but I did sew a lot of the day. The snow arrived overnight and made everything white. It wasn’t good packing snow so we didn’t get to build any snowbears, but we were able to do this:
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Sh-h-h-h. Lean in a little. I want to whisper something in your ear. I can’t say it too loud or I might jinx it. We might get some snow tonight. The weather people are predicting a winter storm. We hope to see some pretty white stuff, just enough for some fun. I might be up late waiting for its arrival. I love to look out the window in the middle of the night and see the snow falling – so peaceful and quiet. Sh-h-h-h.
Now I have to get back to my bears. I am going to start working on my next giveaway. It’s a good day to stay inside and sew. Snow and sew. I like that.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Having read several things about how artists work, it seems to be a fairly common thing for us to spread out over several surfaces and be perfectly content until the project is completed. When that happens, many of us proceed to clean the slate so to speak and begin anew with a fresh, untainted palette (or desk or table or lap).
And that is exactly what I was doing when I discovered a clipping on my desk from a couple of weeks back. It seems I cannot resist tearing little bits and things from newspapers and magazines that seem worthy of contemplation. (I think I must get this from my mother who was really good at finding snippets of important tidbits in various places.)
Anywho, I found this in a column by Marilyn vos Savant and after reading it to myself, I then read it aloud to my husband who happened to be sitting across from me at a breakfast place at the time. He is used to me doing this sort of thing and I expected he would agree that it was interesting. After I read it, he paused for a split second which made me wonder ever so briefly what he was thinking. Then he said, “That’s the sort of thing that makes you think ‘how can there not be a plan’.”
I thought it was pretty cool,too. You can read it below.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I was considering all the wonderful worlds that have been opened to us because of the seemingly endless Internet. It allows us to read, chat, listen to music, watch videos and browse photos among many things.
Then I realized that it might be quite a while before the Internet can accommodate three missing things. You cannot get even a little whiff of the scent of something. You cannot get an itty bitty taste of something. And you cannot reach out and get the feel of something. I look forward to the day that happens.
In the meantime, if you could get the feel of something, I would ask you to indulge yourself by feeling the super soft mohair of this teddy bear.
Mm-m-m. Feel that? It is so-o-o soft. It is indulgent – like a taste of delightfully luscious chocolate. A raspberry crème perhaps. Since you have no way of knowing (yet) if I am telling you the truth, perhaps you might believe me if I said this teddy bear even smelled like chocolate.
But that’s not all. He has a friend. A little short fairy friend. She is oh so sweet – just like a candy heart. Remember those? The little conversation hearts that say things like “Kiss Me” or “Be Mine” or “Too Sweet”?
When I was in school, it was big deal choosing which hearts would go in the Valentines we gave out. You did not want your arch enemy getting a heart that said “My Love”! It’s not a problem now. My husband eats the hearts before I have a chance to read them. That’s okay though. I still have a few Valentines up my sleeve.
So it’s a wee bit early to wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day, but dear me, January is nearly gone and it will be here before we know it. If you want to see more photos of these teddies, they are on my website on the Available Bears page. While you are there, feel their soft mohair and try to get a little whiff of one or the other, depending on whether or not you prefer a Candi Heart or a Raspberry Crème.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
I cut this out of the newspaper a while back and kept thinking I would post it here. I have finally managed it. It cracks me up. I remember doing this very thing myself; taking a straw and making bubbles (and a mess!).
The elementary school cafeteria was a great place for things like this. It seems like all we needed was a little free time, a carton of milk and a straw. For some, it doesn’t take much to live life to the fullest. Go ye therefore and blow some bubbles. Embrace life!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Before you know it, I will be heading to my first show of the year. By the time I have done my first one, other artists will have been to three or four! These last several years I have kept my traveling to shows to only two or three times a year.
Funny how a show gets on my schedule at some place I think would be interesting to see anyway. H-m-m-m. Like the year we went to Kansas City. Sure we did the teddy bear show and had a great time, but we also ended up going on a cow hunt – something we had never done before.
