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Every day is a trip down Memory Lane

Suzie the Sunflower Fairy, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingI’m glad they are nice memories! This is the first doll Max and I made together, beyond just trading tips and art materials. Her name is Suzie. Our next collaborative art dolls were cats and a bunny. I’ve been working on re-editing more past doll photos and web pages and blog posts for our Ruffing’s site and Suzie was one of the dolls on my list today. I’m making headway, and things are looking good for our new-and-improved blog. I’m going to add as much as I can to it in the next two months, and then I plan to relaunch it on our home page.

Squash stir fryOur little garden gave us a yellow squash, a tomato, and some basil. I added some onion, and stir-fried them all together with some extra virgin olive oil. Once again, I waited too long to pick the squash, and the skin was a bit tough. I have to get the hang of harvesting. They still tasted good, with some salt and pepper, over fettuccine.

Squash stir fryI’ve now seen New Moon, and I’m ready for Eclipse. I’m looking forward to it. Maybe I’ll even get to see that part of the series on the big screen.

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Long ago and far away

Serenity Starr, Painted Cloth Original Angel Art Doll by Elizabeth Ruffing

Serenity Starr angel sketch by Elizabeth RuffingMaybe it wasn’t so far away, or even so very long ago, but I thought you might like to see my first art doll. This is “Serenity Starr“. I made her back in November of 2005.

Serenity was an original, one-of-a-kind, hand-painted angel, with hand-quilted wings, and a handmade wooden stand that slipped in between her body and her wings. My friend, Miko, wrote a cute poem for her, which I printed on her hang tag, and after that I tried my best to write poems for each of the five angels in the set! That was a challenge! I started getting a little redundant with my poetry ideas. Those are all on the new-and-improved blog too.

Elizabeth RuffingBy the way, this is what can happen to your hair when you are working from home on your web site. I caught a glimpse of this in the reflection on our monitor, and realized I probably never even combed my hair today. On the other hand, this is a very easy to maintain style. Just fall asleep without completely drying your hair, and voila…no effort needed in the morning.

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Happy Father’s Day!

Horatio and Hannah, Original One-of-a-kind Flying Pig Folk Art Dolls by Max BaileyHappy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! I hope you enjoy your day. I have a great dad myself, and I’m thankful for that. He’s been extra helpful this past week. I’ve had a flat tire and a dead car battery, one after the other, and he took care of both for me. Yay, Dad!

Here are Horatio and Hannah, Max’s only flying pig, father-and-daughter, original, one-of-a-kind folk art dolls…so far. They were, I think, Max Bailey‘s first sculpted dolls, and two of my all-time favorites. I twisted Max’s arm into trying doll making. I’d been trying it myself, and I had a feeling Max would be good at it and might even like it. I was met with some eye-rolling at first, but that never happened again. I think we were all surprised by just how good Max was at this. It was a perfect fit. Max has been an art-doll-making enthusiast ever since. Horatio and Hannah have been adopted, and I miss them. I think we might just have to collaborate on some pigs, and maybe a cow too. I think that would be fun.

Horatio and Hannah, Original One-of-a-kind Flying Pig Folk Art Dolls by Max BaileyI’ve been redoing a lot of the old web pages and re-editing doll photos, including Horatio’s and Hannah’s, on our Ruffing’s site. I’ve been redoing our blog as I go, getting it ready for a relaunch. I’ve still got the working copy on Blogspot. Update: The Ruffing’s blog is now on the homepage of the Ruffing’s site. I think I will put almost the entire site in blog format, and add more original art. I want it to be a real showcase of our dolls and paintings. I’d like to add more art quilts too. I know I keep saying this, but I am pretty excited about it. 🙂 And, I’ll be working on it all summer.

Yellow DayliliesMy mom and I were out yesterday, Father’s Day shopping, and we came across a daylily show, at the mall. They were giving out ribbons for all the pretty varieties. When we came back, I decided to take some photos of our own daylily show, which has been beautiful this year.

