It's Black Friday, tell me about it!

Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! Whether you were with friends, family, or going it solo, or with a special animal companion(s)~ I hope it was a nice day, with things to be thankful for. Rob and I are so thankful to have our own house, it's been a lot of hard work fixing it up, but it is ours. The kitchen area is undergoing a floor re-do, so it was leftover pizza for us yesterday.. cos you know, sawdust and mushroom gravy really don't go well together. But don't feel too too badly for me... I'll make a nice Tofurky dinner after the floor is installed, which should be by Tuesday. I can't wait. (it's been one year of waiting already, so whats a few more days?)

It's been quite a Black Friday morning. Let's see... where do I begin, perhaps when I left the house at 9am? My truck died a block away from home, en route to my (much needed) aerobics class. I sat for 45 minutes, waiting/ trying to restart to no avail. Thankfully a passer-byer helped push me to a legal parking spot. At least I was able to pass some of that time on the cell catching up with Pam and of course, a few frantic calls to hubby. So I walked back home, cold and defeated. Then, being quite shivery from sitting in the truck in my gym clothes, I dropped a thick glass lid in the bathroom ~ shattering into a million tiny pieces.

My plans to list 2 new bear patterns in my Etsy shop today has been postponed. Reason? My digital camera died! Hence no photos in this posting. I've had the Minolta for a few years, but it began acting weird after Rob and I 'mutually' dropped it during a hand-off at the Chicago Botanic Garden on my birthday. Guess it was just a matter of time 'til it zonked out. So that's the #1 goal this weekend: new digital camera. Hopefully our clunker truck will get us to the store. Sigh.

I may need to crawl back into bed for about 10 minutes, and start the day over. Actually, writing all this out I do feel a little better already :)

Well, time for my first cup of coffee and breakfast! I'm thankful to be safe at home now, my Internet works (how we always take that for granted, right?), the heat works, and neat stacks of freshly hand dyed mohair (what I did yesterday) await to inspire new creations. Can't wait to show you what new things I dream up!

Have a joyful holiday weekend! xoxo


The Squirrel and the Pumpkin, a love story

The Squirrel chronicles continue! (previous squirrely reports here and here) My bestest friend Jeanne is reporting from Austin, Texas:
"...So we put out our many pumpkins, which get soft and fermenty in the Austin heat. The nearby squirrels are greedy, fat, and drunk. There is this one squirrel, who is such a glutton he keeps coming back to the same pumpkin, carving his own design, and eating a substantial amount of fruit and seeds. He comes back to it every few minutes. So now he looks like a mini nerf fur covered football with a head and appendages that don't steer him around very well. I hear Gayla scold him "you have had enough! You are going to get diabetes!!"

I pass him on Gayla's top porch to retrieve something and he's on the pumpkin, and he jumps off with a PLOP and instead of scooting and leaping away, he waddles down the steps, looking anxiously over his shoulder at me as he waddleplops down each step...oh oh plop...oh oh plop....then hangs on a parallel branch like a koala bear until I pass (so he can go back to his pumpkin). I told him "you fat (bleep) fat squirrel...that's pathetic. Hope winter comes soon for you, pal."

Now I found other fat squirrels (not as bad as the Glutton, but getting there) who are fighting over the pumpkin, so Gayla broke it up and put it around the yard so everyone gets some in peace. I think we are enablers." ~Jeanne

After I recovered from laughter, I begged her to send me pics of the Vitamin A-addicted squirrel. She said they have all moved on to "oranger pastures"... but did manage to find these pics taken by her house mate Gayla. Cinnamon and nutmeg anyone?


Tagged, Eats & Weekend Treats

Charlie Chaplin in City Lights: the closing scene of the greatest film of all time.

Hope you had an enjoyable weekend! Mine was pretty good, the most social I've had in a long while. Friday evening I picked up hubby from work downtown (gallery district), actually found a parking spot, and we popped in for the opening reception at Judith Saslow, and a few other galleries. Then treated to the most deeelish vegan dinner at Karyn's Cooked. I love places where I can order anything on the menu, thankfully Chicago has a few of them!
Again we hopped downtown Saturday night for a holiday party that had plenty of red velvet cake and assorted indulgences, while catching up with some friends.

Sunday was all about house projects (well, really every day is more or less), mowing the lawn, falafels, and I made some decent progress cleaning/ organizing/ rearranging my studio (including a good part of Saturday in there too). My enormo fabric stash was completely out-of-control and I'm proud to report it's been neatly tamed and contained. Four-milk-crates-full is my stash limit, what doesn't fit must go. One of these days I will do that studio tour Part II. Promise!

Now, for the tagged part. A few days ago, Mare (fellow Ghandi fan) was nice to mention/ tag me in her blog. Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Ok, 6 random things about me:

I'm half Asian (my mom's side). My mom is deaf, so I was raised learning sign language rather than Chinese. This is a large part of why I appreciate silent films, it is universal~ beyond language barriers. Charlie Chaplin is my favorite actor/ director/ writer. I don't watch TV at all, only DVD's and movies. Even though I don't watch TV anymore, I am sad to see analog broadcasts go.

