Friday, May 28, 2010

Favorites on Fridays

Welcome to all my new followers!
I have been very surprised and touched by all of the wonderful positive responses I have received during my Anniversary Drawing.  I truly wish I had a bear for each and every one of you.

I'm still getting entries for the drawing every day, but at least it is now at a pace that I can keep up with so life is returning somewhat to normal.  Besides the drawing, I also seem to be busy visiting JoAnn's Fabrics this week getting this and that to finish up some bears and to start on new ones.  On one of my trips, the new big brown bear that you saw last week, Maxwell, had a load of fun joining me and picking out a ribbon for himself and riding in the cart.

Now, I don't tend to be much of a shopper;  I'm really more of an internet girl.  I'm sure most of you know about it, but let me tell you anyways that my absolute FAVORITE "store" to shop is Etsy.  I find so many fabulous things there.  I especially like to buy gifts on Etsy--there are SO many talented people sewing, drawing, and making jewellry and ceramics.  I even bought a new ironing board cover for my old tabletop board last week.  It looks SO much better now in my art room--much fresher.  I still check out Michelle Palmer's shop every day as I mentioned several weeks ago, but there are some other "shops" that I like browsing through that I thought you might like to see as well.

Rumpunch makes lovely sterling silver initial and botanical jewelry.  Beautiful stuff!  She'll be at a local arts and crafts show in a week and I'm just itching to see what she brings.  AND her initial jewelry isn't just regular old initials!  Check out this "A" from her store!
For Easter, I ordered two sets of porcelain egg votives, one with a bunny and the other with a little bird from Revisions.  Although Easter is long gone, we still have them in our centerpiece.  I just love how the translucent porcelain eggs glow when they are lit.  The bunny has also proven to be a popular model in our homeschool art classes.  Here's a photo from one of their listings.
Well, that's all I have time for today, but I'm SURE I'll have many other Etsy shops to share with you in the future.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Thank You, a Pattern, and a Teddy Bear Reunion

Goodness gracious!  You have all been keeping me VERY busy with all of your wonderfully lovely responses to Sammy!  Thank you SO much--your kind words have meant so much to me and have been deeply touching.  I enjoy my little bears and it's just so nice to know that others like them so very much, too.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

As you've probably noticed, I missed posting my latest "Favorites on Fridays."  However, you will be very happy to know that I spent my time well.  I have been carefully entering all of you into my drawing and making sure that you each get all of the entries you are entitled to.  I wish I could give you each a bear.  I have decided that I make Sammy's pattern available on Etsy in the next month or so.  That way, for those of you who do not win, you could make your own Sammy if you chose.
I've also just finished the two bigger bears that I put in the preview a week or so ago and am finishing up a little bear.  I'm pleased with how they have turned out and will post pictures when the little one is done.   These three are going to Clarion, Iowa for the June 10th-13th "Teddy Bear Reunion in the Heartland" and will be at the table of the "The Bear Scout."  I'm so thankful to Felicia for taking them on their journey to find forever homes.  How I wish I could be there, too!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Anniversary Giveaway!

Meet Sammy--my Anniversary Giveaway bear!  I can't believe it has been about a year since I began blogging.  I have been so fortunate to have met such wonderful and supportive people.  To thank all of you as I begin my second year of blogging, I have made Sammy just for you. 
This 11-inch, one-of-a-kind, fully jointed bear is made from a lovely, sparse, honey tan-colored mohair. 
Sammy has big sparkling glass eyes, a hand-embroidered nose, and is just full of cuddliness.
I know you have been waiting so patiently for little Sammy to arrive.  I thought I was going to be able to announce him on Monday, but he REALLY wanted a pair of overalls.  He's such a sweet little guy, how could I say no?  He's quite pleased with his brown linen and cotton overalls with the big brown vintage buttons.  Luckily, I had 3 of these buttons, because he so loved staring into them to see all of the different reds and browns dancing in the light.  He really didn't want to give up his button!  I think I may just have to send it with him.
If you would like to be entered into my Anniversary Giveaway for a chance at winning Sammy, please leave a comment with your name and your email address--all comments will be private and unpublished.  Your email will only be used for this giveaway and will not be kept afterwards.  If I don't have your email, you won't be entered.  Oh, I sound like such a meanie!  But, really, I can't risk hurting little Sammy's feelings.  You know, it's hard to be a little bear and be uncertain of a home.

You might even want to consider becoming a follower of my blog.  All followers of my blog (new and old friends alike) who leave a comment (with their email!) will get an extra entry. 

In addition, you don't have to have a blog to enter my giveaway.  However, if you do have a blog and you post about my giveaway with a link back to my blog, I will put two extra entries in the hat for you.  Just remember to let me know!

And for those of you who entered my Christmas Indulgence Giveaway this past December, you already have an extra entry.  Goodness, some of you could have a total of 5 chances to win little Sammy!  I will be accepting comments (in other words, entries) until June 18th at 9:00 am Eastern Daylight Time (think New York City time).  My "Favorites on Fridays" post on June 18th will announce the winner and I will also contact the winner directly.

Remember, don't forget to put your email address in your comment!  I'm sorry to have this rule, but I just can't risk not being able to contact you if you win.  It's just much too hard on a little bear's heart to be unsure where his new home will be!  Good luck!


Friday, May 14, 2010

Favorites on Fridays

Oh, goodness!   It's Friday already and I haven't thought of what to share with you!  I've been so busy with daily life and with making bears--embroidering nosies, needlefelting eyelids, stuffing big and little bodies.  You know, as I think about it, making bears is one of my absolute favorite things to do, perhaps I should show you a few pictures of my bears in their current state of progress.  Do you promise not to laugh?  The bears do get very shy of people seeing them in such unfinished states.  You do?  Okay, let me go talk to them.

