Saturday, November 27, 2010


Here’s a riddle for you. How many hands does it take to create the annual Piece Parade Christmas card? Since I’ve just completed this year’s with some help from family, let me see if I can count them. To do that I guess I’d have to start with listing the tasks – like making the bear, taking its photo, writing the text, laying out the card – but I did those things (2 hands).

Then there’s the people that make the copies and print the photos (4 hands). Do they count? Then there’s the printing of the envelopes which falls mainly on my number one guy (2 hands). After that the stamps need to be applied – my dad volunteered for that one (2 hands).

Soon there’s the assembly of the actual card and its insertion into the envelopes which then have to be sealed. My sisters helped there. Some even do double duty (not sure if that counts as 4 or 8). The answer would fall somewhere roughly between 14 & 18 hands. Whew!

My gratitude to all the owners of those hands!

Thinking of that reminded me that last year about this time I was sharing a few of my past teddy bear Christmas cards here. I wasn’t able to share every card I’ve made and sent so I thought I would choose another to share this year. This one is from 2005 and was entitled Christmas Magic.

First the photo:


Now the inside:

This time of year we often hold in our hearts and minds snapshots of Christmases past. Not of the big things, but of the small things. A conspiratorial wink, the soft glow of a candlelight service, or drinking hot chocolate by the light of the Christmas tree. One Christmas Eve, my husband and I dressed our children in matching one-piece, red long johns. Remember those? Our son, who was seven, was holding our daughter, a half dozen years younger with a big bear hug to keep her from slipping from the chair they were sitting in. Boy, were they giggling! It seems like all holiday memories should be like this. Ordinary things sprinkled with a little bit of Christmas magic. We hope you will be surrounded by those you love, happy memories, and just for good measure, a teddy or two!

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

And that’s how it went in 2005. It’s hard to believe that was five years ago! Maybe I’ll find another oldie but goodie Christmas card to show here. I would put this year’s up but it’ll have to wait – after all I like them to be a bit of a surprise! I think it’s beginning to feel a little like Christmas.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

Hey there all of you -

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you all how thankful I am for each of you readers out there

and for my fellow bloggers whose blogs I read and enjoy for entertainment, friendship, inspiration and fun.

And if you don’t celebrate a day in which you give thanks where you live, I hope that you won’t mind my sharing a bit of this American tradition with you here.



Monday, November 22, 2010

Stuffing for the Holidays


Hey you! Wake up! We’ve got things to do. Places to go. People to see. Dear me! It’s nearly Thanksgiving! You know, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce . . . stuffing? Stuffing! That’s what you need – some stuffing! Then, we’ve got things to do, places to go, people to see . . .

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just hanging around . . .


Today we spent some time decorating our Christmas tree.


We’ve not fully finished but we made some progress.  One of my favorite parts is opening the box with all the teddy bear ornaments. We spread them out over the whole tree


and then a couple get spots on the mantle with a few other favorites.


We’ll try to finish up the inside and then move to the outside where we plant some lighted ‘fairy’ trees and lots of colorful icicle lights. If it doesn’t rain, we’ll be in good shape – but then I’m not the one who will be climbing up and down the ladder.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


See this face? See the quizzical expression he is wearing?


That sort of gives you an idea of how I’m seeing things right now.

It has to do with math – and I’m okay with math – the simple kind – like pluses and minuses.

I just glanced over my desk – sort of doing some mental adding.

The quote “Riddle me this Batman” comes to mind.

One head nearly finished in a blush sort of color. One fairy bear parts sewn. One small ted sewn, not stuffed. Another teddy cut out and pinned. Yet another cut out – not pinned, not sewn.

How does this NOT add up to one complete and entirely finished teddy bear? I think there is something wrong with my math. Yeah, that’s it. The math is entirely goofed up. That’s my story anyway.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

busyness theory?

Have you ever heard this quote? “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.” I’ll tell you why I was contemplating this idea.


There are times when I accomplish a great deal more than at other times. Looking back, it seems that the busier I am at the time, the more I seem to accomplish. This seems to be true of other people as well.

For example, my daughter is a university art student. That entails class attendance, reading assignments, papers, projects and so on.


She also works part time at a coffee shop.


Now if it were me, I would think that would be plenty enough to do. Nevertheless, she has returned to knitting in her ‘spare’ time.


And with that she has a little shop in the beginning stages on etsy featuring some of her creations. I love the name: bound by strings (and other things.) You can check it out here.

I don’t know exactly how she manages to do it all. I’m thinking that maybe she has one of those Star Trek devices that either slows time down for everyone else or speeds it up for her.

