Whimsies, follies and costume madness

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First up, a Halloween costume component for Alex: the Quail Man vest.

Nickelodeon fans know that Quail Man is Doug Funnie's alter ego (is Pork Chop "Quail Dog"?).

Alex called me from school on the Wednesday before Columbus Day weekend, refreshed my memory on her measurements, and asked me to make her a Quail Man vest. I "cheated" (used bulky yarn :> ) but it was finished when she walked in the door 2 days later.


No, really! There's a logical explanation for this project too. (It's around here somewhere....)

The notorious and hilarious Des lives in the desert. Inexplicably, there's some sort of possessed peach tree in her yard, and it's thriving. It produces superarborial amounts of fruit, so it's a wildlife magnet.

One day the peach tree began shrieking "MAMMA!" and "I'M BAD!" and "GO COYOTES!"

Upon closer inspection, the tree proved to contain a macaw, who was eventually reunited with his owner (70 miles away, I think), but who spent the night locked in Des' bathroom first.

Des and her husband discovered that lost parrots in tile bathrooms in the middle of the night are LOUD. And destructive (which explains the shower curtain shreds).

DesertMacaw photos © Des 2004

He has a voicebox inside - actually a preschool toy, the kind that works with a bellows when you turn it over. I don't know what made me think I'd find a parrot version--I didn't--but there was one for the voice of a cat that totally worked. It was sharp, a single cry rather than a meow. And it was LOUD! His toes have pipe cleaners in them, so he can grip and stretch and (on the left) tap his toe peevishly.

My own snapshots, by sharp contrast (and high grain, and poor exposure) don't convey the softness of his feathery Bernat "Boa" yarn, nor much of his personality. You do get to see the wingspread, though, and the chevron of blue on his tail. I think he has Velcro spots on his wingtips so his wings stay folded (if not, Des, I meant to!).

From the above, I'm sure you can reconstruct the story on this:


Yes. The tree struck again. Dozens of javelinas invaded Des' yard for its rich, rotting carpet of peaches. (This was after she & hubs had eaten, preserved, or given away all the peaches one could reasonably expect from a small orchard.)

Hab and javalina photos © Des 2004

This Just In! - Des sent pictures of Hab's herd, so you can check out real javelinas! I really, really wanted to make an animation of them running back and forth, but I don't have enough of Northbound Pig's front end to do it. Just imagine this collage as a break in the heavy traffic :>

Some other good javelina pix on the web are here and here :-)

I wanted to do fangs, but I ran out of time.

Hab has cloven hooves but, sadly, her species lacks a tail. Actually they do have something, which looks to be more of an Anal Protection Tuft, but I eschewed those details on Hab's butt. She has sweet cheeks, though.


I already knew about Hallowigs when Alex asked about discreet lace caps for her new TressLessNess. Mwahahaha! I wouldn't even tell her what I was giggling about :> The pattern is in's Fall '04 issue, and it couldn't be easier to make.

I had the blue Wool-Ease in my stash, so I started that one first. Alex soon provided the lilac (Cotton-Ease, "Sugarplum").

The straight hair was driving me crazy, though, so I finally stepped outside the box. I'm deliriously happy with the results!

I didn't think to get a back view, but it doesn't hug the neck. If you do this version, get 2 skeins; the curls take up a lot of yarn. E-mail me if you need the curl "recipe" :-)

We didn't especially want a red Hallowig and we couldn't find the great fuchsia color used in's illustration. But then it struck me that school bus yellow might even be funnier. Here's the blonde. It'll launch to a new window, because the visual gets old really fast.

Big Dig Vest

That poor woman, you're thinking. What did Des ever do to deserve the oddest of Woolnerwear on a regular basis?

Well, she innocently triggered this project by mentioning her dog's tunnel. Des had an elderly St. Bernard, Brandy (RIP), whose daily pursuit was to work on her tunnel. The intended terminus of said tunnel was speculated to be the neighbors' barbecue :-) but because of the nature of the soil (just this side of adobe), the project would take months and months. If not years.

Des' summation: a shrug, with the comment, "Everyone needs a hobby."

A dog having a hobby is just exquisitely funny to me, and because I live in Massachusetts, I had to draw certain parallels. (Lacking appropriate St. Bernard models, I used local talent.)

A personalized safety vest, 'blaze orange' so she wouldn't be mistaken for a jackelope and shot by
overexcited tourists.

This is supposed to be a hard hat :> like one of these, with the ridges. (And double ties fitted to accommodate floppy ears, of course.)

TFCB photo © Des 2004

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