Snarfie and Pie Thagoras have spent the previous 350 pages having various suspenseful gothic adventures largely stemming from their need to save their ancestral home from being redeveloped into a bingo hall.
Reluctantly they agree to sell the family portraits. With heavy hearts and grubby feelers they repair to the Long Gallery and begin boxing up portraits by Van Dyk, Reynolds, and Gainsborough, ready for the monsters from Christie’s to sell them at auction.
They work their way from Elizabethan times up to the early 20th century and lift down the portrait of their great-grandparents, painted by a friend of Picasso’s. Turning over the precious artefact, what do they find but the long lost legendary Ginormous Emerald either won by Sir Jonas Sock-Creature, the 18th-century buccaneer in a game of chess with an exotic oriental despot (the family story) or perhaps “liberated” when Sir Jonas helped himself to it while a guest of the Maharajah.
Sir Jonas Sock-Creature, illustrious 18th-century buccaneer.
The family fortunes are restored in the nick of time and the cousins celebrate by snarfing coconut cream pie in the Great Hall.
Who hasn’t daydreamed about living in a stately home furnished with shabby-chic antiques and the bric a brac collected by their forebears, such as the eighth duke’s collection of golf clubs and the ball gown Lady Amanda wore when dancing with the Ruritanian Ambassador?
No such dwelling would be complete without the haunted Long Gallery with the portraits of long-gone ancestors, showing the family resemblance as to chin, nose — or antenna?
And this portrait of Snarfie and Pie Thagoras has its own secret treasure, to be revealed in the last chapter of the story, saving the family seat from being redeveloped as a bingo hall … stay tuned!
They are from Return of the Stupid Sock Creatures: Evolutions, Mutations and Other Creations, by John Murphy, published by Lark Crafts.
Young Sprout made most of the design decisions and did some of the cutting and ALL of the stuffing — to the point where I had to do reverse stuffing to sew these critters closed!
Like quilting every project is a learning experience. With Snarfie I learned ladder stitch. He is made from a pair of orange ankle socks, felt, a scrap from an old t-shirt, and a giant blingy bead.
With Pie Thagoras I learned that critters stuffed with rice are heavy and need stronger stitching — he already has an extra blue patch on his derriere covering over the spot where he was sewn closed. He’s made from a pair of crew socks plus a third blue sock for contrast.
YS has learned how to do the stuffing, that sewing takes longer than you think, and hopefully that persistence pays off to complete projects. He has also learned more understanding and respect for the importance of sewing equipment and supplies, which in this household can only be a Good Thing. Also that although the results may not look quite like the book it’s all good.
It’s amazing how these guys have taken on personalities. The book gives them all names and life stories, but ours have lives and minds of their own!