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Soft in the Head

Updated: 2018-03-20T08:45:48.648-07:00


The Changes of Life.....


"And Spring Begins"As I stand outside and look through the old wood gate my mind begins to drift...Dan and I have been here going on our 3rd year.  Funny how life keeps changing around us but yet we still feel the same as we did many years ago.  I look in the mirror and wonder who that person is staring back at me, I just don't recognize her anymore.  The face looks much wiser than I remember, a whole lot older but wiser.  The wrinkles are trying to take over but the smile that seems to dominate that face keeps those wrinkles at bay.  The quote from Abraham Lincoln comes to mind as I look at the reflection in the mirror "And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years".....and Dan and I have had a lot of life!Standing and looking out over this old gate it's easy to remember what everything will look like in just a few months.  Buds are already popping out everywhere and the trees are starting to hang heavy with them.  The colors will be pouring out of flower boxes and pots plus the smells will be heavenly.  Right now it looks sad....  Spring is such an amazing time of year, it's the birth and beginning for just about everything.  As we drive to town we see the new lambs and calves playing in the fields.  Garage sale signs are popping up everywhere as everyone gets into the "Spring Cleaning" mode.  The eagles are building their nest and soon we will have another bunch of eaglets forging for food and diving into our pond after a tasty morsel.  The snow geese are everywhere right now and you can see them pairing off and looking for possible nesting areas.  Country life is the best, even the smell from the local dairies don't seem to bother me.  When spring is here you will find me in my humble little "porch" garden planting my sprigs of herbs and veggies and re-potting last years geraniums.  It may be getting more difficult for me to get out and dig in the dirt to plant my garden so knowing that my neighbors down the road always have a well stocked vegetable stand is nice.  The bird feeders will get hung in front of the window to give Sammy and Issa something to fuss over and so I can enjoy the plethora of color that comes and goes and our squirrels will return to torment poor Sammy which is always fun....WELCOME SPRING we have missed you!Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

Back into the Workroom again...


"Getting Back into the Swing"
I'm finally getting back into my workroom and trying to sew.  I've taken the last couple of months off to go to Australia and also to deal with a death in my immediate family.  Grief is extremely crippling but work is also good therapy.
This month on the PFATT Marketplace I have so new pieces, old designs but new pieces.  It was good to go back to creating old friends since my brain is still a bit foggy with grief.  I have always found making mice comforting so this month I have some Valentine Mice to offer.  
Sweet Adeline is one of my favorites, probably because of the fabric, fell in love with it when I saw it.  The "twins" as I like to call them, make a great shelf sitter because they
are the perfect size and the bucket is so cute.
Spring is on everyone's mind right about now so I had to create a few bunnies.  These were a popular design last year so I thought it would be a nice to bring them back.  Each one is holding a special egg they have been working on.  They are great and funny Easter additions. 
This has been good for me to get back into
the workroom and in time, maybe I will learn
to laugh like I use too.  I truly miss David, and will always keep him close to my heart.
Enjoy PFATT everyone, we have some outstanding artists and they have outdone themselves this month!

YES....Those Dreams Do Come True!