I'm breaking the rules here with only 5 tagged, cos some I wanted to tag been tagged already! Now it's their turn :)
Pam, Linda, Theresa, Danita, Vivianne

~ 'til next time... xoxo ~


* New! Littlest Ellies looking for homes *

Good November day to you! It brings me joy to introduce these adorable *new smaller size* ellies of the "wide n' squat" variety. Can you believe they only measure just 3 1/2" sitting? For what they lack in height, they sure make up for in width :O) These debut littlest elephants are looking for special forever homes, someone to snuggle up with on a cold chilly eve...
Harlequin Hallie: 3 1/2", hand dyed mohair in 2 fabulous autumny shades, sorta like a blonde and brunette! Hand painted premium glass eyes of shimmery light teal shade, hand dyed felt wool foot pads, jointed limbs, polyfil/ encased steel BB's for perfect feel, and a red lace bow. One of a kind. $215 USD. SOLD

Sweet Lucky: A chubby handful he is! 3 1/2", Hand dyed baby kelly green mohair, hand painted bulbous glass eyes of peach with pale green flecks, hand dyed lavender felt wool pads, jointed limbs, polyfil/ encased steel BB's for just the right feel, and purple lace bow. One of a kind. $215 USD. SOLD

Mr. Apples: Oh, he is a darling! 3 1/2", luscious "Alfonzo Red" mohair with gold backing (gently hand dyed for aged appearance), expressive hand painted glass eyes of green with subtle flecks of peach, white wool felt foot pads, jointed limbs, polyfil/ encased steel BB's for just right weight, plaid cotton tie. One of a kind. $225 USD. SOLD

Tee hee! Mr. Apples, that's me! And who is this lovely mademoiselle?

Harlequin Rose: So very pretty & feminine! 3 1/2", Hand dyed thick luxurious mohair in 2 shades: rose pink and soft gaberdine. Foot pads are hand dyed felt wool of a lovely lime-olivey shade.. all her colors gently harmonizes. Hand painted glass eyes with beautiful flecks of colors. Hand dyed vintage lace bow. Jointed limbs, polyfil w/ encased steel BB's so she has a great feel. One of a kind. $225 USD. SOLD

On behalf of the littlest ellie quartet... thank you for visiting us! xoxo


sore paws

Well, maybe it looks more like a boo-boo to you. Three things I do a lot of (not in any order per say): clean, cook, sew - like most of us, right? How our momma's and Home Ec teachers would be proud! Add cold weather to that equation and my sore hands need a good slathering of Unpetroleum jelly... like, hourly. Today my pinky finally gave out from a good tug of upholstery thread against that dry cracked edge~ I will spare details beyond that.. but thankfully there are Hello Kitty band-aids in the house, as every household should :)


Buddha Bear hearts Pugs

A (publicly belated) Happy Birthday shout-out to my fave twins, and fellow October babies, Melissa and Melanie! Buddha bear "Mr. Pogy" pictured here atop his chunky pin cushion brought them Birthday wishes. Melissa was kind enough to post about her Pengy's, and some recent fab Etsy scores on her blog Pug Notes (thanks girl!). Melissa is always so creative and prolific~ I swear, I can't keep up with her! The secret must be to have a little pug to chase you around all day. Check out her Etsy for the likes of these cute-as-can-be pug doll ornaments.

And on that (pug) note... have a nice evening!


Free Goodies!

I'm just so happy today! Chicagoans are abuzz, as many around the world are. To celebrate our new beginning, I bring you 6 *free* desktop images available in 3 different screen sizes! Nab them at my web site's newly created GOODIES page.

Hope you like 'em & that they brighten up your day! Happy downloading!


A Magic Mushroom Ride Awaits...

*Big hugs* to everyone who adopted kitties and/ or Buddha bears from my web site update last week! Your orders have been shipped out and hopefully have reached your homes safely by now. There are still a few lonely kitties and Buddha bears, waiting for that special forever home! Please do stop by and visit them~ if you have a little bit of space and a big heart, they'd be ever so glad to ride their *magic mushroom caps* to your doorstep :)

And speaking of... thanks for your lovely responses about my new *Magic Mushroom Cap* cushions! I've been meaning for a long time to come up with something "foresty" for my Buddha's to rest their plumpness on. And I think these mushroom caps do the trick! They also work well as a jewelry cushion too, so I discovered :O) Multitasking, reversible little cushions they are...
At the moment, these cushions are not available separately. They were designed for each particular bear/ cat in mind.. and made to measure so they sit just right.

Boy, it's time to be thinking of Christmas season already! I have loads of neat projects I'm working on to keep my paws busy, and great things to share with you soon. Hope to have some new bear patterns any day now in my Etsy shop! fun times ahead!

Enjoy your Sunday! xoxo


Dear Studs, We Are Listening

Known as a master interviewer, Terkel was able to establish an easy rapport with just about anyone. His secret, he once said, was simple: "It's listening."

Studs Terkel~ May 16, 1912-October 31, 2008. A master chronicler of American 20th century life, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, spirited radio-show host, oral historian, veteran radical and the pulse & soul of Chicago, has died at 96. Yet all these glowing descriptions still don't convey how profound a man he was.
As the late CBS newsman Charles Kuralt once said: "When Studs Terkel listens, everybody talks."

What can I say here...I love Studs Terkel. My husband and I are friends with a family who by chance, became Studs' next door neighbors. I would say half joking (and a little more than half serious), "So when are you having us over for dinner with Studs?" Now that would have been a night to remember.

Listening to Studs' radio shows never fail to stir up my emotions, to make me think, to feel how that we as humans - from all walks of life- are irrevocably connected... and frequently left me without a dry eye. I've never heard Bob Dylan open up to anyone the way he did with Studs in 1963 (listen here). How fortunate we all are to have shared time on this planet with such an remarkable individual.
Chicago misses you, the world misses you. Thank you for leaving an incredible legacy. And because of you Studs, we will be listening.

Hear downloads of his Conversations With America at Studs Terkel official web site