Tuesday, December 29, 2009


This is what I do on road trips. Well, this and shoot out the window a lot.

I go thru stages with hobbies/addictions. My knitting looms have been lonely and ignored for several months ~ since my little animals took over anyway. But since it was a little crowded in the Jeep to bring my Janome sewing machine along on this most recent road trip (although my mister offered an adapter and was sure I could keep sewing), I opted for something a little more compact ~ a couple of my knitting looms.

I decided to knit hats (these are small!) for Olympic Bears (both USA and Canadian) I plan as my next "freckles & friends" project ~ and thought I'd knit a few for Valentine's Day as well. (Did I mention addiction?) Well, I get a little obsessed. I not only knit these six, but I think there are about ten or twelve more in a suitcase (knit thruout the trip). So, of course now the challenge is to make the bears to match the hats.

An aside ~~~ My Dad was a man of few words, but I do remember two comments he made to me over the years. One was:
"Cindi, I get tired just watching you run up and down the stairs. Don't you ever sit down?"
"You sure know how to make work for yourself..."
Like I said, he didn't talk much, but he was observant. ;-)

Now back to my story ~~ I found it an incredible coincidence that I picked up my looms for the first time in months and last night I sold a knit hat (people size) on my mister's website (a little plug for www.buyoffseason.com/ ). I had forgotten I had anything listed with him. So isn't that the strangest thing? That I'm finally making hats again and one that I had totally forgotten about sells??

I believe in signs. And I think that's one. I just haven't figured out where the sign is pointing yet...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Do It for the Kids!

I'll bet it's true in every part of the country ~ I know it is in Denver. The Toys for Tots program operated each year by the US Marines, is desperate for toys. The world being what it is these days, they have received more requests from families in need than ever before and accordingly, donations are at an all time low.

If you live in Denver and can donate anything ~ a yo-yo, a basketball, a doll - anything ~ you can drop them off tomorrow from 6:00am-6:00pm at any American Furniture in town; a couple of Super Wal-Marts (9449 Sheridan in Westminster or 9400 East Hampden in Denver, Bass ProShop 7970 Northfield in Stapleton; or the warehouse for Toys for Tots in Aurora, 12601 East 33rd every day from 8am - 5pm until December 23.

And if you don't live in Denver, consider giving in your community. It's all about the kids.

I decided to start my own tradition this year and go thru my "freckles & friends" inventory in December and donate anything that hasn't sold. What an easy thing to do!! I clear my shelves to make room for new stock in the new year ~ and maybe some little one will go to bed on Christmas night with a smile and a new best friend.

Win-Win. :D

Monday, December 14, 2009

Three Brown Moose

'Tis a busy time in the ol' studio these days. And although I am still filling Christmas orders, my mind is jumping ahead to post-holiday events. I woke up the other day with a fun idea for Olympic Bears (and bunnies and dogs, etc.) So tune in after the holidays! :)

But until then, these three fellows - Melvin, Magnus and Mickey are off to Georgia tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Maya, Pippin and Marcus

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Or at least winter ~ as mooses and penguins invade my studio.

This trio was a special order and will be winging their way around the country as Christmas gifts for two little girls and a little guy. The penguin was my first and presented a couple of challenges, but I've got him figured out now. It is surprising how just adding a little scarf can make a special and fun look.

On tap for this snowy, cold day in Colorado ~ two bunnies, two mooses, a turtle and a lizard. Then sleep. ;-)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Running for a Cause!

My name is Tommy and I’m a Bear In Training. That’s why I am wearing my scarf – to keep myself warm for all those early morning runs. I’m running to help my friend, Kathya, earn some money for a really good cause!

50% of the proceeds for each animal sold in the “TNT” category (minus shipping cost) will go towards Kathya’s fundraising efforts for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as she trains for a half and full marathon with the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Team In Training (TNT). I am the first TNT friend in “freckles & friends” shop and my fellow TNT buddies will be joining me soon! You can find Kathya’s beautiful photography here ~ http://www.etsy.com/shop/chocokat0718
And to learn more about Team In Training ~ http://www.teamintraining.org/
Thank you so much for your support!

My sister was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma a few months ago, so I am more committed than ever to help Kathya raise awareness and funds for this cause!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Naoko Stoop's Whimsical World

Once in awhile you come across art that just steals your heart. That is what happened to me when I discovered the whimsical, sweet and inspiring images created by Naoko Stoop I discovered Naoko’s art on Etsy even before I started creating my little friends. The little red knit cap girl and her companion, the white bunny, made me smile and filled me with … I don’t know ~ maybe hope?