                                "We're Here!"Anyone that knows me knows that I am blubbering like a complete and total buffoon as I write this.  The hardest part of parenting for Dan and I has been raising three, extremely, diverse and talented kids.  Each had wanderlust in their veins and an incredible uniqueness that has often left Dan and I alone during the holidays and to not have the convenience of extended family close by or to watch our grand children grow-up.  As difficult as it is I wouldn't change a thing.  Our kids are amazing, each one!  They are good, caring and intelligent individuals with a heart full of empathy, compassion and love with a desire to make our world a better place for one and all.  They have NEVER seen color, religion or lifestyles as an obstacle to becoming friends or family....they are better people than their parents and that is, in itself the greatest gift any child can give a parent because it makes you realize you did good!   This is the first time in 11 years I have seen our grandkids...Abby is almost 13, Rohan 11 and Eli turned 10 today.  Australia is their home and what a home it is.  These three are beautiful, thoughtful and loving little souls and not to mention talented.  We were gifted with a concert from our granddaughter last night that just made Dan and weep with joy.  She has just been signed to a radio station down here that will be promoting her throughout Australia as the new and upcoming star.  This is HUGE!  We couldn't be prouder...she is one of the most humble souls I have ever known, extremely well grounded and mature beyond her years.  I have been afraid of flying for many years and with my health being so bad it made it almost impossible.  Since our move to Wa. life has become incredible....I have a new outlook re: priorities and that includes people.  Family is first and then everything else.  I once thought "Soft in the Head" was more important than just about anything but now i find it's just my job and life is my bliss instead of the other way around.  This mind-set has also helped me become an even better artist.  The day I received my passport was the beginning to many new and exciting adventures for this old lady!  Flying is still tough but I love the idea of new and exciting countries and wonder our kids became world travelers!To be here with my family is the BEST birthday and Christmas gift I could ever receive.  I've already seen the Sydney Opera House which is beyond description and gave me chills to see it!   I get to see the Harbor Bridge light up on New Years in person and not on television.  I get to see how the Aussies do Christmas, considering it is smack dab in the middle of summer here LOL   WE GET TO BE WITH OUR GRANDKIDS!Today we celebrate Eli's birthday, yesterday was mine, looks like cake and some shopping today after school...Dan and I couldn't be happier!  Thank you one and all for your love, support and encouragement!  We really are truly BLESSED!!!!!Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

Dreams Do Come True!


"Dreams Do Come True"Well, the day is almost here, we're leaving for Australia.  A couple of years ago I was moving back to my childhood surroundings and thinking that if I could just get around without this chair or walker  life would be complete....I think the "Powers that Be" had other ideas.  Not only is the chair and walker gone but my life, our lives (Dan and I) have become so blessed!  I thought when I left Ghoultide and the East coast art world that it was time to say "good-bye" to "Soft in the Head" but the complete opposite has happened, business is better than I ever imagined and the support, love and friendship I have found here out west just takes my breath away!  Now we're going to Australia!  I get to spend Christmas with my son, his wife and our three adorable grandkids.  We've never met the youngest, Eli, in person and haven't seen Abby and Rohan since Abby was 2 and Rohan a baby.   Everytime we talk about our trip both Dan and I get a wee bit teary....Family is so important and with ours it is everything.  We raised our kids to be free spirits but never dreamed that would include living all over the world.  This Christmas is Australia, next year China?  Dan has decided we are going to start traveling more and more since now I can walk.  We have plans for Ireland, China and a cruise to Alaska for starters.  I love having a passport, now I want to fill it with stamps!  We're hoping to see our other grandkids, Jude, Ethan and Grayson, this spring.  We've spent many Christmas' with them and now that everyone has decided to "grow" it's very important to make the time to see each other, besides I really miss my daughter and our shopping excursions and watching her master the kitchen (I hate to cook).  I keep telling myself that they will always be little and cuddly but life has other plans as they are beginning to be taller than their mom!   Christmastime truly brings out that special bond with family even more....I blame Santa LOL that's why I married him cause then it makes it Christmastime all the time!  Dan really loves being Santa and our grandkids love that he looks like Santa LOL   How did I get so lucky to have this man in my life? "Soft in the Head" has closed its shoppe till I get back in January.  Ican't believe how successful it has been.  Thank you to all the wonderful followers/collectors for believing in my work and making "Soft in the Head" part of your Christmas!  This was my best year to date!    I was blessed with so many new collectors and even some live right here in Washington.  One I met many years ago at Ghoultide and now she is practically a neighbor LOL. Life really is a funny thing and if we just dive into it with a happy and kind heart it will show you some amazing things.  I feel reborn once I let go of the toxic people in my life and all the "cut-throat" behavior that seems to reside in the art world.  I made it...I made it on my own without ever using someone else to open doors for me and I am a richer person because of it.  Karma is my friend!   We want to wish all of you a VERY Merry Christmas and an incredible 2018.  Be kind to one another even if it hurts LOL  Let's all embrace this gift called life and spread its happiness with a smile!  Peace out!Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

Christmas Has Come Early....


