Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Avoiding end of year tasks..


Since Christmas I have been goofing off and eating. Hubby gave me lots of chocolate for Christmas and I think it's my duty to finish it off before the new year(not to mention the cookies & fudge I made). Of course, I am going to be exercising like crazy for at least the next 6 months to get rid of the extra pounds.
In an effort to delay working on tax stuff just yet, I have been working on some critters. Most of them I can't reveal because they are for the TBACA Valentine show. I dyed some 2 pieces of fur 2 slightly different shades of pink. The colors achieved using cream colored fur instead of white have kind of a vintage look. So I have been shopping for and purchasing ribbon and old looking hang tags to complete the look. The idea is still coming together ....we'll see. The pink tiger in the photo is almost finished -she needs a collar or necklace, whiskers and a name. She will probably be traveling to the Brightstar show in Tampa Feb 22.
I wonder how long I can delay working on taxes.....

Monday, December 22, 2008

video

This is the first time I have uploaded a video to my blog. I call it the Christmas kiss and it's one of my favorite all time presents. My sister, Mary Louise(I have always called her by her 1st & middle names), sent me these two last Christmas. She knows I decorate with snowmen and has sent me snowmen gifts since I moved to Florida. This year she sent the cutest little snowglobe ornaments. One has a boy snowmen and the other a girl. The boy says Bill on the front and the girl says Nancy.
Merry Christmas to everyone!!!
My next post will be after Christmas.
I almost forgot...Don't forget to visit the Christmas Parade on Ellen Borggreve's blog!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ornament Swap


This is the second year I have participated in the Teddy Talk ornament swap. I am so thrilled at the ornament I received all the way from the Philippines. This cute little Santa was made by Carolynn of Teeny Tiny Teddy Bears.
Randy Reindeer

This is Randy, Rudolph's little brother. I made him for the ornament swap and he now resides in Canada. Check out the Teddy Talk tree here. It has the swap ornaments and more are added each day. It is so much fun to see all the different, creative ornaments made by Teddy Bear artists.

Friday, December 12, 2008

2nd Annual Cookie Recipe Roundup!!!


It's here, it's here!! The Cookie Recipe Roundup! My recipe this year is a two-parter. In the early 1980's Reese's introduced peanut butter chips for baking. I searched for a recipe for a chocolate cookie that called for chocolate chips so I could use the peanut butter chips instead. I found this recipe in the Better Homes & Gardens Homemade Cookies Cookbook. I have used it since and have never found a recipe using the pb chips that I like better. It makes a cake-like cookie that is not super sweet and compliments the pb chips. The basic cookie mix will actually make 3 batches of these cookies. Unfortunately there are no children around here so I have already made and eaten 2 batches. There are several other recipes in the BH&G cookie cookbook that use the basic cookie mix.
Basic Cookie Mix

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups shortening that does not
require refrigeration

In a large bowl thoroughly stir together first 4 ingredients. Cut in shortening till mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Can be stored in covered container up to 6 weeks at room temperature. For longer storage, place in freezer. To measure, lightly place in measuring cup; level with spatula. Makes about 8 1/2 cups.
From Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Cookies Cookbook

Peanut Chip Chocolate Drops

2 1/4 cups basic cookie mix.
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 1 oz squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted & cooled.
1/2 cup Reeses Peanut Butter Chips( I actually use 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional-I don't really like nuts in cookies)

Combine first 3 ingredients; beat well. Blend in cooled chocolate. Stir in peanut butter chips and nuts. Drop from teaspoon 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet(I use ungreased nonstick). Bake at 375 for 10 - 12 minutes. Remove cookies to rack; cool.

For the next recipe at Teddies by Laura Lynn click here

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Christmas Tree is up!


After participating in the Mims Fire Dept Christmas parade yesterday I came home and started decorating the tree. I wish I could have taken some nice pics of the parade but it is not easy when you are part of the parade. We pulled our trailer decorated by the local dog groomer and followed by a number of dogs decked out in Christmas garb. Just your local small town Christmas parade with fire engines sirens and school bands marching. We had a good time.
Today I finished the tree and baked some cookies. Make sure and come by on Saturday, Dec 13th for the Cookie Recipe Roundup. I have made cookies from this recipe many times but I felt I needed to make a batch today to test the recipe(yeh...right!). Of course by Saturday they will all be gone and I might need to make another batch to keep me company while I collect all the great recipes in the roundup.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sophisticats


