Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with a Bang !

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. We did, and I can't believe it is over. We had lots of yummy food and wonderful family gatherings. I have to admit though, that I was tired but had lots of time to rest. What could be better, except our white Christmas turned into a wet , rainy Christmas eve and day....but that's o.k.

I can't believe 2008 is in it's final few hours. Really, where has the year gone ? It was a great year for us, and I look forward to what 2009 has in store. I have a bit of a heavy heart though as 2 very dear friends are entering 2009 with lots of sadness. One lost his dad on Dec. 24th, the other is facing some really tough life changing decisions. It will be a long , rough road for them and I wish I could take away all of their pain, but only time and prayer can heal that.

We are already home from our New Years Celebration at 9:45pm. We went out early with a group of friends and their kids for a great buffet meal. I think there were 20 of us ! Then, we headed back to one of their homes for a enjoyable evening of chatting and munchies.

We decided to come home early as it has started snowing and there is a BLIZZARD WARNING issued for tonight and tomorrow. So, 2008 is going out and 2009 is coming in with a bang, and I'm sure we will hear fireworks as the clock strikes midnight too.

I hope you have an enjoyable and safe New Years Eve. Wishing you all the best for 2009 !

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Today is the day that you finally get to enjoy the Parade of Artist's favorite creations graciously hosted by Ellen Borggreve in the Netherlands. Pop over to her blog and see the wonderful parade of bears and friends ! Just click HERE to go directly to the parade.

I chose Soo-Gai as my favorite, althought it was incredibly hard to pick just 1. This was my first open-mouth mink bear and I just love the happy expression on his face. I was really proud of him when he was finally complete. He is named after my favorite Chinese dish too :) I hope you enjoy the Christmas parade !

Monday, December 22, 2008

Power outage

We woke this morning to a very chilly house. It was snowy and VERY windy overnight and this morning. The power went out sometimes in the night and came back on around 11am, then off again , on again , and finally seems to be staying on now at 7pm. Thank goodness we have a woodstove. I would hate to be the power crew climbing those poles in this blustery wind and cold - Yikes.

It was very pretty from my front step last night , even though we couldn't see to the end of the street as the snow whirled around. I think we'll be having a white Christmas. I just hope all those stranded travelers in airports etc. make it home for Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday's Festive Favorite #4

This is a new Christmas song that I recently discovered . I really like the story it tells , and Natalie Grant has a very beautiful voice. I hope you enjoy it too !

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Crafty by Nature

I'm almost ready for Christmas , presents are wrapped, decorations are up , cookies are baked etc. Sheesh, I feel like Martha Stewart LOL. So, I've been in the mood to clean/purge since I cleaned up my craft room last week. I'm having fun as I keep finding things that I had forgotten about. For as long as I can remember, I have loved making things with my hands.

This was one of my paintings, that I just found stashed in my closet. I've never seen a real cardinal, but I think they are very beautiful. I took tole painting lessons for a couple of years before bearmaking. I really enjoy painting , but never take time now that I make bears.

I also found this photo of a horse I made for a lady who wanted one that looked like a horse from the Disney movie, Spirit. I used a barbie sized horse pattern and somehow enlarged on paper to make this beast. It is about 3 feet tall, and was a challenge, but I was so proud when it was finished.

Of course I ALWAYS made my kids halloween costumes when they were younger. that was a lot of fun. I'll have to find some photos.

This next project I made last week using my grandmother's old mason jar . It has cranberries that we picked in Nov. suspended in "cracked ice". Well, not real ice, but cellophane crumpled up and water added to look like ice. A candle is on the top. I think it looks so cool ! I saw a fellow bear artist, Chrissi Catherwood I think, do this without the cellophane and the berries float at the top, which is beautiful too.

Of course crafting has it dangerous side too ! Like the time when I was 8 and decided to make a craft project using a piece of a log. I took a hatchet and chopped at the my barefeet.....and missed the log, nearly removing a toe..... poor mother wisked me off to the emergency for stitches! I'm more careful now LOL :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dental Devices = FRAGILE

Remember I mentioned my son got his braces off in November ? Well, he has a retainer that he must wear at all times (except when eating) for several months. I have been nagging him, yes nagging, to keep it in the protective case whenever he takes it out of his mouth.

