Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hairnets, Shoelaces and Burundi

It’s an odd collection of things, but if you’ll bear with me, I think I can sort it out for you. I know there are a few family and friends that are interested in seeing the photos for this post so I’ll explain it the shortest and best way I can.

Today, my husband and I helped pack 80,000 meals. No, that is not a typo but it was not nearly as time consuming as you might imagine because we had a whole roomful of people also helping.

We started by clearing the room so it could be set up with ‘stations’ where teams worked together to fill small plastic bags with dry ingredients for the meals.


At each ‘filling’ station, there is rice


dried veggies,


textured soy protein,


and a vitamin packet.


All of them are measured and put in a small plastic bag


which is then weighed and sealed.


After 36 bags are completed they are packed in a cardboard box for shipment.


So where do the hairnets come in? To pack the food, just like in any commercial kitchen, a hair covering must be worn. While some had ball caps, others donned blue and red hairnets.


Then where do the shoelaces come in? While I was busy sealing bags, I noticed several children running back and forth helping. They were so busy and intent on their task, they didn’t have time to retie their loose shoelaces!


And Burundi. What about Burundi? I learned that Burundi is one of the poorest countries on the Earth. There are children in this world that resort to eating mud cookies. Can you imagine? The meals we packed today will feed 219 children for a whole year.


So the 80,000 meals we packaged are going are going to Burundi.


Hairnets, shoelaces and Burundi – see?  There is a connection after all. We worked with Stop Hunger Now. Even if there isn’t a location near you, they have an online presence where you can see videos and read more about the fight against hunger.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Securing the Ship

We’ve taken the bird feeders down. The porch has been stripped of its lanterns, chair cushions and hanging baskets. We’ve battened down the hatches. The question is what will hurricane Irene bring us? Something? Nothing? Who knows? I wonder how other bear artists up and down the East coast are keeping themselves busy, if at all, waiting for the storm to arrive. Around here, this is one I have in the works:


Thursday, August 25, 2011


I pulled this piece of fabric out the other day, feeling it was time to give it a try.


After working with it I have come to believe it is viscose with a finish that is new to me. I have delved into the recesses of my memory but still cannot remember where I bought it.


I rather like experimenting with different fabrics and I am beginning to wonder how a different style bear would look out of this one.


But first, there is another piece I came across while looking for this one and well, I might just have to go with the flow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Shaking Things Up

New Show!
I have been lucky to be able to add the Hunt Valley Christmas Holiday Teddy Bear Show and Sale to my schedule. It takes place on November 12 in Hunt Valley, Maryland (just a stone’s throw from Baltimore) and I have discount postcards that I can to send to anyone who needs them. It should be a fun show with decorated tables and even some artists! What to wear?! What to wear?!


New Schedule!
I’ve also updated my show schedule which you can find on my sidebar here or you can check out the shows section of my website. There are more details there. I guess this means I better start sewing.


New Bears!
The available bears page on my website has been updated too. At the very bottom of the page you will see that gift certificates that are now available. It’s great being in on secrets this way.


New Experiences!
As you can see the earthquake that started in Virginia really reverberated here in North Carolina. And you thought it was just me moving things around. For not being very close to the epicenter and never having experienced an earthquake before, it was very surreal. Now we just have to wait and see if hurricane Irene is going to be a hit or a miss . . . thus the title of this post is both literal and figurative!


Monday, August 22, 2011

I did not make this . . .

though a little part of me wishes I had.


This meerkat is the extraordinary work of Wendy Chamberlain. I saw one a bit too late to bring it home so I requested one of my very own. It has been keeping me company on my desk as I work.


I just love the way she has captured the stance of a lookout – the sentry watching out for danger.


I watched a group of meerkats at the Zoo last week and they are every bit as cute in real life as you see on television.


Now I have one of my own – a tiny one, a stuffed one but actually it will probably work out better for all of us this way.


The real ones can play together in the desert and this one can pretend to watch for dangers lurking about my studio.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sebastian in Print

After all the excitement of being at the teddy bear show, coming back to a pirate-less world made Sebastian just a wee bit sedate. Too sedate for a bear of his energetic 6” stature. Luckily I had a small surprise up my sleeve. It seemed like the time was right to show him the book I had created about him. I thought it might lift his spirits.

First, I showed him the front with his name in big letters. I think his heart gave a little leap at seeing himself in that all too familiar pose of waiting on the porch with his suitcase.


As I turned the pages for him, he stopped and lingered at each one remembering the fun times he’s had going out and about – like the time he went and got eyeglasses.


Next he had to stop and drool over memories of the chocolate ganache cake he had at the birthday party.


Then the mail brought us both another surprise; the current issue of Teddy Bear Times. We were both thrilled to see a bear made by our good friend Elanor on the cover.


Once open, I had to point out someone familiar.
“Look Sebastian! See anyone you recognize?”


“Yep, there’s Maybee looking at you from the pages
of Teddy Bear Times  magazine.”


“You aren’t bored reading about bears from The Piece Parade, are you?  Maybe this will change your outlook. Photos of you also made it into the magazine.”


“See?  There you are at Disney World! Pretty exciting, right?”

“Oh, I know. You want to look at all the pretty photos of Elanor’s bears and mice.”


“Okay, we’ll take turns. Just don’t drool on the magazine like you did on your book.”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

TBAI Gallery Piece Process

This project seems like ages ago now but I’m glad that I documented it as I went. Now I can show photos of how it progressed from being a plain, unfinished wooden box to a gallery piece for TBAI.

Here’s where I started –with the front masked off to protect it from all the hazards that surely ensue when I work with glue and paint and various other mediums.


I wanted the front to be more ornate so I went about adding some trim.


After measuring, sawing, gluing and much woe-is-me-ing, the trim has been applied.


Here’s the fun and sometimes tedious part – adding some interesting texture to the surface of the box.


One of many coats of paint that doesn’t look like much in this photo.


The color in the photo below is a little better and the photo shows the designs I added to the surface earlier.


Now I turn my attentions to adding a decorative paper to the inside.



An idea came to me for some shelves for the inside.  “Sure, no problem,” I said to myself.  Me thinks that sometimes it’s better that way – at least until it’s too late to turn back!


Yes, this is the shelf unit upside down.  I think the glue was drying at this point.  It’s very weird in my house sometimes.


Below a trial run to see how the shelf fits and a glimpse of the transfers in process for the edges of the box.


A close-up view of the shelf trim mostly because I love this shot.  It makes me feel very, very small – like an elf.


This shows the left side with the transfer paper beginning to be removed leaving the quotes in place.  I think part of the enjoyment of working on these boxes is getting to fiddle with tiny little things like these itsy bitsy chocolates.


A close-up of the transfer paper coming off.  Makes me quite nostalgic it does.  Perhaps it’s time to start a new piece?


An artful shot of the left side chocolates, quotes, and a milkshake on the right side.


A bit of the detail – yummy. 


Here’s the completed piece from the front – closed, of course.  Yes, there is a teddy bear in there.  A chocolate colored one!


Here’s the piece completely open – “Chocolate Dreams”.


The final photo of the right side with all the chocolate goodness displayed inside.  Just remember:  “All you need is love.  But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”  ~Charles M. Shultz


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...