Sock Monkey Cow Artist: Sandra Walter Spencer
Daisy Artist: Jan Wheeler
And we went to the Moon Marble Company. How cool is that! And that’s just a couple of the things we did. This photo is from their website. You can see more stuff there.
I also really wanted to visit Intercal, the mohair place, while we were close enough so we went there too. I was able to surround myself with oodles and oodles of mohair – in person. Now that IS temptation.
This was just one row of the lovely and luscious mohair fabrics there.
The thing we enjoyed the most was visiting the set of the Gilmore Girls TV show. Doesn’t sunny California sound like a good place to visit this time of year when we are having cold rain pouring down at the moment?
This is a photo I took inside of Luke’s diner (if you know Gilmore Girls).
We went to a show in Chicago a couple of years ago, or was it three? I used to go quite frequently, but timing has a lot to do with our plans. The thing is I never did see much of Chicago when I was there for the shows for a number of years. This last time we were finally able to see a little bit of the city and it was wonderful – cold, but wonderful.
This is downtown Chicago – a street view.
This is a photo taken inside their amazing downtown Macy’s store.
Now, I am looking forward to a new year of shows. If you happen to be in the neighborhood, or plan to be in the neighborhood, I have updated my website ‘Shows’ page with the details. For a quick overview, you can just check my sidebar right here on my blog.
My first show will be in Timonium, Maryland – Teddies Spring Show. It’s just a little ways north of Baltimore. Have you been to Baltimore? What a great place. I took a few photos last year. It was a bit rainy the night we went to the harbor. You can see them here.
Now you might think that every place I have been has been great to visit. And you would be right mostly. I don’t know if you would agree with me, but I like to see new places when I have the opportunity.
So, go take a look at your calendar. See what you have going on and if there’s room, jot down ‘Teddy Bear Show’ in the blank space next to March 20. If you need a discount coupon, just let me know and I will send you one. Now to justify my presence at the show, I must go sew and sew and sew.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Before you read any further, I want to say two things of utmost importance.
Firstly, you all are terrific. You have a great sense of fun and are really good sports. Thank you for participating in this crazy game and giving me a few laughs along the way - a good time to pass out Gold Stars to everyone who took a chance- if I had any. (Note to self – pick up some gold stars next time I am at the store.)
Secondly, anyone who played, whether you guessed correctly or not, will receive an entry in my next giveaway. I makka da game, so I makka da rules. The original rules, an entry in the giveaway for each correct answer, still stand. That means if you got them all correct, you will receive seven entries in my next giveaway.
I will send an email to you if I can locate your email address. If you do not hear from me and you are curious about how many entries you have so far, send me an email (link on my profile page) and I will send you a reply.
Now it is time to tell you who were these crazy bears were representing. Why they were suspects one and all! I have their mug shots to prove it. (Some of you were so very close with your ‘mystery’ related answers!)
Mrs. Peacock (aka Miss Peacock, Peacock)
Rev. Green (aka Mr. Green, Green)
Professor Plum (aka Mr. Plum, Col. Plum, Plum)
Mrs. White (aka Miss White, White, Maid White)
If you are familiar with the game of Clue (Cluedo), you might not have gotten it at first, but you figured it out eventually.
To answer your questions, these bears were created as my gallery piece for TBAI (Teddy Bear Artist Invitational) a few years ago. They now reside ever so happily together in England, where they get to play Clue/Cluedo from time to time. They stand about 12 inches tall and were sent on their way with a candlestick, wrench, rope, revolver, knife and lead pipe. (Props - not weapons!)
It is my contention that while they have all been suspects, it has never been conclusively proven at any time that my bears were guilty. They may get into a little mischief now and then, but just look at those faces – would you send them to jail?
Monday, January 18, 2010
Here we are. It is time for the last photo of the Guess the Bears’ Names game. Oh, so sad . . . I like this game – it’s one of the few I have played where I knew all the answers way before the game even started!
