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Hippity, hoppity, Easter’s on its way.

Hug Me Bunnies in an Easter Basket with flowers, plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingHappy spring and happy Easter! To celebrate, I have a whole colony, or fluffle, of stuffed bunny rabbits over in my toy shop! I have Hug Me Bunnies and Wonder Bunnies in lots of colors. You can hop on over to my toy shop to adopt one or two. Please don’t give real bunnies as gifts for Easter! Rabbits are a big commitment and a lot of work. They are definitely not “starter pets”. They need lots of love and attention, like Oliver Bunny does. Hug Me Bunnies, however, are very easy to take care of, and they are cuddly.

Hug Me Bunnies in spring colors, plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingI brought some Hug Me Bunnies to Rabbit Day this year, and two of them were adopted by Louise and Arthur, two real bunnies.

Hug Me Bunnies with their bunny friends Louise and Arthur, plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingThey come in all colors, even apple green.

Apple Green Hug Me Bunny, plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingI started an Instagram page, if anyone would like to follow me there. I’m on Pinterest too. I am in the process of trying to figure out how to start a mailing list/club as well. I will post the details as soon as I figure it out!

Hug Me Bunnies in spring colors, plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingIf anyone would like to make an Easter or a spring basket, like mine at the top of this post, here are some instructions. I got some floral foam. I got “wet foam”, but that isn’t necessary because I used pretend flowers. It’s called wet foam, because it is used for fresh flower arrangements, to keep them hydrated, but I didn’t wet it! The block just happened to work for the size of my basket. I set my basket on top of it, and carved away the excess with a knife. It was very easy to cut. Then I put the block into a plastic bag so the bits wouldn’t get everywhere, and I sealed the bag.

Wet foam, floral foam, for flower arrangingI cut my flowers away from their central stem. They are wired, and so you will need a tool that cuts wire, like a pair of side-cutting pliers or wire cutters. I tried to cut them at an angle, to make it easier to insert them into the foam.

Pretend flowers, snipped away from their central stemI put my bag of floral foam into my basket, and poked my flowers right into the foam through the bag. If you need to pull them out to reposition them, just poke a new hole.

Flowers stuck into floral foam which is inside a plastic bagI left some space in front of the flowers for my bunnies. The bow is made from wired ribbon that was made into big even-sized loops and then pinched together in the center with a big pipe cleaner. The ribbon could be wrapped around a big tube or jar to get the loops even, with the tails hanging free. The loops are pulled into shape and arranged as desired. I added a bunny ribbon around the rim of the basket. I set two Hug Me Bunnies in the basket, and I was all ready for Easter.

Aqua Hug Me Bunny, plush toys by Elizabeth Ruffing

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Busy days and a green bunny

Yellow and gray Hug Me Slugs, apple green Hug Me Bunny plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve mostly been finishing toys people have asked for, when I’ve had a chance to finish any toys, but I do have these gray and lemon yellow Hug Me Slugs over in my toy shop right now. The apple green Hug Me Bunny was a custom order and is already adopted. They each have my new colored eyes.

Apple green Hug Me Bunny plush toy by Elizabeth RuffingWe’ve had a lot going on lately, and I haven’t been able to sew as much as I would like. I’ve been doing my dad’s physical therapy with him. He’s been very good about doing his exercises and walking, but his balance is sometimes off. He wakes up a lot at night, and I think he may have taken up sleep walking. I hear him wandering the hall at night. He makes coffee and feeds the cats, and doesn’t remember doing it. I’ve had to strike a balance between checking on him and sleeping because I can’t get up every hour and hope to function.

Lemon yellow Hug Me Slug plush toy by Elizabeth RuffingDad’s scan results were not what any of us hoped they would be, but we still need to have more tests to confirm what is going on. I am hoping he can resume physical therapy with a trained physical therapist to help him with his balance, but first we need to get more appointments out of the way. I’ll keep doing his exercises with him either way.

Heather gray Hug Me Slug plush toy by Elizabeth RuffingHurricane Junonimo had her spay surgery done. She went into heat early, which was a surprise. She didn’t agree with the idea that she needed to rest afterward, and kept racing around. There was no where to confine her where she would not jump on things. The area got irritated and she pulled out one of her stitches.

Juno, orange kitten lounging on pillow, by Elizabeth RuffingThe vet tech fit her with a cone, but she had it off by the time we got home. I tried two different cones and made her an embarrassing dress to wear. She would have none of it.

Juno wearing a badly designed dress, by Elizabeth RuffingMy badly-designed Project Runway reject of a dress stayed on a little longer than the cones, but she got another stitch out. So, we took her to the vet, every other day, to make sure she was okay, until she had the remaining two stitches removed. She is fine now and has moved on to other mischief, like trying to march out the door whenever she gets a chance, and giving me back talk when I tell her to get off the kitchen counter.

