Sunday, December 26, 2010

Fondest Winter Dream

My fondest childhood dream of winter was to awaken to find that it had snowed so much overnight that we went from living in your everyday average neighborhood to a very magical winter wonderland. You can imagine that the little girl in me was quite pleased to look out the window this morning and see this.


Trees that only just recently shed their leaves had been clothed in mounds of snow.


Some of them bowed under the weight making snow arches and gateways.


And the birds seemed to appreciate a trouble-free breakfast.


By late afternoon, the temperature had begun to drop so the snow may be around for a while.


I couldn’t resist walking under these natural arches remembering what it was like in my youth . . .


and then looking up from underneath through the branches to the white sky above.


Even the Christmas lights seemed to have a more enchanting glow in the snow.


If anything can take some of the chill out of a winter storm, surely it would be fairy-like appearance of the snow covered lights and beauty of the now white landscape.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

I think I heard something . . .


Yep, I did hear something. It must be Christmas arriving! I hope each and every one of you has a very Merry Christmas!

From all of us to all of you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Passing Along a Christmas Smile

I read this the other day and it really made me smile. I thought I’d pass it along here just before Christmas for the kid in all of us.

(Please click to enlarge for easier reading/viewing.)


Also, I’d like to wish all of you who celebrate a wonderfully Merry Christmas. I appreciate your readership and friendship, especially!

~All the best to you & yours from the bears and me~

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Around Town

I snapped these photos when we went out a few nights ago. It’s a real treat to go into the historic neighborhoods and see how the homeowners have decorated the outside. I thought you might enjoy a quick peek at these too.


Look at all the greenery and garland.  And wreaths in every section of the front.  Inspiration for next year when I have scads of time and energy for this sort of thing.  We know that next year things will be different right?


This home was gorgeous with two flocked natural Christmas trees on the massive front porch.  The garland around the front door was opulent with ornaments and ribbons.  I think this one must have had a florist’s touch.  Huge Christmas balls even dangled from the plant hangers in the yard.  If you drive by slowly, you can get a glimpse of their mantle through the front window – it is amazing.  I apologize that there is no photo of it, but then it’s really not the time of year to be calling loved ones asking them to bail you out of the poky.


Lastly, I share with you the State Christmas tree.  I know it doesn’t really look all that much different from last year’s but I am always moved to see it standing so nobly in front of the Capitol with the flag flying in the background.

Christmas is still a few days away, so I hope you have time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday where you are.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Adding Paint & Stuff

Here are a few photos of the progress I have made one of my boxes from the last post. I may soon have to pack up my paints because Christmas is coming and I would venture to guess we’ll need the table for doing things like eating!


The doors are now attached.


Everything’s an educational experience.  I try not to let it unhinge me.  Yes, this is the blog of bad puns.


The outside is almost finished, but not quite.


This is a glimpse of the unfinished inside.

There’s still work to be done but at least I haven’t gotten stuck . . . yet.  I am fairly certain I will not be able to complete it before all the holiday festivities begin but I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes in the New Year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Adding Texture

Literally and figuratively, I think.

I had been hoping to find a block of time to return to my bears&boxes work. So, here just a few days before Christmas, I found it. Some people use their kitchen for baking this time of year. Oh well. It was exciting to bring my boxes out again. Usually, I work on one at a time, but with several ideas dancing around in my head, I plunged into working on three at a time – so far.

Two of them started out like this.


See that ‘Hand Made’ text there?  I know it refers to the cigars, but I think it could also refer to the box.  So apt I have wondered if I should leave it.

Then I had my husband split the lid on one of them because I wanted to try and create a piece that opened in the middle.


Last time I was working on a box, I got stuck on the outside and that halted all forward momentum. I had to put it away until I became unstuck. This time I started by adding texture to see where it might lead. Out came the mediums, gesso and paint.


This was so much fun to do,


I decided to break out the box I had gotten stuck on and add texture to it as well –


a different kind, but texture nonetheless. Bingo – just what it needed to move me forward.


I get truer color in the daylight so I generally quit when I lose the light, but now you know what I have been doing the last couple of days – and that is


washing my hands over and over and over.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Of Two Minds

Seriously, I have seen the weather reports. It is snowy, frigid and nearly impossible to get around in many parts of the country. It has been cold in Florida – as in “do their thermometers really go that low?” And we have had a taste of the chilly winds and cold temps here in North Carolina – nothing like in Ontario or Indiana, of course. Officially, winter doesn’t arrive for another week. Having said all this, I am of two minds. (That should come as no surprise. Actually, having only two minds might be rather a vacation. Yet again, I digress.)

