What is brown and white and fuzzy with big red lips and over 100 years old? MY FAVORITE COLLECTIBLE!! I was visiting central nebraska with a dear friend. We had stopped in this little town and I could 'hear' a sock monkey calling my name!!

We went to every thrift, craft and antique store and it was no where to be found. We did hear a story from every sales person we encountered . Each one had a special memory of a childhood 'monkey' that saw them through the roller coaster of life.
After three hours of slogging through the heat and humidity we had lunch and decided there was nothing else to see and it was time to drive on.

That sock monkey was out there on Main street. It's plaintive cry was louder than ever.
I told this to Patti with a straight face .....I am very serious when it comes to my sock monkeys....
and she said we have to walk back down the street to the car. If it isn't in sight that's it.

We walked down the street and all of a sudden I saw IT-----this poster in a small quilting store tucked back from the street.
We rushed in and asked how much the poster cost. She kept saying "I am sorry it is not for sale....then kind of threw her head around. Neither of us caught on she wasn't having a tic.

She was waiting on customers and Patti kept pressing her with the story of searching in the heat,yada yada....she kept repeating herself and only when she almost threw her neck out of whack did we GET IT.

After the shop was emptied of customers she said "OK I am sorry. I didn't want to set a precedence of selling all my posters." Of course we understood. She had to climb on a ladder and move a ton of stuff but gave me this poster for $1!!!!!!!!!

This is a brand new coffee table book given to me by Nick and Sue when they visited last month!! I LOVE it. Thanks kids.

These are my flannel pj bottoms......how sweet are they?

Shannon and Nat sent me these for christmas two years ago and I still wear them a lot!

Doesn't every one have a sock monkey room of their very own? I had sock monkeys all over the house before our kids left home. Then eventually they all moved away to their own apts/homes etc.(the kids, not the monkeys.....they like to 'loiter' as oppposed to 'working'.
I turned one of the bedrooms into my sock monkey room. It was a red and white circus of a room. Then we had the fire. The old red and white room is now my studio and one of the guest rooms downstairs houses my monkeys. I haven't put much of myself in this room as yet but it is on my to do list.
Last count was over 100......every one old and much loved, hand sewn and has many 'monkey tales to tell."

My love for them started when my AUNT DOLLY made one for her guest room when I was little. When I stayed with her I would sleep with that monkey. She would keep my favorite doll of the moment company and wear her clothes and sleep in her stroller.
I received my dear sock monkey long after we were married but she is the one that started the family downstairs. I would look for them at thrift stores, antique stores and shows, garage sales etc.
We could be driving down the street and I would say "Honey turn in here I hear a sock monkey!" John would want to ask the clerk where one might be and I would just want to wander around the shop, waiting for it to jump out at me.!!"

I know I have embarassed him , my kids and friends when I am on the hunt and no one is in the vicinity. I have been asked "do these monkeys always talk to you? or do you hear other things talk to you?" Once we had spent an hour in this antique mall and I KNEW it was there. I kept looking and John growing more impatient, asked the clerk if there was one even there.
He thought there was but it must have been sold. All of a sudden I saw this long brown/white tail hanging below an open newspaper. I pounced on it and found the sweetest monkey.
"Oh Honey, look. No wonder he was crying so loud, he's blind."
Customers around all looked like I was contagious and whispered among themselves but that is ok........I knew it was waiting for me.

I always thought I would dress them up. Many had little outfits made out of felt or lots of pom poms. They removed the monkeys after the fire and before I could tell them NO... the cleaning company threw them all in the laundry without removing them. They all came back pretty much back to normal. The company also included a large bag of 'monkey parts".
I resewed legs/arms/tails on a more than a few. Some eyes did not return. But they are still alive and well and home.

The kids have given me little furntiure for them to sit in.

These winter sledding buddies hang out on John's sled from his youth.

I opted to hang these instead of curtains. I have to find some sock monkey fabric for those.

aren't they adorable? So sweet and much loved.

