Happy New Year!

"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning."
~T.S. Eliot

I'll toast to that! Wishing you the best New Year and beyond :)


Childhood Winters

My dad rescued deteriorating early slides of our family and scanned them into digital files. Hallelujah! He made me a copy of all the pics when we visited him this month. There were some hilarious and if I may say so adorable vintage-Peng Peng gems. I promise to post a few for ya later ;) These pics span the 70's. Yep, that's me, in my tomboy phase and pre-teen dental braces, holding my cherished Dakins.

Oh, and my pet chicken was simply named "Chicken". Thought you'd like that ;)


Winter Wonderland

We certainly had the white Christmas! Hope yours was a magical one. Today brought more snow; the light, fluffy, powdered sugar snow that's a breeze to shovel and fun to walk in. It was good to get out of the house for a short walk this afternoon, down the peacefully deserted bike path. When we got home, guess who I saw dashing through the snow? Gemini the feral cat! I was wondering how she was faring. Apparently she's doing just fine this winter. And I hope you are too! :)


Mr. Ashe and Snowflake

Can you guess who is who? Mr. Ashe and Snowflake are NEW one of a kinds available on my web site today! These be the last little bears before Christmas, but their love shines all year round. Update: they are both SOLD, thank you! Accepting special orders, please inquire.

The skies have given us even more snow today! It will be a white Christmas indeed, and hope it is magical where you are too :)


2 New Bears 2morrow!

I wanted to take pics today, but the sun seems to be setting at 4pm! So tomorrow I'll have the 2 new little bears posted on my web site and send ya'll an email when that happens. They are both one of a kinds, in the new smaller style of this fella who had many requests:
Counting down the hours til we can pop the cork on the Glögg! *Happy Holidays*


Home Again

Well... this tranquil setting is not my home (i wish), but my sister in-laws historic 1700's home in Connecticut. We are safely back in Chicago after a week long road trip visiting our families in PA and CT. I've got loads of catching up to do and pictures to sort through... all to be shared with you soon!

Just wanted to pop in and say "hi" and let you know I'm still breathing :) It's good to get away and good to be back~ and missed being here with you on my blog, a little "home" of sorts.

Oh, BTW... Gemini the feral cat is a girlie! Her post-op recovery indoors went well and I released her back outside the day before we left town. She was very anxious to be free again and bolted right out of the trap, trotted down the alley and disappeared through a fence to her cat-quarters. That makes the last TNR for the season until spring!

Enjoy your Friday :)


New Bears Today

Today is the day! There are still some sweeties to be snatched up from my Holiday web site update:Bigelow, Limited ed of 3
Little Blue Boots, one of a kinds

Candice Cane, one of a kind.

Dear Mr. Meepers (from my personal collection), featured in Teddy Bear & Friends.

♥ 0 ♥ 0 ♥ 0 ♥ 0 ♥


Gemini of my Eye

This morning, I saw Tiger Mama Junior in my yard... she ran when I was taking out the trash, but returned once I went inside the house. I could not resist the golden opportunity to TNR this cat... I've had my eye on her since summer!! She's out of the bitter cold at least, in her covered trap in a vacant heated room upstairs. We'll have her spayed (or neutered if She is a He)/vaccinated tomorrow at the PAWS clinic with funds donated by concerned neighbors, with transport help by my TNR partner/neighbor Kim. It will be an Early (early with a capital E) morning tomorrow for Rob and I, since the clinic opens at 7am and apparently a very long wait line forms before opening!

Since she's my 3rd cat to TNR, I think the name Gemini is fitting, the 3rd sign of the zodiac. Formerly I referred to her as Tiger Mama Junior, cos she's a smaller version of the Tiger Mama I saw pregnant in my yard.

All this happening right before my web update Monday and our trip out of town! But of course!

Gemini is a feral/ unsocialized cat.. she doesn't vocalize and avoids eye contact. However she is being very polite considering how frightened she must be. She bears a great resemblance to Una don't you think?

What else could i do?? Look at the sweet cat! Now s/he will be vaccinated and neutered. That's one less kitty making babies!! Horray for that :)

Now time for me to get back to sewing!! Enjoy your Saturday.


Small Magazine | Winter 09

As I'm preparing for my big web site Holiday Update on Monday Dec 7th, I was pleasantly surprised to discover my bear "Hershey" featured in Small Magazine, Winter 09 issue! If you're unfamiliar with Small, it's a really fresh + cool on-line children's magazine. Thanks to Nicole of Astulabee (her amazing woodland creature is also featured), for giving me the good news via Facebook. BTW, feel free to join the fun on my Facebook page (see sidebar). I post little tidbits there regularly :)
Good news! For Monday's update, I will have 2 "Hershey" style bears (sneak peek above) each is one-of-a-kind in new smaller sizes! Weeeee!