After a quick conference with them, the bears have agreed to let you see them.  With that agreement in place, I'm off to take some quick photos--the light isn't great, but I'm sure you won't mind....

Okay, I'm back.  Isn't that neat?!  You couldn't even tell that I was gone.  It looks like I scurried around arranging semi-cooperative bears into position, crossed my fingers that there will be enough light (thank goodness Matt has such an amazing camera), cropped on Photoshop, and even ate a couple of cookies all in a blick of the eye.  Ah, the wonder of computers!
Well, here they are--I'm also working on sewing one, but he just didn't feel comfortable joining the group as he is covered in pins.  I understand, it certainly can't be a comfortable state for him.  Thankfully he's patient.  

The bears just giggled and giggled while they were getting their photos taken.  They were really getting rather silly.  Flopping this way and that.  Especially the pink bear--she thought it was so funny trying to sit up without any stuffing in her body or arms.  She'd start tipping over and giggling and then a whole fit of the giggles would start with the rest of them.  Silly bears.
And, of course, the felted face bear noted that they all looked like models without make-up and then the hysterics would start all over again.  I explained to him that this wasn't very helpful, and he tried very hard, but he just couldn't hold back his snickering every time he caught a glipse of the two bigger bears with their uncolored eyelids.  Oh, well.  At least I finally got two fairly decent photos of them.

I have promised the bears that I will post their photos when they are finished--it really was the only way to get them to agree to having pictures taken now.  The sweet little tan boy will probably be the first to be posted of the group as he is my giveaway bear.  This weekend I'm hoping to finish his coloring, scissoring, and all the other little finishing touches so that, hopefully, my next post will announce all the details about him.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

"Mother Berthe Holding Her Baby" by Mary Cassatt
Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Favorites on Fridays

This probably doesn't come as much of a surprise to you, but I LOVE mohair!  The feel, the texture, the colors, the styles--oh, the list can go on and on.  And this week, besides working a lot on making bears, I have spent literally hundreds of dollars on teddy bear fur.

It all started with needing more joint parts to be able to finish one of the bears I have been working on this week.  An order with Intercal was absolutely called for--I was sorely low on and completely out of some jointing disks, lock nuts, bolts, and glass eyes.  Well, since I was placing an order already, I thought I might as well order some mohair, too.  So, several bags of parts, four small pieces of mohair, and a little bit of this and that, my order was large enough to qualify for one whole YARD of FREE mohair!  (Intercal always has special web-coupons, but I just happened to order when it was particularly EXTRA special.)

Then I received Alison's weekly mailing list member's notification of sale items at Teddy Bear Mohair and EVERYTHING was 25% off.  Obviously it was time to place an order there, too!  For those of you who may not be familiar with Alison's mohair, it is all wonderful vintage mohair (new old stock) that is denser and finer than most mohairs sold today.  Although the colors are limited, everything she carries is absolutely BEAUTIFUL stuff that I just can't keep my hands off of.

Well, I thought that must be the end of my buying spree.  How wrong, how wrong!  Wendy of Whendi's Bears announced that she was selling a bunch of beautiful mohair on eBay.   I didn't win any of hers, but while I was on eBay I found another person who was selling a bit over a half of a yard of some lovely Schulte mohair--dense, wavy, and golden.  I couldn't believe it when I won it for $40!  WOW!

Okay, I could breathe a sigh of relief--NOW my mohair spree was over!  Well, yes and no.  Yes, I did not buy any more mohair.  But, no, my teddy bear fur spending spree was not quite over.  Paula of All Bear announced on the Guild of Master Bearcrafters that Prefurs was selling all of their Tissaval furs for 35-50% off.  I've never worked with faux fur because I haven't been sure that my dear little machine, Annie-Mae, could handle synthetics.  However, Prefurs "furs" are made with a woven cotton backing (just like mohair) and I was told that their "furs" are the best faux around.  How could I pass up this opportunity I ask you?  Their sale made it all much more affordable to try, so try it I shall.  I ordered two types--a golden rabbit "fur" and a light honey sable "fur."  I can't wait to get my grubby little hands on them--they are supposed to be incredibly soft.

So, that's my story.  Fortunately, I haven't seen any more sales and I won't need any more teddy bear fur for quite some time. 

Taking a deep relaxing breath,

Another Wonderful Give-Away!

Michelle Palmer (who I featured last week) is giving away this beautiful drawing on vintage linen on Mother's Day!  If I were you, I'd zoom over there now!--click here.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sandi's Giving Away a Book on Plant Dyes!

I've been just itching to start dying mohair and, lo and behold, Sandi from Bearly Sane is giving away a book on natural plant dyes.  Yippee!  Zoom on over to check it out--click here!


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Running in Circles

ACK!  What have I gotten myself into?!  I have five bears in various states of being.  My bear with the felted face is the closest to being done--after 3 complete face changes, I'm finally satisfied that it looks like a bear and not a mouse or hedgehog.  However, I have had to put that bear aside so that I can work on others.

I have been requested to have some of my bears at the Bear Scout Trunk Show at Teddies of Mt. Holly on May 16th.  I feel VERY honored, but I also am feeling a bit crazy.

I'll try to get some photos posted when I have access to the camera again--it's all packed away and reading to go for a photo shoot that Matt has tomorrow evening.  In the meantime, I'll try to hold myself together and try very hard not to fall in love with one of the bears I'm making (although it's starting to look like a lost cause).  I've never felt compelled to keep one of my bears for myself--why now?!