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

Thursday, April 16, 2015

New Journey

How many times do we wake up in the morning and just take the day for granted....we look around ourselves maybe shrug our shoulders and get on with our day. Over the years I have made a deal with myself that before I close my eyes at night I say a simple thank you to the "Powers that Be"...a gentle reminder to myself that life should never be taken for granted, any form of it!  Even with the tough year that Dan and I have had personally dealing with health issues and insurance,  it doesn't even come close to what some of those close to me have had to endure and live with.  As I skim thru my Facebook Feed I see posts of loss,
disaster and hurt from people that I meet and greet here everyday. 

Dan and I were given an amazing opportunity recently...an opportunity that will possibily give us a new lease on life and a chance to have family and friends close by.  We're moving to Washington State.  This is scary but yet filled with excitement and anticipation since Washington was where I spent most of my teenage years and is deeply settled in my heart.  We leave April 18th with our little fur buddies Seamus and Issa while our belongings will begin their trek across the country.  This is where I say "AMEN and Thank God for Family"....Dan's brother and brother in law are flying to Virginia to
drive the truck and tow our car 3000 miles to Washington while Dan and I will be sitting in first class and flying there.  

The packing and preparing for this event has been daunting and filled with frustration for both Dan and I since neither of us function at 100% anymore.  I spend more time in a wheelchair than I do standing and Dan can only do 15 mins. of work before he has to sit for 15 mins.  Even though all of this has been difficult it did bring some mighty big angels into our lives.  

A year ago I had the extreme honor of meeting two of the most incredible women, Subrina and Wendy.  They not only became my housekeepers but they became my dear, dear friends.  They have given me so much of their precious time to make this move happen,
they're packing maniacs!  Also through everything there came yet another angel from Richmond, Va.  A Facebook friend that I had known for sometime decided to make the four hour drive to our house to
help....enter Catherine!   An incredible soul with a smile that goes on
forever and kindness that knows no bounds.  She made this trip not just once but twice and took a huge truckload of items to an auction house for us! We are so blessed to have these women in our lives.

We are off like a prom dress on our new adventure.  It's a bit bittersweet and yet exciting.  Through this experience I have been gifted with the knowledge I am never alone and have tremendous and caring people in my life.  Thank you Chris for our visit, to long in coming, and the thoughtful and cherished gifts that I will take with me, you are one talented lady!  Also to Sharon for the little monkey that will always bring a smile to my face and a memory of you!  

 It's truly important for each and every one of us the be thankful for what we have regardless of how small or insignificant it may seem at the time....life is blazing with possibilities, colors, stories and new beginnings!  Be accepting,  tolerant and loving because with those three important gifts comes a plethora of adventures and new friendships.....



 
 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Remembering Laughter at Easter.....

"The Eggs and I"
As spring begins to start "hopping" into our lives I begin to think back at all the springtime memories I had as a child and also of those I have of our own kids when they were young.  A smile creeps across this weathered face with a small sense of relief knowing that our kids were nothing like their mother and that their Easter shenanigans were mild in comparison!   Needless to say I had quite a wild streak when I was young and loved to play practical jokes.  
Every year we celebrated Easter in Malibu, Ca. and attended the annual Easter egg hunt there.  My mom was a huge contributor of colored eggs for this event.  Of course, my brother and myself were volunteered to help with the coloring of the eggs.  As I kicked and squealed at the thought of spending one of my adventurous and sunny days inside coloring eggs I began to form a plan.  What "if" I colored fresh eggs instead of boiled?  Hmmmm....love it!  The funniest part to this plan was that after the egg hunt the older boys always had their annual egg on the head bashing event, stupid
boys!  Now fresh eggs would definitely make this event more interesting and it did.  Seeing the shocked expressions on their faces as liquid goo dripped down their shoulders and stuck in their hair was more than any seven year old girl could ask for!  My belly laugh could be heard throughout the park and eventually the jig was up and I was running for my life as the boys screamed my name and ran in pursuit!  Good thing I was a champion tree climber, even in a dress!   Granted, spending my Easter stuck up in a tree with eggs being thrown at me was not my finest hour but I would do it all again just to see the looks on those faces when the raw eggs made contact!  