"Christmas is Early Here"As I look around my workroom I have to chuckle, it's Christmas and Christmas hascome early for this ol' Softee!  Anyone that knows me knows I'm a last minute kind of person, one that works better under stress.  I didn't want to miss out having a "Christmas blog sale" this year because of our trip to Australia happening at the end ofthe month, just needed to change it up a bit.  I was very happy with the feedback from my followers re: whether to do a sale of just sew and upload to my shoppe, the sewing and uploading has worked much better for me.   My shoppe:    has been so nice to have and keeps track of my inventory, paypal buttons make it even easier for someone to shop too.  Wish I had thought of this sooner.  There is only one downside to having my own shoppe, the shipping.  Prices are so much higher now not to mention how much I dislike boxing up stuff, I even dislike gift wrapping.By having my shoppe the selling as I make it helps quite a bit with the packing and shipping, it's all spaced out and not to over-whelming!  Besides I really enjoy taking my time with each piece.  I find myself getting attached and not wanting to part with certain characters LOL.  The mice are what everyone seems to be wanting and I have those in abundance around the workroom.  It's always fun to see where my imagination will lead me when I start creating one of these funny little rodents.  So far it has been a wonderful road.  Be sure to check out my shoppe: Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

A New Christmas!


"Thinking About Red and Green"Today I begin the magical ride into the world of Christmas after a VERY successful year in the world of Halloween!  I just packed up my Halloween fabric stash and spent yesterday unpacking and organizing my Christmas fabric.  Odds and ends have been ordered to get me into the winter state of mind.With Dan and I preparing for our trip to Australia Ihave decided NOT to have a blog sale like I do every year but instead I will sell as I finish pieces.  I know this will be tough for all my followers/collectors that depend on my online event every year but since we will be leaving November 28th this will be a better fit for my schedule.   I will promote my pieces on Facebook and here on my blog but everything will be listed in my "Shoppe" www.softeessellingshop.blogspot.comI have snowmen on the mind and LOTS of mice which seem to be one of my collectors favorite.  This year I will be stepping back into my primitive world with some Olde Tyme Santa's and a few funny PODD Santa's.  The PODD Santa's have always been a hit and I actually have a few PODD collectors that would be extremely disappointed not to add to their collection.  I'm trying to come up with something new and different this year and maybe even try a PODD angel and snowman, we'll see where the Christmas spirit sends me this year.  I truly hope that not to many of you are disappointed about me not having my annual Christmas show but I must admit we are a bitover-whelmed with this trip to Australia, excited to finally hug our grandkids and spend time in our son's world.  We will get 6 exciting weeks "down under"......this is a dream come true.   Dan and I will actually be having Christmas in the middle of summer there....Christmas on the beach!  Now this is a first!  Christmas is going to be a GREAT New Experience this year!   Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]



"Soft in the Head Annual Fall Sale" The shows are completed, the sewing machine is quiet and it is now time for my "Annual Fall Sale".  The sale will begin October 8th at 5pm Pacific time and 8pm Eastern time.  It will continue till every "softee" has found a home.  This year my show was very successful so my inventory is smaller than usual so I will be adding to it throughout this next week.  As a special thank you to all my wonderful collectors I will be offering "free" shipping within the continental U.S.  For those collectors of mine that live in Canada, Hawaii, Alaska and England I will send you a separate paypal invoice for shipping, with an appreciative discount of course.  The sale will be in my "Shoppe" so be sure to click over to Everything is "one of a kind" so orders will not be taken, sorry.     Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

"We're on the Road"


