Thursday, August 30, 2012

A bit of a departure.

A while back a friend of mine who is into health and fitness asked if I would make him a special bear. I immediately had visions of what it would look like. I just had to squeeze it into my bear making schedule.

I completed the project a few weeks back and when I come across the photos in my files, they make me giggle. I thought perhaps you would enjoy seeing them too.

It was such a fun bear to work on. Every time my husband would pass by my desk while I was working on it, he would chuckle. Then I would chuckle and we imagined what our friend would think when he saw the bear.

This bear is twelve inches tall and has armature in his arms and legs. It certainly helps when he curls those heavy dumbbells!

My next few projects are under way as I write. As is always the case, too many ideas and too few hours in the day.

Have a marvelous weekend!


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cultural Exchange - Seconde Partie

That last bit is French for Part Two. I rather like the way it looks in English because you can almost read it as Second Party, which is sort of where this post is going. If you manage to stick with me through this post, I have a very important (well you how I am – I think it’s important) question for you.

If you read any of my posts back in late February/early March, you saw that when we were in the UK we spent some of the time with our British friends Lex and Elanor. I would unofficially call that Cultural Exchange – Une Part (Part One).

(Here we are in a proper English pub – eating, of course!)

Now it’s time for the Second Party! Cultural Exchange – Seconde Partie. And this cultural exchange is not on a sophisticated, intellectual level, mind you. I mean, really – me? Sophisticated? Intellectual?

Lex and Elanor arrived in time to do the teddy bear show where Lex took this photo of my husband and me in clothes we seldom wear. Looking at this photo, I ask myself, who are those people?!


Earlier, he also took this one of us with Elanor. Just so you know it wouldn’t matter what we were wearing when Elanor is in the picture she makes us all look fabulous. You have friends like that, don’t you?


Okay, so while they were visiting us in North Carolina we took them to one of the largest outdoor craft fairs in the South. My sisters were there and one of them took this photo of us. (Thanks, Sis!)  Can you see, after looking at all the booths we still managed to smile even though we were nearly done in?


In these next few photos, you might get the impression that all we did was eat. But that would not be entirely true. Nearly but not entirely.

We had to have pie.

All of us, including Sebastian, went to watch a baseball game. Can you get more American than that?

Oh yeah you can, if you wear a baseball cap.


We went to our favorite coffee shop where one of the baristas took this photo of all of us. Thanks Katie!!!


And of course, being in North Carolina, home of the famous and delicious Krispy Kreme doughnuts, we had to go see them being made and have a few of their “Hot Doughnuts Now”. Yep, that officially makes this cultural exchange complete.


We did do a whole host of other things too, but mostly we talked and laughed and enjoyed each other’s company.


And finally, here’s my question for you, dear readers. Each of you lives someplace probably very different from me. If Lex and Elanor and Jay and I were to visit you, what one or two or three places where you live would you take us?


Friday, August 24, 2012

From the countryside.

My husband and I have taken the route to shows north so many times I think the car could almost drive itself. At least 3 times every year we leave beautiful North Carolina and head up the road through familiar territory. You know how it is when you go by a place too many times. You begin to take it for granted. So we decided to mix it up and take a different route through the country. Seeing new-to-us sights were interesting indeed.


Sometimes I didn’t say “Stop!” quick enough and a photo opportunity passed me by. Then I got the hang of it and was saying “back up” or “turn around” or “you can let me out here, just don’t’ forget to come back and get me.” I’ll bet he was tempted, don’t you? If he did I might have to walk up this road and who knows where it would take me.


I do like seeing great sights – big cities, bright lights, iconic buildings, picturesque landscapes. But I can also appreciate the simpler ones too. I get a thrill from wildflowers as well as wild (theme park) rides.


I took this photo of Black-Eyed Susans at the apple orchard. We had some of these in our yard once upon a time. Perhaps it’s time to replant as I do love having them around.


This is a driveway to someone’s home. I suppose I could tell you a tall tale about how it leads to my long lost Uncle John’s house where he sits on the front porch and carves amazing critters from wood he finds on his farm. And that his wife, my Aunt Mary, bakes apple pies and won first place at the State Fair last year. But then if I did that you would wonder why I didn’t take any photos of his carvings or her apple pies. So, I guess I better keep to the truth and tell you this is a driveway to someone’s home. I’ll bet it even looks pretty in the snow.


