Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Will Not...

Hello everyone! I hope you're enjoying my blog giveaway. There are two prizes: one features a handmade chick plushy and the other features some vintage Victorian dollhouse miniatures. The giveaway ends June 18, 2011. Welcome to all of my new followers! I hope you have fun every time you visit here!

Here's a new miniature vignette story for you. School is almost out for the summer, it's getting hot outside, and tempers are flaring. Looks like Freddie the frog is in trouble with the local school teacher, Bella the bride bunny. Freddie's brother Teddy watches it all unfold. His eyes are huge with fear. Will he be next?

Gosh, it looks like Freddie can't do anything right! He was just being himself! (Did you see what is written on the blackboard? If not, look at the third photo again now. You will get the joke!)

For newbies to this blog, or anyone else who wants to see these again, here are some links to previous miniature story vignettes: Intro to BellaBella the Bride Bunny Goes Shopping, Bella Goes Shopping Part 2Bella Goes Shopping Part 3, New Puppy!, and Conclusion: Houndstooth Puppy and Raccoon.

Next post I'll reveal the amazing gifts I won in Klara's giveaway. I can't wait to show them to you! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, May 23, 2011

Blog Giveaway!

6/19/11 Note: The giveaway is now closed.

Today is the day! I'm ready to announce my blog giveaway! This is my chance to say thank you! I appreciate you all so much. Without you, I'd be talking to myself and my life would not be nearly as joyful! This giveaway is open to both new and long-time followers, and it is open to anyone in the world (I will mail your prize to you)!

First, here are the prizes. Prize #1 is Victorian-style miniatures (vintage baby cradle, vintage tin bathtub, vintage miniature Victorian photographs, vintage miniature Victorian paperdolls, pair of baby books, shabby metal pot with lid, washbowl set, and mini metal basket with mini eggs), home-grown dried lavender in a drawstring bag (I grew and harvested it myself!), and one set of three of my new greeting cards!

Prize #2 is the handmade chick plushy, the repurposed flower and nest toy it is resting in, home-grown dried lavender (I grew and harvested it myself!) in a drawstring bag, and one set of three of my new greeting cards!

To be eligible to enter this giveaway:
1. Follow this blog using Google Friend Connect (in the right sidebar of this blog, near the top). Follow publicly (not anonymously) so that I can confirm that you are a follower. You can already be a follower or become a follower now.
2. Leave me a comment on this post telling me which prize(s) you’d like to win (prize #1, prize #2, or both)!

***Here's how to become a follower of my blog: Scroll to the top of this blog and look at the right-hand column. Very near the top, just under the cute picture of two kitties having a picnic, it says "I love new friends!" Just under those words, there is a "Follow" button with tiny pictures of people underneath. Click the "Follow" button and follow the instructions. Choose to follow publicly, so your picture (or a standard image representing you) is with the other peoples' pictures when you come back to this blog. You don't need more than your name (or a stage name)and to pick a standard image to become a follower. Your email can be anonymous, if you so choose. It is really a very simple process(as long as Blogger is running smoothly!). ;-)***

It’s that simple. You can be entered into each prize drawing, or if you really only like one of the prizes, you can just be entered into just the one drawing. I want each winner to really love their prize!

For extra chances to win:
1. Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment on this post with a link to your blog. (1 chance)
2. Feature this giveaway on your blog's sidebar (giveaway photo with link to this post and the date that the giveaway ends--see example on my sidebar) and leave a comment on this post with a link to your blog. (1 chance)
3. Tweet this giveaway and leave me a comment on this post telling me you did so. (1 chance)
4. Post about this giveaway on Facebook and leave me a comment on this post telling me you did so. (1 chance)

Giveaway ends Saturday, June 18, 2011 at 11:59:59 pm my time (Pacific Daylight Savings time). I will pick the two winners on Sunday, June 19, 2011 and announce the winners on Monday, June 20, 2011.

Thank you to everyone from the bottom of my heart! It really means so much to me that you read my blog and support me in my Plushpussycat endeavors! Welcome to new followers of this blog too! Good luck! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cards, Anyone? Plus Giveaway Update

Have you ever run to the store at the last minute to buy someone a greeting card, only to find that the card selection was really limited? If you're anything like me, you've had to settle for second best at times, picking something that will work, but not necessarily a card that you like that well.