You see, my feet are cold and my mind harkens back (isn’t that a great word? – harkens) to August when we walked barefoot on the sand of our favorite beach. It was a sunny, warm, and lazy day.


We could sit in the porch rockers and watch the other tourists poking along the island. My feet were not cold then.


Then I think back to January of this year when it snowed a decent bit. It was so pristine and peaceful looking.


And even though it makes my feet cold, I like the looks of the snow when it is new and fresh and everyone is warm and safe – inside enjoying a hot cup of tea, coffee or cocoa. It gives us sort of an unexpected day off; permission to play if you will.


The weatherman is saying we might get a wintry mix in the coming hours. Nothing is certain at this point. Therefore, I too am wavering. I am not sure which I prefer; the warmth of the sun and sand or the clean and clear of the snow?  Maybe a little of each?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Letter from Hamlin

If you have read here for any length of time, you know that sometimes the bears have stories of their own. Occasionally, when they travel, they write me from their new homes to say all is well. It seems that teddy bears like to reassure us bear makers from time to time that we’ve done the right thing – letting them venture out on their own.


So it was with great joy that I received a letter from one of my recently adopted bears. Normally, I would not post their missives, as they can be quite personal, but Hamlin reassured me that he would be delighted to make yet another appearance here on bearbits. I hope you will enjoy his letter.



Thank you so much for the treats you packed in my box with me. Playing Solitaire was a great way to pass the time. I was so excited to arrive at my new home as my new mommy put me under the Christmas tree. She whispered that she'd open me when her husband needed a break from his work, as she thought he'd have fun watching her open me because of all the cute things you put in the box with me.

Sure enough he came to the tree last night for a break and I could hear them smiling and laughing over all my cute things. Then when they opened me, they both really liked me and I was so glad. She thinks I have a lovely and expressive face and wonderful body (and so did he.) He really liked how you shaded my paws. They both liked my colors, too. He enjoyed trying my flashlight and laughing at the notes and then he had to go back to work but Mommy played with me under the tree until it was time to go to bed. I could tell that she really loves me and is so happy I'm here. :)

She introduced me to my new friends and left us for the night. They were all nice and told me that I would get to ride a reindeer the next day! Oh boy! My first reindeer ride. My mommy loves reindeer they said and so then it made sense why she had been so excited over the card you sent her. She said it was perfect for her. She LOVES Teddy bears the most but really likes old postcards right up there after that! She collects those too and makes artwork from them. She has a new website that is getting built in stages and it shows some of the things she makes from old postcards.


I know how busy you are Aunt Ginger at this time of year, so if you don't visit her site right away she'll understand but hopes you can drop by in the New Year sometime at  I'll ask her to put a photo in here so you can see what I mean about what she makes because when you see them- you'll know why she really loved the card you sent! She has it on display and told me to say a big thank you to you for me most of all (aww shucks!) and then the card, and other fun surprises, too..  and oh yes, she said she liked my hang tag as it is so pretty and the color reminds her of her favorite dark chocolate. :)


Here are 2 photos of the "cut-outs" she makes from antique & vintage postcard images. (She hand cuts and decorates each one to be one of a kind- like me. :) She loves that I am one of a kind.) She also really appreciated you sharing with her about how you named and made me. She is enclosing this first photo because I like reindeer so much after today. :) (it is a double layer one- her husband helps her make the stands with two grooves for the pieces to sit in.) and the next photo is a special village one with lights.

Then as promised, I got to meet the Steiff reindeer today and go for a ride..


He was so nice- told me about how he came from Germany and let me hold on to his antlers so I wouldn't be afraid of falling off.


My mommy gave me my own stocking to hang up to wait for Santa


I gave him a big hug to say thank you for the ride..


and then I read him a bed time story...


Good night & Sweet sugar plums dreams!


Dear Little Hamlin,

Thank you for the lovely letter.  It really made me smile.  I am certain you will enjoy your new home and your new friends. 

A very Merry Christmas to you.

