Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Merry Christmas!

Some may remember a couple of months ago, when I had a captions contest for my kitty Buddy's Christmas photo.
It was so much fun that I'd like to have another contest. This time, Tinky in her Christmas hoodie.

In the comments section, submit your caption. I will draw the winner this Sunday Dec. 20th.

Prize is two items from my studio.
Thanks in advance for participating!
Editing to announce the winner! It was Scarlet from http://www.scarlet-impressions.artfire.com/ Congratulations! Two items of your choice from my studio are on their way to England to meet you!
To view Buddy's caption contest, click on the link below:

Saturday, November 28, 2009


This is such a hectic time of year for us. Doing craft fairs, keeping up our online studios, shopping for family and friends. A couple of years ago, in the midst of all the chaos, I stopped, picked up my clay and started to sculpt.
Ususally, I work in miniature. This was a big project. It's 20 inches tall. (including the trees) The figure itself is about 14 inches tall.
We've all heard the cliche "Jesus is the reason for the season". But, you know...He really is.
God bless you. :o) button

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Remember Mookie from a couple of posts ago? He is all grown up and so beautiful. Scroll down to see more pictures of him when we first found him. What a handsome and healthy boy he has become thanks to my Sister Darla.
I love you, Mookie.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Baby gets a new home

The problem was Buddy, Banjo, and expecially Tinkerbelle. This little baby was terrified of everything. You can imagine with all he had been thru. Tinkerbelle would traumatize him if I were to let her near him. Not on purpose, of course, but, she's a Jack Russell Terrier! So, this lil' peanut lived in the bedroom. Tink started barking at the door whenever I was in there with him. (which was all the time!) Hubby wanted to give him to a shelter! Oh no! Absolutely not! We were at odds about it for a while. I was so upset. Called my friends to try to find a home for this baby. Somewhere I knew he would be safe and loved. But, my heart was breaking because this little peanut had his paws all wrapped around it. How could I give him to anyone? We had bonded. I didn't know what to do. One day I called my sister about it. She's a kitty lover, too. I was in tears. I loved this baby so much. My sister said she knew of someone who had experience with little ferrell kittens and she would talk to her about taking my little one. It looked like lil' peanut was going to a new home. Then, the gal changed her mind and we were back at square one. I was at my witts end. (should I stop here???.....Naw...)
My sister decided she would take him...sight unseen. She lives about an hour and a half away. She drove over and picked up my baby. On one hand, I was so releived because I knew she would give him a good home. On the other hand, this baby had my heart and he had grown to trust me. It was very hard to do, but, I handed this little bundle over to my sister Darla. You will be happy to know that Mookie (that's his name now) is doing very well in his new home with his new Mommy and brother Toby and sister Elizabeth (both big red kitties). The wonderful thing is, I can go to my sister's house to visit. I think about him often, and, am so happy he finally has a permanent good home. He will always hold a piece of my heart in his little paws.
You can see Mookie's big brother Toby in the last photo above. They are good friends and everyone is happy together. Big thank you to my Sister Darla for opening her home and her heart to this sweet little kitten.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kitty once lost, now found

Continued from yesterday....................................How did this happen to this precious little kitten? Why was he abandoned and left on his own to fend for himself in the cold of winter? How did it happen that he stumbled accross the street directly in front of our car that night? How could this little kitten survive weighing only 1/4 of what a kitten his age should weigh? It tormented me thinking about what he must have gone thru. How frightened and hungry he must have been. Even now, I can hardly stand thinking about it.
He just had to pull thru. I sat on the floor with him almost every waking minute that first week. Every day he got a little stronger. I remember the day I wiggled a little piece of yarn and he batted his little paw at it. I was on cloud nine! This little peanut had it in his heart to play! After all he had been thru. He was still very wabbily on his little feet. But, day by day, he gained weight and strength. The first time I heard him purr my heart melted. And when he finally made a poo-poo...talk about a happy dance... my heart was leaping for joy. (and it looked normal) Not one time did he make a litter box mistake. I couldn't believe it. What a good boy. Did you notice the little stuffed toy? He loved that little dog. It was so precious to see him cuddle it. He seemed to be thriving, but, there was a problem...............
To be continued............

