Soft in the Head

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"TraVeL ThRouGh ThE LaNd Of “Soft in the Head”
...the home of “Singing and Dancing Mice & Humorous Frogs!”.

Where “Original Designs” of patterns and soft sculpture characters come to life..…

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For Patterns check out the...."Soft in the Head" site
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Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before "breakfast". Lewis Carroll
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For Finished Characters: Click Here

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

PFATT Marketplace for February 
Meet "Muffy" the mouse on the PFATT Marketplace along with some rather dabber bunnies!

February is Hopping....

We're "Hopping" Around Here...
With most of the east coast and mid-west digging themselves out from under Mother Natures bad mood this workroom is all about "Spring".   I love bunnies and always have enjoyed making them.  Next to Halloween it's my favorite character to create.  In fact I even had some Halloween bunnies at Ghoultide Gathering last year and they were received rather well.  There's just something about this furry four legged little beastie that just warms my heart.
It could be that many years back we had a "house bunny" that left his loving paw print on the hearts of our entire family.  Needless to say, bunnies ROCK!  

Some of my new bunnies are making their debut on the PFATT Marketplace this month.  They're a bit different than what I normally do but I'm liking this direction.  It's always fun to add that splash of whimsy into a character and bunnies seem to be an easy match when it comes
to whimsy!   As much as I enjoy the "primitive" look I always seem to drift more into the world of whimsy when creating, I just can't help myself.  

As winter continues to raise it's frozen head this ol' softee will continue to keep spring alive in her small cluttered workroom.  Spring is a new beginning and with new beginnings comes that sense of adventure and promise.  The "Soft in the House" house is filled to the brim with the hopes of adventure and promise and so we are passing some of its magic your way!  Stay positive!
 





 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Forgetful or Day Dreaming?

Not forgetful Just a Busy Mind.....
Every once in awhile I feel just like "Alice" chasing that proverbial white rabbit. I wake up in the morning with all the best intentions of having a productive day and I end up with a mountain of unfinished business! It never fails, all my best intentions always seem to sprout wings and take flight right out the window....

WHY ME? I am an intelligent, somewhat organized woman. I've done the lists, memos to self and even taped off my keyboard so not to get caught up on the internet....why can't I finish what I have planned for the day.
 

I day-dream! Yep, I'm admitting to this most common malady of ALL artists! The simplest sight will send my mind somersaulting into a kaleidoscope of ideas and stories. Just as one character starts to take life on paper my hand starts to jerk and start on another. After a mountain of white paper begins to grow in the corner of my workroom I begin to realize that I didn't finish the dishes or finish printing out my orders. The order for Mrs. P is still undressed while Mr. C's character still needs his legs and the day is half over! There
are seriously days I feel like I'm chasing that little white fur-ball down the hole into oblivion! ARGH!!!!! 

Some seem to think it's me approaching old age! WELL! Whose old? Isn't old just a three letter word or in some cases a four (olde).....Do I need a twelve step program for day-dreaming? Now I'm doing it again, here I sit writing when I should be dressing Mrs. P's character and helping Mr. C's to walk....and cleaning up the white paper mountain in my corner! 

I'm thinking spaghetti for dinner and we need cat food.....oh I forgot to turn the washer on and Dan could really use.........oh that bunny would look great with a feather hat and that mouse could use an antique cup and saucer....what's for dinner?  Here I go again!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Country Life In A Country Store....

Our Home...Once Again....

Again many of you have asked about my home....well here it is again. It's an old country store....something like you would see in "The Walton's". There are only four rooms in the entire home, a kitchen, living area (the biggest part) bedroom and a workroom/bedroom. Oh, I forgot we do have a bathroom, sometimes I feel an outhouse would be more appropriate considering the surroundings! LOL! This store is part of a "Historic" area up here in the Blue Ridge mountains and sits right on the "Carolina Trail" where many of our ancestors traveled to reach their destinations when this country was young and unsettled. You can still find broken pottery and arrowheads throughout the field behind us and often we see people doing just that.

Our home has a strange set-up and very little light (few windows)so the pictures are a bit jumbled. The main room is divided into our livingroom, familyroom and diningroom. It has the original counters, shelves and fixtures from the store when it was operational. Since I have virtually no closets or storage I use the shelves to stack my blankets and quilts or excess dishes. I do, however, have one corner of the store devoted to my beloved Halloween and it stays out 24/7cause a day without Halloween is like jello without bounce! The walls have chipped paint and rusty nails protruding out in random places....but they just add to the character of this old place. There are buggy whip holders hanging over one window and from the ceiling. We even have one of the original wood barrels that held orange syrup for drinks.


