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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, June 9, 2016

Christmas in June on PFATT

"Ho Ho Ho....It's Christmas in June"
I must admit that everyone who is an artist on the PFATT Marketplace has been having so much fun with the theme this month, even Dan who is busy putting the final touches on the site.  I hear him chuckling and uttering "Ho Ho Ho" as he types away in the other room.  What is it about Christmas that just makes everyone smile and go to their "happy" place, I love it, nothing better. 

This month "Soft in the Head" with have two characters ringing in the Christmas spirit and two others who are just along for the ride.  As you all know I love making rabbits and so I had to do one for our Christmas month.  "Mrs. Fuzzington" is a new design with a whole lot of personality.  She is a tall bunny of 16" and made from wool.  Her wardrobe is very busy but Mrs. Fuzzington wanted to embrace the elf side of her personality and I think she did rather well with a combination of stripes and solids.  I especially love her hat!

Of course Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a mouse or two and that brings us "Caroling Charlotte".  She is a rather noisy little lady as shes strolls the streets by her home singing at the top of lungs her favorite carols!  Everyone loves when Charlotte comes to visit, she is never empty handed!   Wonder what flavor of cheese ball Miss Charlotte is bringing this year!

To change it up a bit this month I have two non-Christmasy characters.  One was
featured in the last "Prims" magazine and is one of my favorites cause he loves to fish!  Not flyfishing that normally happens in this family but the ol' time worm on a hook....and he actually has a worm on a hook!  This is "Lincoln" the little crow who likes to play hooky and go fishing.  He is also holding an antique tin cup filled with clay worms.  Just love this guy!
As everyone knows I am a Halloween junkie and I can't get through a month without adding to my "always in demand" witch mice
inventory.  This month I'm actually letting one slip away and find a new home...meet "Esmerelda".  She is part of my "Mice of Softwick" series of free standing mice, very popular at my shows.  I just love the simplicity of her....she just makes me smile!

I hope you will join all the wonderful, talented and delightful artists of the "PFATT Marketplace" this month as we celebrate an early Christmas this June!
www.pfattmarketplace.com

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

My Life with Mice!

"The Mizzlewith Mice and So Much More".....
Often when I sit in my workroom I just stare out into space and wait for the creative spirit to whisk me off into another world....or I'll have another cup of coffee and just dive in to whatever is sitting around me.  Most of the time I will find an object or a piece of fabric that will get my brain spinning which then begins my journey into that creative world....this is how the "Mizzlewith Mice" began!   
Mr. Nibbs ©2002

I've always had a reputation of being a mouse designer...I find mice fun and easy to create.  Having many different styles of mice ranging from the meek little house mouse to the more aggressive Ol' Shrew.  These little characters have been a part of "Soft in the Head" since the beginning of my pattern days.  My VERY first pattern was a mouse "Mr. Nibbs"...a rather odd little Santa mouse who loved socks!        

Mice have always been a a HUGE success for me and I must admit that it's always a challenge to see how I can make them different and yet true to myself.  Many of my mouse designs come from stories I heard as a child or created for my own kids.  It has always been easy to developed a whimsical personality
for a mouse and to fall in love with their cuteness.  I've discovered that my mice with teeth have
become more popular over the years...there is just something about a protruding tooth that always gets a giggle and a smile!  The witch mice are always a hit and I sell so many at shows and online.  But I honestly believe the best seller of all has been the Santa's.  Christmas always inspires a
sense of kindness and magic and makes all of us become kids once  again.  There is nothing sweeter than a simple little mouse dressed in his red and white suit to make all of us feel nostalgic!  Creating these little characters has always given me happiness....happiness when it seems there is little to be found anywhere.  It has
always been a great relief to me to know that my imagination and the characters I create can also give this same sense of happiness to others.   Over the years I have counted my blessings many times because I was able to find this passion in my life...it never occurred to me that I would become an artist, an artist who loves creating MICE! 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Getting Witchy Again......

"My Love of Witches"
As an artist we often find that one particular look or design that becomes our signature look...my long faced witches have done that for me.  Over the years I have created many of these funny and whimsical characters and each time I fall in love all over again.  It never ceases to amaze me how many comical expressions I can get
with just a simple tug of a thread or a dot of paint.  These funny little ladies have been one of my best sellers at shows and online, so many possibilities!