Lost Gray Kitten

It was last December. We had just left a Christmas program with our freinds John & Krysti... It was late and very cold. All of a sudden, a little gray kitten walked across the street in front of us as we were waiting at a stop light. He walked very slowly, stumbling. John jumped out and scooped him up. He put him inside his jacket to get warm. The kitten didn't move. We were about half way home and John handed me the little angel. I held him close. He didn't struggle. He didn't meow. He didn't move. He was skin and bones. My heart was breaking. It took us appox. 40 minutes to get home.
I quickly made him a comfy bed of soft fleece fabric and tucked him in to get warm. Gave him some food and he did eat a little. Prayed he would make it thru the night.
In the morning, his little body was cold. He was so weak. Couldn't stand up. I heated a rice sock in the microwave and put it under him as I held him close. Finally, he warmed up. He ate more food and went to sleep.
I stayed in the bedroom with him watching him... petting him...praying for him. After a couple of hours, I was amazed to see him stagger up and go to the little kitty box I made for him. (It was inside the big box. His bed was on one end and the kitty box on the other. ) Bless his little heart...he made a pee pee. Even in his weakend condition, he got up and stumbled to the kitty box! I was amazed.
Called the vet and took him in. This baby weighed exactly 1.1 lbs. The vet said he should have weighed about 4 lbs! We didn't know if he would make it.....to be continued

Friday, October 16, 2009


This morning, as usual, I went online to check on my Artfire and cruise the forums for a while. Then, went over to Etsy where my other shop is and found this post from a very successful seller there. I contacted her and asked for permission to post it here and she graciously agreed. Her shop is called Bliss Candies.
It's a little long, so go get you cuppa and settle in for a few minutes. It's very good advice, and we need all the help we can get, right? Here it is:

BlissCandies says:

I've been working from home and selling online for 7 years now, the last 5 of those years full-time; though I just opened my Etsy shop in mid-April. So I know exactly how tiring, merciless, and down-right discouraging it can get (yes, I've cried in the proverbial "corner" many times)...but I also know how rewarding, self-satisfying, enriching and flexible it can be for my family.

So I just wanted to take a few moments to share what has been working for ME and how I get an average of 1 sale a day (this does NOT include our icepack sales for hot Weather shipping). I am not guaranteeing anything, but if any of this info helps you to stay motivated then it was well worth my time to write it all down :)

1 - PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES! Selling online means you have only ONE sense to appeal to, their sight. So make sure your pictures are *top quality*, and if you don't know what you are doing there are tons of threads here on photo taking, as well as other great tutorial/informational sites.SERIOUSLY, I GET INTO A TREASURY OR HIGHLIGHTED IN A BLOG ABOUT ONCE A WEEK just due to my pictures alone. I don't advertise, my self-promotion is almost non-existent, and yet people find and include me because of my PICTURES.

2 - I have a really pretty journal (thanks to BookgirlsStudio) that I keep close at hand to write down EVERYTHING work related. Things to do, items to order, recipes to try out, project to tackle in the near future and 2 yrs from now, what inspires me, thoughts/ideas to ponder and come back to later, anything! Having a journal keeps everything in one place plus it is portable, so I take it everywhere I go, as you never know when a thought will strike!I then go through it at least once every other day, as it keeps things fresh in my mind it helps me to develop new concepts and ideas, light a "light bulb" going off in my head..

3- Think OUTSIDE of your box - look for inspiration in un-likely places. Step outside of your comfort zone. What is your style, what do you do or use....now think of something contrary or opposite of that and go explore! Inspiration comes from so many different places, why limit yourself to what you ALREADY know?? One of our MOST POPULAR items is something I created for fun by combining two products we were already selling...Fudge Brownies and Safe to Eat Cookie Dough. maybe that's why they sell so fast, a unique creation made out of 2 very common edibles.