The original cash drawer is still inside a counter and even rings when it's pulled out. Like I said, tons of character. We even have a resident ghost or should I say ghosts. Apparently the land this old store sits on holds many spirits from days gone by and they often like to visit.....good thing I don't scare easily! All in all this place has many stories and tons of character. Good thing Dan and I don't mind the occasional invasion of natures critters or of the supernatural! We have an open invite to anyone that would like to visit....just give us advance warning so we can set some guidelines to our furry and spiritual friends!








They always say home is where you hang your hat. We not only have a hundred places to hang a hat but many hats to hang! This old store is a constant reminder of how fun and interesting life can be if we just let go and truly enjoy a simpler time....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Holding on.....

Marley the Ghost.....
Do any of the artists out there hold onto a special piece you've created? Is there just one that you can't bear to part with? Marley was mine....I have always had a soft spot for ghosts at Halloween and then there is the "Christmas Carol" at Christmas, soooo to capture my fondness of my two favorite times of the year I made Marley. The pattern is sold on my website: www.softinthehead.com but I was never able to part with the model for that pattern. 

Marley sits in my Halloween Corner  inside one of the vintage built-in drawers I have on the wall of this old country store we live in.  It's kind of a place of honor for him. 

There is no rhyme or reason why this particular guy called my name but he did and every time I look at
him I have no regrets in keeping him for myself.  There have been many times I've gotten excited upon the completion of a character and thought to myself "wow" should I keep it...but they just didn't touch me the way this Ol' primitive ghost has.  Maybe the "Art Gods" were giving me something they thought I needed, a piece of my artsy soul to hold on to.  If that be the reason then I thank them! 

Marley is always there to make me smile on those days where a smile seems lost and difficult to find.  I will look at this Ol' ghost and he reminds me just how fortunate I am to have a job I love and one that keeps my young and excited about tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Gift of Friends.....

The Gift of Friends......
As we grow older we reflect many times at how our lives have turned out thus far and often share these reflections with friends and family. It always seemed to me that friends were much more accepting of our decisions than family. Is it because friends just like to share in the adventure, mine always did! No one never knew what to expect where I was concerned cause I was the adventurous type and loved to live life to the absolute fullest. With this being my nature it was always a comforting thought to know that my friends had my back as well as my legs, arms and head! 

Now with the years rapidly creeping up and taking hold I've had to slow down (much to the relief of many) but my mind is still as adventurous as it was in my 20's. Many of my friends have also slowed down but our phone calls and visits are still filled with laughter and stories. Though, the years have separated many of us and we have all walked down much different paths we still have that connection that bonds us together called friendship!

If I were to place all of us in a room at one time I think you would see the humor and adventure that grows when we're together.  None of us are alike....we differ in sex, color, weight, height, religion and nationality but the one constant is we loved to live and we were there for each other when we needed it most and that unspoken bond keeps us tightly woven together like a VERY colorful quilt!


One can have all types of friends, the more types the bigger the adventure!  No one should live their life in black and white....spice it up with copious amounts of color and what better way then the diversity of people (especially artist type people LOL)...Open your eyes, your heart and life to experience and friendship....it is the greatest gift you can give yourself!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Coffee or Tea?

What Is Your Secret??????
Most "prim" artists, by now, know how to age their creations using common household products like tea, coffee or cinnamon. Over the years I have read numerous methods they use when applying these products.....they go from spraying, dipping, sponging and painting. Drying the creation also varies in process and some of these are quite extraordinary ranging from baking in an oven to hanging creations on a clothes line during a sunny day. Funny what we, as artists, will do to get that desired look we want, isn't it? I love trying new things and discovering what works best for me. I'm not much of a "follower" when it comes taking classes or reading instructions from someone else, I like to experiment....maybe I was a "mad" scientist in another life, lol, interesting thought! I have my own mixture of coffee that I use. I've tried many different variations but always come back to my own concoction of instant coffee, vanilla and sugar...sounds like a Starbucks drink huh? Also I have found that painting this mixture onto the fabric works best for me and using a blow dryer to dry the fabric limits the blotches, though some artists like blotches, I'm not one of them. The primitive and aged look is truly one of my favorites though I'm not a real big fan of the "extreme primitive" look, I like the more whimsical look and using my method of drying keeps the blotches down to a minimum all the while giving the creation a nice aged look and feel. I not only paint the body with my coffee concoction but I also paint the clothing once the character is

dressed. This gives the clothing a stiff and crumbled look which is often perfect for something that is used and old. Using ground cinnamon in all the nooks and crannies of you character also helps enhance the lines in your characters face or just to make it look worn. Primitive doll making is fun and almost fool proof. I've even found using common everyday inexpensive hairspray to seal the cinnamon on the surface of your doll works fantastic with little or no harmful fumes and it's a blast to use when making hair dos with roving! Time to mix up another batch of my "primitive glop" and get to work!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

PFATT Marketplace for January

PFATT Marketplace and New Ideas...

