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Custom Hug Me! Slugs

These are Speedy and Sluggo, my latest custom Hug Me! Slugs. Speedy is made of fleece, and Sluggo is made from quilting cottons.

Sluggo is going to cheer up someone after his heart surgery, which we hope went really well, and Speedy is going to be a new friend for a boy. He’s going to join Phillippe, who was adopted by the same family. I enjoy hearing where my toys are going. It makes me feel good that they are making people happy. That’s very rewarding for me, and I like seeing people doing nice things for each other. That cheers me up.

You can find my Etsy shop listings for naming your own slug by clicking here. Or, of course, you can just ask me 🙂

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Say it with a bird

This is my new little “Love Bird”. He’s part carrier pigeon.

I’ve been fiddling around for two days, investigating all the things he can say in addition to “I (heart) YOU.”

He favors brevity, but he gets his point across.

I’m going to be offering these as custom orders, with a choice of one or two colors, and a choice of message. Each one comes with a handmade hang tag. The message will also appear on the tag in quotes. I can do initials and names, as long as the names aren’t too long. Eight or nine characters or fewer, including spaces, seem to look best. Contact me for details about ordering one.

My Love Birds are made from 100% cotton quilting fabrics, which have been prewashed, and they are stuffed with Poly-fil polyester stuffing. Their features are machine appliquéd, and their tails are hand quilted. A small pouch of Poly-pellets in their tummies make them sit nicely.

Some of you might remember my Valentine Bird, which was my inspiration for making this pattern. For my Valentine Bird, I had added a tail and a heart to an existing Martha Stewart pattern. For my Love Bird, I drew a more compact body and tail, incorporating the whole top of the bird in one pattern piece, and machine appliquing on the wings, beak, and eyes.

Of course, the most important part of all the bits and pieces that go into making a Love Bird is LOVE.

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Pixie Kitten in progress and a new slug

This is actually the second Pixie Kitten original, one-of-a-kind folk art doll Max Bailey and I have been working on together. I got some really cute photos of the first, a Siamese, the other day, which I can’t wait to show…but I have to color correct them first. This Pixie Kitten is going to be a tabby with an orange tutu, or that is the plan so far.

She’s made of paperclay and cotton cloth. Her paperclay is still drying. Next she’ll be painted with acrylic paint, and varnished.

This is “Hope the Hug Me! Slug”. She’s spoken for already. As you can see, she’s excited and happy about this.

She and the Pixie Kitten have been speculating all afternoon about what her new home will be like.

Hope has her own, personalized hang tag too. I think she’s in my workroom trying it on right now.

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So many things to be inspired by today

I came out on the porch this morning, and realized I’ve been taking these pretty morning glories for granted. I went back in an grabbed my camera.

The morning glories have been blooming here since we moved in, and we’ve never planted any new ones.

I love to see what flowers look like from behind. You never see those views in the garden books. The sun is shining through this one.

I had another custom “Name your own slug” order, and I noticed I didn’t have all that many pinks or purples in my fabric stash. Well, now I do! Hehe. I just ironed all of these.

I had some trouble finding pinks I liked. The last place we stopped was at my favorite Raleigh quilt shop, Carolina Sew-n-Vac, and they had plenty of pinks. Yay! When we got to the counter, the couple who owns the shop started joking about how he tells her she buys too much pink. She was happy to hear she’d filled a need. She told us to tell everyone she has pink!

I added some pink, purple, and blue to my embroidery floss collection too. I’ve been trying to sort my fabric and my floss by color so I can keep better track of what I have. Before I did that, I kept thinking I was short on yellow fabric, and then I’d buy more yellow fabric. After a while, I wasn’t short on yellow fabric, but I had no idea. Having everything organized by color makes coordinating fabrics for projects much easier too.

I picked up some more yarn and socks as well. I must be ready for anything now. I get excited just looking at all these supplies.

And with perfect timing, just after I amassed my new pile of socks, Stray Sock Sewing Too: More Super-cute Softies to Make and Love by Daniel, arrived in the mail. I pre-ordered this book as soon as I heard it was coming out, because I love his first Stray Sock Sewing: Making One-of-a-kind Creatures from Socks book. I got mine on sale from Crafter’s Choice book club.

Both books are adorable. The dolls, the photography by Liao Chia Wei, and the narratives in each are clever, sweet, and charming. Even if you don’t sew, it’s just so much fun to look at them. I can imagine children would enjoy them also. But if you do sew…there are great tips in each one. This new book has instructions for fourteen new sock creatures, and I can see any one of them as such a nice handmade gift. The instructions don’t require the use of a sewing machine either.

Most of all, for me, they are full of wonderful stepping off points to create my own creatures. I find once I try one technique, before I am even finished with a doll, I have tried something else that came to mind. There is so much room for being creative with these.

In other creature news, this is a meeting of Ducks Against Pills. Some time around Labor Day weekend, Mr Duck decided he’d about had enough of antibiotics. What a challenge! I had a terrible time trying to catch him, falling gracelessly to the ground, nearly hitting my head on the fence, very humiliating! Ha! I did my best and we did manage to get that last pill in him. For his part, he did plenty of wiggling and spitting his pill out. I noticed someone came over to the blog looking for directions on how to give a duck a pill. An avian vet is the best at showing you how to do it, and of course, you wouldn’t want to give medication to any animal without consulting a vet first anyway. It’s a lot like giving a pill to a cat, only you really need to wrap the duck’s body carefully in a towel first. Their beaks open just like your cat’s mouth opens, when you reach over the top of the head, pressing gently behind the corners of the mouth/beak, while tilting the head gently back. And, just like your cat, they can push their pills out with their tongues, and they learn to wiggle too. It takes some patience!