Saturday, August 27, 2011

More Adventures of Donovan and Baby Bear

One day Grandma, Donovan and Baby Bear decided to take a walk. Since it was going to be a long walk they took the stroller.
“Make sure to hold on to Baby Bear so that he doesn’t fall out of the stroller and get hurt.” Grandmas told Donovan. Donovan said he would hold tight and wouldn’t let Baby Bear fall.
As they walked along they saw some big black birds that said, “Caw…caw…caw.” Donovan tried talking to the birds by saying, “Caw…caw…caw.”

Then they saw a big unfriendly looking dog and Donovan was a little tiny bit frightened but he didn’t want Baby Bear to be frightened so he held him close and told him the doggy wouldn’t hurt him.  This made Baby Bear feel better and he wasn’t afraid.

Grandma asked Donovan if he would like to go to the ice cream place and get a cone. Donovan said he and Baby Bear would like some ice cream so that’s what they decided to do.
While Donovan was waiting for Grandma to get their cones he showed the other people in line how Baby Bear could dance. Everyone said that Baby Bear was a very good dancer.

They went outside of the shop to the little court yard and sat on the benches under the trees to eat their ice cream. Donovan shared his with Baby Bear.  While they licked their cones butterflies flew over the flowers that surrounded the bench where they sat. Donovan and Baby Bear liked the ‘Flutter byes.’ Soon they were finished with their treat. Baby Bear managed to get melted ice cream all over his face and down the front of himself and so did Donovan. Good thing Grandma had plenty of wet napkins.

As you can see from these four drawings, my skill with colored pencil has diminished considerably. Blame it on the bad hand and the failing eye sight. I didn't even notice that I'd failed to color Grandma's shoes until after I'd taken the pictures.

I found a couple of photos showing the real Donovan and Baby Bear and thought that I would share them with you.

The first one is a copy of the actual photo that was taken the day we went for Donovan's 18 month portrait and Donovan found Baby Bear.

Sorry for the sparkly finish. The photo paper has a sheen that makes copying difficult.

This portrait was taken exactly three years after the one above. Donovan insisted Baby Bear had to have his picture taken too as it was his birthday. We used to have birthday parties for Baby Bear as he really did become a part of our family.

I mentioned in the previous post that this story was based on the relationship of my grandson and his teddy bear but I failed to explain that everything that I've related in this little tale is true. I also should tell you that although many years have passed, Donovan and Baby Bear are still together.  I haven't seen Baby Bear in years but the last time I did see him you could tell he was getting up there in years.

I'm not sure I want to complete coloring any more of the drawings as the paper they are sketched on isn't very good quality to begin with and if I were to spend any more time doing this I'd want to start from the beginning and redo all of the illustrations on higher quality paper with either water color of acrylic paints. I thought there were 11 original sketches but have found two more that aren't completely drawn. I may or may not post the rest of the story but haven't decided when or how I'll go about it. 

At this time I'd like to tell all of you out there on the east coast who are in the path of hurricane Irene that my thoughts and prayers are with you. Please be safe and let us hear from you.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Adventures of Donovan and Baby Bear

The day that Donovan first met Baby Bear was the day that he and Grandma had gone to have his picture taken. They had just left the photographer’s and had decided to visit the toy department. As they were walking through the aisles of shelf after shelf of toys, Donovan saw him. He was sitting on a shelf with other stuffed animals and toys, but all Donovan noticed was the little bear.

“Look Grandma, look at the baby bear,” said Donovan. “I want him to come home with me.” Donovan ran over to where the little bear was sitting and took him off of the shelf and started hugging him. He was hugging him so tightly that Grandma had a hard time finding the price tag to give to the sales lady so they could pay for him. This is how Donovan discovered Baby Bear.

When he got back to Grandpa and Grandma’s house, Donovan could hardly wait to show Grandpa and his great grandma, whom he called Gee Gee his new friend. They both thought Baby Bear was a very nice bear and they were glad to have him come live with them.

Donovan and Baby Bear did everything together. They ate together…they played together…they watched television together with Donovan explaining the parts that Baby bear didn’t understand. They spent every moment of every day together. At night when they went to bed Donovan would hold onto Baby Bear and slip his finger through Baby Bear’s tag. The tag formed a loop and Donovan told Grandma that the tag was a finger house.

Donovan and Baby Bear made up games to play. One day they were playing in the kitchen and Donovan decided to press his face against the glass of the French door and make his face look funny and flat to make Baby Bear laugh. Uncle Ken was there that day and he was laughing along with Baby Bear. Uncle Ken told Donovan that they should let Baby Bear press his face against the glass to make them laugh. So Baby Bear pressed his face against the glass but when he did his face went blank. He was so soft and furry his face seemed to disappear.