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Trying out some new ideas with my ever popular PODDS.  Thought maybe I would embrace my primitive side a bit more and this cupid is my first attempt.  The over all look is definitely where I wanted to go and hope that she will be embraced with a smile by everyone.  I must admit it was fun to create!  It's never easy to switch gears once you become comfortable in what you're doing especially where the PODDS are concerned.  They have such a loyal following that I never want to disappoint anyone by changing them to much.  Thinking of adding legs might be my next big change but still debating cause they do look rather cute all round and squishy!...
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This month on the PFATT Marketplace I have two PODDS.  Chickens have always been a favorite PODD so I thought it would be fun to start out the New Year with a new chicken PODD.   This guy turned out rather fat and I was so tempted to call him "Butterball" instead of Barnabas!  Love the wire basket, I admit that I have a dear friend that makes these for me cause my hands become all thumbs when trying to make anything using wire, clay I can do, wire not so much!

My other love in this business is making bunnies....I LOVE BUNNIES!  At Ghoultide last year I actually made two Halloween bunnies.  Everyone laughed because who would have thought, "bunnies at a Halloween Show"....Me!
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They sold right away and because of those bunnies I created a new look for my bunnies, needle felted faces.   I just love the expressions that come from these furry characters.  Over time I have found that I really do love working with wool felt.  It is a bit more expensive but the end result is such a reward.  "Vivian" is available today on the PFATT Marketplace and I hope she finds a good home.  I have another bunny in the works that embraces that love I have for primitive and I'm hoping that all my ideas come together and he will be a "smile maker".

I've always enjoyed making mice and at one time was considered the mouse lady because my mice were being published everywhere....many designers now have branched out into the

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world of mice and they seem to be multiplying as fast in the " art world" as they do in real life LOL....I did, however, add another one of my favs to the PFATT line-up this month.  I LOVE re-purposing odds and ends with my characters especially sugar bowls and creamers.  This month it is an old silver plated creamer.  I'm also working with another, medium I enjoy, mohair.  PFATT marketplace is a great way for me to design some one of kind pieces and keep my imagination flowing.  I hope that this new group of characters will find "forever" homes and create those smiles and giggles that I love seeing.  The Marketplace is and always has been a great place for unique and fun art.   http://www.pfattmarketplace.com/softinthehead.html

E-Mail me with any questions or if you would like to purchase: softinthehead@gmail.com 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Hello 2015......

Starting Anew and Excited
Like all new beginnings 2015 will have a sense of excitement and wide eyed wonderment about it.    It will be scary and filled with new adventures as I see the new chapters unfold in my children's lives as well as my own.  Dan is getting close to retirement and that in itself will be a new adventure.  Though our options re: his retirement are limited, well almost non-existent, due the way the economy has twisted and turned over the last decade.   If there is one thing I know it's that whatever happens Dan and I will land on our feet somewhere together, and that in itself is comforting!  I'm a firm believer that the "Powers that Be" will always provide you with what you need but maybe not what you want....so we will be fine, this I'm sure of.
"Soft in the Head" has some pretty big changes afoot and I'm thrilled to see them come to fruition.  My style will be changing a bit under the tutelage of a dear friend who has years more experience than I.  I'm so thrilled to have her in my corner and know this will be a positive move for me not to mention the excitement of working with her.
 
Lately, I have taken to writing more and honing my writing skills, which I feel are sorely lacking, lol...An idea that has been brewing in my brain for many years is coming together with the help of my daughter.  I have always wanted to write a childrens book using my PODD characters as a theme.  There are still mountains to climb before we actually get there but at least now I can see a glimmer of it on the horizon.  This will definitely excite the hundreds of PODD collectors that I have out
there for sure.  
 