Over the years they have changed, not much but just a bit different.  They became a vignette in groups of 3 or being posed with their favorite feline.  They seem to get skinnier over the years with less clothing but still had that long
whimsical face that still, after many years, makes me chuckle every time one is completed.  

My newest long faced with is one that I actually thought of at 3am when I was having trouble sleeping. She's an impatient little witch that gets bored easy and just wants to get on her broom and start flying but alas she is made to wait till the "midnight hour" so she pulls her hat over her eyes and gets a few winks before it is "go time".
 After all being good at your job depends on "attitude" and this little lady definitely has that!   Coming up with new ideas using the same body can be daunting at times but very rewarding when one of the ideas you have works and works well. 
 

This year I plan on using this same look and apply it to some cats, bats and skelly's...My mind is a whirl of ideas and I can't wait to dive into Halloween full time and see what emerges from my workroom....Ya just never know around here!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

My Art Journey.....

"Registration is Now Open"

As of May1st the doors were opened for registration.  This is a great time to fill your summer up with exciting avenues of new techniques and lots of art!  Nothing makes a persons spirit soar like "art".  I'm in awe with the talent that is available here on "Artful Gathering".  I, myself, will be taking a class or two because I find it
exciting to be taught by some of these incredible talents and it will help broaden my horizons in the ever changing world of art!

As many of you know I am teaching my first class with "Artful Gathering".  This is a new adventure for me and one that was difficult at first.  Sometimes we just don't think about what we do as artists because it comes so natural....but when we have to
describe it to someone else we realize how complicated it can be and tough to explain.  I can't tell you how many times Dan yelled "CUT" as he was filming because I forgot to explain what I was doing LOL....

My class, "Miss Mousie Pin Keep", will be in 'session two" which starts in July.  I can't believe the response I have already received and how many have signed up.  This is one of the most exciting adventures I have had in this world of art and one I hope to continue.   If anyone has questions you can always email me at: softinthehead@gmail.com and I will be happy to help you.  I've already had some excited individuals share their pieces they will be using as the container for the class.  
I love the diversity that is happening!  If anyone would like to purchase a kit which includes everything you will need for the class except for needles, glue, container and odds and ends of paint and polish.  The kit can be purchased from my Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/softinthehead?ref=hdr

Here's to new adventures and great friends we find along our journey!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May "PFATT Marketplace"

May Is Here and So Is "The Marketplace"

"Halloween" is on the brain!  It seems every May my mind starts to think in orange and black and every character starts wearing a witches hat!  It seems I begin to smile more and I start spending more time in the workroom laughing out loud as I work!  It is no surprise that I LOVE Halloween!

This month on "The PFATT Marketplace" I have two witch mice....I love making witch mice and by the time Halloween gets here the world has acquire a rather large population of these funny little characters.  Doesn't matter how many I make no two ever look alike and they all take on their own special personality.

One of my favorite things is naming them.  It seems my family
history is quite colorful and loaded with funny eccentric names that go back hundreds of years.  So I have a plethora of choices.  This month on PFATT there is a rather matronly looking mouse, Eugenia, and a funny little gardening mouse, Ettie.  They are both loaded with personality and will fill their new homes with many smiles.

Since we are getting into the months that are filled with red, white and blue and also campaigning I thought I should add a bit of "Americana" to my
offerings this month on the "PFATT Marketplace.  Haven't made a PODD for awhile so why not a "Humpty Dumpty Humphrey PODD".  This guy is just the funniest little fella.  He looks like an egg with pudgy cheeks and a patriotic attitude! Humphrey is my first PODD with legs.  He would look great sitting on the edge of a shelf and since he is weighted he won't be falling anytime soon.  He truly is adorable and sits approximately 12" tall.
 

