April 25, 2010
Self-Winding Yo-Based Toy
A few months ago now, I was watching an episode of The Simpsons with friends (The Color Yellow, in which Lisa researches her family’s place in the Underground Railroad). The episode has been pretty well panned since airing, but I loved it – I laughed out loud more during this episode than I have at most recent Simpsons episodes. In the middle of the episode, Milhouse disputes Lisa’s claims, and uses his distant relative’s journal as proof. Flashback to a very-Milhouse-looking boy reading “Mr. Thomas Jefferson’s Marvelous Inventions.” The page he had open was for a Self-Winding Yo-Based Toy, complete with copy about the wonderful things it can do.
From first glance, I was smitten. I loved the design and the simplicity, the old-time feel, the cross-hatching – all of it. I wanted this on my wall. I tracked the episode down on Hulu and took screenshots of the image, then set to work.
I crayon-tinted the fabric, although looking at it now, I probably would have been better off doing some sort of fill stitch for the black areas (I’m quite happy with how the yo-yo itself turned out). It was very detailed work, especially the lettering, but if anything, this taught me patience 😉
By the way, the lettering, which is my favorite part, reads “This device, which will astound that natural scientist, delight the wizened crone, infuriate the feeble-minded, can be manufactured with a mere six months of whittle-work and hemp winding. It can perform tricks most unnatural, including exercising the hound, oscillating the infant, and lunar cannonading.” A close-up shot of the stitching is here.