It did not take you all long to figure me out. I will post the answers to this crazy game on January 20th. That and I will try to answer some of the questions that you all have asked about the bears themselves too.
Now, for the last photo. I do love this one. She is so very colorful. You can see why I saved her for last. If I had put her up first, the game would have been very boring indeed.
Here’s the last photo. Send me your guesses. You guys are great!
I will wrap up the Guess the Bears’ Name game tomorrow by posting the last photo of the set, but I just had to tell you what happened the other day.
I was sitting at my desk with my thinking cap on. I cannot move around too much while I am wearing it. I think that’s the purpose of it. You sort of have to sit in one place and think or it will fall off. Now it was an ordinary day – well, as ordinary as it ever is around here. And I was sitting there, like I told you, with my thinking cap on, when one of my bears wandered in.
He looked around a bit and asked me if I had one of those measuring things.
“What kind of measuring things?” I replied.
“Oh, you know the kind with little marks on it.”
I poked around in my desk and found a tape measure. “Here you go,” I said as I handed it over.
“What is this?” he asked incredulously.
“Why it is a tape measure,” I answered.
“That’s not what I was talking about. I need the one that is stiff.”
So I handed him a ruler.
“That’s not what I need either. We need one that is longer, a lot longer.” (He looked very frustrated with me.)
“Ah, you must want a yard stick.” I finally seemed to catch on.
Then he asked me if I had any gum. I asked him what kind and he said it didn’t matter. So, I found a container with some sugarless Juicy Fruit and handed him a couple of pieces. He looked at me kind of funny and then asked if I could be a little more generous. So, I doled out a couple more.
He looked up at me again and asked, “Now can you chew it for me?”
I know what you are thinking. I should have thought it was weird when he asked for the yard stick. But I was getting curious and I wanted to know what he and the other bears were plotting. So I complied. I chewed the gum and when I was good and squishy, I said, “Now what?”
“Stick it on the end of the stick,” he directed.
I did, he took the yard stick, thanked me and headed downstairs. I waited a few seconds and then took off my thinking cap. I wasn’t getting much thinking done anyway. I quietly rolled back my chair and tiptoed down the stairs after him.
What I found was a group of bears trying to manipulate this chewing gum/yard stick contraption from the top of the back of the sofa. I had to ask. You would have too.
“Uh, guys, what on earth are you doing?”
“Isn’t it obvious?” one of them answered.
“Not really. There’s not a whole lot behind that sofa but a few dust bunnies.”
“If you must know, we are looking for coins; any kind, big or little, doesn’t matter,” one of them said.
“If you should find said coins, what are you going to do with them?” I asked.
“Didn’t you say ‘every little bit helps’?” one of them said.
“Well, yeah, but what do you need money for?”
They patiently replied, “We want to send it to help the people that had the earthquake fall on them.”
“Oh, I see. Well then, perhaps I can help you. My reach is a little bit longer than yours, okay?”
While we are gathering up our coins and trying to sort out where we want to send them, the bears asked me to tell everyone here not to forget - Every little bit helps.
The American Red Cross
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Here we are at the next to the last photo. Whew! It seems like you guys are onto me. This has been so much fun that I would like to think up other ways to give out extra entries in my next giveaway.
While I put my thinking cap on . . . (You should see it! It’s huge with a big wide brim, feathers, doodahs, glitter and all sorts of crazy stuff. What does yours look like? You do have a thinking cap, don’t you?)
Where was I? Oh yeah, while I put my thinking cap on to figure out how to dole out more entries for my next giveaway, let’s see how you fare on today's’ photo in the Guess the Bear's’ Name game.
Photo #5 -
Friday, January 15, 2010
You all are so funny, entertaining and such good game players. Thank you for participating! The game is halfway over. There are three more bears who want you to guess their names.
