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I made some slug plushies, a toad softie, and I feel like talking, maybe

Assorted Hug Me Slugs stuffed animal plush art toys by Elizabeth RuffingI’ve been missing from my blog for a long time, or disappearing in increments. November seemed like a good time to get going again, as a lot of people blog each day of this month for NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month.

Up until about five years ago, I was writing here about my daily life and my creative projects, where I went and how I felt. Then I became self-conscious. There were people I felt looking over my shoulder, specific people with whom I didn’t want to share the details of my life. So, I began just posting toys as I finished them, and some stories about my pets, and I faded into the background. I didn’t even want to paint anymore.

As the years passed, I realized those people got bored with me and left, which was a relief.

Blue and Green Hug Me Slugs stuffed animal plush art toys by Elizabeth RuffingMy toys were doing really well, and then I ran out of them before Christmas 2013. I kept taking on custom orders, which got in the way of my restocking my shop, and because I hate to disappoint anyone, I kept accepting more custom orders. My toy shop started to fade into the background too.

At the beginning of 2014, I found out my beloved kitty assistant, Mr Bear, had cancer, and I stopped most everything to try to keep him going for as long as he seemed he wanted to go. He wasn’t able to eat enough on his own, and there was constant cleanup to do because he had poor mobility from being weak. Some days, he would rally, and take himself for a journey outdoors. I wanted to be with him while I could. He deserves his own post, and so I will save a tribute to him for when I feel I can do it.

Not long after he was gone, I found a little white bunny in the backyard, shortly after Easter. I felt Mr Bear had sent me a bunny, a pet he would surely have wanted more than any other, although not for the right reasons. He had a sense of humor. I named the bunny Oliver, and he has been a great comfort to me. I set him up in my workroom, where Mr Bear used to help me, and that helped make it okay for me to be in there again.

Hug Me Slug and Toad stuffed animal plush softie art toys by Elizabeth RuffingI had great plans to redo my workroom, had lumber cut for shelves and a table, but those have been harder to make than I thought. I’m trying. My workroom is still in shambles. Once it was done, I was going to work on learning to paint digitally, write, and possibly try another children’s book. My other book projects are unpublished. I was thinking of printing up a simple one myself. I have updated my shop as I could, and the toys pictured above are my most recent additions. They are over in my Etsy toy shop, hugmeslug.com. I will add more as soon as I can.

Most recently, I have had three nights in a row where I have slept most of the night, after a week and a half of sporadic sleep, not enough, and sometimes none, each night.

Five years ago, I felt so shaken over the way I was treated by someone I dated, that I didn’t want to try that again, and have been saying since then that I didn’t know if I would ever like anyone. Then I did, which surprised me. Unfortunately, in a matter of days, he went from wanting me around as much as he could, to saying he couldn’t commit to anything further, than friendship I think, or talking to me again. I’m not sure what he meant. And I don’t really know why. I’ve been trying to process that in the middle of my sleep deprivation. I will be much better with some rest.

Black kitty cat at the door, trick or treat, photo by Elizabeth RuffingYesterday was Halloween. We had two kids, one baby too young to eat candy, and a cat show up at the door. The cat didn’t want candy either. That is the cat above. He, and others, come to the door for snacks. I have been eating the candy myself. I have to be careful about that because, during those past few years, my weight went up and now, at long last, has settled back to where it was before.

Queen kitty cat, wearing a crown, photo by Elizabeth RuffingI tried to do something festive for the holiday, but none of my pets wanted to dress up. Henrietta tried to be cooperative and let my place this crown on her head. She is the queen cat of the house, and I thought that would be fitting. I didn’t have a cape for her.

White bunny rabbit, snuggling with my hand, photo by Elizabeth RuffingI tried to get Oliver to wear the crown first, but he would have none of it. He lets me balance empty toilet paper rolls on his head (he likes to play with those), but a crown made no sense to him. He prefers to have his head petted. He will sit for a long time, with his chin resting on my chest or on the floor, while I stroke his forehead. If I stop, he nudges my hand to get me to do it some more, which is what he is doing in this photo.

I can’t decide if I should backdate my blog posts, to cover things that have happened, that I never talked about on my blog. I have been on Facebook, sharing things, and was considering taking posts from there and putting them here, or at least the photos with descriptions. I kind of like the idea, for now, that no one is reading what I write, because they left when I stopped saying much of anything. But I am also sad I don’t have a record here.

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Custom slugs and some more sock toads

Teal fleece Hug Me Slug, with a double heart, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingThis is Buddy the Hug Me Slug. Buddy has a special mission. He was ordered by such a nice lady, to give comfort and cheer to her friend who is going through some difficult challenges right now. So that he would be full of extra love, I gave him two hearts, one on top of the other, purple for bravery, and red for love. Teal is her favorite color. I was so glad I had some teal fleece, when I was asked.

Teal fleece Hug Me Slug, with a double heart, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI tried to fill him with well wishes, and I hope his new friend will be all better soon. He went on his way this morning. I added a pretty card and gift bag so he would arrive in style.

Grass green fleece Hug Me Slug, with a yellow heart and daylilies, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingThis grass green slug went to welcome a new baby boy into the world,

Purple fleece Hug Me Slug, with an orange heart, original art toy by Elizabeth Ruffing, also picturedand this purple slug went to welcome someone home.