Many times I have wanted to create something that is just different and a bit outside the "Soft in the Head" box.
I love going back to my primitive roots once in awhile and create something a bit more on the extreme side....I did it this month on PFATT.  Here is "Miss Liberty".  She is very prim with a stitched face, nails for her crown and a rusty key for her nose.  Of course I had to add my "Soft in the Head" trademark, a mouse!   I love how this little lady turned out. 
Click here to: PFATT Marketplace


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Big Changes and New Adventures

New Shows and Adventures.....
Halloween and Vine
Change is tough, change is difficult but with change comes adventure and all kinds of new experiences.  To give up doing "Ghoultide Gatherings" after 7 years was one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make in a very long time.  I wasn't just giving up a show I was giving up a huge part on my yearly income, amazing friends and collectors that traveled every year to see me and add a new "softee" to their collection.  I had every intention continuing with
"Ghoultide" this year but after Dan's knee surgery and my on going battles with walking realty slapped me along side the head and said "NO MORE"!  I had no idea how I was going to make up the huge hole in my income and continue to get my Halloween fix....then I got a message.  "Halloween and Vine" invited me to be a part of their incredibly
established Halloween show.  Not only will I be able to drive there but Dan's family is 45 minutes away from the show.  I will finally get to meet artists that I have only known online...this is EXCITNG!  I have always believed that when a door closes a window opens and mine surely has! 

Not only will I be doing "Halloween and Vine" but there is a wonderful Halloween show 20 minutes from me in Bothell, Wa.
Hallowbaloo
that I will also be a part of this year and that is "Hallowbaloo".  I went to "Hallowbaloo" last year as a customer and was impressed and amazed at the talent I saw there...not only that but the friendliness and warmth displayed by all involved was contagious.  Very excited to be a part of this group as well  and the fact that it is so close is a real perk.

Life is a myriad of paths leading us on such an adventure if we let it.   I never dreamed 20+ years ago that I would be creating funny

little characters that would bring so many smiles and happiness to others or much less make a living at it.  I never considered myself much of an artist, just someone with a vivid imagination, and now anything goes!  Never count yourself out of anything, always believe in the magic of possibilities.  "Ghoultide Gatherings" was an amazing experience and I take away so many life lessons and fond memories from there but now it is time, even at 65 years of age, to grab on with both hands and enjoy the ride into many new adventures and make more memories!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

"Spreading My Wings and Teaching"

 "Artful Gatherings" has been gracious enough to give me this amazing opportunity to actually teach an online class.  I have been asked by many followers of "Soft in the Head" to teach a mouse class and have been to insecure to give it much thought but I want to give a HUGE shout out to Zinnia Galliher for believing in me
and helping me to make this happen.  

It's quite daunting to be among these incredibly talented artists who are sharing their gifts with everyone.  I find myself wanting to take a few of the classes being offered.  Many different mediums and techniques, something for everyone and taught by the best.  

I will have kits available for my class which will make it even easier for the beginners.  Can't wait to meet and make new friends.  Thank you "Artful Gatherings"!   To find out more about this class and others just click here:  "Artful Gatherings"

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Easter Greetings and More....

"It's Easter!"

Hard to believe that spring is already here and the bunnies are sitting on the sidelines just waiting to deliver all those yummy chocolate eggs to empty Easter baskets everywhere!  It was so much fun being a kid in the 50's because where I grew up it was a mom's job to make sure their kids were dressed neat and tidy and in their Sunday best then they were set loose with that empty Easter basket with hopes of finding the hidden eggs under every leaf, bush and thicket there was....not good for anyone's Sunday best, we survived but the clothes not so much!  We all looked like soldiers after the battle but our smiles were big and our eyes sparkled with success.

My favorite part was getting a rather large Chocolate Egg in my basket every year.  It was decorated with hard frosting flowers and rick rack and left me in awe over the beauty of it and not wanting to disturb or eat any of it.....of course this insanity only lasted a matter of minutes before I found myself devouring the frosting decorations first and then biting into the rich gooey goodness of chocolate. I LOVED EASTER!


Easter is a time for family and friends....and a time for reflection.  This springtime celebration carries with it a message of "re-birth" and "new beginnings"....It is time to forgive, feel blessed and to forge ahead with an open heart and hand.  None of us are perfect but it's those imperfections that we all have that can either make us stronger because we learn from them or we can use them to find the imperfections in others to enable ourselves from ever growing to become better people.  It took many years for me to learn that I will always be a "work in progress" but everyday is better than the one before.....

Enjoy your Easter with a heart filled with hope.....take a minute to send some of that hope to someone that is struggling whether it be from a devastating loss or just because they are having a tough time.  Hope can be the best gift you can give to someone that feels lost....  Hug your family and friends, they are the best gifts you have ever received.   Happy Easter Everyone and may there be a chocolate egg in everyone's basket!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

PFATT and So Much More....

