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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

Monday, March 13, 2017

"Springing Forward"...

"Waiting For Spring"
It seems that winter is raising its frozen head once again in the mid-west and east coast but here in Washington spring is beginning to pop up everywhere.  Whether it's the flower bulbs breaking through the earth or the skitter of little critters that have had a long winters nap, our yard has come alive!  
I took a long walk around our yard and into a bit of our forest and it was brimming with life, I really love it here and am so happy to spend my last years in the state I grew up in and love.  For almost 40 years I would come to this house and visit Rennie
and her family and I never thought that one day it would also become home to Dan and I as well.  There are so many memories here whether it's a special tree, bush, birdhouse or even the crickety old fence, each thing is attached to part of our lives.   We are truly blessed and fortunate to have such beauty surrounding us.  
The garden has always been a special place for
Rennie and she has cultivated quite a collection of berries.  My favorite are the raspberries which Rennie has just thinned out but it seems the strawberries have taken over and are the reigning queen of the garden.  Dan loves the summer when each night he is able to have fresh
strawberry shortcake or raspberry scones in the morning...not to mention the pounds of blackberries that have taken over the freezer! 

We have no short supply of ponds and fountains around here but this last year the flooding took one of our long
time residents away, a goldfish, and left his partner all alone.  Looks like we'll be going out a getting him a buddy soon.  It's sad to see him swimming all alone.  The water is murky right now but soon it will clear up and the frogs will return to leave a plethora of tadpoles

behind.  Often we find ducks in our ponds or an occasional heron looking to score a meal not to mention the many birds that use the ponds for bathing.  Seeing a family of
robins last year bathing in our small pond outside our front door has been one of my fondest memories of living here....hoping for a repeat this year.  


I'm planting ivy around the pond this year since we have ivy growing everywhere.  I love our 
small ivy laden path from our porch to our front yard and I think it would be a nice tie in to the yard and to the iris garden which is really coming to life now. 

My life has changed so much over the past two years, all for the better.  My priorities are different and there is such a sense of peace within my soul that I never had before.  I'm home and Dan and I couldn't be happier....

Friday, March 10, 2017

This Month on PFATT....

Been a busy month but not so busy that I didn't think about spring and all the pretty pastel colors!  Bunnies have always been a favorite of mine and this month on the Marketplace I have one of my favorites.....meet "Bertie and his Balloons".  He's a small boy but one that is so cute that he stole my heart.  The balloons are actually clay eggs, just something a little different.


"Sleeping on the Job" reminds me of how I feel many days, especially during the holiday season.  The sleeping mouse has always been popular ever since my first one I did 6-7 years ago.  This one fell asleep inside an empty egg with his
paint brush still in his hand.

For all my sewing friends I have these little mice who are always happiest when covered in thread and holding a needle.  This particular style has always been one of my favorites and I was happy that I could finally use some of the vintage spools I have in my workroom clutter. 
Spring is definitely in the air with this little lady and her wheelbarrow.  She is getting ready to start hiding those special eggs for Easter.  For some reason "pink" has become my favorite color for the month.  I think I'm ready for spring!  Please visit all the amazing "folk artists" on the PFATT Marketplace this month:  www.pfattmarketplace.com

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"Magic"

