The Reconstruction of Buzzie: The Surgery

So, if you’ve been following the Buzzie blogs, you already know the back story.  if not, here is a link: The Back Story of Buzzie

I wanted to share with you how this hippo was repaired and a memory was restored.

Day One: Buzzie arrived in pretty rough shape. As you know (because you’ve read the back story, right?), Buzzie was damaged by a playful puppy who did not realize that the hippo wasn’t one of her toys.  His face and head were badly damaged and a lot of the stuffing ripped out. The eyes were dangling from the facial fabric , yes, by a thread, and his neck was in bad shape as well. There was also a lot of drool. So the first thing I had to do was give Buzzie a bath. I did this using the ‘hand-wash’ setting on my machine, used a very mild detergent, hot water, and threw in some towels as well to balance the machine. I then let him dry in front of the wood stove in my shop.

Day Two: After Buzzie was dry, I took the remaining stuffing out, as none of it was usable. I measured the mouth and picked out what  the 

correct fabric. I adhered a 

layer of fusible fleece behind the pink cotton fabric and measured again.  And again. And again. And…again.  I turned Buzzie inside out and basted/pinned it in place. I left a seam open so I could turn him right side out again and to also add the polyfiber fill.

Once I had the placement correct, I machine stitched it slowly and carefully. VERY slowly
and very carefully. I re-stuffed the hippo with new polyfiber fill,  

checked for holes, and hand stitched where he needed it.

Making new friends in Maine.

Day Three: I did a lot of research on the eyes and  I could not find what I wanted. Really though, it was fine because the fabric damage was too extensive to put new ones in.

So, I stitched around using patches of linen, I put them back in place the best I could.

THEN, realizing that while I love art, I am NOT an artist, I called upon a dear friend of mine named 

Veronica Cross who IS an artist (a very talented one at that).  I told her the situation and we made a date to paint new eyes on the Buzzster.

Day Four: Veronica came over armed with special paints and her incredible talent.  She painted the whites of the eyes and let them dry.

Day Five: Veronica came over AGAIN (such a great lady) and then painted the pupils.  We set him to dry for 48 hours. Lovingly, I placed him on the highest shelf in my shop so no one would disturb him as he rested. 

Day Six: I created the teeth that had been lost very long ago. I noticed their “roots” while I was taking

everything apart and thought he would look much nicer with some new teeth. I created new teeth using white cotton and fusible fleece. I made them about 1″ x 1″ and folded them in half. I used fray check on the edges and let them dry.

Day Seven: My daughter and I researched hippos on the internet to get a better visual for the placement of the teeth.  I then ripped stitches out where the teeth needed to go. I  inserted the teeth and stitched. In retrospect, I would put the teeth in as I was creating the mouth; in the same way one would add folding, sew- in labels to a product.

Buzzie was then packaged lovingly and send back home to his papa, Steve who lives in New York, via USPS Priority.  He is very happy to be home, from what I hear, and is well out of “Cleo’s” reach.

Honestly, this was an incredible project for me. Not simply because it was fun (which it was) but because it was a challenge.  Always glad to help out where I can; and am really proud of the job too.

If you would like to see ALL of the photos, please head to my FaceBook Page.

Till we meet again…..

Love and Kisses from the darkest part of the Maine Woods…..

–Kim

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About Perry Home Naturals

I live in Western Maine, on four acres, with my hilarious husband, entertaining daughter, a flock of chickens & three rambunctious kitties. I am owner artisan of Perry Home Naturals that I started (as Winter Solstice Dreams) in 2010. Striving to leave things better than I found them which includes teaching my daughter to follow my husband & I as we lovingly try to make this world better in our own "backyard".
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5 Responses to The Reconstruction of Buzzie: The Surgery

  1. Melissa G says:

    Oh my goodness! That hippo is adorable! I love him!

  2. Yay! This makes me so happy. I am looking for appropriate eyes right now to replace my cherished teddy bear from childhood, my dog ate his old eyes off. You did an awesome job making Buzzie all fixed up!

  3. Jane says:

    Aw, he’s adorable! I understand why you liked the project. I, too, have taken on projects that seem crazy to do, but I learn so much in the process – especially when I’m around creative, talented people!

  4. WOW! Thanks so much everyone!!! 🙂 🙂 It was a great project! 🙂 🙂

  5. veronica says:

    I’m getting a lump in my throat reading this, Dr.Kim you did a great job!

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