I'm trying something new--once in a while, I'm going to donate 100% of the profits from a plush to a specific pet at the shelter. I just listed Atlas, a needlefelted pup whose adoption fee will go to sponsor the real Atlas at the HSGKC.
They're not lookalikes, but in the future, I will be making some customs based on actual shelter pets for the shop. I had to sponsor Atlas first, since I'm head over heels for the guy. Such a sweetie!
We have a new member of our growing puppet family. His name is Liam and he "always seems to think the sky is falling. He has a huge collection of umbrellas. Liam wishes he could somehow become an optimist, but he always sees the infinite possibilities of bad things that could happen and it always makes him worry." In other words, this puppet is me. So of course I had to adopt him.
Liam was created by the very talented Daniel of Happycloud Thunderhead. This guy is a monster making machine, and every single one of them is just fantastic. They're beautifully made, one of a kind and as you can tell by the photo above, very much loved by little ones. Take a look at these mugs:
In addition to his plush toys and puppets, he also makes the coolest hats for kids and adults...
...and goblin ear warmers! Coolness.
Daniel also keeps a really terrific blog, where he happily shares his ideas and creations. I'm a fan!
I've been a fan of singer/songwriter Darden Smith for a long time now, and anytime he comes to town for a show, I'm there. He's an amazing talent and a fantastic human being, as evidenced by his Be An Artist program.
In 2003, Singer-songwriter Darden Smith began the Be An Artist Program as a way to talk to children about creativity. It all began with the simple idea that we don’t have to become artists, we’re all born that way, and that what we do in our free time is what we love. If we do that thing more, we’ll be happier.
What a great way to get kids excited about themselves and their futures! It's got me thinking about how I could bring what I do to some local schools--with arts programs being cut, wouldn't it be great to have more visiting artists in classrooms?
To see the great video of Darden working with kids, just visit the Be An Artist link above and click on "video" in the top nav bar. Enjoy!
Yorkies are especially a challenge to recreate, but I think Bella looks almost real--love that wool roving!
I also just put a new set of note cards in the shop, and will be donating $1 from each sale to the Mid-America Bully Breed Rescue. In my time volunteering, I've met quite a few pitbulls, and have been surprised at just how sweet and gentle they have been. I know this doesn't apply across the breed--but there are plenty of sweetie pie pits out there.
I stumbled upon something today and wanted to share it with you. There's so much craziness swirling around us right now; the US election, the environmental crisis, and other stuff I won't even mention. I found this to be really comforting and hope you will too.
-Desiderata; Found in Old Saint Paul's Church Dated 1692
Go placidly amid the noise and haste and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.
I got the sweetest photos of the girls and their mini-me's. (Thanks, Kristin!)
In other news, I've put some new "Dogs in Bad Sweaters" cards in the shop:
I'm working on a line of equally goofy cat cards at the moment. Hopefully, I'll have them up soon.
We took a little family trip to Toronto a couple of weeks ago, and I'm finally getting around to posting some photos. I love Toronto and have wanted to go back since my first trip there in 1989.
We hit The Bright Pearl for dim sum.
My favorite building in Hogtown; building 53 in the Distillery District. If you're a manic fan of Friday the 13th: The Series like me, you'll understand. It was a highly imaginative TV series filmed here in the late 80's and had nothing to do with the films. (I don't think the babe shares my enthusiasm, however.)
In the conservatory at Casa Loma. Take a minute and click on the link. This is one fascinating place!
Family photo in the Casa Loma gardens.
Making friends with a moose at the CN Tower!
OK...no adults were willing to do this. Including my husband and me-what wimps! But my crazy kid strolled right out onto the glass floor.
Another moose friend.
And a polar bear, too!
The chaotic St. Lawrence Market. Here's a tip--even though all the tour guides and web sites say to go on a Saturday morning, DO NOT go on a Saturday morning. Unless you love crowds, long lines and getting elbowed by strangers. Also, if you happen to be a vegetarian like yours truly, you may find yourself breaking into a cold sweat at the sight of so many slabs of raw meat.
The foggy skyline from Ward's Island.
The weather cleared up on our last day in town, so we headed down to the Harbourfront to feed the ducks (and pigeons) and take more photos of the CN Tower. Such tourists.
(Check out that cute bulldog puppy in the background. He was having so much fun chasing his toys--snorting the entire time.)
I love this dog. He's such a character! I was rubbing his ears and he scooched over and sat in my lap. He's definitely not a lap dog, but don't tell him that. If I didn't have a house full of animals already, and no small children, he'd be mine. And in case you were wondering, he's much sweeter than Alaskan hockey moms. I can't stand it when people use pitbulls as an analogy for being vicious. This breed has suffered enough, don't you think?
Now that fall has arrived and the swimming pool has been packed away, poor Sadie has to make do with the water bucket.
Joined by Susie, her kennel mate. Susie was adopted as a puppy and returned as an adult because "her family didn't have time to care for her". This happens occasionally, and when it does, it's a sad thing for all of us. But most of all, for the dog. She seems to be adjusting well now, thanks to her rambunctious kennel mate and lots of TLC from staff and volunteers. She's an adorable girl and I know she'll find a great home soon.
Hogan and Hunter, otherwise known as The Brothers Catahoula. A mischievous duo, these two.