Guess what.....he chose not to listen , insisting "nothing will happen". Last night the inevitable happened. He put it in his hoodie pocket, it fell out and he stepped on it. CRACK...broken in 1/2. He told me 2 hours later after he tried to super glue it back together LOL. I can laugh now, it wasn't funny at the time. Off we go to the dentist today to get fitted for a new one. Oh, it is only $300 to replace :(

NOTE: Dental Devices are Fragile Son -that's why they give you a storage case and nagging mother to go with it !
But, I am refusing to let this ruin my day. I think I'll wrap Christmas presents and play some wonderful music.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meet Beau

Beau is the finished bear that I was working on the other day. He is a wee 5.5" standing . He was just listed on my website and immediately found a new home. I am excited that Garland was also adopted at the same time by this collector so off they go together to Australia. I wish I could go too. I dream of visiting OZ one day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The monkey is finally GONE !

I am so relieved ...are you wondering what I am talking about LOL ? Remember that photo I shared of my disasterous sewing room. That mess really became a "monkey on my back". You know, that nagging problem that just weighs you down and creates a real burden and stress. Every time I walked into that room I could feel myself tense up.

The mood to tackle it struck , and I am happy to say that after 6 hours of purging stuff, cleaning, re-organizing etc the "monkey" is really gone. I gave away 4 garbage bags of fabric and craft supplies to goodwill, and threw out 3 bags of useless bits of things. You have to realize that loving crafts results in tons of supplies over the years. For example...I've tried ...
Oil painting,Tole Painting,Rubber Stamping,Scrapbooking,Sewing,Embroidery,Cross-stitch,Knitting,Crocheting,Clay/sculpting,silk screening etc etc....the list goes on !

Now when I walking into this room it makes me feel REALLY good. It sounds silly, but eveything is neat and organized so I hope I can keep it this way. Sure, I would still love to paint, re-decorate, have fancy storage units and matching baskets but I can be happy in my little space just as it is .

Now, I can actually sleep in my bedroom without bear supplies glaring at me !

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday's Festive Favorite #3

Here is another one of my favorite Christmas songs, Angels We Have Heard On High, sung by Chris Tomlin. Enjoy.

Oh, and my bear is almost done. I plan to post it my website Sunday evening , time to be determined later.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Last Bear for 2008

I think I can squeeze just one more little bear in before I have to pack it in for 2008. I got all of my Christmas shopping completed yesterday, so I started on this bear last night. It will be another mini mink if all goes as planned. I hope to work on it all day today if my hands don't cramp too much. I expect it will be done by the weekend at the latest.

After that, I better haul out the decorations and wrapping paper before Santa catches me unprepared for his arrival :)

Monday, December 8, 2008


My kids are very happy campers is closed for a snow day. It rained all day yesterday so this was a bit of a surprise this morning. Actually there isn't that much snow, but it is very icy and the roads/sidewalks weren't plowed in time. I think we'll make it a Christmas cookie baking day, shortbreads maybe -yum ! Of course, the shoveling must be done first so off I go out into the coooollllllddd LOL.

It does look very Christmas like. Even my Christmas cactus is blooming on time.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Festive Favorite #2

Is it really friday already- wow. Here is another of my favorite Christmas songs sung by a great Canadian musician, Michael Bublé . I hope you enjoy this one !

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Meet Angus

Angus is available on my website.
EDITED: Wow, there was a lot of interest in this little fella. Angus quickly found a new mom whose brother has the same name ironically !

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A sneek peek

I couldn't resist posting a little teaser before the "reveal" of my newest bear tomorrow at 10am Atlantic:)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Smallest mink bear yet

I have been working on a new mink pattern the past few days , my smallest ever. It actually started out to be just a bear head for an ornament. I decided to challenge myself to make a body and limbs. The bear is almost complete and measures 5.25" standing and 4" sitting. That's almost a inch shorter than my bear McIntosh. It may qualify as a mini depending on the size limit. Some say 4" and under, others say 6".

