Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sock Monkeys and Their People

Many people like to show off their sock monkeys, but did you know that sock monkeys like to show off their people, too?

Sock Monkeys, Sarge and Happy Happy Sam with their boys,
Ethan and David (my grandsons).

I just added a new features to the Sock Monkey Ranch web site called Sock Monkeys and Their People. It's a place to show off pictures of you with your sock monkey (or visa versa).

Send your pics with your sock monkey's name, your first name, and maybe a sentence or two about how you got your sock monkey, your history together, etc. and I'll post it in our new fun corner of Sock Monkey Ranch. Contact Info

Can't wait to see your pics!

Have you hugged your sock monkey today?

 By the authority vested in me as the Resident Grandma of Sock Monkey Ranch, I hereby proclaim 2009 as the Year of the Sock Monkey! (A round of Banana Smoothies for everyone!)

I predict the demand for quality, handmade-with-love sock monkeys will soar just after the new year begins.

Soon the question on everyone's lips will be...did you hug your sock monkey today? How can you hug one if you don't have one?????

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Like Jigsaw Puzzles?

I love to do jigsaw puzzles with my Mom, so I thought it would be fun to make some online puzzles from my sock monkey photos for everyone to play.  Click the puzzle below to access the page with all the puzzles.  Have fun!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An Evening at the Ranch

Tonight we all kicked back to watch the National Finals Rodeo.  I was just takin' a sip of my soda when out of the corner of my eye, I spied Dusty slip his hand behind Tumbleweed's back and take hold of Miss Millie's hand.

Millie and Dusty holding hands?

I fully expected her to throw a hissy fit, but much to my surprise, she blushed slightly and kept her little hand in his!

Is romance blossoming at Sock Monkey Ranch???

You can sneak a peek into Miss Millie's diary and Dusty's journal to see what they wrote about this evening...very interesting!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sock Monkeys Way Out West

Hey - I did my first YouTube video tonight! It's a little "rustic", but I'm tickled to have been able to figure out how to do it. I'm sure there will be more to come. Here it is...


I just discovered Furoshiki and I love it!  I plan to carry a square cloth with me at all times so when I go shopping I will have my own bag.  Plastic bags?  No Thanks.  I'm going to use this method for wrapping lots of Christmas presents, too!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Missionary Monkey writes Home

This must be the week for hearing from monkeys that have moved on from Sock Monkey Ranch. This week I received an email from Max (see earlier post) and from Precious, our little Missionary Monkey.

Precious is currently on the mission field in Malawi, Africa. She's been gone about 3 weeks and already she's visited orphanages, village churches, hundreds of miles of gorgeous tea, coffee, tobacco, and banana plantations. She loves the little thatched roofed African villages and says the people are so friendly, they make you feel like an honored guest.

She also took a speedboat upriver to Lilonde National Park and said they passed right thru big herds of hippos in the water and crocs everywhere.

She will also see Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Durbin, So. Africa and finally
Johannesburg before she flies home the first week of December. She's looking forward to seeing Victoria Falls and spend a couple days in Kruger Game Park.

We're praying for a safe return from the mission field for both Precious and her human escorts.

We love hearing from our monkeys, so if you are one, or you have adopted one...please...write home! (and send pics if you can)

I knew it was gonna happen!

I got an email from Max yesterday.  Max left Sock Monkey Ranch about a year ago for his new home in Maryland.  I was just a bit worried about Max, because he tends make the wrong kind of friends everywhere he goes.  I was right to be worried!

Here's a pic he sent me of his new "friends". (That's Max in the middle with the ipod)

As you can see, they seem like a no-account bunch of hooligans. Sure enough, the next picture I received was this one...with a request for bail money!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Miss Millie's Fashion Makeover

Miss Millie went shopping over at Etsy.com this week and came home sportin' this classy new cowgirl outfit. I wish you'd been here when Dusty got his first look at her in her new get-up. His jaw dropped clear down to his kneecaps!

Miss Millie said she found her outfit in Stitchgir52's shop. Pop on over there and take a look at her wonderful fashions and don't forget to tell her that Miss Millie sent ya.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I just gave birth to a Doctor!

