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!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Vegas, Baby

Because that is her name ~ Vegas, Baby.

I'm thinking of taking her along on my weekend and giving her to some random person along the way. If I see anyone I think needs a smile. And a hug.

Just thinkin'...

Thursday, August 20, 2009


No time to start new projects as I'm packing for a weekend trip. So I spent a little time looking back on the animals who have walked thru my life in the last couple of months. There have been a few. Quite a few.

So I celebrate them. And the homes they have found. And the lives they have touched. And the wonderful feedback I get; the blessings I have received. A reward I never expected to find when I started this little venture of love...

Funny about love - you put it out there and it comes back. Tenfold.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Did Someone Say Halloween?

I know. Before I woke up the other day and realized I'm in the retail world, I hadn't given Halloween much thought. Or Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. But now that I realized I am in the retail world, I also realize all of the above are like... tomorrow.

So I'm already behind, but I'll catch up. I've got two black Halloween cats in my shop - Pumpkin here is a "Wee One" - all of 5 inches tall. She has a cousin, "Mystic" who is 10" tall. Lots of other creatures - both cuddly and... not... will be joining them soon.

After a quick 4 day trip to Vegas to celebrate a special someone's 30th birthday, I will be back in the studio pretty much 24/7 stocking up for the holidays and working on a snail mail "holiday preview" catalog and an online newsletter.

Whew. But a very excited and fun-filled and happy "whew." :)

(Oh, and I'm playing with a new look for my blog - something a little cleaner, better organized with more info and links, so bare with me!) :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thank You Fellow Etsians!!

Last week I was so excited when I checked my Etsy shop and learned I had my first international sale. A delightful customer from Australia had purchased one of my favorite guys (yes, I’ll admit I have favorites…) ~ Oliver, the long-eared bunny.
This being my first shipment halfway around the world, I wasn’t quite sure where to start. And to complicate it just a little, her purchase had already gone thru Etsy and PayPal before I had a chance to calculate the international shipping rates and change that in my shop for her order. I didn’t want to lose a sale and a nice customer, but also couldn’t afford to forego the additional shipping costs.

Not sure how to proceed, I turned to the Community Forum on Etsy and posed my dilemma. Within in minutes – and I mean minutes – I had responses from fellow Etsians willing to brainstorm the problem with me. It didn’t take long to figure out what to do. Again, within minutes, I had my answer. I simply emailed my customer and explaining I would need to send a PayPal invoice for the additional shipping charges and once I received that payment, the bunny would be on his way. She was fabulous about it, paid immediately and – bingo, bango - Oliver was winging his way Down Under.

So I wanted to thank my fellow Etsians – ShopRedLeaf, GoTo, missbreezybox and HammelArt who all came to my rescue! I was so happy to have an answer so quickly and not risk losing what has turned out to be a wonderful customer and sale! Thank you guys so much!! It’s reassuring to know I have a friendly and helpful place to pose any questions and there will be someone out there in cyberspace to help me. I only hope I can return the same in kind sometime soon! Thanks again!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Wee Ones Are Big in Arizona!

First Mimi and Poppy. Then Bella and Daisy. Then Suzy and Penelope. They've all gone to live in the desert with a beautiful, wonderful family.
Thanks oodles and poodles, dear Gracie. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Bunnies are Multiplying!

Last week was a busy and fun week as the “Wee Ones” line seems to have found an audience. So since I’ve been so busy I thought I deserved a treat. I found this cute little vintage bunny pincushion in "that is charming's" shop (my link kept breaking :( sorry!)

And since bunnies seem to be the order of the day(s), it was perfect. I also picked up a darling ceramic planter in the shape of a treadle sewing machine for my Mom’s 91st birthday next month; and received a lovely little thank you gift as well.

Also realized it’s dangerous to go perusing the shops on Etsy too often… Lots of uber cool stuff out there.

Have a fantastic week – half way thru August already. Incredible.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Boo :)

A little break from the ordinary to wish my best friend a happy 11th birthday. Eleven years - wow; 77 in people years ~ and she's still going strong. She tore up her knee about 18 months ago, but acupuncture helped that. I think maybe a little arthritis may be setting in there, but other than that - still a puppy.

She is half basenji and half blue heeler - makes for a stubborn, independent, very smart companion. But she is also extremely loving, very sensitive, super loyal and an all around good buddy. One of my strongest memories of her exemplifies her sensitivity. On September 11, 2001, when the towers fell and I spent the day crying and trying to reach my son in NYC, she never moved from my side. She literally sat on my feet all day giving comfort the only way she knew how. (I finally did reach my son, btw, and I was one of the lucky ones - he was fine).

Happy Birthday, Simba Girl. May you have many, many more.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cyberspace is a wondorous place. I never would have imagined when I began creating cuddly little animals that one would end up on the other side of the world. But one is. And I can’t stop smiling.