"Chaos and Creativity"It's here!  Showtime!  I remember many years back Dan and I use to hit the show season with a vengeance and do anywhere from 10-30 shows a year.  Now, we are down to just one show..."A Bewitching Feté" in Pleasanton, Ca.   This is the first year for this show but what makes it so incredibly special is the amazing line-up of artists that will be there and not to mention it is in the quaint rustic town of Pleasanton.  I'm beyond thrilled that I have been asked and included to be a part of this and will be debuting some new and different work for "Soft in the Head".  I use to work myself silly building inventory but this year I went with a much slower pace.  Having Dan get so ill, of course, helped with that but nonetheless I did more of what I enjoy doing than what I think I should be doing.   A few years ago I acquired this antique wooden doll mannequin.  It sat on my worktable gathering cinnamon dust and Lord knows what else when I decided I needed to add a head, then a wire skirt and a couple of tacked on wings and before I knew it I had this amazing raven witch!  I had no idea what I was doing at the time but I sure loved what was  taking shape.  I put her up for sale and she went to a brand new collector, I was hooked!  I've done clay ravens for years but this was different, I pushed myself to try different and different worked!  I will have new and different at my upcoming show, I hope it will be well received.   I've never been one to surf the internet for ideas and I can't even tell you the last time I was on Pinterest.  I strive to be different and I think I've really done it this year.  I'm still hooked on orange and black as you can see by the picture above but those colors will always symbolize Halloween to me and besides I love them!  Working with vintage and antique odds and ends is something Iwill never change.  I love using silver (real silver) vintage and tarnished goblets, old sugar bowls and creamers and a rusty clock or two.  This year the pin keeps are  big in my inventory and some little casket sewing kits. I'll still have my all time favoritesat the show, like my "Softwick" witches, the sleeping mice and my clocks.....I never come home with a clock!  All in all I think this will be a wonderful trip and show.  The best part is seeing old friends and collectors and making new friends and collectors....So we're off, wish us luck and if you're in the area of Pleasanton, CA Sept 22-23 PLEASE stop byand say hello! to Dan and I, we would love it!www.abewitchingfete.comYour wisdom and thoughts....[...]

Change is TOUGH!


"Times, They Are Changing"Most of us never care much for change cause as we get older we get set in our ways and comfortable, change just mucks it up.   After moving to Washington state  I thought that, just  maybe, we were finished with any other BIG changes and I could learn to be bored LOL.....not so lucky.  The change that is affecting us now is not a good one and is taking all of my time to learn to live with it.  Illness does this, it comes unexpectedly and then begins taking all your time which changes everything and making plans becomes impossible. One of the biggest changes, for now, is that I will not be able to teach my Fall class for "Artful Gathering".  This was not an easy decision since I love teaching and have had such a great experience doing it.  Cristina Galliher, owner of "Artful Gathering" has been such a guiding spirit in my life which makes not doing this class even more heart wrenching BUT I will be back next summer for the new season of "Artful Gathering".  For now I will continue to play in my small vegetable garden gathering my Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, green beans, zucchini squash and snap peas.  Nothing makes my spirit sing like growingmy own food.  My tomatoes are show worthy and so yummy.  The cherry tomatoes rarely make it back into the house as I stuff them in my pocket and munch on them the whole time I'm outside watering.   I've also gotten into the picking the wild black berries that seem to be "everywhere".  I think Dan is getting tired of blackberry cobbler, blackberry pie, blackberry jam and blackberry muffins...but in my defense "blackberries are REALLY good"!"Soft in the Head" is still planning on being in Pleasanton, California Sept. 22 and 23 for "A Bewitching Feté" inventory will be low but I have some of the best work I have ever done ready for this show.  After viewing the line-up of artiststhat will be there, many I have only admired through magazines and seeing their work in stores, I'm getting very excited.  I'm not on Facebook/Instagram very often anymore and I'm missing birthdays, anniversaries, special times in the lives of my online friends, please forgive me and know I will return one day, soon I hope.   I think of everyone of you often but for now I'm needed here.  I will drop a blog post once a week and continue to bore everyone with pictures of the cutest cat in the world, our Sammy.....Take care one and ALL!    Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

A Very Busy Time.....


"Busy, Busy, Busy"available on PFATTIt 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 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 PFATTroom 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'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 biggestAvailable 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!   Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]



"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!   Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

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:

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" 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....Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

Artful Gathering Class


"Artful Gathering Class"
I'm so 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....

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 littleslice 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"....... Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

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! 