There is something in the innocence of her images that I love. Anything that can bring endless smiles is something I will keep in my life and share with those I love. I bought the two bird prints for my daughters-in-law for their birthdays last year. The red umbrella image ~ well you know how I love a good umbrella and a bunny ~ so that was a no-brainer. I had to have it. Recently I purchased the set of note cards which I plan to frame and hang in my home.

If you need a smile check out Naoko’s Etsy shop Thank you, Naoko, for putting so much happiness and love out into the world.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Holidays are Approaching!

It's beginning to look a little more like Christmas in my Etsy shop! Slowly but surely. I've been swamped with local orders ~ all word of mouth ~ so have had little time to devote to my online shop. Yay for sales, but boo for not being able to update online!

At any rate, these three pups ~ Candy (she sports candy canes on her coat), Avery (that means Christmas elf) and Lumi (that means "snow" in Finnish) are in the shop! I'm hoping to have many more holiday creatures there soon ~ especially in time for my featured spot in the Etsy Toy Showcase on November 27! Stay tuned. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ringo the Ring Bearer!

This little guy just got invited to a December wedding. One in which he will play a major role.

I received an Etsy notice yesterday that Ringo here (appropriately named as it turns out) will be carrying the bride and groom's wedding rings down the aisle! The bride said she wanted something other than a boring ol' pillow for her ring bearer to carry. When she found Ringo she decided he was a perfect alternative because he looks just like her real dog.

I can't stop smiling. One of my little pups is going to be in a wedding. I absolutely LOVE hearing the stories of where my animals go and the lives they live when they leave me.

And why I love waking up each morning! It's all about the smiles.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Another little guy now residing with the Ladies of Cedar Place. Miles was so popular one of the Ladies placed an "emergency" order for his twin to be delivered this week. They're just too cute. The Ladies I mean. :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

That One Idea.

This being my first real experience with a retail business (or at least one that is consistent), I knew the holiday season might be busy. I have exceeded my expectations. Which is wonderful and overwhelming all at the same time. It truly is a good exercise in organization, balance, work ethic and efficiency. I just keep telling myself next year will be easier.

And the fact that I'm even assuming there will be a next year surprises me. I've only been at this since June and since that time have seen the days go from "Hey!!! I've got an order!!" ~ to ~ updating the order list each morning to be sure I'm meeting my deadlines.

That's the first time I've actually stated that so seeing it in writing both terrifies me and makes me very, very, happy, with just a smidgen of pride ~ all in the same breath.

I've never been one lacking for ideas or interests (thank you, Mom, for passing that energy on to me); nor ways to implement them (thank you, Charlie, for being such a positive influence and a heck of a good brainstormer). But this is the first idea ~ creating these little creatures that I love so much that each one, honest to god, gets a good, long hug from me before I send them off to their new homes ~ that I really believe in. And that is why I know there will be a next year.

Maybe I've had too many ideas in the past. This is different. This is my one idea.

"Take up that one idea. Make that idea your life - think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves - every part of your body - be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success."

*Swami Vivekananda*

I don't remember where I came across that quote but when I began this journey with my friends I made it my mantra.

And it is working.

Monday, November 9, 2009

For the Ladies of Cedar Place.

This is the cutest story ever.

In September my Mom turned 91. For her birthday I, of course, sent her a freckles & friends long-eared bunny. I mean, what else would you give a 91 year old? My Mom has been a coffee-lover her entire life so I found some fabric that would suit her taste ~

Mom lives in a lovely retirement community. Apparently she loved the bunny (dubbed Coco) so much she carried it to her afternoon coffee with the girls. And then to a birthday party. And then to Bingo the next day. You get the idea ~ Mom's a great saleswoman.

It only took about 10 days before she sent me a little slip of handwritten orders for 17 animals ~ all different shapes and sizes and breeds and colors and designs.

I have since sent my Mom business cards that say "Vice President of Sales, Midwestern Region."

It took awhile to complete the project (especially because my 35 y o sewing machine died mid-production), but they were all bagged (gift bags), tagged (named and a little story about each one) and shipped last Friday. Following the tracking numbers, I do believe they arrived today.