Drum roll, please! Ta-da! I have created a line of greeting cards featuring pictures of my plushy miniature vignettes. Now you can take into your home and share with your friends a little bit of Plushpussycat! Now you can send greeting cards that you're really happy to send, because they express your interests: plushies, miniatures, cuteness, or all three!

There are three cards in my product line (so far!), and I couldn't be more thrilled! Note: The greeting cards are as pictured, but without the watermark that is across these photos.

OK, here they are (now available in my Etsy shop):

Card #1 “Little Mouse Has a Treat” Inside the saying is: “It’s your birthday. Time for a treat!” Great birthday card for anyone you know.

Card #2 “Oh My, You Shouldn’t Have!” Tomcat has flowers for Plushpussycat. Her reply is the phrase inside the card: “Oh my, you shouldn’t have!” This card can be used both as a thank-you card and as a card celebrating love (i.e. valentine, anniversary, wedding, bridal shower). There are so many possibilities! :-)

Card #3 “Houndstooth Pup and Raccoon Make Friends” Inside: “I’m so glad we’re friends.” Perhaps you’re mailing a small gift, such as a mini exchange or giveaway drawing prize (!), and need a card, or you’re just sending a card to say “hi.” This card is ideal for acknowledging a long-time friendship or even for growing a new friendship! :-)

As you may know, first I source recycled materials to hand sew the plushy critters and design and build the sets for the miniature story vignettes that I feature on this blog. Then I photograph the mini scenes and use photo editing software to tweak the pictures as needed. Finally, to create these cards, I designed the inside sayings and had the cards printed.

I'm really happy with how the cards turned out. They're made from good quality heavy paperstock, and the images printed beautifully. The matching envelopes are a crisp white, also on nice paper. These greeting cards are something I've done that I'm really proud of (taking a bow now!). :-)

OK, now for the giveaway update. I've been busily preparing for the official drawing announcement. Today I will do final tweaks and take photos of the giveaway gifts (yay!). If everything goes according to schedule, I will officially announce the blog giveaway on Monday (yippee!). I'm looking forward to thanking all of you, my followers, for your support by offering the giveaway. Stay tuned for Monday's blog post, so you can enter for a chance to win! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Big News!

I have some big news, something I finally did that I've been meaning to do forever! Yesterday I finally listed some critters in my Etsy shop! It took me six hours to list nine plushy critters, but now it's done--whew! Am I glad that project is finished!

Only two of the stuffies in my Etsy shop are pre-made: that's the banana slug and the pair of love worms(!). The others are all made to order (I'm keeping my originals, since they are ongoing characters in my miniature vignettes). Each critter takes me approximately four hours to make, and that doesn't include the time it takes me to source and process my (mostly recycled and vintage) materials (or all the time it takes me to list items--just kidding!).

There will be more big news tomorrow or the next day. I will have something more to tell you all. Hope you have a beautiful and lovely day. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Birth of Venus

Here's my latest creation! It's a little chick plushy made from a kit from The Little Experience. It took me almost four hours to sew by hand--so many little stitches!

I've made several critters from their collection of craft kits, including Spot the dog and Raccoon. I was able to buy the last two chick kits before all of The Little Experience kits were sold out at New Seasons Market here in Portland. And the sad thing? The Little Experience is no longer selling in the U.S. Rumor has it that they are only selling in parts of Europe now. When you check their web site, it is under construction. So I'm not sure what is going on, but I bought the last two kits I could find--yay!

Like the other kits, the chick was supposed to be a keyring, but I preferred it as a stuffed animal, so I left off the keyring.

OK, now this might sound funny, but I put the chick in this recycled toy and feel that it resembles something familiar. What do you think?

Is that silly? Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Friday, May 13, 2011

I Didn't Forget the Giveaway + Welcome

Hello to all my dear readers! I wanted to let you know that I have definitely noticed that this blog has reached and actually exceeded 50 followers--yay! And you must remember that I promised a blog giveaway drawing once we reached 50. I haven't forgotten, and I am working on the prizes as I write this. It will come together very soon--I promise! As soon as the prizes are ready, I will officially announce the giveaway, you can be sure of that!

