Friday, December 14, 2007

Yikes! I've been tagged!

My friend, Ellen, of the very generous speculaasplank give-away, tagged me this morning. I am supposed to come up with five things that aren't normally known about me and then tag five other friends. This game of tag is a great way of getting more people to visit our blogs, it gives us all a sort of community feel and introduces us to blogs we may not have otherwise found.

Okay, so let me give this some thought...

  1. I hate my toes! I have short, chubby toes and I hate them! I didn't wear a pair of sandals until I was over 50 because growing up my mother and sisters always made fun of my toes.
  2. I have trouble letting go of things. I've saved Christmas cards every year since we were married (1971), all neatly packaged in zip lock baggies.
  3. I'm an avid reader. I love books and I read every night before bed and probably read 8 to 10 books a month. I love humorous novels, psychological thrillers, murder mysteries and series novels where I can get to know the characters from book to book and can't wait til the next book is published.
  4. I would love to be more productive, creative, talented, organized, and, my husband would add, a better housekeeper.
  5. I won a baby beauty contest when I was 3 months old and received a trophy and a little silk cape and crown.

So now it's my turn to tag five others so You Are It:

Charlotte of Charlotte's Creative Web

Lynette of Fred-I-Bears

Penney of Seamore Collectibles who was my recent swap partner so if you've read my blog, you know one thing about her already.

Shantell of Apple Dumpling Bears

Pauline of Valewood Bears

I've tried to get those artists who haven't been recently tagged or who haven't posted for a while so get busy and tell us about yourselves and then tag five other favorite bloggers.

The rules are:

  • Share 5 random facts about yourself on your blog
  • Link to your tagger (that's me!) in your "random fact" post
  • Include these rules in your post
  • Tag 5 people by including both their names and links to their blogs in your post
  • Let those you've tagged know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Monday, December 10, 2007

I Won a Speculaasplank!

What a great surprise I had this morning when I checked my e-mail and found a message from Ellen Borggreve of Ellen Borggreve Designs saying that I won the speculaasplank from her blog give-away.

Ellen lives in The Netherlands and her blog has a wonderful explanation about Sinterklaas and these wooden molds for making treats for good girls and boys. Please visit her blog to find her story as she tells it so much better than I possibly could.

She was able to find two of these special molds, kept one for herself and very generously held a give-away on her blog for the other one. And I was the lucky winner!

She makes the most beautiful award-winning bears and other critters. Her work is amazing. Take a look at her blog and see if you don't think so, too. I aspire to own one of her bears one of these days.

Thank you so much, Ellen!

Friday, December 7, 2007

New Site Added to Roundup

This just in...

A new Roundup "hostess" has been added to the fun. To get to her site, Click Here. But first scroll down to see my cookie recipes.

Okay...get ready, get set, go bake!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Cookie Recipe Roundup

The Roundup is here and it's time to share some favorite recipes with you. If you got here by just blog surfing, you need to begin with Lisa at qdPatooties and she'll get you started with her favorite yummy Christmas Cookie recipes. She'll then send you on your way to more recipes by giving you a link to the next Roundup "hostess."

This should be lots of fun and you'll gather at least a dozen cookie recipes...maybe more.

Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 4 Dozen Cookies
This recipe came from my mother's recipe box.
I have no idea where she got the recipe.

1-1/2 Cups of your favorite nuts, finely chopped
1 Cup Shortening
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
2 Eggs, separated
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 Cups flour
1/2 Tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix shortening, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla thoroughly. Measure flour, add salt and blend together. Mix flour and shortening mixtures together. Roll dough into balls using about 1 Tsp. per ball. Beat egg whites slightly with a fork. Dip balls in egg whites, then roll balls in finely chopped nuts. Place on a cookie sheet about 1" apart. Bake 5 minutes and remove from oven. Press your thumb into each cookie. (These cookies are hot so you'll want to use a small spoon on melon baller to press into the cookies.) Fill indention with jelly or jam and return the cookies to the oven and bake an additional 8 minutes.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Fudge
Makes 36 1-1/2 inch squares
The note on this card indicates it came from Opal S.
Combine in large sauce pan:
2 Cups Sugar
2/3 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Cocoa
2 Tbsp. Light Corn Syrup
1/8 Tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Butter
3/4 Cup of your favorite coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

Stir over medium heat until chocolate melts and sugar dissolves. Cook at 234 degrees or until a little dropped in cold water forms a soft ball. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat. Add butter. Beat until thick and not glossy. Quickly stir in nuts and pour into a buttered 8- or 9-inch pans. When cool, cute into squares.

