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A teal slug and my Spoonflower eyeball experiment results

Teal fleece Hug Me Slug stuffed animal art toy with a polka-dotted heart by Elizabeth RuffingI have a new teal fleece Hug Me Slug joining my other stuffed animal plushies over in my toy shop. I forgot to mention before that I now have the domains hugmeslug.com and hugaslug.com pointing to my toys shop, so it will be easier to find me.

Jojo, tuxedo cat, lying in a pile of cat toys on the bed, Elizabeth RuffingWe’ve been hanging around home, avoiding the shoppers. Jojo did her own shopping and got all the cat toys, while Henrietta was occupied.

I hurried in to the vet to get Oliver Bunny his checkup and nail trim, before the traffic at the shopping centers started. He met a girl bunny named Daphne in the adoption room there.

Daphne, little white bunny, Elizabeth RuffingDaphne

She liked him and nibbled on her cage to try to touch noses with him. He was hesitant. The vet asked if they made googly eyes at each other, and I told him she did, but he was nervous. He said, “Poor Daphne. She came on too strong.” Oliver finally settled back in by TV time. I told him I was sorry. He had the same reaction to the other two girl bunnies there, who were there the last time too. He doesn’t mind if big fat Santana jumps in my lap with him, or if Henrietta props her leg on his back while she gives herself a bath, but he isn’t sure about bunnies.

Santana is healing up and in a great mood. He appears to be enjoying the cats being closed up next door. Their new cat sitter showed up, which was a relief. I was afraid the same kid who didn’t take care of them before might be not taking care of them again. This one seems to be doing a good job of showing up daily.

Spoonflower Minky color mapSo…I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I ordered a color map of Minky fabric from Spoonflower and then a fat quarter with my toy eyeballs printed on their Minky as well.

Spoonflower Minky eyeballs printed on a fat quarterI’ll repeat those two photos here, above, to be more organized. As I said before, the fabric itself was nice and soft, and the colors were pretty. But I was a little worried about white showing through since the black didn’t cover the fibers all the way down to the base. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out for my eyeballs, as you can see below. The white showed through as I sewed, and the black edges of my circles got mixed with white. Everything was wobbling and mixing. (I used Photoshop to paste my eyeballs photos onto a clearer backgrounds, and so the edges shown are actually cleaner and neater than they were in reality.)

Spoonflower Minky eyeball sewn with no stabilizerAt first, I tried sewing the eyeball with no Wonder-Under paper-backed fusible stabilizer on the Minky, which made a bigger mess, since the outside edges were moving. I thought maybe if I were to stabilize the fabric, I might have better results.

Spoonflower Minky white circle sewn with Wonder-UnderIt looked a lot better, sewing with the Wonder-Under, as you can see above, or at least it did with just the white.

Spoonflower Minky eyeball with Wonder-Under fused to backgroundI fused a printed eyeball onto fabric with Wonder-Under, and you can see above that the black fibers were not making an even line and the white ones weren’t either. That is just the nature of the pile being too long for my project.

Oddly, the eyeballs that were printed along the edge of the fat quarter were ovals instead of circles. The Minky is a knit and it must have stretched along the edges while going through the printer.

Spoonflower Minky eyeball with Wonder-Under fused to background and sewnWhen I tried sewing the fused eyeballs down, I had the same problems, with the white and black getting mixed up and everything losing its shape. The eyeball above was a slightly smaller eyeball, which came out even worse. I tried to accent the white dot in the pupil with embroidery floss, but that didn’t work.

The Minky fabric might work well for a blanket, but I think anything stuffed tightly, or with smaller seams, or with top stitching would probably have white showing through the colors.

Spoonflower Faux Suede white circle with Wonder-Under fused to background and sewnI thought I might have better luck using a lower-pile fabric and I chose Spoonflower’s Faux Suede to try. I used the stabilizer again, and it came out pretty neat. I thought I might get lucky this time.

Spoonflower Minky eyeballs compared to blackUnfortunately again, there was a problem. Above are my eyeballs printed on Minky, with a skein of black DMC floss for comparison. You can see they are close to black.

Spoonflower Faux Suede eyeballs compared to blackAbove are my same eyeballs printed on Faux Suede, and you can see they are not black, but charcoal gray. My black in my file was hex color #000000, black as black can be.