In the meantime, let me tell you that I treasure each and every one of you. It means so much to be able to share my creative endeavors with all of you. The comments you leave me are priceless! I feel part of a precious community. Today I want to thank each and every one of you:

Ann Knutson
missy lewis
Maureen Mackey
Hawaii Kawaii
Societe des Monstres
Cara Carmina
The Sun and the Turtle
Elaine Accioly
Wynter Chan
Jill D
Oiseau deNim
drora hed
Agata Pie
La Belle Brigante
Miniature by Juli
Sans DD

Thank you for following my blog! :-)

There are a few people missing! The people above are the ones who have followed this blog publicly by clicking the Follow with Google Friend Connect button, which puts a small picture (or standard image, if you so choose) of you amongst the other followers. Some of you have followed privately (so no picture shows up) or have only followed by email or via a reader, without using Google Friend Connect. I cannot see who these people are, so I cannot thank you by name. Thank you, though! Thank you one and all!

I am so looking forward to thanking you further with my upcoming blog giveaway. It will be ready soon, so keep a close eye on this blog for the upcoming official announcement. Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bella the Bride Bunny Goes Shopping Part 3

In our last episode, Bella and Bert were gazing into each other's eyes after meeting for the first time.

Finally, Bert spoke: "Say, Bella, I was just about to take a break." He pulled out a thermos and poured them each a latte. "Would you care to join me?" Bella, having thought ahead (you never know when Mr. Right will show up!), pulled out a piece of cake from her picnic basket. "I'd love to!" she cried. "Would you care to share this cake with me?" "Why, yes," Bert replied. "How about we sit down in the grass near the barn?" "That would be perfect!"

Ever prepared, Bella's picnic basket liner miraculously turned into a picnic blanket, and the two sat down together in the field. Bella and Bert drank lattes, ate cake, and chatted. "So what do you do, Bella?" Bert asked. "I'm the local school teacher" replied Bella. "How long have you had your farm?" "Just a few years," replied Bert. Turns out they both are committed to growing and eating organic produce (we already knew that!). Both of them are single (we knew that too!), and both want to start a family soon (we could have guessed that!).

After a long while, drunk on infatuation, they wandered back to the farm stand, where Bella picked out her fruits and vegetables. Oh, yes! She had come here to shop. She'd almost fogotten!

She had such a large load of produce that Bert offered to walk her home. "Oh no! That's too much trouble for you, Bert! I couldn't ask you to do that!" Bella pretended to resist his offer, but she was secretly thrilled. "It's my pleasure," said Bert, as he carried the large vegetable crate in his strong paws, while Bella carried her picnic basket, now laden with fruit, at his side.

They didn't talk much on the walk home. They were a little too giddy for that! Both of them were savoring the moment, neither of them wanting this time together to end. When they got to the gate of Bella's cottage, they set down their things and were about to say their farewells.

Just then, Bert pulled out a bouquet of fresh Forget-Me-Not flowers that he had picked for Bella when she wasn't looking. "Oh Bertie," Bella cried. "These are so beautiful! Thank you!" "Thank you, Bella. I am so glad to have met you." With that, they said their good-byes and shook paws again. The tingle was still there! "Oh my!" Bella thought she might swoon. Bert had to pull himself away from Bella's intoxicating eyes.

Bella went into her little cottage and reminisced about her day. Night was falling as she got into her warm, cozy bed, but she couldn't sleep. Her heart was pounding. It had been so lovely meeting Bert. "I hope I get to see him again soon! He may be the Mr. Right I've been waiting for!"

Bert walked back to the farm, thoughts of Bella dancing around in his head. After closing up the farm stand for the day, Bert decided to call it a night. Bert went to bed in the barn, his usual spot. Because he didn't have the benefit of a female influence in his life, Bert had never gotten around to fixing up the farm's dilapidated house. "Bella's cottage sure looked warm and cozy. Oh, and that Bella sure looked warm and soft too! I wish I could be in her arms right now!" thought Bert.