I had to do a lot of handstitching on this one as the machine just didn't work well with small , thick pieces. I seem to be getting a lot more hand cramps and tingling/numbness when I handstitch or use the computer mouse. I am wondering if it is the beginning of carpal tunnel problems-eek. I read that it is very common in people who sew.

This bear will be available on my wesbite on Thursday. I'll let you know the exact time I'll be posting it there when I get photos dones.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A turn of events !

Well, what a crazy day this is turning out to be. Certainly worthy of 2 posts in one day.

I just found out that I was the lucky winner of a gorgeous handmade Annie and mini bear that can be seen here. It was made by a wonderful fellow bear artist, Shantell , of Apple Dumpling Bears. I really like her creations and can't believe I won.

Wow, what a happy turn of events in my day that started out so miserable. Thank you so much Shantell for having this giveaway.

So frustrated I could cry !!!

I've had a rotten start this monday morning.

1) To start off, the power must have gone off in the night so my clock was wrong. I thought I had 5 hours left of sleep......not ! I could have used it this morning. I'm not a morning person either.

2)Then, I had to reboot my computer 3 times to get it to work somewhat right this morning . I upgraded firefox yesterday and it keeps crashing my computer.

3) My husband just called from the garage to tell me that something is wrong with the car , and asked me to pick him up. Remember I mentioned the tow truck the other day.....well that was for our old van that had died in the driveway.

4) I just went out to get in the newly repaired van to rescue my husband and take him to work. Well......when I went outside the van was actually trying to start ALL BY ITSELF. I heard the noise earlier, but though it was my neighbour trying to start his truck. That was very freaky -must be some conflict with the new starter and electric starter we never use ! I think it is possessed. I stuck the key in the ignition to stop the horrid noise it was making and the van died yet again :(

5)I called my hubby back and he just showed up in the car. He got the van to start , but off it goes to the garage to be checked out again. Evidently the car is drivable if you ignore the loud crash, bang boom it makes sometimes. But it will have to see the car doctor tomorrow . I'm off to drive him to work so I can have the car to chauffeur the kids later today.

All this and it is only 8:30am. Maybe I will go back to bed for those hours I thought I lost :( It's a rainy dark day so maybe I'll stay in and sew.
Thanks for letting me rant....I feel much better :) I know all this is trivial stuff in the big picture, and I am thankful that we have all these luxuries, but sometimes it just drives me batty !

I hope you have a sunny, happy day where you are :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Garland- A sparkly bear !

Garland is the outcome of that sparkly mohair I showed you the other day. I made him a special mink trimmed, velvet hat and clay bear ornament. He also comes with an extra handknit has for after the holidays. He is available on my website.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday's Festive Favorites

As the Christmas season fast approaches I thought I would share some of my favorite Christmas songs each friday. Some you may know, others may be new to you. The first is "I heard the Bells" from my new favorite Christmas CD , Peace on Earth by Casting Crowns ,which was released in October. I've been listening to it for weeks :) I love love love Casting Crowns and was thrilled to see them live in Darien Lake, NY, in 2007.

The story behind this poem/song also begins on a sad note. Written during the American Civil War, the poem was inspired by tragedy in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s personal life: the death of his wife a few years before and the wounding of his son in battle much more recently. Apparently depressed that Christmas, Longfellow’s poem expresses the sadness he felt over his personal losses as well as the state of his nation.

However, the speaker of the poem (and presumably Longfellow himself) was reminded by a church’s bells on Christmas day that there is still hope in the world. Right would prevail, and the world would be made right again, with “peace on earth, good will to men.”

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Something Sparkly

My fingers need a break from real fur so I dug out this piece of mohair the other day. I thought it would be fun to make a sparkly bear since Christmas is the perfect time for sparkle. This fabric is really neat with gold glittery strands woven throughout. Watch for this new little bear soon.

