Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to All

As Christmas winds down I am reflecting on the holiday season. After dinner yesterday with family we decided Christmas day would be a quiet ride down the coast. There is nothing like the sound and smell of the ocean to make me feel good. Chinese take out eaten while sitting by the shore is not a typical Christmas dinner but hubby and I really enjoyed it.

The pic is my nephew's Rudolph display. He is 15 but still pulls out Rudolph and his friends every Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tweaking Website

I found a little time to work on my website. I have learned a little html code so I decided to rework some of the pages. Last time I changed my site I changed the whole thing at once and then had trouble publishing it. This time I decided to do a page or two at a time.

Basically, using the same color scheme the home page has a new background, new photo and is now centered. The links page has been redone also, using the same new background. I have some room for some more links so if anyone is interested email me .

Next, I am going to redo the about me page - maybe add some of the nice comments I have gotten from collectors.

Check out my new pages here .

Friday, December 14, 2007

Look what I got in the mail!

Well, I had started a post about having a creative block and feeling low the last couple of days when the doorbell rang. It was the mailman bringing me a package.

One of the forums I frequent, Teddy Talk , had an ornament exchange. Teddy Bear Artists from all over the world joined in. It was organized by artist Tami Eveslage. I made a little dark red Christmas bear that went to Wendy Ching of Matilda Huggington Beare in W Australia.

Today I received my ornament from Melissa Kemp of Happy Little Souls also from Australia. Little Cupid the Reinbear really made my day-HECK! -my week.

He is so wonderful, I cried when I opened the box. He arrived in a little box with his pic on it. He is just 2 3/4" tall, not including his antlers. He has a really great little tag too -saying he is one of a kind, made specially for me.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Relax til Christmas

The tree is up and decorated. Shopping is done. Packages are just about ready to ship. I have to make some more fudge and cookies but then it's just relax and enjoy the holidays.

I have a list in my head of things that need to be done after New Years. I want to redo my website, now that I have a little html knowledge. I would also like to redo the look of my blog(might need some help with that). I have a couple of ideas for critters knocking around in my head too. Of course then there are the dreaded taxes! I have managed to keep up with receipts(sort of), so it shouldn't take as long as last.

I hope you all are having a relaxing holiday too!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Cookie Roundup

To start at the beginning of the Cookie Round up click here .
This was my favorite of the cookies my mom made when I was growing up.

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Preheat oven to 350


2/3 cup flour

1/3 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup butter(1 stick)

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 tsp Vanilla

2 1/2 cup rolled oats
Sift together flour, cocoa, and baking powder. In a separate bowl cream butter and sugar then add evaporated milk and vanilla. Add dry ingrediants a little at time. Blend in rolled oats. Drop by the spoonful on to an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes.

Next recipe: CLICK HERE

I'm also posting my fudge recipe. I tried several different ones until I settled on this one and I have been making this fudge every Christmas for about 20yrs.

Marshmellow Fudge
2 1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

3/4 cup evaporated milk

5 oz mini marshmellows

6 oz semi sweet choc chips(1/2 12oz bag)

1 tsp vanilla (try different extracts-I like to use almond)
In a large saucepan mix sugar, butter,evap milk, and marshmellow. Bring to a boil over med heat. Boil for a TIMED 5 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add chocolate and vanilla. Stir to blend. Pour into a greased 9" x 9" pan. Chill then cut into squares.

One of the photos is of the cardboard fireplace that we hung our stockings on when I was a kid. The other is my dad opening a Christmas present as my mom and brother look on.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Christmas shopping

I have pared my list down quite a bit this year. Actually I love shopping and I start thinking about what to get for those on my list several months before it's time to start shopping. So this year it is small gifts paired with gift cards. Did you know you can get your own photo put on a gift card at WalMart? I had some made with the pic above. My grandaughter, nieces & nephews love them.

Now it's time to make my fudge, wrap the gifts and ship them off.

Reminder: This Friday is the Cookie Recipe Roundup.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Puppies on ebay

I have two of my little dogs on ebay til Mon 12/3. Percy the Pug and Meggie the Scottie . I'm really happy with the way both of them turned out. It's very satisfying when the picture you have in your head translates to what you do with your hands. I have been sewing the smaller dogs completely by hand and I enjoy it more than machine sewing as I can fine tune features in a way not possible(at least for me) with machine sewing. I am doing a bear show Feb 24 and I will have a few bears but I think I am going to concentrate on some more small dogs & cats.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ornament Swap

I'm very excited about my first swap. This is a Teddy Talk ornament exchange. I received the name and address of the person to get my ornament(shhhh! It's a secret). After going through boxes of various supplies and doo dads I put together a few things I might use in making my ornament. Last night I went to sleep thinking of what to make. Tonight I drew some patterns then cut out some parts and did a little sewing. It's beginning to take shape and now I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ho Ho Oh Bearz Online Show

The online show is fast approaching. I have been working on photos and auction templates all day. The showroom opens Nov 21 and selling begins on Nov 23 at Bid4bears . I am also going to list several pieces as regular auctions on Bid4bears.

