Friday, March 30, 2012


We've been working on the decorations for our Easter tree. We were having so much fun that Clarissa decided she wanted to help so the three of us have been painting and glittering and having a really great time.

Last week we went to visit our aunties who live on a Christmas tree farm. While we were there our auntie Maggie gave us some little chicks she made. They are so cute. She gave Mom one too but we don't think she likes hers cause she keeps sticking pins and needles in it.

Mom has been sewing for the past few days and she made us each a new romper. We had her take a picture of us wearing our new outfits. Each of us has a heart shaped button that's our favorite color sewn on the front. Clarissa's is hot pink. Bellamine's is coral and Wendy's is purple. Wendy thinks her outfit makes her feet look big. Polar bears do have bigger feet cause it helps them walk on snow. At least that's what Mom told us.

She made us the new rompers to wear to the Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday. Mom says the ruffles on our shoulders are our angel wings cause we're her little angels.

Here we are decorating our little tree. It's the same one we've been decorating since Christmas. This time we decorated it with flutter buys and nasturtiums and tulips and Easter eggs.

We thought the little chicks would like sitting under the tree.

Bellamine and Clarissa putting the last of the ornaments on the tree. We really do like all of the pretty spring colors.

I'm going to go get Mom so she can get some pictures of us and our tree.

Our tree.


We sure do hope there are going to be lots of eggs at the egg hunt and we hope they're all chocolate. What are you going to do for Easter?  Are your going to hunt for eggs? Do you get to color Easter eggs? Does the Easter bunny come to your house? We're getting excited cause we heard there's going to be candy and we like candy. We hope we get Easter baskets.

Mom says we have to eat our breakfast before we can visit our friends who blog on Friday so as soon as we eat we're going to visit all of our bear friends and see what they've been doing.

Thanks for coming to see us.

Bellamine, Wendy & Clarissa

Monday, March 26, 2012


I hadn't planned on leaving the last post up for over a week but left unexpectedly last Monday so this post is a week late. I took a trip to visit my sisters. I hadn't planned on visiting them when I did or I would have been better prepared. I forgot my laptop and my camera which is a pity or I could have taken photos of the 6 to 8 inches of snow we got while I was there. The snow is lovely there because they are surrounded by pine trees. They live next door to each other on a Christmas tree farm and I can think of nothing lovelier than a pine tree covered in snow so hundreds of them covered in snow is really a sight.

Before I left I had completed two more bunnies and would like to introduce you to one of them, a little guy I named Herman Hare.

Herman is taking a carrot break and from the look on his face I'm thinking this is probably not the only carrot he's eaten. My son says Herman looks like he's ready for a nap.

The carrot is carved from wood and it is not the first one I carved for him. I ended up making three. No he didn't eat them, it seems that somehow I lost them. They're small and before being painted they didn't really show up very well when laid down or dropped on the floor. I actually lost the second one while I was holding it. Talk about butter fingers....
It has to be somewhere around my work area but I haven't found it yet and won't need it if it ever does show up.

I just had to show you his nub of a tail.

Yep, this fella needs a nap or maybe he's going to sneeze. I get that look when I'm on the verge of sneezing.

Saturday my sister and I went to the Pendleton outlet store and I bought some buttons. Then we went to Le Gudwil and I found a lovely tin to keep them in.

You see, I bought so many buttons they just won't fit in my button box. Here's what nearly two and a half pounds of buttons look like. Now imagine sorting them. Fun?? You betcha!!

I'm still working on the last bunny and will hopefully have him completed this week. I'm also experimenting with some paper mache eggs. It seems that although I could buy them ready made and eliminate a lot of the work I have to be obstinate and do it the hard way and make my own. What can I say? I'm stubborn.

I want to wish you a lovely day and as always, thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, March 17, 2012


The last of the decorations for St. Patrick's day have been added to the display on the buffet in the dining room. I couldn't resist these little lasses and if you'd seen what they looked like before I got my hands on them you would have thought I was crackers for wanting to lay out the whopping 25 cents apiece I paid for them.  They were hideous and in a marked down bin at one of my favorite stores. I could imagine how they would look after I had repainted them.

The complete display. Since green is the main color of my living room and dining room using green to decorate doesn't have the same impact as the colors I'd use for decorating at Easter or Halloween or any other holidays except for Christmas but then I use a lot more red.

March 17 or St. Patrick's day has been celebrated by the Irish as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. The people would feast on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.