I’ve been trying to figure out if I have a favorite among these bears. I am sort of partial to the one in the first photo. Then I do like the detail I was able to add to the bear in the third photo. This one was quite the challenge – not one of my usual projects. Making the accessory in her hand was fun!
Here’s your fourth photo in the set. What would bring all these various characters together??? Give it a go.
I can see you all are catching on. No hints today. It’s going to be soooooo easy now. Therefore, I think I will read Melville’s Moby Dick to you. Pour yourself a cup of tea and pull up a chair.
“Call me Ishmael. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore . . . “
Get your guesses ready.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Yes, the Guess the Bears’ Names game continues.
All who have guessed so far are very good sports. I would give you each a gold star if I had any at hand. A couple of you figured it out (yea!) and a good portion of you were very, very close. I dare not say much more because I might give too much away, but I will give you a hint or two.
Remember that each bear is part of a set – a group of things that belong together. Right now these bears may not look like they are members of a set, but you will see how they all go together in a very short time. Like I said, it gets easier.
One word – color.
That is all I will say – have I said too much?
Round 2 – Here we go –
If you read my last post, you know that this one is the beginning of the game of Guess the Bears’ Names. Either you will know the name right away or it will take you a little bit of time to figure it out. As the game progresses, it will get oh so much easier if it isn’t a gimme already!
So, here’s how to play: Make your guess in a comment.
That is all there is to it.
You can even take your time; think it over, make a couple of guesses.
When the game is over on January 20th, I will reveal the correct names of the bears. (I will be lenient if the spelling is not exact. I cannot be too picky when I make oodles of typing mistakes here myself!) If you have one or more guesses right, I will let you know how many. It will also be the number of extra entries you will receive for my next giveaway. (I’m still planning it but eventually I will have something to show you.)
I reserve the right to post other fascinating and interesting tidbits in addition to the game posts. After all, something interesting might happen here. Perhaps the weatherman will goof on the forecast and we’ll have a few inches of the white stuff and I will have to take photos. How could I not? OR It could turn balmy and everyone will be wearing flip-flops and short sleeve shirts with short pants. Oh, that’s right; they do that now – even when it is 20°F (6°C). Go figure.
Of course, the game. I do wander off sometimes.
Ready. Get set. Go.
Here’s your first photo.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I am trying to decide what kind of teddy my next giveaway will be. While I am thinking and designing it in my head, I thought I would post photos of a set of bears I created a few years ago. For those of you who would like to increase your chances in the giveaway (when I have finally gotten it made!) I thought we could have some fun with these bears.
My next post will have one photo from the set. The post after that will have another. I will keep posting the photos until the whole set is complete. Where’s the fun in that? For each bear’s name that you guess correctly, you will receive an extra entry in my giveaway. (I hope it’s not TOO easy, but that’s the chance I take, eh?) These bears have been seen before after all – just not here.
I will have to keep the comments with guesses unpublished to make it fair for everyone. I will accept guesses on the bears’ names only until January 20th. So get your game hat on and let’s play.
Monday, January 11, 2010
We were in Asheville over the weekend. We thought it was cold here at home. By comparison, we were toasty! I have read from quite a few other bloggers that were are not the only ones who are experiencing unusually cold temperatures.
You may not remember this photo that I took a few months ago of a beautifully scenic lake in Asheville.
Being so cold, I wondered what condition the lake was in. Only for you guys would I leave our warm automobile to take this photo. That and the fact that I must have had brain freeze.
and then one of the same scene from the weekend.
and there it is – all icy and cold looking.
So what does one do when it is so very, very cold? We went in search of some liquid warmth. We found it at the French Broad Chocolate Lounge late on Friday night. You may remember I mentioned it on this blog before.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Ah-h-h-h. More on that in a moment.
First I wanted to say thank you for all the lovely comments on my last post. Very touching and it gave me a lift. I needed one too. In this here house, that had more folks than usual, we also had an unwelcome visitor in the form of some kind of crud we will not even get into.