I could really use one of those right about now. The bears I have finished are looking at me as if to say, Could you be just a little bit more efficient because we’d like to see a few more buddies springing forth from that pile of stuff on your desk?


Oh well. I’ll finish them – soon, very soon. Just as soon as I decide if I really need a knitted cowl to keep me warm this winter. Maybe in a lovely mustard yellow . . . or olive green . . .

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Painting with a Giant Paintbrush

This state is very geographically interesting. Starting at the eastern end of the state we have the coast. Moving west from there we have the piedmont. And at the very western end of North Carolina we have the mountains.


Autumn arrives here in the Carolinas from west to east though. The leaves change first in the mountains, then in the foothills, and finally at the coast.


It reminds me of some special coloring books I enjoyed when I was a little girl. The drawings in the book were colorless until you dipped your paintbrush in water and brushed it over the page. Then colors mysteriously emerged all the right places. You didn’t have to be an expert to get expert results.


One day this week, I was enjoying the scenery as I was traveling and it seemed to me as if someone dipped a paintbrush in water and the colors magically appeared. Just as there was a rational explanation for the colors appearing in the coloring book, I know there is a scientific explanation for the leaves turning colors. Even so, I prefer imagining a giant paintbrush skimming the landscape.


Have a Happy Autumn (or a Happy Spring for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere)!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red & Cream


A few photos of a bear in progress.


It’s beginning to look a little bit like Christmas.


Monday, November 8, 2010

A Laughing Place

Way back in March, I briefly mentioned The Container Store in a post here. It is one of my favorite stores, even if I only go in to browse. It’s what my husband’s mom would call A Laughing Place. The store is tidy and organized and everything is displayed precisely.


The only problem I had with it was that I was only able to visit them when we were traveling. There wasn’t a location in North Carolina but –

all that has changed. We’ve got our very own Container Store now. One of the best times to visit is the holiday season because their gift wrap comes out for sale in grand style.


Yes, I’ve heard how the stores are putting out their holiday merchandise earlier and earlier every year.


Nevertheless, I still like to look because it is so attractive. The colors inspire new combinations in my freakish teddy bear world.


I get to dream about beautifully wrapped gifts, even if I don’t have any of these wrappings or any gifts for that matter.


Mostly, I think their displays give my spirit a little oomph.


Define oomph? Uh – well, let’s see – a bit of liveliness, some punch and sparkle. A little joie de vivre if you please.


With one or two more visits, I would probably really get into the holiday spirit. But first, there are bears.




       focused . . .

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tea and a Tree

There is a tree in my yard that I see each morning out my window. It is a tree that almost wasn’t – in two ways. The first was that it survived a hurricane about 14 years ago. It was very misshapen, but still living afterward. Then the city decided that many of the hurricane impacted trees needed to be cut down.

One Saturday morning, the tree cutters came but my husband intercepted them and asked that they not cut down the tree because even though it wasn’t pretty, it was still living. I think they had so much work that they agreed and moved on to their next job.

When this tree loses it leaves it still looks like a spooky Halloween tree, but yesterday on a sunny and crisp autumn day it looked like this.


Today was rainy and overcast and so our spooky tree looked like this.


It made me think how fall is truly upon us here in North Carolina. Tonight there is a freeze warning and there was snow in parts of the mountains so I guess it’s to be expected.  To ward off the chill, I’m getting out my favorite mug


my husband’s favorite mug


and putting on the tea kettle for some special holiday tea. M-m-m-m.


Just the right thing after we come in from ice skating through candy land.  That’s me there on the left with the basket of candy and him on the right with the gumdrop buttons.


Perfect likeness, don’t ya think? And we’re such good ice skaters too. Especially on candy cane skates!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This was fun.

I like to keep my promises if I can. So here’s a photo of the finished bear I started not too long ago. You can find the original post here.  I have missed my sewing machine.  It’s good to be back.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Giveaway Winner Announced

It seems like it’s been a long and exciting month, but the time has finally arrived for me to announce the winner of the bearbits giveaway.

Jillana is so excited to be going to live with C.N. in Germany. We’d love to go along but there’s only room in the box for Jillana and her spool doll. If my information is correct, Jillana will have lots of friends in her new home.


Thank you to all of you who entered and to those who chose to follow this blog even though it wasn’t a requirement for participation. I do appreciate it and hope you enjoy visiting here with me and the bears.

I look forward to doing a little more blog hopping between making teddy bears for my upcoming Christmas show and thinking about the fast approaching holidays!

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