Posted on Leave a comment

Santa makes salamanders!

Santana playing with his catnip salamander by Elizabeth RuffingMerry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone! I spent yesterday stuffing catnip into toys. I still have a catnip-induced headache, but the kitties were happy. Santana received his very own catnip salamander. I think he likes it.

Santana's catnip salamander by Elizabeth RuffingThe salamander is brown with polka dots on one side, and green with polka dots on the other. I’m not sure I have his legs going the right way. I was modifying a pattern, Simplicity 3953. It may no longer be in print, but there are some to be found on Etsy and eBay. I scanned the smallest version and made it a little smaller. Then I flipped and redrew parts of it in Photoshop. But you could use it as is and just fill it with catnip.

Santana playing with his catnip salamander by Elizabeth RuffingSantana loves getting special presents.

Santana playing with his catnip salamander by Elizabeth RuffingI wrapped the presents for everyone else. The cats needed a little help opening theirs. Oliver Bunny didn’t want to be bothered. I opened his wicker ball for him. He pushed it with his nose and grunted at me. I think he was more in the mood for a nap. It is unusually warm here and gray.

Santana playing with his catnip salamander by Elizabeth RuffingI received such a nice message this week, from someone who adopted a Hug Me Slug, and who has been having a rough time with stress and illness. I was touched that she read my blog, from the beginning, and found it calming. I hope she will keep feeling better every day, and that the package I sent her will bring her some joy and comfort. And, wow, someone made it through my blog. 🙂

Santana playing with his catnip salamander by Elizabeth RuffingI’m not sure what to do on holidays. I know what to do before Christmas, surely, but not what to do on Christmas. I feel like I should get back to work, immediately. We opened some presents, I ate some candy, and we’ll have dinner later. I sat outside for a while, with Henrietta. I’m trying to make a holiday of it. I would read a book, but my head hurts. Holidays make me feel like I am waiting around.

Santana playing with his catnip salamander by Elizabeth RuffingI should be good at relaxing. I have these fine furry examples all around me.

I hope you all enjoy your day!

Posted on Leave a comment

Breather day

Pink and green Hug Me Slugs stuffed animal art toys by Elizabeth RuffingFirst of all, thank you, everyone who has been adopting Hug Me Slugs. I have been receiving such nice feedback and emails and photos. It is all much appreciated. You guys make my day every time I hear from you.

Hug Me Slug thank you cards by Elizabeth RuffingI had to hurry to print up some extra thank you cards for my orders.

The Post Office recommended Monday as the last shipping day for Priority Mail to arrive by Christmas, within the US. If anyone wants to place an order over the weekend, I will be happy to send it out on Monday. I’m not 100% sure they will make their deadline, but they seem to be doing well.

Packages ready to be mailed out by Elizabeth RuffingI had some weird health issues the past couple of weeks, but I’ve been holding steady, getting all my packages out on time. I was already getting rundown. I thought I needed to catch up on some sleep and eat better. I tried that. Then I got a fever and my lymph nodes under my arms grew to the size of grapes. They hurt. The fever is gone now and my lymph nodes are down to the size of peas. I still think I need some rest. I’ll have to get myself into the doctor near the beginning of the new year.

We scrambled to arrange some health insurance for me, by the deadline on the 15th. It took some doing, but I think I can swing it for about $200 a month. That is still better than the $780 a month quote I found a few years back. I do wish they would just extend the graduated subsidy to everyone who needs it, and not make arbitrary cutoff points, to leave anything up to the individual states. It makes no sense for some taxpayers to pay more if they make less, or to suddenly get no discount at all, after paying all year for insurance they might not otherwise afford, if they fail to meet a certain income dollar amount at the year’s end.  That is hard on self-employed people whose income fluctuates. But I will try to make more, not less, once I recuperate.

Oliver Bunny watching me by Elizabeth RuffingOliver has been keeping a careful eye on me, demonstrating how to rest properly.

Oliver Bunny watching me by Elizabeth RuffingHe’s very good at it.

Oliver Bunny watching me by Elizabeth RuffingHe likes to camp out under my work table, when he is done running. I thought he needed more exercise and so I made him a quickie obstacle course, out of a box lid, some cardboard boxes with holes in either end, and a cardboard tube.

It quickly turned into a kitty and bunny obstacle course.

Oliver Bunny and kitties playing with my obstacle course by Elizabeth RuffingSome of the obstacles were harder to pass through than others.

Bertie inside the box by Elizabeth RuffingEveryone had fun for a while, and then they all went back to resting.

Birthday cherry cheesecakeI had my birthday this week. Mom made me a cherry cheesecake, which we are still eating. It is very good.

Wild flower Converse sneakersI received beautiful birthday sneakers. Now I can run through Cosmos flowers and walk in the clouds. When my mom asked me what I would like for my birthday, my first response was that I would like a new toilet. No one was able to do the lifting on that, but these are much prettier.

Thank you, Mom and Dad. Thank you J.B. too, for the birthday video. I will be sure to watch it once I am done running around. I haven’t started the running yet, but I am working on it.

