Thursday, March 8, 2012

Bird cat toy: Lucy's project

Lucy (observing our cat, Eliot, at the window, birdwatching): "Cats like watching birds, just like I do! We should make a toy bird for the cats. And put that stuff that cats like in it."
me: "Catnip?"
Lucy: "Yes!"
me (rummaging around in the cabinet): "It looks like we don't have any catnip right now. I can put it on the grocery list."
Lucy: (going into the studio, and finding some colored cellophane): "We can use this."
me: "That would make a good sound inside the bird. I think the cats would like that."
me: "Can you draw what you want your bird to look like?"

(the drawing picked up a few stray squished water beads along the way)
I lay Lucy's drawing on the light box, with fabric on top, and traced her design. With her permission, I added a line to the beak (the line on the far right), to make it more triangular, explaining that it needed to be wider for us to be able to cut it out and sew it. I cut out two bird shapes, pinned them together, and showed her how to sew the edges together. She sewed some, I sewed some, and we passed it back and forth until it was mostly sewn together. We were careful not to sew the beak shut, as she wanted it to be able to open. A friend helped her cut the cellophane and stuff it in.

The finished bird (now with an eye she added after watching me trace her drawing:

Proud of her finished toy, Lucy offered it to Austen:

He showed his approval by rubbing it with his head.

Afterward, Lucy had second thoughts. She didn't want the cats to tear her bird, so she decided that instead, it could be a "band for cats" (as in, it makes music, so we can play it for them like a band). She offered me pots to clang together and paraded me through the house, crinkling the bird, a band for cats.