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Batik Hug Me Slugs handmade stuffed animals and an original art quilt

Stargazer Moon and Stars art quilt from batik fabrics by Elizabeth RuffingYears ago, we collected a box of beautiful batik fabrics for me to use in my art quilt projects, such as “Stargazer” above.

Red and Green Batik Hug Me Slug Art Toys by Elizabeth RuffingI decided recently that I’d try them out on my Hug Me Slugs too. These are my first batik slugs. I had to alter my pattern a few times, to get them the size and shape I wanted them to be, as the cotton fabric handles differently from the fleece I use. I had to make my pattern shorter and wider to get them to be the same size as my fleece slugs.

Green Batik Hug Me Slug Art Toy by Elizabeth RuffingI have three 9-inch batik slugs, and three 7-inch batiks slugs to start. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Orchid and Bright Light Green Fleece Hug Me Slug Art Toys by Elizabeth RuffingOne of the slugs above was named by her adopter in honor of our Josephine! Josephine is such a devoted office assistant. She has been helping me with our orders. As you can see, she keeps tabs on me too, to make sure I do everything right.

Josephine the kitty office assistant at workWhen we are not at the computer, I sit and sew and watch movies. It has been sweltering here. The ducks have been staying mostly on the pond, but we were lucky to have a visit from them last week, along with their new ducklings.

Mother duck with ducklingsWe were amazed these tiny babies made it all the way up the hill. We were delighted that we had the opportunity to see them. We had only seen them for the first time, from across the pond, a day or two before.

Ducklings

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Hug Me Slugs helping cats and kittens

Hug Me Slug Art Toys by Elizabeth RuffingI have twenty 7-inch slugs up for adoption. Five dollars from the sale of each of them will go to a local cat rescue, Alley Cats and Angels of NC. I will be posting my new handmade stuffed animal toys in our Ruffing’s shop.

Hug Me Slug Art Toys by Elizabeth RuffingI have a limited number of Hug Me Slugs in the 7-inch size, as I pre-cut my fabric to stay organized. Sometimes I have a small piece of fleece, and there is just enough room for a little slug like these, which means there are some unusual prints in with this group too.

Hug Me Slug Art Toys by Elizabeth RuffingSome of these prints are really neat, like these stars, and the stripes below.

Hug Me Slug Art Toys by Elizabeth RuffingThe 7-inch Hug Me Slugs fit right in a toddler’s hand, like this adorable little boy’s.

Hug Me Slug Art Toys by Elizabeth RuffingThese red slugs grew a bit more than I expected, and they are a little taller and more slender than the others. A friend dubbed them “super model slugs” 🙂

Josie the pussycatAs always, Josephine has been helping me, but today, she was extra helpful, obsessively helpful, you might say.

Josie the pussycatShe felt the need to pitch in with my, or “our”, computer work more than usual. She has been an integral part of all my photo editing and posting today.

Josie the pussycatJack has been doing great. He is in a foster home awaiting adoption. Stormy, who is Josephine’s cousin or half-sister’s sister (no one knows for sure as the mamas in their colony were sharing mothering duties), was adopted by Jack’s fosterer. Stormy is crazy about Jack, as you can see in this photo from a couple of weeks ago. Update: Jack has been adopted.

Hug Me Slug Art Toys by Elizabeth RuffingI have more art toys to finish, crowds of them. These custom slugs went out this week. One went to someone on Buckingham Palace Road, in London. I thought that was so cool. Had the slug gone to the actual palace, that would have tickled me tremendously, but she is pretty nearby. I wish people would send me more photos of their slugs in their new homes. I always enjoy that.

I got a new camera this week. The sensor on mine went. I need to learn a whole lot about this new camera! I am looking forward to working on my camera skills. I haven’t even read the manual yet. I was relieved just to be able to take these photos!

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Happy Slugs Return to Capistrano Day!

Yellow and gray Hug Me Slugs, apple green Hug Me Bunny plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingAccording to legend, on Saint Joseph’s Day, March 19th of every year, large flocks of cliff swallows, gathered together on the last leg of their long annual migratory flight from Argentina, would arrive at the Mission San Juan Capistrano in California, nesting in the crossbeams, under the eaves, in the corners, everywhere they could attach their gourd shaped nests, all around the old mission that was founded back in 1776.

