Sunday, June 28, 2015

Adopt One of the Last Bingle Bears

Hurry to grab one of the last Bingle Bears!  I have three bears available now at Silly Bears -- .  I will have 3 more bears available for adoption in September/October and then will be taking a prolonged break from bear-making. 




I've been trying hard to stay motivated to make bears, but it just isn't working.  My heart is being called to do other work right now.  I'm hoping that by taking a prolonged break that I may be able to begin making bears with renewed energy again someday.  But for now, it looks like the break will be indefinite.

I'm sorry to all of you who have been waiting so patiently for new patterns--especially of my award winners.  It's proven to be VERY difficult, one, to put such a large bear into pattern form, and two, to describe the techniques I use in making my bears so that anyone else can make one just like them.  I really wanted to be able to help you.  I just can't think of a way to do it well at this time.  I haven't given up quite yet.  My mind is still mulling over ideas for how to do it.  But for now I need to take the pressure off of me and put it aside.

Thanks for all of your love and support!  I really can't thank you enough!!  I'll post again when I have the next and last set of bears available in the fall.

Love and Hugs,

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Get a FREE Easy Baby Bunny Pattern Just in Time for Easter and Spring!

As a little "Thank You" gift to people who become Bingle Bear Members, I'm sharing the JOY and giving my newest Bingle Bear pattern for FREE just in time for Easter and Spring! 
I sell the Easy Baby Bunny Pattern in my Etsy shop for $12, but to you, it's completely free by clicking HERE!

No catches.  No gimmicks.  Just simply, "Thank you so very, very much for becoming a Bingle Bears' Member!"   You will find the link in the final "Welcome" email.   And feel free to save a copy to your computer for future reference.  Enjoy! 

I hope you love this pattern as much as I do!!  I'd love to see your finished Baby Bunny and to hear who becomes the lucky recipient!  And if you want to find out more details about the Easy Baby Bunny pattern or any of my other patterns visit my Etsy shop.

Please "Share the JOY" and let your friends know how they can get a free pattern, too!

Love and Hugs,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Two Brand New Patterns to Use Now

Finally!!  Yes, I FINALLY have some new patterns for you! Click on their photos to go to Etsy.  Angela and Georgie are the first two new Bingle Bears' patterns I've made in some time.   BUT now I'm on a ROLL! 

Two new SUPER-EASY patterns (a TEDDY and a BUNNY) will be ready by next week. 

And I just started a new jointed bunny pattern that will be released next week, too.

And for those of you who have asked, I really AM creating an in-depth pattern for you based on my award-winning Thaddeus and Isadora.  I'm even creating a little surprise for people who buy these patterns.  It's just going to take more time--a lot of new writing and a lot of new techniques.  It's also been a bit of a challenge to create patterns for such BIG bears.  I want to make it as easy for you as possible.  So hang in there with me--I am working on it!

In the meantime, check out Georgie's and Angela's patterns at Etsy by clicking HERE or on the photos.

Take super good care of yourself!
Love and Hugs,

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Spring Velvet Collection





I'm THRILLED that my 4 new bears that debuted at the Hugglets BearFest today sold in the first couple of hours.  THANK YOU to my wonderful collectors!!  You are the BEST!

And if YOU like what you see and want to be among the ONLY ones to get previews of my upcoming bears, sign up on my NEWSLETTER--it's in the Right Sidebar.  Get one jump ahead.  That's right, only Bingle Bear Members get to see my bears BEFORE they are available!!

Take good care of yourself!
Love and Hugs,

P.S.  If you love these bears, share them on Pinterest with the Pin-It Button!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015

What's YOUR Question?

Have you ever noticed how many questions you are constantly asking yourself during the course of a day?  Take a moment.  Any questions quietly floating away as you look inside? 

Words completely shape and guide our lives.

We have to be very, VERY careful with the words we use.  The words we use to describe our lives.  To describe how we are feeling.  To describe how our day is going. 

And questions have the power to change our trajectory at the very moment we utter them.  We can be deep in sadness, asking "Why me?," and that can completely change by asking DIFFERENT questions.  "What is going well in my life?  What am I grateful for?"  Suddenly, light enters into our life -- we stand differently, a smile may cross our face, and we've started a different journey.