I cannot wait to hear their reaction...

Friday, November 6, 2009

She Was Worth It.

I've always said I really dislike working with chenille because it is so messy ~ it sheds so there is lint everywhere when working with it. (I'd post a pic of the floor of my studio, but it's embarrassing!) Lint in my eyes. Lint in my nose - a lot of sneezing ensues. Lint all over my black knit pants. I know. Don't wear black knit pants when working with pink chenille. Duh.

So I had sworn off chenille until I got two special requests for chenille dogs. A sale is a sale, so I although I left them till the very end of the large order, I forged ahead ~ lint and all. A baby blue chenille dog came to life and then came this little sweet pink one. Too much cuteness. I can't stand it. She's in her gift bag here, waiting to be shipped off.

Once I surrendered to the lint and just ignored it, well, it wasn't so painful after all. Next on tap ~ I'm going to make a chenille puppy (or bunny) for myself! I realized the other day I don't have any of my own animals and these chenille ones just call to me!

Cuteness. :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

No, not Disneyland. My studio/office. :) Especially this time of year.

I realized that when I turned around to grab my phone and saw this scene. I'm surrounded by pix of my family and friends ~ photographs taken by friends (fabulous photographers all!) and given to me as gifts, my little animals and a mess that I'm learning to let go and not obsess about.

Here come the holly-days! YAY!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A New Era. In a Couple of Ways...

With this little guy I've turned a corner in my creations. Mickey Moose is the first to have an accessory ~ if that's what you want to call his little red scarf. It's a small thing, but it's new. It sets him apart from the freckles pack. He has me thinking of new directions and new accessories. It's stretching my boundaries a bit and I'm dreaming up small little things that could add personality to my animals.

In retrospect, it is a natural progression. I'm quite comfortable creating my animals now; so the next step would be to add a little something ~ make it new again. Just one more way to set my little guys apart and make them unique.

Well, that and the fact that today I embark on a totally new adventure. My beloved tank of a Singer sewing machine - which I purchased in 1974 for about $100 - has died. So after agonizing hours of Googling and jumping on forums last night, I will be sewing machine shopping today. It was interesting to learn that in the 35 years since I last looked at sewing machines, they, too, have leapt into the 21st Century. Sadly I also learned that Singer sewing machines (which my Mom's family has always sworn by) just aren't the quality product they used to be. Seems the ancient vintage one I own (yes, it's referred to as vintage - oh, man...) still ranks as a reliable beast; but the ones made by Singer in the last 20 years are put in the crap category.

Which complicates my search a lot ~ not only am I looking at new technology, I'm seeking out the best brand. Everyone has their favorite ~ their own stories and their own experiences. I've got it narrowed down to two brands, two models and from there it's just a crap shoot. I'll be visiting two sewing centers today and making a hopeful, shot-in-the-dark decision.
That being said, yes, of course I'm excited about getting a new sewing machine that can bust a few fancy moves. I just wish it had been my choice (more time to research and "try on for size") and less a necessity. And the learning curve has to be short because there are many bunnies and puppies and mooses and penguins to bring to life. Like now.

So off to the sewing centers I go. Although there will be a learning curve (and it had better be fast one!), the timing is right, I think. I see some fun and exciting possibilities opening up for me and my friends. I think I'll look back and see all this happened for a reason. :)

Monday, October 19, 2009

M & M's and Puppy Dogs for Breakfast

That's what went thru my head as I unconsciously reached for an M & M (or should that be M singular?) this morning around 4:00 am. I'd already been up for 45 minutes. I had caught up on a couple of emails; checked into my morning websites and started sewing. Don't ask me why I've developed this habit for extremely early morning hours. All I know is I love what I'm doing; I have a lot to do; my interests are wide and varied (I just sent another photo/essay/quote book off to print on Saturday); and I'm getting a lot done.

When I spoke with my 91 year old Mom the other day she laughed at how I seem to be morphing into her. She, too, has always had many interests and has never spent a bored day in her life. She, too, got by on just a few hours of sleep a day ~ she raised 5 kids and worked full-time as a nurse on the night shift at our local hospital. I told her I couldn't think of anyone else I'd rather be. :)

So with one dog down this morning, I've five more to make to complete the special order of nine Christmas dogs. They will come to life in a bit. First a walk in the park with my real live dog and my camera are in order ~ one last day of Indian Summer left and I don't want to miss it!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thinking Holiday...

