Soft in the Head

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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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Winter Warmth & Creating.....

Feeling the Warmth of Winter.....
My portable heater is humming along with my sewing machine in my workroom....winter is upon us!   Thanksgiving is just a few days away but I feel the need to work with snow, fabric snow that is!  Snowmen ideas are dancing around in my head!  Santa's are fun and shout Christmas but give me a snowman any day!  One that has a crooked smile and/or tattered scarf and hat, they all make me smile and feel a certain warmth about winter!  This year for the annual online Christmas Show I have a PODD Snowman...it's my first!  He looks
festive and fun....hope he finds a good home!  I also have a penguin, for years my kids begged me to do a penguin and this year I created a PODD Penguin.

This will be another Thanksgiving that will come and go with Dan  and I being alone.  Getting older does bring with it a certain downside especially when your kids become world travelers and find a life in other countries, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  It always makes me proud to know that they grew up with such independence and
wonder-lust in their veins.   Dan talked me into cooking a turkey with all the trimmings....with it just being the two of us I won't have to cook for the rest of the week with all the left overs we will have.  Love Thanksgiving left overs!  YUM!

Besides I need to focus on my online Christmas sale.  Lately I have been a bit out of the loop with creativity.  Having a very dear friend going through the worst possible life scenario has taken quite a bit of my joy away
from creating and re-directed it into making her journey the best it
can be.....I will try to have some new characters for all my collectors this year....lots of Santa PODDS for sure and a few funny little elves!   Mark your calendar for December 4th 8pm EST:  www.softeessellingshop.blogspot.com   Hope to see all my wonderful friends and collectors there...Have a very Happy Thanksgiving All...hug those that are near and dear to you! 

 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Harvest Tyme At My House...

 The Harvest is Upon Us.......
Like many of you "Autumn" is my favorite tyme of year.  The smells, colors and brisk weather all contribute to the warm inner feeling that comes with Autumn.  I don't decorate like I use to now that it's just Dan and I at home.  We rarely have company and for some unknown reason the cats just don't appreciate it unless they are puking up a hairball or two on it (ick).  Living in an old store often is ambiance enough for this time of year.   

Haven't made any plans for Thanksgiving yet as we wait for the arrival of our middle man child to arrive from China.  His plans have been changed ONCE again but this time it looks like November 24th he will arrive in the U.S. and then head out to Virginia.  If he gets here in tyme and Dan is up to it we may be making a trip to Ohio for Thanksgiving with the grandkids....would love that!


I've been busy re-arranging (prioritizing) my business.  I have been toying with some new ideas with where I want to focus "Soft in the Head" and also changing up its designs a bit.  The PODDS are so popular that I seriously need to give them more of my attention, the possibilities are endless not to mention the demand!  Lots of ideas are whirling around in my head that i think I need a pumpkin spice rice krispy treat break!  Did I mention my husband Dan has become the "Rice Krispy Treat" wizard!   Kinda like having him around24/7.... Take care my friends and enjoy what "Mother Nature" has given us!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween Joys of the Past.....

 "Halloween Memories on Parade"......

Often I find myself daydreaming, more than I would like to admit, about Halloweens of the past.  If I could have one wish it would be that children of today could experience the magic we had from this holiday.  It always seemed that Halloween was anticipated almost as much as Christmas, notice I said almost.  

When we were kids we have this incredible ability to close the real world out for a bit and only drench ourselves into imagination, fantasy, selfishness and excitement.  We were able to make an ordinary day extraordinary with just a bit of  imagination and the belief that all things were possible!  A simple sheet could turn us into a spirit, a broom into a witch and paper bag and crayons had endless possibilities!  

Neighbors anticipate our antics and played along with smiles and often homemade goodies.  Remember popcorn balls and that salty sticky goodness that lasted for hours!  There was never the fear of harm or unpleasantness on Halloween night......just the excitement!  The kind of excitement that makes your tummy tighten up with anticipation and giggles!   You and your friends have been plotting and planning your costumes and playful antics for some time and the excitement makes you feel invincible!  There is always that playful challenge you toss to each other to see who can score the biggest haul of the night or who will have the nerve to go to Mr. McCourtney's house cause he is the scariest man in town, or is Mrs. Brown, Sissy's mom, making those incredible caramel apples again this year and of course none of you can forget the school carnival or the party at Darlene's house....so many amazing things to do and so little time to do it all!  Ah yes to be young again and have just a little of that magic from days gone by!  
Today we need to make magic for our young ones the best way we can....whether it is with parties, parades and daylight trick or treating....let them be young and completely foolish one day a year!  This holiday grants them the gift of becoming anyone they want to be and accepted and that in itself is awesome!  Imagination is a gift and can help us to believe everything is possible and to NEVER give up trying!  I love Halloween and its endless possibilities for our children!  Happy Trick or Treating everyone!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Softee's 4 Sale....

