Monday, September 28, 2009
The sprawling gardens surrounding the antique cape with weathered shakes offered the remains of flowering perennials and herbs, giving one last show before going to bed for the winter months. Nestled on the edge of the gardens was the Drying Shed whose name says it all!
After touring the garden and gift shops... filled with lots of delicious spices, seasonings, mixes, teas and more... we sat down to a delicious gourmet, 5 course lunch in the house's dining room.
First course was a delicious garden vegetable dip with crackers followed by Summer's End Soup full of vegetables and herbs. A pinwheel with mixed greens garden salad came next with Sunflower Nut Bread. For the main course I had a vegetable crepe with a creamy herb sauce that was absolutely heavenly.
Dessert was strawberry rhubarb pie! (OK, I passed on that one but I did bring it home for hubby!) Everything was asbsolutely delicious and coming from me that says a lot as I'm not a vegetable lover and would typically eat a PB&J sandwich for lunch! I just may be a changed woman now!
It was a beautiful day with great company and fantastic food! I can't wait to bring mom there! I know she'll love it!
Thank you for a lovely day, Mary!!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
So, how do I make lots of bears (and actually, my studio seems to be taken over by a herd of elephants at the moment... well, 4 anyway.... does that qualify as a "herd"?) and also do all the work that's involved to put on a top notch, not-to-be-missed teddy bear show of nearly 50 international artists complete with workshop, buffet and silent auction? Well, when I get that figured out I'll let you know! LOL!!
"THE SHOW"... The Chicagoland Teddy Bear Show is October 24th. I will then be exhibiting at the bear show in Hunt Valley, MD the following weekend. That's a lot of bears that have to be made! Then I'll be doing a 2 day craft show in Concord, NH on Nov. 20 & 21. It's a new show so I have no idea what to expect but I'm going in hopes of doing a lot of business which means a lot of inventory! I'm looking forward to this show though because I can make other items besides just my mohair bears... and I have a lot of fun and affordable ideas... now to find time to bring them to fruition!!!
Now you know why I haven't been around. I'll try to pop in to show you some of the critters I'm making for the shows!
If you are interested in finding out more about the Chicagoland show be sure to visit our website! It's Schaumburg, IL's newest and largest teddy bear show with an amazing line up of artists! The list is on the site! Reservations for the Harvest Buffet & Silent Auction to benefit Good Bears of the World will be accepted through Oct. 1..... you could even get a FREE SOUVENIR BEAR (one of the other things I've been working on before sending them to Laura to be finished) just for joining in the festivities!! Download the registration from the website!
Be sure to support the arts.... attend a local arts and crafts show or find a teddy bear show.... don't let the art of exercising one's imagination and creative talents be left forgotten in this technology based era we live in!
Hug to all!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
"The greatest reward in producing teddy bear and cloth doll shows is the joyful atmosphere that fills the venue on show day. Artists and collectors have the opportunity to share their passion, exchange hugs and laughter, catch up with old friends and create new ones. The sea of color, texture, shape and style creates a captivating scene. Our giddy inner child comes out as we gaze into the loving, knowing eyes of a bear or hold a doll with a sparkle in her eyes! Amazement, wonder, giggles and love fill the air and become contagious. Next to Disney World, I can’t think of a more magical and imaginative place to be than a teddy bear show!"
I hope that you will take the time to attend a teddy bear show this year, especially if you have never been to one! If dolls or quilts or crafts in general are more your cup of tea then by all means, seek out an arts and crafts show to your liking and go!!!
In a world that's become so focused on technology and gadgets I'm finding more and more people are yearning for a bit of the "old world".... human interaction, things made with love, talent and imagination by human hands. Sure, we can buy handmade items on the internet, most artists have websites in this day and age and Etsy is a fantastic place to find handmade items of all sorts! But there's something about being in a room full of other people with similar interests and being able to see and touch these works of art that can't be replaced by even the highest level of technology!
So, go, pick up the local paper, see what's happening in your corner of the world and treat your self! Grab a friend and a latte and GO!!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
These little guys are 7 inches tall and made of hand-dyed LouBear Mohair in the softest, yummiest colors of cotton candy. The backing on this mohair is black giving the color even more brightness and depth. I've been having so much fun with these colors! I can't wait to make the rest of the mohair into bears today!
