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  1. Eyeballs, fingers, and delays
  2. Happy Spring, Happy Mother’s Day
  3. Seven, eight, nine…stuffed animal slugs
  4. Search Elizabeth Ruffing's Art and Toy Studio » Elizabeth Ruffing's Art and Toy Studio
  5. Prior Mailing Archive

Eyeballs, fingers, and delays

Toy eyeballs made of fleece by Elizabeth RuffingI was on the verge of getting a group of Hug Me Slugs done and ready to photograph. I made eyeballs of fleece in four sizes. I stuffed bodies. I sewed smiles. It was coming together. Then this happened…

Cat bites on my finger, Elizabeth RuffingMultiple deep puncture wounds. Swelling hand. Pain. A trip to the doctor. Antibiotic capsules and ointment.

As I’ve mentioned before, cats from different neighbors’ homes like to come visit here, and I like to see them. Usually, they coexist fairly peacefully. Unfortunately, one thinks it is funny to sneak up on another, who doesn’t like that. He likes to be left alone and nap on the porch or in the flowers. They got into a fight, which I broke up. The cats all seem to be fine, but I got bitten up quite badly.

I was told to keep a careful watch on it, keep it clean, ice it, and go for an X-ray if it looks suspicious at all, as cat bites can be serious and the infection can get in the bone. I can bend the knuckle on the back of my hand today, which is when I took this photo, but the chomped-on middle knuckle is still stiff. Between the goo on my hand and the swelling, working is not working out.

Oliver Bunny relaxing by Elizabeth RuffingSo, I am making like Oliver Bunny and trying to relax. The antibiotics are making me feel weird, or I hope it is the antibiotics!

Oh, I did manage to join Pinterest before this, if anyone would like to follow Hug Me Slugs and Friends by Elizabeth Ruffing there. I saw a lot of people had pinned my toys and I thought I would join, and thank people, as I like to do.



Happy Spring, Happy Mother’s Day

Mock Orange blossoms by Elizabeth RuffingIt looks like I’ve been missing since February. Happy spring and happy Mother’s Day!

Purple Iris in bloom by Elizabeth RuffingI feel like I may have been lost in the woods for a while, but I have been busy. Winter was one medical visit after another with my parents, but thankfully, we’ve gotten through all of that. Hopefully, all will be well and we have that behind us.

Piles of quilting fabrics with a Hug Me Slug peeking out by Elizabeth RuffingI have been sewing and sewing, trying to get my Hug Me Slugs and Friends toy shop going again. After selling out of all my popular toys before Christmas, for two years in a row, I didn’t have enough toys partially done to keep rolling. I estimate I have about 180 bodies sewn now, in an assortment of sizes and colors. Not stuffed or detailed, but sewn. It’s a start.

Hug Me Slugs plush toys by Elizabeth Ruffing, 7 and 8 inchI just recently added some 7 and 8 inch Hug Me Slugs to my shop. I hope to get my other characters together too, like my Hug Me Toads, Monsters, Bunnies, and Kittens and Cats, but first, I am doing more slugs.

Hug Me Slugs plush toy on apple green by Elizabeth Ruffing, 7 inchI have so many pretty colors to try out, like this new Granny Smith apple green. It will take me years to sew all the fabric I have. If you are looking for a Hug Me Slug in a particular size and color, feel free to ask if I have on in the works. I’m doing my best to get everything up and running.

Jude, gray and white cat going for a walk on a leash by Elizabeth RuffingFor a few months, I have been struggling with feeling sad, and tired, and overwhelmed, but I feel like I am doing better now. I’ve been trying guided meditation, which has helped. I have CD’s from Roberta Shapiro and Belleruth Naparstek, which I would recommend to anyone wanting to try it. Both have CD’s available online.

Gumbo, black and white cat going for a walking in the woods by Elizabeth RuffingWhen I meditate, I always envision a forest. I decided I needed more trees, and so I have been planting lots of them. I hope someday, there will be a forest outside for me. Or more of a forest. There is a wooded area here, but I want it to be bigger.

Gumbo, black and white cat going for a walking in the woods by Elizabeth RuffingThese are my neighbor’s cats, Gumbo (black and white, above) and Scooter (gray and white, below), following me, and above is Jude, my cat I take for walks on his purple leash. They all like to see what the others are doing, even though Jude makes a fuss when the others walk up to him. That doesn’t stop him from heading over to see them. I cat-sat for Gumbo, Scooter, and their brothers, Fish, and Trouble for months. Scooter always asks me for treats. He likes pets too. They all do, although Trouble is shyer about the pets.

Scooter, gray and white cat going for a walking in the woods by Elizabeth RuffingRecently, all four brothers and a stray they befriended, all came wandering over to see what I was doing in the back yard. I didn’t have any treats. They wanted attention. I think they were lonely.

Catnip lobsterSometimes, I go say hello to them, and Scooter runs ahead of me into his garage, begging for snacks. I decided to fix a couple of their toys I found there. They had a ripped-open catnip chipmunk and this lobster whose Velcro closure wouldn’t close up again. It made such a hit here, while I was trying to close it, that I am wondering whether I should try to make a pattern for one, or buy one online. The Velcro pouch was too small and didn’t work, and so making a new pattern would probably be better.