4- Now think INSIDE of your box - GET ORGANIZED! Create a workspace that is just for you and your craft, or as best as you can do with the space you have. Keep everything close by including shipping supplies (within reaching distance if possible), and have a specific place for everything. This will greatly increase your efficiency and cut down on "wasted time" as you hunt for things, get up to go get something only to then get distracted by something else and so on. For the longest time I kept my flour and sugar jars over by the oven...because that's the logical spot for them. But my work space is actually off to the side of our kitchen and I was always walking back and forth...then I got smart and just moved them over to my work space!

5- Playing "Hide & Seek" - Work those titles and tags! Make sure you include descriptive words for-flavors, colors, shapes, main components and ingredients used, who it's meant for (grads, dads), genre, age or era (vintage, modern, 50's), etc...as this will help with search results and getting included in treasuries and blogs.

6-LOW VIEWS ARE NOT THE END OF THE WORLD! I know the mathematics on this, more views equals more sales, but I am telling you, it is NOT the only factor! Our shop is proof of that, as we have far LESS VIEWS now then we did 2 months ago, but far MORE SALES then before! What has worked for us it to fill our shop with QUALITY items, developing a cohesive theme and taking good pictures. It draws people in and keep them SHOPPING. Honestly, almost ALL of our customers buy 2 or more items from us, and no, I am not counting our icepacks (for hot weather shipping).We have had items with less then 10 views sell, while I know others with similar items have had over 500 views and it is still un-sold....so it can't just be the number of views that counts.

7- They Love Me, THEY LOVE ME NOT! Again, I know that mathematically the more people that "heart" you the more potential sales, BUT it is not the only factor! It's quality of your admirers, not the quantity, that matters. We have about 170 hearts for our shop and I'm not sure what that really means (all things considered), but I've seen shops with over 2000 hearts and I have to say...the difference in our sales is not *THAT* wide.

8- Need a JUMP START for your business and feedback rating? Being new is hard enough, but being new with no feedback can be one of your biggest hurdles. So if you can't bring the customers to you, you go to them! Place a few bids on alchemy requests, charge less then you normally would if you have to and just consider it an opportunity to hone your craft and get your name out there! This is how I got our first few comments, and after that the sales started coming in, in singles. Then after a month or so we had enough feedback where people felt comfortable in buying MULTIPLE items from us at a time and that's really all we get now....multiple item sales, woohoo!

9- If you can afford it, GO THE EXTRA MILE. Be that in your communication, packaging, free samples, but especially in making things RIGHT when they have gone wrong...or not-as-planned. I know it is not always the sellers fault, but sometimes it is not about fault or blame, the buyer just wants a good experience, period. NO, don't let them take advantage of you, but in certain situations you can make things better and it will speak directly about your level of integrity. For example, one time I shipped a gift to the person that paid rather then the gift recipient, so I decided to eat the fee for both the products and Express mail shipping...she is now a repeat customer. Another time the hot weather was a factor in some melting chocolate, and to make the customer happy I shipped out a free batch of goodies...and she is now a repeat customer.

10 - TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Every once in a while, take a day off. Step away from the computer. Don't do ANYTHING related to your Etsy shop and use that time to just re-charge and enjoy LIFE. Trust me, you need this valuable time away more then you need another item or 2 in the store while slowly driving yourself to the brink of insanity. Remind yourself that there is MORE to who you are then JUST your shop. What did you do/where did you go for fun BEFORE Etsy? Go there for a quick visit :)

Visit Bliss' awesome blog at:
and her Etsy shop at: http://www.BlissCandies.etsy.com

Here is a little portion of Bliss' bio:

Q: Who are you?
A: I am a stay at home/work from home mom, happily married with 3 bright & creative kids (sometimes too creative), 2 cats and 2 dogs…oh, and a gold fish. I’ve lived in Minnesota pretty much my whole life and though the winters do get cold here, I am blessed with being able to experience all 4 seasons, though there are days I long for the beach life. My husband and I own a few online business and we both work from home full time, so our pj’s have a lot of miles on them! I am just so thankful that God has provided us with this opportunity, and try not to take it for granted. Not only has working from home given us maximum flexibility for our family, but I also get to spend every day with my wonderful husband. Once in a while we have a little *too* much of each other, so I praise God for the 3 level home we have as well!

