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Hug Me Kittens, stuffed animal fleece art toys

Hug Me Kitten plush art toy, vanilla cream with a red heart, by Elizabeth RuffingI have a new batch (litter?) of Hug Me Kittens in my toy shop. They are fleece and they have my new two-tone custom-printed eyes.

Hug Me Kitten plush art toy, charcoal, oatmeal, and cream, by Elizabeth RuffingThe eyes have one color on the outer rims and another closer to the pupil, with one blending into the other. I made them in all kinds of combinations, many not existing in nature, like lavender fading into purple. I don’t know of anyone who has had eyes like that, except maybe Elizabeth Taylor.

Hug Me Kitten plush art toy, oatmeal with a lavender heart, by Elizabeth RuffingI added some neutral shades of fleece to my collection. An online Etsy course suggested that neutral colors were important, and I realized I hadn’t thought to include them before. I asked friends and they liked the idea.

Hug Me Kitten plush art toy, oatmeal with a lavender heart, by Elizabeth RuffingSo here are vanilla cream, oatmeal, and charcoal gray kittens. The oatmeal color reminds me of the adorable Pusheen the cat.

Hug Me Kitten plush art toy, oatmeal with a lavender heart, by Elizabeth RuffingLike all my toys, these are handmade, stitched mostly by hand with a needle and thread or embroidery floss. These kittens have just two machine-sewn seams. The rest is done stitch by stitch.

Hug Me Kitten hang tag by Elizabeth RuffingThey come with hang tags that can be personalized with a name and a message.

Hug Me Kitten plush art toy, yellow, made and held by Elizabeth RuffingThe kittens are about 9 inches tall.

Hug Me Kitten plush art toy, charcoal gray with a teal heart, by Elizabeth RuffingI couldn’t resist adding color to the charcoal gray, bright yellow-and green-eyes, and teal and rose-red, polka-dotted hearts.

Hug Me Kitten plush art toy, charcoal gray with a rose-red polka dot heart, by Elizabeth RuffingI have been watching movies while I stitch, staying out of the heat as much as possible, but when I have gone out, I’ve spotted some surprise wildlife. This baby robin was out learning to fly. I kept watch to make sure none of the real cats who were outside interfered.

Baby robin in the grass, by Elizabeth RuffingA beautiful fox has come to visit, three times so far, while I was outside, toward the evening. She must be used to me because she stepped out of the woods in front of me and watched me mowing the lawn. I missed her the last time she came for a visit, but my mom saw her walk behind me while I was petting cats. She walked over to our deck, looked around, and then trotted back into the woods. I was sorry I missed that. I tried getting a camera one time she was watching me out walking Jude, but she was gone by the time I came back outside. Jude missed her that time, even though she was about ten feet away from us. I picked him up and took him inside with me, and then went back to keep an eye on the other cats who had shown up for a visit. She is so quiet and graceful, I am not sure who sees her and who doesn’t. But I know she sees us.

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Hug Me Monsters, sock monsters

Hug Me Monster, sock doll art toy, red, orange pink striped, by Elizabeth RuffingHi there. I’m catching up with my toys and catching up with my life too, I guess. I have to break down my post into three parts, to catch up with the toys I have over in my toy shop.

Hug Me Monsters, sock doll art toys by Elizabeth RuffingI finally have Hug Me Monsters! These are chenille, soft and fuzzy, sock dolls, and I have had them in progress, in my workroom, since January! It feels good to be pushing through to the other side, finishing toys and showing them to you.

Hug Me Monster, sock doll art toy, pink, by Elizabeth RuffingThis pink one with turquoise horns was my mom’s favorite. This Hug Me Monster got adopted by the time I woke up the next morning, after putting her in my shop.

Hug Me Monster, sock doll art toy, pink and tan striped made and held by Elizabeth RuffingMy mom was so kind and patient to photograph me with a monster, so I could show their size in relation to a person. We have been having such awful heat, as I am sure most of you have, and it wasn’t too much fun being outside, melting while trying to look pleasant. It was so humid, my hair began to frizz and stick up in the air. Photoshop Elements is handy for neatening one’s self up after the fact!

Hug Me Monster, sock doll art toy, royal blue and turquoise by Elizabeth RuffingThis royal blue and turquoise Hug Me Monster also found a home already, but as of today’s post, the others below are still available.

Hug Me Monster, sock doll art toy, teal by Elizabeth RuffingThese have the first incarnation of my custom-printed fleece eyes, which I designed and then had printed by Fabric on Demand. I sealed all the colored parts with non-toxic Liquitex fabric medium to make sure the color was secure. Then I hand embroidered around each color of the eyes with floss, using a blanket stitch. The monsters are almost entirely stitched by hand, with a needle and thread or floss. There is only one machine-sewn seam in each horn, which I attach by hand after I stuff them. The monsters took me a while, hours each, as do all my toys.