"Spring is in the Air"
It has been an extremely busy couple of months around here....okay I lied!  It has been an amazing couple of months around here just being lazy and enjoying my family and friends.  After loosing a dear friend, Tammy Strum, I decided to take some much needed time to just breathe and live.  Instead of waking up and going straight to work, I woke up and read a book, fiddled around re-organizing my house and just holding dear Seamus (our cat).  Caught up on some old movies and recorded shows and went for a walk,...YEP you heard that right I went for a walk.  It wasn't a long one but I did it!  I managed a whole quarter mile before I couldn't go any further....now I am trying to do that at least 3 times a week.  

Since re-charging my batteries my creative mojo is slowly
returning.  I didn't even want to pick up a needle after Tammy passed away....the trauma of that left me crippled with grief and many other things.  The "PFATT Marketplace" has been really good for Dan and I, it not only pushes me to create but it has become
something the two of us share.  We are trying to take this wonderful site into a whole other direction with diversity and easy online shopping.  It has been baby steps and nothing comes easy but Dan is into it and I see this site becoming fun and full of incredible folk art from all different mediums soon.  We received a rather amazing gift from an anonymous benefactor that will enable us to advertise outside Facebook without any of the artists having to foot the bill...who knew such people cared enough about your success to be so generous.  Our numbers are up on the site and keep growing and this is good for everyone involved.  Dan makes sure all the artists
are kept in the loop with this....my husband rocks! 


The new "Marketplace" goes up today and we are so lucky to have fantastic "Guest Artists" that want to participate and help our site to grow...not to mention the art work that becomes available from the resident artists.  I love being an artist but I also love watching others grow and shape their creative side and imagination.  
I've been toying with the idea of retiring from creating but something inside me says "not yet".  I just finished my first instructional video and I have to say it was fun and interesting.  Of course it's true what they say the camera does add pounds, in my case quite a bit LOL but nonetheless it was an awesome experience.  "Artful Gatherings" has been wonderful and I can't wait to see where this new venture takes me.  It's truly interesting how our lives take us on these amazing adventures filled with interesting people and experiences.  Some work and some don't but if we can learn anything for all of it, nothing is in vain.   I'm a seriously enriched and blessed person, faults and all....I wouldn't change one part of my life....well maybe one thing I would have loved to have gone into space LOL....  

Check out the PFATT Marketplace for this month:  PFATT Marketplace.com





Monday, February 15, 2016

My 1st Online Class

"This Is Exciting"

Hey Everyone! Here it is my new adventure, an online class thru "Artful Gatherings"! I will be teaching at Artful Gathering Online Art Retreats 2016!
To get the excitement started there is a preseason kick-off that includes the AG annual Hop Contest with great prizes. Each week they will have 3 of the 2016 artists featured. Hope you'll hop along with us and maybe win an amazing prize! Check it out!
 
http://www.artfulgatheringevents.com/hop-contest


Back before Christmas I was contacted by Christina "Zinnia" Galliher about maybe teaching a class for "Artful Gatherings".   Though I felt quite flattered I never really thought I had much to offer anyone as far as teaching because what I do is so basic and like most artists we never see our work the same way others do and we are our own worst critics.  I thought long and hard about it and finally said yes.  During the time of getting my class together Zinnia has received many hysterical emails and phone calls from me about "OMG" I can't do this but between Zinnia and my husband Dan I am slowly finishing up my project and it will be available for the Online Classes for the 2016 season. 

This actually might be a new direction for "Soft in the Head" and a good one since I have many designs that I do not offer as patterns and I could offer them as a class.  I've always been a bit camera shy because, lets face it, a wide angle lens is a must LOL and I never really thought to many people would want to see my old mug in the first place!  I'm finding, with Dan as the cameraman we are having quite a bit of fun and its great to be working on a project together. 

The artists that are in the line-up for 2016 are beyond amazing and their bios are filled with years of hard work and education perfecting their craft, unlike mine which reads like someone who found creating as a kind of therapy from being an "empty nest" mom.  Yep, I'm definitely in a group of the best of the best and have bruises from pinching myself to keep believing that this isn't a dream but reality!  Thank you Zinnia for believing in me and giving me this wonderful and amazing opportunity!  So excited!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Reflections.....