Friday, October 9, 2009


A couple of months ago, I was walking with Tinkerbelle and we saw a squirrel on the ground.

As we walked toward it, he jumped up on the block wall fence beside us. It was covered with a hedge of some sort. As we continued to walk, I heard something like rustling leaves. Looked over to the wall, and the squirrel was following us along the top of the wall.

We stopped. He stopped and went up on his hid legs, as to say, "hello". Of course, I had to tell him how cute he was and talk to him a while. Then, we continued to walk.

I could hear him romping in the folliage on top of the wall and stopped again. There he was. When we stopped, so did he. Up on his hind legs he went again, and I'd talk to him some more.

This went on all along this fence. Every 20 feet or so, we'd stop and visit. At one point, I stopped in front of a tree. The fellow jumped into the tree and we were eyeball to eyeball. I thought he was going to jump on me! We walked on and he jumped back on the fence and followed along again.

After about 1/4 a mile or so, he jumped over to the other side. There are lots of fig trees for him to feast on, so I don't think he was hungry.

I think he was just a little blessing coming my way to make me smile. I will never forget it. The amazing thing is, Tinkerbelle wasn't bothered at all. She didn't bark, she didn't pull on her leash or fuss. I think she enjoyed the encounter just as much as I did.

Whenever I pass that way, I look for my little furry friend, but, haven't seen him since.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Michelle of Creative Critters has been a special blessing to me and my furry babies, Tink and Buddy.
With the help of her two adorable kitties, Ozzy and Cedric, she made Buddy and Tinkerbelle very special gifts. You should have seen Buddy with the handcrafted mouse filled with home grown catnip! The pictures just don't do it justice. He absolutely went crazy happy. That's some very good catnip, Michelle. And doesn't Tink look great in her handmade scarf? Michelle even embroidered her name on it!
What touched my heart the most, was that dear Michelle took the time, energy and expense to send these special gifts to my grieving pets. (you can read August's posts about our Banjo) We only know one another thru the Artfire forums. But, have alot in common. We both love our furry babies, and we both love polymer clay.
Please take the time to view her studio at http://www.creativecritters.artfire.com/ and her blog at http://www.creativecrittersblog.blogspot.com/ She is a terrific artist and a terrific person.
Thank you Michelle! :o) button

Monday, September 21, 2009


Look at this boy! He's all decked out in his new walking vest from Holly.
We're hoping to train him to walk on a leash outside. This vest is made very sturdily with really strong velcro and has a loop to attach a leash. I think this will be safer than a collar and more comfortable than a harness. Not to mention, very fancy!! That's our Tinkerbelle trying to figure out what's going on with Buddy. (second photo)
Captions always welcome in comments just below. Visit Holly's studios at:
You've got to see the halloween costumes!
Thank you, Holly!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Tim Pursell of Grand Prarie Woodworks !!!

It was such a joy reading all the comments and captions for this contest. It was so nice to laugh out loud. Thanks to everyone of you.

