***********************************************************

***********************************************************
..................................................................................................
"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

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mojo...MIA

"Looking For My Mojo"
I received an email the other day from a dear artist friend and one of the things he mentioned was being in a creative "dead zone"....It made me realize this is exactly where I've been lately.  This can be an extremely uncomfortable and annoying place for the creative mind to spend any time and a difficult place to escape.  Long walks, good books and unusual movies haven't been much help with finding my path out of this slump.   Chalking this up to normal isn't good enough for me time to find a solution...so I clean!  

Nothing like purging ones workroom to get a new perspective re:
your imagination LOL   Not only do you do a lot of head scratching on why in the world you have this or what were you thinking to have that but the wheels begin to turn about possibilities.... Now, I have never been one that had a pristine and pretty workroom cause frankly I collect "junk" to work with and at times there is nothing pretty about rust and peeling paint.   I LOVE to re-purpose stuff, all kinds of stuff!   You might find old vintage torn and tattered books in one corner and a box of odds and ends of rusty
tubing stashed in another corner.  One thing about my workroom is that it is an adventure and can be, at times, like going through a mini junk store LOL  Dan and Rennie just shake their heads and smile.  Granted it's all contained in a rather small area but still, it's not pretty.... Today will be day three and I'm still rummaging and sorting through my little space in the laundry room where I spend 75% of my days and I couldn't ask for a better job.  I may be in that "creative dead zone" right now but maybe after I get this place purged and organized who knows what will happen....My notebook is sitting here next to me as ideas are jotted down as I sort.  It's good to be an artist....a never ending adventure of the mind!



 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

PFATT for January!

Spring is in the Air with Blue Bird Love!
 The PFATT Marketplace has opened its doors to new year...one that I hope will be exciting for everyone!

This month I have some quaint and whimsical Blue Birds who are all about spreading their love.  Blue Birds are one of my favorite feathered friends so it was fun to create a few of these.  These little characters are made using

wool felt, one of my favorite fabrics to work with.  They have wired armatures for their wings and legs and can be posed.  

Their whimsical expressions melt my heart and put a smile on my face and I hope they do the same for you.  I will continue to expand my whimsical collection of the "feathered folk" having already tapped into my love of crows.  

Love "Marion Blue" and her little basket of love letters, such a kind little face.  Her counterpart is more serious about his love and is often referred to as the "Love Doctor".
He carries a garland of fabric hearts with lots of "love and kisses" for everyone.   He looks so dapper in his top hat and high collar.  Everyone needs a some "Mr. Blue" the Love Bird" in their lives.   Be sure to go over and check out all the great talent and the beginnings of a new face lift at the PFATT Marketplace.....and while you're there I'm sure Ol' Mr. Blue will give you a quick peck on the cheek!
 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A New Adventure & Exciting News


The beginning of any "New Year" is usually a time for new adventures and possibilities and this year is no exception to that.  Dan and I were presented with an amazing opportunity, I should probably say Dan was since my plate is already so full I couldn't possibly take on anything else.  We were given the reins to the PFATT Marketplace.  A selling site for artists that uploads on the 10th of every month and one of the longest running selling sites for artists that I know.  Sandy Wood started this site 14 years ago to give artists another venue besides Ebay to sell their work and she has done an amazing job and now she has passed it on to us.  We can only hope that we'll continue to give "The Marketplace" the same kind attention to detail and love that Sandy has given it these past years.

Dan is already busy giving the site a face lift and implementing new and exciting details to make it more customer friendly.  With his many years of experience at building and developing a very successful website for Orvis this is something he knows quite a bit about.  I have enjoyed many successful years selling on PFATT and have always admired the open communication that Sandy had with her artists and we hope we can continue that as well.  Dan would love to get input about how to make this an even more successful selling venue for all involved.  So far the input has been very positive and constructive.  We were fortunate, with the changing of the guard, that we only lost one artist....change always brings on more change and we need to never take it personal.  The upside is we have acquired 6 new artists with very different talents so to give the Marketplace a broader appeal to our customer base.  There is still a jury process to becoming a member, we have a panel of five different artists to help with that so it isn't just left up to Dan and I, whew! 

