I posted the first two anthropomorphic kitty cat art prints by Max Bailey over on our Ruffing’s art blog, and in our Ruffing’s Etsy art shop yesterday. These are “Alice the White Cat” and “Louisa the Himalayan Cat“, two girls in pink dresses.
Please go have a better look at them. I think they came out really pretty. I finished editing and printing another today, which I will post soon, and we have a bunch more to add. I’m doing so many revisions, trying to get them just right, that we are going to have to order more ink today.
I am back to doing as much work as I can do each day. I enlisted my crew of kitty and bunny helpers yesterday, while I trimmed address labels and miscellaneous stationery.
Oliver Bunny likes to pick the scrap papers up in his teeth and move them around for me. When I stop petting him, sometimes he tries to pick up one of my fingers with his teeth, to make it move again.
We were surprised early yesterday morning, after getting an email saying the power company wasn’t coming to mark the lines in our yard, by a phone call at 7:15am. It was the guy who marks the lines, calling from our driveway. So, I went out, got some flags to mark the power and phone lines, and we picked up a tree too. My tree-planting project is back on track, as soon as the temperature goes above the thirties, provided I have the energy.
We also just set up cataract surgeries for both of my parents. That will be four trips to the hospital for surgery, and eight follow-up exams. That feels like a lot to get through, but it would be wonderful if they could both see again. Their vision has been terribly impaired, which makes a lot of things difficult. I warned my mom that she will have to trim some labels and stationery and prints once she can see. She said she would be happy to be able to see to do it.
I stuffed some Hug Me Slugs and worked on their bottoms this morning. I picked up some pretty new colors last week. Right now I am working on the ones I have sewn and trimmed already, but I would love to add to the colors. I have lots of fabrics that aren’t sewn into bodies yet. I keep going until I get too tired.
My insomnia is still a problem, but I did stay in bed last night, mostly because it was too chilly to get up. Sooner or later, my sleep pattern will have to even out.
In a recent blog postI was talking about how I became self-conscious about talking about myself in my blog, and I said that I was relieved that a couple of people were no longer reading it. I hope I didn’t offend anyone by saying that. I realize people sometimes think I am talking about them, when I mean someone else, since I don’t like to identify people, unless it is to say something nice, or warn other people about them. I feel like I should clarify that a little. I meant a couple of people I knew, one who was negative about things I was trying to do, who was hanging around, but had disappeared. I also mentioned being shaken by an experience with someone I went out with five years ago. That person’s mom read my blog, the whole thing, and so I never mentioned him, in part because he didn’t want me to, but also because I didn’t want to upset his parents.
His sister had, at that time, befriended me on Facebook, and his mom used her account to read what I said there too. His mom knew me better than he did, and would tell him everything I said. She would ask him who people were in photos I posted on Facebook, and correct him when he said something about me and she knew otherwise. He told me she had a crush on me. She had a photo of us together, which she hung up, and he told me that was the first time in his life he made it to the refrigerator door. I decided to think of her as a fan. I thought she must have been getting some enjoyment out of reading about what I was doing.
Her husband was in the final stages of cancer when I went out with their son, and he passed away two months after we broke up. Their son had been staying with them on the other side of the country, and moved here to be near me, although I did not ask him to. He frightened me, and when his sister wrote to me to tell me their dad had died, she said she understood what I did was best for my own happiness. I sent my sympathies, and told her I hadn’t said anything because I didn’t know if they knew what had happened. After I stopped communicating with him, he ordered a bunch of my toys, one or two a day for weeks, for friends and family, with gift notes, some that mentioned me. I didn’t know if he was trying to make amends or if he wanted to give the impression we were together because he didn’t want to upset the people close him. It made me more uncomfortable, and I worried for a long time that he was going to show up again, even though I told him not to. I said nothing about any it, not on my blog, not on Facebook, not to most of my friends.
Then, after posting about how people were no longer reading my blog, I looked his mom up last week, and found out she passed away two months ago. I felt sorry and sad about it, thought of expressing my condolences to his sister, for the family, but then thought better of it. I am sure I am of no interest to them now, which also means no one will know who I am talking about. So, it seems strange to say it here, but I hope she rests in peace. I never spoke to her. I did get a call from her Skype account once, after I’d broken off communication, but I was too alarmed to answer it. Still, I saw her show up on my feed for a long time, and I feel like I should say farewell somehow.
Communicating over the Internet can be strange and awkward sometimes. I’m trying to talk about my life again, and not just post my finished work. We’ll see how that goes.
At long last, I finished those sock cat doll skirts I said I would finish a year ago! Wow, I had someone who was going to write an article about them then. I will have to contact her and see if she remembers me! As I said in my last post, I have fallen behind this past year. I am taking steps to rectify that!
These Hug Me Sock Cats, dressed in coordinating skirts, are all currently over in my Etsy toy shop, hugmeslug.com. They each come with a personalized hang tag, with room for a personal message on the back of the tags. I am happy to send a gift note along too, if anyone would like to send one as a gift.
I had such a nice thing happen this week. A repeat customer ordered a Hug Me Slug as a gift for a baby, but had the address wrong. The person who received the package took the time to look me up online, wrote to me, and offered to drop the package at the right house, if it were nearby! I thought that was so kind. I emailed her and my customer, and we arranged for my customer’s husband to pick the box up. I was touched that they all made the effort to do that. It worked out great.
I edited the first of a series of anthropomorphic cat prints by Max Bailey today. We are very pleased with how it came out. I will be posting it over on our Ruffing’s blog and in our Ruffing’s Etsy shop soon. I will probably be working on getting those edited, printed, and posted this coming week and a half or so.
I also ordered and have already received another bunny cage for my workroom. This one is on wheels, and will allow me to remove a big table I have in there right now, making way for my shelves and a new worktable, which will come together eventually, I hope! I have a lot of packing to do, and then building, and painting furniture and walls and trim. None of those appeal to me terribly! I never finished redoing my bathroom due to my lack of enthusiasm for these kinds of projects. I’m going to do the best I can, and tackle it all a little at a time. I have gardening and tree-planting projects on my list that never ends as well.
Everything sure would be easier with a few nights of sleep. I hope I can get back on track with that. I have to accept that I have to stay away from people who upset me, or who treat me in an uncaring way. I always want to understand people I let into my life, and I tend to want to help them, even when I can’t. If people I care about are distressed, I absorb it, and I’ve been trying to understand someone I dated, who I can see is depressed and doesn’t seem to want to seek help. I talked to him, and it sounds like depression is something he has been struggling with for a few years, at least, and I can see obvious causes for it that he doesn’t seem to want to see. Instead, he wants to be left alone, and I’m not sure he even recognizes that he is depressed. I know it is just my perception, but nothing adds up any other way. For my part, I have to stop trying to figure it out, and focus on the things I need to do.
I’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.
My 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.
I 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.
Yesterday 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.
I 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.
I 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.