Sunday, January 30, 2011

One Less Thing to Worry About

Yesterday morning, our youngest daughter and I went to scope out the local stores for objects to use for my table at the TBAI show in August.  I figured if I started this early, I'd be able to keep an eye on things and would be able to find what I needed in time without too much stress.  What I didn't figure was that by the end of the day I would have my whole table display designed and bought!

The first store we walked into, Marshalls, had the perfect boxes.  For Pete's sake, they matched my hangtags!  AND to top it off, they were comparatively inexpensive!  Cripes, I couldn't believe it could be possible that we found the perfect display pieces on our first day looking and in the first store we walked into.  During the rest of our trip (actually we took two shopping trips) we found all the other necessary odds and ends.  Perhaps the only thing I still might want to buy is a piece of fabric to cover the tablecloth--but it's not absolutely necessary and it can definitely wait for a few months.

By the end of the day, I had a photo of my "TBAI show table" with bears from around the house all atop a sheet-covered board which Matt had cut to size.  Amazing!

Heaps of Hugs,

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bears, Bunnies, Shows, and Shops

Goodness gracioous!  So many things are in the works here at "Bingle Bear" Central.  I have two completely new designs on the table--one for a bear with a double head joint and one for a bunny (very appropriately, I started that on the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit). I'm really excited about and pleased with the direction my creations are taking. It's so nice to feel good about my bears again.  Unfortunately, I can't show you any photos of them or the other two bears I've already finished.  It's all has to be so hush-hush. Three bears will be available at the online Blooming Bear Show, March 12 and 13, so that's not TOO long to wait to see some new Bingle Bears.

But then more bears are going to have to be "under wraps" until June and then again in late August.  I can't believe it, but my scheduled has become VERY full.  I'm excited and honored to say that this year I'll be sending bears to Silly Bears, a fabulous bear shop in Scotland.  All the details will be ironed out later this week. 

However, I haven't known that I was going to commit to doing my first teddy bear show until this morning.  Yes, this August, I'm heading down to Binghamton, New York where I'm going to be participating in the Teddy Bear Artist Invitational (TBAI) where the TOBY People's Choice Awards will be presented this year.  I'm a bit nervous about doing my first show (especially due to my chronic illness), but Matt has assured me that he'll be there to help me out.  Goodness knows, he may be doing ALL the work since I may be passed out on the floor after making all of those teddy bears!

Wish me luck!

P.S.  I forgot to tell you that I've updated my website during the past .  I'd love to hear what you think.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A New Teenager in the House

Can it be true?!  Is our youngest really a teenager?!  YES!  Our cookie-baker elf turned thirteen today!

It's been quite the full day--she decorated cupcakes with new decorating tips she got for her birthday, we went shopping for new jeans for her (she's growing like a weed!), had lunch at her favorite Japanese restaurant, had homeschool friends over for some Shakespeare and the above-mentioned cupcakes, and I just sent her out the door for 3 1/2 hours of dance classes.   (Have I forgotten to mention that she is a serious dancer and has classes at least 5 days a week for a minimum of 1 1/2 hours every day?).  Phew!

Happy 13th Birthday, Sweetie!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My First TOBY Award!!!

I still can't believe it!  I'm just in awe!  I thought my family was going to have to scrape me OFF of the FLOOR when I found out that I won a 2011 TOBY Industry Choice Award for Livvy!  Unbelievable!!

This was the FIRST time I had ever entered the TOBYs and I'm absolutely SHOCKED that Livvy won in the Small Artist Bear, Undressed Category.  Just shocked!  I've known for a couple of days now and I still can't believe it!  Felicia Hymer (the Bear Scout who represents my work) emailed me early Sunday morning to tell me the good news--she attended the awards ceremony on Saturday evening in California. 

I thought of telling you the good news on Sunday, but I just wanted to see the official list from "Teddy Bears and Friends" before I did.  I know I was being overly cautious--but I still just couldn't believe it!  There are a lot of different awards in the teddy bear world, but the TOBY awards are one of the most prestigious, if not THE most prestigious.  So to win the first time I've ever tried just astounds me!