Juno wearing a badly designed dress, while attacking her cone, by Elizabeth RuffingI took some friends’ suggestions to try Small Pet Select timothy hay for Oliver Bunny, since he is especially picky about hay. He chose it over his salad the first time I gave it to him.

Oliver Bunny eating his timothy hay, by Elizabeth RuffingI see him munching on it, which is good. He has disagreed that bunnies are supposed to have timothy hay as the bulk of their diet. My pets all seem to have rebellious ideas.

Oliver Bunny eating his timothy hay, by Elizabeth RuffingTrouble from next door also has rebellious ideas. He likes to see how close he can get to Santana without Santana noticing.

Trouble hiding in the garden, by Elizabeth RuffingSantana likes to sleep in the garden, and Trouble tucks himself in as inconspicuously as he can, a couple of feet away. The other day, he managed to hide, unnoticed for hours off the edge of the deck, before Santana spotted him. One time I found them lying next to each other under my car.

Santana sleeping in the garden, by Elizabeth RuffingOne night, Trouble was locked out of his house, and slept in Mr Bear’s house on the porch. Eventually, there was an argument. He likes to see how much he can get away with before Santana yells. He even sneaks food out of Santana’s bowl. I suspect he wants to be friends with Santana, but it doesn’t always work out well.

Trouble hiding next to the cat house, by Elizabeth RuffingHis brother Scooter doesn’t bother being stealthy. He lounges in plain view.

Scooter napping in sun rays, by Elizabeth RuffingHe and Trouble were coming over together for a while, when Dad’s physical therapist was making home visits, to watch Dad do his exercises. They both took a seat at the back door.

Scooter looking in our back door, by Elizabeth RuffingThey found it entertaining, most of the time.

Scooter looking in our back door, yawning, by Elizabeth RuffingI have to get those capes on my Wonder Bunnies. I made more Wonder Bunnies, and now I need to make more capes.

Wonder Bunny, Hug Me Bunny plush toy in progress by Elizabeth Ruffing

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Heart repairs

Mom and Dad out walking in the yard, by Elizabeth RuffingDad got his triple bypass heart surgery done toward the end of August, and is doing pretty well. He is still in bed most of the time, but he has been able to walk a little more each week. He gets tired easily. We were surprised to find out that two of the blockages in his heart were almost 100% blocked, and the other was almost 70% blocked. The surgeon said that was “the good one”. It is amazing he was still going to work eight hours a day, walking around. We are all so glad we found out about this and that the surgery went well. Unfortunately, he has to go back in for a biopsy on his lung. I’m sorry he has more to go through. Hopefully that will turn out okay too.

It is rare to catch my parents on camera, since they both hide from me when I try to photograph them, but here they are, on one of Dad’s walks in the yard. I’m sure there were neighbors’ cats just out of the picture frame. They like to accompany them.

Mom and Dad out walking in the yard, by Elizabeth RuffingJust to add to the excitement of the surgery, I got so worn out that I managed to drop a metal cable TV box on my head, from about four feet above. I don’t do well without sleep, and we had to be at the hospital mighty early, not that I was sleeping much anyway. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to drive back and forth to the hospital. I set off a chain of headaches and numbness and pins and needles that has finally calmed down.

Mom has been getting up with Dad in the morning. I am grateful for that. I was doing it at first, but that, combined with Dad being mixed up about time, was leaving me wiped out. He was getting up when I was going to bed. One time he aimed a flashlight in my face at 3:33am, because he thought I might be outside. The nurse said that is a very common side effect of being in the hospital. I know my parents went through that with me, when I came home from the hospital, when I had encephalitis in my twenties. Back then, they took turns sleeping on the floor next to me, because I would wake up calling out or I would go try to climb the ladder to the attic in the middle of the night. I also remember the long recovery being a big downer. So, even though Dad is doing well, I know it is hard and it takes a lot of patience.

Stacks of fleece and toy bodies in progress, by Elizabeth RuffingI am doing my best to get my work underway. I feel I need to apologize all the time, for not being able to keep up, but I know that is ridiculous. I am doing one thing at a time, or, more accurately for me, twenty of one thing at a time. That is the closest I do to one thing at a time. I have a list of toys people have asked for, and I am cutting out those colors. I sew them by the stack. In my mind, that is practical. That way, I will be better prepared the next time someone wants one of those colors.

Hug Me Bunny gray fleece plush art toy by Elizabeth RuffingThis gray Hug Me Bunny is one of the toys that made it all the way to finished. I am making an apple green bunny for the same person. Someone else asked for a gray slug. That is why I have a stack of gray and apple green above. I didn’t realized I had so much apple green fleece. I have been tripping over the bag of it for months, but had no idea there was twice as much as I have in that photo. I hope everyone likes apple green.

