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A sock kitten and a sleepy slug

Oatmeal tweed Hug Me Sock Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingThis is Feral Cheryl‘s sock brother, Cody II. They came from the same cotton tweed family. Cody II left for Arizona this week.

Oatmeal tweed Hug Me Sock Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingCody II is named after the real cat companion of a very nice lady who collects sock monkeys. She couldn’t imagine her life without her beloved kitty, and so she thought it was only fitting that her sock monkeys should have a kitty companion too. I think that is an excellent idea. I’m sure Cody II is going to have great fun with his new sock monkey friends.

Oatmeal tweed Hug Me Sock Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingCody II also had many Hug Me Slug friends. I had a rush of custom orders for Valentine’s Day, including two Hug Me Slugs for the sons of a friend from way back in high school. She sent me this fantastic photo, taken at bedtime. Slugs need rest too. This one looks very cozy, all nestled in with his new friend. I love this photo.

Hug Me Slugs and Friends banner by Elizabeth RuffingI will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in “our Ruffing’s shop“.

ValentineI am still cleaning up from the Valentine’s Day rush, and still eating chocolate. I love this quilted fabric-covered candy box. I am saving that.

Hand-painted pillow by Sandy MastroniI got some wonderful presents. Above is an original, hand-painted pillow by Sandy Mastroni. I love her kitties especially. The pillow is beautiful, and the extras that came with it are adorable. How cute is that hang tag? And the bookmark too.

Francis Violet by Bit Of Whimsy DollsI also received “Francis Violet” designed and made by Sarah from Bit of Whimsy Dolls. She is the sweetest cat-girl. I got a couple of patterns too, so I can make her a dress and maybe a sister or brother. It is so nice to have handmade work by other artists and craftspeople, and see all the love they put into what they do. I hope everyone will think to try a handmade gift when the time for gift-giving comes around. There is something really special about giving and owning something unique, made by people who are invested in what they are doing. It’s inspiring.

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Valentine’s Day slugs, a bunny sketch, and a workshop

Royal blue and cornflower blue fleece Hug Me Slugs by Elizabeth RuffingThe last one of this year’s Valentine’s Day Hug Me Slugs left on his way today. I’m assuming he’s the last anyway, unless someone asks for one of the ready-made slugs before the holiday arrives. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Kelly green fleece Hug Me Slugs by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve been juggling a bunch of toys at once for the past two weeks. I have one sock kitty to finish up as well, for a very nice lady who has been very patient. I never know how many people will ask for toys at once, and sometimes I’ll think I have only one to make, and then, suddenly, I’ll have a rush. I try to get them all started, and work on them each, a little at a time.

Lavender fleece Hug Me Slugs by Elizabeth RuffingI keep waking up with pictures in my head this week, and so I sketched one when I woke up in the morning. and another the other day. This bunny is still roughly drawn, as I drew her before I even had breakfast today. Maybe I’ll fiddle some more and see where this goes. I’ve been thinking of trying digital drawing, or at least digital coloring. Not sure yet.

Bunny rabbit with heart, pencil drawing by Elizabeth RuffingOn Monday night, I went to see Feral Cheryl at her new job as a Demo Cat. She and Princess Marie did a great job, showing how to trap feral cats to be spayed/neutered and returned to their outdoor homes. I may tag along later this month for a real feral cat trapping.

Feral Cheryl the TNR Demo Sock Cat by Elizabeth Ruffing, at a Trap Neuter and Return Workshop led by Princess Marie of Alley Cats and Angels rescue groupThis is Cheryl sitting on a Tomahawk Live Trap, one of the kinds of safety traps the rescue uses. Some also use Havahart and Tru-Catch Live Animal Traps. I learned in the workshop that the kind of trap you use is important, for your own safety too, because poorly-made traps aren’t secure.

Food is put under the trap, on a paper plate, and squished through the bottom grate, or a little is put inside, to entice feral cats to come inside, and once they are in and step on the trip plate, the door closes behind them. They are then left in the trap, with a blanket to cover them, while they wait for their vet clinic appointment. They can’t eat the night before their spay/neuter surgery, and so no food is left inside.

Feral Cheryl the TNR Demo Sock Cat by Elizabeth RuffingPlease spay and neuter your pets. Princess Marie made the association between having several unneutered cats in your neighborhood to having a time bomb, because within just 63 days, they can each have a litter of kittens, which is a situation that can quickly become out of control. Please contact local rescue groups in your area for options available to you, and please spay and neuter any pets you may have.

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I got today’s shipment of Valentine’s Day Hug Me Slugs ready for a trip to the Post Office, and grabbed the camera to take a quick photo of them before they began their individual journeys. About mid-sneeze, I realized I was recording, not photographing! Here they are, with a well-enunciated “Ah-choo!” from me.

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Another gift-wrapped slug

Bright light green Hug Me Slug by Elizabeth Ruffing, with card and gift bagI just sent another Hug Me Slug on his way, gift wrapped with a card. I’m trying to decide on how to make gift-wrapping an add-on purchase, because the difference in postage varies with the destination. I may have to come up with an average or just set a fee for it as a service. I think it’s a nice option to have. I have a small collection of gift bags and note cards, and they’d have to vary based on which ones I happen to have. That gives me an extra thing to coordinate. I enjoy picking out colors and patterns.

Royal blue Hug Me Slug by Elizabeth RuffingThis royal blue guy went on his way this afternoon too. He’s a Valentine’s Day slug. I really wish I could wave a wand and restock all my toys. As it is, I keep finishing nearly-finished toys, or making toys, as inquiries come in asking what I might have available, and I still haven’t gotten my shop restocked. I will have to make a concerted effort to set aside time for replenishing the ready-made toys. I know people don’t always want to wait, especially with gifts, and it would be good to have more to choose from. I do have many, miscellaneous toys partly made. If you haven’t yet, please “like” us on Facebook. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop

My workroomI was going to demonstrate with this photo how my workroom looks like a victim of whirlwind, and yet, it looks surprisingly neat in this photo, compared to how it looks upon entering. That may be because the cascades of fabric and toys are off to either side, hiding from my camera lens. I was having trouble moving my chair around to pack boxes in there this afternoon. The boxes fall off in an avalanche to the side as well. I will dive in anyway, and attempt to surface with new treasure soon.