"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

Monday, November 28, 2016

"A Winter Show and Being Thankful"

"Winter Show, Thanksgiving & Much More!"
Half Moon Bay, Ca

Dan and I have returned home after a wonderful ten day adventure that included friends and family.  Our first stop was in Pleasanton, Ca. were "Soft in the Head" was part of "Winter Wonderland" my first Christmas show in over eight years.  The show was small and
intimate with only a few artists but it was amazing and filled with fun, laughter and a camaraderie only found among artists.  Dan and I were excited
Melissa Tereck
to see Phil and Nicol Sayre again since we no longer are doing a show a Michigan with them any longer.  The entire day was was filled with good times and Christmas magic.  We made new friends and collectors of our humble little characters.  I loved Pleasanton and found the downtown very unique and homey.

From here we drove to Redwood City where we would spend a few days with my dearest friends Brian and Annmarie Sullivan.  Annmarie and I have been best friends for 32 years and haven't seen each other in a few years so this visit was long over due. 

While Annmarie was at work Dan and I went on an adventure and touched base with many places that held fun memories for us and our
Our Favorite Beach
kids since they all grew up in this area.  We went to our old house house in San Mateo, so many memories,  then to Half Moon Bay where we, as a family,  spent many weekends on the beaches throwing Frisbee's and
Half Moon Bay City Council
dreaming!  As we drove to our favorite beach we were greeted by the Half Moon Bay City Council (the sea gulls)....these are the friendliest sea gulls I have ever met, they came right up to our window asking for snacks!

Many incredible memories come from the Bay area....whether it was watching our kids grow, the forever friends we made there or just finding the strength we needed in each other to keep going
Our home for MANY Years
during the tough times.....this area will always be home!   Most of this happened in this tiny little house on Williams Place in San Mateo.  I LOVED THIS HOUSE and had tears in my eyes when we sat in front of it.....how one little house could hold so much is amazing!  I hope the new residents find the same kind of magic there that we did.

Our next stop is Napa, Ca. to have a feast with

Joe in charge
family....Thanksgiving!  There is nothing better than the holidays with family.  What was fun about this one is to see the nieces and nephews take charge and prepare the feast.  Our nephew Joe Gracia was the Captain in charge and "Oh My" it was incredible.  Joe made these delicious rolls that looked like
pumpkins...even though I'm not suppose to eat bread I had two of them...NO REGRETS!   They were very tasty with just a hint of pumpkin and had pecan stems.  After the baking they even looked more like pumpkins because of their
golden brown appearance...so yummy!  Everything was very tasty and festive.  Been many years since Dan and I have broke bread at a Thanksgiving feast with his family so every minute was one to hold on to.  The table was gorgeous and the air was
filled with the smells only a Thanksgiving dinner can make.   There were three generations of Gracia's for Thanksgiving along with friends.  Thanksgiving is such a special time as we all remember the best parts of our lives and give a nod to them.  As we stood at this amazing table in anticipation Joe started the tradition with a prayer, a prayer of thanks.  Even
Dan and Nephew John
though there was one chair that was empty and never to be filled again I know that Tom looked down on all of us and knows his son Joe did him proud.  There are some things that time takes away that will leave our hearts with a hole never to be filled so that is why we need to surround those holes with as much love as possible!  I think we did just that this Thanksgiving!  

                 Blessed Be All!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Annual Christmas Sale

"It's That Time Again"
"Soft in the Head" is hard at work getting ready for its "annual" Christmas blog event on "Softee's Selling Shoppe". Hope you will mark your calendars for December 4th and circle the time: 4pm PST and 7pm EST.

It's Christmastime for "Soft in the Head"

  "Almost Showtime"
It has been all a buzz here in my little cubbie-hole of chaos known as my workroom as I get ready for my first Christmas show in about 8 eight years.  I
was asked to take part in a special event being held in Pleasanton, Ca. at the Hyatt House November 19th.  It's quite special because some of my Ghoultide and Halloween & Vine artist friends will be participating and it will great to spend time with them once again.  Both Dan and I are very excited!
Being in the Christmas spirit is always a great feeling especially
now with so much anger in the world floating around.   With every stitch I make and every mouse I stuff I travel down memory lane of all the Christmas' past.  Remembering all the friends I have made because of "Soft in the Head" whether they started out as collectors or fellow artists I'm truly blessed and inspired everyday!
 Since the show is in California we will being staying with dear friends and have Thanksgiving with family which is always fun.  It has been along time since Dan and I had Thanksgiving with family especially his so this will be an extra special trip.
   I was able to find another rustic old car that will hold some crazy elf mice and a vintage tin sleigh
that will be a home for a new Santa and some primitive reindeer.  Creating Christmas memories through my work has always been the best part of my job.  
Dan and I want to wish everyone a wonderful and loving Thanksgiving....enjoy your family and friends, they are the most valuable gifts you can give yourself......