And the holiday frenzy begins... Even though it's a bit of a challenge to picture snow falling, candles glowing, family gathering today as the window above my desk is blowing a warm 80 degree breeze into my studio. *wink*

Yet I am filling a special order for 9 dogs in various holiday-themed fabrics. One down, eight to go... This is the first little guy ~ Nicholas.
Too much fun. :) Puts me in the mood to get my own holiday critters ready for the shop in a couple of weeks!

Monday, October 12, 2009

It seems like ages since I've been able to add someone
new to the shop. I've been busy organizing (made a storyboard which I'll blog about one of these days) and a few special orders ~ they're starting to flow in for the holidays. :) Which makes me smile. :)

Anyway, ever since Joey the Giraffe went to live with a sweet little heart patient, I haven't had too many "wild" animals in the shop. It was time. So meet Samantha.

Samantha says:
"Hi, my name is Samantha and I am a giraffe. I wasn’t really born in Africa, but my ancestors were. I’m looking for a best friend who likes to visit zoos (as long as I’m on the people side of the fences) so I can see my distant relatives. Right now I live mostly with bunnies and puppies and bears, but there are two elephants so we share conversation about the old country.
I am soft and cuddly and ready to find a home! I like chocolate chip ice cream, bicycle rides, Wii bowling and hugs. I hope you’ll think about taking me home with you. And if you like strawberry ice cream, I’m flexible."

She's just hanging around looking for ice cream, so if you're in the market for a giraffe stop on by :)

Friday, October 9, 2009


Not all my "Breast Cancer Comfort Friends" are obvious. Take Suki here. She's a little more subtle in her support. She sports cheerful polka dots with a pink background, but she also wears an understated breast cancer pink ribbon around her heart.

But she is full of love and support; comfort and hugs, too. She and many like her are available in

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sisters and Mothers and Daughters...

A while back I said I would talk about why breast cancer awareness is so important to me. Two of the reasons are pictured here. One is no longer on this plane. One is sitting here writing this.

On the left is my Aunt Myrt (short for Myrtle, but we have always called her Myrt). She is my Mom's little sister. That's Mom - the party girl on the right. I took this photo last year at my Mom's 90th birthday party. Which explains the tiara. But if you ask me, I think she deserves to wear it every day! :)

Aunt Myrt was diagnosed with breast cancer so many years ago I can't even remember when it was ~ late 60's, early 70's maybe. And honestly, at that time and in my Midwestern Norwegian-rooted family ~ we just didn't talk about things like that. I do know that she had a double mastectomy and for years - actually to this day - has suffered after effects from treatments and recurring problems. But see that smile? It has rarely left her. Which makes me love and admire her all the more.

Another Aunt - Lois - was diagnosed with breast cancer around the same time, I believe. Again, Midwestern... Norwegians... we just didn't talk about it. Again, (I believe) a double mastectomy and recurring problems for years. She died a few years ago and I have to think that the many years of treatments, etc. helped to wear her body down.

Mom? Well, Mom had a lumpectomy several years ago and bless her - it was benign. As a tribute to her sisters she took part in a clinical trial for tamoxifen (a breast cancer fighting drug) for a couple of years before the FDA approved it. She felt it was the least she could do.

As for me, from the time I was 20 years old I dealt with fibrocystic breast disease ~ you know, the ol' lumpy breast syndrome. I started with yearly mammograms in my late 20's and continue to this day. Before the mammo machines were upgraded across the board, I had to be sure they put me in the right room ~ you know, the one with the super duper machine that could see thru ultra-dense breasts. I've had more ultra-sounds than I can count; needle biopsies (those aren't much fun - like being shot with a nail gun); met with cancer doctors to determine exactly how high-risk I was and ultimately underwent surgery myself - to remove a large myserious lump. That was the strangest surgery I've ever had. I was awake, talking with the doctor and the nurse as the doctor operated under a local anesthetic and removed this big lump. TMI - definitely for me. I wanted to be asleep...

I was one of the lucky ones ~ it was benign. But it was a wake up call for me. I began to appreciate my days more because I knew ~ there but the grace of God... And I knew I needed to give back for those who haven't been so fortunate.

Over the years I've done different things to help the cause but the biggest to date has to be my "Breast Cancer Comfort Friends" featured in my shop. And now you know why each little bunny and puppy that leaves my shop to bring comfort to someone suffering is so very special to me...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hope the Bunny is a TV Star!

