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Miss Beatrice Bunny by Max Bailey and Elizabeth Ruffing

This is Miss Beatrice Bunny, the lop rabbit. She is the third original, one-of-a-kind folk art animal doll that Max Bailey and I have made together.

She is a sweetie.

She’s sitting on the fabrics I have picked out for her dress. She has a little violet flower painted on her undershirt that matches the violet flowers in one of her dress fabrics.

I don’t know if she is related to my Matilda. Matilda has such a funny expression. You can still find Matilda over here on our website, along with the video of me painting her. We have more animal friends planned and in the works…

There is plenty of sewing and painting to do.

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The Owl and the Pussycat Treasury on Etsy

My “Elenora Kitten” was included in this “The Owl and the Pussycat” treasury on Etsy. Thanks Nancy, from Nature Visions.

My Elenora print can be found here, along with the video I made of myself painting her.

She has, as you may have already read, her own owl beau, Henry.

My print of “Henry the Owl” can be found here, along with the video I made showing me painting him. A copy of the poem is on each of their pages as well.

Henry and Elenora are available as a set and they are available individually.

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Things that make smoke come out of my ears

Does this image look familiar to you? It does to me too. It’s been reproduced, legally, by two major needlework companies, Candamar and JCA for needlework kits, and by Scene Weaver for a pillow and a throw. Pretty cool. I worked long and hard on this one. My cousins even thought it was a painting of me as a child, because I used to look quite a lot like this (minus the wings). So, imagine how I felt this morning, while I was looking up handpainted needlepoint kits, and I came across my border and my fairy wings mechanically reproduced and tacked on via Photoshop, or a similar program, to someone else’s painting. Not happy at all, I assure you.

I won’t point this person out, for now, as I have already asked her to cease and desist, and remove her kit from the Internet. She is not only selling it on Etsy, where I also have a shop, but on at least one other site as well. Please understand, my images are copyrighted. I make that pretty clear by pasting “Ruffing’s Copyrighted Image” right over the images, but I will say it again if I must. There is no better way to really make an artist flip his or her lid than to steal. Believe me, it is infuriating. I am trying to contain myself here. Artwork is very personal, and your instinct to protect it is similar to how you might feel if someone attacked your child. Don’t do it. It is illegal, and it is stupid. Surely, if you are going to make art, you have an idea of your own.

Not only do I have a strong desire to protect my work, but I am also legally bound, by contract, to protect my copyrights. When I sign a licensing deal, I agree to help the company who licenses my work make sure no one rips them off either. That means this person is stealing from the companies I licensed this image to as well. I’m hopeful that she will cooperate.

Update: The artist has agreed to remove her image, and change her design. She says she got my border from a vectored graphics assortment CD, but cannot locate it. She believes it may be a CD that came in the back of a book, possibly from Borders. I assume the entire image was stolen for this CD, although she says she remembers the border being shown separately and alone on the CD. The wings, the iris, and some tree leaves from within the circle are borrowed in her image as well, indicating she had to have had the entire image to work from. If anyone has any knowledge of this CD, or has seen my “The Fairy and the Dove” reproduced anywhere other than by the companies listed above, (or, of course, by my own family at Ruffing’s) please email me. I appreciate it very much.

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Transferring my kitten drawing

I transferred my kitten drawing to my Claybord today. I’m using Aquabord, also known as Claybord Textured. Doing the transfer is a little tricky. I took some drafting tape, made loops with it, attached them to the back of my Claybord, and then attached the Claybord to my work table. I put the loops on going in different directions to try to stop the board from shifting at all.

I aligned my tracing over the Claybord, and secured it to my work table as well, using Safe-Release tape so as not to tear my tracing later when I removed it. Drafting tape is fine too, as long as you remove it carefully.

I cut a piece of graphite paper somewhat shorter but wider than my tracing, so I could slip it in between my tracing and my Claybord easily enough, but also so I’d have enough left over so I could pull it in and out.

I used a 2H pencil, which I kept sharp throughout my transferring with a sandpaper block. A hard, sharp pencil is necessary to get a good transfer, but you need to experiment with how hard and sharp you want it. If it is too hard and sharp, it can cut right through the tracing paper. If you are transferring to stretched canvas, you will need to put something underneath your canvas, like a book, to keep it from caving in and stretching (or you can give my idea for digitally transferring a drawing to canvas a try).

I use a plain sheet of paper to shield my tracing from my hand as I transfer, so I don’t smear it. I will need my tracing as reference later. After transferring, you usually need to redraw at least some of the lines that don’t show up well , using a regular 2B pencil.

This time, I started at the bottom of my tracing, drawing over each line to transfer it to my board. You can usually tell which lines you have already transferred, but it helps to go in a logical order just in case you can’t distinguish which lines you’ve already gone over.

Once I’ve drawn all my lines, I lift up one side of my tracing to make sure I haven’t skipped any lines. If I have, I very carefully line up my drawing again, tape it down, and go over those lines. Once I’m finished transferring, I remove my tape and lift up my graphite paper. I then redraw with my 2B pencil any lines that don’t show well enough. It takes some experimenting to find out how hard you have to press on any surface to get a clean line. The harder the surface, the harder you usually need to press as you transfer your lines. You don’t want to press too hard on watercolor paper, because you will make indentations where your lines are.

I also did some sewing today on our next folk art cat doll collaboration. Can anyone guess this is a Maine Coon? I had been trying to think up a clever way to get those tufted ears, and came up with the idea to take a tiny piece of fake fur and sew it into each ear seam. I think that is going to work out nicely.

We seem to be accumulating dolls waiting for clothes and dolls waiting to have their pictures taken around here. The weather hasn’t been quite right for those outdoor photo shoots, and now they are predicting snow tonight. I never believe it until I see it. Of course, we had already put off food shopping until tomorrow before we heard that, and there is probably a run on bread and milk at the store right now. That’s a North Carolina tradition, to clear the shelves of bread and milk at any hint of precipitation. Hopefully, if we get to the store tomorrow, we won’t happen to be in need of either of those things.