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Projects between interruptions

Oliver Bunny investigating my workroom by Elizabeth RuffingIn between the interruptions from our household repairs, I’ve been working at getting my eyeball project resolved. I went down the rabbit hole on this one, and I finally sent my files off to the printer last night, after weeks of fussing and agonizing. Erin, who works at Fabric on Demand kindly answered my questions yesterday, until late last night.

I was watching a rerun of “The Big Bang Theory” recently, where Sheldon has a meltdown while trying to decide between Playstation 4 and Xbox One. I have no interest in gaming systems, but his behavior is so like mine, I keep laughing over it. In spite of collecting every available piece of information to help make a decision, he still fell apart at the store. This is me, trying to buy something that is important to me. I had a dream once that Sheldon was my brother for a reason.

Hug Me Monsters stuffed toy plush by Elizabeth Ruffing, in progressThese are the first eyeball samples I got from Fabric on Demand, and they came out really nice. I, however, made the pupils a bit large, which was causing some of the black to get caught by my needle, while adding my embroidery stitching.

Hug Me Monster and Hug Me Slug stuffed toys in progress by Elizabeth RuffingI then made a gazillion versions on the computer, which I printed on paper, measured, cut out, and pinned onto toys. I made round pupils, then oval pupils, pupils off to the right, centered pupils, vertical pupils, horizontal pupils, small highlights, bigger highlights, highlights to the right, highlights to the left, solid-colored irises, and graded-colored iris.

I had debates over whether slugs would have oval or round pupils, since the “eyes” of real slugs are very hard to see. I looked up gastropods, and I still couldn’t tell for sure, oval or round. I looked up their mollusk relatives, cuttlefish and octopuses, and found they had oddly-shaped horizontal pupils. But what about bunnies? I found bunnies with horizontal oval and vertical oval and round pupils. I went on like this for weeks.

Hug Me Monster and Hug Me Slug stuffed toys in progress by Elizabeth RuffingAbove are the styles I chose. I hope they will be awesome. I have no doubt I will continue to think up changes.

I also sent samples for my lamb face, and emblems for my Super Slug a companion/co-hort Wonder Bunny. I got bogged down again over whether Wonder Bunny should have a “W” or a “B” for bunny on her chest. I asked friends on Facebook to help me solve this dilemma, and “B” won. I think that is best, since tags get separated from toys, and kids will probably make the association between “B” and bunny more easily.

Blog screenshot with Hug Me Bunny, Toad, Monster, Slug, Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingJust before I redesigned my eyes, I redesigned our blog headers, my Facebook page header, and my Etsy toy shop header. I guess if my eyeballs work out, I will have to update those later, along with my business cards.

Ruffing's Blog screenshot with Pixie Kitten fairy cat art dolls by Max Bailey and Elizabeth RuffingThis one is the Ruffing’s blog header, where we have our art dolls and prints.

Orange Fleece Hug Me Kitten stuffed toy by Elizabeth RuffingI also made one of my older-style fleece kittens who was needed as a baby gift. I have a few of these left. I wonder if they should get the new eyes or the old ones! 🙂

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Pulling things apart, and putting them back together

Snowflakes coming down by Elizabeth RuffingWhat a past few weeks we’ve had, with rainy snowy icy weather, a leaking roof, water damage, a dead tree that had to come down, and people coming and going, sometimes announced, sometimes not. There have been lots of distractions.

We had water coming into our attic and dripping down, during a heavy amount of rain. We called a roofer who checked and told us we had hail damage from a storm that happened back in April last year! It got worse as water found its way into the small pits, which grew larger over the past months. I saw the giant hail, and even saw my neighbors needed their roof replaced, but I naively thought we got very lucky. The insulation got sopping wet and moldy. We haven’t gotten to that part yet.

Tree cutters, by Elizabeth Ruffing

First we had a dead tree down and the stump ground, so it wouldn’t hit the new roof.

Tree cutters, by Elizabeth RuffingWe were fortunate that they got to us when they did, because the roofers then came back out of the blue, in a hurry to get to us before the ice storm was expected. They were trying to get to everyone who had a leaky roof before the storm came. They showed up on a painfully cold day, and did the whole roof that day. We woke up to find tarps across our front steps and our back deck, and before we knew it, men were on the roof, tossing shingles over the edges.