"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.  Ihave 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 worsedays 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!     Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

"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....Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]



This Month on PFATT....Been a busy month but not so busy that I didn't think about spring and all the pretty pastel colors!  Bunnies have always been a favorite of mine and this month on the Marketplace I have one of my "Bertie and his Balloons".  He's a small boy but one that is so cute that he stole my heart.  The balloons are actually clay eggs, just something a little different."Sleeping on the Job" reminds me of how I feel many days, especially during the holiday season.  The sleeping mouse has always been popular ever since my first one I did 6-7 years ago.  This one fell asleep inside an empty egg with his paint brush still in his hand.For all my sewing friends I have these little mice who are always happiest when covered in thread and holding a needle.  This particular style has always been one of my favorites and I was happy that I could finally use some of the vintage spools I have in my workroom clutter.  Spring is definitely in the air with this little lady and her wheelbarrow.  She is getting ready to start hiding those special eggs for Easter.  For some reason "pink" has become my favorite color for the month.  I think I'm ready for spring!  Please visit all the amazing "folk artists" on the PFATT Marketplace this month:  www.pfattmarketplace.comYour wisdom and thoughts....[...]



" We All Have Magic"There is magic in all of us...everyone!  The magic can be as simple as a smile and a greeting to someone who is having a bad day, or an offered hand when a person needs help to cross a street or even just a few loose coins dropped into a welcoming can or cup of someone in need.  Magic doesn't require a wand or a puff a smoke to happen, magic just needs love and belief in ones self to come alive.Magic came to me in a most unusual way, through art.  When I was young I never thought much about being an artist or even sewing anything.  I failed miserably in HomeEc in High School and drawing anything that resembled a human being was so far out of my wheel house it was laughable.  What I did have was an incredible imagination.  My imagination was my "safe place" when chaos came knocking.  In my magical world I could find friends and comfort when the real world offered me very little.  Now my "magic" comes in the shape of mice, bunnies, frogs, cats and a plethora of other oddball characters that make others smile and their days just a wee bit merrier!  I love doing what I do.  I may of had to go around the block to get to the house across the street to find my magic but alas I did find it.  We all need "magic" in our lives, more now than ever.  Magic is something we should share.  Look inside yourself and see what lies there then bring it out and try it on.  You never know what you're capable of until you try.  Take a class, watch a tutorial, read a book and then share what excites you.  It's always easier to sit back anddo nothing but as the seconds tick away just think about what you "could" have learned, tried or created in those passed seconds or minutes!  You might have even found your "MAGIC"!  Remember each day to be kind, be generous, be patient and be understanding!  We all have flaws it's what makes us all so darn interesting...but when we discover our "magic" we become the "givers of smiles"!Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

New Characters Who Steal My Heart


"Nighty Night Little Mouse" Every once in awhile an artist will create a piece that just steals their heart and they really don't want to sell it....that's the case with this old time alarm clock with the sleeping mouse.  I've had this empty clock for some time wondering what I was going to do withit and then it hit me while I was sitting outside wondering how all the little critters are doing in these cold temps.  It turned out exactly how I envisioned it and I'm thrilled....but alas like all my creations it needs a forever home.  I will find joy in knowing that something I created will give someone smiles and an occasional chuckle.  This little guy along with other pieces are available in my "Shoppe" at:  Hope you will visit themthere and enjoy their different personalities.  There is even a bunny who likes paper-dolls, and a bunny asleep on a flower, an Irish mouse and so many more!I will be adding new characters throughout this next week.  Never a dull moment around this workshop!Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