The web design class I am currently taking at ebearz university is coming in handy and I think I am getting the hang of html.

So, make sure you visit(and perhaps buy) the Ho Ho Oh Bearz Online Show! There will be a lot of great bears and critters.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

1st Annual Softie Thanksgiving Day Parade

Well, it's almost here. Lisa is still accepting photos for entry in the parade. Last day is Nov 20. She's looking for anything you'd see at Macy's including floats, balloons, clowns, marching band members, Rockettes, Santa Claus, winter themed bears/friends/etc., fall themed bears/friends/etc./, spectators and commentators. There will be voting, awards and prizes! Please forward your photo to lbthoms@twincubs.com.

The parade will be on her blog starting Thanksgiving day and running through the weekend. I'm really looking forward to it. Great Fun!!!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Take a deep breath.


Stop the world I want to get off! I had jury duty this week. I only had to go 3 days but ended up on a jury for a DUI. Bill is getting a knee replacement on Mon the 12 so the rest of the time this week has been spent getting pre op tests, pre op classes and other appts. We have to take the trailer tomorrow to pick up a load of books because Bill will be out of commission for several weeks.
I am taking an online web design class at ebeaz U and trying to get ready for the Ho Ho Oh Bearz online show.
I am definately feeling overwhelmed and right now I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Ok...pity party is over -back to work.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Too much to do

I love this time of year - getting ready for the holidays and all that means. But I have a few other things on my plate this year. I have been summoned for jury duty next week(Nov 5). My hubby, Bill, has been scheduled for knee replacement surgery on the 12th. He has several pre op appts next week, including a class that details everything that will happen after surgery(rehab, etc). I probably will not be able to go because of jury duty and I would really like to be there. I will be taking care of him when he gets out of the hospital.

I just started an online webdesign class at ebearz university. I'm excited about it, I just hope my schedule doesn't interfere too much. I also signed up to do the Ho Ho Bearz online show Thanksgiving weekend. I need to get all my photos and descriptions ready. I am trying to finish a couple of little dogs for the show. Photos have to be in by Nov 11. I will post sneak peaks later.

On top of everything else,Lexi, one of my Dachshunds, is having heart problems. She is on meds and goes in for a recheck tomorrow.

I remember when my children were on different soccer teams and all the running around that entailed. But I was a lot younger then. I'll get through...maybe even lose a little weight in the process.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Shine on Harvest Moon Challenge

The "Fall Guys -Punky, Gordy, and Corny" are my entry for the current challenge at the Edinburgh forum.

With the "Shine on Harvest Moon" Challenge you can sew, needle felt as well as crochet/knit any Harvest/Fall related items, things that fly by the light of the moon or even howl at the moon. Your item does not have to be an animal or doll but can also be a home decor item like pumpkins to sit around or even pillows. Also, you don't have to make your item especially for the challenge it can be one that you made for fall last year. Mixed media items are also accepted just so mohair, plush, felt, wool roving or any other item that Edinburgh may carry in their extensive line of products is used somewhere in your creation. Show us what you can do or have done with those products and have fun!

The prize is a $25.00 gift certificate from Edinburgh Imports. You can't beat it! I think the deadline is Oct 31. Check it out here

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Doll Bear & Collectible Show

I have spent several evenings this week preparing for a show which is Sat Oct 20 in Melbourne, Florida. It will be the second time I have done this show. I set up a table at the spring show in late March. This time I have rented 2 tables. One will be for the critters I have made. The other table will be for other "collectibles" I have picked up here and there. I have a very nice wooden doll high chair and some painted wooden children's chairs. Other things include teddy bears and critters by Russ, Dakin, Fur Real, and Boyds. I have several miniature(doll scale) Radio Flyers pieces-wagon, sled, tricycle. I have been pricing and packing everything in plastic tubs. Today I purchased a hand cart to get my containers from the car to my table.