Red DaylilyThis particular bunch of daylilies are ones I brought with me from New York, when we moved. I bought them as a set, through the mail, from Jackson and Perkins. I can remember admiring them in their catalog and just having to have them. Luckily, daylilies thrive here in North Carolina.

Yellow DayliliesThis summer, I’m also going to try to stock up a little on toys for the next holiday season. Last year’s was crazy. I felt like I wasn’t able to leave the house for weeks. It was wonderful that so many people wanted custom-made handmade toys, and it was great fun to hear everyone’s stories. But, boy, was I a sewing fiend. I’d like to have more of a variety of ready-made handmade toys available this time around, so people can pick them out and name them themselves. I think that would make everything easier for everybody.

Pale Orange DayliliesOf course, I also want to get going on more original, art doll collaborations with Max, and those art quilts I keep talking about…

Red DaylilyI guess I’m going to be busy! Summer here is a good time to be busy with indoor projects. Today is supposed to be between 97 and 100 degrees outside! I think we will end up going for walks inside of stores for a while. Evenings are often hot too.

Yellow DayliliesI’m catching up on the Twilight movies right now too, via Netflix. I had no idea how much I would enjoy the first movie, but I really did. We’ve got New Moon right now, and I’m working my way toward Eclipse. More fun ideas for things to do while avoiding the great outdoors. Oh, but I do miss the great outdoors! I hope we have some cool hours coming our way.

Yellow Daylily

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Sunflower the Ginger Tabby Kitten, Original One-of-a-kind Art Doll Figurine by Max Bailey

Sunflower the Orange Tabby Kitten, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Figurine by Max BaileyThis ginger tabby kitten was named Sunflower, perhaps because of her bright little face and her sunny disposition, or perhaps just because there was a sunflower farm nearby. The name seemed to suit her.

Sunflower the Orange Tabby Kitten, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Figurine by Max BaileyWhen Sunflower was told the giant and impressive flowers had the same name as her own, she marched off to visit them. She thought she might pick one to bring home, but most of the flowers were far bigger than her head, and way too heavy to carry.

Sunflower the Orange Tabby Kitten, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Figurine by Max BaileySeeing her problem, the sunflower farmer found the littlest sunflower, and presented it to her.

Sunflower the Orange Tabby Kitten, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Figurine by Max Bailey“Thank you kindly” Sunflower said to him. “I am very pleased and honored that all these wonderful flowers were named after me.”

With a big smile, Sunflower headed for home, and with a big smile, the farmer watched her go.

Sunflower the Orange Tabby Kitten, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Figurine by Max BaileySunflower is an original one-of-a-kind work of art, and is meant for display only. No molds are ever used in my work. She and her sunflower are hand-sculpted from paperclay, and are entirely hand painted with acrylic paints.

Sunflower the Orange Tabby Kitten, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Figurine by Max BaileyHer bright yellow dress is patterned with little blue flowers, and the soft blue jumper she wears over it has scalloped sleeves and a scalloped hem. It ties in a big bow at the back. Her striped orange tail emerges from the white petticoats that show beneath her dress. Sunflower’s whiskers are made from stiffened cotton thread.

Sunflower the Orange Tabby Kitten, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Figurine by Max BaileySunflower is signed and dated and sealed with matte varnish for protection and preservation. She rests firmly on a turned wooden base that is stained and sealed in golden oak.

Sunflower the Orange Tabby Kitten, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Figurine by Max BaileySunflower is an itty bitty kitty. She stands only 4 and 5/8 inches tall. She comes with a hang tag, a certificate of authenticity, and a copy of her story.

Sunflower the Orange Tabby Kitten, Original One-of-a-kind Folk Art Doll Figurine by Max BaileyUpdate: Sunflower has been adopted. Thank you!

Sunflower’s kitten friends are Katie the Tabby Kitten (left) and Violet the Siamese Kitten (center).