Choosing a Job You Love


Many who are self employed probably feel the same way that I do....I love my job!  There are parts that can be a struggle but over-all it's truly a gift!  One of the main reasons I'm able to do what I love is because of the incredible man that I'm married too. He truly believes in me and helps to support this artistic adventure I find myself on.  Believing in yourself isn't the only obstacle one has to deal with but finding that others do as well can be difficult but it seems that I am very lucky re: this.....I have an entire family that supports and rallies behind my whimsical endeavors....they even oooo and ahhhh on command and without payment LOL!  I'm truly a blessed and fortunate soul!Through the years "Soft in the Head" has been included in some rather amazing events from being on the cover of major magazines, participating in highly juried shows to teaching classes for  respected and well known organizations.  With every new adventure there has come new friends and new keeps an old soul like me happy and re-charged.  As I continue to push ahead I have found I'm getting a tad slower and my humble little characters are taking me longer to create but they still  come made with oodles of love and the attention to detail that I love so much.This year "Soft in the Head" has cut back on shows and commissions because to be honest I have personal big plans in the making and I think it is time for me to get out there and live a little. Our trip to Australia is at the top of our list, I get goosebumps just thinking about it.  I'm still teaching for "Artful Gathering" but this year I will be teaching 2-3 classes and to top it off I will be doing a brand new Halloween show that will also include some of my old Ghoultide Gathering buddies....I can't wait.  If any of you are down in the Pleasanton, California neighborhood September 22-23rd come over and have a "spooky" good time with some incredible and magical artists.  Pleasanton is a quaint and special town on its own but then you throw in this event and it is a recipe for some pretty amazing "Trick or Treating".....    Right now I'm busy in my "room of chaos" also known as the workroom creating for "Spring".  Whether it is a bunny or a sleeping mouse spring seems to be in the air.   Mice have always been one of my all time favorite characters with bunnies running a close second so you might just hear some humming or even out of tune singing happening while the creating is going on.  I have found a new passion in the world of soft sculpture and that is the "pin keep or pin cushion".  Creating one has become an adventure for me since I get to add my other passion of "old junk" into the mix LOL.  One of the things that makes "Soft in the Head" so special is how I re-purpose pieces of time into my characters, like the old vintage wine goblet for the "sleeping mouse", orhow an old tarnish sugar bowl can turn into a keepsake pin cushion or an antique silver compote dish can become an adventure for two whimsical mice.  I truly love my job.....but the best part are all those smiles I have created over the years....thank you one and all for making "Soft in the Head" a part of your lives. Confucius said: Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life! Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucius Read more at: htt[...]

Learning Something NEW and Liking It!


Teaching This Old Dog......No matter how long we do something it seems we can always learn to do it better.  My problem is sometimes I'm just to bloody stubborn to admit I need to change and learn. I love creating small little characters and in the past I have always prided myself that I made their hands and feet using an old floral trick (florist here 35 years) of bending and wrapping wire.  This technique has seriously taken over with many others doing it now, and I use to think I was original...oh piffle!  I love the look it gives my primitive characters and lets be honest it just fits with cloth where clay is a whole different medium that belongs in a club all of its own.Being "Soft in the Head"  means just that, soft, which clay isn't!  Now, over the years I have learned to combine the two but still staying true to myself.  Lately (the last couple of years) my hands have started to show the wear that arthritis creates and wrapping wire has become increasingly more difficult so I decided a few months back to take a class about making polymer clay hands and feet for my characters.  I had already been making shoes, noses, teeth and Lord knows what else using clay so why not hands and feet.  I enjoyed the class and it opened my eyes to all kinds of possibilities..... but no one need worry I will still be making cloth characters, especially the mice!  I tried out my new technique on a custom piece last week and the collector "LOVED IT".   This "Old Dog" really does hate new tricks but I have to be honest....IT WAS SO MUCH EASIER!  I'll still do my "old school" way on some of my characters, cause personally, I just think it adds to their look.... but this new way of doing it was just so much FUN!Your wisdom and thoughts....[...]