Have an incredible Easter Everyone....Many Blessings to All!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Imagination Keeps Me Young......

Unlocking the Magic......
When we're young it seems that all things are possible.  We have that special childhood power that keeps all the monsters under the bed, nightmares end with the rising of the sun and we think everyday smells like pancakes on Sunday.    We like to surround ourselves with the stories of enchanted forests, shimmering faeries and magical elves because as a child we are eternal optimists in a sea of doubt and these little characters are able to take us on many magical adventures without even leaving our backyards

When I was a kid my dad and I shared a fondness for the outdoors, especially the garden.  Many times I would sit in an old apple tree and watch my dad spend countless hours turning the soil and navigating streams of water down each row. He was amazing at finding something magical in the simplest of things....like a knot hole in a tree or an abandoned gopher hole. 
He loved to make up stories that would involve these special places creating all kinds of characters who lived there.  I used to get teased because for the longest time I thought that our tomatoes were actually grown by a family of badgers that my Dad had told me lived at the edge of the garden.  It had to be true cause my Dad said it was.....
He also convinced me that his pet pig, Geoff, (yes, he actually had a pig named Geoff) was a King from another land who was hiding from an evil wizard so he was a pig during the day and a handsome King at night.  Yep, you guessed it I camped out at the barn to watch him change but always fell asleep before it happened....As you probably have guessed I was quite the gullible child but was never lacking when it came to my imagination!

Daydreaming was a constant companion and with my Dad's help we found many uses for those day dreams.  We would build Faerie houses!  Much to my Mom's dismay dirt and I were the best of friends and spending all day digging in it was heaven to me.  I remember building mounds of dirt with tunnels and twig porches and wooden doors.  Dad would use his hoe and sculpt a winding brook to run past our little houses.  We spent hours building pebble fences and planting flowers around our Faerie houses....they were good times! 

Life was not always a walk in the park and like all families we had our ups and downs....but I choose to only remember the happy times and the time I spent with my Dad in his beloved garden were some of my happiest.  I contribute my vivid imagination to all those "garden story times" we had so many years ago.  I still build Faerie houses and with each twig and pebble I use I smile and remember the apple tree, tomatoes grown by badgers,  my Dad and Geoff the Swine King! 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Finding My Comfort Among Pages.....

"Comfort For My Soul"

All of us have our favorite places that we haunt to find comfort or to sit and  just "think".  My place is an old bookstore....the dustier and mustier the better!  Since I was a young kid I loved books and often found myself a quiet place in a remote corner of the barn with one planted up to my nose.As I got older my mom and I found our favorite outings were those that took us to some bookstore hideaway that was often run by an eccentric gentleman and his cat!  Mom would be involved in a heated discussion about current editions while I would be off looking for adventure in the over-crowded and dusty aisles of books...always looking for that special volume that would send me into yet another world of intrigue and derring-do! 

When Dan and I travel we are always on the look out for some random "over-stuffed" relic of a book store, the older the better.  Once I walk through the door I feel as though I have been transported to another place and definitely to another life.  Books are the best friends and "comfort food" for ones adventurous soul!  Dan and I could spend literally hours mulling and wandering through the volumes of places and imagination and often coming out with our arms full of information and new adventures.
 
When I visit my old stomping grounds in Wa. state one of my VERY favorite places to visit is the Duvall Book Store.  I'm always guaranteed to find  something interesting where I can get lost for a few hours to a few days!  Not only that but the whole atmosphere of this bookstore is friendly and magical.....from the giant stuffed bunny that greets you at the door to the bench made out of old discarded books.  Every place you look is full of that kid-like sense of adventure and mystery mixed with a serious dose of dust and cobwebs!  I love it!!!!!
What is even better is that soon this will become my hometown and I will able to visit often.
 