Is Bert Bella's Mr. Right? Is Bella Bert's Ms. Right? Will Bert and Bella ever be in each other's arms? Will Bert always have to sleep in the hay barn? Stay tuned for the answers to these questions and more! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother's Day will be celebrated this Sunday, May 8 in the U.S. This day reminds me that I come from a long line of strong women known both for their determination and their creativity, and I am very grateful for that.

This photo was taken in 1966. That's me, sitting on my mother's lap! I keep this photo in my craft room, along with a picture of my paternal grandmother (the one who taught me how to sew), because it reminds me that I come from a long line of creative women. I tell myself that creativity is in my genes! This is a great boost at those times when I'm feeling utterly uncreative.

My great-great grandmother, on the far left, came out west in a covered wagon--literally! Both she and my great-grandmother (the next one over) made beautiful crocheted pieces.

My great-grandmother also tatted and sewed. In fact, when she worked at Sears in the "foundations" department as a young widow, she custom-fitted undergarments for her clients. She also taught my mom to sew on this (now antique) Singer sewing machine:

My Gram, sitting in the red dress, was a "rock hound" and made jewelry from the stones that she found and then polished. She painted paintings in oil too. She is also very creative with plants, with the ability to get anything to bloom. It seems that the plants "want" to bloom for her!

My mom is extremely creative and talented. Back when I was little, she baked and decorated birthday cakes for my brother and me, made Christmas ornaments from bread dough and also from felt, made macrame items (including a very cool belt for me!), tole painted, and sewed clothes from the latest Vogue patterns. Mom, as you may remember, is also the one who encouraged me in starting my miniatures collection as a child.

I am so grateful for these models of creativity in my life. Besides being creative, they were and are loving and good people. These women always encouraged me, telling me I could do or be whatever I wanted. How fortunate I am! I'd love to hear about your own mothers and their influence in your life in the comments. Happy Mother's Day! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer

Monday, May 2, 2011

Miniature Finds in Cannon Beach, Oregon

Yesterday the weather in Portland was incredible! It was sunny and beautiful and in the mid-60 degrees F. Hubby and I decided it was a perfect day to drive to the coast. It took a little over an hour and a half to get to Cannon Beach (it would have been shorter, but there was some road construction). And again, the weather was glorious!

This photo of Cannon Beach is from the front cover of the Cannon Beach Visitor Map (www.cannonbeach.org). Can you believe I forgot my camera yesterday?! First, we went down to the beach to walk and collect driftwood for a  miniature driftwood bed project I saw on A Little More Minis. Then the only thing on my mind was finding some miniatures!

First, a little background on Cannon Beach. It is a beach town that is close to Portland, Oregon's largest city, and it is known for being a little bit upscale. Higher-end shopping is a big part of the experience in Cannon Beach. So the prices aren't as low as it can be in other beach towns. But still, when I found the shop I was looking for, I was thrilled!

The shop is called The Butler Did It Antiques. That's where I found some lovely vintage miniatures. I walked around the whole shop, until finally, in a basket on the floor, I found some vintage miniature dollhouse accessories. First, a mini set of baby books:

These came with an adorable mini calendar with some Beatrix Potter images. Here's one of Peter Rabbit:

It is printed with the year "1900" on it. Very cute! I've saved the best for last. I found this in a glass case on the check-out table. It's a miniature ironing board, hand made, and signed by the artist!

The iron is mine, also vintage now, since I've had it since childhood (!). Here, the underside of the ironing board is signed Tohill and 10-80 (made October, 1980, I figure).

I don't know anything about this artist. If anyone does, please comment here to let me know! I spent $15 for all these things plus a mini rolling pin for the kitchen. What fun!

As always, I love to hear from you, my dear readers. And I love to have blog friends! I noticed today that I have 40 friends or followers of my blog. I'm so grateful to you all! I've decided that when that number reaches 50 followers, I will announce a giveaway drawing on this blog. So, let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that this blog can reach 50 followers very soon! :-)

For those who are new to blogs, to become a follower, just look for the picture of the two cute kitties at the top of my blog. Just under the picture, it says "I love new friends!" Click the "follow" button just under that, and follow the instructions. Thanks a bunch! And we'll have a giveaway drawing on Plushpussycat very soon! Until next time.... xoxo Jennifer