Important Lessons In My Life
Reflection: Do you remember these bracelets? A POW bracelet (or POW/MIA bracelet) is a nickel-plated or copper commemorative bracelet engraved with the name, rank, and loss date of an American serviceman captured or missing during the Vietnam War. I found one of the many that I had, when I was working at Norton Air Force Base back in the early 70's, when we were moving. This particular young man was never found or I was never notified so I held on to the bracelet usually you return them to the family once their journey came to an end.

I was young back then and trying to work my way through college....I counted and tagged body bags as they came back from the war and made sure that all the correct paperwork went with each warrior as they began their journey home. At night I managed the NCO and Officer Clubs on the base. The point I 'm getting to is, these bracelets taught me a VERY valuable lesson about myself, my life and the people I choose to have in it. We all want to be accepted, we need to be accepted and sometimes how we go about this acceptance can be shallow, selfish and extremely hurtful to others. I felt back then that status was the most important tool to finding or getting acceptance among my peers and one way to have that was being in the circle of only Officers and their friends. When it came time to purchase the MIA/POW bracelets I was adamant I only wanted to wear the bracelet of an officer, to me it was a status symbol and something that made me feel I was one of the elite, the pretty people.

I remember the day, like it was yesterday, when I realized that this simple metal band with a soldiers name on it didn't make me cool or one of the elite because I had chose only officers names to wear....it showed me how incredibly shallow and insensitive I was to my fellow human being.

I was at work organizing my paperwork when a couple came into my office....It was the base Commander and his wife. He was a two star General and she was a Colonel. Each one of them removed a bracelet from their arms and handed it to me. Tears were in their eyes as they told me their warriors had come home and were in the hanger and would I put these bracelets with their paperwork. When they left I looked at the names, they weren't officers they were young privates, each only 19 years of age. Realty hit me right between the eyes then and there. I was all worried about being one of the cool people instead of being just human and caring about humanity as a whole. My life changed dramatically from that point on. I became the richest person I knew, rich from my experiences with my friends and my family. I began to accept people into my life not because of what they could do for me but for what I could do for them.

I'm writing all this because some things never change in our lives but it's how we see it or embrace it is what makes the difference for all involved. Some of the people in my life will never be monetarily rich or live in a immaculate homes or surround themselves with material things....but yet to be with them you see that they are Royalty in their world and embrace life with both hands and enjoy sharing the ride with me....My life has been a full one with peaks and valley's, whose isn't but it is how we look at it is what gives us the wisdom and ability to accept all and look beyond the surface of many. Remember too...bad things happen to good people everyday, don't judge be brave enough to ask questions . Whether you are an officer of life or a soldier, you are a person and we all belong to each other....the value of a person is not established by their accomplishments..... Blessed Be

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I'm Still Here....

I'm Still  Here....
Life has been so crazy around here recently that I haven't been on my blog in weeks, shame on me....As far as creating, oh piffle what's that!  I did, however, manage to create a few new characters for the PFATT Marketplace that went up today.  I know it's a bit late for Valentine characters but I like spreading love all year long!  I have a couple of sweet little mice available, Peggy and Jack....both of them are quite
lovesick and very excited about Valentines Day.  Each one measures 8" tall and are mounted to wood bases.

As spring begins to approach, well we hope it is, I have a sweet little duck who enjoys playing outside and flying his kite.   His name is Simon and he is fun.  I remember being so excited when the wind would kick up so I could take my kite
outside and fly it.  It would go so high it would look like a little speck from where I was standing.

This is first month for the "PFATT Marketplace" under its new name...instead of always being known as "Primitive Folk Art Trinkets and Treasures" it is now "Prominent Folk Artists' Trinkets and Treasures"....this way we have more flexibility with the type of art we show.  We are proud to announce we have 9 new artists this month and an incredible Guest Artist, Jo James!  There is also a
special tribute to my dear friend Tammy Strum who left us quite unexpectedly  last week.  My heart is just shattered by her passing, I miss her terribly!  We also have a new page we call the "Artist Spotlight" and this month it is Raney White!  I hope you will take some time to visit us at the Marketplace....it's growing and becoming so much fun!  www.pfattmarketplace.com

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!