Inland Empire Newspaper
Published February 2001
Copyright The Press-Enterprise Co.
Reprinted with Permission from the Press Enterprise.
A CORONA BUSINESS CREATES CERAMIC MODELS AT NO CHARGE WHEN INFANTS HAVE DIED OR ARE TERMINALLY ILL.
CORONA—Leigh Anne Logue looked over the body of
baby Kaitlyn Russell, her tiny arms bent at the elbow, and hands beside her head. "She looked so beautiful. She looked like she was sleeping," said Logue.
Kaitlyn, 6 months old, died Aug. 15 inside a van that investigators estimated reached 130 degrees. Her baby sitter has been charged with manslaughter and felony child endangerment and is free on $25,000 bail. Logue went to Rose Hills Mortuary in Whittier to create a memory of Kaitlyn Russell that could never fade. She took a slab of gray modeling clay and gently pressed the child's hand and foot into the moist surface. The imprints would be a gift for parents Colin and Tammy Russell and would forever change Logue.
"It was almost like Kaitlyn giving a gift," she said.Logue gave Tammy Russell the ceramic impressions of Kaitlyn's hand and foot several weeks later. At the time, Russell took the ceramic, placed it against her heart and cried."They mean the world to me," Russell said. " I didn't have a lot of other things from Kaitlyn except her pictures." Logue owns Little Bitty Prints, a ceramic hand and foot print home business she began in 1997. After making the ceramic prints of Kaitlyn Russell, Logue decided to craft the impressions free of charge of any baby who has died or is terminally ill. What began as a small, home business that allowed her to be close to her family has blossomed. She estimates that she has made several thousand ceramic imprints of babies over the years -- up to 200 in a month. Once the imprints are taken, Logue lets the clay dry for a week, then she fires the model inside a home kiln for up to 10 hours, which hardens the surface.
Twenty hours after the ceramic cools, she stamps the baby's name around the ceramic disc or heart and places the birth information on the back.
Corona resident Krista Ford brought her 2-week-old son, Kyle, to have his hand and foot imprinted into clay on Friday. Kyle fussed and cried as his tiny fingers were softly pressed into the cold clay
He has really good lines," Logue said of the baby's hands and feet. Ford smiled. "Long life lines," she said.Inside Logue's garage and workshop, dozens of ceramic imprints fill the sidewall. Pink hands, denim blue feet, yellow fingers, green toes and even a couple of dog paw prints.
After several small business attempts, Logue said she has found her calling. "It's my passion," said Logue.
On August 15, 2000, baby Kaitlyn (seen in photo below) died as a result of being negligently left alone by her baby sitter in a van that reached an estimated temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit!
Please help prevent this senseless loss from happening by visiting 4rkidssake.org. 4 R Kids Sake is a non-profit organization founded by Kaitlyn's parents whose
is to protect our children from preventable injuries and death in and around cars. Kaitlyn Would Have
Been 16 years old This Year - 2016
August Is Purple Ribbon Month. Purple Ribbons
Are Tied Up All Over Corona And Other Areas To Remember Kaitlyn As Well As Never To Leave A
Child Unattended In A Vehicle. Come In And Get Your Purple Ribbons At Little Bitty Prints.
By SHARILYN BANKOLE
Special to The Press-Enterprise
What's new: Leigh Anne Logue enjoys giving a unique keepsake to the parents of children who have died. For seven years, the Corona woman has visited mortuaries and hospitals to make ceramic hand and footprints of deceased babies and children. She gives the plates free of charge to the bereaved parents. Memories fade over time, she said, "but this is something tangible." The ceramic prints are something parents wouldn't otherwise have, "a
lasting memory." In 2003, Logue opened her business, Little Bitty Prints, in a
1,000-square-foot building on Main Street, across from Corona Regional Hospital. What it offers: In addition to doing babies hand prints, Little Bitty Prints
has tons of new and gently loved children's items. Car seats, stroller, toys, clothes, high chairs, and so much more, all at a fraction of the cost. Logue said she has
made more than 200 ceramic prints of babies who have died. The for-charge part
of her business includes hand prints of living babies and used children's items.
She said she derives deep satisfaction from helping parents grieve the death of a child by providing the keepsake. It is her way of giving back, she said. "It makes
me feel that I didn't just keeping taking from life, I gave back to someone."She said she is on the call list at Corona Regional Hospital and at local funeral homes.
When a baby or young child dies she is contacted to do the print.
When it is open: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday,
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
When it opened: 1998
Where it is: 815 S. Main St., Suite B
About the owner: Logue has lived in Corona since 1997. She has been making ceramic prints for 10 years. She is married for 20 years and has three children
By Melissa Lau
Published January 13, 2006
Copyright City News
Reprinted with Permission from the
Corona woman creates Little Bitty Prints
CORONA—Leigh Anne Logue was driving down Main Street in
Corona when she saw a store for lease. She decided to rent it and started her business, Little Bitty Prints, which offers keepsakes, clothing, toys and more.