I can't thank Kim and Kirk and 9News, NBC in Denver enough for featuring one of my "Breast Cancer Comfort Friends" on their 4 o'clock news Friday, October 2. You're the best!

Take a peek at Hope the Bunny's television debut here
And her friends are awaiting adoption here!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thank You 9News!

Hope, a Breast Cancer Comfort Bunny, was
featured on 9News NBC Denver yesterday! (Video to follow!) Pretty cool seeing one of my little guys on TV ~ and they were very generous to post my Etsy shop address, too! Thank you, 9News!
Hope is part of my month-long campaign to raise awareness (and a couple of buckaroos) for breast cancer. 20% of each sale of one of my breast cancer comfort friends will go to Susan G Komen for the Cure.
Many of these little guys are highlighted in my showcase today in the gift guide, so stop on by and get a hug. :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ella the Elephant

Ella is going to be joining her Breast Cancer Comfort Sistahs in the shop on Saturday. freckles & friends is taking part in a gift guide showcase on Etsy then ~ stop by and see who else may be joining her!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

It's the Little Things...

So why am I smiling? Because yesterday I found Fabric Nirvana. I felt as though I had died and gone to Fabric Heaven ~ seriously.Everyone has their thing.

Something that feeds their passion. In the past few months it's been fabric for me ~ and patterns and little puppy dog eyes and noses.

So it surprised me when ~ in the midst of a handmade revival ~ I started seeing fabric stores near me closing. Why, I would ask the ladies. "Because everything is going online." "Hmmm..., " I would reply, "I do a lot of shopping online, but there is something about fabric that I like to touch to my cheek and see the exact hues."

But I caved and started shopping online for my fabrics. They're ok and the prices are ok; but it still can't compare to actually walking thru a well-stocked fabric store. The thrill was gone.

So yesterday as I was out with my sales hat on (scored a consignment gig which I'm very pleased about!), I found a google map I had put in my Jeep awhile back and forgot about. It was to a fabric store about 15 minutes from my home that I had never visited. So, since I felt like celebrating I thought I would check it out.

Well, yay! Once I finally found it (yes, even with a map I'm directionally-challenged), I walked in and smiled from ear to ear. O. M. G. It was huge! Aisle after aisle after aisle of every kind of fabric you can imagine. All surrounded by rows and rows of craft supplies.

Just one example of why I was so excited ~ every fabric store I've been to is carrying NO Christmas fleece. Guess what? This store has a loooooong row of it! And plans to get more!

Fabric Heaven, indeed. I have a feeling it will be my "Cheers" bar; when I walk in they will all shout, "Cindi!"

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gigi and Emma

Because so many of our Breast Cancer Comfort Friends have been leaving us, two new ones joined the freckles & friends shop today. Gigi the cat (above) is feisty and has a bit of a 'tude. She's spunky and full of spit 'n vinegar ~ just the kind of friend you want by your side when you're fighting cancer!
Emma the bunny is a more gentle friend, but will be be your side all the way thru, too. She's a quiet bunny full of love and hugs.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Bye Bye Bunnies!

This little sweetie pie (a special order) left me today for Florida. His name is Séamus and he is really hoping there is air-conditioning in Boca Raton... :)

And Stuart (below) is on his way to Illinois. He's hoping it doesn't snow too much there or his camouflage is blown!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


On a day when I'm not feeling too well ~ a headache woke me at 6:30 am and has kept me company all day ~ I'm feeling otherwise all warm and fuzzy. Four sales today ~ and all are Breast Cancer Comfort Friends. Rosy and Annie are going to Iowa; Molly and Chloe are going to Alaksa. I hope they bring comfort and smiles along with the hugs they will be bringing!

And I guess it's a good thing I ordered more fabric yesterday... :) Thank you, Universe.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

For A Cure...

My little family of Breast Cancer Comfort Friends is growing! (These are only a few in the group.) I'm doing a big push in the next couple of weeks to get these guys out in the community ~ actually across the country ~ and literally into the hands of people I know are committed to Breast Cancer Awareness and finding a cure. It means quite a few "freebies" but if it can help anyone in anyway, it's worth it!

Coming up soon ~ why the issue of Breast Cancer Awareness is important to me personally.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bunnies and Puppies and Love

Chloe the Bunny joined the Breast Cancer Comfort Friends today. She's pretty cute. And she is just waiting to share love with someone...