The cubs'll have special little boxes to sit on... my next project once the bears are done! Seven Cotton Candy Cubs will make their debut at the Maine Teddy Bear & Fiber Arts Show on July 11 in Wells, Maine. Future siblings in this limited series will be available on my website through the end of August... just waiting for more mohair to arrive from South Africa! No two will be exactly the same in color or facial expression but they'll all be guilt free!
I must get back to my lab... er... studio but before I go I must ask....
which is your favorite color?
Saturday, June 13, 2009
We were nearly home when I suggested we stop at a little antique shop that's open just during the summer months. I wasn't filled with any expectation but not 60 seconds inside the barn Henry says "Hey, a teddy bear!" No way! Well, doubt it's anything special I thought to myself. I peeked around a chest to where he pointed and there, sitting at a child's desk and chair, facing the wall, surround by 'stuff' was an old fashioned looking bear made of mohair, wearing an old navy blue velvet coat. Its back was to me so I gently lifted it from its seat and thats when I saw the hang tag: "Chauncey" by Limerick Bear - Lynn Gatto! No way! One look at his face and there was no doubt he was an early bear by my dear friend!
My heart is now beating double time and I'm trying not to jump up and down and squeal like a little kid! There was no question but that "Chauncey", made by someone who is not only super talented but such a wonderful lady, was coming home with me! I couldn't wait to call Lynn (who lives less than two hours away from me) and tell her about my find and hopefully find out a little more about the bear. The tag told me his name and the fact his coat was vintage but no birth date. As soon as we got home I took a few photos of him. I've since pressed his collar and freshened him up a bit. He has some stains on his wool paw pads and one on the back of his lace collar but otherwise is in excellent condition. Of course I know he's not really 'vintage' but Lynn makes wonderful antique style bears! This one is no exception with a hump on it's back, the long limbs, etc. He's just wonderful!
I called and had a wonderful chat with Lynn. She thinks she made him in the mid 1990's. They will have a little reunion next month as I'll bring him to see her at the Maine Teddy Bear & Fiber Arts Show where we'll be exhibiting and more photos will be taken for sure!
As a bear artist it thrills me to death to see the collector in me get so excited over such a find and reminds me that even when I have lost my interest in making bears I must continue and that it'll be worth it as surely my work will have a similar impact on someone someday! That giddy girlish feeling..... there is nothing like it!
Welcome home, Chauncey! You are very special indeed!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
What: Maine Teddy Bear & Fiber Arts Show (website)
Where: Wells Beach, Maine USA
When: Sat. July 11th, 9:00am-3:00pm
You'll receive a free gas card and special gift for volunteering your time to help make this exciting show a great success! Contact me today!!! :o)
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I'm also taking this opportunity to introduce you to a new project I've been working on.... cloth annie dolls. I went with a sweet and simple design utilizing some of the really fun new and colorful fabrics in the local quilt shops! And by shear accident I happened to find the greatest yarn for doll hair! My annies have embroidered faces with painted eyes and freckles. At 9 inches tall these girls are small enough to be a great companion for a big teddy bear but not so small they'd go unnoticed!
Without further delay may I introduce to you "Sweet Jane"!
One lucky blog reader will win "Sweet Jane" on Sunday, May 31, 2009!
To enter: Simply join my email list by entering your email address in the box below. Then leave a comment to this blog post. (You must do both!) The winner will be selected at random on Sunday, May 31 at 5:00pm eastern and announced here. The winner will also receive a private email message.
|Join My Mailing List|
"Sweet Jane" will be shipped absolutely FREE to the winner and arrive carefully packaged with a signed and dated hang tag and extra goodies!
Sign up today for your chance to win "Sweet Jane" and be among the first to know about new bears and annies available, show updates, patterns and kits and more by joining my email list!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
There, I said it! A month and a half ago I was still making bunnies but once they were done I seemed to have shut the door to my mohair closet, never looking back. No, I'm not exactly happy about this! In fact, my disinterest in bear making concerns me. But I suppose, like any job, you get burned out after a while, need a change, even if temporary. Unlike a "real" job, I can indulge myself in change, if only for a little while!