We want this to be a selling venue for all kinds of Artists, not just those with higher end pieces but one for everyone.  Art is a craft, a craft that we as artists pour our spirit, and at times, a piece of our soul into.  Whether it be a folk art painting, a sculpted funny character, a raggedy, or an early style vintage doll,  I guarantee that their is some of that artists spirit inside.  With every stroke of a brush, or stitch of a thread someone is creating "ART" and "The Marketplace" hopes to bring all of this to everyone!  Please join us in February for our "New Beginnings" but we will still be business as usual for the month of January....  www.pfattmarketplace.com

Friday, December 18, 2015

Tree Hunting Memories...

"The Memories of An Event"
As we travel through this maze of experiences called life certain parts stay with us and often bring a smile and a hint of a twinkle to our eyes.  I think Christmastime  probably holds the most stories for many of us!

When our kids were young is was customary to go out into the country and cut our own Christmas tree.  This was not just a cutting of a tree but the beginning to a season filled with magic, wonder and dreams....and family!  Like all children ours were wind up with giggles and excitement and absolutely no attention span
whatsoever, not to mention the copious amounts of hot chocolate they had  consumed!  Taking them into the forest or tree farm was often like "herding cats".  Each one picking a direction and taking off into a run to find that perfect tree.  Before this happened it was time to explain the magical tricks into finding the perfect tree, something my own father taught me at a very young age.  It is NEVER us that picks the tree but the tree that picks us!  It's VERY important to be quiet and to listen because
the trees whisper....they will whisper your name and call to you if they want to come home with you!  Only special children have this ability to hear their names being whispered....and so, silence and concentration began the hunt!  Dan and I followed with smiles and maybe a few tears of happiness as our three "tree hunters" went on their quest! Soon we would hear "WE FOUND IT" and see three small bodies with their heads buried into the green branches of our new Christmas tree!


Memories like this will always stay with me no matter how old I get or how far away our children move....this is what sustains us and makes us feel how great our accomplishments in life truly are.  My father was a smart and creative soul and I think even part of
him truly believed in the magic of the whispering Christmas tree.  His tradition not only gave us peace during this tree cutting time but gave us an adventure we will always carry with us.  Even with more of us using artificial trees now I can still look out into the forest and hear the trees whispering and so do my kids and our grandkids...somethings just stay with us....Merry Christmas one and all!  May we all be blessed with a little more magic this year! 
 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Snowmen and Characters for the Holidays

"PFATT Marketplace and Other Stuff".....
Available on PFATT Marketplace
Today is the last PFATT Marketplace of 2015.  Hard to believe another year has flown by.  Christmas is right around the corner and time to enjoy family, friends and awesome baked goods!  If anyone knows me then they know I LOVE COOKIES, I wear them well, right around my waist LOL!  I'm winding down with my Christmas characters since my online show is over, and a huge success, thank you everyone! Now... I'm focused on my last commissioned pieces for the year and adding things to my selling shoppe: www.softeessellingshop.blogspot.com.   

There is going to be lots of changes around here after the first of the
Available in my Selling Shoppe
year....some new and exciting and some REALLY scary but exciting as well.  One of the changes will be turning all my patterns into e-patterns....a long and tedious process but a necessary one.  I'm hoping to also get back into pattern designing as well (no promises but hoping).    E-patterns have become the new norm and does have risks with copying and trading but they also reach a bigger audience.  When you think about how big the world really is the rest just seems trivial in comparison.  Of course not everything I design will be available in pattern form...I like being a "one trick pony"... it's the nature of this beast LOL!  My PODDS and some of my mice will always be only available as finished
E-Pattern on Etsy
pieces, but that's not to say I won't come up with new and different patterns to enjoy.   


The pattern business, though not my main source of income, has been really good to me and continues to thrive.  No matter how old a pattern gets it still continues to sell well.  All my patterns are listed on my website: www.softinthehead.com but whatever e-patterns I have will be found in my Etsy Shoppe: https://www.etsy.com/shop/softinthehead?ref=hdr 

Here's hoping everyone has a wonderful holiday season whether it is shopping, creating or baking enjoy the moment.  Be with friends and family and share the joy of the season...it truly is a great feeling!  Merry Christmas All!




Sunday, November 22, 2015

Annual Christmas Sale.....

