Hello Beautiful Person! I just wanted to send out a last minute reminder about shipping. My last day for shipping anything in 2010 via Priority Mail within the U.S. is Monday, December 20. The sweet gal at the post office yesterday said that overseas packages pretty much need to travel by express mail if you want it by Christmas, so please contact me if you see something in my Etsy site that needs to go across the pond and we can make it happen! Any custom orders will be discussed and scheduled for January!

There are still plenty of items in my Etsy shops if you missed me at the One of a Kind Show or Crafty Wonderland! Here's a little taste of what's happening in the Bunny With a Toolbelt Etsy shop!

And don't forget--all brooches from my recent show The Beauty of Life are available in my other Etsy shop! Click here and ye will magically transported into the parallel universe of my oeuvre.

Thanks everyone for a magical year! I am really happy with all I accomplished and I couldn't do it without your support! I have big plans for 2011 so I'll touch base sometime next year to let you know what's happening.

Be safe and have a happy new year!



One of a Kind Show Chicago

I'm halfway through the One of a Kind Show in Chicago. It's great being in the special Etsy section featuring 30 other Etsians plus a DIY area--a really nice group of talented people, plus the area is a lot more spacious than most of the Merchandise Mart allotments, since our booths are half the depth as a normal booth and without side partitions. My corner booth (#2015) is decked out with a mini winter wonderland. Come say hi if you're in the Chicago area! (Here's my picketing Rabbi who is up on the local politics.) weekend hours: Saturday, December 4 10 am – 7 pm and Sunday, December 5 10 am – 5 pm.


Hellooooooooo Chicago!

I haven't quite finished the booth setup yet, but promise to take pictures. The plan: I'm creating an eight foot long winter wonderland scene, complete with leafy trees, reindeer, snow people, penguins galore, picketing Santas and Rabbis, and other martini-imbibing beasts.

Are you nearby? Will you come say hi? I am in booth 8-2015 and can't wait to meet some of my old and new customers! Show starts at noon today and runs through Sunday afternoon. See you there! Click here for more info. I'm holding court in the Etsy Pavillion where they have some excellent props to fancy up their section like a white faux polar bear rug, a freestanding cardboard fireplace, etc. They also will have all kinds of fun crafty things to do and every purchase you make at one of the 30 booths in this section gives you a chance to win a gift certificate and other amazing raffle prizes!


what's your sign?

Yay! My animation is finally done! Enjoy!

What's Your Sign? from Hilary Pfeifer on Vimeo.


speak softly (but carry a huge picket sign!)

I'm finally ready to announce the winners of my "What's your Sign?" contest! As you know, faithful Bunny with a Toolbelt fans, I had about fifty entries in the contest to choose from....and four winners emerged from the pile! Let me introduce you to them!

First off, I just want to say that I leaned most heavily towards entries that followed the general idea of playing on a traditional picket sign or general political rallying slogan. (Sometimes more common on a t-shirt or bumper sticker or button.) This is the original idea behind these pieces, so that's where my heart remains. Aside from that, filling gaps I didn't already hit and humor were big factors.  So now...the winners: I chose Nan Emmet of Spirited Earth Studios, for this slogan: "More Gingerbread, Less Fruitcake"

Next up was one of my wedding cake topper customers Wendy, who did another riff on the classic with "We're Fat, We're Jolly, Get used to it!"

Merlyn's entry was slightly different, but I couldn't believe I missed hot buttered rum on a sign! My parents made this for many a party when I was a kid, and even though it doesn't sound that appealing for my tastes, it remains a Christmas classic in my mind. 

And finally, I chose three slogans from Janet, who helped get the ball rolling on my new picketing Rabbis! 
 I'm working on a brand new mini-button design and would like to reward everyone who entered with one, so I"ll be in touch soon to get your contact info. Meanwhile, I'm finishing up the final details on the group for this weekend's big shoot. Here's the penguins enjoying the craft services table, and their other friends queuing up for their Hollywood moments. Stay tuned for the release next week.


thanks everyone!

Wow--I got almost fifty entries in the Bunny with a Toolbelt "What's Your Sign?" Contest! I haven't had a contest since last summer and it was nice to be back in the fold of communication with all you lovely people.

I am going to sit on these entries today as I finish up the characters for my movie and see which starring roles fit into the regular ensemble cast. I'll announce the winners in the middle of the week.

Thanks again folks!


a light hearted protest

The contest is afoot--have you submitted your idea for a new sign logo for a picketing Santa, elf, Mrs. Santa, Rabbi, or (I just thought of this yesterday) Angel? Anyone whose idea I use for my upcoming stop action movie featuring all these characters and more will receive the piece I make with your motto!

You can see past entries in the comments of my last blog post (click here) or on the Bunny with a Toolbelt Facebook page!

Here's a few more entries that snuck their way in through my inbox:

Janet said:  For the rabbi, how about, “I’m pro latke and I vote,” “deck the halls with matzo balls,” and “Another rabbi for latkes.”  And, of course, “Make latkes, not war.”

Dannie said: "Love that you can vote!"

