Saturday, September 5, 2009

How many heads does it take???????

As I've mentioned in past blogs, I work in an alteration shop called "The Sewing Room". Over the years there, I have had my challenges with different projects that customers have come in with. Let me just say, that I've just completed one, that so far has put my creative thinking to the test.

It all started when a local dentist office ( Timothy D. Rodney, DDS & ASSOC.) had a project request. I had already left work for the day, so my boss called and asked me to watch a YouTube clip and see what I thought, as she hadn't committed to the job yet. So to my computer I went and found the clip and said "Is she nuts?" I then decided to give it a second look and was formulating ideas in my head, but still couldn't figure out what to do for the foundation. So I asked my hubby to watch the clip and see what he thought. He had a profound reaction.."Turn of the clip and walk away from the computer. Don't even think about it!" Sound words of wisdom, so I followed them and informed the boss that it was beyond me and I would not tackle the project. She in turn, called the dentist office and let them know we would not take on the job and made a few suggestions that might help them out.
So, on with the normal work routine, or so we thought.

Our contact from the dentist office called and asked if we might not reconsider the request and that she had some ideas and could she come over and lets brain storm. Well, we could, but there was still no commitment at this point. Might I add here, that the contact from the dentist office is a very friendly and enthusiastic person. She came with a rough sketch and some notes on a pad of paper. I was apprehensive to say the least. A challenge is a challenge, but the time frame was less then I desired.

So here we stood, brain storming as customers came in and the boss was busy helping with fittings. "Well, couldn't you do this? Or what about that? Couldn't you use this? Back and forth we went. "Come on, you can do it!" I don't know what made me say it...."Kellie(she's the boss) what do you think?" "It's up to you, what do you think?" I inhaled and slowly exhaled.
"What would it take to start?"asked the customer. Before I could even really think about it, I said...."$200 to start, but it could go up from there, as I've never really done this before." Needless to say, she was elated and we worked out a supply list for her to pick up. This was on Friday, August 28 and she promised to have the supplies to me on Tuesday September 1. Mind you, the mascot head needed to be done and ready for pickup on September 5.
I headed home after work, wondering what I had just gotten myself into. I watched and re watched the Yo Tube clip and then Googled "Mascot Heads" to see what I could find, what I could learn and formulated a plan. Now, all I needed was the supplies so I could get started.

Can you say "things don't always go as planned!" I thought the supplies would be coming in when the shop opened at 10 am, but that arrival time would be at 3:15 pm. So, we loaded up my car and I headed home to start. I had previously pulled a costume pattern from my archives and started to work on the characters hand. Away I went re drawing the pattern to fit an adult hand, cutting the foam and fabric and starting the sewing process. Just to make one hand, both sides of the foam had to be covered, first with the outside fabric and then with the inside fabric. Each hand has a top and bottom. In other words, I was making an over sized glove (almost like Mickey Mouse with 3 fingers and a thumb). I finished one before I went to bed and was quite happy with the results, but realized that it was to tight for my husbands hand so I would have to remake it.
Wednesday morning, I happily went to work on remaking the hand bigger and our contact from the dentist office dropped off the bike helmet we needed for the inside of the head. She was pleased with the hand and agreed that it needed to be bigger and took the smaller one with her to show them at the office. I was working right along when Kellie came into work and asked why the hand only had 3 fingers and a thumb, when the picture clearly had a normal hand?

I was thinking "Character" and hadn't paid attention to the picture. To play it safe, we called the dentist office and asked. I'm sure you know the it like the picture. I was having fun with the hands, I hadn't even gotten to the head.

The reason I titled this blog " How many heads does it take?", is because, I didn't have all the answers or formulated ideas and if it hadn't been for the brain storming amongst my co-workers, I'd still be racking my brains. Liliam was a big help and Kellie's input was great (even though she can be quite KNIT PICKY, which is a good thing) Funny thing is, all 3 of us would have a idea as how to do something and most of the time it was the same idea with 3 different approaches.
This is what the head looked like Friday morning.

I was able to use the discarded hands to make the ears and nose and we spray painted foam red and shaped it like a bowl, attach it to the head and stuff it with fiber fill. We glued a scrap of foam for the lip and put black fabric in the mouth to see out of, but people couldn't see in.
Needless to say, we had 3 opinions for the hair and had to have the dentist make the final decision. At which time, he changed the hair color to blond instead of like the picture.
Liliam and I worked very hard to get the job done on Friday before we left work. I love the results. I'm only sad that I wont be there when the dentist picks it up. It will be in the Romeo Peach Festival Parade on Labor Day.

I'd really like to thank Kellie & Liliam for all their input and working with me through this project

So what do you think? Not to shabby! Will I ever do another one.....well, differently not tomorrow, but at least I know what it entails and that more time is needed so as not to be to stressed out.
Maybe I should have taken some Laughing Gas, at least I would have been happy through the stress.


Amy A.K.A. "The Mrs." said...

Holy Moly! You are crazy talented!!! Now that you've blogged about how good you are and linked to your job's website, I'm sure you'll be getting more requests. (not to mention the word of mouth from the staff at the dentists office...)
Wow, Wow, Wow! Please tell me that cost more than $200 for the dentist.

Rebecca. Harlan, IN said...

I wish I didn't have plans for the day of the parade! I'd be there to see the head & hands in action!

After hearing the "behind-the-scenes" story, I won't look at those costumes the same again!

Great joy, Kathy.

Naomi said...

That is amazing! Next time I do a show, it will be a completely mascot-head show and I'll be calling you! Hehe. Good job!

Gina said...

You are amazing girl, just amazing! You definitely have a gift from above.