Oliver Bunny, by Elizabeth RuffingI had to take my real-life bunny, Oliver, to the vet yesterday. I kept meaning to take him for a nail trim, but had no time. The night before, one of his nails was bent out to the side. It must have gotten caught on something. I felt like such a bad mommy. They were booked up until Tuesday, but one of the techs fit us in. Oliver did not enjoy his nail trim one bit, but I hope he feels better now.

Oliver Bunny, by Elizabeth RuffingHe seems to have forgiven me. He is camping out next to the air conditioning vent in the floor of my workroom. That is one of his favorite spots. Forehead pets make him feel better too.

Oliver Bunny, by Elizabeth RuffingScooter, one of the cats from next door, has decided that he is running away from home. He wants to know if I can provide refreshments. Scooter shows up at the back door every day he can, every time he hears dishes in the kitchen. He shows up for breakfast. He shows up for dinner. He waits by the back door in the dark.

Scooter, gray and white cat at the back door, asking for food, by Elizabeth RuffingWhen I try to feed Santana, he jumps in front of him and sticks his head in the bowl. Santana has decided Scooter is crazy and he is not going to mess with him. Sometimes, Scooter’s brother, Trouble, is out on the back deck too, but he usually heads to the front porch, to see if he can get past Santana for some dry food. Scooter prefers wet food and has figured out that you ask for that at the back door.

Scooter, gray and white cat napping on the back deck, by Elizabeth RuffingWhen he gets tired, sometimes he takes a nap outside the back door, just in case a can of food happens to come rolling by.

Scooter, gray and white cat napping on the back deck, by Elizabeth RuffingI emailed my neighbor to suggest getting Scooter tested for hyperthyroidism. We have had cats with it, and I have been told it seems to be common in our area. The desperation for food, combined with his weight loss makes it a possibility. He also howls occasionally, for no apparent reason, which can be another sign.

Scooter, gray and white cat at the back door, asking for food, by Elizabeth RuffingThe cats inside the house are used to cats showing up at the door. They watch each other as they go about their daily activities. Juno makes sure she puts on a good show, demolishing whatever she can find in the living room and kitchen. This is the cardboard insert for her Star Chaser toy, the circular track with a light-up ball. Good thing we ordered extra inserts.

Juno, orange kitten, playing with her Star Chaser cardboard insert, by Elizabeth RuffingI had better go amass another stack of fleece rectangles, or take a nap, or combine both a stack of fleece and a nap.

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Hearts and kittens and Wonder Bunnies

Wonder Bunny plush art toys in progress, by Elizabeth RuffingI made some more progress on my Wonder Bunnies and one Super Slug. They just need their capes now.

Wonder Bunny plush art toys in progress, by Elizabeth RuffingThey are the last of the toys I had stuffed and waiting in the box on my ironing board. I have many bodies to stuff, and there is another avalanche of fabric starting in my workroom.

Henrietta sleeping on my workroom chair, by Elizabeth RuffingHenrietta has been keeping guard in there for me, while Juno has attempted to help me with my hand sewing.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingJuno tries to fit in the box with the toys I am working on, any way that she can. I’m not sure why she thought this headstand position would be practical.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingOnce she settles in, it doesn’t take her long to get into attack mode. There is a thin line for her between helping and attacking me. First, she has to choose which part of me she would most like to bite.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingIf thread or embroidery floss is involved, the choice is easy.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingThe trick is to try to look sort of innocent, and then lunge.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingShe took the whole box with the Wonder Bunnies in it with her for this particular advance. This is the point where I usually remove the toys from the box, and let her have it to herself.

Juno kitten in my toy box with my Wonder Bunnies, by Elizabeth RuffingOliver Bunny thinks she is crazy. I am still keeping them separated. Sooner or later she has to calm down. Right? Maybe? I hope so.

Oliver Bunny with his IKEA doll bed, by Elizabeth RuffingA lot seems to be going on lately, and I haven’t been able to catch up with my toy making as much as I would like. There have been a lot of doctor visits to go to, and my dad will be needing bypass surgery on his heart soon, for three blockages. He is likely going to have a long recovery period, when he can’t drive or work, and he’ll have some other limitations. There will be a lot to do, and I hope everything will go well all the way around.

I have been having chest pain myself, for the past month and a half, probably from stress, and have to go to the cardiologist soon. I will be the only one here who can drive, and I am worried about that too. I’m not sure what I will do if I need to have tests done that require a ride. I’m trying not to think about everything at once.

Scooter begging for treats, by Elizabeth RuffingTrouble, from next door, has offered to sit ready at, or under, my car, in case I need him, but I don’t think his paws will reach the foot pedals.

Scooter begging for treats, by Elizabeth RuffingHis brother, Scooter, has offered to help me clean up any dishes I need washed, especially if they have cat food on them. He comes over to the back door to offer this service regularly. He asked to take care of a nectarine pit and then some lettuce for me the other night. He was very sincere about it. Cats are so helpful.