I had the best intentions, I really did. But now I understand that not every person needs a homemade gift this year. I kind of understood this before, but now I see that fact in Technicolor.

Adam and his brother Morgan are rather obsessed with all things Xbox. And now with the release of the New Xbox Experience you can create your own little avatar (and they are more detailed than the Wii Miis). So I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if I made Morgan a doll based on his avatar?” Then I said it out loud to Adam, and it became my next project.

And it would have been cool if I knew what I was doing when it comes to doll making and working with felt. I was on my way; I got the image blown up to all the right doll proportions and had worked out a pattern. I started working on the face in felt, and it wasn’t going too terribly. Until it was.

See, the face doesn’t look too disastrous here. Squarer than I would have liked, and he looks a bit surprised, but I could have lived with that. But I couldn’t close up the bottom of the face to save my life. The felt was just too thick to fold in on itself and blindstitch. I tried hand sewing it, I tried glue, I tried many things. Then I tried just machine sewing it closed. And folks, it went from being a somewhat passable Morgan avatar doll to a full-on homage to Ric Ocasek.

In the process of trying to close and shape this head I chiseled away so much of its jawline that it just became cadaverous. I even took out all the stitching and tried in vein to sew it inside out again. I’d cut off too much, and it still looked like a shrunken head.

Fortunately Adam found a great Morgan gift on Ebay, and I was able to put an end to this doll’s suffering. But I think I’ll save my shrunken head for next Halloween. Or as a reminder to myself to walk away the next time a project fails.

I’m off to listen to The Cars greatest hits.