Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Finally finished my Christmas Wreath using ImagiMeri's tutorial

A while ago, Meri Wiley from ImagiMeris, taught a workshop on making a wreath using a Styrofoam base and vintage Christmas ornaments.   Although I wasn't able to attend the workshop, Meri was kind enough to give my friend, Joanne Livingston (who did attend) a base for me and I used Meri's tutorial ( to make mine.  I finally finished it on Christmas Day!   I used vintage Christmas ornaments of various sizes; a precious vintage paper mache bird that my friend, Christine, gave me;  some buttons and bling that my Mom and my friend Judith gave me; and lots of odds and ends that my Mother had given me over the years.   I will cherish this wreath each and every Christmas as it was made with love - the love of friends and family.

Oh Dear...I had the wreath hanging from a small nail which gave way and it went crashing to the ground!  The noise it made left me afraid to even look but when I mustered up the courage to take a peek, only 3 of the very large ornaments broke!  After a trip to a local antique mall, I was able to finish the wreath once again!   Thank you, Joanne, for going with me and thank you, Meri, for your support!

Peace and Blessings to you in 2013  :o)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Animal Advocate...

Today while I was waiting in a parking lot backed up to Hopi Animal Hospital and Kennel (located at 56th Street and Bell Road in Scottsdale), I heard a poor little dog just whimpering and barking then I heard someone yelling at it.  The dog was quiet for a moment then started whimpering again - again the loud "Shut Up" and some other choice words - that was all I could take.  I jumped out of the car and went in to the Animal Hospital - the kennel was in the next building and I guess they couldn't hear this person yelling at the dog from their office.   I proceeded to report what I had heard and the receptionist assured me that was unacceptable and she was going to check on it.   I went back to my car and waited a half hour.    No more yelling for that half hour but I wonder how long this dog whimpered before I heard it and how many times this cruel person yelled at it for whimpering?  Rather than holding it or reassuring it, this person responded with cruelty.  Why would anyone work with animals if they didn't have a love for them?  Why aren't there some measures in place to assure that the person working with the dogs is treating them with kindness?  Nanny cam's can be used for animals, too.  Today, I reported what I heard to this site ... and, needless to say, I plan to check up on this Animal Hospital randomly and if I hear again what I heard today, a report to the Humane Society will be in order.  Those who cannot speak for themselves deserve an advocate, I feel it is my duty and it is an honor to be that advocate.  xxxx

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Such a thoughtful gift ...

Throughout my almost 15 years of bear making, it has been my hope and my greatest desire to be able to touch people's hearts in some way through my creations.  What has happened is that many of these same people have touched my heart in return!   I pray over my bears as I finish them, asking God to bless the person who will adopt the bear.  What has happened is that many of these same people have blessed me in return!   Some of these people have become dear, close friends, like sisters!   One such collector (my friend, my "adopted" sister) surprised me with a wonderfully thoughtful Christmas gift.   I wanted to share this gift with my readers because it touched my heart so deeply.   She made me a hard cover book, which measures 12" tall and 17.5" long, filled with page after page of bears I have created, published articles, awards won, etc. throughout the years.  I was speechless when I opened the box - tears flowing in disbelief.  I couldn't even begin to imagine the amount of time, work and most of all, love, that went in to the creation of this book.  I took several pictures to share with you and did not even come close to photographing even a third of the book!   I thank God for the beautiful people He has allowed me to meet over the years.  May God Bless You with dear friends.   Hugs,  Janice

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lilly, the Winter Wonderland kitty!

The idea of making a "white on white" kitty hit me over a week ago and I couldn't wait to get started on her!    Lilly, the Winter Wonderland kitty, is the result of that idea.   She is made of longer pile viscose fabric, it's so soft and pretty.  She has taxidermy eyes and corded lids.   She wears the sweetest little hand crocheted dress and booties made by a lady in Australia (I'm sorry to say I do not know her name.  I purchased the dress from a friend of hers at a doll and bear show in Phoenix last week).  She did a remarkable job crocheting this wee little outfit, though, and Lilly wears it proudly  :o)  I made her little wool felt cushion accented with satin, silk and rayon flowers with seed beads sewn on, as well.  Her little "balloon" also is decorated with seed beads and silk and satin flowers.  

