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Goodbye to a(nother) decade

I’m still getting some orders out that were placed just before Christmas, and I’m recuperating from my mad dash before Christmas to get them all out on time. Already New Year’s is approaching, and it’s a big one this time around, the turning of a decade. At first I was reflecting on this past year, but when I tried to take in the whole decade, I realized a lot really has happened for me personally.

I moved from a place I’d lived all my life to a place I’d never even seen before, leaving some good friends behind, for a place where I knew no one. I moved from the country to the city, and back to the country again.

I hoped to “find someone” and maybe start a family. I met and dated a few people I wish I’d never met, yet alone dated. Yikes.

I watched ten more birthdays go by, and managed not to freak out about most of them.

I learned how to use a computer, and got one for the first time. I learned about digital photography and printing, and made my first art prints. I learned about web design, and launched two websites. I read lots and lots about having an online business, and started one.

I got a more fuel-efficient car, and a fancier sewing machine.

I painted a few paintings, and made a lot of toys.

I hope that I learned a few things, like to when to stick up for myself, and when to refuse to settle for what I don’t want, even during those times when it looks like that’s all there is available to me. I hope I learned that things change, and often for the better. I hope I learned to stop trying to be nice to everybody, all the time, especially if in doing so, I end up not being nice to myself. I hope I learned when to say no, without feeling guilty about it.

I lost three kitties to illnesses, and miss them very much. I gained three kitties that people left behind. “Nature hates a cat vacuum,” someone said to me. Still, I thought about Mr Laurence, when my last birthday came around. I wish he’d been here to eat a hole in the top of the cake when no one was looking, just like he always tried to do.

I got a clock for my last birthday, a kitty with a tail that wags, like I used to have as a child. I now have a clock in my workroom, something new for me too. I’ve got lots of ideas for things I want to try, including revisiting the idea of some illustrated stories for children. Most immediately, I’m planning to finish some art doll projects, try a couple of new toy sizes, and experiment with making some handmade books, just to see what I can do.

Most of all, as I look back on this decade, I hope that I won’t ever give up on myself or what I want to do. I don’t intend to. Sometimes I have some big disappointments, and quite a few small ones too. I want to keep trying, and I want to believe I can. I was just trying to finish that last sentence, but I think that’s what I mean, I want to believe “I can,” as opposed to “I can’t.” I want to believe in myself and in the presence of goodness in my life, and I want to have hope for the future. Thank you for following my journey, round-about as it may be at times. I wish you all the best on your journey as well. Happy new year to you, and all the best for the coming decade.

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Mini shop update

I’m putting up the ready-made “Hug Me! Slugs” that I just finished this afternoon. I’ll be listing the ready-made slugs in my Etsy shop. Above is “Izzie”.

“Carson”, above, just got snatched up as I was writing this.

This is “Julie”, above.

This is “Merlin”.

Above is “Dustin”.

And this is “Marigold”, above. She’s just been spoken for too.

We’re planning to ship the Christmas orders tomorrow morning. Priority Mail usually takes about two to three days. The Post Office doesn’t guarantee that delivery time period, but they try extra hard to make sure the Christmas packages arrive on time. Some people are opting for Express Mail, which costs quite a bit more, but I can adjust an invoice for anyone interested in that.

It’s been a long, busy weekend, and tomorrow will probably be busy too. After that, I’ll try to accommodate any orders that come in for ready-made toys, but the custom-made ones will take about a two-week wait. I’m in need of a rest! Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season!

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I think I’m having a slug-themed birthday party tomorrow

Although that wasn’t my intention! I’ve been very busy.

These are Monday and Wednesday’s slugs. They’re on their way to their new homes, or many have probably already arrived.

I’m going to mail at least two more tomorrow, but I’d been hoping to get more done by then. There is a rumor that we may have snow, and so I will be amending my plans to make sure I mail the slugs I promised to send on Friday, out in time.

I imagine many of the folks who buy and sell on Etsy saw today’s NY Times article on Etsy businesses. I read that this morning and thought I’d better take those examples to heart, and pace myself. It’s been crazy lately. I’m happy for all the interest in my toys, but I also realize I don’t want to end up, someday, being someone who works thirteen-hour days, like some of the people in that article. I want to make sure I am doing what I want to do, and enjoying it.

Anyway…I’m amazed I got all these done. My mom has been helping address boxes, and trimming and clipping seams, and turning slugs right side out for me. Thanks, mom!

I hope all these little guys and girls will be a big hit for the holidays. I like to think about them being unwrapped and making someone smile or laugh.

I have a few fleece slugs almost done, in royal blue, gold, orange, light turquoise, cream (with blue eyes), and denim-colored blue. I don’t think I’ll get a chance to get them up and photographed this weekend, as I had planned though. I think there are only three finished slugs left in my Etsy shop, for now, as I’m writing this.

I just put this fuchsia-pink slug up this morning. I named her Holly. I can’t figure out if people would prefer to name their own ready-made slug, or if I should just leave that as an option for the custom-made slugs.

Okay, just checking in, and now I’ve got to get back to work! Hope you are enjoying the holiday season!