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A very generous gift from Tyber Katz, a box of wonders

Cat art doll heads by Peter and Patricia Tyber of Tyber KatzWe received an amazingly generous gift today, a box of unfinished carved wooden doll parts from the super-talented doll artists, Peter and Patricia Tyber, of Tyber Katz, for us to assemble, paint, and clothe.

Cat art doll catalog by Peter and Patricia Tyber of Tyber Katz, page 1Their dolls are wonderful, beautifully sculpted and hand painted. They are carved by Peter Tyber. Their dolls are painted by Patricia Tyber. Their dolls’ bodies and lovely clothing are made by Patricia Tyber as well. Please go check them out on their website, tyberkatz.com.

Cat art doll catalog by Peter and Patricia Tyber of Tyber Katz, page 4I think these “Newbies” kittens might be my favorites.

Cat art dolls by Peter and Patricia Tyber of Tyber Katz, Newbies, KittensThere are all kinds of kitties, cats and kittens, and some bears in the box.

Cat art doll heads, bodies, and legs by Peter and Patricia Tyber of Tyber KatzWe were so surprised when Pat wrote to us, and offered to give these to us to assemble and paint. Some of these are the masters they used for carving.

Cat art doll catalog by Peter and Patricia Tyber of Tyber Katz, page 2I plan to make bodies for them, assemble them, and make clothing for them. My studio-mate Max Bailey will do the painting. I’m sure it will take us a long time, as these are much bigger than we usually work, but I think they will turn out beautifully. Many, many thanks to Peter and Pat for this gift! And thank you for trusting us to finish these remarkable art dolls.

Cat art doll catalog by Peter and Patricia Tyber of Tyber Katz, page 3

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Tulip bunnies, slugs, and a new kitty doll

Red, orange, yellow, blue tulip print Hug Me Bunny rabbit art toys by Elizabeth RuffingI hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. I got a little sewing in. These are my tulip bunnies. I’ve had this fabric for a long time, and could never decide what I should make with it. It is very bright, cheerful, and showy, and needed a project where it could stand alone.

Red, orange, yellow, blue tulip print Hug Me Bunny rabbit art toy by Elizabeth RuffingThese two red rabbits are about 12 inches tall.

Red, orange, yellow, blue tulip print Hug Me Bunny rabbit art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI finished some more 12-inch fleece Hug Me Slugs as well. This yellow one already has a new home. I’m sending him and some others out tomorrow. I hope the lines at the Post Office will be reasonable. From what I’ve heard, Monday is when people run in to start mailing all the things they braved Black Friday to purchase as gifts.

Bright yellow fleece Hug Me Slug art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve been avoiding the stores myself this weekend, but still need to make a run for some food. I’m not crazy about the idea of diving into the crowds.

Dark pink and medium pink fleece Hug Me Slug art toys by Elizabeth RuffingBoth the tulip-print Hug Me Bunnies, and these two pink Hug Me Slugs are up in my Etsy toy shop for now.

Art nouveau cotton print fabricsI did get to the fabric stores this week though, and picked up some pretty new prints I intend to use for more bunnies. I have a couple of sock kittens to dress as well, but I am using solid colors and some decorative machine stitching on their clothes.

Meredith, Original One-of-a-kind Tabby Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyWe just posted a new original, one-of-a-kind tabby cat art doll named Meredith over on our Ruffing’s site. She is another very pretty doll by Max Bailey.

Tabby kittens and Josie on cat tree, by Elizabeth RuffingThe kitten sisters had their big spay day on Monday, and they got their microchips and their booster shots. They needed to rest for a couple of days. They are back to their usual selves now, and staying out loose in the house after bedtime. They have been surprisingly well behaved and quiet at night.

Bertie gets a bath, by Elizabeth RuffingThey still do plenty of tearing around, in between napping. They’ve been getting along well with the other cats here. Bertie asked for this bath.

Josie and Bertie asleep in adjoining cat beds, by Elizabeth RuffingThey are trying out the various cozy spots for naps. There has been a lot of competition for this one particular perch, which is Josie’s favorite. Phoebe keeps stealing it and will not budge.

Josie and Bertie asleep in adjoining cat beds, by Elizabeth Ruffing

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Photographing art dolls

Photographing art dolls, organizing cat doll dresses, photo by Elizabeth RuffingYesterday, in addition to photographing fleece bunnies and my sock kitten, we also photographed nine new original, one-of-a-kind cat art dolls by Max Bailey. I was in charge of ironing their outfits, and putting the right outfits with the right dolls.

Photographing art dolls, organizing cat doll overalls, photo by Elizabeth RuffingI thought I had it all right, but I switched one dress with another. I thought the one dress looked especially pretty on the doll I accidentally dressed in it, and so we went with the dress exchange.

Photographing art dolls, dolls organized with their outfits, photo by Elizabeth RuffingI then ironed our backdrop, which is quilting cotton, a blend of pink, blue, and yellow.

Photographing art dolls, ironing the backdrop, photo by Elizabeth RuffingWe set up foam core, on a box, on a table, to get the dolls the right height compared to the camera and tripod.

Photographing art dolls, tripod and backdrop, photo by Elizabeth RuffingWe take our photos outside on our porch, to get natural light. We always have to wait for the direct sunlight to pass over the house, so we don’t get harsh shadows. I’m trying out my new micro lens for these. The photos look good so far, but it will take me a while to get them all edited and posted on our Ruffing’s blog.

Tabby kittens at play, Josephine chasing Bertie, photo by Elizabeth RuffingThe kittens have been loose in the house during the day. We round them up at night, for bedtime in the laundry room. In the morning, they are raring to go, and start meowing to let us know it is time for them to come play.