Have a lovely day!  Hugs & Blessings, Janice

Saturday, November 3, 2012


I am one who respects and reveres life in every form EXCEPT in the form of a creepy, eight legged spider!  This morning, I had to pick up my husband at the car dealership after dropping his car for repair.  I gave him a 15 minute head start and I was on my way by 7 a.m.   Still groggy from just rolling out of bed, I get to the corner and look out the drivers window to make sure all is clear and I can make my turn.  There right next to my eye is a spider the size of a pencil eraser - just big enough to send me in to a blood curdling scream and a frantic jump to remove myself from the drivers seat into the passenger seat.   I don't have my reading glasses so I cannot tell if the monster is on the inside or the outside...I open the glove box and find the ample sized car manual complete with leather cover - the perfect weapon!   I center the manual above the monster and smash it in to the window...pull it away and lo and behold, it's on the OUTSIDE!  Thank goodness.   I'm laughing at myself as I drive away and relieved that it was only 7:00 a.m. so I was not holding up other drivers with my insanity.   What is it about spiders that send me into a royal turmoil?   They have never hurt me, yet my fear overtakes me!   Hopefully the rest of the day will be a bit more relaxing!   I'm off to a bear and doll show in Phoenix - nothing dangerous there (except maybe overspending)!   Have a blessed weekend.  Hugs, Janice

Friday, November 2, 2012

Little Princess Ballerina Booh Bear!

Now that the Halloween festivities are over, I am excited to gear up for Christmas!  I've got an idea mulling around in my mind and I can't wait to make it come to be!   Just need to make a quick trip to Michael's craft store for one of the supplies and I'll be all set to go!   I love it when a new idea sets in and I can't wait to make it!   It's such a blessing to have a job that I love!

My last creation was in the making for a while - she's a princess/ballerina made from the most beautiful natural tan alpaca.  My friend gifted this alpaca to me and I've been saving it for just the right bear and Galina is the end result.    I hope you like her as much as I liked making her!  

I hope you have a blessed weekend!  xxxx,   Janice

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Lovely Day with Joanne Livingston Meeting Fellow Bloggers, Katy Cameron, Laura Lochore and Travelin' Jack!

Yesterday was a lovely day spent riding (thank you, Joanne, for diriving) up to Sedona, Arizona with Joanne Livingston (DesertMountain Bears) to meet with fellow bloggers, Katy Cameron (The Littlest Thistle) Laura Lochore (Quokka Quilts) and last, but certainly not least, Katy's faithful traveling companion, Jack (created by Ginger Brame) Jack has his own traveling blog, too!    We enjoyed lunch outside, shopped a bit, walked a bit, laughed a lot.   Thanks for the great day, ladies (and Jack)!

 Joanne, Katy and Jack
 Joanne, Katy, Jack and me
 Laura, Katy and Jack
 Booh Bunny Meeko, Joanne's Fern in her Fall attire and Jack enjoying the hugs (I think!)

Beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona!
I hope you have a lovely day filled with all of God's bountiful blessings.
Lots of hugs,

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wish You Were Here...

David Gilmour - Live and Unplugged Wish You Were Here ...
Thinking about Mom so much this week - the quilt show she used to participate in will be held this coming weekend.  She was the most amazing quilter - each quilt held a little bit of her heart.  Even though I miss you, Mom, I feel your heart. xxxx

Monday, September 24, 2012

I finished my "Crazy Pattern Lady" Bear!

My last post described how I design most of my patterns (like a crazy lady ;o) with nothing but scissors and cardstock paper (in this instance, it was a coupon from TGI Friday's)!    For the more complicated patterns, I do draw out the designs freehand and once I even traced a real baby bear's face from my computer monitor as it was so sweet!  I've yet to make that bear, but I still have the traced face and one day I will make her!   Here's my wee little handful, Ava.  She was created using the pattern that was made from the TGI Friday's coupon - she is flying off to Australia today!  xxx

Friday, September 21, 2012

Crazy Vegetarian Pattern Lady!