My first story will be about "Scrappy the Cat PODD"...."Scrappy" is making his way around the United States right now visiting all my PFATT sisters.  He even marched in the Macy's Day parade, joined the cast of "Wicked" on Broadway and spent time in Cape Cod.  He has danced at a "Very Potter Party", met with Mr. and Mrs. Santa...his travels thus far have been EPIC!  He's been keeping a journal of his travels and been signed by all the artists that have welcomed him in their home!
 
This was the brain child of my dear sweet friend and PFATT leader Lori Davis.  We were hoping "Scrappy" would make it to every member of PFATT before Lori started her next journey.  Lori was taken from us December 14th, cancer claimed another victim. 
 When "Scrappy finishes his travels he will be auctioned off for charity!  
We all approach a new year in different ways....some make resolutions, while others just take a deep breath and jump in.  I'm more of a jumper than a resolution maker!  Whatever your choice is for this coming year have fun....enjoy the life given to you and if you make a few bad choices along the way, learn from them.  Life is truly about lessons....and here we thought we were done with school, lol.  Make the most of who and what you are and leave your life print in a way that others can be proud they know you.  I'm seriously trying,  it's the best I can do!  
I want to thank all my incredible followers, collectors and friends for making this ol' girl and her humble business a part of your lives and homes!  Without you I would be wandering around wondering what to do with myself LOL!  Thank you for keeping my imagination alive!  Blessed Be All and lookout 2015!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Christmas Wish.....

My Christmas Spirit Still Lives.....
 
I remember when I first moved into our little "country" home, that was once the local general store....it was a decorator's challenge and I wasn't sure if it would ever be a home.  Ten years later it surprises even me with its simple comfort and uniqueness and simplicity!

We were very lucky to get a couple of inches of snow around Christmas time last year in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The snow added that special Christmas feel to our home. The store is 112 years old and the front doors show the age of time so we only use the back doors for entering.  The quaint porch and white washed railing is a decorator's dream when hanging Christmas lights.  So many possibilities and so little time!

My husband Dan and I will be traveling this year to Ohio to spend Christmas with family.  We will be leaving our quaint little home in the care of our cat sitter and the capable paws of our four legged friends.  Years past our home was often bulging at the seams with Christmas excitement, t
he walls would be bursting with laughter, good cheer and the sound of clinking  glasses of eggnog but this year it's our turn, once again, to be the guests with hopes of some much needed pampering to go along with the kisses and hugs from three wonderful little boys, our grandsons!   Once again I will have a chance to enjoy Christmas through the eyes of a child's innocence and imagination. 

We are taking our much loved copy of the "The Night Before Christmas" so Grandpa can add to the dizzying excitement of Santa's visit and then it will be off to bed to snuggle in the warmth of comforters and quilts while hugging a much loved stuffed bed companion!
 

I will miss our ten foot tree with its 42 years worth of memories but to be a part of the new memories being created by our grandchildren is the best Christmas present I could have ever wished for!  This has been a difficult year to find that Christmas spirit but one just needs to hold onto a thread of faith and as the day approaches even an old "Grinch" will find a reason to smile. 

Many angels were added to heaven this year and if we all take a moment to listen their voices will embrace our hearts with the magic that this season holds!   As young Tiny Tim is known for saying "God Bless Us Everyone"!  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Never Good-Bye......

"Never Good-bye" but "See Ya Later"
 They say, "I'm sorry for your loss".   
They say "Your heart will mend". They say they're in a better place, and death is not the end....
They say you're reunited with loved ones gone before. They say that you'll be waiting when I walk through heaven's door.
I feel their love in every word of comfort they impart, and know that each is spoken from deep within the heart.
But all the words of comfort,  though kind, sincere and true, can't take away the emptiness I'm feeling without you....
                           Ron Tranmer
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How does anyone "ever" say good bye to that voice of reason, your port in a storm, that unselfish kind ear at the other end of the phone. To the one person in your "art world" that truly understood your insecurities, passion and shyness.  The person who let you rant and rave when you were hurt and didn't understand why but just needed someone to listen and care.  To the person who always had time for you.  That third eye of yours that took me forever to accept and will miss sooooo much!  Our many nighttime online chats into the wee morning because both of us couldn't sleep.  Our PFATT champion, taking care of all of us and who created this deep seeded bond of a sisterhood!  How do we ever fill the emptiness that now exists because you were such a huge part of our lives.  
You taught many of us how to believe in ourselves and to reach for those invisible goals.  You were the best in all of us and now we have to go on and find a way to hold onto everything you taught us and continue to flourish because it's what you would want.....PFATT Forever!
It's going to be difficult to not reach for that phone on a bad day or send you a message and know it won't be answered.  There's a reason why you left so soon and maybe someday I'll understand.  Your legacy is a great one....carved from nothing but love.  Everyone who was lucky enough to have you be a part of their life is richer, wiser and more complete from knowing you.  You're now the "brightest" star in the heavens because you took with you the love of a thousand hearts...... I will always remember the last words you spoke to me, "Pam... you are stronger than you know and I will always be with you!  I love you my dear friend"....