                                 "Softees Available for Purchase"
My blog sale was a HUGE success but alas there are a few "Softees" that did not find a home.  If you are interested please go to my "Selling Shoppe" and you can read about the details.  If interested please email me at: softinthehead@gmail.com
click here: "Softee's Selling Shoppe"

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ghoultide Gathering 2014

Another Success, Another Memory......
"Ghoultide Gathering" has come and gone and I'm still giddy from the event.  This was my 6th year as a vendor and it still continues to give me those "magical" shivers from how amazing this show actually is.  Even as a small child, who LOVED Halloween, I can't remember being so in awe of the Halloween atmosphere.  Entering the huge barn-like building you can feel the rush and excitement as all the Halloween worker bees are busy at work constructing their personal spaces that will help bring their talent to life!   If you love Halloween then this is definitely the place to be!  Scott Smith and Bill Gilmore have fine tuned this event into a plethora of sights and sounds that capture the Halloween child in all of us!  

As the doors open into this magical world of orange and black there are "Spooky" door greeters at the entrance to welcome in the excited Halloween enthusiasts! They burst forward with excitement in search of their favorite artist as though they were those young kids again looking for that house that served up the BEST treats at Halloween!  We, as artists, stand prepared to greet those that have returned once again and the wide eyed "newbies" with handshakes and hugs as they begin to find that special character that they will add to their ever growing
collection of Halloween magic! 
This is an amazing time in the life of an artist....to see your work so loved and appreciated.   I, personally, have never experienced this at this kind of level until Ghoultide...and it still takes my breath away even after six years of being a part of Ghoultide Gathering!
 

Dan and I had a special treat this year doing Ghoultide, we were able to finally share it with part of our family.  Our daughter and her family have re-located to Toledo, OH which is about 45 minutes away.  It was so good to have Phil, our son in law, there to
help since both Dan and I have had a rather harsh year health wise. The best part was seeing the looks on our grandkids faces as they experienced the atmosphere of Ghoultide, its was nothing short of magical.  Ethan, who is 6, was captivated by Scott Smith's characters and reminded me of me when I use to look through the Main Street windows at Disneyland at the age of six, yep folks I was there opening day!  Jude, the oldest of our grandsons was quite
taken by the spookiness of David Schilling's "Shadow Farm" characters.....he LOVED them and I have to admit I thought they were pretty cool and unworldly!  I think the grandson that was having the best time ever was Grayson, the youngest.  His smile never left his face as he walked through the show seeing all the colors and magic of the event.  He especially enjoyed Laurie Hardin's "Monkey Cat Studios" and all the color and funny expressions at Kerry Schidmt's "Paper Moon Gallery". 
He was very animated telling me about the BIG grinning pumpkin on Laurie Hardin's table and how it was the GREAT PUMPKIN!  Seeing Halloween through the eyes of a child is the best treat ever!

Since I was pretty confined to my space for most of the show because it just never stopped being busy and also I don't get around very well any longer, I was unable to get pictures  of all the artists.  Dan did, however, get quite a few of them setting up their booths and this year I think everyone outdid themselves with the theme of Halloween.  There is such a camaraderie among the artists at this show that neither Dan or myself have ever felt at any other venue.  The laughter and stories can be heard throughout since it has been a year since many of us have seen each other.  There is just something "hauntingly" wonderful in the air at this event....it is an experience to be savored!   If you love Halloween and you have an inner child that is screaming to get out then come and see us at
"Ghoultide Gathering".  There is something for everyone young and old at this event.  I know this to be true after seeing the wide eyed excitement in the eyes of my own grandsons.  A VERY special thank you to "Tammy Strum" for the pumpkin lanterns...they loved them! 

Thank you Bill and Scott for yet another successful year filled with magic, imagination and sense of childhood that many of us hang onto.  Looking forward to next year with a strong sense of friendship, magic, imagination and HALLOWEEN!








Monday, September 29, 2014

Thinking Places and Peanut Butter Sandwiches.....

When I was young and needed to do some much needed thinkin' there was always this really great special place that I would go. It was tucked away from all the noise and distractions of the house but yet not to far that I wouldn't feel safe....It never seemed to matter how much thinkin' needed to be done it was the process of the thinkin' that was important. Sometimes I would slap together a peanut butter and banana sandwich or grab some of those incredible oatmeal cookies that mom had just made and make my way out to my thinkin' spot.

