I'd started making amigurumi (the Japanese word for knitted or crocheted, stuffed toys) back in February, when my friend Momo brought a book of amigurumi masukotto (needlework mascots) patterns from Japan.
I wasn't very confident at first, because I was worried that I wouldn't be able to put the bodies together right, or the faces would look weird. But from the first, it all seemed to flow. I started with a teddy for my purse, & then made mascots for friends. I made a rabbit holding a carrot for Brendan's Easter basket (which later became the character in a book he wrote- more on that another time) & he really liked it. So when I suggested mascots for his teachers, as a little bit of Brendan to keep with them after he left, he liked the idea. I just made different ones that caught my fancy, & when we had enough he assigned them to each person. I found cute, little gift bags at JoAnn's to package them in, & I just wrote on the bags (the To~From part) with sharpies & tied them with fun ribbons.
I think the giftees enjoyed receiving them (& hopefully still are enjoying them :). Brendan had fun giving them, for sure. And- most of them have gemstone hearts, an idea that hit me as I was creating them, based on an idea from "Gakuen Alice" (see the manga & anime sidebar). So- even though that basket is empty now, they are keeping other folks company, carrying precious memories. 'Nuff said!