Russian Tea Cakes
Makes about 4 Dozen one-inch cookies
1 Cup Butter
1/2 Cup Sifted Confectioner's Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
2 1/4 Cups Flour
1/4 Tsp. Salt
3/4 Cup of your favorite finely chopped nuts

Mix butter, sugar and vanilla thoroughly. Stir flour and salt together; add to butter mixture and stir in nuts. Chill dough. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on a non-stick cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until set but not brown. While still warm, roll in confectioner's sugar. Cool. Roll in confectioner's sugar again.
I'm your last stop so gather those recipes and start baking.
And have a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Glorious Impossible - A Christmas Animation

I found this on a fellow Teddy Talk-er's blog. I enjoyed it alot; thought maybe you would, too. Thanks, Chrissi.

Christmas Swap

This is what I received from Penney at Seamore Collectibles. Our Teddy Talk forum offered a Swap for something we made ourselves other than teddy bears or other soft sculptures.Penney designed and hand painted this Christmas set because she knows we have three Scotties. The plate is quite large, the wine glasses with snowmen and Scotties even have little snow flakes on the base of the glass, and the little ornament has another Scottie. It's just a beautiful set. My swap to Penney was a delicate sterling silver and pearl bracelet and earring set. Sorry...I didn't take any pictures. Allyn said I got the better end of the deal.

Two Christmas Bears without Homes

Tommy and Peppermint have not yet found homes for Christmas. Sadly, no one wanted to take them home when they were at the Boutique after Thanksgiving.

Of course, you can tell right away that this guy is Peppermint.

And this is Tommy wearing his Christmas jammies (which is part of his design).

But you just never know. Santa still has time to find them a home before Christmas.

Two Days to Christmas Cookie Recipe Roundup

Only two days until we begin Lisa's Christmas Cookie Recipe Roundup. Lisa's qd Patooties starts the Roundup, or just click the graphic at the top of the page and you'll be directed to her site. She'll direct you to another site and another cookie recipe...and so on. Waggle Bears will be your last stop and you should have picked up 12 great Christmas cookie recipes by the end of the Roundup.

Sounds like fun and who can resist Christmas cookies!

Monday, November 26, 2007

My first real sale!

I was invited to show my bears at a Christmas Boutique at my local quilt/bead shop. I was so excited to be invited so I got to work and had 8 bears ready for the Boutique which ran Friday, Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. Along with me and my bears, there were 11 others who had beautiful quilts, wearable art, and a variety of hand-crafted jewelry. Everyone had a great Friday, but Saturday and Sunday were slower. Since this was my first "show," I'd prepared myself not to expect too much. This was the first time anything other than quilts and jewelry was shown and many people didn't even look at the bears.

Nevertheless, Friday was a great day for me. I sold 5 bears. Lei Lei was adopted first. The lady loved that he had an attitude about him. She even came back to the show on Sunday to talk with me about him. The second lady adopted FOUR of my bears. I was overwhelmed! Allyn said I should just say I sold 5 bears because that sounds better than saying I only had two customers. But, hey, I was thrilled that someone would want four at the same time. So I'm a happy camper.





New Website

I'm so happy! I have a brand new website as of a couple of weeks ago. I can't take credit for its creation, however. I worked with Nancy at Nancy is also a well know bear artist from Canada and you can visit her site at She was very patient with me and so helpful in getting things set up.

Please visit and let me know what you think.

It's been a while

Happy late Thanksgiving wishes to all. I haven't been around for a while but I've still been busy. To briefly catch up...

Ashley and I went to Chicago in late August for Joseph's graduation from UChicago. We were there for five days and had a wonderful time seeing Joseph and meeting his friends. The weather was miserably heavy and humid while we were there and especially inside the Roosevelt Chapel on the UC campus during graduation.