This little guy is a special order for a baby whose mom and dad are both ER doctors.  I was so tickled with the way he turned out that I just had to show him off.

His name is Dr. Munkee!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Many Mini Monkeys

This is what I did today...made many mini monkeys!  They're each about 6 inches tall, have glass bead eyes and cute little clothes.  These little cuties will be for sale at the Skunk Creek Community Market this Saturday, then they may turn up in my Etsy shop.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sock Monkey Sisters

My good friend, Barb is going to Africa for 6 weeks to help out in the mission field, so we decided to get together for breakfast before she leaves.  Another good friend, Nancy, noticed that I had "lost my joy" and decided to show up with red hats and purple boas and take me to lunch.  We decided that three sounds almost like a party, so we all met at Cracker Barrel, along with a purple sock monkey in full Red Hat Ragalia.

Barb (left), Nancy (middle) and me (right) and our sock monkey friend.

We haven't named the monkey yet, but Barb is going to take her to Africa where the monkey will be given her Christian name.  I'll be posting pics that Barb takes in Africa and let you know our little friend's new name as soon as I know it.

I had so much fun this morning, I decided I'm tired of feeling blue....from now on, I'm going PURPLE!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Greeting Card Give-Away Starts Today

Want to win a free Sock Monkey Ranch Greeting Card with this picture on the front?

All you have to do is come up with the winning caption for this picture.
If a picture paints a thousand words, what does this one say????

Friday, October 17, 2008

Heather in the Bottle Brush Tree

A couple of weeks ago Heather left Sock Monkey Ranch for her new home in Australia. I always love it when the monkeys "write home". Here's a bit of Heather's note to us at the Ranch.

Dear Miss Millie and all the Ranch Staff,
I have settled in nicely to my new home. It's a beautiful 3 acre lot with many different types of trees that are native to Australia. My new family took me for a walk in the gardens today and I"ve decided that the Bottle Brush Tree is my very favorite.

I have not seen any Kangaroos or Wallabys yet, but when I'm indoors I like to sit in the window and keep a watch out for them.  I hope all is well at Sock Monkey Ranch and that Lucky and Dusty are learning how to get along.

Miss you all,
Morpeth, Australia

I would love to hear from other monkeys who have left the Ranch...please, write.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

All American Classic...Souped Up

Here's one of my favorite meals...good old tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.  Mine, however is a "souped up" version that's easy to make and double-delicious!

Souped Up Tomato Soup

1 can Campbells Tomato Soup
1 can Hunts diced Tomatoes with Green Pepper, Celery & Onion
1 soup can of milk

Combine all three ingredients and heat.  I have also used Hunts diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes and it turns out great.

Want to give your grilled cheese some extra zing?  Upcycle it by adding a slice of firm tomato and a thin slice of onion before grilling...yum-yum!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Bunch of Monkeys!

We're coming up on our 80th sock monkey born at Sock Monkey Ranch in our first year.  That seems incredible.  A year ago I had never made a sock monkey!  My goal is 100 monkeys in 2007.

Pictures of most of the monkeys I've made can be found in the Sock Monkey Ranch Gallery.  Pop on over and have a look.  If you see one you like, let me know.  All of our sock monkeys are one of a kind, but I can make you one that's similar to your favorite.    I'd love to make a monkey for you!

Just some of the monkeys found in the Sock Monkey Ranch Gallery.
Come on over and take a look.

Monday, October 13, 2008

3 Monkeys Born Today

Exciting happenings at the Ranch. We had a set of triplets born today! As you can see, they are fraternal, not identical. They have already started to exhibit their own personalities (especially the guy in the middle!). We have not yet named them. Hey! You want to help name them? Please feel free to make suggestions...leave a comment.

Help me name these monkeys. Leave a comment with your suggestions.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Gayle Childers Winner of Greeting Card Give Away

Congratulations go to Gayle Childers who won this Sock Monkey Ranch Greeting Card with the winning caption...

"Well, Maw, it looks like the corn-squeezin's 'bout gone."


Watch for our next Greeting Card Give Away starting later this week.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sneak peek at my newest creations

Take a sneak peek at my newest creations...Little Softie Dolls.  These gals are hand-drawn using non-toxic, permanent dye pens on new cotton fabrics.  Each Little Softie Doll is a one-of-a-kind.  Soft enough for a toddler, cute for any little girl's carry along best friend - looks great on a bed...and they're washable!  Look for them soon in my Etsy shop.