Gotta run.....the tow truck just arrived. I'll tell you about that in another post :(

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It looks like Christmas here

What a day. I am worn out. We got our first real dumping of snow last night , about 12 inches/30cm not counting the drifts. Hubby used the snowblower and I grabbed the shovel to help out. I think I spent about 3 hours shovelling between our driveway and my mom's. Living on the coast it tends to get mild and the snow is sooooo wet and heavy. I prefer the light fluffy stuff. The older I get, the more I really don't like snow much. I agree that it is beautiful to look at , but can be so dangerous to drive in and not fun to clean up.

The little dusting we got the other day was a good reminder for our kitty. Today she really wasn't impressed at all. The snow is over her head ! I bet she wished she could hibernate like a bear LOL.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Meet Cubby !

The weather was more suitable for Cubby's photo shoot today, so here he is in all his furriness. I think he is a very playful cub ,and I am happy with his open mouth. They can be a challenge, especially on an 8' bear !

He will be on EBAY for 5 days , beginning at 6:30 Atlantic Time tonight until Tuesday.

People often ask how I do my photos , so I thought I would share my "elaborate" set-up LOL. It is very simple really , provided the weather co-operates. I find a spot on my deck out of direct sunlight . I use poster/bristol board for a seamless backdrop, and sit at a chair with my camera on a tripod (sometimes). My hand is getting steadier so sometimes I am lazy about the tripod and just kneel on the ground.

I usually take many , many photos and often have to do a second shoot. Days like today my fingers were frozen after sitting outside for almost an hour. I'm sure my neighours must think I am crazy "playing" with teddy bears LOL.

My camera is an Olympus SP-550UZ. for the price I am really pleased with the images I can capture. Someday, I would love to own a DSLR camera though :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Where is the bear ?

You have seen the note on my website that a new bear is coming this week. And, it is ! I had hoped to post some photos as I was working on it. However, the weather has been too wet, snowy ,windy and cold to take outdoor pictures. Indoor photos never do justice. Winter has arrived !!

The bear is done and is an open mouth mink bear. I think tomorrow looks hopeful for photos, fingers crossed.

Yesterday my kitty was not too pleased when she decided to go outside. She stared at the first snowflurries of the season and reluctantly ventured out. I could almost read her mind.....Oh no, not this stuff again ! It must be so cold on her little paws.

Tonight it is soooo blustery , with freezing rain & snowy. Brrrrrrrr.......

Monday, November 17, 2008

Donor DOWN !

Have you ever heard those words ? I just did about 90 minutes ago and it was, unfortunately ,referring to me !

You see, I decided to donate blood for the first time ever tonight , and convinced my hubby to donate along with me. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time.
I was a bit nervous I have to admit.

We'll, the donation part was relatively easy and painless for the 16 minutes it took, until a couple of minutes after the needle came out and my head started to spin. I got very hot and apparently very pale according to many of the nearby donors. The nurse looked over at me and asked if I was o.k. and I nodded "NO". Then I heard those words, " Donor Down" and she immediately raised my feet and lowered my head. Some others nurses put cold clothes on my headand neck , and handed me a barf bag. Then I got cold and shaky. What a nasty feeling and how embarassing.

I had to stay there for a long time, eventually sitting up and getting some juice. I am feeling fine now. As for my husband, he was fine, and had fun taking pictures of me with his phone ! Thankfully he came so he could drive me home.

Would I donate again....yes, I hope I will. Now that I know to drink lots and lots of fluids in the 24 hours before. Afterall, it is a small sacrifice to help give someone the "Gift of Life". I hope I haven't scared anyone off and that you will consider donating too.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Look Out...It's gonna blow !!!

I am having a hard time getting motivated lately. But, I have figured out why !!! Look at my work room....can you believe it, what a DISASTER ZONE. It looks like it is going to explode !!! I can hear you gasping LOL. I am soooo embarassed to show this, but thought maybe it would force me to clean it up.

I have a tidy house otherwise , but this room is just beyond . I am really messy when I am working , but I feel so overwhelmed when I walk in this space, I just sit on the computer in the corner and waste time. Lately I have been taking my supplies to my bedroom to work, but that is not a good idea. The stuff is migrating everywhere. How can anyone be creative in this mess ?

