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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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A Very Busy Time.....

"Busy, Busy, Busy"
available on PFATT
It seems that I never know what day it is any more and rarely get to my blog to update anything.  Being busy is a good thing but it can also be a
nuisance!   Just finished getting this month's PFATT pieces together and the set-up plus the banners made etc...now it is back to inventory for my up-coming shows.  
I'm just so darn excited about this new Halloween show I'm doing, "A Bewitching Feté" that I never want to work on anything else!
 There is some amazing folk art available this month on the Marketplace, we have some great artists!  You can always hear Dan from the other
Available on PFATT
room laughing and oooo-ing and ahhhh-ing as he gets their pages set-up for the month.  This month I will have four new pieces available.  "Verna's Kitchen" (shown above) and a funny little crow named "Poplar" who is selling pumpkins.  I love
Available on PFATT
when I find a way of using antique and vintage embellishments like her pumpkin box....it's an antique produce basket.
 
I really like the vintage tin measuring cup that I used for "Late Night Brewing" a sweet little pin-keep with a sleeping mouse.  It also has an antique tin spoon attached.  The sleeping mouse pin-keeps are one of my biggest
Available on PFATT
and best sellers and I really enjoy making each one special and different from the last one.   
The last piece I have on the Marketplace is an old favorite from last year my "Bewitching Sewing Kit".  My collectors LOVED this at my shows so I thought I would bring it back for another year.  The new sewing kit I will be making for my shows this year involves a coffin LOL....everybody needs one of those,
Learn to make this guy!
right?  As I plug along creating for my shows I will also be teaching another class for "Artful Gathering" this Fall.  This class will be a raven, a Poe-sque type raven.  I will be teaching how to apply clay to fabric and how to make the fabric covered wire legs...also how to make the clock and book!   Busy keeps me out of trouble and actually happy.  I hope everyone is having a great summer this year....stay positive and be happy!  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

"It Begins....."
I've never been one that plans anything when it comes to creativity.   My best ideas often come from the stress of a deadline or the pressure of impending shows.  This is the case with what I am
working on now.  Most artists work all year to prepare for shows, me....well I give it 6 weeks!  
I'm really into ravens this year and have started working on quite a few.  Usually when I create I do two at the same time, this not only helps build my inventory I have one I can sell before a show and one for the show, "A Bewitching Feté".  I rarely take orders during this time but I do have the PFATT Marketplace every month and some
prototypes for companies and magazine deadlines.
This year I'm working quite a bit with clay...still using cloth too, after all I am "Soft in the Head".  I have found that using different types of mediums, like mixing and matching parts, not only creates an unusual piece but a "magical" one.  I truly love the chicken wire skirt on "Amelia", thank you Shelly Wilson for suggesting it and the mannequin type body.  
This Fall I will also be teaching a "Raven" class for "Artful Gathering".  I'm in the process of designing it now and will soon have pictures.  Artful Gathering has been so much fun and I have met amazing and just the kindest people.  Many of my students are returnees from last year and we have such fun.  If you are at all interested in embracing your creative side you should definitely check out "Artful Gathering"......there are many great artists who are more than willing to share their secrets and talent with you.  Enjoy your summer! 
 

Monday, July 10, 2017

An Auction for Love

We all have moments in our lives where something amazing just takes our breath away. One of those moments is going on right now. As of 12:01 am EST tonight an auction will start to help two of the kindest and most unselfish people I have grown to know and love, Catherine and John Etter. I met Catherine through Facebook in a very unusual way. Dan, my husband, and I were at a very difficult place in our lives, both of us quite ill and finding we needed to move. With no family in the states to help and limited friends around us Catherine came to our rescue. She showed up at my door one day, drove 4-5 hours to get there, came in packed up my house, loaded up her pick-up with items and took them to an auction house and even bought us dinner. She did this 2-3 times and then gifted me with an amazing cobblers bench as a going away gift. Not once did she ask for anything in return but friendship. 

Her love for people and animals knows no bounds. Now Catherine and John need us...John is very ill and this has put them in dire straits, no place to live monumental health costs and just the day to day stress and pain of having no answers. The art community that Catherine loves has come together to help. Many artists have donated their time and talent to make a difference in Catherine and John's lives.

An auction is being held starting tonight at 12:01 am EST. Please check it out and BID, bid from your heart for these incredible people. I am over-whelmed at the turn-out for this event and wish I could hug each and every one of the artists personally! Please check out what is available at:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/238120173347662/?fref=nf

Saturday, June 10, 2017

PFATT Marketplace for June

"This Month on PFATT Marketplace"
This month on the Marketplace the "Soft in the Head" workshop embraced a wee bit of Americana and a whole lot of Halloween.  Wonder which season is our favorite?   

Mice still being an all time favorite of my collectors and followers there are two available this month.  The sleeping mouse, which
has been a regular here for many years, continues to be a favorite.  This time we have a little mouse having some "witchy" dreams while holding on to her favorite pumpkin.