First it took down victim #1 who recovered well in about 24 hours. Then we had a free day. Then victim #2 had it – on his last day of vacation before having to return to the salt mines. Then we had another free day, but alas, the double whammy when victims #3 and #4 were afflicted. I don’t know if I was #3 or #4 but that is truly beside the point. Thankfully, it looks like we have conquered the wretched visitor, kicked it out the door, and said sayonara and goodbye and don’t come back! We can now move on to other things.
If my mind has not gone completely (very questionable), I think I said I would share the Christmas secret that was kept from me. If it’s a secret, how does one know that it exists? Around here, it goes like this.
“Don’t come in here yet.”
“Don’t read my email until after Christmas.”
Oh and this one is good –
“I talked to our son today.”
“Oh really. So what’s he doing?”
“I can’t tell you.”
I may be a little slow, but even I could tell something was up.
It turned out to be the most unusual present I have ever received. And everyone was involved somehow or other. I was serenaded. That’s right. But there is infinitely more to it than that.
Have you met my Bloons? If not, you can click here to learn more about them. There’s that little bit in their story where they sing. Yes, they sing. There is something called The Bloon Song. I wrote it down when I heard them singing it, but I couldn’t quite remember the tune. And, heavens, you would never want to hear me sing it.
But, my son, who has just now received his Masters in Music Theory, spent some time and arranged it for me with critical support and input from his lovely wife. She also lettered the front of the sheet music for The Bloon Song. There was musical accompaniment and several singers. It made me laugh and cry at the same time.
They wouldn’t let me videotape it because they know that I am sneaky and would post it here for the entire world to see and hear. I did extract a promise that someday I would get a recording of it, perhaps with children performing it. If I do, I will be sure to share it with you. For now, I am happy to post a peek or two at the sheet music, the words I transcribed from the singing Bloons and the music (sing along version) that made up my most unusual Christmas present ever. Yes, we are a very nutty family.
I’m a Bloon. I’m a Bloon.
I’m stuck up in a tree.
I’m a Bloon. I’m a Bloon.
Won’t someone rescue me?
I’m a little cubby bear,
who longed to touch the sky.
When I climbed the highest limb,
I found it much too high.
It’s nice up here in the clean clear air
but my tummy is starting to rumble.
If I try to climb back down
I fear I’ll take a tumble.
I found a place to sit a while.
It’s quite a cozy nest,
but underneath the leaves below
are woods I like the best.
Now if you would like to hear the music that goes with the words, just click on the play button below. Remember to turn up the volume on your computer.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Now that Christmas is behind us, I can share a couple of secrets. The kind that you keep before Christmas arrives. The kind that you hint at but try keep a mystery. The kind that add to the holiday merriment.
In this post I will share one I kept. In the next post, I will share one that was kept from me.
My secret involves - da-d-da-daaaaa - teddy bears.
Last year about this time of year, my mother passed away. I miss her every single day. One thing that my family and I discovered among her things was a cache of aprons she had made. Some were from our childhood for those times we helped her in the kitchen. We think one or two belonged to my Grandmother. Some were holiday aprons made from Christmas prints. Other styles reflected the era in which they were sewn. My mom wore them when she was cooking or working with something that was messy. She also shared them if she knew of someone who might want or need one. There was always, always an apron for the person who ended up being the dishwasher!
The secret is what I chose to call The Apron Bears. In my mom’s sewing stash, we found scraps of fabric from various projects. Some were from aprons she had made. These fell into my possession with the thought being the prints might be good for teddy bears. And, of course, they were. They were good for aprons for bears!
I made a bear for each of my sisters and my dad. Since I often do handwork while visiting with my family, they did not know at the time I was making their Christmas gifts right in front of them. When I completed the bears I made each one an apron made from leftover apron fabric or her clothing. The teddies stand six inches tall and each one is unique just like my family. I think my mom would have loved these bears!