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"TraVeL ThRouGh ThE LaNd Of “Soft in the Head”
...the home of “Singing and Dancing Mice & Humorous Frogs!”.

Where “Original Designs” of patterns and soft sculpture characters come to life..…

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For Patterns check out the...."Soft in the Head" site
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Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before "breakfast". Lewis Carroll
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For Finished Characters: Click Here

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Halloween and Vine and Family"

"Coming Full Circle, A New Adventure"
"Soft in the Head"
Before you even begin to start reading I must warn you this post is going to be long because like my new adventure to Petaluma and Halloween and Vine life opened many incredible doors on this journey.  I not only was a part of long time
established Halloween extravaganza I got to see and hug long time friends and family that I have never met in person or been away from for 10 or more years.  This trip was more than business it was life changing.

Sharon Stevens
It was magical to put faces and personalities with long time  online friends.  I got to be right next to Sharon Stevens who I have known since getting in this business 20+ years ago.  We got teary when we met....not to mention meeting David
David Everett
Everett who I have known since the days of Crow Soup and he was doing soft sculpture, yep soft sculpture!  Watching David over the years grow with "Chicken
"Chicken Lips"
Lips" and become the amazing artist that he is now brought a few tears of pride to my eyes.  Fame has not changed him one bit he is the sweetest and kindest man and that can even be said for Marty his partner, adored

them both!  The best part of doing this caliper of show is the camaraderie among the artists that comes alive.  We all have similar history and when we come together in a
Edgar and Edgar
venue like this it is like reading a manuscript...a manuscript filled with imagination, magic and success!   I do apologize that I do not have more
LuLu Lancaster
pictures....Dan and I were so tired and over worked we simply forgot to take any until it got so busy we couldn't, but we did manage a few.   


LuLu Lancaster
Another highlight I had was meeting LuLu Lancaster....I have to admit I was a bit giddy cause I just adore her  work.  Her little people/dolls always make me smile.  After meeting her I can see why they have the
Jorge de Rojas
personality that they do, she, herself, is quite adorable.  I also met another one of my all time favorite artists/people and that is Jorge de Rojas.  I didn't catch Jorge before the show to get a picture of the two of us and you couldn't get near his table after
LOVE "Zombienose"
the show started.  He is just as sweet and cute as I thought he would be.


Halloween and Vine was completely different from what I was use to.  My sales were not what I was hoping they would be but then again I was the new kid and art shows like this are all about collectors and collectors are built over a period of time.  I did, however,  surprise many and was received with the smiles and giggles that "Soft in the Head" is known for and have quite a few NEW collectors that will definitely be looking for us next year.    

Speaking of collectors I had one of the best experiences ever, I had one of my favorite collectors drive from New York to see us and she even gave me the gift of a lifetime, a "David Everett" original.  Shelly and Wayne Wilson are
two of the sweetest people and to see their faces definitely tugged at my heartstrings.  I wish we could of had more time together....I miss them so much!  Shelly had Wayne wait in line to get my gift, one I will treasure always.  David does NOT sell early to anyone his collectors are important and since they are the ones waiting in line they come first....really admire his integrity!

I can't say enough about this wonderful experience and all the people involved putting this iconic show together.  It has the feel of the old time craft shows we all grew up with but within its walls it holds the imagination and skills of amazing artists that put pieces of their hearts and soul into each piece of their work.  It reminds me a bit of a magical "Portobello Road" for Halloween.  A huge thank you to Stephanie, Kerry and Kimberlee!  I hope that I will get the opportunity to return!  It was a wonderful experience!

Part of our trip to Petaluma also included seeing and staying with family in Napa, Ca.  It has been almost 11 years since I have seen many of our family and this was such an exciting time.  Dan

and I got a wee bit nostalgic as we drove past Mt. Shasta as we remembered our time living there, one of the best times ever!  The morning of
"Halloween and Vine" we were greeted with the flight of hot air balloons over Napa which is pretty common and always exciting to see.  After the show ended it was time for the family gathering.  There is nothing better than a "Gracia" family get together...it is
"Annie"
HUGE, loud and crazy!  This time my long time best buddy Annmarie got to join in the fun too along with Rennie.  I hadn't seen Annmarie in 10 years but it seemed like no time at all had passed.  Food was everywhere, generations of Gracia's were everywhere,
Our niece Ally, her son Jace and Dan
there was laughter, stories and hugs a plenty!  Best part about this family is the word family!  I never had that growing up so I thank the "powers that be" every day that I have it in my adult life cause
Our niece Elizabeth "Bits" and her sons
there is nothing better!  To see the family grow and thrive with love and respect the way this one has can only strengthen ones beliefs about what is truly important in life.   I have been a part of this extraordinary family for 44