Since my silver goblet pin-keeps have been so popular it has been fun
to create one for just about every season.  I do have one collector that enjoys this concept and continues to add to her collection. 


Tried something new this month with making "Moon Beams" a funny little character whose body is an old vintage can I had for many years.  I think that the
vintage funnel on his head ties this whole character together nicely. 

What would any Halloween be like without one of my "Witch PODDS"....meet Beatrice.  A funny green faced witch with a funny personality and a bumbling knack at making potions.  She is part of a new line of PODDS (Portly Original Designer Dolls) that has dangley legs which makes her perfect for a shelf.

These and many other works of art are available this month on the PFATT Marketplace....pop over and take a look.  The art is amazing and so are the artists that create it....

Monday, June 5, 2017

Artful Gathering Class

"Artful Gathering Class"
I'm so excited....my class with "Artful Gathering" starts tomorrow.  I have enjoyed being a part of this group so much.  This will be my second year teaching a class and it just gets better and better.  

When I was asked to do this last year it terrified me but with the encouragement from family and friends I did it and then this year it was just a bit easier.  Such an amazing group of artists involved, such diversity. 

If any of you have time this summer and want to do something really special for yourselves check out there is something to spark everyone's

interest...  "Artful Gathering"

I will be teaching a class on how to make a sweet little mohair dancing duck named "Isadora".   I do have kits available in my ETSY shop for anyone that would like one....they come with everything you need with the exception of glues, paints and sprays.   Hope to see you there and if anyone has any questions lease let me know....the excitement begins June 6th....

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My "Humble" Garden....

"My "Humble"Garden"
 Our home doesn't offer much in the way of a front yard, it's just a small little courtyard that is just right for Dan and I and easy enough for me to add a few flower pots here and there.  I love to
garden so I do the best I can with what I have to work with.  Surrounding us we have acres of flowering azaleas, rhododendrons, hydrangeas, roses, irises and wisteria....a virtual English garden everywhere you look but my courtyard is my little
slice of heaven and I love it, so do our birds,  squirrels and bunnies and other residents of nature.   Our two cats are always entertained by the neighborhood
wildlife that often visit 

 
to see what our courtyard might have in the way of something delicious to nibble on or to take back to their nests.  We even occasionally have a heron plop into our small pond looking for a snack, but the goldfish are to smart and dart into their little
shack under the water out of harms way.  All in all it's nice to have something that I can putter around in the morning and evening, I've always loved growing things.   Back when the kids were growing up in the Bay Area our backyard was a
rather small 18' x 14' slab of concrete with an old distressed but quaint wooden fence.  I use to bring home all the "close to dead" plants we could no longer sell in the flower shop and give them a new life.  I grew veggies and flowers in boxes, buckets and pots everywhere.  The kids loved
our backyard with its fountains and flowers...we spent many days and nights there.  When you love nature you can always manage to keep it around you.  This is what I do to our little courtyard here in Washington. 
This year I'm trying to grow
tomatoes in a bag, interesting and actually seems to be working.  I also have peas growing in a box and edamame and zucchini in pots.  The squirrels managed to kill all my cucumbers and beans but so far I have been lucky with my other veggies.
One of the things that Rennie gifted me with when we moved in was a peony plant, Peonies are my favorite flower and mine is just about ready to bloom, the fragrance is heavenly and I love leaving my door open just to smell it when it is in bloom. 
I also have oregano,rosemary, two kinds of sage and three kinds of mint growing in just about everything. It seems heavenly and attracts all kinds of butterflies.  Being a part of nature is therapeutic and gives a person a true inner peace not to mention
one kick ass salad!  Sitting among all the colors and smells in the morning with a cup of coffee and a good book is pure "heaven on earth" to me.  I thank "the powers that be" everyday for our "Humble Little Garden".......


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Guess What's New!

"Look What's Flying on PFATT"
The PFATT Marketplace opens today with new work from its 30+ juried Folk Artists.  This wonderful online marketplace has been around for over 15 years and has been the launching pad for many careers in the art world.  Every month on the 10th I look forward to seeing all the magic that gets created from its artists and this month it will be a great place to shop for "Mother's Day".
 
Since my "Soft in the Head" life has slowed down a bit due to arthritis and that I want to do more traveling and spend time with friends and family, the PFATT Marketplace gives me the creative outlet that I need to keep my mind spinning with new ideas.  I've also cut back on shows, only doing one this year, "A Bewitching Feté" in Pleasanton, Ca. Sept. 22-23.
 
I truly enjoy being an artist and it has been good to me, opening many doors for me into a world that I never knew I could be a part of.   I'm teaching classes for the outstanding "Artful Gathering"
and this in itself is such an honor.  I'm designing some new projects for a couple of magazines and my PODD Santa's are getting licensed this year, hopefully they will be a hit!   Life has been so good to me....but the best part of this art world, all the incredible friendships I have made along the way.  I am truly blessed! 

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....