Thursday, October 19, 2017

Be Rocket

We went to see Guardians of the Galaxy II not too long ago.

I'll be honest with you. I'm not a big fan of the IIs. Or the IIIs. Or the 47000th "sequel".

If you're not Agatha Christie, you're not pulling this off, people.

But for some reason, I agreed to go. I loved the first one.

The second one was painful. They maintained the hilarious dialogue and completely ruined it with the overly sappy, excruciating father schmoopiness that was totally horrid. I almost barfed during the scene where they were tossing the energy ball back and forth.

But at the end of the day, what that (I refuse to say "they" - because together they are only about 1.37 movies) movie is about is friendship.

The sweetness in the movie was the willingness of those crazy misfits to go to the ends of the earth to protect each other. It's the purest, sweetest theme you could imagine.

And no one executed it better than the cynical trash panda - Rocket.

You cannot not love that guy.

Real life trash pandas are not nearly as fantastic. You can read about one of the most dramatic moments of my life, featuring trash pandas, here.  (Oddly enough that card was about friendship too - the universe is funny sometimes.)

Imagine my embarrassment when last Christmas, I was at my sweet neighbor's house (who, by the way, is now a famous mystery writer - her first book - a collaboration with another neighbor is called Shrouded) for a holiday party and a horrible truth was revealed. If there had been a score for this party it would have been dark, suspenseful music right up until I learned the truth.

We were chatting about neighborhood critters - our coyotes, foxes and roadrunners, and my neighbor says "OH! I solved a mystery!" (Since she's a mystery writer now, this is hilarious in hindsight. For all I know, this launched her career.) "What?" I said - thrilled that there was a mystery nearby. She says "for months, I woke up and would find a ziploc bag in my backyard, along with a few empty cat food cans."

My heart sank. When we feed the cats, we put the empty cans in a ziploc so they don't smell. I knew where this was going.

She said "I couldn't figure out where this was coming from - every morning, like clockwork - a bag and empty cans. And then I realized - a raccoon was going into your trashcan, retrieving the bag, and hopping over the fence to lick the cans with total privacy." OMG. So not only were the little trash pandas raiding our garbage can every night, but they have enough of a sense of right and wrong to KNOW they couldn't eat the purloined trash at the scene of the crime, and so they hopped the fence!

The combination of hilarity and shame was overwhelming. I really want video of the little buggers climbing the fence with a ziploc bag, but also I really don't want redistribution of my trash into my poor neighbor's yard.

I much prefer the Guardians of the Galaxy version of the trash panda - so that's what I'm bringing you today.

My friend Rebecca's Falliday Fest challenge is coordinated with one of our four card drives. This one is for Forgotten 4 Paws, which is perfect for her, since she is so involved with animal rescue. She's my hero. Forgotten 4 Paws wants pet themed blank thank you cards, so that was the challenge, but Rebecca's twist on it was to add a felt item - needle felted, regular felt, whatever.

I had the perfect thing! I had just gotten the Felt Friends kit - Woodland Critters and I had been dying to give it a try. I love felties, I love stitching - I find it so relaxing - but I mostly like little furry creatures, and those are in abundance in the kit. Now the instructions in the kit are for real stuffed felties, but I wanted to make one of their critters in a flat version for a card, so I went straight for the trash panda for her challenge. I love the punch out templates in this kit - it makes it so easy to do. I traced the dark felt pieces with a white Polychromos pencil, and the light ones with my favorite Staedtler pencil. I stitched all the pieces together as well as the edges with the floss in the kit and it only took me one episode of Breaking Bad. The felt has nice crisp edges, so there's no fraying or fuzzing out and it was really easy to stitch. The needle that comes in the kit is more kid-friendly and larger - I wanted to do finer stitching so I used a tapestry needle. How cute is this little guy??
Felt Friends - Woodland Critters Falliday Fest Challenge Card

I glued him to my card with hot glue so he's not going to escape and rifle through my trash any time soon. The sentiment is from So Many Shells.

I NEVER do unboxing videos, but this kit was too cute not to show you - the box itself is actually permanent storage, with a magnetic closure. The instruction book slips in the front - and to be able to keep the templates all together, after I punched them out, I adhered 3M post it tape to the back of the card, so that when I popped the templates back in they'd stay on that sheet and not be loose in the box.

Now one more thing that is on my supply list is my new Ipoint pencil sharpener. Gina Krupsky was using one of these at a retreat last year and I fell in love. It sharpens your colored pencils to weapons-grade and it has an auto stop feature so you don't over sharpen or waste pencil. It can be used as battery operated or with the cord. I love it so I thought I'd share.

I can't wait to make the other critters! Now I didn't film an hour of stitching because that would be endlessly boring, but enjoy the quick walk through video - here's what the kit comes with:



  1. �������� thank you!!! LOVE it!!!!

  2. Dying. This is SO CUTE! Love this guy (or gal) paired with this sentiment. So sweet!

  3. What an adorable Felt Friend - and of course your stories never fail to bring smiles!

  4. Your card is adorable... you hand stitched him? Wow. Impressive. The story about your neighbors is hilarious. I can’t wait for you to sample the book and tell me if it’s great or not. Let me know when you find out who the victim is and if it’s you. Anyway, I love your sweet card and I hope you have a blast in Ohio.

  5. ������ That is so cute! I'm going to have to get it for my grandkids and myself.

    I had trash pandas at our old house. (That was in the 'burbs. I live in the country now, and would you believe, in 17 years I have never seen a raccoon here!) Our garbage cans were below one of our bedroom windows. Surrounded by a fence, secure lids, and bungee corded. I also sprinkled the tops with chili powder. That evidently just added seasoning to the meal. My final weapon of choice? My kids' supersoakers. The look on those raccoons' faces was priceless! It got to the point that all I'd have to do was open the window and they'd skedaddle. The possum was a different story. He/she just looked up at me like, "hey, lady whata ya want? I'm eatin dinner here, bugger off!"

    The image of you chasing those trash pandas out of the garage is hysterical. I would have opened the door, too.

    By the way, I love your art. But I also look forward to your blog because of the stories.

  6. Love the trash panda story! Your card is adorable and I love that it is one layer! TFS!

  7. Lydia, this card is beyond fabulous! I love the felt on that adorable little critter!


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