I finished this little cat before company came for Thanksgiving. Her name is Duchess and she is just 7" tall to the tip of her ears. I didn't have anything in mind except making a small cat when I cut her out. Her personality emerged all on it's own and I knew she was royalty. Now I am thinking of doing a series called Sophisticats. My mind it running with it, thinking of all the different colors of cats. Maybe a black and white one next. Bill thinks Duchess looks like a rat, but to me, she is definately a regal cat.
We had a nice visit from my neice and her family. She has two great kids, Nick(10) and Katie(8). I don't think we have had children in the house since we moved here. Katie loved my critter room. She even took a dip in our pool despite the fact the water was very cold. Now that Thanksgiving is over Christmas preparations are in full swing! I also have 2 shows shortly after the new year-time to get in gear.
My Christmas Carolers that were in Teddy Bear & Friends will be on Bid 4 Bears starting this afternoon. I will put a link on my sidebar after the auction starts.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rough day!



We got a call early yesterday morning. Our rental property had been hit by a truck. It is a double wide trailer on an acre of land. It sits over 100 feet from the road on a straight quiet country road. Apparently the driver choaked on coffee and passed out with his foot on the gas. He traveled 300 feet and hit the corner of the trailer doing over 45 mph. It knocked the home over a foot off it's foundation. The inside looks like an earthquake hit. The driver walked away with a bump on his head and sore ribs. He had hunting dogs in the back in a cage and one dog tied in the back(he was not injured). One of the tenants was in the bathroom on the other end of the home and was knocked down by the impact. Now the home has been declared unsafe by the building inspector. Our tenants must remove all there belonging(that aren't damaged) and find somewhere else to live. It looks like the trailer will be a total loss. Now we have to deal with the insurance companies.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Snow Fairy


This week my pretty pink Snow Fairy is on Bid 4 Bears. The really neat retro looking pink snowflake print was the inspiration for her. I'm sooo tickled with the way she turned out I don't think I'll mind if she doesn't sell. Her crown and wand are made with tinsel pipe cleaners. I think the "aluminum look" adds to the retro feel. The snowflake on the end of her wand came from the scrapbooking aisle at Target. It is the first time I have used "glitz" in needle felting. It wasn't easy-it's like working with very fine tinsel but I'm pleased with the iridescent effect of her nose.This mohair is one of my favorites-I wish it came in more colors. I have dyed the white several colors and have always been pleased with the results. Now it's back to sewing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Has Santa Come Yet?


Christy has been waiting patiently for Santa. She is so sleepy but is hoping to see him when he brings the presents. She is wearing a pretty red flannel nightgown and holding her well loved Teddy. She is on Bid 4 Bears this week.
I remember not being able to sleep on Christmas Eve and sneaking down the stairs to see if Santa had been to my house yet. I have wonderful memories of childhood Christmas's. Today I looked at all the Christmas stuff in the stores and felt the spirit building. I love this time of year. And yes, I already have the Christmas music playing!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gabrielle Raffle for Florida Dachshund Rescue


The third annual Woof It Up Responsible Dog Ownership Day, this Sunday, November 9th from 10:00 - 3:00 at Cocoa Riverfront Park in Cocoa, FL. Gabrielle is going to be raffled off by Lorrie from What's Up Dox Dachshund Shoppe. The raffle proceeds will go to Florida Dachshund Rescue.
In truth, one of my reasons for donated her is it gives me an excuse to go to the event. Bill is not crazy about these kind of events but now we have to go. He really never complains about being dragged to Teddy Bear shows, craft show and community events.
Anyhow, if your in the area I'm sure it will be a fun day.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Merry & Chris Meese


These two are Santa's littlest helpers. They are already busy decorating their little tree. What would Santa do without them?
Last year they helped at my house. They could help at yours this year. Merry and Chris are available in my etsy shop.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween is over..Ready for Christmas??

Here we come a caroling

I'm getting there. Most of my Christmas critters were finished by September. "Here we come a caroling" appears in the latest issue of Teddy Bear & Friends. There is a feature depicting Christmas Carols represented by artist bears. The dog appeared in the magazine without his top hat because the editor didn't see it in the box when they were sent to the magazine for photos. I kinda think his hat is the finishing touch. The set will be for sale on my website later today.