We've got crunchy snow here in Chicago today. Thankfully my studio is warm and there are rations of hot cocoa :) Happy Friday!


Holiday Update Announcement!

* Ho Ho Ho! Christmas is almost here!*

I'm excited to announce my Holiday Update will be happening:

Monday, December 7th

*1pm Central (11am Pacific/ 12pm Mountain/ 2pm Eastern) Please note the update time is 1pm Central, instead of my usual 12 noon!

On my web site, peng-peng.com.

There will be jolly round-headed google-eyed bears, new smaller sized bears, traditional antiqued minis, and a very special Buddha Bear from my own collection! So fasten your seat belts, or shall I say sled-belts! This will be quite a ride!

FYI: I will be out of the studio from Dec 9th til 15th or 16th, visiting family back east! So orders will be shipped Dec 8th, and of course when I return.. which still allows ample shipping time before Christmas :)

Any questions, feel free to email me


Well Rounded (heads that is)

On my table today (and last night): Round-headed bears~ works in progress. You are witnessing the birth of googley-eyed, grinning cuties! Just wanted to give you a peek.. now back to our regular programming (sound of sewing machine running).

Happy 1st day of December!


Three's Company

How was your Thanksgiving weekend? Ours was all about delicious leftovers... and er, drywall compound since Rob was diligently working away in our soon-to-be-finished breakfast room! I baked an apple pie yesterday (since the chocolate chip cookies ran out ;) and it made the house smell so cozy in that holiday sort of way.

On my studio table this morning are works in progress of 3 little black bears. They'll be part of my big December Holiday update! I've sketched out some pretty ambitious plans, so with some luck and elbow grease, I'll have everything ready by early December! (um, which starts tomorrow, wow!). Stay tuned for more sneak peeks as things progress.

Happy Monday!


Farewell Frankie, Hello Bootsy

One final belly-rub....

and a snuggle kiss...

before saying farewell last night to the-Cat-formerly-known-as-Frankie, renamed Bootsy.

There were inevitable tears and hugs as I handed Bootsy over to his new parents, and seeing them again reassured me that I couldn't have wished for better people or a better home.
So *Thank You* Allison + Jason for adopting this wonderful cat! What a special Thanksgiving it will be :)

Now to turn my attention to the cookery!

We will be celebrating life with my traditional homemade veggie feast:

"Nutloaf" (substitute with almonds since I'm allergic to tree nuts)
Tofurkey deli slices (heated and topped with the Nutloaf)
garlic mashed potatoes
whole cranberry sauce
sweet yams
green bean casserole
mushroom gravy
mixed green salad
apple pie
(hope I didn't leave anything out?)

The nice thing is, after all this cooking is done I can relax and have leftovers the next day (or so)!

♥ May your Thanksgiving be filled with warmth, love, and things to be thankful for. ♥
thinking of you all, xoxo


A Non-Cat Related Post

ahhhh...T'was like a second spring this weekend. Windows opened, nature walks (these pics we took last night), some yard work... I recall this time last year I was shoveling snow! It's kinda weird to see my lovely blue flax and wildflowers still in bloom. Today I sprinkled some leftover wildflower seeds in the yard, might as well see what happens!

Gotta head out to Whole Foods, then settle in to watch the last half of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), starring a VERY young Angela Lansbury.

Hope you had a nice weekend!


A Month To Be Thankful

Great news! Frankie has found a loving forever home!!

Thanks to networking on Facebook with friends (and friends of friends), my goal of finding him the purrfect home before Thanksgiving was achieved. Thank you Facebook! (see, it's not always a waste of time ;o)

I have the pleasure of fostering Frankie 'til next week, allowing the new parents time to prepare their home for this amazing cat. I'm relieved, thankful, happy, and yes, sad. It will be bittersweet to say good-bye to Frankie: I will miss his 11 lb hugs, his big paw squeezes around my finger, cat kiss licks on my nose (and face, hand, arm), his excited meows when I open the door, our obstacle-course play sessions chasing toys, seeing his silhouette behind the window curtain at night, and without saying.. his bluer than blue eyes. As any foster parent will attest, it's very hard not to become attached, it's even hard for me to write this. But I remind myself that I set out to help as many cats as possible, to prevent more kittens being born as healthy animals are euthanized every day waiting for homes in shelters or at animal control.

