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More fleece, more Hug Me Slug handmade stuffed animal toys, more drawings

Orchid Fleece Hug Me Slug by Elizabeth RuffingToday has been such a beautiful day that I decided to sit outside and finish some Hug Me Slugs. I’ve been wanting to photograph them in the flowers that have been cropping up everywhere, but rain was interfering with my plans.

Orchid Fleece Hug Me Slug by Elizabeth Ruffing, with Purple Siberian IrisThis orchid-colored Hug Me Slug is posing with my purple Siberian Iris.

New Fleece Hug Me Slug Hang Tag by Elizabeth RuffingI made a new hang tag for my slugs. I’ve redone all my tags, or added new ones, and am in the process of getting them ready for the web.

Deep Red-orange Fleece Hug Me Slug by Elizabeth Ruffing, with Mock OrangeI had a small amount of this deep red-orange fleece, and made a slug from it. He or she is posing in front of some mock orange, the smell of which I love. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Hug Me Slug and Hug Me Kitten pencil drawings by Elizabeth RuffingThese are this mornings sketches of Hug Me Slugs and a Hug Me Kitten. They are still very rough. I’m going to clean them up, pen-and-ink them in, and try working on them on the computer.

The Painter 11 Wow! Book by Cher Threinen-PendarvisI finally got myself a book so I would be less intimidated by trying Painter. I hope that does the trick!

Cutting out piles of fleece for art toysI have also been cutting up insane amounts of fleece. This is only a very small portion of what I have. I must cut it and organize it by color, or I have no idea what I have without lifting boxes and boxes.

Cutting out piles of fleece for cat toysThese are some of my scraps that will become catnip knots. I will be putting them in packets for fund raising for a local cat rescue.

Santana the Peeping Tom Cat peeps at JosephineSantana the Peeping Tom Cat, at long last, showed up in the window while Josephine was watching, and while I happened to be here too. I am sure he has seen her many times already, but this time I caught him with my camera. Fresh cat.

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Valentine’s Day slugs, a bunny sketch, and a workshop

Royal blue and cornflower blue fleece Hug Me Slugs by Elizabeth RuffingThe last one of this year’s Valentine’s Day Hug Me Slugs left on his way today. I’m assuming he’s the last anyway, unless someone asks for one of the ready-made slugs before the holiday arrives. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Kelly green fleece Hug Me Slugs by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve been juggling a bunch of toys at once for the past two weeks. I have one sock kitty to finish up as well, for a very nice lady who has been very patient. I never know how many people will ask for toys at once, and sometimes I’ll think I have only one to make, and then, suddenly, I’ll have a rush. I try to get them all started, and work on them each, a little at a time.

Lavender fleece Hug Me Slugs by Elizabeth RuffingI keep waking up with pictures in my head this week, and so I sketched one when I woke up in the morning. and another the other day. This bunny is still roughly drawn, as I drew her before I even had breakfast today. Maybe I’ll fiddle some more and see where this goes. I’ve been thinking of trying digital drawing, or at least digital coloring. Not sure yet.

Bunny rabbit with heart, pencil drawing by Elizabeth RuffingOn Monday night, I went to see Feral Cheryl at her new job as a Demo Cat. She and Princess Marie did a great job, showing how to trap feral cats to be spayed/neutered and returned to their outdoor homes. I may tag along later this month for a real feral cat trapping.

Feral Cheryl the TNR Demo Sock Cat by Elizabeth Ruffing, at a Trap Neuter and Return Workshop led by Princess Marie of Alley Cats and Angels rescue groupThis is Cheryl sitting on a Tomahawk Live Trap, one of the kinds of safety traps the rescue uses. Some also use Havahart and Tru-Catch Live Animal Traps. I learned in the workshop that the kind of trap you use is important, for your own safety too, because poorly-made traps aren’t secure.

Food is put under the trap, on a paper plate, and squished through the bottom grate, or a little is put inside, to entice feral cats to come inside, and once they are in and step on the trip plate, the door closes behind them. They are then left in the trap, with a blanket to cover them, while they wait for their vet clinic appointment. They can’t eat the night before their spay/neuter surgery, and so no food is left inside.

Feral Cheryl the TNR Demo Sock Cat by Elizabeth RuffingPlease spay and neuter your pets. Princess Marie made the association between having several unneutered cats in your neighborhood to having a time bomb, because within just 63 days, they can each have a litter of kittens, which is a situation that can quickly become out of control. Please contact local rescue groups in your area for options available to you, and please spay and neuter any pets you may have.

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The latest roundup

The latest batch of slugs are on their way to their new homes today. They are probably driving off from the local Post Office right now, or at least riding in the back of the truck. I have some photos of them to share, but first I’d like to thank some of the people who have been featuring my work.

The Rabbit Dances” makes an appearance on Annette‘s Etsy treasury this week. Annette is in Scotland, and her treasury is meant to help raise funds for the Buckeye House Rabbit Society, in Ohio, which is holding a holiday raffle where you can make a donation and enter to win an original rabbit painting. The details on the Buckeye House Rabbit raffle are here. Entries for that raffle need to be postmarked by December 1st, but Annette told me she also has a raffle of her own going on to benefit a rabbit and guinea pig rescue group in the United Kingdom. You can make a small donation for the rescue group, and enter for a chance to win one of several rabbit-themed prizes she has, that were made by various artists. You can check out more information on Annette’s blog. It’s open to anyone, and the artists involved are donating the shipping costs of the prizes, worldwide.

The Frost Angel” was featured on another Etsy treasury by Christine.

Christine picked out some very pretty winter images for her treasury. It hasn’t snowed here (yet), and it is nice to look at frost without freezing!

And finally, my “Marmalade the Hug Me! Toad” was featured on the Found Handmade blog.

Thank you, Annette, Christine, and the folks at Found Handmade!

So, here they are…this Monday’s postal travelers, plus…one “Name this slug” slug. Yes, I managed to get one done! I was pretty happy I was caught up with my custom orders, but that only lasted for about twenty-four hours!

This batch included a custom, small-sized “Super Slug”. His name is Percy.

I think I’m going to make up an Etsy listing for more custom “Super Slugs”. I always thought the idea of a Super Slug was funny, but I’d only made one large one before.

I’m still experimenting with his cape, with how full I want it to be. It is sewn into his back so it won’t fall off while he’s flying through the air, or just slugging along.

This is the “Name this slug” slug, in gold and orange. If someone doesn’t grab her before I can list her, she (or he…not sure there) will be over in my Etsy shop soon.

I enjoy photographing the slugs in pairs. They seem to interact with each other, especially when they are looking in different directions.

Lots of people have wanted this royal blue color, and I’ll try to find some more. (Update December 1, 2009: I did find some more at the store. So I do currently have it!) I have another appealing royal blue, but it isn’t this dark. I have at least one dark royal blue small slug left.

I think Super Slug is checking out his friend Ludwig’s heart here. He must like purple.

Okay…off to Slugland. By the way, I’d like to do some “Name your own” “Hug Me! Toads” too, but I’m not sure if I should try to show some of the socks I have to choose from, or if I should just make them and have them as “Name this toad” toads. Or both. Just thinking.

I also have some neutral fleece colors, like gray, darker charcoal gray, various tans, and brown, in case anyone happens to want a more masculine slug. I have some plans for the neutral colors. I’m going to try my earlier “Huggy Kitty” and “Huggy Bunny” using them. That might take some more experimenting….and more time, if I have some.