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Four Hug Me Kittens, two Hug Me Slugs, handmade stuffed animal toys

Gold fleece Hug Me Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingThese are the fleece Hug Me Kittens I finished yesterday, and the Hug Me Slugs I finished today. I’ve been running outside in between finishing small groups, or even finishing one, to photograph them. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Dark berry pink fleece Hug Me Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingOrdinarily, I like to keep doing whatever task I am already doing, because I feel like I get more done that way, but I’ve been accumulating crowds of unfinished creatures. Finishing them up feels good too.

Gold fleece Hug Me Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingOnce I get more proficient at digital coloring, I’d like to get some of these characters in two-dimensional form, and maybe try some illustrated stories.

Pink fleece Hug Me Kitten by Elizabeth RuffingI’d like to learn more about putting stories together in PDF format. That seems like an interesting idea. Maybe someday there will be a single standard format for eBooks, so people can read them on all the various devices that are available. I see that Pages lets you create both PDF and ePub files. More for me to learn.

Magenta-purple fleece Hug Me Slug by Elizabeth RuffingI might try personalized prints celebrating births or special occasions. I’d also like to think of some fun things I could mix with artwork, beyond having prints. It would be great to have some items that I don’t have to make myself, as all the handmade items require more of an investment of time than most people probably realize.

Soft light orange fleece Hug Me Slug by Elizabeth RuffingI do enjoy making things by hand. It would just be nice to expand beyond that.

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Fleece Hug Me Bunnies, handmade stuffed animal toys

Lavender fleece Hug Me Bunny Rabbit by Elizabeth Ruffing, with lavender ageratumSomeone asked yesterday if I had fleece Hug Me Bunnies in more colors. Yes, I do! I have so many colors of everything, and so many art toys in all stages of being, or almost-being. I am also currently making custom toys. I am hoping to have more of a selection of ready-made toys before the holidays are upon us. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Soft yellow fleece Hug Me Bunny Rabbit by Elizabeth Ruffing, with lavender ageratumI finished this lavender bunny rabbit, and this soft yellow one, and I am working on some more. I’ve been asked about more Hug Me Toads too, and I hope to have some ready soon, along with more Alley Cat Angels. Toy-making is a slow process for me, because I do a lot of my stitching by hand, with embroidery floss and a needle. I think that makes my art toys look special and handmade, which I appeals to me.

Lavender and soft yellow fleece Hug Me Bunny Rabbits by Elizabeth RuffingI found I was being watched by real animals yesterday, while photographing stuffed animals. This rabbit was watching me photograph a fleece kitten.

Wild rabbit in the grassSantana the Peeping Tom Cat was watching me too, far from the rabbit though. He is more interested in spying on us, apparently.

Santana the Peeping Tom Cat in the grass

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Say it with a bird

This is my new little “Love Bird”. He’s part carrier pigeon.

I’ve been fiddling around for two days, investigating all the things he can say in addition to “I (heart) YOU.”

He favors brevity, but he gets his point across.

I’m going to be offering these as custom orders, with a choice of one or two colors, and a choice of message. Each one comes with a handmade hang tag. The message will also appear on the tag in quotes. I can do initials and names, as long as the names aren’t too long. Eight or nine characters or fewer, including spaces, seem to look best. Contact me for details about ordering one.

My Love Birds are made from 100% cotton quilting fabrics, which have been prewashed, and they are stuffed with Poly-fil polyester stuffing. Their features are machine appliquéd, and their tails are hand quilted. A small pouch of Poly-pellets in their tummies make them sit nicely.

Some of you might remember my Valentine Bird, which was my inspiration for making this pattern. For my Valentine Bird, I had added a tail and a heart to an existing Martha Stewart pattern. For my Love Bird, I drew a more compact body and tail, incorporating the whole top of the bird in one pattern piece, and machine appliquing on the wings, beak, and eyes.

Of course, the most important part of all the bits and pieces that go into making a Love Bird is LOVE.

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Happy holidays, everyone! This is Mr Happy Christmas Tree. He’s an original art toy I made by hand from my own design and pattern. I used a blanket stitch and some embroidery floss to hand sew on all his ornaments and his gold star.

His ornaments go all the way around. He’s made from fleece. I attached a knot of green yarn “hair” to the top of his head. He’s been given as a gift, and is overseeing Christmas from his new home, where I hope he will be loved and bring some cheer.

We opened presents this morning. After our first day of holiday shopping, where my mom and I came home with only wrapping paper, we were pretty sure we were the most inept shoppers ever. However, we mustered some courage, and headed out again. We were proud of ourselves to just come home with something! We usually don’t participate in the shopping part of Christmas, but my dad was feeling nostalgic for some presents.

Then, I went Christmas shopping with G.B. too, where I did my best to give gift suggestions at Dick’s Sporting Goods. This may not seem funny to you, but really, it is to me. Not only do I have difficultly even saying “Dick’s Sporting Goods” without getting completely tongue-tied, but I have absolutely no knowledge of anything sports-related. Still, I think I did okay.

G.B. took me to a bike shop and got me this pretty red bike helmet for Christmas. The owner helped adjust it to my head, because, of course, I was fumbling trying to figure out how to do anything with it. He helped to snap it under my chin when I got confused about that also, which he found amusing. But, hey, now I know! 🙂

I went for a ride this morning. This guy was very excited about the opportunity to bolt out the back door while I was taking my bike out. This is an new game here. You catch one kitty, and the other runs out. That’s the warm-up part of my exercising. Then I picked up my little dog friend along my way again. Fortunately, he took himself home this time when a bigger dog barked at him. As sweet as he is, I worry about his running here and there while I’m riding.

Well, I need to go make some apple crisp for dessert tonight. Have a great holiday!