Friday, December 30, 2011

Quick Last Grins from 2011+1

Perusing the year’s photos . . . at top speed.


Left behind . . .



Sneaking in a pocket for a trip.



Getting fitted for glasses at the Optometrist office.



Hiding in plain sight in a gift shop at Disney World.



At the beach.



Saying goodbye to a friend.



At a birthday party with friends.



Camping out inside.



Meeting Cinderella.



Getting his fortune told by Zoltar.



Rescuing the Pirate Turkey.



Here’s a new one for you:  Herding horses just yesterday.


Wishing you the best for 2012!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Mocha Challenge

If you’ve wandered by to see what kinds of bear projects I have going on, I am working on some things which I will share after the first of the brand new year. In the meantime, we are still in holiday mode here making the most of these last few days of 2011.

Let me round out the year by introducing you to Daniel. Daniel Faucette – Barista Extraordinaire. Why extraordinaire, you may wonder. It is because he embraces a challenge. Let me explain.


If you recall from my last post, Sebastian has a new mug all his very own. He had been hinting (like every 5 minutes) about how “it must be time to go for coffee”. We also heard this: “I’m sure you and your other half would enjoy a nice cup of mocha, right?” And this: “It’s sure is a sad, sad day when you have a new mug but you haven’t been able to use it.” Yeah, he broke us. But that’s just the beginning.


Arriving at our favorite coffee spot (Jubala Village Coffee) we were met with the greeting of “The ususal?” And then, “Can I get you anything else?” That was when Sebastian started prodding me from inside my pocket. “Um . . . Daniel . . . would you - could you make a little mocha – a decaf mocha - in this little mug for this little bear?”

Daniel is a good sport and a great barista so he took up the challenge. How many people do you know that would go along with such craziness? Sebastian was in seventh heaven. It was such a tiny mug – could he do it?

Here’s Daniel in the process of pouring the milk in.


What will the art be? Will it turn out in such a small cup? Sebastian waited with baited breath.


Ah, look! It’s a heart. How fantastic is that?! A heart for Sebastian, Daniel’s littlest and greatest fan.


Sebastian was so pleased he almost didn’t want to drink it.


But eventually, he succumbed and drank it all.


“Can I have another?” he asked.


Sebastian and I would love it if you would say hello to Daniel. He said he would drop by and check out the photos of his accomplishment. Thanks Daniel for making Sebastian’s evening and entertaining us as well. Oh and by the way, our mochas were excellent as always.

Monday, December 26, 2011

What does a bear get for Christmas?

I wondered this myself. I should have known this year would have been a little different from previous ones when Christmas cards began arriving addressed to Sebastian. Some were sweet and some were funny but we enjoyed them all. Yes, Sebastian, who was thrilled, let us read them too.


Then I noticed that under the Christmas tree was a package all wrapped in tissue addressed to Sebastian. I asked him to wait until we arrived at our Christmas morning destination to open it but he was impatient.


“What difference will a few minutes make?” he continually asked me until I relented and let him open it.

So what does a bear get for Christmas? Why he gets his very own teddy bear Christmas mug in just his size.


See how his paw fits the handle? Now he claims there is no reason, no reason at all, that he cannot go with us to the coffee shop and get his very own mocha. You do realize he has an extremely valid point.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Just out there.

I took this photo not long ago when I was considering writing a post on some local time-honored traditional Christmas outdoor decorations. I don’t know if this scene falls into that category because I am not sure exactly how long ago this display began. So, the question became is it time-honored yet?

It seems to me that we noticed it a few years ago – at least three and now we look forward to seeing it every year. For us, it has become sort of a tradition to drive by slowly, taking a moment amid the hustle and bustle to admire the scene and remember exactly what and why we celebrate.

It is one of the nicest nativity scenes we have seen around. It sits just off the road I travel frequently and I pass it several times a week if not more. The best time to see it is at night when the lights focus your attention on the manger.

If you celebrate this most special of holidays, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas! I hope you have some wonderful memories to carry you into the New Year. I also want to thank each of you for the gift of your readership and encouragement. I know that it can be a bit strange on this blog sometimes, so the fact that you return to read, comment, laugh, poke fun, offer advice makes me think that this planet has some really terrific people inhabiting it. Thanks for being there. Yes, there. Just out there. There in blogland. It’s so nice to know you’re nearby. Enjoy the holidays!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It’s here! As promised . . .

Back when spring turned to summer I had a giveaway. I also promised that I would love to do another before the end of the year. That time is quickly approaching. And since I announced the last winner on the first day of summer, I decided to announce this new giveaway on the first day of winter.

This is my way of saying thank you to all of my blogland readers and friends. Of course, I have another reason for having a giveaway. It’s fun, fun, fun! And I am quite ready to kick back and have some fun with Christmas just a few days away and the New Year following shortly after. I think this is a very good time to celebrate. Let’s get on with it shall we?

