Oliver Bunny wishes you all a happy Thanksgiving, and he wants to know where his dandelion greens are. We have been having at least three days of rain, and I haven’t been outside to hunt for them in the yard yet. We all hope you enjoy your holiday, or partial holiday, if you have to go into work today.
While I was having breakfast this morning, I saw the huge pile of sale flyers on the table, and thought, “I am not participating in this!” I don’t usually participate in the big shopping event that follows the holiday. I often work, work, work, trying to get toys ready for Christmas. One year, my hands were all taped and Band-Aid-ed, from needle punctures, or maybe that was more than one year. I can remember hurting and my fingers and arms being all prickly.
So, I had this crazy idea…I think I will not participate. I won’t change my pace. I will keep working. I am here. I am available. But I’m going to hold steady instead. I am more a tortoise than a hare.
I am sewing and getting orders ready. If any of you would like something, I am still happy to help out. I’m just not going to try to get my toy shop stocked up any sooner than is reasonable. I have lots of Hug Me Slug bodies sewn, as you can see from this photo of Jojo sitting on top of my boxes. I have lots of fabric colors, and I am adding more all the time.
I also decided to reintroduce another size. I will have 7, 8, 9, and 12 inch Hug Me Slugs. Why? I couldn’t decide if I should, and so I thought I would try them all.
Some people get crazy when the holiday season starts, and I don’t want to be one of them. I can remember last-minute semi-frantic shoppers who wanted toys right now, and I tried really hard to do that. I will still do my best for anyone who asks.
I am hanging out here, staying out of the fray. The other day, my mom and I almost got hit by a car. A kid missed us by only four inches I believe, pulling in front of us without even turning his head. I see that every year, as soon as the holidays begin. I want to stay out of it.
In other news, I found out yesterday that we made it to Buzzfeed! I see that site show up on Facebook all the time. I say we, but it was really Henrietta pussy cat here, above. She is number 15 on this 17 Crafty Cats That Will Make Your Heart Purr Buzzfeed post. She is famous. She steals my chair every day now. She was already stealing my chair that I have at the computer, but she has taken to marching into my workroom in the morning, to steal that chair too. Oliver Bunny doesn’t think she should be there, but she doesn’t care.
I am going to sew some slug eyes today, and I will have to fit on that chair with her. She doesn’t make that easy.
This morning, I also decided that I need to try harder to focus on the good and stop taking things other people do or say personally. I actually tell myself this a lot. I always say I am compulsively conscientious, and I try so hard to do right by everyone. I tend to think about other people all the time. That can wear me out. I do my best, and that is all I can do. Most people appreciate that, and I am glad for that. My attention needs to go in that direction. I like to help people and I like to try to help them feel better. Still, I’m not responsible for other people’s happiness, and I don’t want to be down over things I can’t change. Lately, I have been down over things I can’t change, things I know aren’t my fault, which is hard on me.
I would like the sun to come out. It is raining again, and Oliver needs those dandelions. I cater to animals too.
This is one of my pretty kitty assistants, ready for business. She is occupying our stack of shipping boxes that came in recently. We have print mailers, doll boxes, toy boxes. She also likes this vantage point so she can reach over and try to pat the bunny. I discourage this. He doesn’t care to be patted on the behind either, and grunts his disapproval. I gave her a nail trim, to be safe.
I received the nicest email today from a customer. I can’t share it, but sometimes my customers really make my day. They melt my heart, and break my heart at the same time. People send my toys as gifts, often with notes attached. I love seeing people being kind to each other and expressing their love for each other. It touches me and at the same time makes me wish I had that for myself. Maybe someday I will.
I’m being stalked by my neighbor’s cat. The other day, he was at kitchen window, my bedroom window, the back door, and the front, all before breakfast. He is around all the time. I think we have at least three kitty visitors, in addition to this guy’s brethren. I had another at my bedroom window when I woke up this morning. I thought they would stop visiting when Mr Bear passed away, but they keep coming. Maybe he is there in spirit, inviting them.
I’m trying to get myself to go out and be sociable. That is not the easiest thing for me, but I am tired of hiding myself away, in different ways. I need to start doing my artwork again too. That quote about not hiding your light under a bushel keeps coming into my mind. I don’t want to be someone who avoids experiences out of fear or discouragement. Moving to this area has been personally discouraging for me in a lot of ways, but I have to be who I am and pursue what is important to me, even if it means rejection from some. There are people who do appreciate me and what I do, and that means a lot to me. I am thankful for everyone who has supported me. Even if you don’t realize it, every time you reach out to me, share your stories or photos, or purchase something I made, I appreciate it very much. Thank you.
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.
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.