Visitors from all parts of the world would visit to witness the return of swallows.

Yellow and gray Hug Me Slugs, apple green Hug Me Bunny plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingWhat no one knew, until more recently, when Thomas and Ruth Roy submitted their official holiday entry form to Chase’s Calendar of Events, was that, when the swallows return to Capistrano, all the slugs leave. It can only be imagined that the slugs fear for their lives, given the huge increase in the bird population.

This day, observed on May 28th, is known as “Slugs Return from Capistrano Day”.

Yellow and gray Hug Me Slugs, apple green Hug Me Bunny plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingThe famous swallows’ yearly farewell to Capistrano is celebrated on October 23rd, when they are said to circle the mission before heading back to Argentina. This day must be celebrated by the slugs as well, as they can then safely go back to vacationing in Capistrano, which is understood to be lovely.

They get to stay there all winter, swallow free.

Yellow and gray Hug Me Slugs, apple green Hug Me Bunny plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingOver the past 15 years, or so, Tom and Ruth Roy have added other humorous holidays to our calendar, including “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night”, celebrated August 8th, “Stay Home Because You’re Well Day”, celebrated on November 30th, which happens to be Tom Roy’s birthday, and “International Moment of Frustration Scream Day”, celebrated on October 12th. Chase’s has made them all official, and has placed them in their book, along with Labor Day, and other more serious occasions.

An editor at Chase’s once said that the Roys are probably America’s biggest holiday makers, after the president and Congress.

Yellow and gray Hug Me Slugs, apple green Hug Me Bunny plush toys by Elizabeth RuffingSo, since their return is officially recognized, be sure to wish the slugs a fond welcome back to your gardens and patios on May 28th. And Happy Slugs Return from Capistrano Day to you!

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Feral Cheryl, TNR Demo Cat

Feral Cheryl the TNR Demo Cat, sock cat by Elizabeth RuffingFeral Cheryl is a sock kitten with a job to do. She’s the brainchild of my friend Marie, who commissioned me to find a sock kitten with the courage to help show people how to Trap-Neuter-and-Return. Cheryl isn’t afraid of traps. She’s not afraid of anything.

Feral Cheryl the TNR Demo Cat, sock cat by Elizabeth RuffingFeral Cheryl will be joining the Alley Cats and Angels’ TNR task force, for the TNR 101 workshops Princess Marie is leading. Cheryl will fearlessly enter the safety traps they use to capture real-life feral kitties, so that this knowledge can be passed on to others, and other feral cats can be saved. It’s a serious job.

Feral Cheryl the TNR Demo Cat, sock cat by Elizabeth RuffingCheryl is fully prepared. Marie thought it would be a good idea if Feral Cheryl were to show her fierceness a little, just so people would be reminded not to hug a feral cat. So, Cheryl obliged and displayed her teeth and claws.

Feral Cheryl the TNR Demo Cat, sock cat by Elizabeth RuffingCheryl also told me she wanted a tattoo. So, I did my first tattoo! It says “Tom”, some guy Cheryl knows, I guess.

Feral Cheryl the TNR Demo Cat, hang tag by Elizabeth RuffingI even did a little digital editing on her hang tag, so the picture would share her left ear crop. For anyone who might not be familiar with the ear crop, it’s a way to identify cats in feral colonies who have already been spayed and neutered. It lets rescue groups know to re-release a feral cat who has already received his or her trip to the veterinarian.

Feral Cheryl the TNR Demo Cat, sock cat by Elizabeth RuffingIf you’d like to learn more about Alley Cats and Angels and their TNR program, please visit their web site by clicking here. They also have lots of friendly cats and kittens who are up for adoption here. They are a great group of people and kitties.

Sheet of ice on the deckIn other news, this is our deck today. A sheet of ice. We will have to wait for it to melt before any toys are delivered to the Post Office or anywhere else. I’m sure Cheryl will keep them all entertained while they wait.