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Collecting fabrics and honing my duck-catching skills

This photo reminds me of “The Princess and the Pea” with her pile of mattresses, but it’s really an assortment of new fat quarters and half yards of quilting cottons that I collected on Friday. I’ve got them all prewashed, and now I need to iron them all. I found out that you can buy “soleplate cleaner“, something I never knew existed. I had in mind to buy a new iron with a non-stick soleplate because I was certain I’d melt something onto the bottom in no time. It seems inevitable that, sooner or later, I will lay my fusible interfacing down, with the fusible side up, which, of course, I’ve already done. For good measure, I melted some synthetic trim as well, while I had my iron set to “cotton”. It happens.

I’ve been thinking about trying a name-your-own slug option for my art toys, since people often seem to want toys named after a child or a loved one. I thought it might be a fun idea. I’ve listed a few in my Etsy shop. So far, the listings allow you to give a color preference or two for your “Hug Me! Slug” and a name you’d like on the hang tag. Then I’d coordinate the fabrics for a one-of-a-kind creation. I’m not sure about the idea…but I’ll give it a try. I know about myself that I like to do my own thing, and so I don’t want to get overly involved in the customizing end of things. Plus, there is no way I can photograph all my fabric! 😉

That joke our vet made about giving me medicine to give to the duck each day…would you believe it came true? Mr Duck needs an antiobiotic pill each day, for ten days to two weeks maybe. The avian vet relayed the how-to-give-a-duck-a-pill procedure and said it was easy. We all laughed incredulously, but the funny thing has been, so far, that it has been relatively easy. Each day I fret that I will be unable to catch the duck. My knees have gotten sore, and we’ve gotten a few minor scratches. Yet, amazingly, we’ve managed to catch him and put a pill in his beak each day. Each night I say, several times, “I can’t believe we caught that duck today.” Some days he doesn’t seem to care, and other days, he’s not so willing. He’s been a good patient though. He may still need to visit the avian vet, but the first thing is to give him the antibiotics.

His friends and family have been funny. They don’t even run away anymore. They let out a big hoopla when I pick him up sometimes, but then they just hang around, taking advantage of the fact that I have to drop my cup of cracked corn that I use as a lure. I try not to move around too much, until he is close enough to reach. My dad has been joking that, when this medication is finished, the duck will come ask me to pick him up.

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Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing

Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingChelsea is a Maine Coon cat with big amber eyes and tall tufted ears. She is very sociable, very charming, and very much loved. Today is her first birthday.

Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingIn just a few minutes, her party will begin. As she waits for her guests to arrive, she is so excited she has to remind herself to breathe. She sits very still so as not to wrinkle her new party dress, and looks in awe at the beautiful cake with the pink roses on top. She hopes there will be some left over for later. It looks yummy.

Loretta and Lulu, Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingChelsea’s first guests arrive!

Heidi and Helga, Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingAnd more guests!

Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingThey all admire the cake, trying to wait until everyone arrives. It’s so tempting to just stick one little paw in the frosting…

Loretta and Lulu, Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Heidi and Helga, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingChelsea is an original one-of-a-kind work of art, created from our own design and pattern. She is made from 100% cotton fabric which has been sewn, stuffed, and completely hand painted with acrylic paints. She is 13 inches tall.

Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingChelsea’s paws are needle-sculpted, and her arms are button-jointed with antique-looking buttons of filigreed silver on black, so she can easily pose. Her face was sculpted from paperclay smoothed into her fabric head. The tufts on her ears are sewn-in fake fur, and her whiskers are made from stiffened cotton thread. Her curled tail enables her to sit prettily all by herself on a shelf or on a table, or in a cabinet. She will also happily sit on a chair, or stand with a doll stand. (Chair and doll stand are not included.) Chelsea is meant for display only.

Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing

Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingChelsea’s pink and white birthday cake was sculpted from paperclay, and has a removable wax candle. It rests on a round wooden base, painted green.

Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingChelsea wears an ivory blouse with gold buttons. Her bloomers are painted white, with rose polka dots. She has ivory-colored tights and high-button shoes that cover her little kitty feet.

Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingChelsea’s party dress is pale pink and ivory, with a dainty striped pattern of darker pink roses and green leaves. The trim and underskirt are of striped tan and dark rose fabric. A touch of ivory lace adds even more femininity.

Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingChelsea is signed and dated, and sealed with matte varnish for protection and preservation. She comes with a hang tag, a certificate of authenticity, and a copy of her story.

Beatrice and Beulah, Heidi and Helga, Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingChelsea and her birthday cake are available for $650.00, plus shipping. Please inquire to ruffings@ruffings.com or find her in our Ruffing’s Etsy shop by clicking here.

Loretta and Lulu, Heidi and Helga, Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat, Emily and Edwin, Beatrice and Beulah, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingChelsea’s birthday guests, as pictured above, from left to right, are “Loretta and Lulu“, “Heidi and Helga“, “Chelsea”, “Emily and Edwin“, and “Beatrice and Beulah“.

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Chelsea the Maine Coon Cat is up on our Ruffing’s site

Our original one-of-a-kind Maine Coon folk art cat doll, Chelsea, and her birthday cake are up online now.

She is waiting anxiously to taste her pretty birthday cake.

Her birthday guests, as pictured above, from left to right, are “Loretta and Lulu“, “Heidi and Helga“, “Chelsea”, “Emily and Edwin“, and “Beatrice and Beulah“. Please click here to visit Chelsea’s web page.

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Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing

Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingLoretta is a patient and loving Siamese mom who is sincerely dedicated to being the best mother she can be.

Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingWhen her kitten Lulu has her worn out and frazzled, Loretta tucks Lulu safely into her apron pocket to keep her from running and jumping in every direction. Then Loretta breathes a sigh of relief.

Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingLulu remains wide awake, peeking over the pocket at everything around her, and planning her next great adventure.

Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingLoretta and Lulu are original one-of-a-kind works of art, created from our own design and pattern. They are made from 100% cotton fabric which has been sewn, stuffed, and completely hand painted with acrylic paints. Loretta is 13 inches tall, and Lulu is 3 inches tall.

Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingLoretta’s paws are needle-sculpted, and her arms are button-jointed with antique-looking buttons of filigreed silver on black, so she can easily pose. Loretta and Lulu’s faces were sculpted from paperclay smoothed into their fabric heads. Their whiskers are made from stiffened cotton thread.

Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing

Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingLoretta’s curled tail supports her so that she can sit prettily all by herself on a shelf or on a table, or in a cabinet. She can also sit in a chair or stand with a doll stand. (Chair and doll stand are not included.) Loretta and Lulu are meant for display only.

Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingLoretta wears a periwinkle blue blouse, with a white collar and cuffs, and gold buttons. Her sleeves and tights are striped with purples, lavenders, blues, and burnt orange. Her kitty feet are covered by fancy two-toned high-button shoes with gold buttons.

Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingLoretta’s charming little blue skirt has a pattern of pink heart-shaped flowers. The attached apron with its gracefully curved top is white, and trimmed with lovely white lace. The pocket in her apron, made especially for Lulu, has an appliquéd heart, satin trim, and decorative embroidery stitching.

Loretta and Lulu, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Siamese Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingLoretta and Lulu are signed and dated, and sealed with matte varnish for protection and preservation.

Loretta and Lulu, Emily and Edwin, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Cat and Kitten Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingUpdate: Loretta and Lula have already been adopted. Thank you!

Emily and Edwin, Loretta and Lulu, Beatrice and Beulah, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingLoretta and Lulu’s friends are Emily and Edwin (above left) and Beatrice and Beulah (above right).