Joseph's been looking for a job since and is having a difficult time finding one. He loves Chicago and wants to stay there.

Joseph did run the Chicago Marathon on October 7th, and made it to Mile 19 before they were forced to stop. I'm sure you read some of the stories about the lack of water and the high temperatures. He and his friends were very disappointed that they couldn't finish since by Mile 19 there were sure they could.

This summer we took on some remodeling around the house and we're still trying to finish everything. We removed a wall between our two small bedrooms upstairs in order to give Ashley a little more room. Of course, she made sure all of her work was done first and anything she doesn't want cluttering up her room goes right next door to my sewing room, which I can barely walk through.

We removed a wall between the office and family room downstairs, put in some new recessed ceiling lighting throughout including the kitchen and changed out two windows. We've painted and then we stopped. We want to make some more changes but have had trouble getting our contractor to get back to us so we are dealing with kind of a mess downstairs. It will come together eventually.

Ashley flew to Chicago again to spend Thanksgiving with Joseph and his roommate, Becky. They had a holiday together and Becky prepared a full Thanksgiving dinner and in addition to Ashley, they also invited another couple in their building. It snowed lightly while she was there and she loved it.

Now it's back to work for everyone and she's not too happy about that. She's teaching middle school nearby.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Where's the summer gone!

Where did our summer go? My normal routine has been turned up-side-down; my house is in a mess; it's miserably hot and humid in the desert; I've had blogger's block; and, my desire to keep up has been greater than my will to do so.

Last weekend Ashley and I went to our first ever bear show in San Diego. I loved many wonderful bears of all sizes, shapes, styles and colors. I did take my camera, but became so wrapped up in trying to see everything, I forgot about taking pictures. I did manage to buy a few things, however. This little guy is Tweedle-Dee, an adorable little brindle Scottie from the studio of Sunnie Bears by Sonya Shaw. These are Sonya's pictures, but I'll eventually get a few others up. I also purchased a vintage black Scottie not quite as big as Tweedle-Dee, but they've become great friends. I also managed to pick up a couple of yards of mohair. You can never have too much mohair.

Another very exciting thing for me this summer was the opportunity to enter a swap with Julie Bolton of BEARS...Strike a Paw. Julie kept Petey after photographing him, and I received some cards from photos she'd taken. I was thrilled with that, but then she contacted me and asked if I'd mind if she used Petey in her very first bear calendar! Mind! Holy Cow, how could I mind? I can hardly wait to get my copies of the calendar. Check out Julie's website. She has photographed bears by artists from around the world, and, in some cases, used the artist's photo to create a variety of all occasion cards and, of course, the inaugural 2008 16-month calendars.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ashley's in the house

With Ashley moving back home, we're going to be doing some work around the house. We'll be knocking out a wall between two small bedrooms in order to make a room large enough for most of her things. We'll also be doing some painting, reflooring and generally spiffing up around here. I become easily attached to people and things and have a hard time letting go. Ashley's going to "help" me let go of a lot of the things I don't really need.

She's already painted the upstairs hall bath and it looks great. We have paint for the downstairs hall bath and she's itching to get started with that project. She should start an organization company because she is so organized and so creative and she just does things. I worry things to death and then still don't know what to do. She makes me tired just watching her.

Wish me luck. . .

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Travel Day

Well, I'm all packed and just waiting for Allyn to take me to the airport. I'm flying to the Bay Area today to help my daughter pack up her belongings and move home. We'll be U-Hauling it back to the desert, and hopefully, we'll be home by Sunday. It's a very, very long drive and I will be glad when it's over.

Ashley's tired of the big city and just needs to come home, regroup, re-energize, and decide if she wants to continue teaching, go to law school, or do something else entirely. She's taught elementary and middle school for 11 years, five of those being in a Bay Area middle school and it's been tough, especially the last couple of years.

So the puppies will be home alone with Allyn checking on them as he can during the day. They'll probably sleep all day if no one rings the doorbell.

Wish me daughter is a task master!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon

The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon
Sunday, October 7, 2007
30th Anniversary

Joseph will be running in the Chicago Marathon in support of his friend, Nikki, who lost her mother to acute lymphocytic leukemia in 2003. Joseph and Nikki have committed to run for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and are participating in their Team in Training program, the world's largest endurance sports training program. Since April, they have been training on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, and will continue that schedule right up until the marathon in October.