Well, I guess I have to say that 2011 is off to a pretty good start!!!
Heaps of Hugs,

Friday, January 14, 2011

Updated Bear Blog List

Goodness gracious!  I realized it's been AGES since I've updated my "Bear Blogs that I Follow" list on the sidebar of my blog.  Thankfully, I think I've remedied that.  I've tried to make it as comprehensive a list as possible.  The more information there is on the web about bear artists, the better it is for all of us in this often invisible world.  If you know of any bear blogs that I should add, please feel free to email me (it's in my profile).

Heaps of Hugs,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Trials of being a Bear-maker

I think I'm falling in love with the bear I'm currently making.  (sigh)  This may be a difficult one to sell.  He (or she) kind of reminds me of this photo (I don't know who took this and I wish I knew who to give credit to).

Ah, well.  I guess time will tell what I'll do.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two Bears Just Flew off to San Diego!

Penelope and Pierre were just sent off to San Diego to participate in the Crossroads show next weekend.  If you happen to be attending, stop by Felicia Hymer's (the Bear Scout) booth to say "Hello!" to them.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

12 Random Things about Me

I’ve really enjoyed reading people’s lists on The Hive, so I thought I would share some tidbits about me with you here.

1. Matt, my husband, and I met in an advanced math class when we were 15 years old. We started dating then and we’ve been together ever since, excepting a six-month period during our senior year of high school when we separated (yes, we missed the prom).  He's my best friend.

2. Matt and I have been married for over 23 years and together for 30 years. Wow, I’m feeling old now.

3. I’m an introvert and a homebody. I’m fairly good in social situations, but, boy, it absolutely wipes me out. When I come home, I need some time alone in order to “recharge my batteries.”

4. I used to draw and make funny little characters out of clay, fabric, or wood when I was a girl. When we visited this last Christmas, my mom noticed the similarity of these past characters to my current bears with their large heads.

5. And now for the thing that I often try to keep secret--I’m a clinical psychologist. Yes, I really do have a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. It’s funny how people react to you once they know this—as if I’m analyzing their every word. No, I always figured that I just didn’t know when to stop getting degrees.

6. I got into graduate school based on my math scores, not my English ones. Quite the opposite for most psychologists. Needless to say, I was the person a lot of the graduate students went to for help with their statistics courses.

7. I was once told by a professor in graduate school that she was concerned that I couldn’t write at all! But for all FIVE of my defenses, I was told how REFRESHING it was to read such good writing. Every single time. How is that?

8. After all that training, I never worked as a psychologist after getting my degree because I had our first baby one month after finishing my internship (like a doctor’s residency).

9. I purposely tried to forget EVERYTHING l learned as a psychologist so that I could be authentic with our children. As a therapist, one can’t react to ANYTHING a client says. Even if you are hearing the most heart-wrenching of stories, you can’t cry or even get a bit teary-eyed. I wanted to unlearn that and to really BE with our kids. It took over 10 years for me to actually get teary-eyed when watching a movie!

10. I don’t expect that I’ll ever work as a psychologist again. Fibromyalgia and the stress of worrying about people’s safety (e.g., suicide potential) just doesn’t mix. And being an introvert also makes doing therapy very draining—which, of course, doesn’t help the fibromyalgia. Thank goodness, I’ve found my calling as a bear-maker!

11. I despaired for years of “finding my passion.” You know how so many tell you to “follow your passion” and to “do what you love.” Well, I couldn’t find it and I knew that I wouldn’t be working as a psychologist again. Then, after I had given up looking for “my passion” and resolved that I would be the type of person that just flitted from one art form to another, I accidently stumbled upon it just over two years ago. Bear-making.

12. There were times that I felt bad that I’d never work in the field of psychology again after all of those years of training, but my sweet Matt always says, “Education is NEVER wasted. It made you who you are today.”

Well, that's them!