This is the beginning of a book that I wrote and illustrated some 20 plus years ago. It’s based on the relationship between my grandson and his teddy bear. I finished the story and drew eleven drawings but never finished the illustrations as other things were always getting in the way. I thought it would be fun to share this first bit of the story and because these are the only drawings that got colored it’s as far as I can go at this time. The paper is old and yellowing and the drawings are done in colored pencil so I must apologise for the quality of the photos. I tried scanning them first but the scanned pictures were even poorer and the colors were so different that they didn't even look like the same drawings.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the beginnings of my great novel. Grinning here.
As always, thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


It was almost like winning the lottery. The postal carrier came to the door yesterday to deliver the prize I'd won on one of my favorite blog sites and to say that I was excited is an understatement. Who would have thought that someone my age could turn cartwheels? Not that I actually turned any but I wanted to. Every since I found out my entry had been picked by her lovely daughters, thanks girls I owe you one, I've been over the top in the excitement department.

Heather from Rose Hill Designs has one of the happiest most cheerful sites to visit. Her illustrations are so upbeat and unbelievably adorable. She has a mouse named Madeline, a name I've always been fond of, who is the most charming mouse I've ever seen. If you haven't been to Heather's site you are missing out on a real treat.

Because I'm so excited about my prize I'm going to show you now what was in that package.

First thing I found when opening the package is this lovely book bag. It's painted with one of the cutest ballerina frogs that I've ever seen.  Heather filled this bag with some of the dearest little treasures.

She didn't skimp on them either. There are three or four of each piece of art work and I'm planning on sharing these little gems with my two sisters. They're both big fans of Heather's work so they're going to love what I'm sending their way.

The prize was supposed to be this wonderful art book where Heather has a double page layout of her work and a $25.00 gift card from Barnes and Noble. Now you see what a generous person Heather is.

Here are Heather's pages in the book. The title of the book is "100 ILLUSTRATIONS 2011 ANNUAL" and it can be purchased at Barnes and Noble. It's a wonderful book and I've enjoyed going through it and plan on spending even more time looking at all of the amazing works inside.

Thanks again Heather. I love my prize.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I hadn't done anything you could call artistic in a very long time. I crocheted a throw for my daughter for her birthday but nothing else. I just hadn't felt inspired for a long time to do anything artistic. Then something marvelous happened.

My sister discovered a site where there was a recipe for paper mache clay and began to sculpt with it. She sent me an e-mail towards the end of December last year and I was so impressed with the two Santa figures she had sculpted that I had to take the trip down to see them in person. The rest is history. I caught the PMC fever and proceeded to sculpt over 40 figures of which 32 are Santa or other Christmas figures.

I was having a great time of it at first but a couple of months ago I started having problems with my right hand. Being right handed it wasn't a welcome condition and made it hard to sculpt. I kept trying to sculpt anyway but the hand just got worse. I decided to give it a rest to see if it would get better but that didn't do any good. So being me I became depressed.

Now you'd think that since I hadn't done anything artistic in so many years I shouldn't be getting depressed because I couldn't sculpt now. The best I can explain it is I have a tendency to obsess and I become compelled to do things or I'm totally uncomfortable and feel anxious and loose my sense of well being.  I had to find something to distract me, sure there are other things I can do that are just as rewarding, right?

I began trying to find other mediums to work with hoping to find something that is kinder to the hands giving them a change of pace so they might heal. I decided to do something soft so I designed and made and dressed two little teddy bears and although they were somewhat easier on the hands it still wasn't easy.  Then I decided to try painting again. Sure I've painted the PMC figures but that's a lot different than painting on canvas.

So far I have completed three pieces. I showed the silly little haunted house painting with the Jack-o-lantern moon my last post and now I'm going to show you the one I did today of my grandson AJ when he was little. He's 21 now so this was awhile ago.

The picture I painted this from says to gramma Maddy on the back in AJ's handwriting. It was a school photo. He's wearing a tie dyed shirt so I decided to give the background a mottled appearance instead of a solid one like in the school photo. I put a lot of yellow in it because to me yellow is a happy color and the photo always makes me smile. If you think I exaggerated the eyes, think again. That little kid had the biggest bluest eyes I've ever seen. 

I used oils for all the portraits I painted in my early years but now I'm going to see how I do with acrylics since I have so many of them. It's a whole different process and I've found it's harder to blend and shade and the paint sets too quickly for my tastes but I'm going to keep at it until I feel like I've mastered it.