You can see Tim's beautiful wood working skills in his Studios called Grand Prarie Woodworks and they are amazing. Please click on links and see how talented an artesan he is. http://www.tpursell.etsy.com/ and http://www.grandprairiewoodworks.artfire.com/

Thanks again, everyone!
:o) button

Sunday, September 13, 2009


"It's a good thing I love you, Mom..."
I just couldn't resist putting this little hat on my Buddy. He was a good boy, but, can't you just tell he wasn't too happy about it?
We're getting ready for the fall shows around here and can't believe that our first one is in two weeks!
I'd love to hear your ideas for captions of this picture in the comments section.
I'll be picking a winner and announcing it here in my blog on Thursday, Sept. 17th.
Please join in the fun!
Winner gets to choose an item from my studio. Click on link to view http://www.buttonwilloe.artfire.com/


Much, much better....I think I'll snuggle in for a "cat-nap"

Monday, September 7, 2009


The winner of drawing for this little ornament is named Holly. She has a studio on Artfire called SpoiledBratzWear, and another on Etsy called Hatz4Bratz. Darling clothing and accessories for our furry friends. Congratulations, Holly!
You must check out her studio...I promise, if you love animals, you will smile.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


There is a very sweet familiar song we sing at the resthome. It's called "Jesus loves me". It is amazing to see these "little ones" join in and sing along. Such a simple song with such a wonderful truth. It doesn't matter if we're just a babe or in our elder years. We are all precious to God and He loves us so much.
Won't you join me and sing along?
"Jesus loves me this I know
for the Bible tells me so
Little ones to Him belong
We are weak, but, He is strong
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so."
As I look at this photo, I see that some of these dear ones are no longer with us. They are home now, with the Lord, and experienceing His wonderful love face to face.
P.S. If you look real close, in the center of the photo, you can see my Daddy holding Tinkerbelle. She's even wearing her official Therapy vest!


This little
"bauble" is an ornment that I designed way back in 1984. I can write a name on the little star. The banner can also be personalized with several different sayings. This one is a sweet reminder. A simple song. A wonderful "blessing".

*original copyrighted designs*

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


My brother Louie, the proud grandpa, just sent me a new photo of Tanner and Ayden.

I just had to post it. "Hi Tanner! Hi Ayden!"
What wonderfu "blessings" you are.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I would like to share a very special "baby" with you. He is the newest member of our family. Baby Ayden was born to my neice Courtney and her husband Ron this past March. Isn't he a doll? He has a wonderful big brother named Tanner (seen in the photo with his beautiful Mom, Courtney, and my Daddy who just celebrated his 90th birthday) Tanner just started Kindergarted this year. We are very proud of him. My favorite brother Louie...he's my only brother (teehee) has two beautiful daughters, Courtney and Jordan, and is married to his beautiful wife, D'ann for over 30 years. They are all very special "blessings".


This ornament measures 3 1/4 inches tall and is one of my original copyrighted designs. Makes a very sweet 1st Christmas Ornament. Personalized on one side of the bow with baby's name and on the other with the year. You can find it in my studio at: www.buttonwilloe.com

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I'd like to share a photo of the little sculpture I made of Banjo the day he went to "sleep" . It strangely brought me comfort to make it. As I formed and smoothed the clay in my hands, it was as though I was stroking and holding my "baby" Banjo one last time.
I received the following message from Linda. The same Linda who commissioned Jennie to do the memorial photo for me of Banjo with Buddy seen in the previous post. I want to share this "blessing" with you. Here it is:
Do you remember last night before I signed off for the evening that it was about to rain? Well it did rain. I stood in the foyer of the office with 2 other co-workers for maybe 15 minutes waiting for the rain to let up enough before making a dash to the parking lot to my truck. You could tell the storm was passing. As I was about to reach my truck, the other lady I was walking with said "Oh look! A rainbow!"
What I saw was a complete rainbow. Not a partial one, but all 180 degrees. Full color from start to finish. I have never seen a completely perfect rainbow like this before in all my life. There was always "something missing" about it. Not this time.

It wasn't a very big rain, but then Banjo isn't a very big cat! I'd like to think this desperately needed rain with it's perfect rainbow signature was a little "thank you" from Banjo "signed off on" by God. It made me feel really, really good!
It was the Rainbow Bridge I saw yesterday, of that I am sure! The rain was a gift. And it was merely God's way of reassuring me that Banjo will be there waiting for you--that's why I got to see it--to show me that the circle is finished and Banjo is back home--that everything is as it should be. It means it's time to move forward.