" We All Have Magic"
There is magic in all of us...everyone!  The magic can be as simple as a smile and a greeting to someone who is having a bad day, or an offered hand when a person needs help to cross a street or even just a few loose coins dropped into a welcoming can or cup of someone in need.  Magic doesn't require a wand or a puff a smoke to happen, magic just needs love and belief in ones self to come alive.
Magic came to me in a most unusual way, through art.  When I was young I never thought much about being an artist or even sewing anything.  I failed miserably in HomeEc in High School and drawing anything that resembled a human being was so far out of my wheel house it was laughable.  What I did have was an incredible imagination.  
My imagination was my "safe place" when chaos came knocking.  In my magical world I could find friends and comfort when the real world offered
me very little.  Now my "magic" comes in the shape of mice, bunnies, frogs, cats and a plethora of other oddball characters that make others smile and their days just a wee bit merrier!  I love doing what I do.  I
may of had to go around the block to get to the house across the street to find my magic but alas I did find it. 
 We all need "magic" in our lives, more now than ever.  Magic is something we should share.  Look
inside yourself and see what lies there then bring it out and try it on.  You never know what you're capable of until you try.  Take a class, watch a tutorial, read a book and then share what excites you.  It's always easier to sit back and
do nothing but as the seconds tick away just think about what you "could" have learned, tried or created in those passed seconds or minutes!  You might have even found your "MAGIC"! 
 
Remember each day to be kind, be generous, be patient and be understanding!  We all have flaws it's what makes us all so darn interesting...but when we discover our "magic" we become the "givers of smiles"!

Monday, February 27, 2017

New Characters Who Steal My Heart

"Nighty Night Little Mouse"


Every once in awhile an artist will create a piece that just steals their heart and they really don't want to sell it....that's the case with this old time alarm clock with the sleeping mouse.  I've had this empty clock for some time wondering what I was going to do with
it and then it hit me while I was sitting outside wondering how all the little critters are doing in these cold temps.  It turned out exactly how I envisioned it and I'm thrilled....but alas like all my creations it needs a forever home.  
I will find joy in knowing that something I created will give
someone smiles and an occasional chuckle.  This little guy along with other pieces are available in my "Shoppe" at: www.softeessellingshop.blogspot.com  
Hope you will visit them
there and enjoy their different personalities.  There is even a bunny who likes paper-dolls, and a bunny asleep on a flower, an Irish mouse and so many more!

I will be adding new characters throughout this next week.  Never a dull moment around this workshop!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Choosing a Job You Love

Many who are self employed probably feel the same way that I do....I love my job!  There are parts that can be a struggle but over-all it's truly a gift!  One of the main reasons I'm able to do what I love is because of the incredible man that I'm married too. He truly believes in me and helps to support this artistic adventure I find myself on.  Believing in yourself isn't the only obstacle one has to deal with but finding that others do as well can be difficult but it seems that I am very lucky re: this.....I have an entire family that supports and rallies behind my whimsical endeavors....they even oooo and ahhhh on command and without payment LOL!  I'm truly a blessed and fortunate soul!

Through the years "Soft in the Head" has been included in some
rather amazing events from being on the cover of major magazines, participating in highly juried shows to teaching classes for  respected and well known organizations.  With every new adventure there has come new friends and new ideas....it keeps an old soul like me happy and re-charged. 
As I continue to push ahead I have found I'm getting a tad slower and my humble little characters are taking me longer to create but they still  come made with oodles of love and the attention to detail that I love so much.

This year "Soft in the Head" has cut back on shows and commissions because to be honest I
have personal big plans in the making and I think it is time for me to get out there and live a little. Our trip to Australia is at the top of our list, I get goosebumps just thinking about it.  I'm still teaching for "Artful Gathering" but this year I will be teaching 2-3 classes and to top it off I will be doing a brand new
Halloween show that will also include some of my old Ghoultide Gathering buddies....I can't wait.  If any of you are down in the Pleasanton, California neighborhood September 22-23rd come over and have a "spooky" good time with some incredible and
magical artists.  Pleasanton is a quaint and special town on its own but then you throw in this event and it is a recipe for some pretty amazing "Trick or Treating"..... www.abewitchingfete.com    

Right now I'm busy in my "room of chaos" also known as the workroom creating for "Spring".  Whether it is a
bunny or a sleeping mouse spring seems to be in the air.   Mice have always been one of my all time favorite characters with bunnies running a close second so you might just hear some humming or even out of tune singing happening while the creating is going on.  I have found a new passion in the world of soft sculpture and that is the "pin keep or pin cushion".  Creating one has become an
adventure for me since I get to add my other passion of "old junk" into the mix LOL.  One of the things that makes "Soft in the Head" so special is how I re-purpose pieces of time into my characters, like the old vintage wine goblet for the "sleeping mouse", or
how an old tarnish sugar bowl can turn into a keepsake pin cushion or an antique silver compote dish can become an adventure for two whimsical mice.  I truly love my job.....but the best part are all those smiles I have created over the years....thank you one and all for making "Soft in the Head" a part of your lives.
 

