So! On that cheery note, what to do but hang out with the kids in my cupcake pajamas, drink coffee, and make tiny, felt animals of excruciating cuteness? I feel like I should have a cigarette hanging out of my mouth while I sew these puppies.
Wait—isn’t this what everyone does during an existential crisis?
It all started when I gave Sophie some fabulous manga-style comic books for Christmas called Aranzi Machine Gun, Vol 1-3, by Aranzi Aranzo, a pen name for a two person creative team who make kawaii art, which is that style of Japanese cute that is personified most famously by Hello Kitty. I didn’t get Hello Kitty for years, but now, perhaps because of Sophie’s influence, I can kind of see it. Except that Hello Kitty can be somewhat saccharin, whereas Aranzi creations manage to have a just enough dark in their sweet to help it hit some perfect storm of adorable. At any rate, Sophie just about had a seizure from the high intensity cuteness/dark humor that is Aranzi’s version of kawaii, and we immediately began manufacturing small cute characters from the books.
Because, it turns out, in addition to their several volumes of Machine Gun, Aranzi also offers a few DIY cuteness books called, what else, The Cute Book, The Cuter Book, and Cute Stuff. So, following their adorable and sometimes hilarious instructions, Sophie and I have been cranking out the cuteness, until we can’t stand it any more and then we go for a walk with the dog just to get some air.
This isn’t our first Winter Cute-Fest. You might remember the flower fairies?
Our second effort was Lizard. His head came out a little bit crooked, entirely my fault, due to my a little bit crooked thinking while I sewed his parts together. Next came the elegant Black Kitty, made entirely by Sophie. And then Bad Guy. Bad Guy is my favorite. He does bad things, on purpose.
Lizard, possibly because of his slightly crooked mouth and pensive expression, became Questioning Lizard, clearly a creation sprung whole from my current state of mind. Questioning Lizard asks questions, perhaps one might even say he is stuck in a vortex of unanswerable riddles. Why am I living this life? What is it for? Do I matter? Why am I working so hard with so little effect? Did I descend from dinosaurs?
Questioning Lizard has a theme song, Sophie told me about it. It is super peppy, like the song from one of those early 90s anime where everyone can turn into a giant robot or a super ninja in color coordinated spandex. I wish I could sing it for you. It goes, “Questioning Lizard! Questions everything! Pow!” Short, catchy, energetic. It is completely the opposite of Questioning Lizard’s quiet, introspective personality, which I find hilarious.
White Bunny, on the other hand, according to Sophie, is largely concerned with her collection of tiny accessories. For example, her ear-bow, or her small purse with it’s darling flower applique. White Bunny knows what separates sentient beings from the lesser animals.
Black Kitty merely blinks her large eyes mysteriously and says nothing.
I highly recommend making tiny cute characters as a therapy for existential crisis. You sit there, sewing tiny cute things, wondering why you exist, why bother, why am I doing this, and, at least the to current activity which is clearly absurd, the answer is obvious. There is no reason to make tiny cute animals out of felt except that it is amusing and makes your kid laugh. Which is as good a reason as most and better than many.
Questioning Lizard is questioning whether or not he likes my blog.