I love you too my dear sweet Lori and we will meet again!  Thank you for being a part of my life!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

It's Showtime!

"Snowmen Melt My Heart...."
My last show of the year is tomorrow, December 7th @ 8pm EST....I love doing Christmas collectibles and enjoy getting the smiles from those that collect them.  

This year I have added a Snowman PODD named "Puddles".  Bright and cheery is the message he is sending and I think he is doing it quite well.  In my inventory this year will also be a whimsical PODD Penguin named "Peppermint" and new Santas, including a blue one! 

It's has been a rough go getting all my little characters together this year due to some rather serious vision problems...so alas my inventory will be small but I think everyone will enjoy it.  Went a wee bit crazy with mice this year because I just love 'em and they're so much fun to do!  Everything is one of a kind so once it is gone it is gone and no orders will be taken....sorry!  It's the vision thing
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I hope you all will take a moment to visit my last show of the year tomorrow night, December 7th at 8pm EST and let me know what you think....Stay warm, stay positive and make each moment count!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Winter Warmth & Creating.....

Feeling the Warmth of Winter.....
My portable heater is humming along with my sewing machine in my workroom....winter is upon us!   Thanksgiving is just a few days away but I feel the need to work with snow, fabric snow that is!  Snowmen ideas are dancing around in my head!  Santa's are fun and shout Christmas but give me a snowman any day!  One that has a crooked smile and/or tattered scarf and hat, they all make me smile and feel a certain warmth about winter!  This year for the annual online Christmas Show I have a PODD Snowman...it's my first!  He looks
festive and fun....hope he finds a good home!  I also have a penguin, for years my kids begged me to do a penguin and this year I created a PODD Penguin.

This will be another Thanksgiving that will come and go with Dan  and I being alone.  Getting older does bring with it a certain downside especially when your kids become world travelers and find a life in other countries, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  It always makes me proud to know that they grew up with such independence and
wonder-lust in their veins.   Dan talked me into cooking a turkey with all the trimmings....with it just being the two of us I won't have to cook for the rest of the week with all the left overs we will have.  Love Thanksgiving left overs!  YUM!

Besides I need to focus on my online Christmas sale.  Lately I have been a bit out of the loop with creativity.  Having a very dear friend going through the worst possible life scenario has taken quite a bit of my joy away
from creating and re-directed it into making her journey the best it
can be.....I will try to have some new characters for all my collectors this year....lots of Santa PODDS for sure and a few funny little elves!   Mark your calendar for December 7th 8pm EST:  www.softeessellingshop.blogspot.com   Hope to see all my wonderful friends and collectors there...Have a very Happy Thanksgiving All...hug those that are near and dear to you! 

 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Harvest Tyme At My House...

 The Harvest is Upon Us.......
Like many of you "Autumn" is my favorite tyme of year.  The smells, colors and brisk weather all contribute to the warm inner feeling that comes with Autumn.  I don't decorate like I use to now that it's just Dan and I at home.  We rarely have company and for some unknown reason the cats just don't appreciate it unless they are puking up a hairball or two on it (ick).  Living in an old store often is ambiance enough for this time of year.   

Haven't made any plans for Thanksgiving yet as we wait for the arrival of our middle man child to arrive from China.  His plans have been changed ONCE again but this time it looks like November 24th he will arrive in the U.S. and then head out to Virginia.  If he gets here in tyme and Dan is up to it we may be making a trip to Ohio for Thanksgiving with the grandkids....would love that!


I've been busy re-arranging (prioritizing) my business.  I have been toying with some new ideas with where I want to focus "Soft in the Head" and also changing up its designs a bit.  The PODDS are so popular that I seriously need to give them more of my attention, the possibilities are endless not to mention the demand!  Lots of ideas are whirling around in my head that i think I need a pumpkin spice rice krispy treat break!  Did I mention my husband Dan has become the "Rice Krispy Treat" wizard!   Kinda like having him around24/7.... Take care my friends and enjoy what "Mother Nature" has given us!