Merlyn offered:
Mrs. Claus :
1.Irritable spouse syndrome
2. At the end of the season, I AM the fruitcake

1. I'm getting too old for this
2. Eat, drink & be ho, ho, ho
3. Sleighbells ring, anyone listening?
4. Invincible to Global Warming

1. Make more snuggies????
2. Recycle gift wrap
3. Rudolph needs an energy bulb.
4. Clink! Clink! Cheers to the egg nog.
5. Clink! Clink! Cheers to the hot buttered rum.

and Wendy thought this would be on her Santa's sign:
"We're Fat
We're Jolly
Get used to it!"

Contest ends at 11:11PM Pacific Time tonight! Quick--what's your sign?


Quickie Contest! Ends Sunday night, October 24!

Okay folks...I'm throwing down the gauntlet! I need some ideas for signs for picketing Santas, Mrs. Santas, Elves, and Rabbis for my new stop action movie to be filmed next week! Look at my album of last year's designs and suggest your own here on my Facebook page or on my blog--if I use your suggestion, I'll give you ...the piece I make for the movie! Such a deal!!!! All entries must come in by Sunday, October 24 at 11:11PM Pacific Standard Time. Good luck!!

(ps. sorry but Blogger won't let me add an image right now--click here to see the album of last year's Picketing Santas on Facebook!)


blogging about beauty

I will be focusing the blogging about the production on my upcoming installation The Beauty of Life on my other blog, which you can read by clicking here. I usually keep the content between my two blogs separate, but this project definitely crosses over. I'll do a weekly update here, but most of the writing and images will be there.

Also, a big thanks to Marthe at Lark Crafts for featuring my Kickstarter project on their blog today! Click here to read it.


the next big thing

Hey folks! I been working hard on a super secret project which I'll be able to reveal next month, but I'm also looking ahead to October when I'll mount a big installation here in my home town of Portland, OR. I launched a fundraising campaign through Kickstarter to raise some capital for the pre-production phase. I hope you'll consider supporting this project by purchasing one of the many brooches, tie tacks, or neckpieces that will make up this living wallpaper tribute to William Morris. Thank you!

squirrels are not urban rats!

Interesting article about squirrels in the New York Times reveals that:

*Squirrels greet each other with a mutual nuzzling of cheek and lip glands that looks decidedly like a kiss.

*A squirrel's tail is a serves as a thermoregulatory device, in winter helping to shunt warm blood toward the squirrel’s core and in summer to wick excess heat off into the air.

*Squirrels can rotate their ankles 180 degrees, and so keep a grip while climbing no matter which way they’re facing.

There's a lot more fascinating stuff to learn about this common creature. (Did I mention over 250 species?) Click here and ye shall be magically transported into the original New York Times article. Or check out my squirrel selections on Etsy in the critters or wedding cake toppers sections!


Two Universal Life Ministers walked into a bar....

Many of my Bunny with a Toolbelt fans know that I'm also an ordained minister who has helped eight of my closest friends legally tie the knot over the past decade and a half. I met local minister Steve Sharp when he and his wife bought one of my pieces at Crafty Wonderland. He has performed ceremonies for many couples in the Portland area for the past few years, and I thought he'd be an excellent subject for an interview......or if you've simply are curious about what Reverends talk about when they're off duty:

BWAT: Hey Steve--thanks for agreeing to do an interview on my blog. My first question for you is: "What led you to become a wedding officiant?"

SS:I've always liked the idea of being part of such a positive celebration, and so I became ordained through the Universal Life Church in 1996. I started to put the word out that I was able to legally marry people, and I got the chance to perform my first ceremony when my daughter recommended me to her best friend. We held the ceremony in a park on the banks of the Columbia River on a beautiful June day, and I found the experience to be immensely rewarding. I was hooked!

My next ceremony was the backyard wedding of one of my wife's co-workers. They initially viewed marriage as "just a piece of paper" that they needed to "make it legal". After the ceremony, however, the groom made a tearful speech describing how his eyes had been opened to the spiritual bond he now felt between him and his wife. Reverend Steve was on his way!

BWAT: Tell me about the Universal Life Church and what you like about
their philosophy.

SS: Although I am a very spiritual person, I do not feel a particularly deep connection with any single organized religion. Rather, there are elements of many different religions which resonate with me. This is what I like about the Universal Life Church philosophy. They want you to pursue your spiritual beliefs - whatever they may be - without interference from any outside agency, including government or church authority. Their mantra (if you will) is "Do only that which is right", and they believe that every person has the natural right - and the responsibility - to peacefully determine what is right.

BWAT: What's your process for working on a ceremony with a couple?

SS: After the initial contact through my website - aBeautifulCeremonyNW.com - or WeddingWire.com, I schedule a time and place for our first meeting. I also email the couple a questionnaire so that I'll have all the basic details (venue, date and time of the wedding, etc.) in front of me. At our meeting, I will go over the details with the couple to make sure we're on the same page and then we'll talk about what kind of ceremony they have in mind. We talk about the tone of the ceremony (religious, spiritual, secular,) and what kind of "inner ceremonies" (roses, sand, candles, etc.) they may desire as well as elements such as parental honoring that they might want me to include.

