Saturday, December 21, 2013

Hopping on Santa's Sleigh!

 This sweet little butterfly bear named Kristy has hopped aboard Santa's sleigh and is on her way to her new Mom. I've been at the Post Office often this week with last minute shipments hoping the weather will be favorable for smooth journeys. Another traveler on the sleigh is Miss Kitty
She's hoping the weather will be good and Santa will be able to make deliveries on time!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Just look what I've been missing!! Thanks to a wonderfully talented doctor, I can now see some vibrant colors I've been seeing through a "cloud."

I see sweet Abe's pink nose clearly and notice the subtle shading around his nose as well as his long white guard hairs in his coat .

The weather here in southern Virginia has been warm today and I've so enjoyed being outdoors observing the wonderful colors in my now brighter world since my cataract surgery on Tuesday. Thank you  Dr. Spellman and all those who took such good care of me. The warm weather will come to an end soon, but hopefully our beautiful pansies will fare well through the winter.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Let the Holidays Begin!

A sure sign of the Holidays! Kim's Beau and his candy cane! Wishing everyone a joyful and stress free period of time when we enjoy those who bless our lives daily - whether they have two legs or four! I'll be posting some "how I do it" features so check back! I'm having cataract surgery on Tuesday so I'll be back ASAP! Cheers!

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Show Has Begun!

The Teddies Worldwide show has begun! Please click here: to visit all the bears and their friends! My pieces can be seen in the header above! Thanks to everyone who visited the show! The adopted bears, bunny, and kitty are on the way to their new homes. Thanks everyone!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Got Candy Canes?


The Teddies Worldwide online show preview has begun! My little preview bear is named Olli and he LOVES candy canes! The theme to this holiday show is Christmas Treats. I hope you will go on over to the web site and vote for your favorites! The show will be coming up on November 15th. Just click here to see Olli  and his friends!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pretty Little Dresses

I've borrowed a knitting needle from Kim to hang some of my little crocheted dresses I've been making. It's usually the other way around! I make the bear first and then the attire which will look just right for the bear! This time, I've just had so much fun with new threads from Knitpicks - seeing what color combinations and designs I can come up with. All these will look great on my little 4 inch standing bear. I'm working on bears for the online show - which I can't show you in advance. Some of these little dresses might just be on the bears and kitties and bunnies, I'll bet!

The red dress on the left is the only one done in crochet thread that is not from the new Knitpicks line. All the
others have subtle coloring that I really enjoyed working with. Sometimes, you just have to have a bright
red dress, though, don't you think???

My favorite of the bunch is probably the one in the middle here in gold and green - which someone in my family observed: "Looks like a pineapple!"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

National Feral Cat Day!

This is a day to think about and find out what we can do for the feral cats in our personal world. Last summer, Kim and I, and a kind lady from the local Humane Society named Mary, trapped, had neutered, and returned to their world, several feral cats in our neighborhood. One of them, pictured above, chose to become part of our world, and has lived with us inside for the past year. She's called "Luna" and was named for the sweet soul in the character of the same name in the Harry Potter adventures. Luna is quite small - compared to some of our other kitties - but is very healthy and happy. You can see that one of her ears is trimmed which is how the PETA folks mark those who have been neutered and given their shots.
Please visit to see what you can do for the ferals in your world!!

Not all ferals will choose to live inside, but Miss Luna has blessed us with her companionship. There are lots of things we can do for those who live outside. We're getting shelters ready for the winter for the Outsiders on our deck and we feed them twice a day. God Bless every one of them everywhere.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Let's Yarn Bomb a Little Bottle!

Have you ever had a bottle or container that was just too neat to throw away - but you didn't know what to do with it??

Well, that's what I thought! I've seen lots of stories about all the yarn bombing going on around the world (crafty folk knit or crochet great lots of things and cover bridges, statues, who knows what! Just google it and see what you'll find!)- so I thought thread bombing would work for this tiny bottle!

Here's how I proceeded!

I made a chain long enough to fit around the of the bottom edge of the bottle snugly.

Then I added rows of double and single crochet randomly up the side of the bottle - under Cheeto's supervision. He was asleep in my lap as I puzzled this whole thing out!

I decreased every other stitch to make the turn up to the narrow part of the bottle. When I reached that part, I did a row of single crochet to stabilize the stitches before proceeding up this narrow part. I might add that I worked on the piece off the bottle and only slipped it on when I needed to check the fit. I figured the stitches should be snugger going up this last part. The stitches can stretch apart too allowing some of the bottle to show through.
I decreased again on the top row which was single crocheted just for two stitches and that made it fit just perfectly. I added a piece of dried blossom so no water is needed for the tiny vase. Of course, water would be fine and the cover can be slipped off to wash if necessary.