I have been working on plans for the Chicagoland Teddy Bear Show and the Maine Teddy Bear & Fiber Arts show. The Maine show is in less than two months so local marketing plans are in full swing. Floor plan is almost complete, the show is sold out... it's all looking good! I am in need of helpers on show day though so if anyone would like to spend a day or even the weekend on the southern coast of Maine with us, surrounded by teddy bears and annies and all kinds of fun people, we'd love to have you! Just email me!
Despite all this "other" teddy bear related work, my fingers and imagination have been itching to CREATE! So, while cleaning out my studio one day I found sheets of washed wool felt. I don't recall what my original plan was for it all but decided to make some little doorknob pillows. They will be my contribution to the "Ornaments for Giving Tree" at the Maine show. Every artists hand-makes at least 3 ornaments (for any occasion - not just Christmas) to hang on the big white tree in the lobby. Collectors LOVE the ornaments, all priced at $25 or less! A portion of the ornamnet sales is donated to Habitat for Humanity. We raised $500 last year, selling nearly 100 ornaments! With more artists participating this year I know we'll raise even more!
With the recent purchace of "Emmaline", a beautiful Singer Featherweight from the 40's, I'm now drawn to anything resembling the look of these beautiful old machines! I found the cutest buttons and just HAD to do something with them!
I've put a number of these pillows, some not shown above, in My Etsy Shop! Please feel free to have a look at the others I've made! At 4.5 in. x 3.5 in. they make wonderful little gifts, great decorations on presents and are fun to just decorate any little spot with!
Work on another 'project' (to be posted in the near future) took me to a quilt shop last weekend. While standing at the cutting table waiting for my pretty fabrics to be cut, my eye, already filled with beautiful, colorful eye candy, spotted a sign. It said
"She who dies with the most fabric isn't sewing fast enough!"
So that's the problem!!! That's why my mohair inventory keeps growing, not shrinking. And my quilt fabric stash... well, I won't even go there! I started thinking about all the unmade quilts and teddy bears that haven't been brought to life.... all just lay in waiting, still in yardage in my closets. That actually made me feel a little guilty! I better get sewing faster!!!
So, without further ramblings....... I'm off! To create! To sew! And sew fast!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Whew! No wonder I take a lot of naps!!!
This year I'm planning two events:
The Maine Teddy Bear & Fiber Arts Show - July 11, 2009 - Wells Beach, ME
The Chicagoland Teddy Bear Show - October 24, 2009 - Schaumburg, IL
This will be the 4th year for the Maine show and each year it gets easier and easier though I do keep it fresh with new artists and new features. This year we'll offer collectors The Artist Showcase featuring one of a kind pieces by our talented artists made especially for purchase at the show. The theme this year will be "Fun in the Sun". We'll also continue a new tradition we started last year with the Ornaments for Giving Tree. The sale of the handmade ornaments will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Portland, ME.
The Chicagoland show is making it's debut this year! There used to be a long running bear show in Schaumburg until it's promoters retired last year. Together with friend and fellow bear artist Laura Matthews we're going to create a brand new event for Chicago area collectors. We are having so much fun planning the show and are incredibly appreciative of the support we've received from artists, collectors, suppliers and the magazines!!! It's such a blessing to be part of such a wonderful bunch of kind-hearted people!!! It makes wearing so many hats worth the 'hat head' look!
As time goes on I'll share more info with you about plans for the Chicago/Schaumburg show! However, I encourage you to visit the official show website at http://www.chicagolandteddybearshow.com/ and check out the list of participating artists! You might be interested in Tami Eveslage's workshop or in joining us for a buffet dinner and silent auction after the show too! It's all there!
If you are interested in attending the Maine show and would like a postcard with an admission discount offer please email me with your snail mail address! Artists: there are still tables left at this show! Download an application and mail it in today!
Well, I must get back to designing our next ad for Teddy Bear & Friends magazine!!! Deadlines... deadlines.... deadlines.... hat-head....hat-head... hat-head.......