All day long, we are asking question after question.  But generally there is ONE question, one OVERARCHING question that governs our lives. 

One question that is core to our being. 

This is the question that feels like we will die if we can't answer it.  That's it--your overarching question that guides you in everything that you do and feel.  Mine used to be, "How can I help?" 

It worked for a long time, but, like every question, there is a darker side of it too--and I paid the price.  Let's think about it.  There are SOOOO many ways that people need help.  It's rather overwhelming when you think about it.  Food.  Shelter.  Feelings.  Safety.  People.  Animals.  Environment.  (The list goes on and on!  For the sake of our sanity, let's stop the list there.)

I think "my question" made me feel kind of crazy.  If I could help in one area of a person's life, there were still at least six other areas in their life that still needed help.  And that was just ONE person!  How was I supposed to COMPLETELY help.  And by focusing on helping others, I certainly wasn't focused on helping myself and taking care of my health.  I focused SO much on helping others, that I wore myself into the ground. 

Well, I'm slowly coming back.  I'm gaining health and wellness.  So what next? 


Awareness is amazing.  When we are AWARE, that means we have power.  But if we continue down the same path without any awareness, without thinking, we are doomed to keep walking that path.

Awareness brings the power to change things. 

So I'm changing my question!  My new question is, "How can I spread JOY?!"  I can't spread joy, if I don't FEEL joy.  And I can't feel joy, if I don't have some measure of health and well-being.  So far, so good.  Like everything in life, it's an experiment.  I'm sure there will be a dark side.  But, for the time being, it feels like a very, very good question to guide my life.  I feel it deep in my bones.  (grin)

What's YOUR question?

I'd love to hear about it!  Make a comment below and let's talk about it and help each other on this path.

Love and Hugs,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday Tutorial!

Sorry, I missed a Tuesday Tutorial last week.  I was finishing an order of 4 lovely, "loverly" bears for Silly Bears which will debut at Hugglets in London on Sunday, February 22nd.  I wish I could, but I can't show them to you yet.  Shhhhhhh!  Has to be a secret!!

Anyways, let's get started!!
The Head Joint

This tutorial may be a bit basic, buy, hey, it's important!!  No head . . . no bear!  First slide a small metal washer onto a cotter pin and then slide on your fiberboard disk.  Put this assembly into the neck hole with the legs of the cotter pin sticking out. 
Tip #1:  Use artificial sinew or waxed dental tape.
Using waxed dental tape or artificial sinew, hand sew a running stitch around the edge of the opening.  The picture below shows this without the cotter pin and disk. 
After you have gone around once, be sure to put the cotter pin/disk assembly in place and close the opening by pulling the floss tight. 
Tip #2:  Protect your fingers when pulling sinew tight.
I use a leather finger thimble/cover when I do this because the sinew is tough stuff and I can't count the number of times it has cut me. 
Tip #3: Use a backstitch to hold your stitches in place.
When your stiches are pulled as tight as possible, take one backstitch to prevent the stitches from slipping and loosening. 

Don’t worry if the head is not completely closed yet. Go around a second time with a running stitch, this time pulling occasionally between stitches.  At the end of this, the opening should be almost closed if not completely closed. 
If necessary, stitch a third or fourth set of running stitches around the cotter pin.  Since I stuff my bears' heads pretty firmly, I generally need to stitch around the cotter pin 3 or 4 times until the opening is completely closed.  Knot securely and bury the floss into the head.

TaDa!!  Now your bear's head is all ready to get a FACE!  I know we would all love to hear if you have any other neat tricks.  Or do you have any questions about what I've written?   Let's hear them in the comments so that we can all learn together!  Thanks!!

Love and Hugs,

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Diddly Daily Doodles!!

BEE Happy!!

Just a quick little sculpt that I did this morning!
Love and Hugs,

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fiercely Choose JOY

Or whatever you most desire in life . . . choose it FIERCELY. . . as if your very next breath, your very life, depended upon it.

