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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Cuddly Slugs: Part 2

Time for my next installment of stuffed slug creations.

In 2010, I made a total of three slugs.  The first one was already shown in the previous post.  The other two were Christmas-time slugs.  First, I made a slug for my niece, Lucy.  She lives in southern California, so I decided to make a slug from down there.  I chose Mexichromis porterae, since from my limited SoCal diving, this was one of my favorites.  It also had the nice property of being pretty colorful, and not being too complex for my sewing skills.  I think this slug came out quite well for a few reasons.  First, I came up with a pretty good way to construct a dorid with a colored border on the mantle.  Second, I found the perfect color of wide wale corduroy to make lamellated rhinophores :)
Portia the Mexichromis porterae
Photo by Clinton Bauder
By the way, I nicknamed this slug Portia.  I forgot to mention in my previous post that some of the early slugs had nicknames -- including Rusty the Rostanga and Dori the Doriopsilla.  I never came up with a good nickname for the Hypselodoris, so I referred to it as Hypsy.  I guess now that the species name has changed to Felimare californiensis, I could call it Felix.

Unfortunately Portia didn't exactly with stand the test of time.  One of her yellow stripes peeled off, which I guess was a consequence of using adhesive instead of stitching, and giving a hand-made stuffed animal to a very tiny human.

For the Capwell party, I used my excellent new dorid construction technique to make a Cadlina flavomaculata.  Cady turned out kind of huge, but I guess it's more to love.

Photo by Mark Lloyd
Cady the Cadlina
In 2011, I made what still seems like one of my most ambitious slugs yet, and I think my favorite slug yet (I know, I probably shouldn't have favorites, or at least not admit to it).  Drum roll please...

I made a Spanish shawl.  It was obviously way more complicated than a dorid.  The orange cerata have pipe cleaners in them to give them some stability.  That also means you can bend the cerata and "style" them in the orientation that you want, which is kind of fun.

More to come...
Photo by Clinton Bauder

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Merry Slugmas and Happy Nudi Year!

Every year in December, Jim and Bev have a holiday party that involves a white elephant-style gift exchange.  Most of the attendees are from the dive community, so there are lots of ocean and dive-themed gifts.  Many years ago, I had the (excellent, if I do say so myself) idea to make a stuffed animal version of a sea slug as our entry in the gift exchange.  And I have been doing that every year since then.  I've also made a few bonus, non-white elephant sea slugs as gifts for people.  When I was working on my 2019 creation, I realized that the first year that I made a stuffed nudi was 2009, so this was the 10th anniversary of slug-making.  I thought that this warranted a blog post to finally showcase the slug collection.  I've literally been thinking of doing this for years, so this is finally a forcing function!

In order to do this, I first had to find pictures of each slug.  This turned out to be a bit trickier than I expected.  I know I took pictures of each slug, but some have been lost on old phones I think.  I managed to cobble together pictures of all but two of the slugs, and figured out which two were missing.  I had a guess as to who won those two, and I got one of the two right -- Dionna won the slug in 2014 and was kind enough to send me a picture of it!  I still haven't found a picture of 2012's slug, but maybe the recipient will read this post and let me know :)

By my count, there are a total of 15 slugs in the collection, which is way too many to cover in one post!  So I'll break this up into 3 or 4 posts, which I'll post weekly during January, covering the slugs chronologically.  Just to warn you, they get WAY better over time.  When I first started making slugs, I was a beginning seamstress, and now I'm at least intermediate (not because of the slug-making but because I've made at least a dozen quilts over that time).  The slug at the beginning of this post is one of the 2019 slugs.

For the original slug, I kept it easy and made a dorid, whose characteristics I knew pretty well -- a Doriopsilla albopunctata:

Photo by Clinton Bauder

It's a bit hard to see the little white spots in the picture of the stuffed version, but they are there!

The stuffed Doriopsilla was quite a hit at the party that first year, and Clinton was having a house warming party shortly after that (and was *very* disappointed not to win the original slug) so I made him a Rostanga pulchra as a housewarming gift.  Suzanne, who won the Doriopsilla also had the idea to give her slug to Clinton as a housewarming gift, so he ended up with two slugs!

Photo by Clinton Bauder

Before I made this slug, I knew that Rostangas have interesting rhinophores, but I learned a lot about the shape of them while doing research for the stuffed version.

A few months after that, Clinton was travelling to Mexico to dive with Alicia Hermosillo and asked if I could possibly make a slug for her -- she was the scientific advisor for our BAUE nudibranch project, so it seemed like an awesome thank you gift to her!  After a bit of discussion with Clinton, I settled on Hypselodoris californiensis, which Alicia has studied.  (Apparently it's now called Felimare californiensis, grumble grumble).  I have never actually seen this slug, but it sure is pretty!  Below, it is posing with Clinton's other two slugs (and I love how the slugs match his table runner!).

Photo by Clinton Bauder
Alright, I think that's a good start.  More to come soon!