Stump grinders, by Elizabeth RuffingThey did a nice job, but have to come back for the leaky gutters, which also got hit.

We made it just in time for the ice storm. Whew. I was so glad. We would have had a bigger mess if the roof had not been replaced, and that tree would have fallen on the house for sure.

Ice-covered tree branches, by Elizabeth RuffingThe ice was lovely, especially when the sun came out and was shining through it. It looked like it was glowing.

Ice-covered tree branches, by Elizabeth RuffingThe iced trees were making clicking and cracking noises, like giant insects,

Ice-covered tree branches, by Elizabeth Ruffingwhile the icicles were melting off the eaves.

Ice-covered tree branches, by Elizabeth RuffingA lot of people lost their electricity. We were so lucky ours stayed on, except for one brief time. We didn’t have a phone or Internet connection for days, but that is better than having no electricity. When the power went out and came back on, I felt so relieved and grateful for it.

Santana sitting on a storage box, by Elizabeth RuffingMr Santana, our visiting neighbor cat, came in during the worst of the weather. He spent one night in our crawlspace, but it became too difficult to get out to the door. Instead, he spent the afternoons in the living room and the nights in my bathroom.

Santana napping on a storage box, by Elizabeth RuffingHe was a surprisingly polite guest. I think he knew he had to behave himself. He doesn’t want to go to his house because he doesn’t get along with one cat there, and he doesn’t get along with my next door neighbor’s cats, but he wanted to come in our house, where there are a bunch of cats. It made sense to him.

Josephine staring at Santana, by Elizabeth RuffingJosephine was fascinated by him. She is very silly, and has been determined to pat him on his big fluffy butt. He didn’t know what to do about that. He is twice her size, and he ran away from her.

Santana and Dad sitting in front of the computer, by Elizabeth RuffingHe found some favorite spots. He helped me do my computer work and helped my dad play solitaire.

Santana and Dad sitting in front of the computer, by Elizabeth Ruffing

I think I will make a second post, with the projects I’ve been working on, between our interruptions, since this one is growing long!

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Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max Bailey

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max BaileyKendra and Mikey are handmade miniature original, one-of-a-kind Himalayan cat art dolls, hand painted and hand sculpted in paperclay by artist Max Bailey.

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max BaileyKendra and Mikey are Himalayan kittens who have been sent to the principal’s office. Sitting on a wooden bench just outside of her office, they wait to be called.

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max BaileyMikey has been sent for fidgeting, and Kendra for talking too much in class.

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max Bailey“I don’t think I talk too much,” says Kendra. “The teacher said to raise our paws if we want to talk, and I had my paw raised the whole time.”

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max BaileyMikey wiggles and tugs at his ear.

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max Bailey“The teacher talks all the time,” continues Kendra. “I don’t see why I can’t talk too. In fact, I think I should get an ‘A’ in classroom participation.”

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max BaileyMikey sways from side to side and bobs his head back and forth, just to test his coordination.

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max Bailey“Anyway, just because I’m talking, doesn’t mean anyone has to listen. I really don’t think I talk too much at all, do you?”

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max Bailey“Yup,” answers Mikey, but Kendra doesn’t hear him. She’s still talking.

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max BaileyMikey fidgets in his white shirt, gray pants, and purple polka-dotted vest.

Kendra talks and talks in her burnt orange dress with the blue ruffle around the neck, and blue cuffs.

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max BaileyKendra and Mikey are one-of-a-kind works of art, and are meant for display only. They were sculpted from paperclay in multiple stages, to allow for drying and detailing.

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max BaileyKendra and Mikey were painted under a magnifying light, with tiny brushes, one hair at a time. They are signed and sealed with matte varnish for protection and preservation, and come with a certificate of authenticity.

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max BaileyKendra and Mikey are 1:12 scale. (One inch equals one foot.) Kendra is 1 and 1/2 inches tall, and so is Mikey. They come with their wooden bench.

Kendra and Mikey, miniature Himalayan cat art dolls, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kittens by artist Max BaileyPlease click here to visit Kendra and Mikey’s adoption page.