So, now I have to decide on better storage, declutter and make this a fun , creative place again. it is a small 9x9 room so it gets disorganized really fast. I'd really like to rip up carpet, and paint the walls. That will have to wait I think !

Oh , where do I begin ????

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lest we forget ...

Nov 11th is Remembrance Day in Canada. In honor of our fallen soldiers, today we remember and are humbled that they paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

Monday, November 10, 2008

He's All Smiles :)

It is an exciting day at our house today. My son is finally getting his braces off after 18 months and $4500 - Ouch !!! Thankfully dental insurance pays half. He can't wait, but I know there will be a struggle to get him to wear the retainer. I can't wait to see his new smile all perfect ,polished and white. Only 2 hours in the dentist chair and he'll be all smiles, rubbing his tongue over his pearly whites, and feel like his teeth are floating :)

My daughter will probably be getting hers on in December $$$ -Merry Christmas kiddo. Lucky me to have 2 kiddos with crooked teeth. Oh well, they inherited that gene from both my hubby and I. He had braces and I did too.

I was supposed to get them on at age 13, but waaaayyyy back then it wasn't so popular and kids were tormented and called mean names with a mouth full of metal. So, I chickened out LOL. I waited until age 23 to get mine. I'm sure my parents were happy anyway because at that age it was me who paid the bill.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Up for adoption

Please meet Benji who is looking for a new home. He will be on EBAY for 3 days starting tonight, ending Sunday. He looks much better with his head attached don't ya think LOL.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new bear , almost

I've been working on this bear for a couple of day. It is starting to come together and I hope to have it done by weeks end. It does look rather silly as it is though, and it was a quick pic so not the best lighting. I always think the headless body looks like a turkey waiting to be cooked LOL. If the rain holds off, I'll get it photographed and listed on ebay or my website. Not sure where yet.

Ebay has really been making a lot of changes recently, many of which are not to the small scale sellers advantage unfortunately. The fees are continually climbing, placement in listings is totally wacky(random almost), the feedback system has been unfairly changed. I do think it is a great venue to sell, but I fear that they are trying to drive away the smaller sellers and make life miserable so we just give up. Too bad really :(

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And the winnner is ...........

My daughter has chosen the winner for my bear, Lucky. I have emailed the winner and ,if all goes as planned, Lucky will be headed off to a new mom. If for some reason I don't hear back from the winner, I will pick another name on Nov 2nd. Thanks to all who were participated in the contest and congratulations D.H. What a fun way to celebrate my birthday !

Edit: Debbie has contacted me and Lucky is going to live in Florida !

Monday, October 27, 2008

What's new ?

Well, lots of things. I have been busy the past week playing taxi for my kids. My daughter had dance events all weekend (last week). The same weekend my hubby broke his collarbone after flipping over the handlebars on his motorbike in the woods. He's healing ! This weekend my son had his motocross awards banquet. He brought home 2 large trophies and we are so proud of him. He raced really hard the past 6 months and came away with the championship plus a 2nd place overall for Atlantic Canada in his race classes.

While away I got to meet another bear artist who lives in New Brunswick. Linda Chiasson of "Bear in Mind Collectibles." She is a really lovely lady and wonderful bear artist. I really enjoyed getting to meet her on Saturday to share tips and chat about bearmaking.

I also finally finished my bear for my contest on Thursday. You can see Lucky's photo to the left.

Hopefully I can focus on more bears this week. I have another mink bear cut out and ready to sew.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Grrr....A bear is on the way soon..

It hasn't been a good bear making week :( I decided to dig out one of my old , smaller mink patterns that I haven't made in a long time. I forgot how much patience it takes to work in a smaller scale with real fur. I decided to give him/her a double neck and that was tedious. I have a few things to finish up and photos to do, then hopefully have him/her ready in a few days.

I also decided to stock up on bear hardware, joints, new expensive eyes etc. Well....the new eyes arrived yesterday and I promptly dropped the package on the stairs and THEN stepped on them. I bent all the wire backs, and broke some of the glass. I could have cried. I hope I can salvage some of them.