Finding Frankie, or Frankie finding me, has brought joy and light and spirit into my heart and home. Cats have a special way of doing that :) It's a blessing to bring Frankie and his new parents together- to share life and that deep, unique bond that forms with furry companions. To be even a small part of Frankie's life, and he in mine, is something I will always cherish.

November, I am thankful.


oh Frankie, Frankie, Frankie

Just look at this! It's Frankie's front paw, y'all! A big kitty mitt! We are still trying to find a permanent home for this big lovebug boy. Hoped it wouldn't be this difficult. The longer he stays here, the harder it is on my heart. A neighbor just popped by this morning with her baby and little boy.. Frankie did well with the kids! He was mellow and curious. One of the things nagging at my brain asks "who did such a wonderful job socializing this cat?" yet (a big "yet") neglected to put a collar/ID on him (if being let outdoors) and failed or procrastinated to neuter him (yet still let him outdoors, or he escaped in frustration, who knows).

The #1 reason why cats and dogs stray is when they're not spayed/ neutered... they can't resist the urge to mate. I keep wondering who the previous owners are, wondering why there are NO lost cat flyers posted looking for him in this area, wondering if he was just abandoned, or if he got disoriented from roaming too far and just got lost. He was in very good shape when he walked into my humane-trap.. clear eyes, good coat, good weight.. just hungry and needy! Who knows how long he's been on the streets. If he lives nearby.. why is no one looking for him? I'd be frantic if it were my own cat missing.

Aside from the who, when, what, where's and why's.. I need to focus on finding him a permanent loving home. And before you go asking me (like I've already heard the umpteenth time) "why don't you keep him?" we simply aren't ready to commit to the long-term care of a cat. Not so long ago, a chapter closed in my life.. a 15 year long chapter- taking care of my beloved 3 cats til the very end. When I commit to caring for an animal, it's for life. I'm just not prepared for "round 2" yet. And that's just not fair to Frankie- he deserves a forever home with someone(s) who is ready to bond and love this guy til the end. I'm working hard to make that happen for this special guy, and wouldn't be so anxiety ridden about it if I could go the easy route and just keep him. So lets all pray and send good vibes for Frankie to be adopted before Thanksgiving!

Though I'm loving Frankie's company, it hasn't been an easy past few days on the emotions and I needed to vent/ think out loud... I'll talk to anyone who will listen, so thanks for listening!



A Spoonful of Pumpkinman

♪ ♫ Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin-man. A pumpkin is sweeter if he's dressed in plaid! ♪ ♫

Revisiting an olde favorite- my round-headed interpretation of the famous Master Ted circa 1915!
Mini Master Pumpkinman is available for adoption today on my web site. Hurry on over to scoop up this one-of-a-kind sweetie!
UPDATE: he is SOLD, thank you!


Luck be a Lady...

I think Frankie Sinatra Junior Lovebug is part raccoon, part teddy bear, part snugglebug all balled up into a large mocha cappuccino topped off with whipped cream, dusted with nutmeg and cinnamon sugar. And a generous square of dense fudge brownie on the side. Yes, he is that sweet!

Here he is this morning, just so you can see his yummy coloring. Back of ears are deep chocolate blending into cream, then light brown to dark brown tabby stripes. My neighbor who first spotted him thought he was a raccoon, but then saw those baby blue eyes. His belly is marshmallow white and he loves to have it rubbed!

Frankie has got it all: personality, good looks, gentle disposition. The only thing he's missing is a loving forever home :( Fingers and paws crossed that by Thanksgiving he's settling into a cozy warm home for the holidays. Frankie hopes that "luck be a lady" and will make his dreams come true!

*If you are in Chicago area, and would like to give Frankie a home, send me an e-mail for details.


Frankie Sinatra Junior Lovebug Needs a Loving Home

CHICAGOLAND AREA: Fabulous Cat for adoption!

Frankie: a husky, healthy 11 pound neutered male, Siamese/ Tabby short hair mix, Approx age 1+ year.

We first saw poor Frankie wandering around the alley nibbling on an old piece of bread off a garbage can. We knew this guy deserved better, so we took him to Tree House cat clinic for neutering and now he's being fostered by us. (Unlike feral Miss Una, Frankie is a socialized stray, not a feral cat). He's ready for a loving home today!

