After I drew out a basic design, we took a trip to Hobby Lobby to select fabrics. I found a sweet swirling pattern for the back and wings. We used blue for the face and a sage green for the belly and the sides. We scoured the racks for just the right buttons to use for eyes. Once we had the materials we needed, we headed back to her house to get to work. We weighed out 5 pounds of rice - which conveniently, comes in 5 pound bags - and shimmied it around in a ziplock to check its thickness so we could be sure to make the owl body big enough. I cut the design I drew into pieces and then traced those onto the fabric. This involved a great deal of tedious and repetitive actions - lining things up, pinning them, cutting carefully - none of which I am very good at. I tell people all the time, I'm artsy but not crafty. Even though it wasn't my forte, it was soothing to me and very healing to work on this project.
In one afternoon, we had cut out all of the pieces for three owls. One for me, one for my mom, and one for my sister. My sister, living in Virginia, did not get down to see me until Kenley had already been taken to the funeral home. So, she never got to hold her. I wanted to make her an owl specifically so that she'd be able to have that experience in some way.
Over the next few days, Chrissy sewed the pieces together. I sewed on the button eyes and a tree charm on the bottom of each owl.
Then it was time to stuff. I didn't want a floppy bean bag owl, so we had to figure out a way to keep the rice from sliding around inside. Chrissy decided to sew several long bags of rice to stuff inside and give it structure. We divided the rice between the bags. The bags along the back were stuffed full of rice and the ones in the front were a little looser to add softness
We padded the sides and ears with batting and then slid the bags in. We sewed up the bottom of the owls and then we were done. So, after about three weeks of working on and off, we had three owls that weighed 5 pounds 1 1/2 ounces. I mailed one off to my sister and will give my mom hers the next time we get together. Mine sits on top of Kenley's Memory Box, next to a picture of her feet.