But in August 2000, her business took a turn she never thought it would.
Logue had previously done ceramic moldings of newborn babies'
feet, but this was a different case
On Aug. 15, 2000, 6-month-old Kaitlyn Russell was left in the car
by her baby sitter and died from the heat.
"She was just a happy baby who brought so much life to our family," said Kaitlyn's mother, Tammy Russell. "She was an unexpected blessing; she was the icing on our cake."
After Logue had heard about what happened to Kaitlyn Russell, she said she felt sick to her stomach.
"For three days I just couldn't sleep," Logue said.
There was something that told Logue that she needed to take the prints of Kaitlyn Russell and give them to her family.
"There's got to be somebody else who can do this," Logue recalled thinking. But the feeling wouldn't go away.
"I was actually terrified," Logue said.
Logue knew a friend of the Russells and decided to offer them the service of having Kaitlyn Russell's hand and footprint placed in
plaster as a remind of their daughter.
"I felt very blessed that she would go and do that for me," Tammy Russell said. "I would have never thought of having it done, and I
am so grateful that Leigh Anne had done that for me."
When Logue went to Rose Hills Mortuary in Whittier, where Kaitlyn Russell's body was being kept, they ordered her to take a
psychological test and had her fill out various forms.
Because Russell had been left in a car and the interior had reached
a high temperature, Logue was warned before she went in about
what Kaitlyn may look like.
But when Logue saw Kaitlyn, it was not what she expected.
"She was beautiful," said Logue, "I mean, she looked like a sleeping baby." Logue described herself as someone who does not usually g
ush over babies, but when she saw Kaitlyn Russell, there was something different. "I felt the most amazing thing I have ever felt in my whole life," said Logue. What she felt was a sense of peace that
she can only describe as being stronger than happiness, money or even love.
"It was the craziest thing," said Logue. "It was really great."
So because of her experience, Logue has decided to do this for
others, including memorializing adults and pets who have passed away.
"Now I do this for other babies as a gift from her," said Logue.
From Palm Springs to Whittier, Logue has taken the molds of the hands of deceased children and created a ceramic memory of them
for loved ones.
She puts their hand and footprints in clay and allows the clay to
dry. It is then fired, at which point it becomes ceramic. Logue
glazes it and then fires it a second time.
"Each firing and each cool is about 36 hours each time," said Logue. Though it may seem simple, it involves a lot of work and time,
which is why it can take four to six weeks to complete.
But sometimes, the work can be more difficult emotionally than physically.
Logue said she has been teased about what she does, that people
make ignorant remarks. she said she continues to do it, not because
it is fun or glamorous, but because she knows that by giving these families something tangible to remember their loved ones by, she is doing something meaningful. It was a promise I made to Baby
Kaitlyn, A gift from her. "It's not a pretty thing to do," said Logue, who never expected that she would learn to be comfortable around deceased infants.
Logue has taken the prints of babies of various ages. she has taken prints from babies who have drowned, died in car accidents and
even babies who are stillborn.
"It's not easy," said Logue, who admits that she does not consider herself to be brave.
But Cissy Clement, funeral director at the Thomas Miller Mortuary
in Corona, thinks otherwise.
"She's terrific," said Clement. "She comes the minute she gets the phone call."
The mortuary will call Logue, or sometimes the Corona Regional Medical Center will call Logue, and Logue will call the mortuary.
"The families are usually surprised," Clement said.
Sometimes it is forgotten that Logue also does the ceramic prints for babies who are alive. Logue has a little cart she can push around Corona Regional Medical Center so she can make prints of the
infants' hands and feet the day they are born.
Bonny Maronna, OB technician in labor and delivery at Corona Regional Medical Center, met Logue seven years ago when Logue
was still operating her business out of her garage.
Since Maronna never had the opportunity to have her children's
hand and footprints done when they were babies, she took her brother's children to get theirs done. To this day, Maronna said her niece will see the print and say, "That's my hand."
Maronna said Logue is on the postpartum and fetal demise
checklists at Corona Regional Medical Center.
"She's a spark," Maronna said. "She is such a loyal and kind person."
Maronna said even if something happens late at night, Logue
will go to the hospital.
"It's a great service that she does for our hospital," Maronna said.
Some parents who lost children without knowing about the service Logue performs have requested a ceramic frame with a Bible verse
on it. On the back of each ceramic set of prints or frame she writes
the date of birth and, if applicable, death. "It just gave me comfort
to know that someone I didn't know, that didn't know Kaitlyn,
cared so much," Tammy Russell said.
By Melissa Lau
Published January 13, 2006
Copyright City News
Reprinted with Permission from the City News.