Posted on Leave a comment

Brown Alumni Magazine, The BAM Holiday Gift Guide 2017, Hug Me Slugs Featured

Medium green and yellow Hug Me Slugs, plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingGuess who was featured in the Brown Alumni Magazine Holiday Gift Guide for 2017? My Hug Me Slugs! I submitted them to Brown Alumni Magazine for their annual holiday gift guide on almost the last day for submissions, and was surprised when Kerry Lachmann, who is in charge of the magazine’s annual holiday guide, wrote back in little more than an hour, accepting them and asking me to send them along to Providence, RI. She said, “The slugs are absolutely adorable! Can’t wait to see (‘meet’) them.” 🙂 Thank you, Kerry! I was very excited, and I think the slugs were too.

Brown Alumni Magazine, The BAM Holiday Gift Guide 2017, That Holiday GlowI mailed them to off to Brown University, and when they arrived, I got another message from Kerry, saying, “They have arrived and they are adorable!!! I took them around the office and introduced them to the staff (-: So sweet. Thanks!” The slugs must have been eating up all that attention. They have to compete with the cats and the bunny around here.

Brown Alumni Magazine, The BAM Holiday Gift Guide 2017, That Holiday Glow, Hug Me SlugsThis week, the print issue of the 2017 December/November Brown Alumni Magazine arrived, and there they were, peeking out from the page. They are back home now, and in my toy shop, waiting to be adopted.

Brown College Gates, Main Campus, photo by laaaaandyyyyyHere are some wintry photos of the Brown University campus. I walked through these gates every day my first year there, on my way across campus to go get my mail, or head to class.

Brown Main Campus, photo by danlo1996This is the main campus. In the warmer weather, it is covered in students.

Brown CVan Wickle GatesThese are the Van Wickle Gates. It is customary for first-year students to walk through them when starting at Brown, and then again when graduating. I participated in neither march through the gates, I have to say. I was a transfer student from Yale, and I went home before graduation!

Elizabeth home for Christmas break from collegeHere I am home on Christmas break from Brown. I think I had just turned twenty-one here. I was wearing a headband that only just fell apart a few weeks ago, and is lying on the chair next to me as I write this. My mom was always trying to get me to take that thing off. Ha. It does look silly.

Elizabeth came home from college with a catI came home with a cat from Brown. Her name was Tishi. She accompanied me home on Thanksgiving break, my first year there. Someone had dropped her inside the gate around my dorm, and she was yelling at the basement window. I fed her turkey strips from the salad bar, which I sneaked out of the dining hall, until I was able to get some cat food. She stayed at home with my very tolerant parents who cared for her while I was away at school. I missed her, but she was safer there. Brown doesn’t allow pets in dorms. You aren’t supposed to steal turkey from the salad bar either, no matter how much your cat you aren’t supposed to have in your room likes it.

Assorted Hug Me Slugs, stuffed slug toys and figurines by Elizabeth RuffingFortunately, they do allow Hug Me Slugs there. I have a bunch more I have been working on and posting in my shop. Please go have a look around.

Super Slugs, Hug Me Slugs, stuffed slug toys by Elizabeth RuffingI have Super Slugs,

Wonder Bunnies, Hug Me Bunnies, stuffed bunny rabbit toys by Elizabeth Ruffingand Wonder Bunnies,

Hug Me Bunnies, stuffed bunny rabbit toys by Elizabeth RuffingHug Me Bunnies,

Hug Me Kittens, stuffed kitty cat toys by Elizabeth Ruffingand Hug Me Kittens.

Sage green Hug Me Kitten, stuffed kitty cat toy by Elizabeth RuffingPeople have asked for little slugs, smaller than I can sew, and now I have slug figurines,

Hug Me Slug figurines by Elizabeth Ruffingand bunny rabbit figurines,

Hug Me Bunny Rabbit figurines by Elizabeth Ruffingand kitty cat figurines too.

Hug Me Kitten figurines by Elizabeth Ruffing

I will try to post more photos of my toys in more posts. Sorry to have been missing all year. We lost my dad last Christmas Eve. Last year, we were busy caring for him, and this year, adjusting to his not being with us.

Sending love your way and wishing you all a lovely holiday season.