My mother-in-law would make what she called, Irish Stew and this dish has become a favorite with my family and the meal I will be serving today. I don't think she would have minded me sharing the recipe with you.

Ruth's Irish Stew
1     corned beef brisket [5 1/2 pound]
2     large onions, quartered
12-15 small white [Irish] potatoes
2     heads cabbage, cored and cut into wedges
Rinse the beef brisket under cold water, and place in a large pot. I use my largest stock pot.
Add enough water to cover the roast by about 5-6 inches.
Peel and quarter the onions, and place them in the pot with the roast.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low so that the water is at a gentle boil, cover, and cook for 3-4 hours.
Remove the lid from pot and place the cabbage over the roast and onions and the potatoes on top of the cabbage. 
Cook on medium heat for another 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
Remove the beef from the kettle and slice.  Place the sliced beef on a platter and add the cabbage and potatoes.

For dessert we have some delicious cookies baked for us yesterday by my two kitchen helpers.

Enjoy your day~

~Happy St. Patrick's Day~

Friday, March 16, 2012


This might be a very long post because we had a very long afternoon yesterday and took lots of pictures.

We've been wanting to try our new cookie cutters for the longest time but Mom keeps saying the kitchen isn't a safe place for bears or it's too small for all of us to fit in at the same time and a whole bunch of other dumb excuses. We told her if she didn't help us bake cookies we were going to ask Mrs. Claus if she would help us. That's all it took to get Mom to agree to bake cookies with us. She'd hate to have Mrs. Claus think she couldn't manage to teach two very grown up and responsible bears such as we two to bake cookies. It's not like it's really hard to do or anything, right?

We got the recipe box out of the drawer and found the cards for the cookies we wanted to make.

We're going to be making gingerbread boys using Mrs. Claus' recipe and sugar cookies using Mom's recipe. Mom said we had to assemble the ingredients first. So While we read from the cards Mom started taking things from the pantry and cupboard.

After everything was out on the table and Mom was getting out the cookie sheets and bowls we double checked to see if we had everything we needed.

Dark molasses? 

Bellamine, I asked if we have dark molasses.

"Hey Mom, the gingerbread boys recipe says we need something called dark mole asses and I don't see any. Did you forget to get out the dark mole asses? What are dark mole asses anyway?"

"I know the recipe calls for dark molasses but I substitute honey and brown sugar, that's why I sat the honey out."

"Good, cause we don't like any mole asses in our cookies. Do we Wendy?"

"Bellamine, it's molasses not mole asses."

"That's what I said. Mole asses."

Here are our cookie cutters. We're going to use the little gingerbread boy cookie cutter not the big one. We just put the big one out so you could see the difference. The big one is the one Mom uses when she makes gingerbread boys at Christmas. The other cookie cutter we're going to be using is the shamrock. It's the one Mom got for us when we told her we wanted a shamrock cookie cutter and we forgot to tell her it we wanted a small one. Now we know to be more precise when we ask her for something.

The recipe for the gingerbread boys calls for 7 cups of flour and Mom says we're going to make a half batch cause we're making sugar cookies too.

We decided to make the sugar cookies first. We measured the ingredients with special cups and spoons. We wore our aprons to keep from getting flour and stuff all over ourselves. We hardly spilled any of the ingredients on the floor. The butter doesn't count cause it wasn't our fault. It was Mom who left it too close to the edge of the counter and the egg was just an accident and not Bellamine's fault.

"Eggs are hard to hold on to cause they're so smooth and round and really big and slippery. I should have let Mom do the egg. Next time I'm staying away from the eggs."

We decided to decorate the shamrocks two different ways for those who like frosting and some with green sugar sprinkle for those who don't like frosting. We got tired of making shamrocks and Mom said she'd finish the rest of them up tomorrow. We really wanted to get started on the gingerbread boys.

There we were again, measuring and then mixing.  The dough had to go in the fridge to chill so Mom said it was a good time to start cleaning up our mess and washing the cookie sheets and bowls. We told her we would let her do that part but she said it was all part of baking and we had to learn that part too. We told her she is always saying the kitchen is too small for all of us and she said we'd have to manage cause we were all going to do the clean up.

Bellamine didn't mean to drop the bowl, it was just an accident. 

"Bowls are hard to hold on to cause they're smooth and round and really big and slippery. Maybe next time Mom will wash and dry the bowl."