Today I was excited when the screws/locknut supplies arrived. UGH, I ordered the wrong size :( They are too big for the hole in the disc and not worth my time and $ to return. Now, I have to order more and wait because I have none left at all.

Some weeks it just doesn't work out as planned.

But... I am thankful that the nasty pain in my hip I had yesterday is feeling
better:) I hope you are having a good week :)

Anywhoo, here is a sneek peek side on off the bear who still needs his belly stuffed and closed.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Be Thankful

I know, I am a day late as Thanksgiving was yesterday. But, I was away and am cooking my turkey today. I was thinking about what I have to be thankful for, and my mind flooded with so many things . Too many to bore you with for sure :) Everyone can find something to be thankful for , even if it seems like a small thing. Sometimes life can be so difficult, but still there is ALWAYS something to say, "Yes, I am thankful for...."

While I was away with my family yesterday I was so thankful that I had eyes to see the beauty that surrounded me. My goodness the trees are colorful this year ! I am always amazed by the things you see when you take the time to really look. I wanted to share some of the wonders of nature that I witnessed.
The view from our little cabin in the woods.

A cranberry bog we found.

This bug must have walked right out of his "shell". His skelton was perfectly in tact on the side of the tree.

Thank you God for the gift of sight, the beauty of this amazing world, and the countless blessings in my life !

What are you thankful for ???

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hot off the press !

I've been waiting months for this book to hit the bookstore ! I am excited that it finally came out a few days ago. I just started reading it last night and am enjoying it so far. I mentioned before that I am not an avid novel reader ,but this fun mystery series has caught my attention. The author, John Lamb, is an actual bear collector and former homicide detective. The characters are likable, and witty and the plot always revolves around artist bears . I hear that book 5 The Treacherous Teddy is planned for print in 2009 ! Can I wait that long.......???

To learn more check out John's website here. I've emailed him to tell him how much I enjoyed his other books, and hope to one day meet him at a bear show !

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

As fresh as it gets.

There is nothing better than fresh produce, and by fresh I mean right from the farm. That is one of the best parts of Fall, visiting farm markets and orchards. What a colorful sight peering down rows and rows of trees hanging with several varieties of green, red, and golden apples. We got a few of these apples on the weekend and they were so juicy ...yum !

Look at the view from the orchard , across a soy bean field, to a little ski hill. Hard to believe it will soon be filled with snow (is it too soon to say that LOL). It is so pretty seeing the leaves changing color. I could have spread out a blanket in the field and just watched the clouds roll by :)

Saturday, October 4, 2008

New Bears Available

Meet Crispen- 8.25' mohair

Meet 8" Oakley -Recycled Mink on Ebay Oct 5th

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October Contest

Happy October ! I love this time of year with the crisp air and gorgeous fall colors.
October is also my birthday month , so I am holding my 3rd annual bear giveaway on my birthday. I haven't decided if it will be a mohair or real fur bear yet. But, I promise it will be something special. Everyone on my mailing list will be automatically entered , as well, anyone who has purchased one of my bears will be entered 3 times.

To join my list simply visit my wesite and sign up (by Oct.29th) on the Join Mailing List link.

The draw will take place October 30th . Good luck.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dying to show you

What do you do with a piece of mohair that you aren't crazy about ?? Dye it of course. I have had this mohair for awhile that I wanted to use with a gorgeous contrasting orange piece I have. I wanted a darker brownish shade , so stirred up a little bath of Rit brand dye the other day.
( Don't strain yor neck trying to look at this insists on loading sideways no matter what I try- very odd !)

I find this brand really great , and the shades are bang on with the color on the box ! Of course, it all depends on the color of the original piece, the concentration of dye, and amount of time in the dye. Oh, it's a good idea to wear rubber gloves unless you want funky colored fingers LOL.

I have cut a bear out of this new shade and the orangey color. We'll see what happens. I think it would be a great Autumn colored bear !

I also managed to get a mink bear cut out too. So watch for that cub to appear soon too.