So! How simple is that! Just use your eye for decreasing as necessary and pick the color thread which would compliment your room or the flowers going in! I didn't count any stitches - just raveled 'em out when there were too many and added more when there were too few. Hope you'll give it a try. Bigger yarn can be used on bigger vessels. I first tried sock yarn on this little bottle and it was way too big. The thread I used here was #10 cotton thread used for tatting and crochet by Lizbeth.  It comes in great colors!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Flowers Everywhere

 Taking this photo after just coming out of air conditioning, I had an impressionistic shot of my hybrid tea rose called Rio Samba. The lens was fogged! I rather like the effect - no filters required!

 Close by, I have petunias and lantana in the same hue - looks like they were cut out of the same dye lot!

 And as the fog cleared, the exciting Rio Samba came into view. One of the most exciting features about
this rose is that there can be yellow and orange blossoms at the same time AND the flowers change color as they mature. It's one of those things in my little patch of sun close to my mailbox.

And my favorite is this magnificent sunflower which I bought as a mature plant at Trader Joe's. It provided weeks of joy as each bloom came open at a different time. Surely my favorite flower ..... or one of them.

And More flowers blooming from my crochet hook - as my bear/bunny sewing gear is packed away while we are having fun with renovations, I can grab a ball of yarn or thread and a hook just about anytime. This flower is done in what has to be one of my favorite (well, I have a lot of favorites) colors of yarn - called "Chicory" and is one of Knitpicks Pallet yarns. You can find it along with over a hundred other colors I've also been working with their crochet thread and you'll see that in a moment or two.

Here's one in the color called "Columbine" and is in the Wool of the Andes lot from Knitpicks.

I found a pattern for a little girl's purse and thought it was really big enough to hold just those things one needs for a quick trip to the store. I used a yarn that I can't identify as the label when missing.

and then we found two beautiful blues - one was a Pallet yarn (that's a fingering weight) and another darker blue that Kim had bought in Pittsburgh in a sport weight.
and they looked great together!! I will line the bag in a wool felt, I think.

and finally: though it has no bear to wear it yet....
fit for a wee princess, I've just finished this bluebell of a dress made of thread in two luscious colors of blue. There are two ruffles under the main skirt. I LOVE it!!! I have already started one in red for the online Christmas show!!
Wishing you all bouquets of flowers of every kind!!! My favorite!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

This Just In - Travis wins TOBY Public Choice Award !!

I am so thrilled to tell you that my tiny Travis - as opposed to my big Travis who is my husband (and, by the way , who picked the bear's name) has won the TOBY Public Choice Award presented by Teddy Bear and Friends magazine. It is one of the biggest honors in the Teddy Bear World made so special by having been voted on by the public. I thank each of you who voted for Travis!! I am so sorry I was not able to be at TBAI this year where the awards were presented this morning. We are doing lots of renovations here and I wasn't able to prepare bears for the show. Additionally, big Travis has a "severe" case of poison ivy from pulling up weeds, etc. (well, the ivy I guess) in preparation for new windows which will be coming soon. I'll bet knowing about wee Travis will help with the itching! I'll be having postcards made with both Travis' TOBY logos on them so if you'd like one just send me an email: donna and the bears at AOL dot com (spelled out here to avoid spam - I hope) with your address if I don't have it!
Thank you again!! I'm dancing on air!!
Travis was a limited edition of two and thanks to Sue and Debbie for adopting them.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Let's go Hawks!

Russell - you might recognize him from my little photo on the right - was thrilled to receive a Stanley Cup Champions shirt from dear friend Pat following the team's win this year!! Pat allowed me to become a temporary Hawks fan when my own favorite Penguins' season came to an end! Pat kindly sent along an official little Stanley Cup Bear and this wonderful shirt which looks as though it was just made for Russell! Congratulations to the Chicago Blackhawks for a grand season and for winning the Cup!!

My son, Jason, is recovering well from shoulder surgery. I wish the pain he's felt wasn't necessary, but I've enjoyed having Jason around for a couple of weeks. I haven't had much time for sewing bears, but there's been the odd moment when I could pick up yarn and hook, so have enjoyed making lots of flowers. In case you love yarn, you will enjoy knowing that the Knitpicks website is having a big sale. Have a look at my order that arrived yesterday!

I wanted to take a "colorwheel" photo before opening the skeins for some colorful flowers! Just imagine the little bears and bunnies sitting upon the flowers! Knitpicks offers reasonably priced pure wool throughout the year and the sales come along that make ordering a joy! There's a wonderful color range too!

Here's one of my favorites so far - made with the "crocodile" stitch this time in red and green.

While on the deck photographing yarn delights, I was treated to wonderful butterflies and moths on our now huge butterfly bush which often looks alive with scores of wildlife enjoying it's flowers.

With all the rain we've had, our butterfly "bush" is now a "tree" reaching far above my head.