We worked on the gingerbread boys for a beary long time and then we got to share a plate full of cookies with glasses of nice cold milk while Mom cleaned up the kitchen. She said we'd done enough for one day. These are the best cookies we ever had and we made them all by ourselves with only a little help from Mom. We all ate more cookies while we watched our movie. Every bear said we really make good cookies and that maybe next time we bake we can maybe bake some honey muffins or cakes. Sounds like a good idea to us.

Now we're going to have a few of our cookies and some cocoa while we go see what our friends blogged about for Funny Friday.

If any of our friends want the recipes we used for the cookies just let us know and we'll have Mom send you the recipes. We're sure she won't mind.

Bellamine & Wendy

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I finished the second Irish lass, Penny's little sister Phoebe. Unlike Penny this little one is not a shelf sitter and is able to stand unassisted. She's made of muslin and is button jointed so she can be posed.

I decided to go with the 'Pumpkin' yarn for her hair which is thicker and longer than Penny's. 

Sampson and Katie decided to join the sisters for some play time. I think the colors in this photo are much truer than they were in the photos I showed on the last post. 

I'm hoping to be able to work on one of the paper mache bunnies this afternoon and I just might be able to start painting it tomorrow if I have time after I help Bellamine and Wendy bake some cookies. They have a new cookie cutter they want to try and they think baking cookies is a way of helping out around the house. I think cleaning the bath rooms would be a better way of helping but that suggestion got vetoed so I guess it's still my job.

Well, it's about time for me to get back to work. I've got a few messes to clean up so I can make a few more. I think I'm over the doll making bug and will be concentrating my efforts on getting those bunnies finished. It'll be Easter before long and I'll still be trying to get bunnies painted.

As always, thanks for stopping by.


Monday, March 12, 2012


I'm having one of those days. You know the kind. Everything goes wrong and what doesn't go wrong takes forever to do.

The last post I did was nearly a week ago but I haven't been sitting here twiddling my thumbs. I've been busy but seem to get nothing completed. That is until this morning and I finished up a little Irish lass and was getting her photo session done when my camera battery died. That wouldn't have been so bad if I'd remembered to charge the other battery for it but I must have had one of those senior moments because it never got charged and now I have to either use the camera I don't like or use my phone if I want any more pictures or I have to wait until I have a battery charged up.

Since I've got too many other things to tend to I didn't want to wait so I thought I'd go ahead and post what I had.

Okay, I booted up my computer and intended to work on my photos a bit and wouldn't you just know it?!? The computer shut itself down. I have no idea why. So, I rebooted my computer and did my photo editing and then got ready to do my post and blogger said, "No way lady, no signing in for you."

I've messed around for nearly a half an hour and finally I'm all set. I think. So, here's one of the things I've been working on.

Remember when I said I don't make dolls? What was it, about a week or two ago? Well, it seems I do make dolls. I even make patterns for dolls. I guess I really should have said I don't normally make dolls. I call this little lass,  Penny. She's a shelf sitter and is made of muslin with a painted face and boots. I've dressed her in three coordinating fabrics and she has the most darling little unders that I'd planned on showing but there was the battery dying and all. As you can see off to the right of Penny is the old wooden bowl with a few of the pitiful shamrocks and the leprechaun that were experiments that the results were less than stellar.

Penny's hair is 'Paprika' wool worsted weight yarn that I've unraveled.  If you thought I named her Penny because of the hair, that isn't the reason. I'd have called her Paprika which just might be the name of her sister that I'll be working on later today.

She got her name from being "penny weighted". I found I had nothing on hand to weight her fanny so I decided to be inventive. Penny has 20 cents tucked into her backside.

The next doll that I'll be working on will differ slightly from this one as she will not be shelf sitter. Her hair may be Paprika or I might decide to use Pumpkin, I haven't decided yet.

I'm hoping to get a paper mache bunny or two finished before too much longer and now that I've started making dolls maybe I'll do a bit more experimenting and refining and who knows, maybe I'll be a doll maker when I grow up.

I sure hope you're enjoying better weather than we're having where I live. It's so windy I'm expecting to see a polar bear go flying by.

As always, thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, March 6, 2012


One year ago I was visiting with my sisters and one morning Marlene sat down with me and helped me set up my blog. I needed a picture for my avatar so we used one from an e-mail I'd sent to show them my paper mache Santa figures. I wasn't even sure I wanted to blog because at the time I knew nothing about blogging. The only blogs I'd visited were by sisters' and then only when they called me and said they had just posted and I should go see what they'd just made. I told Marlene that I was sure no one would be interested in what I was making and I was certain the only followers would be her and Maggie. I was so wrong about everything back then and I'm here to tell you that it's been a fantastic first year. I've made so many wonderful new friends. Thank you all for being so supportive and caring. You make this old lady feel like a million bucks. Do people even say things like that? So in honor of this momentous occasion I'm going to share a few things about myself with you.