Monday, October 10, 2016

It's Fall on the Marketplace

October "PFATT Marketplace is Amazing"
"Gordy and His Gourd" PODD
As we get further into the Fall season the colors, pumpkin pie spice smells and cool crisp weather
seem to put a skip into everyone's walk.  There is nothing better than Mother Nature getting ready for that long nap called winter as she paints
"Bewitching Sewing Box"
everything with vibrant color and begins the
harvest!  Like small children in anticipation for Halloween we get all a flutter with excitement that only the Autumn season brings.  We become baking maniacs and coffee aficionados  re: who
"Silly Sally Cat"
has the best "pumpkin spice" coffee!
This month on the PFATT Marketplace many of the artists are showing off their talents with an autumn theme.  The Folk Art available is magical and some of the best I have seen.  We have a bit of everything for those collectors of special "one of a
"Remus the Crow"
kind" work. 
This month I have four new pieces.....a Scarecrow PODD with a gourd habit, a "Bewitching Sewing Box",  a sweet silly ragtag cat and a happy go lucky crow who is excited that Fall is here. 
Please visit us and while there be sure to enter our giveaways.  We have the kindest and most generous artists not to mention talented!
Click here to visit: PFATT Marketplace

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

"Loving Fall"

"Love The Colors and Everything About Fall"

Fall is here and it feels so good to be able to do some outside decorating. Back when we lived in Vermont I always loved seeing all the Fall displays and colors as everyone decorated for the season. The mountains would come alive like they were on fire with color and then to see all the homes with their creative displays gave me goosebumps of excitement! I LOVE this time of year. Now we have mountains of evergreens surrounding us but the small splash of color I have outside my door still gives me the "warm fuzzies" that only the Fall season can give!
Last year, at this time, I was still using a walker/wheelchair to get around so my decorating skills were limited to indoors...NOT this year. I'm walking even without a cane and everyday is another step towards complete independence! At one point I had almost completely lost hope my life would ever change but because of my family and friends and their love and support I kept going. I'm almost 70 pounds lighter, my breathing is amazing and the pain I live with has become manageable. I started this amazing diet 3 months ago, expensive but do-able and I'm starting to see a remarkable difference. Faith as a lot to do with it too. No matter how much adversity one has to deal with if we continue to have STRONG faith in whatever "power" you chose or our own spirit, we can accomplish just about anything....Having my Dan has also been my greatest gift! It's much easier to go down the dark corridors of life when someone is holding your hand and has your back. Blessed Be one and All.....

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Halloween and Vine and Family"

"Coming Full Circle, A New Adventure"
"Soft in the Head"
Before you even begin to start reading I must warn you this post is going to be long because like my new adventure to Petaluma and Halloween and Vine life opened many incredible doors on this journey.  I not only was a part of long time
established Halloween extravaganza I got to see and hug long time friends and family that I have never met in person or been away from for 10 or more years.  This trip was more than business it was life changing.

Sharon Stevens
It was magical to put faces and personalities with long time  online friends.  I got to be right next to Sharon Stevens who I have known since getting in this business 20+ years ago.  We got teary when we met....not to mention meeting David
David Everett
Everett who I have known since the days of Crow Soup and he was doing soft sculpture, yep soft sculpture!  Watching David over the years grow with "Chicken
"Chicken Lips"
Lips" and become the amazing artist that he is now brought a few tears of pride to my eyes.  Fame has not changed him one bit he is the sweetest and kindest man and that can even be said for Marty his partner, adored

them both!  The best part of doing this caliper of show is the camaraderie among artists that comes alive.  We all have similar history and when we come together in a
Edgar and Edgar
venue like this it is like reading a manuscript...a manuscript filled with imagination, magic and success!   I do apologize that I do not have more
LuLu Lancaster
pictures....Dan and I were so tired and over worked we simply forgot to take any until it got so busy we couldn't, but we did manage a few.   

LuLu Lancaster
Another highlight I had was meeting LuLu Lancaster....I have to admit I was a bit giddy cause I just adore her  work.  Her little people/dolls always make me smile.  After meeting her I can see why they have the
Jorge de Rojas
personality that they do, she, herself, is quite adorable.  I also met another one of my all time favorite artists/people and that is Jorge de Rojas.  I didn't catch Jorge before the show to get a picture of the two of us and you couldn't get near his table after
LOVE "Zombienose"
the show started.  He is just as sweet and cute as I thought he would be.

Halloween and Vine was completely different from what I was use to.  My sales were not what I was hoping they would be but then again I was the new kid and art shows like this are all about collectors and collectors are built over a period of time.  I did, however,  surprise many and was received with the smiles and giggles that "Soft in the Head" is known for and have quite a few NEW collectors that will definitely be looking for us next year.    