Dan's Mom, Grandma Deenie
years now and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not grateful.  To see Dan's mom the "Matriarch" herself, brought tears to my eyes.  The family lost the oldest sib last month, Tom was there though I felt his presence everywhere I looked.  Whether it was in the faces of his kids or grandkids he seemed to be there smiling and enjoying the laughter and spirit of the night with all of us.  I also felt Dan's father who left us in 1989 and Kathleen's (Dan's sister) husband Ken who left us 6 years ago.  Family never leaves in just continues in the faces around us and the memories we carry in our hearts.  I have a saying about my husbands family that sums it all up "you cut one they all bleed"...Family is everything!  Thank you to everyone that helped to make this trip so memorable...especially my loving and amazing husband Dan and my dear, dear friend Rennie for coming along and putting up with us!  

"Halloween and Vine and Family"

"Coming Full Circle, A New Adventure"
"Soft in the Head"
Before you even begin to start reading I must warn you this post is going to be long because like my new adventure to Petaluma and Halloween and Vine life opened many incredible doors on this journey.  I not only was a part of long time
established Halloween extravaganza I got to see and hug long time friends and family that I have never met in person or been away from for 10 or more years.  This trip was more than business it was life changing.

Sharon Stevens
It was magical to put faces and personalities with long time  online friends.  I got to be right next to Sharon Stevens who I have known since getting in this business 20+ years ago.  We got teary when we met....not to mention meeting David
David Everett
Everett who I have known since the days of Crow Soup and he was doing soft sculpture, yep soft sculpture!  Watching David over the years grow with "Chicken
"Chicken Lips"
Lips" and become the amazing artist that he is now brought a few tears of pride to my eyes.  Fame has not changed him one bit he is the sweetest and kindest man and that can even be said for Marty his partner, adored

them both!  The best part of doing this caliper of show is the camaraderie among artists that comes alive.  We all have similar history and when we come together in a
Edgar and Edgar
venue like this it is like reading a manuscript...a manuscript filled with imagination, magic and success!   I do apologize that I do not have more
LuLu Lancaster
pictures....Dan and I were so tired and over worked we simply forgot to take any until it got so busy we couldn't, but we did manage a few.   


LuLu Lancaster
Another highlight I had was meeting LuLu Lancaster....I have to admit I was a bit giddy cause I just adore her  work.  Her little people/dolls always make me smile.  After meeting her I can see why they have the
Jorge de Rojas
personality that they do, she, herself, is quite adorable.  I also met another one of my all time favorite artists/people and that is Jorge de Rojas.  I didn't catch Jorge before the show to get a picture of the two of us and you couldn't get near his table after
LOVE "Zombienose"
the show started.  He is just as sweet and cute as I thought he would be.


Halloween and Vine was completely different from what I was use to.  My sales were not what I was hoping they would be but then again I was the new kid and art shows like this are all about collectors and collectors are built over a period of time.  I did, however,  surprise many and was received with the smiles and giggles that "Soft in the Head" is known for and have quite a few NEW collectors that will definitely be looking for us next year.    

Speaking of collectors I had one of the best experiences ever , I had one of my favorite collectors drive from New York to see us and she even gave me the gift of a lifetime, a "David Everett" original.  Shelly and Wayne Wilson are
two of the sweetest people and to see their faces definitely tugged at my heartstrings.  I wish we could of had more time together....I miss them so much!  Shelly had Wayne wait in line to get my gift, one I will treasure always.  David does NOT sell early to anyone his collectors are important and since they are the ones waiting in line they come first....really admire his integrity!

I can't say enough about this wonderful experience and all the people involved putting this iconic show together.  It has the feel of the old time craft shows we all grew up with but within its walls it holds the imagination and skills of amazing artists that put pieces of their hearts and soul into each piece of their work.  It reminds me a bit of a magical "Portobello Road" for Halloween.  A huge thank you to Stephanie, Kerry and Kimberlee!  I hope that I will get the opportunity to return!  It was a wonderful experience!

Part of our trip to Petaluma also included seeing and staying with family in Napa, Ca.  It has been almost 11 years since I have seen many of our family and this was such an exciting time.  Dan