Posted on Leave a comment

Popular bunny toys and the IKEA doll bed bunny bed

Oliver Bunny playing with his new toys, by Elizabeth Ruffing

Oliver Bunny got some fun new rabbit toys and a new piece of bunny furniture, an IKEA doll bed.

Bunny toy making workshopOur friend, Becky, from Triangle Rabbits, hosted a bunny toy-making workshop. Becky makes delightful and creative bunny toys. Some of her Bunderland Bunny Toy Emporium toys are available in the Triangle Rabbits store. Triangle Rabbits is a local rabbit education and rescue group, and is the Central NC Chapter of the House Rabbit Society. Handmade bunny toys and accessories are also available at the group’s Rabbit Day/BunFest. Information on events is available on the Triangle Rabbits website.

Oliver Bunny playing with his new toys, by Elizabeth RuffingBecky collected natural, untreated, rabbit-safe bunny toy parts, which we strung together for our rabbit toys, using untreated sisal rope. Many of the parts are toy-making supplies for birds, so the dyes are safe for bunny toys.

We used cardboard that was free of tape, glue, or ink, along with paper towel rolls, and toilet paper rolls, also avoiding glue residue.

Supplies for bunny toys can be found at Make You Own Bird Toys. When shopping for parts for rabbit toys, make sure you are using items that are natural, untreated, and safe for rabbits to chew.

Oliver’s favorite parts are the palm leaf flowers and the vine balls. Oliver is playing with his “busy box”, which I made at the toy-making workshop. Becky’s rabbit toys are much more impressive, but Oliver appreciated my effort.

Oliver Bunny and Josephine with his new toys, by Elizabeth RuffingOliver can be a bit possessive of his things and wasn’t sure Josephine should be looking at his toys,

Oliver Bunny loves to be petted, by Elizabeth Ruffingbut he still appreciates pets more than toys.

Oliver Bunny helping assemble his IKEA doll bed, by Elizabeth RuffingBecky and I ended up trading toys. She picked up an IKEA doll bed for me when she was at the store, and she adopted a Hug Me Bunny for her rabbit’s birthday. Below is a photo she took of her rabbit, Samantha, with her pink birthday Hug Me Bunny, and another of her cuddling with her stuffed bunny rabbit Hug Me Bunny. Becky says Samantha loves snuggling with her stuffed rabbit.

Samantha the lop-eared bunny with her pink Hug Me Bunny plush, by Elizabeth Ruffing My Hug Me Bunnies will be in our Ruffing’s shop. I am busy trying to restock my creatures, and so, if anyone is looking for a Hug Me Bunny stuffed bunny rabbit, feel free to ask me. I have lots of partly-done toys and many colors of fleece.

Samantha the lop-eared bunny cuddling with her pink Hug Me Bunny plush, by Elizabeth RuffingI have been enjoying friends’ super adorable photos of their bunnies resting on their IKEA doll beds. Becky even has a bunny-themed custom-made mattress for Samantha, with a pink bunny cotton print fabric on one side, and fleece on the other, shown below.

Samantha the lop-eared bunny with her pink bunny mattress pad on her IKEA doll bedI may have to make one of those for Oliver. This bunny fabric is made by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. It was designed by Ann Kelle, and is part of her Urban Zoologie line. It comes in “Pink” (shown), “Blush”, and also in a multi-color range, called “Spring”. You can find it online by searching for “Urban Zoologie Bunnies“.

Oliver Bunny helping assemble his IKEA doll bed, by Elizabeth RuffingOliver and Bertie helped me assemble the bed. The cats were jealous. It was easy to put together. When we were done, I excitedly waited for Oliver to use it. And he did. Only instead of hopping on top of it, he thought it was fun to hop under it! Haha.

Oliver Bunny helping plays under his IKEA doll bed, by Elizabeth RuffingThose are his little bunny buns sticking out in the photo. Well, I thought it was fun to crawl under the bed when I was little too. 🙂

The cats think this IKEA doll bed it fantastic. I find them napping on it or rolling on it. Cats like beds of any kind, and they think everything is for them. It must be true.

Fat Cat Fluff Bunny catnip toys in pink and blueOliver especially likes furry toys that he can groom. He likes to lie down next to them and lick them. He has licked the ears off his favorite Fat Cat Fluff Bunnies (above). They erode away, he loves them so much. They are catnip bunnies meant for cats. Sometimes the cats steal them.