"Mark Your Calendars"
Time to mark your calendar for the "Soft in the Head" annual Christmas Sale.  We are busy here creating some new and interesting characters to add to your collection......Remember December 6th at 7pm EST...4pm PST
           click here to visit "The Shoppe"

Monday, November 2, 2015

We're Home and Smiling.....

Another Great Year.....
Another successful year has come and gone at "Ghoultide Gathering".  I know I'm a bit late to the party with my update but Dan and I took some extra weeks to spend with our daughter and her family in Ohio after the show and then just took time off to catch our breath, which was sorely needed!  This was our 7th year attending this amazing Halloween event as an artist and it just keeps getting better and better.  This year was a series of trial and error since I had to ship everything and fly
there....and it turned out awesome!  I know now that my globe witches/fortune tellers can be shipped, I like 1st class and I can merchandise with little or no props!  These were all concerns except maybe the 1st class thing....I mean after all 1st class is 1st class, right?
This year had an extra bonus waiting for Dan and I when we got to Ghoultide...our dear friends Tammy Speicher and Debbie Maas Miller would be there.  I just adore these sisters and haven't seen
Tammy Speicher
them in such a long time.  This would be Tammy's first year at Ghoultide as an artist and I was very excited for her!  I love Tammy's style and work and couldn't wait to see it on display and I wasn't disappointed!  Her sweet characters were full of charm and "primitive" whimsy!  LOVED THEM! 


The entire show generated some of the best Halloween art I have ever seen and I'm always in awe that my humble pieces are even a
My Booth
part of this incredible event.  "Soft in the Head" held its own and did well.  We were able to have 97 pieces this year which was 20 more than last year....I guess retiring to the Northwest helped LOL...and we packed up 14 pieces at the end of the day.  The great and funniest thing about this show, and it happens every year, are the emails and phone messages I get right after the show from Halloween lovers that couldn't make it but
Soft in the Head
wanted something from the show.  I was able to sell and ship most of the leftovers from my daughters before I left to head back home.  Thank you never seems like enough to all those that make the trip to this show from all over the U.S. just to own a piece of your work.  I have the most amazing followers and collectors and I thank my lucky stars everyday.  One never tires of the smiles your imagination and work create!  Being a part of "Ghoultide" has truly enhanced that feeling on so many levels.  Not


only is it great to see those familiar collectors but it's also great and heart warming to see your fellow artist friends, that also live all
Ghoultide Gang
over the U.S.,  under one roof.... it's like having a "party", it's never dull catching up and chattering like a bunch of magpies! It is definitely a hodge-podge of imagination, diversity and just plain fun!  The show has been such a wonderful experience and hope it will

continue to be for many years for both artist and collector....for all that love Halloween.

One of my favorite times at Ghoultide was the time I got to spend with, as I like to call them, my girls Tammy Speicher and Debbie Maas Miller.  Dan and I had the privilege of getting to know these two amazing women 8 years ago at a show we did in Columbus,
Sylvia Smiser's Booth
OH.  Tears and hugs were in abundance at the hotel as they greeted us when we arrived!  I love these girls! They make my life richer and more meaningful...they are truly two of the kindest and most unselfish people I know. I fell in love with this adorable bunny that Tammy had created, it spoke to me....but being on such a fixed income right now I could only love it from a distance.
Nancy Malay's Booth
Guess what was waiting for me at our hotel Sunday morning...this incredible bunny! Tammy gave her to me....not only did I receive this exquisite piece of art but I got a jar of "pumpkin butter" from Debbie. The meaning and emotion connected with the pumpkin butter touched my heart in such a way that I tear up writing about it. Debbie would buy a jar of pumpkin butter every year for their mom, it was tradition. Debbie and Tammy lost their mom almost 2 years
David Bruce's Booth
ago....need I say more How did I ever get so lucky to have women like this in my life? I'm truly blessed....they are indeed exceptional people. Thank you Tammy and Debbie for making me smile everyday and feel loved....