Hope you're having a great week and as always, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Since my last post I have completed two paintings.  One painting is for an event in September and I can't show you it yet and then there's this silly little piece I'm going to show you now.

                                    8" x 10" acrylic on canvas board

I'm thinking of taking this image and printing it out on card stock to send out at Halloween.
I actually have a haunted house that very much resembles this one.

Now you've seen my first painting that I've posted. Some day I'll do something serious but for now I'm just going to be silly. The other painting went rather well until I went shopping for a frame for it. It seems that although it's a standard size canvas Michael's only carries one frame of that size in the store. Does that make sense to anyone? If it's a standard size, which the sales woman assured me it was, why carry only one frame in that size? She suggested I try the frame shop in the mall. I h-a-t-e shopping at the mall.

Hope you weren't too disappointed in this post. I'll try to do better next time, I promise.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Friday, August 12, 2011


It wasn't until I was working on my second bear the name of the first bear came to me. The new bear's name was just there and it linked to another name which is perfect for the little boy bear. They are brother and sister and the name Bartholomew has always been a favorite of mine.

Bellamine is only 11" tall when standing while her brother Bartholomew is 13".  There are some similarities between the two as they're made from the same materials and both have the shoulder hump. Bartholomew is tall and slender with long hind legs that have a knee, and his fore legs are curved as well.  Bellamine is plumper with chubby arms and legs and is somewhat pigeon toed when standing.

I spent most of the day yesterday making outfits for them only to be told by a little girl bear that I know that bears don't wear clothes. Well I'm here to say that some bears do wear clothes and they wear them very well.

Following are photos of my two newest bear kids. While the rest of my little ones are adopted I gave life to these two.

Bellamine loves holding Katie Kottontail and Samson. Bartholomew has discover he can hear the ocean if he puts this shell to his ear.

See, how sweet she looks in her new sundress? I couldn't resist this little one if I tried.

Bellamine's muzzle is longer than her brother's and her shoulder hump may look more pronounced. Notice how her arms are straighter and quite chubby.

I'm including this photo to show off Bartholomew's new romper. I think he looks quite handsome.

These last two photos show how Bartholomew has a slender build with thinner and longer limbs. I like the curved legs and think they suit him.

Thank you Miss Joyce for sending Katie to live with us. I think she's the sweetest little bunny and I love her.

Peanut butter kisses and honey hugs,

The things I had trouble with while making Bartholomew I managed to do differently with Bellamine which made making her easier and faster. I think that if I were to continue making bears I'd finally get it all figured out. Unfortunately making bears or sewing in general isn't that much easier on the hand, so I've cleaned up my mess and put the sewing machine back on the shelf for the time being.

I purchased a stack of canvases when a local arts and crafts store closed recently so maybe my next foray will be something else I haven't done in a long time, painting on a canvas as apposed to PMC.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


For the past several months I've been having problems with my right hand. I mentioned it awhile back on one of my posts so those of you who visit regularly know I have a bit of a problem. I won't bore you with the details but will admit it's been a struggle to work on my paper mache pieces.

I need to be making something or I feel like there's something wrong with the world so I've been trying to come up with something that's less difficult for me to handle at this time.  Something that doesn't require me to spend hours using files and sandpaper. I've thought about making dolls out of cloth but my sewing machine which is about 40 years old has been less than reliable in resent times so that idea was shelved.

A couple of days ago I played around with the machine and got it to where it isn't clunking and gobbling thread and breaking needles. I don't know if it's really fixed but I went ahead with an idea I had.

As some of you may know, I have a thing for teddy bears. I like dogs, kittens and rabbits too but teddy bears are the critters that I love the most. I follow several bear blogs and am so amazed at the talent that is displayed. I fall in love with a new bear on an average of at least one a day.

So...I sat down the day before yesterday and worked out 3 patterns for bears. Now you need to understand that although I've been sewing for most of my life and have made several dolls and animals in the past, I've never made a pattern for a bear and don't remember ever making one out of fur. I made a few many years ago out of calico.

Yesterday morning I cut out my first bear. I had fuzz everywhere. I never thought that I'd find another art form that's as messy as paper mache clay, but alas this too makes a huge mess.

I thought I had everything on hand that I would need to make a bear. Everything that is except for something to join the front and hind legs to the body and eyes. Off to the craft store and home again and then I was all set. I sewed like a little old lady behind the steering wheel of a car she can't see over. Slow. That's not my usual speed but what could I do? I had no real idea of what I was doing. So...I plodded along and by dinner time yesterday evening I had a bear of sorts. He still didn't have a nose and I wasn't sure what to do with the fur on his snout. I'd had enough for one day, so the bear and I watched a movie together while I thought about how I was going to finish his face.

