Plush of the Month: Meet Archie O’Pteryx (and some personal updates)

Here we go again. The next pattern has already arrived and I finally finished my feathered dino baby. So no, I’m not dead, I’m just very bogged down. One part is work, where we’re now “catching up” on many things that didn’t happen during the school closings. And many things are happening. so many kids who need help, so few resources. I rarely leave school at the time that I should, and of course the work that would then normally be done at home like grading and preparing classes doesn’t do itself.

On top of that I’m still dealing with the fall out from Uli’s death. Not just the emotional part, but also dealing with many of her belongings. I have hauled off stationary, I’m in contact with charities, of course her sister (legally I have nothing to do with all of this), an asshole landlord, sorting through tons of clothing and trying to find people who will take it (and you still don’t see a difference, but I cannot personally carry all of it to the appropriate places). Yeah, you can rightly ask why I’m doing this, but to me it’s important that her life not be discarded, wasted, and it’s also a way to say goodbye and find closure.

Aaaaand, if that’s not enough, I’ve been having a ton of health troubles as well as regular check ups and cancer screenings. at least my teeth are done for the moment.

But I still got my baby done. It’s such wonderful self-care, it offers instant validation and provides me with a snuggly friend every month. As usually, the pattern was amazing, but like the deer on the complicated side. I’m afraid poor Archie will remain a single kid (though he’s already been claimed by Casey the Deer as her little brother).

©Giliell, all rights reserved

As you can see, Archie is tall, and such a tall plush brings its own challenges, mostly when it comes to stability. You cannot stuff such a narrow neck to the extent that it will hold the large head, so Archie’s got a heavy (1 mm thick) wire running from his head to his tail as a “spine”. The same problem happens with the wings: they’re large, they’re heavy. I tried the same wire as for the spine, but it was too heavy and the wings would just flop down. I used some thinner wire, and while the effect was better, it still didn’t work. In order to get them to stay up I needed to attach them to the head, but I didn’t want to stitch them to the frills. This would be fine If Archie was an collector’s item, but I make friends and therefore I didn’t want to risk tearing anything apart accidentally.

©Giliell, all rights reserved

The solution was extra strong crafting magnets in the wings and the frills at the side of the head. This way they come apart easily when being pulled without any damage to sweet Archie. If you look at the feet, I hate everything about them. Not the result, but everything about making them. The claws had to be sown individually and then sown into the seams of the feet and there was a lot of cussing involved. Nevermore!

©Giliell, all rights reserved

One thing I love about NazFX’s patterns (and the fact that I have an embroidery machine) is that the faces are so expressive. This little fellow basically spells “good natured mischief” with that look, as well as “please cuddle baby”.

©Giliell, all rights reserved


  1. lumipuna says

    Charly wrote:

    you should get him at least his distant cousin Peter O’Dactyle

    Funny that you mentioned that. I thought the style and coloring of Archie’s feather coat, complete with the head crest, resembles the pterosaur costume my mom made me for a preschool costume party over 30 years ago. Mind you, back then we had only a very vague idea of what an anthropomorphic pterosaur should look like. You can now all imagine Archie as a 6yo socially awkward white boy.

    Incidentally, I have no idea if the “p” in pterosaur is supposed to be silent in Finnish pronunciation or not. Usually, we faithfully pronounce every letter everywhere. If it were silent, then the “ptero” part of *pterosaurus* would sound like my actual first name, which again ties neatly to the aforementioned childhood costume. Back then we didn’t know the name *pterosaurus*, because in popular Finnish pterosaur is traditionally (less often nowadays) rendered as *lentolisko*, “flying lizard”.

  2. Jazzlet says

    You have done beautiful work on a good, if fiddly pattern, the magnets are a particulrly clever solution, I can see that working on a pattern like this would require the level of concentration that gives no room for worrisome thoughts about the rest of life. (And for some reason I’ve gone all formal, don’t know what’s going on there.) Archie is charming with that gangly “bits of me have been growing at different rates” look, simply adorable, and such a good boy for distracting you! I thought my kid brother ws a moster at that age so I can ssee Casey feeling sisterly to Archie, and I guess she knows you have to be one stp ahead of little brothers at all times.

    I am sorry that work is such a heavy load at the moment, though I guess not surprised, I don’t suppose there is much prospect of it easing up in the near future either.

    I am glad Uli’s sister is letting you honour Uli by helping sort out good homes for Uli’s things etc.. Grief is so personal but being allowed to express it in our own way is incredibly helpful, even while it is still incredibly painful. Lots of hugs.

  3. Tethys says

    That is very impressive sewing on those toes. Such tiny bits to sew together!!! I think I would prefer endless French seams to the cussing and difficulty involved in making these complex and fiddley fiber art objects. It appears the head and face are also made of several pieces, which are embroidered. The mouth looks very tricky, and gives a wonderful playful expression. Well done!

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