Molly the Dog joined the effort today, too! They are both waiting to find a loving home...

And wish me luck as I don my sales hat and head out into the real world tomorrow!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


This is Hope. Next week she is going to be a gift to a sweet young lady who is a local anchor-woman in Denver. Surprise! (I really doubt Kim reads my blog.) ;-)

Kim has leads the campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness at our local NBC affiliate and has made it her passion. I just want to stop by and say thank you to her.

I "hope" she likes Hope. :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Love, Love, Love

Lovey Moon Blossom just seemed to fit her. :)
Even when I purchased the fabric it made me think of the 60's - flower children, make love not war, etc.
So Lovey Moon Bloossom came to life and is in my shop now looking for a groovy home.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Some of Them are Just a Little More Special...

One of my favorite things about sewing is finding awesome fabrics. I know some of the designs and patterns I choose one would not look at and instantly think, "OMG that will make the cutest dog!" But I absolutely love thinking outside the box when it comes to fabrics. The stranger they are - the cuter I think the animal will be. :)

So Buzz (above) the "Coffee Mate" dog turned out so darned cute I can't stop smiling. And Ruby (made of multi-colored autumn leaves fleece) is (if I do say so myself) adorable! Go figure...

Wait till you see what I've got in store for Christmas... :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gearing up for a showcase on Etsy on Sunday, the 13th. I'll be featuring my breast cancer "comfort friends" and other autumnal little fellas and girls. It's going to be a blast. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Go Rockies!

Rico and Rex have found a home with two little Rockies baseball fans! They went to their new home yesterday. I heard from their new Mama and she says they became instant best friends with their new little owners.

I think they are bringing good luck to the Rockies ~ they won last night beating the Cincinnati Reds 4-3. Go Rockies! :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Travels, Rebecca and Fifi!

Today I learned that Rebecca the Breast Cancer Comfort Bear and her little compadre, Fifi the Bunny will be leaving the shop. I am sending them off with a hug and a kiss ~ I always do that... Wishing them safe journeys and may the love they were created with go with them and embrace their new families...

'bye 'becca. 'bye fifi. god speed...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Breast Cancer Comfort Friends, Part II

Lucy the Lamb has been around for awhile, but she decided to join her Breast Cancer Comfort Friends, so she now sports "the badge." (When I added the ribbon to her heart today I was reminded how incredibly soft and cuddly she is. Shhhh - don't tell the others but she really is a favorite of mine...)

Others have now joined in the cause in my shop and the Breast Comfort Friends category is growing. And there will be more!!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month starts early (and will stay late) in my shop. I have a commitment to finding a cure not just for family members who suffered for many years, but for all those affected. Please check out my “Breast Cancer Comfort” category featuring “Comfort Friends” for anyone who has been touched by breast cancer…
Until the end of October, 20% of each sale will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Comfort Friends will be added on a continual basis, so if you don’t see anyone you want to adopt today, please check back! The family is growing to help the cause!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Breast Cancer Comfort Friends...

Breast Cancer Awareness Month starts early (and will stay late) in my shop. I have a commitment to finding a cure not just for family members who suffered for many years, but for all those affected. Please check out my “Breast Cancer Comfort” category featuring “Comfort Friends” for anyone who has been touched by breast cancer…

Until the end of October, 20% of each sale will go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Comfort Friends will be added on a continual basis, so if you don’t see anyone you want to adopt today, please check back!
Rebecca here is the first friend in the shop. She's a little different in that she is made of cotton flannel, but still very soft and cuddly!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I don't know why I associated a snake with Halloween, but originally I did. But now that Steve exists he doesn't look all that scary to me. He more just reminds me of a snake (stuffed, not real) I had as a little girl. I know, weird toy for a girly girl. But it was a gift and who was I to turn down a gift?
So Steve lives in the shop now and he's kind of lonely as he's the only reptile there. (Freddie is an amphiban, so that's close. They hang.)
But if anyone is looking for a not-so-scary snake, Steve's your guy.

Monday, August 31, 2009


This adorable little one was my first baby-tester for freckles and friends (she still sleeps with Dotty - the first teddy bear). I don’t see her often enough; so when I knew I would be seeing her last weekend, I made sure to tuck a Wee One in my bag just for her. I think she liked it. *wink*

I was so pleased to see that “Poppy” was just the right size for her little hands – perfect for walking around and handy for that spontaneous hug whenever she needed it (or vice versus).

