buzzin' fly

(title of this post is a Tim Buckley reference :)
some buzzin' buddies in our garden. it's so rewarding to give the birds n' bees a natural source of food/ habitat. i see bird fights all the time at the neighbors bird feeder, which BTW is attracting the elusive orange feral cat to their yard instead of mine. bright yellow finches visit our wildflower patch every day, nibbling on seedheads of dying back flowers.. so i leave half dying flowers for them and cut the others to rebloom for the insects. a happy balance.

indoors- this week i've battled a 2 day invasion of the ants in the kitchen. we had heavy storms which always makes them come indoors. but it was better than a flooded basement like my neighbor had. after a half dozen natural repellent attempts (vinegar, cinnamon, peppermint oil, bay leaves) i had to resort to the deadly black ant traps which worked in conjunction with the natural remedies. so sad to watch the hard working ants carrying away the poison, i always feel like a murderer! a good repellent is a wad of cotton with a few drops of peppermint essential oil/ orange and or lemon oil stuffed in the hole where the ants come in- smells nice too.

so finally after regaining control of my kitchen, i could get back to working on bears for abracadabra. the plan was to have them there before end of this month (oh, that's in 3 days!). so i'm doing what i caaaann! after that, it's all about Hugglets festival. i need to order business cards and supplies, and waiting on my passport. i can't believe it's only about a month away.
so i best be gettin' busy like a bee... xoxo



"i want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy...

snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty...

oily, greasy, fleecy
shining, gleaming, streaming...

flaxen, waxen
knotted, polka-dotted...

twisted, beaded, braided
powdered, flowered, and confettied...

bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!" (note the lollipops as hair accessory)

can i be a girl and talk about hair? i have a hair fantasy to have dreadlocks. the thin ones. leaving the front loose and romantic like the first 2 photos. i'm thinking why not try it for a year and if it sucks i'll just get a haircut. maybe after our september Hugglets UK/ Rome trip i will go for it (near my october birthday, home base hair maintenance ). i wouldn't want to meet collectors with a hair experiment gone wrong, lol! meantime, i leave the dreadlocks to my sock monkeys :)

hope your summer is going wonderful.


"Captain, she can't take any more."

  • Wednesday, Clear HI 100°
    LO 79°
    Illinois EPA has declared Wednesday an Air Pollution Action Day. Sunny, hazy, becoming intensely hot and humid. Southwest winds strengthen to 12 to 24 mph. Some 25+ mph gusts in the afternoon. Temps may reach 100 degrees at the city's official observation station for the first time in 6 years. Afternoon heat index reaches the dangerous 106 to 114 range. Fair at night, oppressively warm and humid.
chicago is experiencing week 2 of consecutive 100 degree temps, and it looks like heat wave will continue til monday. after 4 years of living without an AC (aside from my studio) we finally broke down and bought a window unit for the bedroom last night. what a luxury! i've been staying indoors and keeping a vigil over the veggie garden.. watering the tomato plants up to 3x a day and shade covering the lettuces. i can't believe people are jogging in this weather! stay hydrated and take an umbrella for shade when walking. xoxo


inside out

kent rogowski's bears. these made me say "why didn't i think of this?!" it's too good. and i bet you are tempted as i am to turn a manufactured bear inside out... revealing all the innards never meant to be seen. check out rogowski's amazing puzzles too.

i'm heading out to apply for my passport for Hugglets. have a great weekend!


new sock monkeys today!

tie dyed sock monkey chinese jacket

mustache sock monkey
uncle sam sox monkeys id=here's just a sampling of the new sock monkeys posted on my web site tonight! there are 11 monkeys total, including my first ever sock giraffe!



sock monkey countdown!

vintage retro sixties flower power fabricthis is one of my favorites from my stash- vintage flower power medium-weight cotton fabric, in unusual black background! for a long time i didn't have the heart to cut it up, but there was a certain sock monkey it was just perfect for. luckily, i had just enough fabric to make the whole outfit. it was meant to be!

sock monkeys wipthere will be some pretties and fancies for tomorrows big update at 7pm central!

skinny pantsthese belong in the *extra slim* section of the monkey wardrobe. when i have the little collared shirts and pants on on the ironing board, it gives me a chuckle. we hope the monkeys bring you many chuckles tomorrow! they are very excited to meet you too!

for those just tuning in: *the sock monkey update* is happening on my web site tomorrow, july 10 at 7pm central.


sock monkey update july 10!

sock monkeys comingExcitement! The Sock Monkey update is happening July 10 at 7pm Central (5pm Pacific/ 6pm Mtn/ 8pm Eastern)!!

International friends, click here for time conversion.

*My Sock Monkey updates only happen a few times a year, so please note: rather than my usual noon time listing, I am doing a SUNDAY EVENING listing to try to accommodate everyone :) i've already got the sock monkey jitters!

vintage style red heel sock monkeysyour sneak peeks for today


uncle sam vs nelson

every sock monkey lover is familiar with the legendary nelson-rockford red heel socks. however, from time to time "alternative" socks were also used: argyle, solid colored, striped, or white-heeled. even nelson made a white heeled sock (i used their mini socks to make my mini monkeys)

well, a few years ago i stumbled upon a RARE supply of vintage "uncle sam sox" (i estimate circa 1950's). unused and still with the tags! i have not seen the likes of them since, nor anything ever written about them. so i will talk a little bit about these lovely socks here.

as you can see they are similar brown knit as the classic nelson socks, but white heeled. what yesteryear folks would do is applique felt lips or embroider a red smile (as i did here for my rockford mini monkey):

uncle sam sox are *fine hosiery*, rather than the industrious work sock like nelson. that means a thinner, finer weave yet very soft. it was a lot more challenging to stuff with rags (avoiding a crumpled, pointy looking surface) but i solved that with a secret technique :)

bonus is the cool blue printing on one toe, and the size printed on the heel!

uncle sam sox and nelson socks are:
  • made here in the USA.
  • made of all cotton with a some nylon in heel + toe.
  • make a darn fine monkey!
as i mentioned earlier, my uncle sam sox supply is quite limited so there will be only two uncle sam sock monkeys in my upcoming update!


two for tuesday

sock monkeys in studio
tie dyed vintage sock monkeytwo sneak peeks today! the monkeys are lining up nicely, awaiting ears and faces. check back again for more daily sneak peeks throughout the week :) now back to sewing...


new *american stick bear* today!

american mohair stick bear

happy 4th! as promised here is my new bear "pinwheel". she's an *american stick bear* in hand tie dyed red/ blue mohair on gray cotton backing. i just love the way she turned out after trimming, plucking, and ageing... she was just a faceless fluff ball the other day (see previous post). pinwheel is available for immediate adoption on my web site today!

have a sparkling and safe 4th of july! xoxo


she's got legs

sock monkey makehi! we've been home a week now from our trip out east visiting family. i did my yearly thrifting with my mom which i always eagerly look forward to. PA still has the best thrifts, the ones we went to even had dressing rooms! our garden has doubled in size while away, so i'm busy tending to the plants and, many new pieces in the studio!

tie dye sock monkey vintage sockslegs, arms and tails are stuffed. today's goal is to stuff all the monkey bodies and this little bear...

mohair stick bearan *american stick bear* in red/ silver/ blue tie dye mohair! right now she looks like a ball of fur but i'm excited to see how she will look--- to be completed by 4th of July ;o)