Clouds Converse sneakersAs a special birthday treat, I got to go the the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew my driver’s license. I meant to go in earlier, but wasn’t feeling well enough. I insisted on reading the whole driver’s handbook before we went, even though my mom told me I only needed to know the road signs and pass an eye test. Poor Mom. She endured much carrying on on my part. We were out a couple of hours, while she was a captive to my ranting. I had myself forgetting everything, having a surprise driving test, where I had to parallel park fifty-two times in a row, which would all somehow lead to my imminent death. In actuality, the last time I parallel parked, I did it perfectly. I don’t know why I get that way. It is my nature.

I was called up just before closing time, and rattled off the answers so quickly, I got ahead of my questioner. I realized at one point I was several answers ahead, and she had stopped asking me questions. So, I said the numbers and the answers. When I stepped away, my mom was laughing at me. I didn’t know anyone could hear me. She said the guy behind her said, “Wow.” I passed my eye test too.

Fabric on Demand eyeball test swatch by Elizabeth RuffingThere was a small holdup in getting my custom-printed eyeball fabric from Fabric on Demand, but guess what? The pupils are black! Hooray. These should work for me. I haven’t had a chance to test them out yet, but I will. I think I need to make the whites of the eyes bigger. This could lead to some custom-printed novelty toys, and should help me make more of my characters. I’ll see how it goes…when I’m done resting, which I am obviously not doing. I was up until 3:30am last night, which didn’t help. I was happy I had a “no-obligation Saturday” ahead, but I was still wound up.

Another kitty showed up here, a big tabby-and-white cat. I think he is abandoned. Santana’s mom made up a flyer but no one claimed him. She’s going to make an appointment to have him vetted. My kitty friends next door have been inside for the most part. Three of them came to visit once, for pets, and Scooter popped over a couple of extra times to say hi. Fish is missing though. I am worried about him and hope he is okay.

Posted on Leave a comment

Aerial, miniature angel Siamese cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max Bailey

Aerial, miniature angel Siamese cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyAerial is a handmade miniature original, one-of-a-kind cat art doll, hand painted and hand sculpted in paperclay by artist Max Bailey.

Aerial is a Siamese angel kitten who is always poised and ready for takeoff.

Aerial, miniature angel Siamese cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyAerial is an expert flight instructor for all the little kitten angels who need her help. Some have not yet learned to get off the ground and some need coaching on the finer points, like how to catch the wind under their wings, or how to swoop and swirl, or how to land gracefully.

Aerial, miniature angel Siamese cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyAerial patiently teaches her pupils to have courage, but most of all to believe in themselves. She can transform a trembling little angel into a happy and confident flier. Aerial loves her job.

Aerial, miniature angel Siamese cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyAerial’s robe is the color of the sky on a sunny day.

Aerial, miniature angel Siamese cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyAerial is a one-of-a-kind work of art, and is meant for display only. She was sculpted from paperclay in multiple stages, to allow for drying and detailing.

Aerial, miniature angel Siamese cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyAerial was painted under a magnifying light, with tiny brushes, one hair at a time. She is signed and sealed with matte varnish for protection and preservation, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Aerial, miniature angel Siamese cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyAerial is 1:12 scale. (One inch equals one foot.) She is 2 inches tall.

Aerial, miniature angel Siamese cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyUpdate: Aerial has been adopted. Thank you!

Aerial’s friend is Genevieve the tabby Maine Coon angel kitten.

Posted on 3 Comments

Genevieve, miniature angel tabby Maine Coon cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max Bailey

Genevieve, miniature angel tabby Maine Coon cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyGenevieve is a handmade miniature original, one-of-a-kind cat art doll, hand painted and hand sculpted in paperclay by artist Max Bailey.

Genevieve is a tabby Maine Coon angel kitten with a flair for color.

Genevieve, miniature angel tabby Maine Coon cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyIt is her responsibility to select the color of each angel kitten’s robe.

As she is very democratic, she first asks each angel what his or her favorite color is. She wants to make absolutely sure they are pleased with her selection.

Genevieve, miniature angel tabby Maine Coon cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyGenevieve has to wait for the rain to stop and the sun to come out before she can look for a rainbow.

She then plucks little swatches of color from the rainbow, and considers each very carefully before she picks exactly the right hue for each angel.

Genevieve, miniature angel tabby Maine Coon cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyGenevieve selected a soft pink for her own robe, and is very happy with it.

Genevieve, miniature angel tabby Maine Coon cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyGenevieve is a one-of-a-kind work of art, and is meant for display only. She was sculpted from paperclay in multiple stages, to allow for drying and detailing.

Genevieve, miniature angel tabby Maine Coon cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyGenevieve was painted under a magnifying light, with tiny brushes, one hair at a time. She is signed and sealed with matte varnish for protection and preservation, and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Genevieve, miniature angel tabby Maine Coon cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyGenevieve is 1:12 scale. (One inch equals one foot.) She is 2 inches tall.

Update: Genevieve has been adopted. Thank you!