeks in July sewing, with technique advice from Ludy and topological help from Richard. After a great deal of faff, Shiny dino was born!
Pictures of the Dino-Cloning Process with Happy Result
dino tests the bag for size
dino is a "dino baby in bag" from the Natural History Museum. His bag is an important feature because it keeps him warm at night. Therefore the new dino also needed a bag. Foreman dino checked that I had allowed enough material.
dino meets the new dino, unstuffed
Having made the spikes and sewn them onto Shiny dino's back, I tested him for size against my dino. This is taken in my study, complete with wolfy mug and chemistry textbooks.
Shiny dino needs a shiny bag!
Here is the finished bag. The shiny fabric is black with silver dots, the cord is silvered polyester, and the toggles are glass beads with green and silver spangles inside. It is sewn entirely by hand because I still don't have a sewing machine. Though now I know how to make these bags, I probably could whip one up in a few hours... if I REALLY like you!
dino tests the shiny bag
As Shiny dino wasn't stuffed yet, Foreman dino had to check that the finished bag dimensions would be big enough to keep him warm.
dino and Shiny dino!
Having travelled ~3200 miles to be there, dino and Shiny dino bask together at the Freezepop gig. Harpers Ferry, Boston, USA. Notice that Shiny dino's eyes aren't exactly straight. Apparently this makes him "more special".
kasson meets shiny dino!
Kasson a.k.a. The Duke from Freezepop meets his new silver shiny friend. "I have a shirt like that", he said. "Why do you think I chose the fabric?", I replied. Also in the photo: hoopycat, me, Eric the documentary person (with big camera).
I love giving presents to the Freezepop people because they give me the gift of their music, and I especially love *making* things that make them happy :)