Oliver Bunny helping plays under his IKEA doll bed, by Elizabeth RuffingI always grab soft fluffy stuffed bunnies for Oliver, when I see ones I think he might like. I put two on his IKEA doll bed and he decided hopping up on the bed was all right after all.

Posted on Leave a comment

Hug Me Bunny stuffed animals and a helpful orange kitten

Juno orange kitten playing with superhero Wonder Bunnies fleece stuffed animals

Juno the orange kitten, in my box of Wonder Bunny stuffed animals by Elizabeth RuffingAt least one of my Wonder Bunny superhero bunny stuffed animals, which I am working on finishing next, grew an unusual tail, as you can see here.

I needed more assistance sewing stuffed animals than I realized!

Juno the orange kitten, in my box of Wonder Bunny stuffed animals, chewing cording by Elizabeth RuffingJuno, orange kitten helper extraordinaire, has been using her super powers to help me in any way she sees fit. Here she is helping cut a piece of cording with her sharp little teeth.

I use that to cord center my details on my toys. I didn’t really need it to be trimmed, or at least I didn’t know I needed it to be trimmed. Juno is insightful and has many creative recommendations for me.

Juno the orange kitten, napping with her elephant rattle, by Elizabeth RuffingI traded Juno’s elephant rattle for the toys I was sewing. It is a good thing she takes naps.

Juno the orange kitten waking up from her nap, by Elizabeth RuffingShe is growing up, and was 4 pounds at her vet visit today. She was only 14 ounces when Cheryl first found her. She is doing very well, and has started to have more frequent bursts of sweetness. She purrs, and gives head bumps and kisses. She still ends up biting us, but thank goodness she is calming down and learning to be nice.

Juno the orange kitten curling up for her nap in my toy box, by Elizabeth RuffingNow, if she can learn to behave around the bunny, I will be even happier. She doesn’t yet understand why throwing up her paws and pouncing on everyone isn’t always taken in the spirit of fun in which it was intended.

Hug Me Bunnies plush art toys, mauve, pink, and soft orange, by Elizabeth RuffingI have been finishing up fleece bunny stuffed animal art toys. I will post these in our Ruffing’s shop.

Hug Me Bunny plush art toy, pink fleece plushie, by Elizabeth RuffingThis pink Hug Me Bunny found a home already, but her mauve and soft light orange bunny friends are, at the moment, still available.

Hug Me Bunny plush art toy, mauve-pink fleece plushie, by Elizabeth RuffingThey have my new custom-printed two-tone eyes. I attached their eyes and hearts with embroidery floss, using a blanket stitch.

Hug Me Bunny plush art toy, soft orange fleece plushie, by Elizabeth RuffingI hand embroidered their smiles and noses too.

Hug Me Bunny hang tag with pen-and-ink art by Elizabeth RuffingEach one comes with a hang tag that can be personalized with a name and a message.

Hug Me Slug plush art toy, pink fleece plushie, by Elizabeth RuffingI finished my first Hug Me Slug with the new eyes as well. She is a very soft light pink fleece.

Hug Me Slug hang tag with pen-and-ink art by Elizabeth RuffingJust like the bunnies, she comes with a tag that can be personalized.

Posted on 1 Comment

Wonder Bunnies and Super Slugs

Wonder Bunny, Hug Me Bunny plush stuffed animal art toy by Elizabeth Ruffing

Wonder Bunnies and Super Slugs!

This is my first Wonder Bunny plush rabbit, the superhero version of my Hug Me Bunnies. He (or she) has my pretty new custom-printed eyeballs and a “B” for bunny emblem.

Wonder Bunny, Hug Me Bunny plush stuffed animal art toy by Elizabeth RuffingHe also has a fancy cape, yellow with polka dots on one side, and red with planets on the other. I found some nice planet and star fabrics for capes for my Wonder Bunnies and Super Slugs.

Wonder Bunny, Hug Me Bunny plush stuffed animal art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI made a couple of versions of this cape before I decided I liked this size the best on him.

Wonder Bunny, Hug Me Bunny plush stuffed animal art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI made a special hang tag for my Wonder Bunnies.