Dan and I are so fortunate that all three of our kids are avid readers and it has carried over to our grandkids.  Books are the doorways to a never ending road of adventure, love, mystery and education....the ultimate gift you can give your mind!  

I have to keep reminding myself of this as we finish packing the the 40th tote of books that we will be taking with us on our new adventure and move to Washington! 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

To New Beginnings.....

"Going Home and Lovin' It"
Our life paths open many doors for us as we travel along and it's up to us whether to acknowledge and go through that door or not.  Over the past year many such doors have presented themselves to Dan and I and we finally went through one and found amazing possibilities on the other side. 
 
As many of you know Dan has been struggling with some serious health issues that resulted in him having to take an early retirement.  With this came the realization that we will no longer have health insurance for a year because we are both 64 and Medicare doesn't kick in till we are 65.   Researching options here in Virginia presented us with nothing so we began to evaluate our options which of course were limited.  The one that made the most sense was to go home to the west coast.  Washington state provided us with a health insurance option and a wonderful new place to live....but the best part is it will be closer to family and life long friends.  The perk that I didn't expect is that so many of my artist friends live in this beautiful state and I will still be a part of that "art" community that I love so much!  I just found out that by dearest friend Johanna Parker's parents will be practically neighbors so Johanna and I are thrilled that we will be seeing each other in the near future.
 
Since I've never been one that minded change I'm very excited with what this new adventure will hold for both Dan and I.  I'll continue to travel to Michigan every year to be a part of  the "Ghoultide Gathering" and this will give me the opportunity to see old friends, make new ones and get some much needed family time since our daughter and her family only live 45 minutes from Ghoultide.  
 
Virginia has been good to Dan and I and we'll be leaving some wonderful friends behind but they will know that our door in Washington will always be open for a visit and since Seattle is one of my favorites places I can give everyone a great tour.  
 
An added bonus to our move is that Dan will be back in the environment he has loved and helped nurture....the great Northwest Mountains with their rivers and streams.  Being an avid flyfisherman and having fished the entire west coast, he is thrilled to be going home to catch and release the entire state of Washington!  He's even toying with writing again, having been published many times in the past,  this will be a good thing!  So many possibilities to keep us young and excited about life.   Now, I have to figure out a way of cramming 42 years of stuff into a one bedroom home....it's like trying to cram an elephant into a thimble!  Eeeeek!
 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

March Marketplace......

"Spring Is In The Air"
Since most of us have experienced a major deep freeze this winter it's so nice to see some warmer temperatures on the horizon.  With the warmer temps comes thoughts of spring and with spring come "BUNNIES"...my all time favorite thing to create!   I never tire of finding new and interesting bunny characters.  This month on the PFATT Marketplace I tried a couple of new ideas, well, one isn't so new but the size is and that is "Mrs. Butters".  If anyone is like me, as far as collectibles, sometimes you just run out of room for larger collectibles and like to have a sweet smaller piece that will fit on a shelf or in a cupboard....this is "Mrs. Butters".  She is a  remake of one of my favorite designs but she
is only 9" tall and sooooo sweet.  I really love how she turned out, so much I almost kept her!  

Embracing my primitive roots I came up with "Biddy Bits" a little rag tag bunny with her own egg.  She is quite worn and an overly loved little bunny that comes with her own large mache Easter egg.  I've always been fond of rag dolls and "Biddy" definitely fits into that category.  

Spring isn't always about bunnies but quite a few other warm and cuddly little characters and some of those are ducks!  I think we all find little ducklings fun and full of cuteness!  This is why  I have created two, "Puddles O'Kelly" and "Isadora"....each is made using one of my favorite fabrics, mohair.  I just love how they turned out each having their own personality.  
Unfortunately all these characters are "one of a kind" and are only available on the PFATT Marketplace...Hope you will pop over and check them out and maybe even adopt!   I know they would love to be at your home for Easter! 
Click here for the Marketplace:  PFATT Marketplace