I can appreciate these lovely apples because I don’t see them growing on trees every day. The farmer who does is probably concerned about weather, harvesting, paying his workers and a lot of other things, but maybe he still looks at them in wonder, too.



I hope you have a wonder-filled weekend.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Highlights from TBAI – Part 2 (no quiz?)

I promised I would share photos of bears, so bears it shall be. I did not go around the entire showroom and take photos of each artist table this time. I took a few snapshots of various bears that I thought offered a glimpse into what you might see if you were there. This is by no means comprehensive because there was some fabulous work that I didn’t photograph. It all goes by so fast. I honestly don’t know how shoppers make up their minds!

I thought a good place to start would be with this little lady that could be found in the gallery on Friday evening.  My mom would have loved this one I think.

This is Art Rogers table – full of unique and creative critters.

This bear was made by Judith Eppolito for the gallery and it won 3rd place in the 8” and under category!  Terrific!

This fellow was on Sharon Barron’s table.  Sharon came all the way from California for the show.

Elanor Andrews who came in from the UK for TBAI made this magical mouse .


This is Elanor’s gallery piece:  First Day at Hogwarts.  I wonder which house this little bear was sorted to with all his school things?

This is Carolyn Jacobsen’s gallery piece.  It was wonderful to see Carolyn again.  Such a lovely person and I would have loved to have taken this home with me.  I loved these little bears.  I love swings.  What better combination could there be for me?  Her husband made the swing sets. The details in them were amazing too.

Capt’n Rpn and Kristy Northman created this patriotic duo for the gallery.

This is Sue VanNattan’s table.  Do bears take on the character of their creators?  If so, Sue’s sweetness comes through in the faces of her bears.

Oops!  Not a bear!  How did this fellow slip into this post.  And look at that guy peering at him from behind.  There’s a story there I’m sure.

As long as I’m deviating from the topic, check out the wonderful face on this red panda.  He (or she) resides at Ross Park Zoo where we had our picnic.

Oh, and this isn’t a bear either.  I know.  Surprise.  Surprise.  It’s a golden lion tamarin.  When I went to TBAI the first time, these fellows had just arrived if I remember correctly.


That’s it! Another TBAI year up and gone. And no quiz with this post either. Now it’s time to get back with the program. Of course, I have to figure out what the program is first. What kind of diversions are you up to? Something interesting, I hope. Do tell.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Highlights from TBAI – Part 1 (& a Quiz)

The travelers have returned and I am trying to mix it up with a few photos of what might be considered highlights from the show. Because we’ve attended TBAI for quite a few years, I think it might be easy to be redundant with photos from year to year. I hope you enjoy these glimpses of the fun and festivities and friends. At the end, there is a quiz which I am quite certain you will ace because you all are quite clever.

The first thing was the Sock Hop which was loads of fun.  I especially enjoyed not having to wear shoes!


The is another photo of the Sock Hop and reception.


Here’s a lovely couple that came all the way from the UK.  Aren’t they festive?!
Elanor Andrews is Shantock Bears and Lex is her entertaining assistant.


The lovelies below were on display throughout the reception.  Lots of temptation!


Here’s to mixing up the timeline.  This is a snapshot I took during the show on Saturday from the vantage point of my table.  The show was filled with many wonderful creations.


I caught Sebastian just hanging about behind the scenes.  He looks quite relaxed, doesn’t he?


Jumping back in time, this is Elanor and me just before the TBAI feast.  It was a little more formal than the Sock Hop.  And we didn’t plan to wear the same color!

Now I have to say these three photos might just be my favorites from the show – or more accurately, the picnic at the zoo after the show.  This lovely lady holding Sebastian is Karen and in these photos she epitomizes what I love about these events – the laughter.  And we did have some great laughs all weekend long!

hft_p1_8  hft_p1_9   hft_p1_10

I promised you a quiz – it’s a very short one.  This is my table Friday afternoon before the show on Saturday.  Take a good look.

Now this is my table before the show opened on Saturday morning.  Can you see what’s different about it - aside from the fact the lighting is wonky?


Did you figure it out?  Did you notice the framed certificate on the left side of the table?


I was presented with Second Place for my Fairy Berry Birthday Feast (8” & under).  It was exciting to receive this award voted on by those in attendance!  The feast is now on its way to its new home in California.  I wouldn’t mind a trip to California myself!  Maybe the fairies can arrange that for me.

I’ll poke around in my files for the photos of teddy bears for next time.  Until then, thanks so much for reading!


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