Speaking of collectors I had one of the best experiences ever , I had one of my favorite collectors drive from New York to see us and she even gave me the gift of a lifetime, a "David Everett" original.  Shelly and Wayne Wilson are
two of the sweetest people and to see their faces definitely tugged at my heartstrings.  I wish we could of had more time together....I miss them so much!  Shelly had Wayne wait in line to get my gift, one I will treasure always.  David does NOT sell early to anyone his collectors are important and since they are the ones waiting in line they come first....really admire his integrity!

I can't say enough about this wonderful experience and all the people involved putting this iconic show together.  It has the feel of the old time craft shows we all grew up with but within its walls it holds the imagination and skills of amazing artists that put pieces of their hearts and soul into each piece of their work.  It reminds me a bit of a magical "Portobello Road" for Halloween.  A huge thank you to Stephanie, Kerry and Kimberlee!  I hope that I will get the opportunity to return!  It was a wonderful experience!

Part of our trip to Petaluma also included seeing and staying with family in Napa, Ca.  It has been almost 11 years since I have seen many of our family and this was such an exciting time.  Dan

and I got a wee bit nostalgic as we drove past Mt. Shasta as we remembered our time living there, one of the best times ever!  The morning of
"Halloween and Vine" we were greeted with the flight of hot air balloons over Napa which is pretty common and always exciting to see.  After the show ended it was time for the family gathering.  There is nothing better than a "Gracia" family get together...it is
HUGE, loud and crazy!  This time my long time best buddy Annmarie got to join in the fun too along with Rennie.  I hadn't seen Annmarie in 10 years but it seemed like no time at all had passed.  Food was everywhere, generations of Gracia's were everywhere,
Our niece Ally, her son Jace and Dan
there was laughter, stories and hugs a plenty!  Best part about this family is the word family!  I never had that growing up so I thank the "powers that be" every day that I have it in my adult life cause
Our niece Elizabeth "Bits" and her sons
there is nothing better!  To see the family grow and thrive with love and respect the way this one has can only strengthen ones beliefs about what is truly important in life.   I have been a part of this extraordinary family for 44
years now and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm not grateful.  To see Dan's mom the "Matriarch" herself, brought tears to my eyes.  The family lost the oldest sib last month, Tom was there though I felt his presence everywhere I looked.  Whether it was in the faces of his kids or grandkids he seemed to be there smiling and enjoying the laughter and spirit of the night with all of us.  I also felt Dan's father who left us in 1989 and Kathleen's (Dan's sister) husband Ken who left us 6 years ago.  Family never leaves in just continues in the faces around us and the memories we carry in our hearts.  I have a saying about my husbands family that sums it all up "you cut one they all bleed"...Family is everything!  Thank you to everyone that helped to make this trip so memorable...especially my loving and amazing husband Dan and my dear, dear friend Rennie for coming along and putting up with us!  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

"Hallowbaloo Pics and Fun"

"We Did It"
"Hallowbaloo" has come and gone and with the experience many new friends, collectors and followers have been made.  This was such a fun show, seriously FUN for both Dan and I.  It was

small and intimate and the ART was "off the hook" amazing!  I remember looking around me as I was setting up wondering why I was even here cause the work I saw was some of the best ever!  Dennis Haynes did an amazing job bringing this group together!  I see good things happening down the road for this show and see it growing

leaps and bounds.  Anything done with such passion, whether it be the art or the show itself deserves to succeed.  

"Soft in the Head" did quite well and I made some great "forever" friends.  I even had a couple from Colorado who are very good friends with Johanna
Parker make the trip to see me.....they were so special and I smile everytime I think about our time together at "Hallowbaloo".   Dan loves meeting and chatting with all the Halloween lovers that come through.  Friendliness and smiles are plentiful at Halloween shows....we are all letting that
inner child we have guide us and we have so much fun.  To see the faces of all those walking around and enjoying the  atomsphere energizes an artists' soul...nothing better! 

I wasn't able to get pictures of everyone's special spot or the artwork but the ones I did get will give you an idea of the talent that was here.  I will NEVER forget when I saw the "Day of the Dead"
dolls with faces completely made out of bead work or the "Day of the Dead" work from Isaiah Urrabazo that looked like it stepped right out of Mexico....amazing!

Everytime I made the loop around to meet and my fellow artists I was amazed and star struck by what I saw.....it was all so different and showed the passion that each artist had for their work, simply amazing.  Even though it was
a small show the diversity and quality was some of the best I have ever seen.   

A huge "Thank You" to Dennis Haynes for not giving up and believing enough in this idea to keep pushing forward.  We all know it wasn't easy for you and we truly appreciate your efforts.  By the reaction of the people attending and the smiles on their faces I think you have finally hit
 a "home run" and your dream of a quality Halloween show here in the Seattle area is coming together... Here's to 2017!