Little known facts or Maddy trivia: 

March is a month full of anniversaries for me. March 3rd was the anniversary of the day I was discharged from the US Air Force. Yes, I'm a veteran; bet you didn't know that.  I studied to be a missile systems analist at Chanute AFB but ended up being assigned to security police and law inforcement because no other female made it through the program and they couldn't have me sharing sleeping quarters with a male partner when we were sent out in the field. That's how it goes some times. You study to do one thing and end up doing something you've not been trained for. Can you imagine me being a cop?  

I would be celebrating a wedding anniversary on March 5th or March 19th if I'd stayed married. No, I wasn't married twice to the same man. On March 20th, 10 years and one day later I was divorced from hubby number one.

When I made the doll for this giveaway it triggered a time of experimentation with patterns and stitching. I worked on shamrocks and made a leprechaun and none of those experiments were worth writing home about. So much for my St. Paddy's Day decorations. Maybe in a weak moment I might show you the results of some of those experiments but not today. Instead I'm going to show you some of my favorite things.

This is my White Rotary sewing machine. It runs on foot power. No electric equals no light, so I have to have a lamp nearby. The user manual is in the top left drawer and the top right drawer has bobbin storage that I should have photographed. I have another treadle machine, it's a Singer and is quite lovely but it's sitting in a spot where, at the moment I can't get at it to open it up. I've had several treadle machines over the years but am down to just the two.

These are some of the things that I've been working on. I've had the Bunny Hop on the brain all week. I've finished about 20 bunnies in various poses and fabrics. The ones you see here are made from OOAK fabric that I painted 16 years ago. I made the fabric for some pillows and padded picture frames and never could figure what to do with the leftovers until now.

Here are some that I've made for a special friend.

I couldn't resist showing you what I use for a pin cushion. With all of the marvelous pin keeps out there you'd think I'd want to trade up. Well, I'm attached to this plain old thing. I made it when I was 18 years old and had just started a new job working in a tailor shop. It's stuffed with layers of wool worsted cut from mens' suiting fabrics used in the shop. Sitting on top is one of my thimbles. I use a tailor's thimble which has an open end. Unlike the thimbles that most of you use, this is meant to protect just the side of the finger not the end of it.

And now that you are all going, "Enough is enough already... when are you getting to the reason we're here?"  I'll stop running my mouth off, or in this instance typing and tell you who the winner of my lovely Miss Kanin is.

There were 32 entries in the giveaway so chances of winning were pretty darn good. Imagine if there had been hundreds or even thousands...yes, your chances of winning were very good. I know that in the past I've employed some very creative or at least amusing ways of picking the winner in my giveaways. You have to remember the blind folded knife throwing, right? Maybe some of you remember Ginger, my little red headed witch who stirred her caldron and conjured up the winner of another giveaway. Well, this time I'm doing something completely different. I numbered pieces of paper to correspond to the list below and put them in a bag and had my son reach in and pull one out. Simple but effective.

And the winner is.........(insert drum roll here).....

Number 5, Prudence from the Bear's Blog.

1.   Ria Vogel
2.   Katy Cameron
3.   Jan Conwell
4.   Izdiher
5.   Prudence - the Bear's Blog
6.   Lisa - LLA Creations
7.   Pam - Yoborobo
8.   Ascension
9.   Julie
10.  Laura - Cobblestone Creations
11.  Linda in New Mexico
12.  Erin Tame Designs
13.  ArtSings 1946
14.  Mina
15.  Ann
16.  Lois - Huckleberry Lady
17.  Crafty Stitchers
18.  Kay - Kay's Kids
19.  Lisa
20.  Jan Laughing Dog Arts
21.  Colleen - Colleen's Craft Shed
22.  Mona - Wsprsweetly Cottages
23.  Iris - Boo-Bah AKA Iris
24.  Lisa Stubbs
25.  Miyako - Orchid's Daily Voice
26.  Mary - Colony Mountain
27.  Raggedy Creations
28.  Pea
29.  Bird
30.  Christel Hutson
31.  Lavender Dreams
32.  Maggie - Off My Rocker

Congratulations Prudence. You asked if a bear could enter the giveaway, and not only can she enter, she can even win it. You should see how excited Bellamine was when she found out your entry was chosen.