Orange Hug Me Sock Toads with polka dots, original art toy by Elizabeth Ruffing, also picturedI finished up more Hug Me Sock Toads, in shades of orange.

Orange Hug Me Sock Toads with polka dots, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingThese three polka-dotted toads look like they are wearing white undies, so I’m told.

Soft yellow Hug Me Sock Toad with polka dots, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingNew toys will be posted in our Ruffing’s shop.

Soft orange Hug Me Sock Toad, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI got all those batik Hug Me Bugs and Hug Me Slugs I was working on last time I wrote, posted too.

Green batik Hug Me Bugs and Hug Me Slugs, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingI leave a path of fabric scraps and paper in my wake.

Elizabeth RuffingI often find these sticky-backed paper hearts stuck to the bottoms of my feet, and to the soles of my shoes. A friend said this is a photo showing “both heart and sole” 🙂

Tabby cats napping on a table, by Elizabeth RuffingMy kitty helpers have been napping a lot in the heat.

Ragdoll cat, tummy in air, sleeping, by Elizabeth RuffingSome of them are very good at passing out.

Tabby cat, tummy in air, sleeping, by Elizabeth RuffingSome look like they are dreaming of acrobatics,

Tabby cat, tummy in air, sleeping, by Elizabeth Ruffingor sailing through the air.

Tabby and white cat, by Elizabeth RuffingBut they help whenever they can. Kitties love crafts projects in between naps.

Tabby cat trying to hide under a cat bed, when she is much too big to do so, by Elizabeth RuffingBertie is hiding from everyone here. No one could possibly ever find her.

Tabby cat trying to hide under a cat bed, when she is much too big to do so, by Elizabeth RuffingJust look how inconspicuous she is.

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Turquoise and orange spotted toads

Turquoise Hug Me Sock Toads, with polka dots, original art toys by Elizabeth RuffingI finished a small group of Hug Me Sock Toad stuffed animal toys today. They all have polka dots.

Soft Yellow and Orange Hug Me Sock Toad, with polka dots, original art toys by Elizabeth RuffingI will be putting my handmade stuffed animal toys and other creatures in our Ruffing’s shop.

Soft Yellow and Orange Hug Me Sock Toads, with polka dots, original art toys by Elizabeth RuffingThis one is examining a beautiful lace-cap hydrangea that was a Mother’s Day gift years ago. It has gotten huge this year.

Turquoise Hug Me Sock Toads, with polka dots, original art toys by Elizabeth RuffingThis is what they look like on the bottom. I sew signed, handmade tags made of coordinating quilting cotton to each one. I turn under the edges of my tags and stitch them on by hand to make them neat.

Hug Me Sock Toads signed on the bottom, original art toys by Elizabeth RuffingPhoebe assisted me with my photo props today, checking out our doll bench and playing with the straw hat I used to cart them outdoors.

Tabby cat playing with my straw hat, photo by Elizabeth RuffingShe likes to participate in her own way. She’s been letting me pet her on the tail more lately. We’re hoping she’ll let us pet the rest of her eventually.

Tabby cat, photo by Elizabeth RuffingBertie, below, is more confident. I think that even shows in her face.

Tabby cat, photo by Elizabeth Ruffing

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Replenishing the toad population

Assorted Hug Me Sock Toads, in progress, original art toys by Elizabeth RuffingI was fresh out of toads this morning. The last Hug Me Toad I had ready is heading off to the Netherlands. I can’t do without toads.

I got this pink one done and posted this afternoon. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

I’ve had to take a couple of detours to do computer junk.

Pink Hug Me Sock Toad, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingMy WordPress blog theme wasn’t displaying right. I lost some of my widgets on my sidebar, and gained an extra menu at the top of my page. Unfortunately, I didn’t save a copy of the last version of my theme before the latest update. I tried to change it to an alternate theme, but for some reason, it didn’t change anything, except that it ate some of my widgets. The message at the top of the admin page said all my widgets would be put back where I had them, but some went missing.

After trying various advice, and trial and error, I finally got rid of the extra menu by going into my theme’s stylesheet and changing this:

.menu {
/*width:940px;*/
float: right;

to this:

.menu {
display:none;
}

I was relieved to have figured that part out, but I still had, and still have, some missing widgets from my sidebar. At least I know how to put new widgets up, when I get a chance. It took a while to get my Sitemeter widget back, so I can see view my website traffic.

Pink Hug Me Sock Toad, original art toy by Elizabeth RuffingAperture, one of the programs I use to edit and organize photos, wasn’t cooperating with me the day before. It was too full. It wouldn’t even open so I could delete anything. It seems to be functioning again, after cleaning out the trash I’d forgotten to empty. I’d forgotten Aperture has its own trash folder in addition to the main one for the computer. I get annoyed having to take time fiddling with computer/software issues. Thankfully, most of the time, everything goes smoothly.

Cats napping together in the sunshine, original art toys by Elizabeth RuffingPhoebe finally got Zoomie to give her a bath today, like he does for Bertie. She has been shyly approaching him, pushing her forehead under his chin. She was so happy. After her bath, they took a nap in the sunshine together. Zoomie is going to have paws full with the two girls asking for his attention.