Monday, December 31, 2007

I've been scolded!

My darling daughter called me this scold me for not updating my blog!!!!! My daughter!!! Who knew?!! I'm a naughty blogger, I know. It's not like I haven't wanted to sit down and chat. I have! I've just been so busy putting away Christmas and editing and re-editing my home to put it on the market for sale. I'll be so glad to have it all done with so life can get back to quasi-normal.

I don't even think in terms of a normal life anymore. What is that anyway? Maybe being so crazy busy IS normal. Or, is it the NEW normal? Whatever it is, it just is, isn't it?!

Happy, Happy New Year!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Snow in Portland, Oregon? Yup.

Snowfall on Christmas Day in Portland, Oregon is a rare sight indeed. It's only happened five times in 67 years!! This is one of those rare times!! We had just finished our Christmas breakfast with the kids and had begun to open presents when Bill looked up to see snowflakes falling outside. What began as flurries, and the excitement of snowflakes on Christmas, quickly turned to disappointed faces when we realized that the kids would have to leave to go back home so they wouldn't be trapped up here in the hills. The news said to expect 3-6 inches. So, pack up they did, off they went, and I started talking down the holiday decorations.

By late afternoon the snow had turned to rain (Yay!) and the streets started to clear so I called the kids and asked if they wanted to drive back over for Christmas dinner. Each of them live about a 25 minute drive away. They drove back and we had a lovely dinner!!!

Today we are under a heavy snow warning. We already have an inch!! Which, I do realize, sounds rather scant to those of you getting several feet of it. We're just not used to it. It's been 17 years since it's snowed around here at Christmas!!! It looks like it may be shaping up to be one of those rare snow years. It really is beautiful.....after growing up in Alaska though, I'd really rather have the rain. Besides that, the snow just looks weird on my palm trees!!! Ha!

Warmest snow covered bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry, Merry Christmas!

All is calm, all is bright. I love this photograph of the holiday decorations this year. I took it as the sun was setting so you can see the amazing deep blue sky through the windows. This picture makes me feel peaceful, and that in this one moment, all is right with the world. May you feel the spirit of Christmas in your heart every day of the new year!

Warmest merry, merry bear hugs, Aleta

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Time with Family

As you may have guessed, I'm spending time with my family. I hope that all of you in blogland are enjoying your holiday and are blessed to spend time with family too!

Warmest silver tinsel covered bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pink Wednesday and Parents!

Deep breath. The parents are coming, the parents are coming!!! Not just my mom this time, but my dad too. Mom just called two hours ago to ask if it was alright. You see, dad has never stayed with us because we have cats and he doesn't like cats. I think mom has convinced him that since they are indoor cats they don't have cooties like outdoor cats. They don't eat mice or birds and they don't bring in outdoor allergens. Okay then. Another deep breath and I'm off with the lint brush to defuzz every inch of my home!!

Would you, could you, please say a little prayer for me? Deep breath. Deep breath. Any more deep breaths and I'll probably pass out! Ha!

Warmest Pink Wednesday bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, December 17, 2007


This year I've intentionally kept the holiday decorating to a minimum. It's not the big "TA-DA!" that it usually is, with decorations in every room, but it is cheerful and merry. Simplification is key this year due to the fact that we'll be putting our home on the market January 1st. I don't have the luxury of a week to put everything away. In reality I only have a week to put everything away and get the house "show ready"!

To that end, I spent Friday and Sunday painting the laundryroom. Not a small task by any stretch of the imagination. There's not a lot of wall space to paint....just lots of painting around doors and cabinets and soffits. Lots of brush work! It's done now and I'm happily on to another project.....wrapping gifts and finishing up my Christmas cards!

I'll leave you today with a few pictures of my simplified holiday decorations. I made the wreath last year. It's a biggie! It's 36 inches across and has just over 200 ornaments on it. Now that was a fun project!! A mix of antique, vintage and new ornaments.....and a ceramic figurine from Bill's holidays as a child.

Ho, ho, ho and merry, merry warm bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. A little furry decided to pop his head up in the last photo! Bottom right. Ha!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Miss Manny gets an apron!!

I've been looking and looking for an apron for Miss Manny. The poor dear has been standing nekked in the entry way for weeks. Rather robust in stature, a skimpy little number just wouldn't do!! We wouldn't want arriving guests to whisper, now would we? Never mind that the only other thing she's wearing is a glass ornament around her neck. Ha!

Warmest Friday bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Pink Wednesday Fairy!

Happy Pink Wednesday!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, December 10, 2007

Baby shoes? Who knew?

Who knew inspiration could come from baby shoes? I've been collecting baby shoes since I've been designing bears. It's only been in the past year I've started collecting baby shoes with stuff in 'em. It started with the glittery one with the bird. Then came the one with the Christmas greens and baubles. My latest one came from Martha Kohley. It has a snip of fur from her mothers coat and an antique ornament tucked gently into the top of the shoe. It's also tied up with rayon ribbon and has a jingle bell.

So what does all this have to to with anything? Well, I've been wracking my brain for an idea that would encompass all the creative projects I've been working on. Bears, soldering, and altered art. The idea hit me when I was looking those lovely baby shoes! Combine the whole she-bang in a baby shoe!! So that's what I did.