Little Softie Dolls

Best Chai in the World...IMHO

I'm sitting at my computer sipping on a delish cup of hot chai and thought I would share my recipe...

Hot Chai

2 cups water
4 tea bags (I use Lipton)
1 piece of stick cinnamon (3 inches)
5 whole cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
pinch ground nutmeg
2 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar, honey or Splenda
1 tsp. vanilla

Place water, tea bags, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger and nutmeg in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add milk and bring slowly back to a boil, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and strain through a coffee filter.  Add sweetner and vanilla.  Yummy when served hot, just as good served cold.


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sock Monkey Ranch at the Library

Just finished our Sock Monkey Ranch display at the Peoria Public Library. We had lots of fun putting this together and the monkeys are so excited about being out in the public so that they can share a little sock monkey history, encourage more people to make sock monkeys and...if the truth be known, they intend to make faces at the kids as they go by!

Sock Monkey Ranch Display at the Peoria Public Library

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cletus at the Wild Western Festival

Cletus Dean Baker (AKA Tumbleweed) talked us into going out to the Wild Western Festival today. He fit right in and made lots of new friends!

Miss Stella Stevens and Tumbleweed

Tumbleweed and Jon Locke

Pappy and Tumbleweed Pappy is better known as Unkle Sherman on KPIG Radio out of California.

Cletus Dean and Dr Buck Montgomery clownin' around. Buck Montgomery was a Hollywood stuntman for 33 years.

Cletus hanging out with his new friends. The handsome fellow directly behind Cletus is Gabby and the dapper young man with the white beard is Sourdoh![/caption]

We had lots of fun, but that monkey wore me out!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

We have a winner!

Karen Wittkop of Duluth, MN is the winner of this Sock Monkey Ranch Greeting Card with her great caption:

"Whaddya say we mosey on over to the saloon for a banana daiquiri?"

Copyright Jan Christiansen, 2008

Drop by Karen's adorable Etsy Shop and see her creative side.


Monkey Connection

We went to the Arizona Wildlife Zoo and I met this little fellow there.  One look in those gorgeous orange eyes and there was an instant connection.

Just look into those eyes!

I wanted to take him back to Sock Monkey Ranch in the worst way.  I'm sure he would have fit right in...except for the...uh...toilet issues.  I just don't have that problem with the sock monkeys.  Alas, the zookeeper refused to release him into my custody,  but I do have visiting rights!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Another SMR Cowboy

Another cute cowboy was born at the ranch today:

This is Brody.  He loves horses, cows, wide open ranges.  His favorite thing to have for breakfast is flapjacks with peanut butter.  Brody also likes to camp out under the stars and wants to learn how to play the guitar so he can sing around the campfire.
Brody is already on his way to Oklahoma to be best friends with 9 month old Gaige.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Let them make cake!

My birthday was in August, but I was out of town.  When my grandsons, Ethan and David called to wish me a Happy Birthday, I told them I would love for them to make me a birthday cake when I got home...all by themselves.

Yesterday, they baked the cake while Grandma stood by with the camera.  Here's some pics (and yes, that is cake batter in Ethan's hair in the first picture).

The cake was great!  White cake with peanut butter frosting...yum, yum!

Thanks, boys.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Monkey Skins to Dye For

Had fun today dying "monkey skins"

Hand-dyed monkey skins just waiting to become sock monkeys!

One Good Annie Deserves Another

I ran into another sock monkey artist - Janet (she goes by Jan) from  in an Etsy.com chatroom.  After chatting a few minutes, I hopped on over to Jan's shop to do some browsing and fell in love with one of her monkeys.  Her name is Annie Oakley and she looked like she was just made for Sock Monkey Ranch.

I asked Jan if she would be up for a trade and after looking at my monkeys, she decided on guess who....my Little Annie!

Ok, so two sock monkey makers named Jan, both have Etsy shops and both picked a monkey named Annie....soooo Twilight Zone!