Tomorrow I go through my check list - tablecloths, salesbook, business cards, candy to put on table, etc. Then I pack the car and set my alarm for early Sat morning. The show is a little less than an hour drive from home but I want to give myself plenty of time. They open for set up at 7 am and the show starts at 10. I'm hoping collectors are starting their Christmas shopping early.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Maxine's new jacket

Maxine, the clothes hound, wanted to show off her new jacket and matching boots. She is going for a classic look this time. Made with imitation embossed leather, the jacket and doe suede dress are accessorized with wood bead necklace and earrings.

I love playing dress-up with Maxine.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Learning about computer "stuff "

Lately I have been trying to learn more so I can do more-for my business that is. I figure the more proficiant I become at utilizing all that is available the more likely my creations will get viewed and perhaps purchased on the web. Last night I listed the Siamese Sisters on ebay using a template I created myself. I needed a little help from a friend to straighten out one problem but I think it turned out great. You can see it here . I also signed up for a class in web design at ebearz university. There are several great bear making classes as well as ones that have to do with the business of making bears. I figure I'm proof you are never too old to learn.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Another Cat

I just listed another cat on ebay. The second in my Kitty Kibbles series. This cutie is Cleo, a calico kitten. I am learning(slowly) a little html so I can spruce up my ebay listings. I couldn't get my background pic to load but the rest of it came out OK. You can see her here

I just about finished my entry for the Softie Thanksgiving Parade. One last touch to complete. I'm pretty happy with the way it has turned out but (shhhh!) it will remain a secret until the parade.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

What to work on??

Maybe because I have a bit of a cold(can't remember the last time I had one) but I can't seem to decide which project to work on. I just finished a little mohair cat in my Kitty Kibbles series. I have another in progress and a little dog cut out. I also drew up the pattern for my entry in the Softie Thanksgiving Day Parade . Also drew up patterns for another outfit for Maxine the clothes hound. Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Scare D. Cat & Fray D. Cat

Well, Mellow Yellow is on his way to NM. I don't know the totals yet, but I think the Lemonade Bears Benefit Auction was a great success. I checked in often and I think all the auction pieces were selling. I'm really glad I participated and I hope Mellow brings many smiles to his new person.

I have been working on Halloween cats again. I have always been a Christmas person and never got that excited about Halloween(except for the candy). This year I am enjoying decorating and creating for the spooky holiday. I will be listing the siblings- Scare D. Cat and Fray D. Cat on ebay later tonight. You can see them here .

Besides listing books on Amazon today I got some other things started. I dyed some wool to match a Siamese cat I am working on. I will be needle felting her "cheeks" with the dyed wool. I am also working on a calico kitty - both for the Kitty Kibbles series. Boy for a dog person I sure have been making a lot of cats.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lemonade Bears Benefit Auction

It's this weekend! Starting Friday, Sept 21 there will be many great bears and critters up for auction at bid4bears. The proceeds from the benefit go to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. Bear artists from around the world are participating. There is more info available at http://www.lemonadebears.com/ . There is also a sneak peek of the critters that will be auctioned.

I am donating Mellow Yellow, my imaginary friend, made for a challenge on the Edinburgh Community Forum. He is a very happy elf-like fellow that I hope will find a loving home and raise a little money to fight childhood cancer. It's only a 3 day auction, so make sure you check it out.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Spooky the Halloween Cat

Yes, it's that time of year. I have just listed Spooky on ebay. Check him out http://tinyurl.com/2ypmqz . I like the way he turned out so much I am working on 2 more. They will be somewhat different as I am adding needle felted mouths. I really have to hurry because in order to auction Halloween items and have them shipped in time they need to be done before the end of the month.

I stopped in Target today and found some really cute things in their dollar section. I bought some Halloween baby sock I am going use to make sweaters for little mohair dogs. I got the idea from a posting in Teddy Talk about making one for a real Yorkie from a regular sock.

I must get to work so all my ideas will get done in time!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Website up

It only took 4 phone calls to hostmonster to get my site uploaded. Now I just have to learn how to use all the bells & whistles available. I can expand now and not have to worry about not having enough space. I hope to make more free patterns available. I would definately like to expand my links page. If anyone would like to exchange links just let me know. You can copy the image above and link it to http://www.dogpatchcritters.com/. Email me with your link and I will add it to my links page.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Traveling Bears

I guess some the cross promotional links and blogging are working. I received an email yesterday from someone who had seen a photo of "Me N My Lil Sis" somewhere. Now they are on their way to Australia! I will feel better when I know they have arrived safely-they are a little young for a long journey by themselves.