Okay, now this is such a coincedence! If you look you'll see that this is also my 100th post and that must be celebrated too. 

I'm having my son reach in the bag and select another number for another winner.

The second winner is.....(you know the drill, insert drum roll)......

20.  Jan Laughing Dog Arts

I wish all of you could have won. I know everybody says that but I really do mean it.

Thanks again for making my first year of blogging such a wonderful time for me. Thank you for your encouragement and friendship and for being such a lovely bunch of people.

Prudence and Jan, please e-mail me your mailing addresses. I will be sending your prizes out within the next few days.

As always, thanks for stopping by.


Friday, March 2, 2012


Hi Friends,

It's just me, Bellamine. I'm writing this post all on my own cause Wendy and most of our hug have beary bad colds or maybe the bear flooze. Mom might be getting it now too, but not the bear kind. Maybe it's going to be my turn next. I hope not cause then who would take care of all of us? I hope they all get better soon cause they cough all night and keep us all awake.

Here's what they've been doing all week. Just laying in bed with the covers pulled up and the boxes of tissues close by. Mom got the wrong flavor of cough drops. She was supposed to get the Honey ones but got the ones called "Mountain Menthol" instead. She said she would get the other kind the next trip out to the market but now that she's getting sick too I guess there won't be another trip for awhile. I like the way the cough drops smell and I like the smell of the other stuff in the jar called "Vicks VapoRub". It's supposed to help you breath when you have a stuffed up nose and Wendy says it feels good when Mom rubs it on her neck.

.......and this is what I've been doing. I've been reading, "the Great Book of Amber" also called, "The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10". There are 1258 pages in this book and it is really heavy. We're almost to the exact middle of the book. That's a lot of reading for one bear if you want to know what I think. Sometimes I have trouble with the really hard words and I have to spell them and then Wendy or Booker will tell me what it is. I'm getting better at reading out loud after reading 618 pages all by my self. Have any of you read the Amber Chronicles? I think Mom said our aunt Maggie gave us this book a long time ago.

Mom said that out in the hallway with the door to our room closed, it sounds like a bunch of yipping pups in here with every bear coughing. Speaking of pups, Vinnie didn't get sick either. 

Until every last one of them has stopped coughing and sneezing and there are no more temperatures and runny noses, I'll be sleeping at the other end of the bed or in with one of the dolls. I don't want to get sick. I don't care if I can have all of the tea and honey I want. I don't care about the special muffins or the broth and all of the juice I can drink. I don't want to get this cold!! I don't want bear flooze  flu. Mom just corrected me. She's up now  and came in to check on us. It's really early and still dark out but no one can sleep with all of this coughing noise. "Hey Rudy, cover your mouth when you cough!!!!"

When everyone has gone back to sleep I'm going to go get myself a cup of hot chocolate and then I'm going blog hopping to see what our friends are up to.

Until next Friday, this is Bellamine saying have a great weekend.

Hugs from the North Pole Bear Clan
(If you're not afraid of catching something)

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I'm doing something different today. At least it's different from my normal posts. I have no photos to show you since I'm going to be sending you over to my sister Maggie's blog so you can see what a Psaltery looks like.

She's been making shelf sitter dolls for a challenge for an art doll magazine and has posted two of them on her blog. I have to tell you that she's one of the reasons I don't bother making dolls.  Anything I would make would never compare to what she comes up with.

I've talked to her on the phone several times since she started working on these shelf sitters and waited patiently for her to finish them and take some photos. was certainly worth the wait. I know that once you've seen these two dolls you'll love them as much as I do.

Maggie has told me that there are some people who have commented on her blog and called her Maddy.  Although I wouldn't mind taking credit for her work, she is a whole different person and is not one of my alter egos. We look nothing alike since she's younger and much better looking. She's also a sharper dresser.

To see Maggie's newest creations go to Off My Rocker and I'm positive you'll be glad you did. Just remember that if you are going to leave a comment it is: Maggie not Maddy who makes the beautiful shelf sitter dolls. Once again, Maggie is the doll maker. She's not me. I don't make dolls, or if I do make them they don't turn out like hers do.

I'm still trying to get some paper mache pieces to dry so I can get them painted. I'm also trying to come up with some designs for some tucks or bowl fillers but it's been slow going and I'm going through a lot of fabric with not a lot to show for my efforts.

As always, thanks for stopping by.