meowy christmas!

it's a white christmas here in chicago! that didn't stop this gal from doing her rounds in the neighborhood, what a nice thick winter coat gemini has. i've seen her coat get super full and puffy during the coldest months, like a raccoon. she's a robust lady! warmest wishes to you from us here in the windy city... may you have peace and plenty. xoxo


nomadic winter wardrobe

i usually don't talk fashion but folks, i waited all year to bust out this combo: red plaid tartan laces in green vintage dr. martens. so what if i look like a nomadic elf. all second hand of course, wool skirt too. just about everything i wear is thifted/ vintage or handmade, except for underwear, socks, bathing suits and exercise clothes- those gotta be new. i love mix and match colors and patterns, and i think that comes through my work too, yes? some winter wardrobe inspiration here:
tibetans living on the "roof of the world" in american chucks.

i am proud to say i haven't worn my (low self-esteem) parka in 2 years! i just don't feel like myself in it. so i figured out a solution: layered clothes with a sweater, lightweight windbreaker and a long wool poncho over everything + hat, gloves, 1-2 scarves. my neighbor saw me bundled up and said i looked like a tibetan (well, i am half chinese). i'm not a wintery person, so this tibetan look i call my "survival" look. my philosophy is, when the weather is drab go the opposite in clothes :)


holiday bears update today!

my first ever... bees! busy helping the elves...
come and see all the new mini bear ornaments today on my web site! part bear, part elf, and a big dose of good times- they are dressed up in their long stocking caps and ready to hang. enjoy!


❆ holiday update tomorrow ❆

surprise!! yes, there will be new creations on my web site tomorrow at 12 noon central (10am pacific/ 11am mtn/ 1pm eastern). there will only be 8 bears so be sure to stop by early! been sewing like crazy and flying by the seat of my pants (on ice, lol) to get these ready to show you. i must say.. they are very adorable and looking a lot better than my hands! ☺


etsy treasury ~ bears!

an etsy treasury dedicated to none other than...bears! sweet n' simple. i like that. curated by elzystudio. my blu bobo epattern is featured. speaking of, i've been meaning to put a new pattern in the shop but just caught up in other projects. a bad case of etsy-neglecty... yet somehow folks are finding me and being so nice to put me in their treasuries! i think it may be sign. i'll try to get that pattern up soon... * have a great saturday *


PFATT Marketplace: spirit bear ornies!

they're baaaack! mini mohair spirit bears... ready to hang just about anywhere you want a little luck and good fortune! or if you prefer to wear your bear, i can put a ribbon in so you can wear as a necklace. see them on PFATT marketplace, special PFATT price: $44 each! whoo-hoo!


god dam! (thomas dam that is)

do my eyes deceive me? a rare vintage Thomas DAM monkey boy troll?!! where have you been all my life? just take a look at those toes. he fits right into that niche of uglycute. but alas, he does not belong to me.. i spied him on eBay and just had to share him with you. judging by the out of con-troll bidding i'm not the only one who's tickled by him. dam monkey boy troll, dam you.

*ps. i just read this in his description: "but is missing his sailor hat and his pants." now that would have been too much!


mini bear ornies!

part mini bear, part elf, part holiday hijinx... my first mini bear ornaments! "snowflake" and "krimson" were made for Collins Gifts Christmas web show, which is happening tonight! i just remembered! (sorry for late notice, frozen brain cells :) xoxo both SOLD

bare branches

a study of trees in winter
california dreaming.
we're heading out west in february for a week to thaw out. i know it's a ways off but i can't wait! every winter i am reminded how crazy i am for living in the midwest. it's 15 degrees outside. yep, i'm insane {*.....*}


etsy ugly cute team

recently i was invited to join etsy ugly cute team. yay, go team! wouldn't that be a great team sweater? ugly cute in big letters with double zeros. i've always liked toys considered "ugly" or slightly grotesque with an annoying cuteness ie: troll dolls, which i was addicted to, big-eyed Keane waifs similar to these vintage paint-by-numbers sad ballerinas i had long ago:
horrible but compelling aren't they? :) and remember these gems:
at the height of my vintage Russ figures collection, god, i must have had about 40 different ones, and a few rare giant ones. this was way before digital cameras, so i never took pics. i had planned to catalog them somehow like a mini museum book. where was flickr then??