I have mentioned before in my ramblings how most people would consider my method of designing patterns completely crazy and, I admit, if I wasn't talking about myself, I would most certainly think the designer was crazy, too!   I learned to make bears from a man who was an engineer by trade - very precise and mathematical, measuring everything with a caliper.   I am grateful to him for teaching me his ways. but my hands and mind are not very precise OR mathematical, so this is how I design my patterns.   I receive a cardstock ad/coupon for TGI Friday's in the mail today.  Being a vegetarian, this coupon has no value to me, so what do I do?   The coupon is a perfect paper weight and size to get to work.  I stand at the kitchen counter, hold the coupon in my left hand and start cutting with  my right.  There are no measuring tools, no guides, no pencils,  nothing but my scissors and coupon.  I end up with the pattern for my next bear.  It takes me approximately 5 minutes from start to finish.  I'll need to tweak it as I work but this is how I design.   So, now you know, any time this crazy vegetarian pattern lady receives a nice cardstock coupon in the mail for anything related to meat, a new bear will be designed!
* Smiles *    Hugs, Janice
Here's a picture of the finished bear made from my TGI Friday's Coupon!  I had to tweak the head gusset (I always cut them too long because if you cut it too short, it's impossible to add fabric!) the legs were tweaked, as well ...
Ava has been adopted and will be moving to Australia very soon!    Hugs & Blessings,  Janice

Whoops...I did it again! Blog Neglect!

I have NO idea where my time goes - it's been nearly a month since I've looked at my blog!  Well, I have a new bear today and thought I would share with you.   Sapphire is made of the most gorgeous hand-dyed Schulte German mohair in a tipped sapphire color.  She's made from a mix of a couple of my older patterns.  It's been ages since I've backed the eyes with felt but with this little one being so dark, I felt her eyes needed that extra "pop"!   I hope you like her as much as I do.   This is Sapphire.  You can find her on Bear Pile at the following link ...Sapphire on Bear Pile

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sharing a Beautiful Post from a Favorite Blog ...

Beautiful Post from one of my favorite Blogs ...

I don't usually share others blog posts but this one resonated with me today and I really was led to share.  I wonder how many others are in need of these words on this day.   I am asking God to create in me a clean heart ....
Have a blessed Sunday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Finally Finished!

I finally finished my little bunny who has been in the works for about 3 weeks - using my friend, Joanne Livingston (Desert Mountain Bears) technique, I needle felted areas of her face and around her eyes and then rooted individual strands of synthetic fur in colors of gray, tan and white.  There are still tweaks I will make to the pattern when I make my next bunny (shortening her front feet and trimming the fabric back from her paws) but all in all, I do like how she turned out!   I am stumped for my next project!  I saw a lovely photo of a fox that a friend posted on facebook and since then, foxes have been roaming around in my mind ... I think I will allow that fox to step out of my mind and in to the fabric soon!   I hope you have a lovely, creative day!   Hugs & Blessings, Janice

Friday, August 17, 2012

Holiday Luncheon for AZ Bloggers at ImagiMeri's

My friend, Joanne Livingston, went to Meri's Holiday Gathering last year and had so much fun that I am going to sign up this year!  I adore vintage Christmas ornaments and the wreath I will make will be  something that I will cherish for years to come!  I plan to use many old ornaments that my Mom sent to me before she passed away.   I can hardly wait until November now!   Here's a link to Meri's blog if you live in AZ and would like to attend ...Imagimeri's Blog

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chase Bank Small Business Grant for Bradstreet Sports

I know this post is a bit different for me but my Sister asked if I would post about her son's business as he is trying to earn a Chase Small Business Grant.  He needs 250 votes to qualify for the grant and I believe in what he does and told my Sister I would love to help him get some votes!  If you have a moment to check out Jason's website, I know he would be appreciative and if you would place a vote for his small business, I know he would be very grateful (you are allowed to vote for more than one business, you just aren't allowed to vote for the same business, if you've already voted for someone else, it's okay to place another vote for Jason's business, too!)  ** As of today, June 28th, Jason has raised the 250 votes needed to qualify for the Grant!!! Thanks so much to those of you who helped **!   Hugs & Blessings, Janice
Bradstreet Sports Website
To vote for Small Business Grant from Chase Bank  Mission Small Business with Chase Bank

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Congrats Sue Tassie - You are the Winner!

Congrats, Sue!  The random number generator picked your comment and I have a little antique dolly dress to send off to you but I don't know how to contact you!  Since you left your comment as "Anonymous" (though you did leave your name!!), I am unable to email you.   Please contact me at with your address.   If I don't hear from you in 3 days, I'll choose a new winner!  Thank you so very much to everyone who played along!  xoxo

Friday, May 25, 2012

Booh Bear Gallery Today at 1:30 Mountain Time!