Early this morning I sat back to work and this is what I ended up with.

I haven't named him yet. I'm open for suggestions. I used some suede cloth that I had left over from another  project that I worked on years ago for his foot and paw pads and the inside of ears.

I have no idea of how you bear makers get rid of unwanted fur on the snout. I used scissors and spent a great deal of time trying to get it to look right. It wasn't easy so if there's a better way I'm all ears. I stitched his nose with embroidery floss and then painted it. I may try waxing it but am not sure.

I may make the snout on my next bear a bit longer. I attempted to give him the shoulder hump but am not sure it looks right. I also think I may have made his ears a trifle bit larger than they need to be.

He isn't a total disaster and I'm thinking he turned out alright for a first try but there are things I'll do differently if I make another. I guess it's like everything else, you have to figure out what you're doing by doing and you learn from your mistakes. I also discovered that although making this little fellow was easier on the hand for the most part, hand stitching wasn't all that much fun.

I'm going to vacuum fuzz up for the rest of the day, but who knows, I might take another stab at bear making. I did make two more patterns that I haven't tried yet.

I hoped you weren't dissappointed that this wasn't another ghoul or a new Santa.

As always, thanks for stopping by

Sunday, August 7, 2011


You may have guessed from what I said in the post featuring Wisteria that I was making another ghoul. I'm not good at keeping secrets and I let things slip without meaning to.  Wisteria has a BF named Beatrice, who prefers to be called Batty. The two of them are pretty much inseparable and have been for nearly all of their lives.

I know some people believe ghouls are hideous and off putting, but not all of them are. Just like not all ghouls are meat eaters. Wisteria and Beatrice are vegetarians preferring to eat rotted vegetables. They don't have a lot in common with other ghouls so they stay clear of them and go about doing what they both love to do most. They shop. 

Because they can't go out and about during daylight hours and venturing out in public can cause a panic, they shop at night. They can frequently be found looking for bargains at the city dump. It is their preferred place for one stop shopping for clothing, household furnishings, for food and just about anything they could need or want.

Here's Beatrice wearing an ensemble that she put together during a recent shopping excursion.

She's wearing a long dark cherry red gown topped with a midnight blue jacket. She was unable to find a matching pair of gloves but is satisfied with the way these two gloves go together. The hat looks like it was made for this outfit and the clutch bag is in near perfect condition.

Like Wisteria, Beatrice's face has been painted with a beautiful pattern. It really was their lucky day when they found that box of paints.

The reason she chose this jacket was the pattern on the back and the sparkly trim around the bottom edge. Batty has always liked shiny things.

Here's a closer look at the jacket. The pattern looks a whole lot like the ones the two friends painted on each other's face.

Batty likes the way the jacket is cut shorter in the front and tapers down in a long sweeping curve in the back.

Now if only I could find that mirror so they could see how lovely they both look. I hope you've enjoyed seeing the latest figure in my all things magickal series. 

Beatrice is just under 12" tall and approximately 4" wide and like the other figures in this series is available for sale in my Magick Shop.

As always thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I'm sure that you're familiar with the concept that all babies are cute. I never agreed with that statement completely as even baby snakes and baby spiders creep me out.

There is a saying that a baby might have a face that only a mother could love. There may be truth in that one as I've seen some pretty homely babies. They may be beautiful in the eyes of their mother but to the rest of the world it's not so obvious.

I'm going to show you my latest creation and at first I thought she or he would be terribly ugly but then I started getting a warm and fuzzy feeling when looking at this sweet little creature. I'm going to let you be the judge as to whether this is a face only a mother can love.

This is Jocko, a baby troll who has come to live with us. This little one is cutting teeth and is not even a little bit happy. I've tried to stop the crying by letting Jocko play with some of the stuffed animals, but nothing seems to be working.

Minerva tried getting him or her to stop the crying by singing to him or her but had to get Winnie the goose to safety when Jocko tried to chew on her.

It looks like Jocko may be getting interested in the animals. I'm not sure if this is something I want to watch.

It would appear that for the moment at least, the animals, all except for that poor buzzard that Jocko has a strangle hold on are safe.

Now that you've seen Jocko from head to toe I'm going to leave it up to you. Does this little one have a face only a mother could love?

I hope you've enjoyed meeting my newest addition in my all things magickal collection.

As always thanks for stopping by.