Tabby kittens at play, Phoebe playing with Bertie, photo by Elizabeth RuffingJosephine has been very happy to have the girls to play with her. They are closer to her own age than her other friends.

Tabby kittens at play, Phoebe playing with Bertie, photo by Elizabeth RuffingPhoebe doesn’t want any people touching her, but she is the more adventurous of the two kittens. I find her watching me, and hanging out around me too, even though she will still hiss or scoot if I try to pet her. I can tell she likes me, in spite of that. She just wants to set her own rules about people.

Tabby kittens at play, Phoebe trying out the cat gym, photo by Elizabeth RuffingPhoebe was the first to try out the cat gym. Josephine is showing her around. Bertie joined them later, but Bertie likes to relax in the bedrooms more, trying out the fuzzy blankets.

Tabby kittens at play, Phoebe exploring the mantle, with Josephine on the cat gym, photo by Elizabeth RuffingThey are both settling in very well. They’ll have their spay day soon, and get their microchips, which is good, because they probably will start refusing to go to bed in the laundry room. Already, bedtime keeps getting bumped up until later because they want to keep playing and running around.

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Happening upon kittens and a slug holiday

Hug Me Slug Art Toys by Elizabeth RuffingA lot has happened since I last posted. I missed wishing you all a happy Slugs Return from Capistrano day, on May 28th. I didn’t know this was a holiday until Nicole from Etsy For Animals asked me to write an article about it.

Hug Me Slug Art Toys by Elizabeth RuffingIt’s true…it’s an official holiday, recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events, the compendium of American holidays like Labor Day. You can read my article on the slug holiday here. Thanks very much, Nicole, for the invitation.

Hug Me Slug Art Toy by Elizabeth RuffingI sent out the last one of my coral-peach Hug Me Slugs yesterday. I am now out of that color, but I do have a light peach that is similar.

Eloise, Original One-of-a-kind Ginger Tabby Cat Art Doll by Max BaileyI finally took the plunge and started the visible part of our Ruffing’s blog migration. I still have many pages to add, and many more links to redirect from the old pages and posts. I’m sure that will take months. Eloise, Max Bailey’s new, original, one-of-a-kind ginger tabby cat art doll is the first doll to grace the front page of our new blog.

Miranda Panda, black-and-white tuxedo kittenWe kept meaning to photograph Eloise last week, but real-life kittens kept happening into our lives! This is Miranda Panda, named after a panda doll of ours. I had accompanied Marie on two TNR trips the weekend of May 21st, one to a lady’s home in the country, which you can see and read about in this album, and one to a fast food restaurant, which you can find more about in this album on Facebook. (I took lots of photos.)

Miranda Panda, black-and-white tuxedo kittenI went back later, on May 23rd, to the lady’s house, to pick up some traps, and came back with Miranda Panda. Miranda had somehow gotten into a dog pen with a pit bull and was lucky to have been rescued on time. The woman had never seen Miranda before, but it is likely she is one of the kittens from one of the litters of kittens on her property.

Miranda Panda, black-and-white tuxedo kittenI got Miranda to our house and Marie came right over. Miranda drank so much water. She was very dehydrated and very skinny. Marie got an appointment with the vet, and miraculously, Miranda was unscathed by the pit bull. She was very malnourished, but Dana and Brian took her into their care, where she is doing very well. Update: Miranda was adopted.

Montgomery Jack, orange ginger tabby kittenThen, on May 27th, I went back to check on the water at the fast food restaurant, and found another kitten, hanging out by the bowls! He seemed to want me to catch him, but kept running around and up and down the mulberry tree that was there. It was on a very steep hill, full of pricker bushes and garbage. I went back home, and asked Marie if she could take another kitten. She said she could take one more. I grabbed the Fancy Feast and a carrier and headed back to the fast food restaurant.

Montgomery Jack, orange ginger tabby kittenThe kitten was still in the mulberry tree, on a branch overhanging the ledge. I lowered myself, holding onto another branch, and propped the open can of Fancy Feast on the mulberry branch, as close as I could to the kitten. He ate out of it, and I moved it closer to me, so I could let go of the branch I was hanging onto and grab him. Instead of grabbing the mulberry branch, the kitten grabbed the can of Fancy Feast, by the edge, in his mouth! He didn’t want to let it go. It was probably the most wonderful thing he’d ever eaten.

I dropped the can, trying to hold onto him and get back up the hill, but I had more Fancy Feast for him in the carrier.

Montgomery Jack, orange ginger tabby kittenI got him home, and flea combed him and fed him some more. He was loaded with fleas, but absolutely loved getting combed and cleaned up. He also had a cut that was healing over his eye, and a burn that had separated his lower front gums from his lower lip. He will get a stitch for that later, once it heals enough.

Tia wanted to name him something food related, and so I suggested Monterey Jack, since cheese is in abundance in his former location, and since he is a bit of a lumberjack, with great tree-scaling skills. He’s being called Jack, for short.

The next morning, May 28th, Jack was still very happy and bouncy and hungry, but it became apparent that he had a prolapsed rectum. Marie and I got him to the vet, who put him back in order, but then the day after that, Jack was having more problems. He needed to go to the emergency vet on the 29th. The stitch the first vet had taken was too tight. The emergency vet removed it and observed him to make sure he was okay. Then Marie took him home with her to take care of him and get him the medication he needed.

Montgomery Jack, orange ginger tabby kittenMom and I went to visit Jack yesterday, and he is healing. He is just the happiest little guy, with such a positive personality. He has purred through everything with a great loud purr. You just have to admire him. Update: Jack has been adopted.