Ghoultide is a lot of things to me, the art, the collectors, the love of Halloween but the most memorable and best part is the meeting of "forever" friends!  Friends/artists that you have know for a decade
Audrey Swarz's Booth
or more that have that mutual interest/love of all things Halloween.  Even though we only see each other for a brief moment, just enough time for a hug or two, you carry that special bond with you forever.  I'm so thankful to have this opportunity in my life....I just wish I would have had the time to snap pics of my favorite collectors/friends but we were sooooo busy, busy is good...maybe next year!   


 I want to thank Nancy Malay, Lori Ann Corelis and many others for the use of their pictures since our camera was MIA at the time.  It truly is mind boggling the talent that is at this Halloween event....also the warmth and kindred spirit that lives here...Until Next Year!   Blessed Be.... Now for more images......
Sheila Bentley's Booth
Allen Cunningham's Booth
David Schilling's Booth
Paul Gordon
Cassandra Graham's Booth
Jennie Hepler-Takens Booth
Nicole Sayre's Booth


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Down to the Wire...We're Off!

"Putting the Needle Down....."
It is now that time...the time where I am putting the cover on the sewing machine, the needle into the pin cushion and taking a deep breath laced with anxiety, it's time to pack the suitcase!

There never seems to be enough time to prepare even though we know Ghoultide comes every year.  I don't know how most artists are but my brain just won't function until I'm under incredible pressure and have a deadline.  Most of my GREAT ideas always come after the show and no one wants to buy an idea, especially after the show LOL....  


In spite of all the changes in our lives
this last year I must admit I did do okay as far as inventory for this amazing event.  Not as well as years past and due to the shipping I had to reel in some of my ideas because they would've been 

to expensive or fragile to ship.....like my "fortune tellers", no globe characters this year (very sad).  I do, however, have some new and interesting characters that I hope will be well received...like my funnel scarecrows.  Did you know vintage funnels are a pain to find?  Well... the sizes I wanted anyway! These guys were so much fun to create and I do hope they find good homes!

Witches are definitely on the "Soft in the Head" menu for Ghoultide...I will have four new additions to my "Witches of Softwick" series, they seem to be very

popular and I have some new "Unusual Suspect" witches but this time they will be with their favorite feline.  I do love witches.  There will be "witch mice" galore and even some very unusual witchy ravens.   

In the past I have often enjoyed creating by re-purposing odds and ends.  This year was more difficult for me to do that because of our move to the Northwest and the fact that I no longer can drive.  The antiquing and hitting all the flea markets has come to a complete and total halt for now but with tenacity and prayers I'm hoping I will be up and at it again by spring....positive thinking!  I do miss those
eclectic flea markets LOL!   All in all I think I did pretty well this year for Ghoultide and will be excited to see how my new characters are accepted!   I mean who else makes Halloween ducks?  Right?   Not to mention I actually have a Halloween penguin too (thanks Kristen)....Ghoultide makes any lover of Halloweens' imagination soar, all things are possible at "Ghoultide Gathering".  Hope to see many of you there!  
Click Here for info:  Ghoultide Gathering

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Down to the Final Minutes.....

Boxing It Up and Shipping.....
The days are getting fewer for creating and it is almost time to box it all up and start shipping for "Ghoultide Gathering".  This year my inventory will be a bit different than years past, with the exception of my Raven Skulls, due to having to ship everything.  

Breakable re-purposed items will be limited which is kind of disappointing to me cause I do love working with vintage and antique odds and ends.  There will be a bigger selection of pumpkinheads this year and skellies....and of course mice, lots of mice LOL! After all what would "Soft in the Head" be without the mice! 

I have a few pieces that I am very excited about this year, my scarecrows made using vintage  funnels and my Raven undertaker and Raven witch.  Ghoultide has always been a great venue to
create for because it lets you live outside the box and your comfort zone....you get to push your imagination while still remaining true to your creative style.  There are times I even shock myself with one of my creations....I sit back and blink with astonishment that I did this!   The best part of all of it is to see the excitement and smiles that something I created gives the collectors that attend this wonderful Halloween event.  I love Halloween and everything about it...it fuels my whimsical artistic soul! 

For any info pertaining to Ghoultide Gathering just click here...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Not Coming Up For Air...