Hug Me Monster, sock doll art toy, hang tag by Elizabeth RuffingMy Hug Me Monsters come with hang tags, that can be personalized. I can print a name or “For + a name” on the front of the tag, and I can print a message on the back of the tag. I then insert the tag into a clear vinyl sleeve, run a satin ribbon through it, and tie it to the monster.

Hug Me Monsters, sock doll art toys, pink and tan striped, by Elizabeth RuffingMy dad especially liked the pink-and-tan striped monster with the gold horns. When my mom and I were taking photos, he started laughing. I didn’t understand why. Then I realized he was laughing at the monster. He got a big kick out of it, which made me feel good. If they make someone laugh or smile, then I am doing my job right.

Hug Me Monsters, sock doll art toys, by Elizabeth RuffingI really like these cuddly chenille socks I used for the monsters. I have a couple pair I put on my own feet in the winter, socks not monsters. I reserved most of the chenille socks I collected for Hug Me Monsters.

Hug Me Monster, sock doll art toy, green and blue-purple polka dotted, by Elizabeth RuffingTheir horns, along with their eyes and hearts, are made from fleece. I used pearl cotton floss to chain stitch a smile on each one.

Hug Me Monster, sock doll art toy, pink and tan striped made and held by Elizabeth RuffingI have been feeling better, still tired a lot of the time, but better. I’ve been having my blood retested every six weeks at the hematologist’s, and although my white blood cell count is still high, it is going down. It remains a mystery. I was a bit alarmed when I realized I had been referred to a cancer center, and they sent a sample to the Mayo Clinic for testing, but they don’t seem to think it is anything like that, since normally it would go up in that case. I feel sad and a little scared when I go there, because I know the other people there are sick and trying to make the best of it. I was drawn to all the pillows in the lobby that people make and donate. I instinctively grab one while I wait and it is comforting. That is a kind use of a craft. One had kitties on it, and you know I love kitties. I took the measurements down from the pillows, about 9 x 18 inches of fabric, a convenient size to cut from a yard or fat quarter of cotton, two pieces, sewn together with about 1/4 inch seams. They are a good size for hugging.

Hug Me Monster, sock doll art toy, lavender by Elizabeth RuffingMy next blog installment will be…Hug Me Kittens. I have more of those finally too. I had hoped to be well stocked by now, as I wanted to make the August submission deadline for the Brown Alumni Magazine holiday gift guide, but I don’t want to apply and then run out of toys by the holidays. I have a feeling I cannot sew that many in time. I’m trying to focus on the fact that I am getting things done, and trying not to dwell on how much time it takes me.

Hug Me Monster, sock doll art toy, royal blue and turquoise striped by Elizabeth Ruffing

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Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max Bailey

Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileySunnie is a handmade miniature original, one-of-a-kind cat art doll, hand painted and hand sculpted in paperclay by artist Max Bailey.

Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileySunnie is an earnest tabby-and-white fairy kitten with amber eyes whose mind is always turned toward making someone happy. She is thoughtful and giving, which is why she is known as “The Gift Fairy”.

Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyIf you need cheering up, Sunnie will think up a present for you that she is sure you will like.

Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyIt may be a box of heart-shaped, rose-red cookies that she baked all by herself, or a wool scarf she knitted in your favorite color.

Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileyShe may even bring you a note card with a poem she wrote especially for you.

Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileySunnie does her very own First Class Air Mail delivery. How quickly her gifts are delivered often depends upon the direction of the wind.

Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileySunnie’s jumper is pale green with burnt-orange trim around the neck and hemline. She wears it over a soft leaf-green dress. The heart cookie she holds in her paws is antique rose.

Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileySunnie’s magical wings are sculpted in paperclay, just like herself. They are painted in tan with golden highlights blended out to rosy pink at the tips, and are accented with shapes of rose, green, pale orange, burnt orange, and yellow.

Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileySunnie 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.

Sunnie, miniature tabby fairy cat art doll, handmade original, one-of-a-kind kitten by artist Max BaileySunnie 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.

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

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

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Juno, Junonimo!

Juno, orange kitten, four weeks old by Elizabeth RuffingThe day after my last post, our friend Cheryl found this four-week old baby screaming by the side of the highway outside her house, at 1am. Cheryl has been finding kittens what seems like every other day lately. She had to go to work in the morning, after staying up much of the night, trying to get the kitten to eat, and put out a call for help. I was home, and met her at the plaza to take the little one, who was still screaming, home with me.

Juno, orange kitten, four weeks old by Elizabeth RuffingCheryl had given her a bath, but couldn’t get her to eat on her own. Cheryl gave me some KMR, kitten milk replacer, but I couldn’t get the kitten to eat on her own either. My mom and I tried wet kitten food, dry kitten food, dry kitten food softened with water and KMR, but she wouldn’t take it on her own. I tried putting a mushed-up version in her mouth with a syringe, but that didn’t work so well, and I was concerned about potentially choking her. She had to eat every three hours or so.