so back to my original thought (: i'm flattered that my tiny Bronwyn twins sculpture was included in etsy ugly cute treasury, curated by darkfaerie. check out all the uglycuteness before it expires!


abracadabra bears have arrived (finally!)

cozy new friends for december!
antique winter mini mohair bear
red mohair bear*this luxurious hand dyed red mohair with black tips is one of my faves... i had just enough to squeeze out one more bear. it's a discontinued mohair, so there's no more left!
great news! my november bears have finally arrived at Abracadabra UK shop! as i suspected, the parcel was held up in UK customs (grrrrr!). i breathed a big sigh of relief when i heard the news today. the bears have missed their party cake (banish the thought!) so they're needing a little extra spoiling for all their hardships. could you find it in your heart to spoil a hungry little bear? adopt them over at abracadabra teddies.

"Who will love a little sparrow...

...who's traveled far and cries for rest?" (Simon and Garfunkel "Sparrow")
so you're thinking, what's this? yet another bird post? it just happened that way, i swear! my grandpop was an avid birdwatcher. he took my brother and i birdwatching as kids, and gave us those little red wooden bird calls. maybe a bit of the birdwatching is in my blood.
the first day of december has brought us our first snow. i don't know how these little troopers survive the bitter mid-west winters. but somehow they do...
as the wildflowers roots do. as the evergreens do.
as we will do... with the aid of thick blankets and hot drinks :)
stay warm!


on the wings of the wind

yesterday morning an incredible flock of 33 geese passed over our home. i'm glad to have been looking out the window just at the right time. geese are a common sight in this area yet i am always awe struck by the beauty of their flight. whether it be a single bird or 100.

migrating flockanother flock of a different feather passed by yesterday afternoon. this flock numbered 31 birds. Rob had mentioned he saw what he presumed to be the biggest *flock of seagulls (*no pun on the band intended) the day before. as luck would have it, yesterday he was in the yard and i noticed his gaze fixed upon the sky...
migrating birds november...observing poetry in motion.
migrating birds over chicago
"But you were never made, as I, on the wings of the winds to fly! The eagle said."~ 1911, Will Carleton, poet.
migrating geese midwest i cannot readily identify these aerial friends from my rudimentary knowledge of bird breeds, but seagulls they are not. cranes maybe? they emitted the most gentle and soft pigeon/dove-like cooing, a beautiful and melancholy sound... if you know what birds they are, please do leave a comment and let me know. i was enchanted by them.

winged migration
bon voyage my friends! how i would love to fly away with you.

*thank you Chicago for being the first US city to dim tall building lights to save birds' lives during migration season. to learn more visit Lights Out at Audubon.org and Lights Out Chicago.


slow journey

you may recall i mentioned earlier this month i had sent a group of new bears to abracadabra teddies UK shop. well, they still have not arrived. sadly, they missed their target arrival to be included in the big birthday party november 20th :( i just hope at this point they are safe and warm, and it's just a simple matter of being delayed at customs or something. will keep you posted if i hear anything.
vintage sock monkeythis is norman, a classic "antiqued" sock monkey. he's the last monkey needing a home over at the wonderful Collins Gifts. he's hoping to join your holiday festivities (just keep him away from the egg nog, if you want any left for yourself). need i mention how talented monkeys are at the art of xmas tree decorating? hand him some tinsel and let him do his thang. *reminder, there will be no more monkeys until 2011*!