My Weight Loss Journey


"My Weight Loss Journey and Other Changes" Weight loss at any age is difficult but at sixty-six it's almost impossible!  Four years ago I started gaining weight at an incredible rate.  This was mostly due to all the new meds I was taking for my breathing, arthritis and other severe health issues.  As time marched on my marching almost came to a complete and total halt.  Due to some rather unfortunate obstacles in both Dan's and my life we re-located to Washington state from Virginia....BEST MOVE EVER!  This is where I found an incredible group of doctors that saw me as a woman in trouble not just an over weight woman with health problems.  With the help of my dearest friend Rennie I found an amazing chiropractor and through his clinic I was introduced to "West Coast Weight Loss".  Being leery of all the fad diets out there like South Beach, Atkins and the quick loss weight groups like Nutri-systems, LA weight loss and Jenny Craig I needed a lot of convincing to try this.  My doctor wanted me to do gastric by-pass surgery but because I almost didn't survive my last time under the knife I chose to not go that route.  Dan was very supportive and is paying for me to use West isn't inexpensive but it WORKS!   I started my new life style back in July 2016 and since that time I have lost 115 pounds.  I still have a very long road ahead of me considering I started out at 397...I still have another 100 pounds to go but something tells me that I can do this.  The greatest part about this diet, besides the weight loss, is now I eat to live not live to eat.  My whole idea about food has changed. I cook everything, no conveniences for this girl.  What I can eat is limited because everything has to work with everything else to keep my metabolism going and working in my favor.  I eat no dairy, no gluten, no sugars, limited carbs, and limited proteins.  Wasn't much of a meat eater before the diet but that has really changed now, give me a steak any day LOL.  This diet has changed my life. Last year I was in a wheelchair with very limited mobility now I can go shopping and walk the entire time.  I haven't used a walker, cane or wheelchair in 6 months and I refuse to again!   Dan and I are also traveling...whether they're small road trips or the planning of our trip to Australia, I'm traveling, I even applied for my passport....a year ago I never thought any of this would happen but it is.  I'm not ready for a marathon but I'm not counting it out either. December was a tough month for me as far as sticking to my diet, I love cookies and Christmas baking.  I never over indulged but I did slip and slip often...I NEVER gained an ounce, not one.  I didn't loose but most importantly I didn't gain! I'm enjoying my new life with such positiveness and excitement.   Where my art use to be the most important part of me it has taken a back seat, I still love it and pursue it but I am not driven by it and often chuckle at that person I use to be.  I'm enjoying everyday with a new outlook, new friends, new challenges and new adventures!  One of my greatest accomplishments is being a teacher....yep me!  I have always loved to teach and now I'm doing it again.  Whether it is just a few days a week or a couple times a year teaching is part of my soul and gives me m[...]

Our First Year with the PFATT Marketplace


"Enjoying Pin-Keeps and Celebrating"!I've always loved pin-cushion/pin-keeps.  For many years I have made little mice in all kinds of shapes and sizes doing all kinds of funny little antics but my all time favorite pin-keep was one I created a few years ago of a sleeping little mouse who was dreaming about cheese.  This month on the PFATT Marketplace I thought I would re-capture that little mouse but this time use a vintage silver plated wine goblet, hence the name "Merlot".   I may not be as gifted as some pin-keep artists but it doesn't stop me from trying and loving these wonderful creations.  I have my own collection of pin cushions that I started from the time I was a young girl wishing I could learn how to sew to now I'm a grown-up who still wishes they could learn to sew LOLDan and I are celebrating a year as the new owners of the PFATT Marketplace, thank you Sandy Wood for believing in us to take over your hard work of 14 years.  It was a tough struggle at the beginning to give the Marketplace a new face lift and still keep it true to itself and Sandy's hard work but we wanted to make it a bit more customer friendly (easier to shop) and we've done it with the help of  Sandy, some pretty amazing Folk Artists and our wonderful "Guest Artists" who have come to give us some love and help.   I would also like to mention one person who is no longer with us that was a HUGE driving force in keeping the Marketplace going strong, she's even the reason for the new meaning of the initials PFATT....that is Tammy Strum.  Tammy left us quite suddenly a year ago Feb. 1st and lefta HUGE whole in the Art community as well as my heart.  She was my dearest friend.  I often look upward and with a smile yell "WE DID IT TAMMY"!   She always believed there was a place for all "Folk Artists", everyone deserved to have an opportunity to get their love of art out into the world and make a name for themselves.  It shouldn't just be a place that only supports "certain" artists but ALL artists and a place where artists can find that much needed support.  She was one of the greatest talents I have ever met and the most humble!   I miss her more than words can describe... Bless you Tammy Strum for being you!I hope everyone will take a minute and visit the PFATT Marketplace this month.  There is some pretty amazing folk art available and you would be supporting people who love doing what they do and while you're there look upwards and give a wink to that special someone, Tammy, who always believed the best about everyone.... click here to visit: PFATT MarketplaceYour wisdom and thoughts....[...]