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Process

I found a sunflower on Pinterest and searched it's origin. Turns out, it's a pattern on Ravelry. If you'd like to make one, just go to, register (it's free to join) and search crocodile stitch sunflower. If you would like help finding the pattern, just leave a message and I'll give further directions to it. The designer calls it a dalhia, I think, but you choose! By now, you must realize that sunflowers are my favorite and this has to be the best pattern yet. It's designed ot be a square for further application in an afghan or pillow, but I use mine as cushions for bears, bunnies, etc.

So then, which comes first? The critter or the cushion? In this instance, it was the sit-upon.

I went through my collection of perhaps appropriate fabrics.

Other than making striking photos with sun and shadows, taking the lot outdoors has the advantage of seeing the true color. I really learned my lesson with that one when a bunny turned up with a lavender nose - which, on reflection, could have been interesting.

And the winner (s) are:

Well, so far, anyway. I'm thinking maybe a panda bunny or bear in gold and brown.
Stay tuned!!! You never know what will happen! I'll keep you posted!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Helpers, Gifts, and Fun!

Do any of you have special helpers like my Rocky? He has a  basket on my worktable, just to my right, where he oversees all sewing. He often naps there and is annoyed if another kitty gets in his spot! We've added other kitty size baskets all around to accommodate what seems to be a universal kitty attraction.

My dear friend Sarah, once again this year, has given me a Casablanca lily blossom. Actually, it was a bud when she handed it to me and gave me instructions to clip off the fuzzy red bits once it opened as they can be quite messy. I bought the vase it's sitting in at our local farmers' market and it was created by Tracy who works at our veterinarian's office. I've thought glass blowing would be great fun, but there just aren't enough hours in the day. The lily has lasted over a week and the fragrance it produces is just marvelous!

and finally a flower I've made with directions from a book on thread crochet that's filled with pineapple motifs. It's very dimensional as each petal is anchored on three different levels created on the center, and just perfect, I think, for one of my little bears to sit upon - right on that center. The pineapple is a favorite motif used in traditional crochet. It looks a bit different using a pretty green cotton thread.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Yep, they are that small!

Two things. First, I wanted to post a special photo of Su Lin from the recent online show. She is soooo sweet, I thought she deserved special attention. She's the size that fits nicely with the Panda Tea House of recent posts. Su Lin has already arrived at her new home near Chicago. Thanks, Pat!!
Second, as it was time to prepare my next ad for Teddy Bear and Friends magazine, I thought it would be a good idea to have a "bear in hand" photo again. Recently at the Philly show, a lovely lady came to my table and asked if my bears were all that small. She apparently couldn't tell from the magazine photos so showing this little darling will help with that message. I have, of course, made many big bears, but my heart, just now, is with the smaller and smaller ones. Pat tells me that Su Lin was treated to a special "Wecome" tea party when she arrived. Awwwwwww!

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Show Has Begun!

Click to visit the show!! You'll find Honey Bun, Panda Bunny, Lilly, Su Lin, and Rosebud on my show page. I hope you'll have great fun visiting all the artists and seeing the wonderful animals they've created for you!!

Show Day!!

The summer online show is today! I wish I could show you my bears and bunnies, but I can't do that until the show starts! So............ I thought I'd show you some flowers in my front yard! This is the view my mail carrier has as she deposits mail in the post box. Besides my deck, this is the sunniest spot in the yard, so I have as many sun lovers in that spot as I can crowd in!

In the meantime, does anyone know what this is??

Kim found it on a walk yesterday. It looks like a lovely fairy dancer! I've put in a photo with my hand so that you can see the relative size. Isn't it amazing???

Be sure to check back at 4 p.m. EDT to see my little ones and for a link to the show!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Teddies Worldwide Online Show Preview Page Is UP!!

My little Honey Bun is proud to be on the preview page for the summer Teddies Worldwide online show! She's a chubby tiny thing sitting under 3 inches - not counting those gorgeous ears! I hope you will hop on over the the preview page by clicking here:

There are several categories for you to vote for your favorites!! The show will begin on Friday, June 28th at 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight (I love Daylight Savings Time, don't you???) Time. Don't worry, I'll remind you of the show in plenty of time!!

Enjoy and be sure to VOTE!!!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My New Red Umbrella!!!!!!

I cannot CAN NOT tell you how happy my new red umbrella makes me!! Essentially, I wanted a nice place out of the sun for the Outsiders (feral kitties who mostly live on our deck) and as long as we were getting one, why not red!! The color is magnificent! It just lights up the world! As you can see, I'm adding boxes and baskets of every red flower I can find. Our family room is right on the inside next to the deck and I find myself wandering in there to get a peek at the red beauty!

This Friday is the preview for the upcoming online show for Teddies Worldwide. I made the deadline and sent a photo of Honey Bun in this morning. Be sure to check back on Friday evening for a link to the preview page!