Patti
Patti is minty sweet. Look for her on Bid 4 Bears this afternoon. She is made with sparse mohair that has been dyed with cherry Kool aid. The mint print fabric I used to make her dress is actually what inspired me.
Are you in the Christmas spirit yet? I'm getting there!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Now in my Etsy shop



Toby and Ola, the Chihuahua, have made their way to my etsy shop. The two Halloween kitties, Scare D Cat & Fraid D Cat, have left my etsy shop and are on their way to New Mexico.
Artist Bears are now a subcategory of the new Dolls & Miniatures category on etsy. It's not really what the Artist Bears and Friends Etsy Team was hoping to achieve but it's a start.
I have finished a couple of bears for shows in Feb but don't want to reveal them yet. I will be revealing my Christmas creations next week including 3 critters that appear in the current issue of Teddy Bears and Friends.
In the meantime please visit Toby and Ola or Tessa, who is on Bid 4 Bears this week.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I'm no gardener



My mom had a wonderful green thumb. The home I grew up in didn't have a yard - only paths through the gardens. Often you had to dodge the bees going from flower to flower on your way to the front door. My aunt and grandmother had a way with flowers too. My cousin, who is a pastor, spoke at my mother's funeral. In closing he said, "I know the three of them are tending God's garden."
I did not inherit the green thumb, though. I can't use the excuse that it skips a generation because my grandmother had one. I would rather be sewing!
Bill had mentioned a few times that he would like me to get out of the house more. Do a little work in the garden. Don't get me wrong, I love flowers! I just am not good at gardening. Bill loves to garden, mostly vegetables and fruit. We have picked out flowers together-then he plants them.
Yesterday he thought I should plant the marigolds he had grown from seed in the flower garden in front. I relented and got out some gloves and a little trowel. I was very proud of myself, seeing the little plants in a nice row around the edge. I went in the house to get fill the watering can. When I came out of the house and walked toward the garden a 4-5 ft black snake slithered across my path. AAAAAHHHH!!! That was the end of my gardening.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another Fur Dying Day

Well I did a little experimenting this time. Trying to get a light peach was a little more difficult than expected. After doing some research, mixing yellow and pink seemed to be the best way to get the color I wanted. Using saved white scraps, I kept adding color, timing how long each piece was in the bath. Then I decided it was too yellow, so after removing several cups of the dye bath I added water back in and some more pink. My results were actually brighter than I originally wanted but I think it will turn out alright. These pieces will be used to make a Panda.
Photobucket

Then it was time for purple! The piece on the right started off as a cream color as opposed to white. It turned out a nice shade of lavender. The other piece was a sparse matted white. I added a little brown to the dye bath because I was trying to achieve a more vintage look. We'll see. Of course the little squares were white wool felt thrown into the dye bath so they match.
Photobucket

I also did a little tea dying to a cotton print to age it a bit. Now it's time to go dye my roots. I still think I'm too young to be gray!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Helpful Husband

Toby
I finished this little bear a couple of nights ago. While sitting on the sofa with Bill, I was holding this bear and trying to decide what kind of dress to make for it. Normally the most I get out of Bill is "That's cute." I must have said something out loud about deciding on a dress. Bill took the little bear and said "Dress?" "This is a boy bear."

Toby
I looked at the little bear again and said "Your right!". Bill was amazed as he rarely hears that phrase from me. Now I had to figure out what to put on Toby(the name came to me immediately). He needed something more than a ribbon around his neck. So I went digging in the fabric boxes and Toby is now properly dressed.

Toby in shorts

Friday, October 10, 2008

Halloween Past & Present

Spooky

I have made several critters(several black cats) for Halloween in the last couple of years. The first is Spooky, who traveled to a new home just before Halloween last year. The next are Scare D. Cat and Fray D. Cat. They are still available in my Etsy shop along with the grave stone.

Scare D. Cat and Fray D. Cat

This year I made Ginger in her cute little fall print dress. She took her pumpkin and traveled to a new home a couple of week ago.

Ginger ready for fall

I made Celeste(another black cat) for a Halloween Doll swap. She went to Georgia last week. I received a really cute witch doll yesterday and will post a pic of her later.
Celeste ready for Halloween Ball

Lastly my favorite. This guy helps decorate my home for Halloween. He is sweet and scary at the same time... Frankenweiner...


Frankenweiner

Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Toni the Tiger





Remember the mohair pieces I dyed with orange kool aid back in August. I finally got around to putting the pieces together(sewing them actually). They were sewn together before the end of August but kept getting set aside for other projects. Toni the Tiger is another in my Kitty Kibbles series and comes with her own bowl. I usually put a collar or a ribbon around the neck but I'm not sure Toni needs anything. Tigers generally don't wear collars. She has a needle felted face and hand painted glass eyes. She will be ready for adoption soon and will probably appear on Bid 4 Bears.

