Blair has been a character of mine for... *counts on fingers* since middle something school.
I'm talking like back before I even KNEW of the term "OC". Like the best I had was just "imaginary friend that you drew alot". Good times.
Ah what am I saying, middle school sucked.
AND THEN I forgot uh... all about em. for like 8 years. Blair was like amongst of- if not THEE- my first lil chumps of my brain meat.
Absolutely abysmal on my part, I know. FOR SHAME. Only then remembered their everything only until mid 2021.
So I had to honor them, so they wouldn't kick my ass for leaving them in the dust for all that time.
And I did it the best way I knew how to... This Thing.
It's a labor of love.
(Also yeah, I use the name Blair and Babushka interchangably because uh, Old. And they got the head scarf.)
-[DESCRIPTION: Blair is mammalian. That is for certain. Their fur is ochre red, ears and tail are near black.
Paws are rat-like and paler than the body. Their face is a light gray. They have a tuft of hair at the top of head.
Sometimes they wear a slavk-style head scarf, that is really just a rag I tied around, couldn't find a proper bandana in time.
Blairs eyes are almost cat like and a tone of green. They look like a mammal caught between being a rabbit and being a cat.
All while being a babushka at the same time.
I worked almost 3 months on this. I'm gonna put a whole heaping bunch of photos so yall can admire this.
A bitch can be prideful at times. It's healthy to do so.
If yall want to know just what exactly what is blair supposed to be... well ask what lil me was thinking.
cuz current big me doesn't know either.
Some kind of cat/ rabbit creature? well if anything just call them a "Koyet" I guess.
Alright, I'm gonna do a bit more talking here before moving on.
As I was making This, I took to taking as much photos to document the progression from beginning to end
with wanting to explain as much as I can to ya'll, to show the nitty gritty that comes with this sort of craft.
and hooo... Photos did I indeed take many of! there were 160+ in fact!
But you and I both know that would be hell to shamble through.
So I had to cut down on what to show, making it both easier for both me and you, dear reader.
The Beginning: The Start: The Happening: and all that fun stuff.
Grabbed up armful of wools, made a bluebrint that I had more or less followed through. I mixed up the colors with the help of pet brushes.
I wanted to make babushka big. So I had to make the body be of two tiles.
Make do the wettings, the pounding and slamming and thumping. Then do it all over again for the other one.
The base of the wettings is a dark gray because theres a lot of grey wool, so it can be the fodder.
The visible side I didn't go with solid color, because I think it would be more efficent use of fiber to mix together. It all adds up
and also the marbling effect does make things more interesting.
And with any part of wetting, comes the rolling. Rolling causes shrinkage, drawing the fibers together through motion and other science bullshit.
listen it just WORKS. With the fibers hugging each other tighter and closer, it well, shrinks the tile. slightly thickinging and giving a bit more strength.
You can see how much it happens when unrolled and compared with the original size of the other half. Which I also had to roll.
Then I went to making yet another third piece. To connect at the rear end when I eventually bring the two halfs as one.
All to realize that I probably shouldn't have the third piece be pretty much the same size as the body halves.
Before the fibers of the wool have gotten anywhere too establishes, I tore it apart, making it a small circle.
Then comes to other parts for blair, like the face.
The ears. Later on I had to completely redo.
The face, knowing the head was round I sought to make it round
to stretch it across the lid to a bean jar, with a stone underneath to push the fibers into conformity.
And then just leave the face on the jar for a couple of weeks.
The face. Later on I had to complety redo.
Making the paws, if ya scroll all the way up and peer closely at the blue print, I had a thing of havng 5 digits
but I decided against it because of this one very compelling argument:-
3 toes on each only has me working 12 digits in total. I ain't doing 20. Even if babushka is gonna throw a shoe at my head about it.
The hind paws will be longer than the front, the front will pretty much be hands, like a raccoon/lemur.
Bounded the hands againt a stone to make them a bit more cupped.
Making the tail, I wanted it to be as long as the length of the body's circumference. Had to make multiple parts, to then connect together.
Yeah i originally started out with three, but just stuck with two. Two is just long enough.
After wetting, I had to make the wool dry, so I held it over the bottle That Should NEVER Be Sipped Out Of, to collect the soapy drips and use for future.
When dried, I could fold the tail over and connect the widths into a tube shape.
Oh yeah- I got a beaten up bowling pin I found in a ditch a few years back. I guess Now I'll give it some use
as one does.
I want to make babushkas body into a calabash shape, and the bowling pin is perfect to do so!
scuffed up one end of length of the body tiles so that I can conjoin them together as one, using the fibers I've yanked off in the process as the middle bind of a seam.
when the both sides of the body were joined up sufficently, I went to scuffing up the other edges with the pet brushes.
It helps with evening out the overall thickness because the fibers will have to latch on with new ones, which can't be done if still established in tile.
All that wordy mumbo jumbo, easier to know what i'm trying to explain by the act of DOING than just SAYING.
How yall like my pants here? It's soft. You can see how the fibers on the overlap kinda hang loose.
Eventually I am able to get the other end to render in . But not without its own trials and tribulations first.
