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I saved a Beanie Baby

Yesterday, I was working on my list of loose ends again, exchanging a wrong item I grabbed at the store, picking up things I meant to pick up and didn’t, finally ordering a pair of pants and a sweater since the ones I wear all the time are getting too shabby. On the way home from the stores, I saw one more little loose end. I have driven past this poor Beanie Baby for maybe two weeks now. He was lying on the road, all wet from the rain. At first we thought his kid might come back for him, but yesterday, I could stand it no longer. It was just too sad. I pulled over and wrapped him in some paper (he was gritty and grimy). I took him home and gave him a good washing in some warm water and Tide Free.

I sewed up his shoulder seam using some thread I had just picked up. It, oddly enough, matched his fur. I set him to dry, and then combed his ears. I looked him up online, and found out his name is “Spunky”, born January 14, 1997. I don’t know what he has been up to since then, but now he is a new man. I’ve never had a Beanie Baby before, but, like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, he needed me.

I’m having a sick day today, and since I can’t do much for now, I thought I’d share two of my Christmas present books. Crocheting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein is a book of crocheted edgings that you can add to anything you like, in the size and yarn of your choice. So far, I’m fantasizing more than I am experimenting. I’m thinking of lace collars on sweaters for our art dolls.

Alphonse Mucha: The Spirit of Art Nouveau by Victor Arwas is another loose end of sorts. I had wanted it when I first saw it, and I decided I’d get my own copy at some point. I picked it out with a gift certificate a friend gave me for Christmas. I’ve been fantasizing too about making some Art Nouveau-inspired original art quilts, and more Art Nouveau-inspired floral watercolor paintings and fairy art.

Primrose and Quill (1899-1900) color lithographs by Alphonse Mucha
Study for a Decorative Panel 1902 by Alphonse Mucha

As I’ve been in bed part of the day, I was watching some TV too. I don’t know why seeing these crocheted creatures searching for love tickled me, but it did:

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Original art cat dolls in progress, and making progress in general

Original cat art dolls in progress, Elizabeth Ruffing, Max Bailey
These are the original cat art dolls that Max Bailey and I have been working on. The one on the left will be a Siamese cat, and the one on the right is a tabby cat. The tabby is very cute, but I don’t want to give too much away before her entire ensemble is complete. I am sewing her a dress based on Shirley Temple’s dress in her 1937 film “Heidi”. She has a beautiful pet goose companion as well.

Shirley Temple as Heidi in the 1937 filmI have so many little loose ends that I’m trying to tie up, and that includes making my way through the pile of books I intended to read. I’m still working on E. M. Forster. I’m reading A Passage to India right now.

A Passage To India movie stillI think that might be the only one of his novels I’ve read that hasn’t been turned into a movie starring Helena Bonham-Carter.

A Room with a View movie stillOther E. M. Forster novels I’ve recently read are Where Angels Fear to Tread, A Room with a View (scene from the movie above), and Howard’s End.

I’m sure none of these will compare to CSS: The Missing Manual, which I ordered today. That’s by Brian McFarland. It promises to be “crystal clear”. If I still can’t efficiently absorb CSS after that, I think I’m just going to live without it, knock on wood.

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Happy holidays, everyone! This is Mr Happy Christmas Tree. He’s an original art toy I made by hand from my own design and pattern. I used a blanket stitch and some embroidery floss to hand sew on all his ornaments and his gold star.

His ornaments go all the way around. He’s made from fleece. I attached a knot of green yarn “hair” to the top of his head. He’s been given as a gift, and is overseeing Christmas from his new home, where I hope he will be loved and bring some cheer.

We opened presents this morning. After our first day of holiday shopping, where my mom and I came home with only wrapping paper, we were pretty sure we were the most inept shoppers ever. However, we mustered some courage, and headed out again. We were proud of ourselves to just come home with something! We usually don’t participate in the shopping part of Christmas, but my dad was feeling nostalgic for some presents.

Then, I went Christmas shopping with G.B. too, where I did my best to give gift suggestions at Dick’s Sporting Goods. This may not seem funny to you, but really, it is to me. Not only do I have difficultly even saying “Dick’s Sporting Goods” without getting completely tongue-tied, but I have absolutely no knowledge of anything sports-related. Still, I think I did okay.

G.B. took me to a bike shop and got me this pretty red bike helmet for Christmas. The owner helped adjust it to my head, because, of course, I was fumbling trying to figure out how to do anything with it. He helped to snap it under my chin when I got confused about that also, which he found amusing. But, hey, now I know! 🙂

I went for a ride this morning. This guy was very excited about the opportunity to bolt out the back door while I was taking my bike out. This is an new game here. You catch one kitty, and the other runs out. That’s the warm-up part of my exercising. Then I picked up my little dog friend along my way again. Fortunately, he took himself home this time when a bigger dog barked at him. As sweet as he is, I worry about his running here and there while I’m riding.

Well, I need to go make some apple crisp for dessert tonight. Have a great holiday!

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Carolina Chickadee and Eastern Red Cedar by A E Ruffing

Carolina Chickadee and Eastern Red Cedar by A E RuffingFor me, nothing typifies winter more than the sight of a Black-capped Chickadee perched on a snowy branch. I’ve given this alert and sprightly bird a background of soft wintry colors with just a suggestion of trees against the sky.

This little bird has been a part of my “Songbirds of the South” collector plate series from Oxmoor House/Southern Living Gallery, and he’s been on a holiday card from the National Wildlife Federation.

Carolina Chickadee and Eastern Red Cedar by A E Ruffing“Carolina Chickadee and Eastern Red Cedar” is an original watercolor painting. I am making a limited number of reproductions of this image as a signed giclĂ©e print as well, which may be ordered by emailing us or by using the PayPal button below, for the 8 1/2 by 11 print. Larger prints are special order. Please see ordering for more information.

Item# Description Image Size Paper Size Price Purchase now
with PayPal
AER76 Giclée print on fine art paper, limited edition approx 12 inch circle 13 inches by 13 inches $65.00 Email us to order
AER76MP Giclée print on fine art paper approx 6 1/2 inche circle 8.5 inches by
11 inches


This is what the 8 1/2 by 11 print might look like framed without a mat. (A mat and frame are not included.)

Carolina Chickadee and Eastern Red Cedar by A E Ruffing