Wonder Bunny, Hug Me Bunny hang tag by Elizabeth RuffingNow he’s ready to fly. I need to make some Wonder Bunnies in different colors. I will post them in our Ruffing’s shop.

Super Slugs, Hug Me Slugs plush stuffed animal art toys by Elizabeth RuffingI made these twin Super Slugs as a custom order. This was one version of the cape I tried. It was round on the sides and fuller.

Wonder Bunny, Hug Me Bunny plush stuffed animal art toy by Elizabeth RuffingMid-Wonder-Bunny, I ran into an issue which made me panic. My new emblems and eyeballs were shedding at their edges when I cut them out. Luckily, my mom suggested I coat them with Liquitex Fabric Medium, to seal the surface. It worked very well, thank goodness. The fabric medium is nontoxic and keeps everything in place. I didn’t encounter this with my monster eyeballs, because they had white around the colors. Any edge shedding wasn’t noticeable. Now I just need to paint my eight gazillion eyeballs and emblems with fabric medium. No problem. Ha.

Spoonflower fleece sample, eyeballs and emblems by Elizabeth RuffingI ordered all my fleece eyeballs, and emblems for my Wonder Bunnies and Super Slugs, from Fabric on Demand. They did a great job. Since then, Spoonflower came out with fleece as well. I had a problem with their black not being black enough on their faux suede fabric. I ordered a sample of their fleece (shown above), and was happy to find the black did print as black this time. The colors aren’t exactly the same from both companies, and so I would still recommend printing a color map if you need to match color.

Rainbow fleece, Elizabeth RuffingI was inspired to go out and get some rainbow fleece yesterday after seeing a rainbow display online at Target. Walmart (above left) and Jo-Ann’s (above right) both had some. I thought I might need some equality slugs or bunnies or kitties, or some of each, because the news and comments here in NC, and now across the country, are driving me right up the wall.

Pile of cotton print fabrics, Elizabeth RuffingI’ve collected some cotton prints from both stores too. Walmart now has Waverly prints, and they have a lot of pretty ones. I’m sure I have too many. I’ve been saying I’ll have to give up toy making because I can’t fit myself into the workroom.

Gumdrop Baby art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve been redrafting all my templates for my toy characters. I experimented with my Gumdrop Baby, but I have a feeling I will end up going back to the original pattern. I can’t decide on a face, and whether I should go with a cartoonish more modern face, like the prototype above, or a more detailed antique dolly face. The original Gumdrop Babies are here on my blog. An example of a more detailed antique dolly face is here on Leah.

Oliver Bunny, and kitties Bertie and Jojo, hanging out, relaxing, by Elizabeth RuffingMost of the crew here outside my workroom door doesn’t seem to have an opinion. They like anything they can play with, cuddle with, or in Oliver Bunny’s case, lick.

Trouble black and white kitty cat sneaking up on Santana while he is sleeping, by Elizabeth RuffingThe crew outside doesn’t seem to have an interest either, unless a toy is filled with catnip. Trouble thinks Santana makes a good toy, and likes to sneak up on him while he is sleeping. Santana has no sense of humor about this. This photo was taking shortly before the yowling began. It was short lived. Trouble likes me to escort him home, where he falls over for pets.

Pets are important. Trouble comes looking for me if I don’t make an early appearance outside. Recently, he went all the way to my bedroom window, looking for me.

Trouble black and white kitty cat coming to see me, by Elizabeth RuffingTrouble comes running when he sees me come out in the morning.

Santana orange kitty cat, on the lookout, by Elizabeth RuffingSantana wants the porch and the deck to himself, and takes his guard duty seriously. They really both want me to pay attention to them and they don’t want to share. Eventually, they should get used to the idea. I hope.

Oh, I almost forgot…I keep going to doctors, and getting blood tests and biopsies. My circular rash turned out to be granuloma annulare, which is harmless, with no sure cause. My white blood cell count is consistently high, four times in a row now. We don’t know why. I don’t know if it is linked to the fatigue I have had. I have more appointments and tests, but we may only find out that I am weird. Or my blood is weird? I don’t know. It could be anything or nothing at all. I try not to think about it. I did pretty well, since I forgot to mention it through this whole blog post.

Got to go do stuff. Take care, all.