Love & hugs,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Card Caper

Stamps, labels and a sticky tongue. These were the ingredients for my annual family Christmas card caper. I suppose the word caper implied an adventure or an escapade, but alas the most exciting bit about it was going to the post office when it was really cold. Okay, not really cold. Nippy. It was nippy out. And rolling down the window in the car so we could slip the envelopes into the drop box was living right on the edge of insanity. Insanity – well, perhaps not so much but a little crazy. Oh, alright. Not frigid temperatures, not risky, not insane. Does it count if I can still taste the glue from the envelopes?

Which brings me to share with you my next blast from the past. How’s that for a segue? Last year I showed a few Piece Parade Christmas Cards here on bearbits. And this year a few posts back, I shared my teddy bear Christmas card from 2005. Now I would like to share the photo and inside of one I mailed out in 2006. I loved these colors and this bear remains one of my favorites. (I know, I say that about nearly every one!)

This was called “A Christmas Tale”.


I was sitting alone by the light of our Christmas tree one evening not too long ago, when I saw one of my new teddies walk into the room. He looked around a bit and then sat himself down facing the tree. Soon another little bear joined him. One by one they came, sitting down beside the one before. It wasn’t long before the tree was ringed with little bears sitting quietly in a circle. Curiosity got the better of me and I slowly got up from my chair. I tapped the first bear ever so slightly on the shoulder and whispered, “What exactly is it you all are doing?” The little bear replied, “We are doing what we do every year at this time.” This was quite curious to me because all of these bears were new and none had celebrated Christmas before. So I tapped him again and asked, “And what exactly is it that ‘we’ do every year at this time?” The little bear looked at me sort of incredulously and said, “We are listening for the Christmas story, of course.” I sat back, waited, and watched. The one little bear began, “And it came to pass in those days . . .”

May the magic and love of Christmas be with you always.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Few from the Show

Since these little guys had barely unpacked here before they were packing up again, I thought you might like to say hello to them. These are just a few of those on their way to celebrate the holidays in grand style in other parts of the world. I sure hope it is warmer where they land!


Holly – 6.5 inches tall


Hans – 6 inches tall


Tamblyn – 5.5 inches tall


Michal – 5 inches tall

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Never Underestimate a Teddy Bear

This is something I am going to try to remember. I’ll tell you why. Over the past few weeks, I have sent email to those on my list telling them about my upcoming show. I also told them that the bears had come up with an idea they simply had to pursue. They wanted to make it snow for the show – after all it was a wintery, Christmassy event.

Of course, they had their share of experiments gone wrong. They tried to make it snow using powdered laundry detergent and a snow blower. There were other attempts but it wasn’t until the very last that I heard they had been successful.

And success was seeing it snow on the bears in the show – on the Interneton a website.

But lo and behold, right in the middle of the show the bears started hootin’ and hollerin’. My husband and I looked out the window and it was really snowing outside! Now you know and I know that those bears didn’t really make it snow but I didn’t have the heart to tell them so.


It was so pretty.


And the teddy bears were so excited.


It really put us all in the Christmas spirit.


So I reached in my gold star jar, pulled out one star for each bear, and in a grand ceremonious way, I told them they all had done a really fabulous job. With my stuffing stick, I knighted them and welcomed them into the Order of the Snow Bears.


My sisters and I are expecting great things from them this winter!

Internet Shows

This post is the result of opening the closet door. One of the closet doors in my studio to be more specific. I went in for an old notebook where I keep past records to see if I could get some information on a teddy bear I made several years ago.

Of course, that 5 minute research project turned into a trip down memory lane. I turned to some pages from 2001 and realized that I held my very first Internet show in November of that year. It was a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, figure-it-out-as-you-go kind of project. Who knew what it would turn into way back then?

At the time, it just seemed like the best way to keep in touch with some of my favorite people in the bear world that I would not be able to visit with that year. Lo and behold, it turned into a ‘thing’.

Now it is the eve, or should I say very early morning of, my 18th Internet show. I can hardly believe it.

Here’s a photo of one of my favorite bears from that show.


I would tell you his name but it would require pulling out the notebook again. And really, isn’t that how this whole thing got started? I think I’ll just say goodnight or good morning. At this point, either one would be appropriate.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Po’ thang.

Po’ thang. (Translation: That’s Southern for Poor Thing.)


I have had days like this when I thought I’d lost my head.


And other days when I have been quite sure of it.


Chin up little fella.  Soon you’ll be lookin’ at the world with your head on straight!

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