In The Zone......
Every year I seem to play this game with myself...I say "Self"...you are going to start early and get your inventory going for "Ghoultide Gathering"...and somewhere time just escapes me and before I know it August is here and I have 10-12 pieces completed for a show that is happening Oct. 3rd.  It never fails!  I guess this "old dog" will NEVER learn any new tricks or change her way!  I must admit though, I do work better under pressure!


This year will be so different for Dan and I since we will be shipping all our inventory to Ohio to our daughters home and then driving from their house to Ghoultide so the diversity of pieces won't be as vast as in years past.  I will continue to have an infestation of mice, everyone loves Halloween mice and Ghoultide wouldn't be Ghoultide without the proverbial "pumpkinheads". 

There will be some new and interesting pieces this year.  Can't keep this ol' imagination of mine corralled and stifled for long, I will

always have to explore my inner child and Ghoultide gives me that opportunity!  I have my "collector" post cards available which also give you a discount at the gate.  If you would like one, two, three or more just send me an email to: softinthehead@gmail.com with your address and the number of cards you would like and I will get them right out to you.  Okay...it's time to put some clothes on these ducks!   
Click Here for info about Ghoultide Gathering:  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Wicked Mouse Infestation.......

"What's New and Working Hard"
Seems as though the "Soft in the Head" workroom as been infested with mice!  They are spell casting, potion brewing little witches!  The table is crowded with the characters who are ready to be packed for their trip to "Ghoultide Gathering" coming this October.  My witch mice are one of my most popular characters at this show and I always seem to run out after the first hour so this year we have 14 making the trip...along with some Steamounk mice and mice obsessed with pumpkins LOL!  After this week of mouse games I'm thoroughly ready to move onto something else....did someone say "Duck!"

I would also like to take a moment here to share a great new pattern site that has been created and started by Maureen Mills of "Sweet Meadows Fram" and Kim Kohler of "Veena's Mercantile".  This

is a highly juried groups of pattern designers and makes your shopping for that perfect "prim" pattern much easier.  The work is diverse and unique and Kim and Maureen are very enthusiastic about making this a great "Pattern Place" for everyone to enjoy.....check it out and HAVE FUN!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/455407574627333/

Time to get back to the task at hand and that is creating for "Ghoultide Gathering".  So many characters have taken up residence in my head and they are constantly yelling to get out...busy, busy, busy!   Slowly I'm running out of room here in my
humble little workroom and many of the finished characters have had to find other places to hang out....like the top of my bookcase in my diningroom... If anyone is interested in a wonderful collectors postcast for "Ghoultide Gathering" which also gives you a discount at the gate just email me with your address and how many you would like: softinthehead@gmail.com

Be sure to check out the website for "Ghoultide" and find out who will be there and some great "eye candy"... www.ghoultidegathering.com


Friday, July 10, 2015

July PFATT Marketplace....

"Fall is Right Around the Corner"....
The PFATT Marketplace opens today with some new characters from my busy little workroom.  By the looks of things it seems that Halloween is on the menu with the exception of this little guy "Tobin" and his Big Hat!  It's always a good time to share some red, white and blue and Tobin is doing just that!  Working with mohair is rapidly becoming a favorite of mine not to mention creating mice.  

This next fellow is one of my all time favorite birds and something different for all of those raven collectors out there.  Originally,  he was called"Sneaky Pete" and wore a top hat and spats, he was also featured in "Prims" magazine.  He has a contagious smile and atwinkle in his eye that he makes the perfect Jester!  I think this guy will be a huge hit this year for Halloween....he is definitely one of my favorites.
One day my friend Rennie walked in with this resin shoe and set it down in front of me saying "it needs a mouse"....so here's a mouse!  We were both excited how this little character turned out.  After some shading and waxing the shoe looked and felt more vintage...add a cute little mohair mouse and some candy corn and you have an adorable Halloween piece that can stay out all year long.  I was so tempted to keep this little guy since who knows when another shoe might appear!
"Mrs. Thistleborn" is the actual finished sample I made for the pattern, by the same name, I designed.  I have wanted to design a witch mouse to sell as a pattern for some time and I'm very happy with Mrs. Thistleborn...now someone can enjoy the actual finished character that inspired the pattern.  She is quite charming and would be a great addition for a mouse and/or Halloween collector.  Hope you will check out all my pieces this month on the PFATT Marketplace! 
Click here for the Marketplace