I've seen a perfect rainbow! I've seen the Rainbow Bridge. I shall cherish it because of the love I know comes with it.
Thank you so much, Linda, for sending me this wonderful email...I just had to share it. Bless your heart...button
Please click on the link below to view a beautiful video of
please make sure you have your sound on

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The little kitty on the left is Banjo. The big boy on the right is Buddy. The other morning, to my surprise, I found them like this in the laundry room. (top photo) Very unusual because they really weren't very close. Didn't really play or snuggle together. I fetched my camera and I'm so glad I did.
Later that day the Vet called to tell us Banjo's kidney's had failed. Late that afternoon, Richard took him back to the Vet and Banjo went to "sleep" in his arms. Out of all our kitties, I think Banjo was the sweetest of all . We miss him so much. I posted about Banjo on the forums and received so much love and support. I sent the photo to Linda in response to a very sweet email from her.
This morning I woke up to a very special surprise. She had commissioned another artist on Artfire named Jennie to do a special memorial photo. She also included a prayer on it from Buddy. It may be too small in the picture for you to read, so I will type it out.
Dear God,
I know I ask for alot of things,
like catnip, toy mice,
and even my own pants to dig up...
But I have one favor to ask.
May you please take care of my brother
Banjo. I love him dearly and he isn't feeling
very well. I know we don't see eye to eye
at times, but, I ask you this favor on
behalf of our mommy.
Needless to say, when I saw the picture and prayer, I began to cry. It touched my heart so. These dear girls, whom I had never met had taken the time and effort to make such a beautful keepsake for us. Now, you may notice on the 4th line...the word "pants".
I think, perhaps, Jennie may have meant to write the word "plants". But, the Lord knew best. Buddy loves freshly washed and dried pants and other clothes and jumps in the laundry basket, digs around, makes a nest, and snuggles in. I have to shoo him out of the basket. So, you see, it wasn't a typo after all. I'm grateful to God for our time with Banjo. And grateful to Him for old friends and new, like Linda and Jennie. Thank you both. There are no coincidences, another friend calls them Godincidences...you see, today, my husband Richard is bringing Banjo's ashes home. Special thanks to my sister, Darla, who gifted us with them. This memorial for him comes at the very right time.
Banjo and Buddy are my "Babies", Linda and Jennie provided the "Baubles" and the Lord has used them and my sister, Darla, to be my "Blessings" today.
Linda's studios: RockyCreekGems and Calico Cat: http://www.rockycreekgems.artfire.com/
For those of us who love our pets and have made them a part of our families, please click on the link below to view a beautiful very short video of
please make sure you have your sound on

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


A story about a very special "baby" of mine...she is a very special indeed. Her name is Tinkerbelle and she is an official Therapy Pet. She has a special gift of spreading joy and love to the elderly in a care facility in Grand Terrace California. I have many stories about her adventures there. Here is one that really showed me how very special therapy pets can be.
My Daddy just turned 90 years old in June. He lives at Grand Terrace Care Center. There was a fellow there a few years ago who always looked so sad. When I'd see him I would go to him and smile, say hello, and gently touch his shoulder. He wouldn't even blink. Wouldn't say a word. This happened several times. When I started bringing Tinkerbelle with me for our visits, Daddy was so happy to see her. She shared her love with him and many of the other residents.

One day, I saw this fellow in the hallway. I approached him and once again tried to converse with him. No response. I asked him if he liked dogs. Suddenly, he turned and looked at me. Wow! I picked Tinkerbelle up so he could see her. All of a sudden he got the biggest smile on his face and reached out to her with both hands. They became fast friends that day. He is no longer there, but I know, my Tinky touched a place in his heart that no human could. It makes me cry happy and grateful tears. She is my baby. And she is a blessing.
If you'd like more information on Therapy Pets, please click on the link below.