"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..…

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

Thursday, April 13, 2017

"My Rusty World"

"Rust and More Rust"
As I begin to collect and save odds and ends for an upcoming show one thing is certain, "Rust is
important"!  Everyone around here just laughs at me as I rummage through mounds of everyone else's cast-offs hoping to find that rusty treasure that will be the new beginning of a "Soft in the Head" character.  I
have no idea why I'm so drawn to anything rusty, maybe it's because it shows it had a life, some history.  I'm like a kid in a candy store when I go to flea markets or swap
meets.  The grungier the pile of junk the better I like it.  I slip on the ol' gloves and go to work.
If I can't find what I want already rusty and showing the signs of time then I do what I can to make it that way.  I
actually had a bunch of silver goblets sitting outside on my banister in the rain rusting nicely when a UPS man saw them he was intrigued and asked "why?"  When I told him the reason he just laughed and shook his head
saying "artists, strange bunch of folks!"  LOL yes we are!
Junk stores are my sanctuary.  Having a bad day I look for the most cluttered and packed junk store I can find and I dive in and everything else becomes
My work space
non-existent, I'm in heaven.  
My family and friends laugh at me because my house is just the opposite of my workroom/work space.  I can be a bit OCD when it comes to my house but my workroom is my stronghold
My Livingroom
 of ideas, it's where my imagination comes alive as do the characters that live in my head and heart.  There is an old saying that is so true about artists "Creativity is NOT a pretty sight" and this reigns true in my workroom but I wouldn't have it any other way.  One of my favorite things to collect
is old rusty clocks and gears.  My fascination with clocks, working or not, is evident as you look around my house.  There are
clocks everywhere and each one has a story attached.  There are cuckoo clocks, pendulum clocks, Halloween clocks, a Cinderella coach, wind-up alarm clocks and a plethora of old gears and faces everywhere.  I'm
just fascinated by clocks and often use them in my work.  The old alarm clock with the mouse is one of my all time favorites.  I actually have quite a large group of Halloween clock collectors that follow me to   collect my Halloween clocks that I
only have available at shows.  I'm a "clock geek" LOL there is just something so fascinating to me about old clocks and how they capture more than just time but magic!  
This art journey that I have followed over the years has been one filled with smiles and lots of questionable looks by some that just don't understand my love for vintage and all things rusty.  I wouldn't change any of it, ever.  I have found my bliss/joy and even on the worse
days I can retreat to my comfort of clutter in my workroom and let my imagination fly.  My Halloween spirit is knocking on the door to my imagination and I see lots of rust in my future!

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


" 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!