and I got a wee bit nostalgic as we drove past Mt. Shasta as we remembered our time living there, one of the best times ever!  The morning of
"Halloween and Vine" we were greeted with the flight of hot air balloons over Napa which is pretty common and always exciting to see.  After the show ended it was time for the family gathering.  There is nothing better than a "Gracia" family get together...it is
"Annie"
HUGE, loud and crazy!  This time my long time best buddy Annmarie got to join in the fun too along with Rennie.  I hadn't seen Annmarie in 10 years but it seemed like no time at all had passed.  Food was everywhere, generations of Gracia's were everywhere,
Our niece Ally, her son Jace and Dan
there was laughter, stories and hugs a plenty!  Best part about this family is the word family!  I never had that growing up so I thank the "powers that be" every day that I have it in my adult life cause
Our niece Elizabeth "Bits" and her sons
there is nothing better!  To see the family grow and thrive with love and respect the way this one has can only strengthen ones beliefs about what is truly important in life.   I have been a part of this extraordinary family for 44
years now and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not grateful.  To see Dan's mom the "Matriarch" herself, brought tears to my eyes.  The family lost the oldest sib last month, Tom was there though I felt his presence everywhere I looked.  Whether it was in the faces of his kids or grandkids he seemed to be there smiling and enjoying the laughter and spirit of the night with all of us.  I also felt Dan's father who left us in 1989 and Kathleen's (Dan's sister) husband Ken who left us 6 years ago.  Family never leaves in just continues in the faces around us and the memories we carry in our hearts.  I have a saying about my husbands family that sums it all up "you cut one they all bleed"...Family is everything!  Thank you to everyone that helped to make this trip so memorable...especially my loving and amazing husband Dan and my dear, dear friend Rennie for coming along and putting up with us!  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

"Hallowbaloo Pics and Fun"

"We Did It"
"Hallowbaloo" has come and gone and with the experience many new friends, collectors and followers have been made.  This was such a fun show, seriously FUN for both Dan and I.  It was

small and intimate and the ART was "off the hook" amazing!  I remember looking around me as I was setting up wondering why I was even here cause the work I saw was some of the best ever!  Dennis Haynes did an amazing job bringing this group together!  I see good things happening down the road for this show and see it growing

leaps and bounds.  Anything done with such passion, whether it be the art or the show itself deserves to succeed.  

"Soft in the Head" did quite well and I made some great "forever" friends.  I even had a couple from Colorado who are very good friends with Johanna
Parker make the trip to see me.....they were so special and I smile everytime I think about our time together at "Hallowbaloo".   Dan loves meeting and chatting with all the Halloween lovers that come through.  Friendliness and smiles are plentiful at Halloween shows....we are all letting that
inner child we have guide us and we have so much fun.  To see the faces of all those walking around and enjoying the  atomsphere energizes an artists' soul...nothing better! 

I wasn't able to get pictures of everyone's special spot or the artwork but the ones I did get will give you an idea of the talent that was here.  I will NEVER forget when I saw the "Day of the Dead"
dolls with faces completely made out of bead work or the "Day of the Dead" work from Isaiah Urrabazo that looked like it stepped right out of Mexico....amazing!

Everytime I made the loop around to meet and my fellow artists I was amazed and star struck by what I saw.....it was all so different and showed the passion that each artist had for their work, simply amazing.  Even though it was
a small show the diversity and quality was some of the best I have ever seen.   

A huge "Thank You" to Dennis Haynes for not giving up and believing enough in this idea to keep pushing forward.  We all know it wasn't easy for you and we truly appreciate your efforts.  By the reaction of the people attending and the smiles on their faces I think you have finally hit
 a "home run" and your dream of a quality Halloween show here in the Seattle area is coming together... Here's to 2017!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

It's Almost Showtime!

"Almost Here"

No matter how many years go by we always tell ourselves we will be better prepared for the next year when showtime rolls around and it never fails that we aren't.  It seems the life or mind of an artist just doesn't kick in with new and innovative ideas until the pressure is on, is "panic" the trigger?  Well I'm definitely in a state
of panic! LOL
There are no movie trips, time with friends or even house cleaning.  Dan is having to do his own cooking and remind me to eat!  The biggest culprit right now in not getting things finished is my arthritis.  This old girl may be hanging up her needle and thread sooner than she thought due to this wretched disease.  
Witches and mice are still coming to life in my humble little workroom and the chatter from all the characters in my mind is on going.   
Even though Dan and I have had our share of emotional obstacles this last year, which have pushed me off my artistic path, I am still trying like crazy to build up some kind of inventory for my two upcoming shows.  Too many deaths this last year..... Losing Dan's brother this last month almost crippled both us from doing anything for a very long time.
I will miss being a part of "Ghoultide Gathering" this year but it was something that, hate to say this, at our age was becoming difficult to do with the distance.  I never dreamed that I would have
two new shows to do in its place.  New friends and collectors await!  This will be fun and exciting!  Also some other amazing doors have begun to open for "Soft in the Head" and that in itself keeps this ol' girl young at heart and filled with life!
The midnight lights will be burning for the next couple of weeks non-stop as my sewing machine hummmmms away and re-runs of Grimm and Star Trek play continuously.  
Just keep the hot tea coming and that deep sense of happiness that comes with creating something that just makes you smile!
Be sure to check out "Hallowbaloo" and "Halloween and Vine" 
See you there!