Hanging from an old apple tree was my thinkin' spot. It had been put together by the "bestest" swing maker I knew, my dad! My dad always knew what a kid liked when it came to tree houses, fishing and swing building. An old tire hung from a thick rope and beckoned me with promises of much needed thinkin' time. I would shed my shoes and socks, the whole time holding onto my snack with my teeth and then climb aboard. Dad had made the swing just perfect for someone my size to shove off with my feet from the ground and drift lazily back and forth while chomping mindlessly on my snack. The swaying of the swing and warm breeze always gave me much comfort while I pondered my thoughts. How I wish I had that old swing now....

As we grow older we find other thinkin' spots but none will ever have the magic that my old tire swing had, well for me anyway. As decisions about life become bigger and more difficult with age we often wish we had a place that would offer up the solutions we need with as much comfort as that old tire did for me when I was young. I think now, we turn more to friends and loved ones for that comfort we seek....but there's something to be said about an old tire swing and a peanut butter banana sandwich.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fall, Ghoultide and Life.....

"Fall is in the Air"
   Can you feel it?  Unless your on the west coast you probably can!  Fall is knocking on that seasonal door with a very large tap!  I went outside this morning and felt a sense of calm in the air...it was like Mother Nature was taking a sigh of relief before her big sleep! 
Nothing fuels the soul more than the smell and sights of this time of year especially with the anticipation of Halloween right around the corner!  It's a time where imaginations have wings and other unusual body parts, LOL!
 
Lately I have had my head buried into the mounds of fabric that seem to be piled in every nook and cranny of my small but intimate
workroom.  Spooky and whimsical characters are having fun dancing around in my imagination as they wait their turn to emerge onto my work table.  The best part of my job is watching some new "softee" take shape and find their own unique personality whether it be a mouse or a skelly they all seem to have that "Soft in the Head" whimsy...
 
This will be the year of new techniques and some old friends for Ghoultide Gathering.  I have had many requests to bring back my Raven Skelly and my Unusual Suspects (witches).  The Raven Skelly has taken on a whole new theme from years past as it has morphed into an "All Seeing" Raven head in a globe to that of the head on a spindly vintage birdcage (thanks Suzy). 
I knew the minute I saw this old worn birdcage in Suzy Seames-Young's shop I had to have it for this unusual piece... and boy did it work GREAT!  I know that Raven skulls are pretty common especially at this time of year but this piece is quite remarkable (as I pat myself on the back) and one that I thoroughly enjoyed making.  In side the cage is a vintage apothecary bottle and rolled parchments with spells!  Ghoultide Gathering is a HUGE creative outlet for me.  I find there is such a hidden treasure trove of ideas in my artistic soul that it's a blessing to be able to have a show that embraces them like this one!
As time marches on with all its twists and turns I'm finding many of my dear friends are experiencing serious challenges in their lives.  When I read about all that is going on it makes my world seem trite in comparison.   Life shouldn't become so chaotic that we can't take a few minutes out of our days to send some love to those that are having a difficult time.  I've always felt that Fall was a season of reflection...a time to have council with ones self.  None of us are
perfect and it's because we're not that we are constantly being challenged.  Our lives are like an empty canvas and it's up to us to add the color and life!  Many times mistakes are made....depending on the size of the mistake we sometimes have to start from scratch again....I've started from scratch many times but have found that with each new beginning comes the wisdom that makes the canvas even more detailed and beautiful the next time around....I may or may not finish my canvas in this life but I will have a head start in my next one!  
 
Here's to a joyous and spooky Harvest season....my your toes curl with spooky anticipation and your mouth water from "pumpkin" goodness!  I LOVE FALL!  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Heading For the Finish Line.....

It's Almost Time.......
"Ghoultide Gathering" is almost here!   This is such an amazing event and has my insides twisted in knots with anticipation!  A normal person would plan and create all year long for this event but last time I checked I was far from normal.  I'm cursed with that need to work under pressure!  This has been a rough year for "The House of Soft" with illnesses, changes and even deaths.  It has been a tough year to focus and especially one for finding my creative mojo.  Two weeks ago I had just 21 pieces for a show that I normally have 150 or more...it was looking very sad indeed.  Somewhere I found my mojo and started creating non-stop and am happy to report we are now up to 51, still far from my usual goal but it isn't about quantity as much as it is about quality.  I have truly put my heart into each and every piece this year because not only was it a necessity to create it became a place of much needed peace!   I have some new pieces that show that "Soft in the Head" is still growing and changing but still remains true to its primitive and whimsical self.   This year I have a smaller version of my globes and a new soft sculpture with a needle felted face.
  I have 3 weeks left before I start packing and rounding up my characters for their trek to Michigan....my mind is still full of ideas and my hands can still hold a needle!   Wish us luck and I hope to see many of you there!  If anyone needs a souvenir post card that offers a discount at the gate please let me know...I have a few left!  "Ghoultide bound Oct. 2nd!   

