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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 Etsy toy shop, waiting to be adopted. Update: I will now be posting my new toys on our own website, in our Ruffing’s shop.

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 our Ruffing’s shop.

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.

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Today’s sock kittens

Hug Me Sock Kitten, handmade art toy by Elizabeth RuffingThese guys are all stuffed and finished. They may be girls. I don’t know. They’re agreeable to being either. My new Hug Me Kitten stuffed animal toys will be in our Ruffing’s shop.

Hug Me Sock Kittens, handmade art toys by Elizabeth RuffingA nice customer sent me this cute boy-with-his-slug photo. Adorable. That’s a 12-inch Hug Me Slug, and it looks half his own height. I hear he loves it.

Hug Me Slug with Toddler, handmade art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI went strawberry blonde for spring. It looks more cheery than my dark blonde.

Elizabeth Ruffing with bright pink azaleasOur azaleas are still spectacularly bright. I hope to plant some trees while the weather is still beautiful, but I tend to wait too long.

This is Bertie’s tummy. She likes to lie like this, on her back, with her belly in the air. I can’t believe how big she is getting.

Tabby cat stretched out on her back with tummy in the air, by Elizabeth RuffingBoth kittens have come such a long way, from living with community cats, to being spoiled.

Tabby cat stretched out on her back with tummy in the air, by Elizabeth RuffingPhoebe still doesn’t want anyone touching her, but she likes to hang out with us. This is her investigating my workroom, with the sock kittens in progress. I had left the door ajar by accident, and had to wait for her to finish her tour.

Tabby cat checking out my desk, by Elizabeth RuffingShe likes to sleep on the shelf above me, when I sew also. She has her own ways of interacting with us. She likes to play in front of us too, and today, she meowed back when my mom said her name.

Tabby cat napping with Chip or Dale, by Elizabeth RuffingI still have a long list on my desk of doll photos to edit and post.

This one is Marigold, the miniature dollhouse-sized ginger tabby kitten by Max Bailey. You can read about her and our other miniature kitten art doll figurines on our Ruffing’s blog. Please visit.

Marigold, Original One-of-a-kind Dollhouse-sized Ginger Tabby Kitten Art Doll by Max Bailey

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Blue Hug Me Kitten stuffed animal kitten

Light blue fleece Hug Me Kitten, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve had three blue fleece kittens, waiting for me to finish the details on them, and I almost have all three ready. This is the first, with a red heart.

Light blue fleece Hug Me Kitten, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve been playing with my pattern, experimenting with the size, making them just a little taller. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Light blue fleece Hug Me Kitten, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingBertie’s cold is still bad. She looks weepy and sounds snuffly. I hope she feels better soon.

Yesterday, I came across another kitten, orange and white, from the same general location where I picked up our tabby girls. Then today, I found another, the tabby pictured below, in the same spot. She has a serious tail injury. She was circling me, within close range, and meowing at me. She looked like she wanted me to help her, but I couldn’t get my hands on her. I’m hoping she can be trapped, and taken to the vet, but I don’t want to try to catch her myself. I have no safe place to hold her, and I could end up with any number of random cats there, since there are so many, with no clinic appointments for them. The tabby kitten may have to be quarantined if it looks like the injury is the result of a bite wound, as a precaution against rabies. I hope both kittens can be helped.

Tabby kitten living in a feral colony, photo by Elizabeth RuffingI feel so terrible every time I visit that location, because there are always more cats or kittens there, living under crummy conditions. Some were TNR’d (trapped, neutered, vaccinated, and returned), last spring, summer, and early fall, but the clinics are infrequent, and there are so many cats everywhere. Please have your pets spayed and neutered, and please spay/neuter/vaccinate any community cats were you live, or ask a rescue to step in to do it. Pet overpopulation and abandonment are really human problems, which is sad and unfair for the animals and the people who care about them.

It’s hard too, seeing cats and kittens out there who all bear a family resemblance to your own pets, in our case, Bertie and Phoebe. This kitten has Phoebe’s face. I still feel so unhappy when I think about their siblings and other relatives that had to stay. I feel sad I couldn’t take their sister, and I worry about how she is doing. I think about that a lot, wondering how many more litters of kittens there have been, and I hope they are okay, especially with the cold, wet weather.

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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.