Confucius said: Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life!
 

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucius
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/c/confucius134717.html




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Learning Something NEW and Liking It!

Teaching This Old Dog......
No matter how long we do something it seems we can always learn to do it better.  My problem is sometimes I'm just to bloody stubborn to admit I need to change and learn.

I love creating small little characters and in the past I have always prided myself that I made their hands and feet using an old floral trick (florist here 35 years) of bending and wrapping wire.  This technique has seriously taken over with many others doing it now, and I use to think I was original...oh piffle!  I love the look it gives my primitive characters and lets be honest it just fits with cloth where clay is a whole different medium that belongs in a club all of its own.

Being "Soft in the Head"  means just that, soft, which clay isn't!  Now, over the years I have learned to combine the two but still staying true to myself.  Lately (the last couple of years) my hands have started to show the wear that arthritis creates and wrapping wire has become increasingly more difficult so I decided a few months back to take a class about making polymer clay hands and feet for my characters.  I had already been making shoes, noses, teeth and Lord knows what else using clay so why not hands and feet.  I enjoyed the class and it opened my eyes to all kinds of possibilities..... but no one need worry I will still be making cloth characters, especially the mice!  

I tried out my new technique on a custom piece last week and the collector "LOVED IT".   This "Old Dog" really does hate new tricks but I have to be honest....IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER!  I'll still do my "old school" way on some of my characters, cause personally, I just think it adds to their look.... but this new way of doing it was just so much FUN!


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My Weight Loss Journey

"My Weight Loss Journey and Other Changes"
Weight loss at any age is difficult but at sixty-six it's almost impossible!  Four years ago I started gaining weight at an incredible rate.  This was mostly due to all the new meds I was taking for my breathing, arthritis and other severe health issues.  As time marched on my marching almost came to a complete and total halt.  Due to some rather unfortunate obstacles in both Dan's and my life we re-located to Washington state from Virginia....BEST MOVE EVER!  This is where I found an incredible group of doctors that saw me as a woman in trouble not just an over weight woman with health problems.  With the help of my dearest friend Rennie I found an amazing chiropractor and through his clinic I was introduced to "West Coast Weight Loss".  Being leery of all the fad diets out there like South Beach, Atkins and the quick loss weight groups like Nutri-systems, LA weight loss and Jenny Craig I needed a lot of convincing to try this.  My doctor wanted me to do gastric by-pass surgery but because I almost didn't survive my last time under the knife I chose to not go that route.  Dan was very
supportive and is paying for me to use West Coast....it isn't inexpensive but it WORKS!  
 
I started my new life style back in July 2016 and since that time I have lost 115 pounds.  I still have a very long road ahead of me considering I started out at 397...I still have another 100 pounds to go but something tells me that I can do this.  The greatest part about this diet, besides the weight loss, is now I eat to live not live to eat.  
My whole idea about food has changed. I cook everything, no conveniences for this girl.  What I can eat is limited because everything has to work with everything else to keep my metabolism going and working in my favor.  I eat no dairy, no gluten, no sugars, limited carbs, and limited proteins.  Wasn't much of a meat eater before the diet but that has really changed now, give me a steak any day LOL.  This diet has changed my life.
 