Monday, September 29, 2008

My Snow Fairy


I'm really happy with the way this little bear has turned out. I actually started on her several weeks ago. The idea was in my head way before that. My inspiration was actually the fabric used for her skirt. It reminded me a retro Christmas-you know-60's aluminum trees with color wheels. I had the fur, which I think is no longer available in light pink. But there were some supplies needed to complete her that I had to wait on. Her needle felted nose had some irridescent "glitz" added to it. The snowflake on the end of her wand came from the scrapbooking section in Target. Then I needed some irridescent ribbon for her wings. She might get listed on Bid 4 Bears after Halloween but I might have trouble parting with this one.

Friday, September 26, 2008

New little dogs



I finished 2 more little dogs this week. They are both made with a tan mohair. I added a white muzzle to one. Actually, Koko's body was originally made for O'la, the Chiuhuahua. I sewed and jointed the body then made the head. It was obvious that the body was too big for the little Chihuahua head. So I made a smaller body pattern, then cut out the big head for Koko. He is up for auction on Bid 4 Bears this week. I haven't decided what to do with O'la yet. I might put her in my etsy shop next week. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Edinburgh Challenge & Lemonade Bears



Edinburgh's quarterly challenge ends on Sept 30. The current challenge is called "Goin' Buggy". Enter bears and/or critters that are "Goin' Buggy". Is your bear a butterfly, a bumblebee or do you have a swell tarantula to show off? All are welcome in this Challenge. The prize is a $25 certificate for Edinburgh Imports. They have wonderful fur and all kinds of bear making and needle felting supplies. Calliope the Caterpiller is my entry in the challenge.
Also check out the Lemonade Bears Benefit, this weekend, on Bid 4 Bears. All proceeds go the Alex's Lemonade Stand to fight pediatric cancer.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Doggie Woes


I didn't realize it had been so long since I had posted. Time flies! I really haven't been doing much but sewing and bookkeeping. I spent all afternoon at the vet's today though. Lexi, my wire haired Dachshund, is already on heart meds for an enlarged heart. She has and infected molar and the vet was hoping antibiotics would clear it up so she wouldn't need to go under anesthesia to have it pulled. Two rounds of the rx and it is still a small draining spot on her face. So this morning I called and made an appt for pre-op blood work. By the time I got her there at 12:40, I had decided she wasn't feeling well. She was hiding in her little doggie tent all morning. This is a dog that appears at the fridge ever time it opens. She would eat a treat, but only if I took it to her. She also had a slight limb. This turned out to be the least of her troubles. She has a toenail that had cracked at the base and hurt when she put her paw down. As the vet listened to her heart for what seemed like forever, I knew it wasn't a good sign. X-rays were taken, digital these days. The vet brought in a lap top to show me the x-rays. Lexi's heart is more enlarged than before and there is some fluid in her lungs. I came home with a bag of medication. The vet increased her enalapril and put her back on a diuretic(she hadn't needed it since Jan). More antibiotics too. They can't pull her tooth until she is better either. She is only 11 years old, which is not that old for a Dachshund. I have had many over the years and the average life span is 15.
I did sell 2 bears and a cat today. It almost covers the vet bill.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Favorite Fishin Spot



We hadn't been there in quite awhile but we used to go several times a week. It's only 6 miles from our house-just on the other side of the Indian River. There are boat ramps and picnic tables. Bill stops at a bait store on the way and gets about 1/2 dozen shrimp, sometimes more. This time he also took his crab trap and some chicken necks to bait it. I take a beach chair and the cooler. I thought about taking a book this time but I really just enjoyed sitting by the water. Bill ended up just "drowning the shrimp" although he felt some bites. He has caught some big catfish and once caught a 48" red drum at this spot. So we soaked up the atmosphere and some sun for about an hour and a half then packed the car. The funniest thing was when Bill pulled up the crab trap it was full of blowfish! I had already put away my camera but now wish I had gotten a photo of the dozen or so fully inflated blowfish and Bill trying to figure out how to get them out of his crap trap.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Lemonade Bears Benefit


Yes, it's that time of year again! This is the third year I have participated in the Lemonade Bear Benefit. The auction will take place on Bid 4 Bears September 19th to the 21st. Over 25 International Bear Artists are taking part. All proceeds go to Alex's Lemonade Stand to fight childhood cancer.
This year I have made "Honey and her cat, Lemon" for the auction. Honey is wearing a citrus print dress. Lemon is made with Kool Aid dyed mohair.
To see the list of other participants and a sneak peek at other creations click here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Busy weekend