But most of all, seeing her so happy made me so happy I smiled all day. In fact I’m still smiling. It is absolutely why I do what I do.

Thank you, dear heart ~ until we meet again.

(images shot with Lensbaby 2.0 plus telephoto adapter - which explains the slight fuzziness.)

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I think the answer to unblocking my creativity is to totally remove myself from my work space. To actually stay away from my studio.

Movie night out last night (literally out – an outdoor double feature in my son and daughter in law’s side yard!); a relaxing morning walk in the park today with my mister and my dog and a scrumptious breakfast prepared by aforesaid mister… All of which has served to relax me, make room in my head for some ideas and remind me that awhile back I had promised myself to take Sundays off. Everyone really does need down time to renew, refresh and not burn out!

I am also reminded that when I was growing up Sundays moved at a relaxed, slow pace. Stores were closed; the only one working on Sunday was our minister. Sundays meant church, followed by a big noon meal, visits with family, “The Wonderful World of Disney” at 6:00 and popcorn for supper. A little different from Sundays of 2009... So the mister and I are making an effort to slow down our Sundays. Our church is nature, so we walk together. A late morning breakfast is our noon meal. Watching “CBS Sunday Morning” (which we tape) is our “Disney.” And rather than family visits, we visit each other – something we don’t take time for during the week.

And because a little free time not only sparks my energy level, but also my imagination, I jot down ideas to implement on Monday. Take the catnip pictured here, for instance. I did a little clean-up in my garden-on-the-deck this morning (fall is definitely in the air) and decided it was time (perhaps past time) to harvest my catnip. I grow it every year for my cat, A-choo. During the summer she likes to roll around on the leaves I bring in and drop on the floor for her. As summer winds down, I harvest what is left of the catnip; I dry it; smush it up with a pestle and mortar; store it in a covered bowl; sew little pouches; stuff them with the catnip and there ya’ go ~ A-choo and her friends are set for the winter.

Three people have suggested I should add a line of pet toys to my shop. I have been designing dog toys in my head and now I’m expanding… (she jots a note) ~ this year A-choo will be sharing with a wider audience. ;-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Some days are more inspired than others. Some days are more productive than others. I think I experienced a delayed “jet lag” of sorts yesterday (after returning from a whirlwind weekend in Vegas – Vegas will do that to ya’.) I couldn’t seem to focus and the only thing I created was this little orange monster. I was envisioning Halloween, but it just wasn’t coming together for me. I wasn’t feelin’ the love, so to speak.

So I set her aside for the evening. When I woke up this morning I took a look at her and knew instantly what was missing – the little drops of blood. Just to keep things friendly, I explain in her description that she is a vegetarian vampire, so those aren’t really drops of blood; they are drops of beet juice.

So creating Vicki the Vegetarian Vampire of course lead to creating her boyfriend, Vinny the Vegetarian Vampire with drops of ummm… tomato juice. Yeah, that’s it. Tomato juice!

That little creative block reminded me that sometimes it is really good to step away and take a break. You can’t force creativity and sometimes that part of the brain gets strained and just needs a breather.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Back to School :)

After a really fun weekend in Vegas with family and friends (much laughter was enjoyed; great food and grog consumed; a little money… umm… spent – it was Vegas after all), I feel like a kid going back to school. However, without the new outfits, but also without the dread of the unknown ~ new teachers (– I heard the history teacher is mean); new classes (– do I really have to take geometry?); new schedules (– I’ll never make it to biology on time and where’s my locker?) ...

Rather I am returning to the convenience of my studio where I can work in my 'jammies and [usually] all I need is right at hand ~ not to mention the comfort of my cat snoring in her bed next to me and my dog begging for a treat from the jar she knows I keep next to my desk. I returned to a long list of special orders as well as the items already on the list to get my shop stocked for the holidays. I’m working on an online newsletter I plan to publish monthly and a snail mail holiday preview catalog I want to mail in a couple of weeks (not everyone is online, ya’ know ~ there are Grandmas out there with Grandkids and Christmas Wish Lists). ;-)

So it does appear that another summer has waved goodbye and as we enter those crisp, bright days of autumn (my favorite season btw) ~ it is, indeed, time to get back to school/work ~~ smiling all the way!