Oliver Bunny playing with a toilet paper roll, by Elizabeth RuffingOliver Bunny prefers to play with toilet paper rolls. I have saved a ridiculous number of these. If anyone stops by, they are going to think we use an awful lot of toilet paper.

Oliver Bunny playing with a toilet paper roll, by Elizabeth RuffingBindi brought Oliver her favorite squeaky bunny toy, but he isn’t sure what to do with those. He does like to toss the kitty jingle balls around.

Santana, orange cat sleeping on a pizza box, by Elizabeth RuffingThis is our other neighbors’ cat Santana, on one of his favorite napping pots, his pizza box. We can’t throw it away. I think it is funny that the box says, “100% Satisfaction Guarantee” because he looks 100% satisfied.

Santana, orange cat sleeping at the top of the porch steps, by Elizabeth RuffingHe guards our porch, but falls asleep on duty. He doesn’t like other cats to come up on our porch, which he sees as his personal sanctuary. A couple of them come anyway. One also looks in our door when he wants treats. The other runs away when Santana chases him. We don’t leave food out. We seem to have a social gathering location for cats.

Thanks for stopping by.



Seven, eight, nine…stuffed animal slugs


My title has my brain playing Feist’s 1,2,3,4 now, even though the song is missing both a seven and an eight. The connection makes sense in my head.

There is also a Sesame Street version that only goes up to four.

Speaking of counting, for some time, I’ve been donating portions of my toy sales to help animals. I was curious to see what it amounted to. I added it up, and I’ve reached $597.60 so far. Some has gone to The House Rabbit Society, Alley Cats and Angels, Kitty Bungalow Charm School for Wayward Cats, The Whiskars’ Syndicate, Protective Animal Welfare Society (P.A.W.S.) in Kansas, Care For Bear, and our friend Cheryl’s feral cat fund to care for community cats here in our area of NC. It doesn’t seem like a lot each time, and so it was nice to see that it adds up.

Fleece Hug Me Slugs, plush stuffed animal art toys by Elizabeth Ruffing, 7, 8, 9 inchesI’m adding back a size in my Hug Me Slug plush toys, for anyone who likes to make slug families, with little, middle, and big kids. Those are the 7, 8, and 9 inch Hug Me Slugs above. I have 12 inch ones too, or I usually do. I am making more. I’ve had people get those as parent slugs to the smaller ones. You can find my stuffed animal slugs over in my Etsy toy shop. Some of these have been adopted already, but I still have some available there at the moment.

Yellow Fleece Hug Me Slugs, plush stuffed animal art toys by Elizabeth Ruffing, 7 inchThese two 7 inch yellow Hug Me Slugs went out as gifts. They were named after their Girl Scout counterparts. One was called “Candy Corn” and needed a candy corn heart. I painted the heart with fabric dye. Since she was for a big kid, it was okay. Babies put my slugs in their mouths, and so I wouldn’t do that for a baby, to be safe.

Fuchsia Red Fleece Hug Me Slugs, plush stuffed animal art toys by Elizabeth RuffingI had these up as Valentine’s Day slugs, but they happen to still be around for now, waiting to be adopted. They are 9 inches tall.

Fleece Hug Me Slugs,plush stuffed animal art toys by Elizabeth Ruffing, purple, light blue, pear greenThese three above are the 7 inch size, and you can see I am adjusting the sizes of my patterns. Oddly, the purple and the light blue are the new size, from the same version of my pattern. The light blue guy got a little chubby instead of tall. That happens. He’s already gone out as a new baby gift. Apologies for the redundancy in my photos between my blog and Facebook page. I’m behind with my blogging, as usual.

I just got through sewing 50!! of the new 7 inch slug bodies. Next up, they get stuffed, and then detailed. I’m trying so hard to get restocked, but it takes so long. I machine sew the first seam, and then it is all hand sewing from there. That seems crazy sometimes, but I prefer the way it looks. I’ve never been happy with machine-sewn details. I think the hand sewing gives them more character, makes them seem friendlier, and is more personal.

Fleece Hug Me Slugs, plush stuffed animal art toys by Elizabeth RuffingIt gets overwhelming at times, trying to get toys finished in any number. We’ve also been running to doctors’ appointments and more eye surgeries here, and doing rounds of eye drops, which I kept having to get up early to do for my dad. We’ll be starting more for my mom. We have appointments and another surgery this week.

Elizabeth Ruffing napping with catsAs you can see, I curled up in the middle of the kitty pile the other day. The weather has been cold and miserable, but I know, nothing compared to up north. I am relieved when the sun comes out. The drear is getting me down. I feel so sad sometimes. Today was at least warmer, but it went back to gray later.

Orange kitty cat in a wooden houseSantana, our neighbor-cat, finally accepted my invitation to nap in Mr Bear’s house. It has been unused for a year almost. Mr Bear would have wanted his friends to have it. I told Santana this, and he seemed to understand. I put a catnip pouch in there for him, and recycled a few more for the porch.


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