Juno, orange kitten, four weeks old by Elizabeth RuffingI set her up in our extra bunny bin, which is smaller than Oliver’s. She yelled for a while, but then calmed down. I’m sure she was terrified, being left the way she was. She was only 14 ounces. She was extremely lucky that Cheryl found her and rescued her.

Juno, orange kitten, four weeks old by Elizabeth RuffingMy mom and I took turns feeding her and cleaning her up. We took her to the vet for a checkup, and got some other dry kitten food. We finally found that she liked to eat the softened dry kitten food out of the palms of our hands, so she could “nurse”. The vet told us we would have to show her how to eat out of a bowl. We would have a bowl nearby, with the food, so we could take it back and forth right next to her as she nursed from our palms. Eventually, she tried taking it from the bowl, but not consistently.

Juno, orange kitten, four weeks old by Elizabeth RuffingEven now, we are still supplementing her diet with KMR, which she laps from her bowl, and she is, at long last, eating dry kitten food on her own. She is very fussy about food, and we have to change kinds to keep her interested. She likes big cat dry food. That is probably because she likes to play hockey with the larger nuggets. She won’t touch wet food.

Juno, orange kitten, climbing a chair by Elizabeth RuffingShe has a feisty personality, and takes on everyone and everything in the house.

Juno, orange kitten, biting my hand, by Elizabeth RuffingShe loves to bite. Our vet said we can expect another couple of months of that, while she tries to prove to everyone that she is the alpha cat, which is odd because of her tiny size. He said once she establishes her position, she will stop trying to make her point.

Juno, orange kitten, attacking the lettering on a box, by Elizabeth RuffingShe was showing the lettering on our cardboard boxes who the boss was too.

Juno, orange kitten, biting my hand, by Elizabeth RuffingI use a baby rattle to distract her so I can pry my hands loose, when I need to use them for something other than kitten chew toys.

Juno, orange kitten, by Elizabeth RuffingShe can be relentless.

Juno, orange kitten, attacking her reflection, by Elizabeth RuffingHer own reflection is not excused either. She is a fierce warrior. My mom dubbed her “Junonimo”, after Geronimo.

Juno, orange kitten, napping, by Elizabeth RuffingLuckily, she takes long naps.

Juno, orange kitten, by Elizabeth RuffingShe has become an avid fan of our household game, “Ropey”. I had to get an extra cord because she tries to take it for herself and won’t always give it back.

Juno, orange kitten, with Ropey, by Elizabeth RuffingShe is getting leggy, but is still a pipsqueak.

Juno, orange kitten, approaching the big world outdoors, by Elizabeth RuffingOliver Bunny was prepared to like her, but has found her to be completely without manners.

Oliver Bunny finds the kitten to be rude, by Elizabeth RuffingI have to keep her away from him, until she calms down.

Juno, orange kitten, jumping on Jude, by Elizabeth RuffingRight now, most of what she knows of social interaction is smacking and biting and wrestling.

Juno, orange kitten, napping next to me, by Elizabeth RuffingAnd napping, of course. Yesterday, she gave me a head bump, purred, and licked my nose, which was a nice change. Then she bit me, but progress is progress.

Juno, orange kitten, on top of Oliver's bunny bin, by Elizabeth RuffingShe is super fast, and I have to confine her while I clean up Oliver’s litter in the morning, or she dives right into his bunny bin.

Juno, orange kitten, on top of Oliver's bunny bin, by Elizabeth RuffingHe doesn’t like that at all. He grunts at her and gets upset. She likes to run inside his Twigloo house. I’m hoping they will be friends when she calms down. The three of us, bunny, kitten, and I, did manage to watch a movie together, “Fright Night”, which I thought was fitting for a vampire kitten. She was afraid when the characters were fighting, of all things. I kept the baby rattle on hand, for the moments when she got her own ideas.

Liquitex Fabric Medium and custom-printed eyeballs, by Elizabeth RuffingIn between feeding, cleaning, and kitten monitoring, I painted bunches of eyeballs and worked on a box of toys. I sealed a lot of my custom-printed eyeballs and emblems with my Liquitex Fabric Medium.

Hug Me Bunnies and Hug Me Kittens, art toys in progress, by Elizabeth RuffingI cut them out and pinned them to toys, and I’ve been hand embroidering them on fleece bunnies, kittens, slugs, and sock monsters.

Hug Me Monsters, art toys in progress, by Elizabeth RuffingThese are photos of the toys in progress. I have some finished and posted in my toy shop. I’ll make blog posts for them separately, since my kitten photo album on this post is big!