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Good Choices......

"Who Really Knows"
As we travel down this "mysterious" road called life we gather, what we hope, is good information to make uniformed and good choices for our future....Can't say this always works, we're humans after all and destined to have flaws!  Then again we just might make that ONE decision that will change our course and take us on a grand adventure!  This is what happened for me when I accepted my invitation to be a member of "Ghoultide Gathering". 
 
This "grand adventure" was not only one filled with artistic possibilities but one that created life long friendships.  Maybe it's because many of us, who belong to this group, are "kindred spirits"... but I think it has much more to do with us being hard working, looney creative people who have developed a look that is entirely our own and we mesh well together with respect and integrity!
 
   This year will be an interesting one for me as I scramble around to build my inventory and try with all my creative mojo to create new and interesting pieces.  It seems that many obstacles have been dropped in my way as I travel down my life road, challenging me at every turn.  This time they have decided to add Dan to the mix with an onslaught of life altering health issues.  We have spent much time in and out of the hospital and seeing many physicians in search of why Dan is struggling to maintain some normalcy in his day to day routine.  He has had to leave work and go on disability and driving has become an issue for him as well.  Not a good thing since I haven't driven anything in almost a year and we have no friends or family here in the Blue Ridge Mountains to help out.  Living where we do even the simplest task, like grocery shopping, has become an ordeal.  We have had to depend on our friends from UPS to deliver our online orders in order to have food in the house.  It truly is amazing what one can order online LOL! 
 
In spite of all the challenges we still are able to laugh and stay positive....again it's all about choices and I refuse to make the choice of "gloom and doom".  If it wasn't for all my family and internet friends my days would seem a lot more daunting but their daily  notes and phone calls help Dan and I to stay positive.  Everyday like clockwork my dear friend Ginny sends me an email filled with giggles which makes a great start to any day, thank you Ginny!  Many of my Facebook friends got together and sent us a fruit/veggie basket knowing that fresh fruit and veggies were difficult for us to get right now.  It not only made us laugh out loud but it was quite yummy!  Thank you so for thinking about us!

Dan and I have many choices to make in the next few months that will definitely be life changing but like all things we will have faith that our choices will be the right ones and all will be right with our world!  Like my choice of becoming a "Ghoulie"....  I have faith we will make the right ones! 
 
For any of you that are attending "Ghoultide Gathering" this year and are NOT on my mailing list and would like a souvenir post card, that also gives you an discount on admission, please email me with you address so I can get it into the mail for you!  For details pertaining to "Ghoultide Gathering" go to www.ghoultidegathering.com
 

Monday, July 28, 2014

New Idea's and Adventures!

"Getting Ready for Ghoultide Gathering"
Have you ever had something in your life that you constantly questioned whether you're talented enough to even be a part of...well that's me in a nutshell when it comes to "Ghoultide Gathering".  This is the time of year that I begin to stress and pinch myself into reality....YES I'm a vendor at one of the "coolest" shows in the United States, "Ghoultide Gathering"!  This will be my 5th year being a part of this incredible group of artists and each year I feel the pressure to be better than the past years and that means new ideas and characters.  
 

Many of the pieces that I create for this show are never even seen on the internet and most of my followers don't even know that "Soft in the Head" does this level of work.  This is "my time" to get my creative mojo cranking and let my "freaky flag fly".  I LOVE IT!!!!

I will always have a certain style and stay within that realm cause it's just who I am but I love pushing it further and further each time.  My first love has been and always will be working with fabric and all the textures it offers, wool being my favorite....hence the name of my business "Soft in the Head".  Even when clay is used my character will have a soft head.  

Halloween, being my all time favorite theme to work with,  constantly opens doors to expanding my imagination and giving me the ability to try and discover new techniques and looks for my characters.  This year my round-headed "skellies" and "pumpkin
people" will be the new addition to my inventory at Ghoultide along with a new witch and some old time cats.  Each year I surprise my followers with a new design that they just didn't see coming and this year will be the same.....I'm so excited by some of the odd pieces I have to work with that I can't wait to get started.   I truly hope that many of you can make the trip to this amazing event.  If Halloween is something you love and collect then "Ghoultide Gathering" is the place for you....I know I always go home with a new treasure to add to my collection....
For "Ghoultide" information click here:  "Ghoultide Gathering"