we are enjoying thanksgiving leftovers tonight... again! and down to that last slice of apple pie. enjoy the rest of black friday weekend!



giving thanks to all creatures and grandma's mushroom gravy

'tis the time of year when kitchens are aglow, the hearth fires warm cold hands and the cup of glögg lifts weary spirits...
when i was a teen, my grandmother would make a special vegetarian mushroom gravy pot just for me. everyone else around the table would end up liking it more than the meat gravy! mushroom gravy is on the menu tomorrow, as it has been for years. i'm making our traditional veggie feast from scratch, using mostly organic ingredients. the main dish is from a fantastic book that i refer to so often that it's falling apart. i highly recommend it:

the feast will be:
  • Nutloaf (from Vegetarian Nights by Bonnie Mandoe)
  • some Tofurkey deli slices, warmed
  • whole cranberry sauce
  • mashed potatoes
  • roasted yams
  • collard or mustard greens
  • corn bread
  • mushroom gravy
  • apple pie
it's pretty simple and healthy! this year it's just the two of us, so they'll be plenty of leftovers. i try to steer away from tofu fake meat, as it's so processed. the fat Tofurkey ball doesn't appeal to me either... don't like the texture. the ultra thin Tofurkey deli slices are great and you can just peel off how many slices you want. there's plenty of protein in nut loaf anyhow. i'd best return to the kitchen where many bowls and pots await...

wishing you all a warm and wonderful thanks+giving. xoxo


secret sale of sorts

getting in the spirit of holiday madness, black friday approaching and all that~ i am having a secret sale on my sock monkeys over at my web site!! no lines, no waiting, or parking spot dueling ;) to snatch one up just send me an email: peng@peng-peng.com.



pfatt marketplace november ellie

PFATT Marketplace update is today! my november offering is an adorable behatted mini elephant *peppermints* named appropriately after his gorgeous red tipped silver mohair on mint green backing. it's a marvelous color combo and *peppermints* shows it off well. he is one of a kind, and offered at a very special PFATT price, see his listing here. SOLD, thank you!


etsy treasury ~ charmed

hey! remember my art prints? i've totally neglected my 2-d art, and my fancy archival ink printer. but i do have some prints ready to go, like my old favorite *the silver squirrel* which is featured in etsy treasury "charmed" -curated by a very talented lady, dawn of laTouchables.

tomorrow is the 10th which = PFATT marketplace november update! check back tomorrow to see what cutie pie will be showcased.

signing off... and heading outside to enjoy this california-esque weather chicago is having! the gods have smiled on us :)


enter the kitty dreamscape

lo-fi cat psychedelic dreamscape music video animated/directed by my best gf/ art college classmate jeanne hospod. tomorrow is her *birthday*!
the ending gets me choked up 'cos it reminds me of my 3 kitties sailing into the afterlife. jeanne also was a 3 cat momma, now she has 2. both are rescues.

equal parts "ghost-rodeo, space-travel, cats, art and enlightenment from the far reaches of austin, tx". sit back and make sure the volume is on. it's a beautiful 4:30 minute ride :)



giant sunflowerour first giant sunflower! i planted about 5 seeds but one dominated the others and took over. the overhead powerlines aren't very picturesque, but it's the city and that's how it is. the squirrels use them quite effectively as aerial bridges. speaking of squirrels...
gray squirrel sunbathingsquirrel on tree
i looked out my window one chilly morning and saw this little guy sunbathing absolutely motionless on the tree trunk for a good long while. enjoy it while you can, right?

feral tabby catwe were graced with another Gemini sighting today. a real close encounter... our back deck! Rob ushered me into the kitchen "hurry hurry, shhhh.... don't scare her away". i said she can't hear us through the thick deck doors ;) it was so comforting to see a kitty nearby while having morning coffee. we miss the company of felines. i couldn't leave the room until she left.

feral tabby cathave a fantastic weekend! hope there's sunshine on ya. xoxo