Nikki asked a group of their friends to participate in the marathon and Joseph eagerly stepped up to support her. Now, you have to understand. . .this is a kid who, in middle school and high school, complained about his coaches making his class run around the track a few times. So signing up for a 26-mile run is a really, really big deal! Allyn and I and Ashley are so very proud of his commitment and hard work.

Even if you are unable to make a donation, please visit Joseph's and Nikki's websites to read about their commitment to this worthy cause in their own words.

Joseph and Nikki attend the University of Chicago. Joseph will graduate in August 2007.

A few bears to share with you . . .

I need lots more practice and experience with my digital camera (which I've had for over two years so I should be better at this) and my new Photoshop Elements 5, but I'd like to share a few of my bears with you. They were all created in April 2007.

This guy doesn't have a name yet; I'm just calling him Brown Bear which is not very imaginative so if you have any suggestions, please send them to me. He is made of dense brown batik Shulte mohair about an inch long. The white inserts are from 1.25 inch kid mohair. He has German black glass eyes and he is five-way jointed. He is about 11 inches high in a sitting position. He has bent legs, but if he could stand, he would be about 16-17 inches tall.

This is Petey. He is made of .75 inch dense
Shulte mohair in the softest light minty green
color. My photograph does not do justice to the color. He has straight legs and is about 13 inches long and about 10 inches sitting. He also has German black glass eyes and is five-way jointed.

And this is another guy without a name, so let me know if you have any ideas. He's made of one inch sparse curly matted cream Shulte mohair with teal tips. He is about 10.5 inches sitting and about 15 inches long. He's five-way jointed and has German black glass eyes.

I would love to hear your comments or name suggestions.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Graduation Day

Today is graduation day for my daughter, Ashley. She'll be receiving a MA in Education from the University of San Francisco this evening. I am so proud of her. Allyn is there with her as is Joseph who flew in from Chicago last night.

And this is a picture of my beautiful children.

Unfortunately, for me, I'm home pup sitting. Yes, we'd planned to board them for a few days and have a small family reunion; however, 2 of the 3 had surgeries last week which could not be put off. Emma had a large tumor removed from her front right paw which went from the top of her paw to through to the bottom. Harley had 2 (more) growths removed, one from his hip and another from under his neck.

With both pups in stitches, we thought it best not to expose them to possible infection at our boarding facility, The Grand Paw. So the puppies and I are with Joseph, Allyn and Ashley in spirit as she walks forward to receive her MA. Graduation is to be in beautiful St. Ignacious Cathedral on the USF campus where Allyn received his BA so it's very fitting that he be there to watch his baby girl.

Congratulations, Sissy, I love you very much.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Welcome to my very first post on my very first blog. Since I don't yet have my own website, blogging seemed to be the best way to begin establishing myself in the world of teddy bear artists and collectors.

I recently joined an online forum called Teddy Talk made up of a group of collectors, artists and people who just love teddy bears. I've found great support and friendship with this group and they are always willing to answer any questions I might have.

As is my nature, I fretted over whether to blog or not to blog, but, holding my breath, I have jumped into this new arena, at least it's very new for me, and I hope you'll visit often as I learn my way around and develop a focus for my blog. I'm pretty sure my son, Joseph, a student at the University of Chicago, will read my blog as he tells me he may not have to call home so often.

I must acknowledge and thank Lisa of Twin Cubs, one of my TT friends, who offered to help me get started. She not only helped, she created the wonderful heading you see at the top of the page. Thank you so much, Lisa! Without your help I would probably have become too frustrated to continue.

In addition to Joseph, I have a daughter, Ashley, and I live with Allyn, my husband of 35 years, and our three Scottish Terriers, Talullah Belle, Emma Jane and Harley MacDavidson. Allyn and I have lived in the Southern California desert for 17 years which I find amazing as we only intended to stay in the desert a few years. Ashley teaches middle school in the San Francisco Bay area and she will be graduating from the University of San Francisco this Friday evening with a MA in Education and an administrative certificate. We are so proud of her.

Thanks for taking a look; I hope you'll stop by often.