The colors on my colored eyeballs, below, came out well, but the blacks were still gray. By the way, if you are making a file to print, be sure to use the type of file in the resolution you need at the beginning, so color information doesn’t get thrown out when you make the file smaller. Spoonflower uses 150 dpi. I used 150 dpi (ppi) and a .png file. I tried a .jpeg and kept having issues with my hex color #’s changing after I uploaded my files. I did double check my colors by downloading my files from the site, after uploading them to the site, to make sure my colors were the same. They were.

Spoonflower Faux Suede colored eyeballs compared to blackI thought there might be a mistake and wrote to Spoonflower, but there was no mistake. They just can’t print black on some fabrics, and have trouble printing black in general. They said their fabrics that get blacker blacks are Basic Cotton Ultra, Satin, Performance Knit and Performance Pique, but none of those are fuzzy like my toy eyes, plus the edges would fray on them if I were to try to sew them on by hand with a blanket stitch, as I do.

They were nice and sent me a refund on everything after I returned the fabrics to them. I only had to cover the postage to send the fabrics back. They also sent everything out right away, which was great. It was just disappointing about the blacks. I am going to try Fabric On Demand, another custom fabric printer, who carries fleece, to see how they do. They responded right away, but so far they have taken longer to send a sample. We’ll see how it looks. I hope I can find something that works for me.

Update: Both Fabric on Demand and Spoonflower have fleece now, and the black comes out nicely on both. I coated my eyeballs with some Liquitex Fabric Medium to make sure the edges didn’t fray when I cut them out. 

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Batik slugs, fleece slugs, and one running slug

Green, turquoise batik Hug Me Slug stuffed animal art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI had a request recently for another batik Hug Me Slug. A customer adopted three of them, three years ago, for his three nephews. Since then, he has gained a forth nephew, who keeps trying to steal “Sluggy” from his brother, who loves him too much to share. So, we needed another slug to come to the rescue.

I made a test slug first, the one above, who is over in my toy shop at the moment, although someone just wrote to say he’d make a perfect birthday present for his daughter. I wanted to make sure I had the same pattern, since I have adjusted my patterns since then.

Green, turquoise batik Hug Me Slug stuffed animal art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI sent him some photos of batiks to choose from and then made the one above, with a pretty apple green fleece heart. He is on his way, and I hope he restores peace on earth.

Orange, yellow, purple fleece Hug Me Slug stuffed animal art toys by Elizabeth RuffingI also posted the fleece Hug Me Slugs I had ready, in all different colors, orange, yellow, purple, watermelon, red,

Red and watermelon fleece Hug Me Slug stuffed animal art toys by Elizabeth Ruffingand in all different sizes, 7, 8, 9, and 12 inches tall.

Purple fleece Hug Me Slug stuffed animal art toy with a headband by Elizabeth RuffingI had another special request for a Hug Me Slug with a headband. A man wanted him for his girlfriend, who was organizing a marathon. He had to be an athletic slug. I wasn’t sure how that would work, since slugs don’t have foreheads. I managed to attach it over his eyes. He called him a “little runner slug” and I added that to the hang tag.

Oliver bunny hops into my workroom Elizabeth RuffingI am plugging away in Slug Land. Oliver Bunny loves to come running in when my workroom door is open. He sits in the hallway like a couch potato, but once the door is open, he is in there, well, quick as a bunny. I caught him on video, getting excited about running inside, dashing in and out.

There is a small bowl of pebbles, meant for potted plants, under my work table, that he enjoys playing with. But then, he enjoys playing with whatever he can get into in there. I have to watch him.

Oliver bunny peeking out from under my work table Elizabeth RuffingThe menagerie have been keeping me busy. These are members of my kitty fan club, below, who, when they are free, wait for me on the borderline between our house and theirs. Sometimes they get impatient and come over.

My kitty fan club waiting by the woods Elizabeth RuffingSantana has been being so good about going to the back step and sitting there, when I ask him to, which I do, when the cats come closer. He has had too many squabbles and injuries. Last weekend, I thought we were doing great. The cats all came over, while I was walking Jude, and everyone seemed to be getting along. Trouble and Santana even went exploring together in the back yard. No problems. I was happy and thought they were finally making friends.