Last year I was in a wheelchair with very limited mobility now I can go shopping and walk the entire time.  I haven't used a walker,
cane or wheelchair in 6 months and I refuse to again!  
Dan and I are also traveling...whether they're small road trips or the planning of our trip to Australia, I'm traveling, I even applied for my passport....a year ago I never thought any of this would happen but it is.  I'm not ready for a marathon but I'm not counting it out either.
December was a tough month for me as far as sticking to my diet, I love cookies and Christmas baking.  I never over indulged but I did slip and slip often...I NEVER gained an ounce, not one.  I didn't loose but most importantly I didn't gain!
 
I'm enjoying my new life with such positiveness and excitement.   Where my art use to be the most important part of me it has taken a back seat, I still love it and pursue it but I am not driven by it and often chuckle at that person I use to be.  I'm enjoying everyday with a new outlook, new friends, new challenges and new adventures!
 
One of my greatest accomplishments is being a teacher....yep me!  I have always loved to teach and now I'm doing it again.  Whether it is just a few days a week or a couple times a year teaching is part of my soul and gives me much joy.  
I will be teaching at least two and possibly three classes for "Artful Gathering" this next year.  Registration for 2017 will be open soon.  My class last year was a huge success and so much fun!  The new friends that I made from that class are truly a gift and we talk often.  Many incredible possibilities lie ahead for me and "Soft in the Head".   I use to think that my success and happiness was based on the company I kept but with confidence and a whole new outlook I realize my happiness comes entirely from within me and the choices that I make.  Some of my choices, though difficult at the time, have been some of the best ones I have ever made, right up there with marrying Dan LOL.  
 
Another surprise and exciting event I will be involved with is this amazing new Halloween show, "A Bewitching Fete".  I was blown away to be included in this show.  It has a ridiculously talented line-up of artists from all over the U.S. and even some of my ol' Ghoultide buddies.  This show will be reminiscent of  how Halloween was when I was kid....embracing the magic and spirit of our inner child!  To find out more visit their website: http://www.abewitchingfete.com 
 
There are, yet, many more doors for me to open in my journey to self discovery and the new me.  Not everything is easy to attain in our lives but you'll find the most important pieces to your life will be worth the extra work,  the tears and the love.  Never give up on anything and especially don't let someone bully you to ever doubting your self worth....bullies are often the result of a very unhappy person.  Happiness is the key to all those doors you have yet to open....and my key ring is filled with keys that are ready to be used! 


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Our First Year with the PFATT Marketplace

"Enjoying Pin-Keeps and Celebrating"!
I've always loved pin-cushion/pin-keeps.  For many years I have made little mice in all kinds of shapes and sizes doing all kinds of funny little antics but my all time favorite pin-keep was one I created a few years ago of a sleeping little mouse who was dreaming about cheese.  This month on the PFATT Marketplace I
thought I would re-capture that little mouse but this time use a vintage silver plated wine goblet, hence the name "Merlot".   I may not be as gifted as some pin-keep artists but it doesn't stop me from trying and loving these wonderful creations.  I have my own collection of pin cushions that I started from the time I was a young girl wishing I could learn how to sew to now I'm a grown-up who still wishes they could learn to sew LOL

Dan and I are celebrating a year as the new owners of the PFATT Marketplace, thank you Sandy Wood for believing in us to take over your hard work of 14 years.  It was a tough struggle at the beginning to give the Marketplace a new

face lift and still keep it true to itself and Sandy's hard work but we wanted to make it a bit more customer friendly (easier to shop) and we've done it with the help of  Sandy, some pretty amazing Folk Artists and our wonderful "Guest Artists" who have come to give us some love and help.   I would also like to mention one person who is no longer with us that was a HUGE driving force in keeping the Marketplace going strong, she's even the reason for the new meaning of the initials PFATT....that is Tammy Strum.  Tammy left us quite suddenly a year ago Feb. 1st and left
a HUGE whole in the Art community as well as my heart.  She was my dearest friend.  I often look upward and with a smile yell "WE DID IT TAMMY"!   She always believed there was a place for all "Folk Artists", everyone deserved to have an opportunity to get their love of art out into the world and make a name for themselves.  It shouldn't just be a place that only supports "certain" artists but ALL artists and a place where artists can find that much needed support.  She was one of the greatest talents I have ever met and the most humble!   I miss her more than words can describe... Bless you Tammy Strum for being you!

