Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Many Christmases ago--nearly thirty, I think--I received a set of paperback books in a slipcase. I can't recall what those books were or even who they were from...So why am I even bringing them up? I bring them up because my brother Aaron also received a set of paperbacks in a slipcase that same Christmas---and his books I loved! I'm not sure if he ever read them, but I read them all, again and again. I loved bears and these books were about a sweet, polite, and doggone funny little bear named Paddington, who was created by Michael Bond.
A couple of years ago, while browsing on ebay, I saw that set of books and had to buy them to share the stories with my kids (and because I am a nostalgic kind of person).
This picture shows the paperbacks in the slipcase, a Paddington made by Boyds which was a Christmas gift from my husband several years ago, and a tiny little clip-on Paddington who lived in my dollhouse when I was a kid.

Paddington also inspired my creative side when I was young. Here is a picture I made based on the cover illustration on the first Paddington book. I remember when I made this picture I didn't like it at all. It was an art class assignment which involved tearing tissue paper and gluing it to create the picture. We were not allowed to use scissors and I was frustrated with the picture since I was actually pretty good at drawing--especially bears--but I could not get the realistic look I wanted with the torn tissue. My mother, an artist who tends to favor abstract art loved it and has saved it all these years.

I recently checked out some Paddington books on CD from our library to listen to while I sew, and naturally began to envision how I would make my own version of Paddinton. My son Brendan was listening too. He asked where my Paddington books where and when I gave them to him he read straight through the first one. Then he came to me and said, "Mom, can you help me make my own Paddington?" Ha! No one has to twist my arm for that!

I just happened to have a Paddington pattern I had purchased from ebay (for nostalgic reasons too). I didn't know if I would actually use it or not, but I bought it because, during my childhood Paddington obsession, my mom had purchased the exact same pattern for me. (I'm not sure if I ever made him, but I do recall making his duffle coat for a stuffed bunny I had.) I thought it would be a perfect beginner bear for Brendan. The date on the pattern is 1977.

So on Christmas Eve, Brendan began to make his Paddington bear from a remnant of fleece I had purchased for him. We worked a bit on Christmas day too and finished Paddington.

I helped with the pinning and Brendan did all of the cutting and sewing (both hand and machine sewing) except for the gusset and the foot pads which I sewed for him. He placed the safety eyes and nose,stuffed the bear well, and closed the stuffing holes with a ladder stitch.

Brendan is very proud of his bear and I am very proud of him!

I'll have more to post on this topic as I do plan to design my own Paddington and Brendan has plans for a coat, hat and even a suitcase for his bear.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A New Bear---well sort of!

I finally finished this fellow for a special collector in Wisconsin. He had seen Santa's Little Helper and Jingles at the show in Schaumburg, but they had already been adopted. I told him I could make something similar but not the same. There are two reasons for that. First, the other set was sold as one-of-a-kind. Second, the reason I described it as one of a kind, is that I knew I had purchased those fabrics some time ago and would not be able to find them again. So he's not really a new design, but he is a new bear! I hope Jeff likes him.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Five Random Things About Me---

I have been tagged!!! Thank you for tagging me goes to both Ellen Borggreve of
Ellen Borggreve Design and Kim Basta of Wild Thyme Originals. Thank you!!

So if I understand the game right, I am to list five random things about me and then to tag five other bloggers.

Here are my random facts:

1. I am listening to George Winston's December CD and I love it. I always think that musicians possess I kind of magic that I wish I had as well. This piano CD certainly is magical.

2. I have three brothers and no sisters. I do have four lovely sisters-in-law, though including Sean's brothers wife, and soon there will be five!

3. I have known my husband Sean for more than half of my life and I am still totally infatuated with him!

4. I am not 40 yet! (but will be soon!)

5. I do not like the taste of coffee--or even coffee flavored sweets, but I love the smell of it.

I am going to copy the rules of this game here and tag five more bloggers.
Please visit these lovely artists' blogs. I love to pop in on these folks!
Jennifer Stanfield
Laura Matthews
Daphne Blau
Christine Pike
Amy Thornton


Share 5 random facts about yourself on your blog
Link to your tagger (that's me!) in your "random fact" post
Include these rules in your post
Tag 5 people by including both their names and links to their blogs in your post
Let those you've tagged know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Monday, December 10, 2007

Snowball Fight!

There's nothing like quality time with the family during the holidays!
Non-Crappy Starring You! eCards on JibJab

Friday, December 7, 2007

A Christmas Gift for You!

I created this Teddy Bear Ornament pattern to make a special gift for a friend and to use with the 2nd Annual Teddy Talk Christmas Ornament Exchange. I made three of these and enjoyed it so much I thought it would be great to give a gift to ALL of my online Teddy Bear friends. So here is the pattern!It is quite simple, but the directions assume that you have some experience making Teddy Bears or stuffed animals. Merry Christmas, My Friends!

Getting into the Christmas Spirit

I am ususally one of those people that cannot wait for December 1 to arrive so I can start decorating my home for Christmas, but I got a bit of a late start this year. When I started moving the furniture to make room for the tree, I decided I needed to paint my living room before putting up the tree. I watch too many decorating shows on HGTV where a room is transformed from blah to beautiful in a day (and in just the span of an hour on the show!)What I needed to think about was the fact that there are always 5-8 people working on those transformations!
"This room will be easy to paint," I told my husband. "We'll paint the walls today together and I'll do the trim tomorrow." One thing I have learned, but which I somehow always need to be reminded of is that things ALWAYS take longer than you think they will.
It is finished now and the tree is up. I still have more decorating to do, but for now I have to get back to work on my bears!
Here are some decorating photos so far.
Our Tree--haven't located the angel yet!

Teddy Bears are always part of the decor. Figaro poses with two other cream colored bears in the soft glow of the tree lights.

Rebecca, a Hildegard Gunzel doll, and a Christmas present from my husband, helps to put up the decorations.

Back to bears, but more decorations to come!