These hang around the closet so I have more floor and bed space.
more little furniture

a sock monkey throw from debbie mumm.

my raggedy andy I found swinging from a flag pole outside a thrift store watches over them.
Our granddaughters love the monkeys. So do other little children. When they come to visit these monkeys are carried, dragged, dressed and undressed, rocked, pushed and loved.
Once in a while the cats will drag one around. The neighbor kids that come love going down there and every time a new child shows up to join our group, someone always wants to take them down to see the monkey room.

We have grown children that do NOT want to sleep in there. I am amazed at that but I can't blame them if they were made without a 'sock monkey' gene!!
To know that the little ones love them is fine with me. I hope the girls will always remember being at Oma's house and having as much fun with the sock monkeys as I did when I was a little girl.

This is in our kitchen. I was given some little tiny monkeys and they sit in my red and white enamel ware along with raggedy ann and andy's. Whenever I see these I pick them up.
They are housed here because they are at eye level for the littlest ones. They aren't breakable and they can be played with at will.

I keep thinking I should make sweet and funny outfits and start posing them around inside and out to sell as cards etc. I know there are those out there but my stuff would be using MY monkeys and my scenes so would definitely be 'different.'
Have a fuzzy brown red lipped day!!!!!!



John and I are having a very close low key day. We are relaxing and enjoying each other's company.

This past week the girls and I got together for old fashioned valentine making!! These girls are prepuberty and some can only talk about boys when they are here. It is so cute to listen when they get all wound up.
I was asked to keep several valentines until friday morning so they could pick them up on the way to the bus stop!! How funny is that?
This one is made by a 7 yr old that is madly in love with her best friend ALEX. She said her dad would be really upset to know she likes boys!!

Tiffany is all excited about giving her valentine, complete with closing pearl clasp, to her main squeeze.....her DAD.

Korbyn says she will 'never tell' who she likes but HE knows

And daylon is one luckly boy to get this beauty!! It even had an envelope of heart candies to go with it.

The girls love pulling out containers of 'finds' to decorate anything and everything .
DId I mention I LOVE garage sales/thrift stores?

The usual game plan is to have everything they need at their disposal and let them just go for it.
A year after we have started these get togethers I see interesting things.
One girl is so sweet and so solicitous of me. She wants to hurry through her projects and cuts corners and is always left with poorly constructed or sloppy art work. Most of the others have evolved and have taken their work more seriously. At least they take their time and try to make their projects nicer. Since our main rule is we cannot criticize our art or anyone else's I have to tread lightly around One to encourage her to maybe take a little more time. I suggest maybe gluing gaps closed, trimming messy ribbon etc etc.
I say everything short of 'why settle for a sloppy end result.' I do pick times that everyone is busy and talk about the taking pride in one's work even if no one else will see it. I also tell them when they work on 'quality rather than quantity' when making art it will spill over into other areas of your life.
So we will plod on. I will stay positive for them and support and encourage the best I can.
I have learned so much about each of them. I know their family stories more intimately and the bonding is so special. They all know without saying that this a always a safe place .
I was so touched a few weeks ago when two of the girls stopped by to 'talk'. One was really quiet. I could tell she had something on her mind. So we grabbed sodas and lounged here in the living room. I finally said H why don't you tell me what is going on. Her response was she had started her monthly 'hell' as her mother put it.
She wanted some straight answers because they were not forthcoming from her own mom.
I was happy to answer and offer support. I know now that I am making a positive influence on these girls. It goes without saying that they are making a positive influence on me as well.



This morning when my housekeeper Donna was here, we printed out the comments/names of the giveaway entrants.

I divided then in half and Donna picked two names from each bowl. Mato (above) was overseeing the drawing in case there was 'subterfuge' .

The Winners for one of my handmade journals are::

Mahala @ simply sage and Ariane @ stempelwerkstatt

The winners of the vintage chenille garland are:

They have all responded to my emails telling them they are winners so the giveaway stands.
Thank you one and all for visiting my blog and and entering my giveaway.

There are some amazing artists out there and I will continue to wander around this blog universe checking them all out.