Jan's from England, so I shipped Annie across the pond today. I just know she will love England and I can't wait until Annie Oakley arrives at Sock Monkey Ranch!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back from Chicago

We finally made it back from Chicago, Cletus Dean and me.  Along the way, we talked our pilot into letting us slip into the cockpit for a picture.  Cletus did his best to talk the pilot into lettin' us "taker her up", but the Captain wasn't havin' any of it.

We never did make it to downtown Chicago for the photo shoot I wanted to do, so I guess that means another trip is in our future.  Til then, we'll have to do photo shoots in good old Arizona.

It's good to be home.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Howdy from Chicago!

Hey, everybody!  Just a quick note to let you know that Cletus Dean (Tumbleweed) and I are in Chicago right now.  We'll be doing a sight-seeing walkabout in the next few days and will post some pics for you all to enjoy.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Abby’s Ready for a Tea Party

Say hello to Abby.  She was a special order for a little girl named Olivia.

Abby loves tea parties, especially if they include sugar cookies with pink frosting and pink sparkles.  She loves kittens, reading and singing.  Her favorite song is "I'm a Little Teapot".

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lenny Longtail

I'm so excited - our first vintage brown sock monkey was born on the ranch today!

Meet Lenny Long-Tail

I wanted to make a really cute outfit for him, but he said he's a free spirit and prefers to go au natural. Hey, as I always say, "Let the monkey be the monkey!"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sock Monkey Ranch Goes to the Library

I took my grandson to the Peoria Public Library today and one of the librarians spied my purse monkey...

She said, "Hey, I make sock monkeys!"

"I do, too." I replied.

"Well, I bet my sock monkeys are cuter than your sock monkeys." she challenged.

"You're on", I said, whipping out my sock monkey photo album out of my purse.

She looked through the album as I bragged on my sock monkeys and Sock Monkey Ranch to the 3-4 onlookers who had heard the conversation.

She finally handed the photo album back and said, "You win, yours are cuter."

Then she invited me to set up a Sock Monkey Ranch display at the library And to teach an adult sock monkey making class at the library.

I'm so stoked!

I'm not sure when it will be, but when it happens, I'll take lots of pics and share with you.

I'm havin' way too much fun!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sock Monkey Greeting Cards!

It's been a few days since I've posted, and that's because I've been working on the all new, fantastical, wonderific...SOCK MONKEY GREETING/NOTE CARDS!

I'm working on thumbnails and a slide show so that you can see all the pics that are available. We'll have both sock monkey cards and general cards.

I love taking pictures, so this is a great way for me to share them with you and for you to send a unique note card to someone you love.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Cool Thrift Store Finds

We found a huge thrift store on the way back from Wickenburg.  Here's my favorite finds:

A set of three metal tins for stashing my crafting tidbits in and a red monkey to sit on top and guard it all!


Dino Stampede in Wickenburg!

Well, we made our trip to Wickenburg, just as planned, but we didn't plan on running head on into a dinosaur stampede!  Fortunately, for us, Cletus Dean (Tumbleweed) hopped on a horse with Tin Can Sam and led them dinosaurs away from town.  I grabbed my camera as they ran by...

And once again, Tumbleweed saves the day...what a guy!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My new clay sock monkey - Gina

My friend Jeanne White makes really cool jewelry and wedding candles.  Today she surprised me with a really cute sock monkey gal she made out of polymer clay. I named her Gina. She has a cute little fringed outfit and a flower in her "hair". Thanks, Jeanne...I love her!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sock Monkey Greeting Cards

I'm working on a line of Sock Monkey Greeting Cards.  Here's one of the photos that will be on the front of a card.  Got any good caption ideas???

Busy Week at Sock Monkey Ranch - Wednesday

Finished up a special order for a newborn baby boy.  This is Noah and his dog, Skip and they're ready to be tucked into bed.

Busy week at Sock Monkey Ranch - Tuesday

On Tuesday, Chip the Worried Little Sock Monkey found a new home with Elliot.

Busy week at Sock Monkey Ranch- Monday

It's been a fun and busy week at Sock Monkey Ranch so far.  On Monday, three sock monkeys found new homes with three darling little girls.  Here's a picture of them:

Brie with Jessie, Cassidy with Jillie and Angela with Samantha