Because it DOES.

I know this sounds dramatic, but I can't emphasize enough how critically IMPORTANT your choice is. 

We make choices every day.  Every minute.  Every second.  And they can lead us down into a spiral of sadness, depression, anxiety, or pain.  OR . . . they can lift us UP.  Dragging us out of the mire.

Our youngest daughter turned 17 this past week and has been living on her own to pursue her dreams, her passion, for the past half year.  People ask me, "How could you let your 16-year-old move to a major city to live on her own?"  My question, "How could I stand in the way of her dream?"  So we fiercely support her, lift her, carry her as much as we possibly can in a long-distance-sort-of-way. 

Sometimes, understandably, our Young One struggles with overwhelming worry and anxiety that generally stems from putting WAY too much pressure on herself.  Yesterday she said something that almost left me dead in my tracks.  Not a surprising situation considering that she's a bright, perceptive, and intuitive young woman.  But I almost didn't know what to say to help lift her out of her mire.  And, hey!, that's my job!

Some background.  She and I were discussing how the questions we ask ourselves profoundly affect how we feel.  How our minute-to-minute questions shape our daily lives.  As humans, we are always asking ourselves questions--it's our nature to be curious and to learn.  So we ask questions.  Notice it today.  You might be surprised by how many questions you ask yourself or how many over-arching statements you make about your life. 

My point to her . . . make sure these questions or statements bring you closer to the life you want, to the feelings you want.

So she tells me, "Yes.  I do feel better when I ask questions that get me closer to feeling happy and confident.  But those OTHER questions are still there.  Can I do it?  Am I good enough?  Will I achieve my dreams?  They don't go away.  They are STILL there."  God, she's smart!  It sometimes makes my job so hard! 

My reaction? . . .  "She's RIGHT!  How am I EVER going to get out of this "truth" to help her pull herself up?"  Breathe.  Reflect.  Go inside.  I look to my own truth.  The only way I can help others is by sharing the truth I KNOW deep inside me. 

Look.  And there I see it.  Those questions of "TRUTH" that every person like me who lives with chronic pain has way down deep in their depths that can make us completely fall apart in tears.  The questions of "Why me?  Why do I have to live with this pain?  Why can't I live like other people and do the things I want to?  Why do I have to build a life around restriction, pain, and more pain? Etc. Etc." 

Immediately, I share these AWFUL AND DARK questions with my daughter.  My daughter who KNOWS the pain I live with.  My daughter who has seen it all.  Times in the ER.  Times in a wheelchair.  Vacations cancelled.  Outings cut short or cancelled.  Oh, God!  The list could go on and on and on and on . . .  I SO wish I could have shielded her from these experiences. 

As I tell her these things . . . am asking these dark questions . . .  I'm holding back the tears and feel the downward spiral swallowing me.
But I FIERCELY hold on. 
It's important to share so that she, so that YOU, can learn to climb out of your own pits of darkness.

The answer?  I CHOOSE not to let these questions lead my life.  I CHOOSE to focus on other questions.  Questions that bring JOY.  Questions that lead me away from the darkness and towards the light. 

Every day I wake up and DECIDE how I want to feel.  While I'm still in bed I ask, What am I grateful for?  Who do I love?  What do I want to feel today?  And my answer everyday is . . .
I want to feel JOY!  I want to feel ALIVE!  I want to feel FREE from pain, past and present! 

I choose these feelings FIERCELY.  As if my life depended on it.  Because it does.  I have other feelings I want to feel, too.  Creative.  Abundance.  Generous.  BUT if I can just get to the first one, the all-important one for me . . . JOY . . .  that's good enough!  The others will follow.  They are all connected.

And all through the day, every moment, every second, I examine the questions I ask myself.  The statements.  The beliefs I'm focusing on.  And if they lead me to darkness . . .
I CHANGE the QUESTION until I'm lead to LIGHT!
I hope this helps even just one of you to choose to focus more on light today.
What about you?  Do you have any thoughts that might help us all lean towards the light, towards a happier life?  I know that we would all LOVE to hear them below in the comments sections.
Love and Hugs,