Friday, December 31, 2010

Two Successful Little Christmas Bears

Phew!  The two little bears that I gave to my nieces for Christmas were loved and admired.  It's always a bit of a concern that a bear will be loved, but always a relief when it is.

Here's the clown bear that I made for our eldest niece for a joint Christmas and Birthday gift.  She named her Raphaela--a very sweet and appropriate name for a clown, I think.

Here's a photo of her right after she pulled her bear out from the box.

And for our younger niece, I gave her a little bear that I had needlefelted and a wooden house for it that she could decorate with the paints, brushes, and sparkles that I packed as part of the gift.

It turned out to be a success, too.  Here's a sweet photo of her concentrating very hard as she paints the house the day after Christmas.  She did a lovely job.

I feel very blessed to have such a lovely and loving family.  It was so wonderful to visit them all.  The visits always fly by and before we knew it, we were already home from our weeklong trip.  It is nice to be home now though and to have Matt's Mom with us for the next week.  A nice start to the New Year.

I hope your Christmas was wonderfully lovely, too, and that your New Year will be a gift.

Warmly,
Cheryl

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Story of the Three Bears

I actually have THREE new teddies to show you!  But, alas, you will see none today.... 

The first one is a sweet little clown bear that I have lovely photos of, BUT it's a Christmas gift for a sweet little someone so I CAN'T show you the photo YET.  Sigh. 

The second is a 15 1/2" beautiful boy bear made of gorgeous brown Tissavel faux fur (softer than soft!) with lovely accents and touches (if I do say so myself!), BUT, unless my hand is unexpectedly and surprisingly forced, I can't show you to him until the Blooming Bear Show on March 12 and 13.  I'm very excited to be one of the 75 artists able to participate in this wonderful online show--over 200 artists applied.


And, as for the third little guy that I JUST finished (actually I still need to make a collar for him--I'll do that later today), I don't have ANY photos of him.  Sigh.  AND it looks like I won't have any photos of him for over a week!  We're leaving to see family for the holidays tomorrow bright and early and there just isn't any time to spare for taking photos, we'll need every spare minute to pack and prepare for our trip.  Sigh.  BUT I'm SO looking forward to seeing family for a week and THEN we're having Matt's Mom at our house for the week after we return!  WONDERFUL!

So my dear, patient readers, thank you for being patient with me once again.
Have a WONDERFUL Holiday,
Cheryl

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Dicken's Christmas

It was a beautiful day yesterday, so we went to a little local town on a lake.


Every weekend before Christmas this little town celebrates Christmas with a group of people dressed as characters from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" wandering the streets and shops.  This year we HAD to go because one of our homeschooling friends had the prime role of TINY TIM!  Here he is with "Mrs. Cratchit."


And on the shoulders of "Mr. Cratchit," after saying his famous line, "God bless us every one."



As a bonus, the girls found out that one of their friends from the summer Shakespeare camp that they always attend was acting as a townsperson and helping to lead the caroling.  FUN!  And she has a BEAUTIFUL voice!

It was quite a time.  Here's Father Christmas on the gazebo.
This was the first year we participated in the sing-along with all of the characters and extras--I'm SO glad we did!  They did a FABULOUS job!  I definitely want to make sure we're there next year for it, too!  We try to attend yearly to see the characters wandering the streets, but the caroling was just icing on the cake!

Here's a sly look from the Ghost of Christmas Past.  I wish we could have gotten a photo of "Jacob Marley" too--what a makeup job!  So many of the costumes were simply amazing.

A local "extra" up to a bit of mischief.

And one mustn't forget the "Temperance Ladies!"

All of us listening to a proclamation from the leader of ceremonies.

How couldn't I be in the Christmas spirit now?!
Happy Christmas!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Feeling Thankful and Grateful


I'm so thankful for all the Christmas angels who walk the street and lift us up when we most need it.  I suppose they are there all year long, but I'm feeling especially grateful for two of them that helped me through my morning today as I tried to make my aching and complaining body move through tai chi. 

Christmas angels look like everyone else, but spread cheer, love, and support in their wake.  I have a feeling that many of you, my dear readers who support me so well, are also Christmas angels with gossamer wings that are visible only when one looks very carefully.

Thank you SO much for all you do!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Cozy Time of Year

One of our Christmas traditions is visiting a local historic home all decked out for the holidays with a three-person handbell choir playing in the background.  It's one of those events that completely puts you in the Christmas spirit.  To top it off, they also serve us a bit of wassail (spiced apple cider) and homemade peanut brittle.  Lovely.

Unfortunately photos are not allowed, so I can't share the Christmas delights of this old home.  But since Christmas is only two weeks away, perhaps now is a good time to share some photos of our little house all ready for the holidays.  It can't compare to Lorenzo, but it's ours.






I think one of my favorite things to do at this time of year is to sit in the living room with only the glow of the Christmas tree lights.  It's just so cozy.

Warmly,
Cheryl

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sweet Giveaway!

Isn't he SWEET?!  Linda from Bears in the Bush is giving away a sweetie like this on December 10th.


Pop on over to join the fun!

Winter Wonderland!

It's quite the picture of Christmas here.  So far, we have had at least 3 feet of snow and I believe we're suppposed to receive another foot or so by tomorrow.  It's hard to imagine what it will look like then!  Thankfully, it's not bitter cold and windy out--instead it's like a big snowglobe sort of day.


I always think it looks so cute when the snow piles up in our patio chairs.  They look like great big pincushions--or fluffy white mushrooms.


It's so pretty and cozy looking at the snow from inside our warm house.  But it's a bit of a different story trying to drive in the stuff.  I just returned from an errand and got stuck in our DRIVEWAY.  At least I was close to home!  And now I hear our sweet neighbor just outside the window snowblowing our drive so that I'll be able to get the car in the garage.  How lovely!

Warmly,
Cheryl

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gigglefest!

Matt was commissioned for a dance photo shoot this weekend so our dining room was completely transformed to a studio with black flooring, backdrop, and lots of BIG, BIG studio lights.  What's a family to do without a dining room for a weekend? Well, take portraits, of course!

Tickles and GIGGLES reigned!  While I was upstairs getting ready for my portrait (which I think turned out pretty well considering I don't tend to like any photos of me!), I chanced to overhear Matt laughingly "sigh" above the din of giggling from the girls, "If your mother were here...!" 


In the end though, we finally got some lovely photos of the girls--and Bingley, too.  Me being me, I would have liked the girls to have "coordinated" a bit more, but I bit my tongue and decided that a photo of them in their favorite shirts made some sense.  It is just a photo for us to remember them by, anyways.


Matt also used the opportunity to come up with more dance poses for future shoots (dance photography is his specialty) with our willing little dancer (aka, our cookie-baker elf).  Here's one of our favorites from that.


In the end, we all decided that Livvy (the bear) was the most cooperative participant and Bingley the least!

Warmly,
Cheryl