And I wouldn't trade what I do for anything!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Yes, my DAD! He's also a great seamster, he can repair a furnace, build shelving, change the oil in the car and was a computer software developer throughout his professional career, traveling all over the world! He's had some serious health problems in recent years which have forced him to stop working and have really slowed him down. Because he loves to do things with his hands he began knitting.... a skill he learned from his grandmother as a young boy! Would she be proud of what he's done with those skills!!
In addition to teddy-bear-sized sweaters he's made sized-for-humans purses and shoulder bags in some gorgeous spring colors!!
I invite you to visit my Etsy shop to see all of his latest designs!!! I just added new inventory today!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Other times he'll be completely finished and just have a blank stare that says "I'm cute, but I'm not sure who I am. I'm waiting for you to tell me."
I tend to write down names, sometimes just words, that would be great bear names. Sometimes I pick a theme like names of spices, trees or poets. Other times I'll go through a book of baby names, the Bible or pick a state and look at names of towns. Usually a name will jump out that says "This is the one!"
Well, that hasn't happened yet for this bear. The names I think fit him are ones I've used already and I try real hard not to repeat a name. I'm at a loss.
How important is a bear's name? Does it make a difference to collectors if his name is Egor or Snuggles? Will someone fall in love with that face then look at his name and say "Raddish?" No way!"?
This guy just needs a name! I have until the end of March to figure it out as he'll be going to the Spring Teddies Show in Timonium, MD then in hopes of finding a new home. But the poor guy can't go nameless!!! Do YOU have any suggestions?
**Update: His name is Pippen! Thank you for the suggestions! Tami Eveslage offered the winning name!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Plans for the Maine Teddy Bear & Fiber Arts Show and the Chicagoland Teddy Bear Show are well under way and I'm so pleased at the number of talented artists who are sending their applications in!! I've just posted a list of artists who will be participating in the Chicagoland show in October. More will be added as the app. deadline isn't 'til the end of March. If you are a bear collector I think there will be a lot of artists on there you know! If you are an artist and your name isn't there why not consider joining us??
Saturday, January 24, 2009
"The authors say that blogs who receive this award are exceedingly charming. This blog invests in proximity in space, time and relationships. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends .They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandisement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these awards are cut, even more friendships will be propagated. Please give your kind attention to these writers! Deliver this award to 8 bloggers who will choose 8 more, and include this cleverly written text in to the body of the award."
There are 8 bloggers who I would like to give this lovely award to. Please see for yourself what lovely people (and blogs) they are:
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I've tweaked and I've tweaked but it still isn't quite right. Some folks are seeing this page with the left side/tags cut off, or the right side, or both. And I don't know how to fix it. Sigh... should have just used one of those cute backgrounds on The Cutest Blog on the Block's website! Instead I followed the instructions on their Blog Secrets page for making my own... except for the uploading it to photobucket at 2 megapixels as I couldn't figure out how to do it at any bigger than 1 megapixel which makes the image too small. So this background is hosted on my own website.
Yeah... OK, techno stuff you don't care about. But if someone is reading this who DOES know what I'm talking about and can help PLEASE tell me!
So anyway, seeing the cover of The Little Engine That Could reminded me of my favorite books when I was a kid. Goodnight Moon, The Pokey Little Puppy and Corduroy were my absolute favoirtes. And I had my mother's Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes Book which I read from every night before bed. What were your favorite children's books? Did any of them have an impact on your adult life? For me that Little Engine's mantra is one that still helps me get through challenging tasks!
What ever your day my bring: YOU CAN!!! And if you have doubts, go hug a teddy for some reassurance and feel good-ness!
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
But I've been feeling left out... everyone else has a blog it seems! I love reading them! And I love to keep in touch with everyone though individual emails is very time consuming! So I'm back... and I've been having fun playing in Paint Shop Pro to design my own background! So now that I have it sort of looking the way I want it's time to move on to coming up with fun and interesting content!
I'll be back just as soon as I think of some! Don't abandon me just yet! Please come back again tomorrow!
Thank you for your love and patience!