Anyway, the proceeds went immediately to web hosting at hostmonster.com so my site will be down for a day or two while it moves. I am looking forward to more space for links, patterns, etc.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Website full

I tried to add a link to my website and the changes wouldn't upload. So, I went to the help section of my host and discovered I have used all of my 7mb of space. It's time for a change. I will be contacting hostmonster so I can move my site to them. You get 300gb of space for only a couple more dollars than I am paying now. I just hope they can explain to lil ol technically challenged me how to do it. If my site is down you will know why!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

PJ Kitty Kibble on ebay

PJ, the 6" orange tiger cat, is on ebay for a 7 day auction. You can see him here http://tinyurl.com/348vpn . He is the first from the "Kitty Kibble" series. Each kitty will come with a cat bowl..just the right size to sit in. I am already working on 2 more cats for the series. Each cat will be the same size but different furs and colors. I am also keeping my eye out for interesting cat bowls. Sometimes I think I come up with these ideas just so I can shop for the accessories.

I will be listing another critter tomorrow...I just haven't decided which one yet. Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Ebay campaign underway

I listed 2 critters on ebay this week. The first is a scruffy little terrier puppy named Tinker. You can view the auction here . The second is the first in my Teddies N Tea series. Her name is Eugenia and you can view her auction here . Tinker' auction ends on Sept 11 and Eugenia's Sept 13. I hope to have 2 auction listings a week for at least 5 weeks.

Tinker's listing was done using ebay's graphics and picture hosting. For Eugenia's listing I used a template created using Free Form a website I found searching ebay's sellers resources. I am pleased with the way it looks and the added benefit is I can insert extra pics and not pay ebay for them.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Maxine, the clothes hound, goes back to school...

-- shopping that is…It’s her favorite thing about back to school. She is wearing her favorite denim skirt and a new animal print top. Her dangle earrings and heart pendant are also new. Don’t you just love those little(?) slip on shoes? Maxine has a hard time finding shoes because her feet are so big.
When she is done shopping, Maxine will do her next favorite thing…model her new clothes for you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bear Fanny Pack Pattern

It has been suggested that I post the instuctions for turning a purchased fanny or belt pack into a bear or critter pack. These make great gifts, especially to Teddy Bear collectors and children.

The link for the pattern is on my website links page.
12” x 12” piece mohair (smaller if just doing head & arms—I think it looks like the bear is climbing out of the fanny pack this way)
Pair of eyes – your choice (use safety eyes if for a child)
Set of 10 joint discs & hardware (6 if only making head & arms)
Matching paw pad material
Purchased fanny pack

Sew head & arms as if making a regular bear. Leg-leave top open for jointing. Put disc & bolt (I use glue method) into head. Stitch around opening and pull tight leaving bolt sticking out.
Measure to the middle of the top of the fanny pack and mark. Measure about 2” on either side of center mark and mark. Using awl poke holes at the marks and joint head & arms just like jointing to a regular body.
If adding the legs, stuff them to the top. I left a small opening in the back seam to add more stuffing if needed. Gather the top just like the head. Put your disc w/glued bolt in the top, gather and leave bolt sticking out. Make 2 marks on the bottom of the fanny pack equal distance from the center. Pole a hole with your awl and attach just like the head.
You can find the pattern on my website links page, but any bear pattern for an 8” – 12” bear will work. The legs just need to altered.
You can use different ears for a dog, cat, or bunnie.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

1st Annual Softie Thanksgiving Day Parade

This is another one of Lisa's, from Twin Cubs, great ideas. It sounds like great fun and I am already ruminating on an idea for my contribution. A lot of artists have agreed to participate. You can find out more about it on her Q. D. Patooties blog at http://qdpatooties.blogspot.com/2007/08/1st-annual-softie-thanksgiving-day.html

Come join us... even if you are not putting something in the parade it will be something to see! Mark your calendar.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Home again

We hit the road on the 8th and headed north. It was a whirlwind trip to visit friends and family in Virginia. Bill, Lexi, and I arrived in Fredericksburg Thursday afternoon. After a short visit with a Anita Walton, a veterinarian, I used to work for- we headed for our friends place. We stayed with Sheryl and Jim McGehee for two nights. They have a very nice townhouse on the southern end of Fredericksburg. We hadn't been there in 6 yrs and the area has grown tremendously. We had a too short visit with my sister and her kids in Culpeper, which has also grown. My neices and nephew have grown too as I had not seen them in 6 yrs and they are now 14, 16, and 18. Dinner with more old friends Friday night.

Saturday morning a nice detour to Washington, DC and the Doll & Bear Expo. I wish I had more time to look around but I am glad I at least got to meet Lisa of Twin Cubs.