The kitty crowd even watched me set up our laser Christmas light, which must have been even more exciting for cats than a laser pointer. They were sitting in the driveway, staring up at the tree I had “decorated”, admiring it.

Santana the cat, sitting on the step, Elizabeth RuffingThen, the next morning, I heard cat noises. I jumped out of bed, ran out in my pajamas, and Trouble and Santana were in the driveway. Santana was badly hurt, three deep, cringeworthy punctures under the base of his tail (I will spare you the photo I took to get a better look). Ouch ouch ouch. I felt terrible. I found fur next to the back step, where I taught him to go when the cats came over. That made me extra sad, since he must have been trying to be good. Trouble had a little blood on his leg, but he appeared to be okay. I checked him over as best I could and didn’t see anything. He may have been coming to look in the back door, or maybe he thought it was fun to sneak up on Santana, who didn’t think it was fun, again. I don’t know.

Santana was bleeding a lot, and seemed to be in a bit shock. I called his mom and we flushed out the wounds. He went to the vet for a Convenia antibiotic shot. He was shaken for the first day, and tired, but the next day he was in a good mood. He is doing well now, and has even come up with a new game to play with me. He hides between the railing and the bushes by the back step, and waits for me. He jumps out when I come up the steps, and meows, like he is saying, “Surprise!” I wonder if he learned that from Trouble, who likes to sneak up and jump. They seem to do okay during the times I am around, but when I am not, in the early morning before I get up, and in the evening when I am inside and busy, are when the problems happen.

The cats are closed up for now, and no one seems to be home next door. Santana is probably happy about that too. I hope a cat sitter is coming this time. I haven’t seen one, but I can leave some food if I have to. I kind of feel like I am taking care of animals in every direction sometimes. I start when I get up and I am still doing it until late at night, while trying to fit work and errands in between. I did get another tree planted though. Go me.

I will post about my Spoonflower fabric samples in a separate post, since this one has already grown so long.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Willa, miniature angel Blue Persian cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max Bailey

Willa, miniature angel Blue Persian cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyWilla is a handmade miniature original, one-of-a-kind cat art doll, hand painted and hand sculpted in paperclay by artist Max Bailey.

Willa is a Blue Persian angel kitten who is very sweet and terribly earnest.

Willa, miniature angel Blue Persian cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyWilla wishes with all her heart for good things to happen, and she does her best to make the wishes come true.

Willa, miniature angel Blue Persian cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileySometimes she wishes so hard that she closes her eyes, puts her paws together, and holds her breath until she rises right up from the ground and into the sky. It’s a good thing she has wings.

Willa, miniature angel Blue Persian cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyWilla looks pretty in her pale orange robe. It sets off her copper-colored eyes.

Willa, miniature angel Blue Persian cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyWilla 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.

Willa, miniature angel Blue Persian cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyWilla 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.

Willa, miniature angel Blue Persian cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyWilla is 1:12 scale. (One inch equals one foot.) She is 1 and 7/8 inches tall.

Update: Willa has been adopted. Thank you!

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Callinda, miniature angel bi-color Ragdoll cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max Bailey

Callinda, miniature angel bi-color Ragdoll cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyCallinda is a handmade miniature original, one-of-a-kind cat art doll, hand painted and hand sculpted in paperclay by artist Max Bailey.

This is Callinda. She is a bi-color Ragdoll angel kitten who takes her job very seriously.

Callinda, miniature angel bi-color Ragdoll cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyIt’s true that Callinda will often slide down rainbows and take little cat naps on puffy clouds. She wakes up when she hears a kitten cry.

Callinda, miniature angel bi-color Ragdoll cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyIt is Callinda’s mission to find kittens who are lost, and help them find their way. If they are hungry, she will feed them. Most importantly, she helps to find homes for little kittens who have none.

Callinda, miniature angel bi-color Ragdoll cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyCallinda’s robe is pale ice-blue and sometimes blends in with the sky so that you have to look very hard to see her.

Callinda, miniature angel bi-color Ragdoll cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyCallinda 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.

Callinda, miniature angel bi-color Ragdoll cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyCallinda 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.

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

Update: Callinda has been adopted. Thank you!

Callinda, miniature angel bi-color Ragdoll cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyCallinda’s angel friends are (from left to right) Angie, Leila, and Daphne.