I then compose a first draft of the ceremony based on our conversation and email that to them for approval. If they have any changes, additions or deletions, I will rewrite the ceremony and submit the revised version to them. This usually becomes the final version of the ceremony.

BWAT: What's the most unusual wedding ceremony you ever officiated?

SS: There have been some strange requests over the years, but I think the most unusual setting would have to be the wedding I performed aboard a moving steam train in the winter of 2009. It was about 14 degrees that day, but the bride still bravely wore a low cut wedding dress. The passenger car we were in lurched from side to side as we made our way down the track, but everybody took it in stride and the ceremony was one of the most upbeat and happy ones I've experienced.

BWAT: How do you choose what to wear when you're "at work?"

SS: I always ask the couple what they prefer, and they almost always opt for a dark suit.

BWAT: My biggest occupational hazard is being sentimental. Do you get
wrapped up in the magnitude of what you're doing and choke up while

I've been known to get a little misty, but I never allow myself to really get choked up. After all, I am there to perform the ceremony on their special day and I would never forgive myself if I let my emotions diminish their experience in any way!

Thanks Steve for letting me into your world! You can find more about Steve's techniques in the FAQ section of his website A Beautiful Ceremony NW.


a wedding blog for the rest of us...

One of my favorite online reads is a blog called Regretsy. Yes, I said Regretsy, not Etsy, where I sell my Bunny with a Toolbelt work and also follow their blogs, seller profiles, and forums with religious fervor. Regretsy is the work of comedienne April Winchell, who had no idea what she was getting into last fall when she started this blog that showed some of the more ridiculous items on Etsy, and then gave an ever-so-brief commentary at the end. Her sense of humor may not be for everyone, but it works for me and thousands of other people who made her an overnight sensation.

Winchell is engaged to be married, and has recently started a monthly column with brides.com to chronicle her experience on that front for the next year. I find her attitude a welcome departure from your typical bride-to-be mantra, since this is her second time down the aisle and she brings a voice of experience that's witty and wise to the field.


40 is the new 50

My last custom wedding cake topper blog entry for the month is actually a celebration of 40 married years--WOW can you dig it? I borrowed the pennant idea for this special order because it seemed like the best way to make these inanimate objects jump for joy at this major milestone.


unofficial featured seller interview!

I was asked to answer a few questions about the business end of things on the Unofficial Etsy Featured Sellers blog, which you can read by clicking here.

Fun Fact: When I submitted my answers last week, I just about picked yesterday's interviewee Pearson Maron as one of my three top Etsy sites to watch! That was the toughest question of the batch--you'll have to read the article to see who made the cut.

rah rah shish boom bah!

I love this variation on the moose theme--the husband is a disc golf afficionado, and the bride wanted to hold a university pennant, but decided on the word "LOVE" rather than a more collegiate name. I love the way this turned out--pennants RULE! Tomorrow is my last day this month...can you believe I've actually shown one custom wedding cake topper commission every single day in June? Phew...neither can I.


more elephants? more elephants!

Another couple who wanted a custom elephant set for their cake--this wedding has a lovely black and gold color scheme, with a tiny bit of teal, reflected in the bride's veil flowers. They liked the idea of having a freestanding sign with all the vital info so that it makes the perfect display in their home after the wedding day has passed.

At the base of the sign, there's a little ladybird.


circus wedding (part 2)

And here's the wedding cake toppers! The customer asked if I could do stripes in the wedding colors of cream, baby blue and red, and I was eager to suggest a stripey pattern just like my new Nutcase bike helmet.

Funny thing....just this morning, I stumbled across this new design by one of my heroes Jonathan Adler--I guess great minds think...um....alike? If it didn't say "Prozac" on the side, it would make a cute circus big top for those fun elephants to play in.


Here's another sweet custom monster family for a couple whose two children will be joining them in the festivities. The theme for this wedding is circus, so the colors you see here are in keeping with that awesome concept. These guys are going to be part of the decorations at the wedding reception. Tomorrow I'll show you their cake toppers and you'll get the whole circus idea. Stay tuned!



I love couples who embrace their unique qualities! Hence the monkey and the monster who will tie the knot this summer. And, as everyone well knows, a monkey + monster wedding would never work unless orange was the wedding color.


girls who love cubs who love cardinals who love cubs who love girls who love.....

Here's another wedding sports tribute--a couple who divides their passions between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. I love their wedding colors: moss green, burnt orange, and maroon, reflected in their bouquets. The names of the brides are on their respective jerseys and the numbers are their wedding date.


the wolf and the weasel

Another totem animal request I had this spring was to make a wolf and a weasel, two animals I hadn't quite tried to make yet, although they were pretty similar to other ones in my past and I could adapt the forms just a bit. I really was happy with the way this set came out. Bring it on, people...what's your totem animal?



I love it when my customers come up with great ideas like having the wedding cake toppers actually hold hands. So sweet.


and speaking of gators...

I had yet another Florida Gators fan come out of the woodwork asking me to do a custom cake topper for them. Er...wait...I guess it's not a Gators fan in this case. The bride is a Seminole and wanted to surprise her sweetie with this number on the groom's cake.