Had to use a lot of water for another wetting process, this kind I've never done before, because I just used a flat desk.
Had to work the wool against the round shape of the pin, water was going everywhere, found a box to keep it in managable.
When The seam was fixed up enough, was I finally able to slip the body off the pin, shove some bubble wrap between the insides as buffer,
and just continue the wetting process, on a flat urface of a desk.
Had to flip the body inside out, having to fix up the seam there as well. It just never ends I tells ya.
that one tile I've made earlier, the one that was the third piece of the body, yeah I can finally put it to use.
Have it seal up one end, the wider part that was near the base of the bowling pin.
Here I worked on the face some more, having finally taking it off the bean jar. constructed a doohickey with chopsticks and pencils,
to keep it stretched as i pllace a cairn on it, keeping to the round bowl shape. And then...
And Then I Fucked It All Up
What I had of a plan was to cut the corners, fold them in, and use the needle to keep the shape, make the face a cup to attach to the neck of the body.
I realized it's just not going to work. I went too far in to salvage any mistake. So I had to peel off all the layers of wool with both my hand and the pet brushes.
AND LEMME TELL YA- when the fibers are well long established, they Do Not want to let go at all. At least the action of doing so allowed me to vent off some steam...
with the wool of the previous attempt, I created a new face.
New face, new plan. This time making the head and body two seperate pieces, Now I'm using the terms "face" and "head" as two different things even though
they partake the same area, and for this it's like uh, FACE is what yall see outward, HEAD is the everything else.
The head I went for using junk and scrap wool with a polyester core, making it an onion shape to act as a plug to insert to the body.
Decided I wanted the hands to look even more like,- hands. Made each finger longer. Left the hind feet alone though, fine as they were.
Then comes to me planning out where to put the various limbs along the body. Dropped some couple of stones inside the hollow cavity
of the body, keeps it upright for me to work with.
As I worked on the bulbous shape of the head, using the wool torn from the previous attempt of the face,
I then come to figure it's probably best if I don't make a new wetting tile. Just make the layers. Put the layers on each other.
The head I covered in some plastic wrap to avoid friction as I take it in and out from the neck before putting the outer wool on.
Much like the face, the ears had to be redone. This time went with originally making em wider than what you think they'll need to be,
then I fold them over, giving some thickness without the rolling shrinkage. Yeah there wasn't aything fundimentally wrong with how I originally made
the ears, They were just too uneven than what I was satisfied with. So I used the brush to yank the fibers apart in to piles of fluff
and reused them to a new wetting. The ears and tail aren't totally black, also got the marbling mix.
Putting the stuff of face onto the stuff of head. Covered with a layer of scrapped buffer, the purple from previous projects.
The dark grey to sit underneath the visible light gray, with the brown to match that of the body.
Here I went to use a felting needle tool that could hold up to 8, but only had 4 in for the moment. I call that tool "The Octopus".
Lemme tell ya, poking through the fingers is inevitable. I've learned to go around it. But within 5 minutes of using the octopus,
I've stabbed myself more times than what was done so far with just the single needle tool.
So a bit of ME goes into the craft. literally. something sacred about that I tells ya.
This is what I meant by the head being a seperate piece for the body, as a plug to the neck.
Tail is to go through a doughnut shape piece, so that it would be much, much harder too yank off the body with the surface area,
rather than if I just needle the tail right onto the body directly as is.
Attached some chunks lke a flower to the inner part ofthe ring, to then put on to the body. scuffing up the edges as I went along.
Now comes the limbs turn to be put on. The foot onto the leg. hand to arm.
The hands I had to shorten because figured they're too long to the arms. shirked off the excess with the brush.
Had to to this all four times, each one after the other.
the legs gave the body a funny shape as is. t-rex mammal.
Then comes the arms. now babushka can hold big wooden spoon to smack my weak points.
Ear time. peeled aback the fur layer, to slop them within.
The base of the ears were all floppy floppy, so with some punching of a needle, they stiffened up a bit.
How does blair smell with no nose?
But yeah, quite proud of how I gotten the shape of the nose's bridge. good bumpage. strong shape.
a big nose means a big heart.
And then I realized that I put the ears too far back so I had to rip everything off and move them closer to the front. YETCH.
Too far back woulda made the whole thing of shoving-the-plug-of-the-head-into-the-neck not be as effictive.
How does blair see with no eyes?
My sewing skills could be worked on...
But yeah, I aint done just yet. With the whole process, I kept the body hollow and the head detachable for a reason.
I've been develpoing a whole philosophy with the making of toys (ill talk about later when i work on of ishduk pages)
Part of what will really bring this character to life is to have life Within.
Went out for walks and sometimes collected plant materials, sewed a shoddy bag to keep the seeds in, and put it in the hollow.--
--As such. Not your typical stuffing. Two stones and a stitched bag of seeds.
The seed mix is made up of:
Cattail seeds, pumkin seeds, pinto beans, pomegranate seeds, red cedar bark, onion skin and bay leaves.
(￣┰￣*) finally... I'm finished.
A pronunciation tip: Saying babushka like "Ba-BOO-shka" is just the americanized way. ya dont gotta stress out the middle part.