We left Washington(OH! The traffic) and headed SW to the mountains. Bill's sister has a home on Smith Mountain Lake. There is a view of the lake from every room in the house. 1 1/2 days relaxing on the lake.

On the road Monday morning and home to Florida by 10:30PM Monday night. WHEW!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Get along little doggies!

Well, I finished my dog for the Edinburgh Forum challenge "Dog Days of Summer". Meet Myrna the Beach Doggie. Since I usually make semi realistic dogs I decided to try something different. I was the first to post my dog on the forum but I am hoping for a lot more competition. I realize a lot of artists are busy getting ready for shows and a lot of moms are getting ready for back to school but this is for a $25 gift certificate from Edinburgh Imports.

In hopes of more doggies, I am making my basic dog pattern available. It's a pretty easy pattern but I wouldn't call it beginners. It allows for 1/4" seams except the paws which I always hand stitch and are more like 1/8". Don't forget to get pattern page 2. It has extra ears and a supply list. The dog is about 6 1/2" tall when finished.

The only way I could figure out to get you to the pattern is to put a link on the links page of my website http://www.dogpatchcritters.com/ .

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Tired of Books

I have spent most of my weekend going through my older book inventory. These were books I had purchased from another Amazon seller. She had listed them, then when I purchased them I uploaded them to my Amazon storefront and put them on the shelves in my garage.

Now that I have been listing on my own for about 6 months I am not entirely happy with the descriptions in the old listings. So I have been editing and deleting(if a book is now selling for less than the cost to ship).

Also, we got a call on Friday that the thrift shop where we purchase our books has another load. The last load was still on the trailer and had to be unloaded so we could pick up the new load.

BOOKS, BOOKS everywhere!!! It's a living so I can't complain too much. Back to work...sigh

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's my birthday.

I won't say exactly how old I am but if you know the day the Korean War ended-that was the day I was born. The birthdays seem to whiz by and hopefully soon I'll lose count. Actually, I feel pretty good and have managed to stay in good shape. I have to watch what I eat these days-something I never used to worry about. I still have my daily dark chocolate(so glad it has been decided that is good for you) but no more ice cream every night, no more 3rd slice of pizza.

Overall I am very, very happy at this point in my life. Wonderful husband, warm climate, and a job where I keep my own hours. Last, but not least, I get to satisfy my creative side by making teddy bears and other critters. What more could I ask for???

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Siamese Sisters

They are finally finished! Meet Mi Ing (Mee Ing) and Mi Ow (Mee ow) the Siamese Sisters. I made 3 different sets of heads before I was happy with the needle felting. I had wanted them to be identical twins, but they had other ideas as their faces each turned out a little different. They have hand painted glass eyes-each has one blue and one brown-mirroring each other. The girls are 7 1/2" tall from their paws to the tip of their ears and are made with wool fur. The ears, tails, and lower legs were dyed. I used prisma markers for shading on their faces and their paw pads.

I am so glad they are done and I am pleased with the way they turned out. I will be listing them in my etsy store as soon as I get more photos done.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Current project

Here are some pics that hint at what I am working on now. I took these photos back in October. I was actually amazed when I checked the date because I had it in my mind I had started working on this project in March or April. I think it's been on the back burner long enough. What has 8 legs, 4 ears, and 2 tails? More pics in a couple of days(maybe finished pics)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Vote for URSA's

The URSA competition has begun. Bear and Buds is a Teddy Bear "webzine"(online magazine). Their yearly competition is the URSA and I have an entry in the Best Friends category. It is the Me N' My Lil Sis set of 2 bears. Anyone and everyone can vote. There are some wonderful bears and other critters in several categories and mediums. Fun to look at and vote for your favorite. I am putting a link along the side so everybody can VOTE.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Kibble Kitties - a new series

I finally finished a cat in my new series "Kibble Kitties". The idea came to me more than a month ago when I found a cute little cat dish. All the kitties will come with their own bowls(to sit in). The first in the series is PJ. He is an orange tiger made with short dense German mohair. His cheeks & nose are needle felted. I like the cat faces I get by felting these parts. He has hand painted copper colored glass eyes. PJ's stripes are applied with prisma markers and so were his paw pads. I kept trying to come up with a name while working on him but nothing seemed quite right. Then, while adding his stripes it came to me - he looks like he is wearing pajamas. Just 6" tall he is wearing a wool felt collar with a mother of pearl fish skeleton charm.

I have ideas for several more kittens and hopefully will get a couple more done between other projects.