Five Little Booh Bears 
waiting for their photo shoots!
See you at 1:30 Mountain Time today for the latest Booh Bear Gallery!
xoxo,   Janice

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

This is one of the last pictures taken with my Mom (please excuse the food!  lol!)  This was taken in the Fall of 2009.  She was such a blessing in my life.  Her love still radiates to this day.  In this picture, from left to the back and then from back to front, we have Mom's dear friend Ann;  Mom;  my Sister, Patty; me; and Ann's daughter, Jamie.  I wish Mom were still here to share in this special day but since she's not,  I want to wish you a VERY HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY and if your Mom is still here, please give her a big hug from me!   Hugs & Lots of Blessings to all the wonderful Mom's out there!   xoxo,  Janice

Monday, May 7, 2012

Taking Chances!

I've been sewing my bears with a little Singer Featherweight for many years now and I love it so much that I hate to turn it over to the experts to have it cleaned, tuned and oiled.  I do the best I can myself by following the instruction booklet but I feel better when I allow the pros to do it at least once every year or so.   I've been keeping my eyes peeled for a "good deal" on another so I can continue to sew while my machine is off being taken care of professionally.   Such a "good deal" happened a few weeks ago!  While checking ebay I came across a "for parts" Featherweight.  I looked at the pictures and it looked like a perfectly good machine to me, so I read the description.  The person said they didn't know anything about sewing machines and went on to explain what happened when they plugged it in and tried to sew with it.  After reading the description, I thought it simply sounded like a loose belt.  So, I bid and won the little treasure for $110 and $17 shipping.   It came via UPS within a week and sure enough, the was belt was loose.   I tightened it up and gave it a whirl.  It worked like a charm!  I was thrilled!  I decided to take it to the professionals to have them do a "once over" and make sure all was a.o.k.   They put in a new light, tuned, oiled and cleaned the machine for $72.    So, now I have a beautiful little "back-up" for less than $200 (machine, shipping and professional tune up came to $199  ;O).   I couldn't be happier with my new little treasure and next week, I'll let go of my trusty friend and allow her to get the once over by the pros and I'll still be able to sew on my new little friend!   Here's to taking chances!  xoxo,  Janice

Monday, April 30, 2012

Donated Booh Bear for Children's Hospital Charity

Earlier this year a dear lady who collects my bears (Karen Baldwin) contacted me and asked if I would be able to help her raise funds to help the Children's Hospital in Belfast, Northern Ireland purchase an MRI Scanner.   Karen is a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist in the U.K. and she became involved in this quest as she had a friend who's child battled cancer and had to travel many miles for his MRI scans.   Being a cancer survivor myself and remembering how it felt to just travel far enough for my chemo appointments, I can't imagine these small children, who are gravely ill, having to travel for hours for their much needed scans - scans that are mandatory to track and pinpoint the cancerous cells.   Please help the Children's Hospital in Belfast, Northern Ireland raise funds for an MRI Scanner. Send PayPal Donation to:     Donation of $1 GPB will allow your name to be entered in a drawing to win this Booh Bear! Please do not mention "raffle or drawing" on your Donation as PayPal will not allow this.   Karen will send your ticket numbers after receiving your Donation.  The drawing will take place on May 19th and Karen will email the winner.  Postage will be paid by Karen. ** Please note **  I just heard from Karen that there will be 5 bears in this drawing - so when you buy a ticket, this will give you a chance to win one of 5 bears!  Celia is one of them and then there will be 4 other artist's that have donated bears to the cause, as well.  THE CHILDREN, KAREN AND I THANK YOU!  The winners have been drawn!  Thank you so much to everyone who participated.  They raised over $500 GPB for the cause.  The winners are as follows:   **** 467 - Rachel Moran  396 - Faye Ward  127 - Ciara Callaghan  365 - Jean Doherty  and 208 - Nysha Nelson ****  

Something Different!