I hope everyone will take a minute and visit the PFATT Marketplace this month.  There is some pretty amazing folk art available and you would be supporting people who love doing what they do and while you're there look upwards and give a wink to that special someone, Tammy, who always believed the best about everyone.... click here to visit: PFATT Marketplace

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Brand New Beginning....

I borrowed this from a dear friend/collector....it really hit home to what I am feeling at the beginning of this New Year and wanted to share it with everyone!  I wish one and all many positive and encouraging blessings in 2017.....
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I am walking into 2017 with a clear heart & mind!!
If you owe me, don't worry... You're welcome!
If you wronged me, it's all good.... Lesson Learned!
If you have a beef with me.... rock on, you won!
If we aren't speaking, it's cool.... I love you, Be safe & I wish you well!
If you feel I wronged you... I apologize, moving on!
Life is TOO SHORT for all the unnecessary....!
SO................
Live life to the fullest.... You only get one shot!!!!!
Be more positive and a great role model !
Smile more.... It increases your face value!
Accept people for who & what they are.... Move to the beat of your own drum without expecting others to follow!
Whatever STATE of mind you are in.... I'll be happy to meet you there!
Happy New Year & Much Love!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Adventures Ahead.....

"The Road Ahead"
We often tell ourselves that the beginning of a New Year is the time to start over.....I put waaaay to much time into my life so far to ever want to start it over but what I will do is enhance it, become more creative and adventurous!  

The first item on my 2017 agenda is to "clean house"....So I'm having my first ever "Clearance Sale".  Yep "Soft in the Head" is
moving out the old to make room for what might be up my sleeve for 2017!  This is going to be so much fun!  I don't know how long the shop will stay open but I am going to continue to add to it as I clean my workroom, empty totes and dust, oh yes dust, my shelves of collectibles.  I'm excited about my life and what lies ahead.  For the first time I'm putting me first and it feels so good.

I've decided to do a Halloween show this coming year and focus on my classes and some licensing projects.  I finally feel in control and not stressed about where "Soft in the Head" is going.  I hope everyone will stick around and enjoy the adventure along with me....There will be new designs, new patterns and a new me!  Life is good and even better when we realize it and start to enjoy it!  Happy 2017 everyone!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

PFATT Marketplace and more......

"Peggy Christmas Morning"
The "PFATT Marketplace" opens today with brand new Folk Art from the artists. I always look forward to this day, it's so much fun to see the work that each one brings to the site. This month "Soft in the Head" has three new pieces..."Peggy" is a very happy little mouse after seeing what Santa brought her Christmas morning, a new
rocking horse.  Mice are fun to create in different scenarios especially Christmas scenes.  Peggy definitely looks happy!
 
It is also fun to see what surprises are under the tree.  Opening a gift makes everyone smile and "Billy the Duck" is a good example of Christmas smiles!  I have always loved making these mohair ducks cause they are just so darn cute and Billy is
no exception to that rule.  
 
What would Christmas be like if it weren't for our resident snowmen.  Everyone loves snowmen and "Flurry" is one happy fellow.  Even though the weather is chilly outside "Flurry" makes one feel warm and fuzzy inside.   Snowmen are just fun!
 
The "Soft in the Head" annual Christmas event/sale has come and gone but I'm leaving the "shop" open until the 15th and will be adding new characters to it along the way.  Tomorrow new pieces will be added, a couple of mice and a snowman so I hope you will pop over, listen to some great music and do some Christmas shopping.  Just click here: Softees Selling Shop
Merry Christmas One and All!