I’ve spent the last couple of days communicating with a beautiful woman (who I would love to meet someday!) figuring out how to get Oliver, the long-earred bunny to Australia. This being my official first international shipment it took a little research and in the end, wasn’t hard at all. My customer down under was extremely patient and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that!

So, I this morning finally figured things out (again, with the help of my Post Office guru, Deep – we’re on a nickname basis now), confirmed all the important info and Oliver is off to Australia! I was so grateful for such a patient customer; and I didn’t want Oliver to travel all the long way alone – so I added his little brother, Ralphie, in the package to keep him company on his journey. I know my customer and her family will welcome both of them.

And I hope she doesn't read my blog (till later) or finds me on Facebook (till later), or I just blew the surprise.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I wish I could show you her face, but suffice it to say my friend, Pardeep, at the Post Office was surprised when I sat a little blue bear on her weight scale today. I didn't know how much time we would have to chat, so I had put a little tag on it saying, "Thank you for always having a smile."
She blushed, picked him up and squeezed him and said, "Oh, I love him!"
I said, "Well, I just want you to know how much I appreciate you - you always have a smile no matter how stressed you might be. So, thank you!"
She responded with an enthusiastic, "Thank you!"
There were a few people in line by then, so I promptly signed my bill and left. But I've got to tell you - her smile and surprise absolutely made my day!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gratitude. Share It.

Once in awhile someone crosses your path, makes you slow down and brings a smile. Even if you’re having a bad hair day. Or it has snowed for five days straight. Or if you’re running late. Or if… you get the idea.

Somewhere along the way we all picked up the pace and jumped on that information highway (remember the information highway?) and put life in the fast lane. We have no time to wait. We’re important! We have things to do! Places to go! People to see!

One equalizer that still exists is the USPS – yup, the good ol’ post office. The Post Office doesn’t care how important you are, how many things you have to do, how many people you have to see or what your hair looks like. You have to wait in line just like everyone else. Sometimes this is aggravating. Sometimes people get impatient. Sometimes people get downright nasty.

I’ve witnessed all of the above. And at my small one-woman branch Post Office, I have observed one sweet woman greet each and every person the same way – with a smile, a warm greeting and quick and efficient service. Go ahead – yell at her about the line. Like it’s her fault. And she knows it’s not, so she doesn’t let it bother her.

I’ve learned a lot from watching and interacting with Pardeep. Relax. Smile. Put good energy into the world and it will come back to you.

So this little guy is going to join her in her little space tomorrow. I hope he makes her smile every day. Because she sure makes me smile.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

And The Rest of the Story...

Remember the story of the wedding dogs? The wedding they attended (thru the grandchildren) took place yesterday. As the children pack up to return to their homes, dogs in tow, I learned that one dog (an extra little guy) will stay in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, for now.
Three will be going to live in Connecticut and the remaining two will take up residency in IRELAND! How cool is that? The product of a simple little crafter in Colorado, the dogs will live out their "lives" in Ireland.
I just love that. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Wee Ones

Thanks to the assistance of a very understanding mister (he took the dog to the park and watered all the flowers and veggies and did the dishes) I spent 11 hours in my studio today, focusing on an idea I became obsessed with ~~ Wee Ones.

So here they are. And here I am with my feet up sipping a glass of chardonnay and watching "Mad Men" ready to eat my salad topped with fresh green onions and tomatoes from the garden.

Life is good. I hope yours is, too!

The Wee Ones Have Arrived!

Well, arrived and gone. Mimi (left) and Poppy (right) were in the shop just minutes before they were snapped up. They will be flying to Tucson on Monday. :)

With the economy slowly coming back (emphasis on slowly) I decided to offer some little animals (emphasis on little - they range in size from 5" - 7" tall) at a lower price point (emphasis on lower). And not only are they priced lower, I can offer cheaper shipping because they're smaller and can fit in an envelope!

They are so much fun to create as each one is partially hand-sewn and the expressions and features are limitless! They're perfect for babies ~ small for little hands and soooo soft. But I think they would also make a perfect "cubicle-mate" for anyone in an office. Or perhaps a little someone to keep you company in your car as you commute. Or as a bedside companion for an elder in a nursing home or a child in the hospital. The possibilities are endless...

So help me welcome the Wee Ones to the world. More will be poppping up in my shop today and in the days to come! And, as always, of course I take special requests!

FYI - check out Etsy's Showcase today, Saturday August 8th, for my featured shop in the Toy Category! New items popping up hourly and we'll be featured until midnight!
(go to the upper right-hand corner where you see "main" and click on the down arrow; scroll down to toys and you will see "freckles & friends" featured)

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Oliver is looking for a home.
He's the first long-eared bunny I've brought to life and I'm pretty much in love with him. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Two years ago two very special bunnies were married ~ appropriately in a garden. I wish them all happiness, health, contentment, success... but most of all I wish them love.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pardon My Back...

I'm trying to decide if I want to put her in the shop or not... she's not perfect, but what in life is?