I started this little one over 4 months ago and finally just finished her this weekend!  Charley is made from really pretty (no longer available) viscose fabric from Tyber in Belgium.  It's the type of fabric, I feel, that lends itself to being distressed quite well.   I plucked, sanded, clipped and snipped and just otherwise "abused" this little bear so she would look and feel like an old friend.   Her outfit is made from an old Raggedy Ann dress that had seen better days.  I love the print on these vintage fabrics.    I have one more bear in my UFO (unfinished objects) stash, maybe I'll get to her in another 4 months! Have a great week!  xoxo,  Janice

Sunday, April 15, 2012

New Pattern Designed for Noble Bears & Fabrics

My latest little teddy, Murissa, will soon be a star!   I designed her pattern for Veronika of Noble Bears & Fabrics so that she may sell the pattern in her store.   Veronika will have the pattern ready soon!   It was such an honor to be contacted by her as she carries some of the most sought after artist's patterns.  I feel very blessed to be included among them.   Thank you, Veronika!    Since Veronika paid me for the design, I decided not to set a reserve on this little ted and put her on ebay with $1 start and no reserve!  If you have a moment to peek in on Murissa's auction, this is the link ... Murissa Teacup Teddy Ebay Auction
Thanks so much and have a blessed Sunday!  xoxo

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Grandmother's Love ...

It's been over 2 years since Mom passed away and I still miss her so very much.  "They" say with time, it will get easier (whoever "They" are, I'm assuming they are people who have lived through it and can attest that what they profess is true) but there have still been so many times when I look to Heaven and tell her I wish she were here and ask her out loud "what would you do Mom?"   Just saying it out loud helps me feel better.  My grown daughter has been having some difficult times lately and I have asked God and Mom to watch over her.  Well, this past weekend, I believe Mom was doing just that.   Early Saturday morning, my daughter was sitting next to an open window with just a screen separating her from the outdoors.  It was very quiet and she said she whispered through the screen "I love you Grandma ... I miss you" - she said at that very moment, a hummingbird appeared out of nowhere, with fluttering wings, suspended in midair within inches of my daughter's face.  She said the little bird stayed right there for what seemed a few minutes.  Mom loved all birds but hummingbirds were her very favorite -so much so, that we had one carved in the corner of her gravestone.  Such a special, loving reminder that we are not alone, that even though our loved ones are no longer with us here on Earth, their love lingers to help us through our difficult times.   Here's to better days, my dear daughter.  Just knowing Grandma is here has to help tremendously.   All our love, Grandma and Mom

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Friend's New Teddy Bear Blog - Atelier Wiba

My friend, Ute Wilhelm, who makes beautiful bears under the name "Atelier Wiba" has started a new teddy bear blog.  If you have a moment to check out her blog, I'm sure you will love it!  If you page down a bit and take a peek at her sewing studio, you will be amazed!  I would LOVE to create in a space like hers!  One day, I will redo my sewing room/office and make it a pretty pastel shabby spot to create, too!   It's one of my dreams :o)  Oh, another thing, Annie, the bear on Ute's welcome banner is my Annie!  I adopted her from Ute last November and she was such a welcome addition to my "hug"!  I was all smiles when I saw her greeting the bloggers!  Have fun checking out Ute's new Teddy Blog.  Hugs & Oodles of  Blessings, Janice    Atelier-Wiba New Teddy Bear Blog

Friday, March 23, 2012

Me again with pictures of all the bears I'm offering at the show!

Okay, the show has begun and it's okay to share photos of our show bears with everyone now!  Yay!  I have four little ones who are looking for homes - Felicity, the preview bear found her home right way!  Here are the others who are available now through Sunday at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.   Link to the Show Website:  Teddies Worldwide On-Line Show

I hope you will take some time to peek at all the wonderful show bears!   Have a blessed day.  Lots of hugs, Janice

Today is the Big Day! Teddies Worldwide On-Line Show Begins Soon!

Well, after much procrastination, I finally finished my bears for the on-line show with an hour and 3 minutes
to spare!   I am a firm believer in waiting till the last minute on every creative endeavor with stipulations set by someone else!  When it's one of my "sidetracked musings", I am all for diving right in and getting it done because I'm excited to see the outcome!   I truly appreciate the exposure when participating in the big on-line shows,  though, and I had a lot of fun creating my little Tea Time Teds.  Wee Felicity is my "Preview Bear" for the show.   I have four more Tea Time teddies - all below 5" - that will make their debut at the following link at 1:00 p.m. Arizona time - 4:00 East Coast Time.  Teddies Worldwide On-Line Show Page   If you have some time to peek in, you won't be disappointed!  There are 90 artist's participating with at least 5 bears each.   The artist's are set up alphabetically by their business name on the Preview Page.  Mine are under "Booh Bears" in the Miniature Section.   There will be a lot of wonderful bears in attendance!   I hope you can spend some time meeting them :o)  Have a blessed day!   Hugs, Janice