I am pleased to introduce you to Bouton.


Bouton is a pocket-sized one-of-a-kind, fully jointed teddy bear measuring a mere 6” tall.


He is made from warm beige colored mohair with Ultrasuede paws. Stuffed with both polyfill and glass beads, he is sit-able, squish-able, huggable, and tote-able. Okay, so most of those are not real words, but you get the idea, don’t you?


He wears a handmade button necklace that is accented with tiny seed beads. This is where he gets his name – from the buttons. I was all for calling him Buttons but he thought that sounded a bit like a circus clown, so he fancied it up a bit using the French form of button hence, Bouton.


He comes with his own button-like cushion to sit on. It is created from wool felt and provides him with a little security knowing he will always have a place to perch.


Here’s how to enter:

- In the comment form at the bottom of this post, please leave your name as instructed below (very important) and I will enter you in Bouton’s Giveaway. All comments will be private and unpublished. You don’t have to have a blog to enter.

- IMPORTANT! Please leave your first and last name and email address as part of your comment so I can contact you if your name is drawn. This info is for the purpose of this giveaway only and will not be shared, sold, traded, given away or added to any list. No email = no entry. Sorry but them’s the rules. The bears insist on my contacting the winner personally! They are very steadfast about this.

- If you have a blog and post a link to this one about my giveaway, I will enter your name in the drawing an additional 5 times. Please let me know once you have posted it on your blog.

- I will take comments until 6pm EST (Eastern Standard Time – New York City time) on January 21st. On January 22nd, a name will be drawn randomly from all those who entered. (We will be using a random number generator to insure fairness. I can’t trust bears with sticky fingers to draw a name properly.) I will post the winner’s initials only and state/country in a new post on that day.

- Bouton and his cushion will be mailed via USPS to his new home. As you know my bears and I love to travel. He is looking forward to his first trip in the New Year! I will be waving him off before you know it.

The best of luck to all of you!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


These hands are doing something very special.


They are wrapping a handcrafted item.


Here it is just inside the box before the lid is put on and sealed.


It started out at the very beginning looking like this.


Those bits were put into the roaster shown here.


We watched the making of these things through glass windows.


Here are the samples they were encouraging visitors to taste.


Have you figured it out yet? It’s Raleigh’s newest “bean to bar” chocolate factory. When my husband insisted we go and check them out, they had only been open three days.

What a treat both literally and figuratively.


The boxes are pretty with each type of chocolate bar represented with a different color combination.


I love the fact that they put a little nod to our state on the front of every box.


Now you can see we are sort of back where we began. With a handmade, hand wrapped, hand packed dark chocolate bar.


The tag line on each box reads “from bean to bar to bliss”. I’ll agree with that.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Why Sebastian - S-e-b-a-s-t-i-a-n - is having a good giggle.

A little while back Sebastian received a gift in the mail. It was a book, but not just any book it was a book about his friend Duffy, the Disney bear. But that’s not all.


When he opened it up to the very first page, he saw that it had some writing there.


“Why Sebastian, you lucky bear! You have a book that is signed by the illustrator!”


Sebastian looked at it and then looked again. Then he giggled a little. Then he giggled a lot. “What is it that is making you laugh so hard?”


“Oh, I see now. They spelled your name wrong. That is pretty funny!”

Later on I could see that he was enjoying reading all about how Duffy became Mickey Mouse’s teddy bear.


After he finished reading it, he found Duffy and read it out loud to him.


I have a feeling this is going to be a treasured book for both of them for a long, long time – and they’ll probably giggle every time they open it up too.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A New Temptation

If you are a regular reader here, you know that we feel fortunate to have discovered a delightful coffee shop within walking distance. Please don’t tell the bears or they would all want to come. As it is now, they just wonder where we disappear to when we go. They are going to get really suspicious now.

You see just around the corner from our favorite coffee shop, which also makes it within walking distance; this wonderful place has just opened. The Chocolate Boutique. Be still my heart.


It is bright and airy in two of my favorite colors,


but let’s get to the good stuff – the product. Chocolate.


Not only is this place a visual temptation, it tempts the taste palette as well.


They also sell something that is new to me. Have you ever heard of Chocolate Salt? I am certainly going to have to do some research on this. I think my pantry needs something called Chocolate Salt!


Yes, we did taste a few chocolates and


yes, a few came home with us. Were you hoping for pictures? Oh, well, with a camera in one hand and chocolate in the other, I had to put something down. The camera lost.


While we were enjoying the taste test, these particular words resonated with me.


The best part about this new shop, aside from the chocolate, is that it is within walking distance. The worst thing about this new shop is that it is within walking distance. How much willpower do you think I have? Probably about as much as one of their mini truffles which are delicious. I am thinking I can be there and back in just a few minutes. You won’t tell anyone where I’ve gone, will you?

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