Now that Labor Day has passed it seems like it's time to buckle down. We did have a nice weekend though. Saturday there was a small get together for Bill's aunt's birthday. It was supposed to be a picnic but the weather didn't cooperate. Still we had a nice meal and then a huge chocolate cake. Sunday we attended church to see my 16 year old nephew, Billy, get baptized. I was reminded of my baptism many years ago. My brother, Bill(Billy's dad) and I were baptized the same day.
I also worked on some Christmas bears. I was trying to get them done so photos could be submitted for Teddy Bear Review. Much to my husband's dismay, I started listening to Christmas music. I love Christmas music and usually start listening in August. Although I try to listen when Bill is not around, partly because he isn't ready for it and partly because he teases me, he got in the car and I had forgotten to eject the cd. Now I'm going to work on a Halloween project. The photo is a sneak peek collage of my Christmas critters.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Artist Bears & Friends Etsy Team


It is now official! We have an Etsy team of 34 Teddy Bear Artists. One of our goals is to get an Etsy category for Artist Bears. The Art Doll makers are also working towards a separate category. Since Artist Bears are considered collectible and are not made for children we are kind of in limbo on Etsy-not belonging in any category. Hopefully, this will soon be resolved. We will be planning some promotions in the near future. Stay tuned. If you are an Artist with an Etsy shop and interested in joining contact shelley@ursaminorminiatures.com .
In other news.....I have won the Bid 4 Bears Survivor Challenge. I will be listing lots of bears and critters for sale there. Keep an eye on the right column of my blog for my current auction.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

We came out OK!



Fay is now hitting the Florida panhandle. We saw the sun today, for the first time in 5 days. There was a lot of flooding in our county, Brevard, and surrounding counties. We only had some small limbs come down. I was worried about the pool overflowing as we had more than 10" of rain. It reached just below the rim before the rain finally stopped. It did end up with a lot of leaves, small branches and FROGS in it. Bill spent this morning scooping them out and sweeping the pool deck. The pic of the banana tree shows how the wind shredded the leaves.
We are now in prime hurricane season. Hopefully, this is the worse will will get this year.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Fay is Coming


I love living in Florida, but there is a price to pay for living in paradise. Although she is not a hurricane, tropical storm Fay is headed directly for us. We are expecting 4-8 inches of rain and 35 - 40 mph winds with higher gusts. We moved to Florida just in time for the hurricanes of 2004, so we have been thoroughly initiated. Bill is trying to get the water delivery route done today before the worst weather hits. The thing is, when there is a threat of hurricanes or storms the demand for water goes up. Many people are on well water which they won't be able to use if the power goes out.
I have tried to get all my computer work done this morning-in case we lose power. Hopefully, if we do, it won't be for long. In 2004 there were areas that were without power for weeks.
We are under a tornado watch because this type of tropical storm develops them with no warning. We are ready with flashlights, battery operated radio, water, and extra batteries. I have plenty of hand sewing to keep me busy. So we will hunker down and ride out the storm.
The photo is the pool and backyard this morning. We'll see what it looks like after the storm moves through. Hopefully, none of our big trees will come down.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Playing with Kool Aid

I spent part of 2 days this week dying fur with Kool aid. I had a lot of fun and the kitchen smelled like all kinds of sweet flavors.
koolaid packs sml

I'm working on two different projects. I used orange Kool Aid for the first.


Orange Kool aid

This is going to be one of my Kitty Kibbles.


Orange parts

Then I used lemon-lime, cherry, blueberry, and some more orange. The purple is Rit dye because grape Kool Aid comes out more mauve than purple.


calliope parts sml

Can you guess what this is going to be? Well, now that I have posted the photo I sure hope it turns out like I have imagined!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Finally...

I have actually been sewing. I finished several things this week - 2 bears and a kitten. I'm not sure if they will go straight to my etsy shop or to Bid 4 Bears. There are also some more ideas rattling around in my head.
First this is Pinky Dink, another in my Kitty Kibbles series. She is just 6" tall and made with a fluffy Schulte mohair.

Pinky Dink

Next is Hamilton, who is just 9 1/2" tall. His mom wants him to learn to write his name before kindergarten starts but he just wants to play with his truck.


Hamilton & his truck

Last, but not least is Livia. She is 9" tall and dressed in her Sunday best.


Livia in her pretty organza dress

I really like the pattern I designed for the 2 bears(Livia legs are a bit shorter). I drew a slimmer body to go with a larger head. I think they are more child like.