Frankie is a STUNNING unique mix of Siamese cream/mocha and brown tabby stripes. He has gorgeous BLUE eyes (hence the name), ever so slightly crossed that gives him loads of character! He's understandably a bit frightened from the recent changes in his life, yet remains a VERY tame, gentle, curious and affectionate boy. Frankie loves to flop over for belly rubs, enjoys being pet just about anywhere, even let me hold his paws while spooning :) He will make a fabulous companion when he can relax in a permanent forever home.

Vaccines: 1 yr rabies/ FVRCP (feline distemper)/ microchipped.

Frankie just needs a place to snuggle with you, good food and a warm bed. Maybe there's enough room in your heart for this loving devoted fella?

Please contact me by e-mail to schedule a time to meet Frankie. Hurry! Frankie is waiting for you!


Monkeying Around November 10th!

I faintly recall my bedroom door creaking in the middle of the night, then the barely audible tip toe of small soft feet. And as I drifted off into slumber I remember a voice, a small giggly voice, whispering "bananaaaaas, ba-na-naaaaas". Then I had dreamed about baking delicious banana bread, the kind with chocolate chips in the batter. When I awoke, a curious little sock hat was laying on the floor next to my bed, and my Moosewood cookbook opened to page 193: recipe for banana bread! Hmmmm... I suspect a little monkey high jinx is going on here!

Well, before I head off to the store to procure ingredients for banana bread, I wanted to announce that 3 NEW hand-dyed Sock Monkeys will be marking my debut on PFATT Marketplace November 10th! I'm excited and honored to have a virtual "sales booth" on PFATT Marketplace, in the good company of so many talented artists. What does this mean exactly for you? It means NEW creations on the 10th of every month, in addition to my own web site updates! How fun is that? And ordering is simple, just send me an e-mail as usual.

FYI, there are 2 PFATT's but both are (sorta) unrelated and separate entities. There's the eBay PFATT group (Primitive Folk Art Tea and Talk) and PFATT Marketplace (Primitive Folk Art Trinkets and Treasures Marketplace). I'm a new member of both :)

So get ready for One of a kind, loved and worn Antiqued Sock Monkeys next Tuesday!

Have a fabulous day ^_^


Leave the Leaves

(Rake vs. Leaf Blower)
How I've seen many an individual chasing a few blades of grass or stray leaves with this gas-powered monster. Drives me nuts! 4 Reasons Not to Use a Leaf Blower

If you've been following my Facebook posts (and I hope you are!), you know I've been advocating SAVING YER LEAVES!! Let 'em sit in a pile for 2 years to decompose into leaf mold, a valuable soil builder, use them as a rich fertilizer for your gardens and plants, layer dried leaves with food clippings in your compost bin (especially in winter, when there aren't any more leaves!), use them as a fine & fragrant dark mulch around your flower bed. Leaves contain the most nutrients from the tree, so why waste 'em? Pass this info along to a friend or neighbor, next year they won't have to buy fertilizer :O)


Beard and Tea

What better way to begin the first day of November than with beards and tea? Dear Mr. Gray likes his tea black, and Uncle Bluey likes his with a splash of rice milk. Two orders of cinnamon toast, comin' up!

New projects are already underfoot on this sunny morning. Packing orders, sewing, and a bit of detoxifying after all that chocolate from last night. Did I really need a(nother) Reese's cup at 9:30pm? What the hey, Halloween happens only once a year after all :)

Hope you had a sweet Halloween and enjoyed the extra hour of sleep. Have a relaxing Sunday!


Happy All Hallow's Eve!

The kiddies will soon be parading the neighborhood in their colorful costumes, eagerly filling their sacks with chocolates and candies! Last night we picked up a few bags of Hershey's miniatures, and I'm restraining myself from eating any more Krackel bars (2 so far, maybe 3 by the end of this post). I just want these darn chocolates out of my sight already! On a side note, I had no luck trapping feral cats last night, with the crazy wind/post-rain storm. Will try again next week, hopefully we'll have milder weather.

Halloween Hugs to everyone, and an extra squeeze to those who adopted bears and necklaces from yesterdays update! Thank you so much! There are still some wonderful bears needing homes, so do take a look :)

And to close this last post of October-is-Cat-Month:
"You will always be lucky if you know how to make friends with strange cats." - Colonial proverb
p.s. Remember to set your clocks back an hour tonight :)


Sweet Temptations Today!

Come see all the sweet little temptations on my web site today! This group was so fun to create so I hope you love 'em! The Bearded Buddha bears just give me a chuckle...my first bearded bear appeared in Teddy Bears of Witney catalog a few years ago and the edition sold out. These new bearded bears are smaller and quite delightful!

Enjoy! And * H a P p Y * H a L L o W e e N * !!!