I revived one of my oooooold teddy bear designs....because it was little....and because of the simple head design. The pattern must be at least five years old because, if you'll notice, none of the finished bears in the picture to the right are airbrushed! Oh my, my how my bears have changed!! Anyhoo, with a little inspiration taken from each shoe and my old bear pattern, this is what I came up with! A sweet little angel bear tucked gently in a glass glittered shoe with crepe paper ruffle 'round the top and all laced up with ribbon and one of my soldered charms! :o)

Oh, and I have to share too about the little crown. That came by way of Sandra Evertson's blog. She did a little tutorial on making crowns for little dolls. Wire, glue and glitter. Love it!!! A special thank you and warm bear hug for Sandra for sharing such a darling and simple idea. :o)

So you see, one thing leads to another. It's the AHA! moment. Inspiration and ideas come from everywhere. The delight comes in putting it all together!!

Warmest glittery bear hugs, Aleta

Friday, December 7, 2007

5 Random Things!

I was tagged by Danita (Oh Danita, you shouldn't have!) to list 5 random things about myself. Hmmm. Thinking. Thinking.....Oh I know one!

1. The only meals I cook are Thanksgiving and Christmas. How's that for random? Ha!

2. I was a redhead for two years. I thought people would take me more seriously as a redhead than a blonde. It didn't work. I'm thinking it had nothing to do with my hair color. Ha!

3. I eat peanut butter toast for breakfast and cereal for lunch.

4. I don't like glass shower doors. They're a pain to keep clean and clear. Give me a shower curtain you can throw into the washing machine any day!!

5. If I had the time, I would change the sheets and bedding on the bed every day. To crawl into a freshly laundered bed every night would be heavenly. It's one of the most wonderfully relaxing things I can think of especially if the sheets are rinsed in lavendar. (sigh)

Okay, now I guess I have to tag a few of you out there. I think I will tag all of you Oregon gals. You know who you are. Pony up to your blog ladies and list those random facts!

Warmest random bear hugs, Aleta

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Merry Merry Holiday Gallery!

Hamish, Princess Sugartoes, Aerianna Pinkertoes, Dear Posy and Shivers! Only five made the gallery opening. The rest will be finished and posted next week!

Warmest holiday bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Pink Wednesday Tea Party!

My goodness! These Pink Wednesday's come around faster and faster each week!! Today it's a Pink Tea Party. Pink ice cream, pink petal cake and rose tea. De-lish!! It's actually a tea party set up for my bears in the studio. They play tea party all day and I work, work, work. How did I get it so backwards?! Hee!

The boys are here today to demolition the tile surround in the master bath. The 80's dusty rose and seafoam green will finally be gone. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!!!! All the rest of the baseboard will be finished today as well. Another step closer to putting the house on the market and moving into my dreamhome!!

As for me? I'll be madly stitching noses and inserting eyes so I can get to the airbrush later this afternoon. Seven little noses and seven sets of eyes. Can I do it? I'm going to try!!! I'm supposed to list them tomorrow!! Need more coffee.........

Warmest Pink Wednesday bear hugs, Aleta

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A bit of fun and folly!

If it doesn't move, I decorate it!! Even the cats have become accutely aware of this fact. Ha! One of my favorite things to decorate is my collection of mannequins. This one is a particular favorite this year. I found the dress at the last Antique Expo here in Portland. White satin with silver sequins, maribou and a tulle skirt......SWEET! I gave it extra fullness with another tulle underskirt, added those darling silver sparkly pipe cleaner and glass bead snowflakes and topped it off with a necklace of glass beads and bells. Jingle, comes Miss Kringle!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Saturday, December 1, 2007

It's a red and white year!

This is the only time of year when I bring LOADS of color into my house. I love it for about six weeks and then I'm done. It's as if those six weeks fill me up enough to last through the rest of the year. It's vibrant and full of energy for a time and then I retreat back into pale muted shades.

This year I'm adding more white to the mix and absolutely loving it!! Take for example, the Santa pictured. Isn't he just the coolest folk art Santa?!! Danita Art. There's a link over there to the left. I know, I know. Learn how to insert the link in the text. I'll add it to the list. ;o) Anyway, she has another Santa up for auction on eBay which I adore. However, I really shouldn't be a Santa piggie. Oh, but it's a really fabulous santa and a bit different than this one........ Ha!

Have a truly fabulous weekend my dear blog friends!!

Warmest red and white sparkly bear hugs, Aleta

Thursday, November 29, 2007

One done! A bunch to finish!

So you see, I have been in the studio all week!! What a smorgasbord of bears, huh? It kind of tells you where my brain is....rather scattered these days. There are traditional bears (not pictured), Truly Silly bears, and two new prototype bears. I know, I know! Why on earth am I designing new bears?

Well, I suppose there are lots of reasons. The biggest reason is that I'm not content to rest. Design is my passion! Be it art, gardening or interior design. Staying in one place has never been my thing. Speaking of which, I've been sitting in this office chair much too long today already. There are bears to finish!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Merry Merry Pink Wednesday!

A sweet little feather tree dressed in all shades of pink baubles and candy canes greets guests in the (what else?) pink guestroom this year. Ha! Don't you just love the simplicity of feather trees?! Each ornament has its own glory when displayed on a feather tree. I love that!

This little tree is soooo unlike the family tree in the livingroom. That one is just dripping with glass figural ornaments. Well, okay, not exactly dripping.....a wee exageration.....and kind of a weird one at that.....but there are lots! When I first started collecting glass ornaments years ago, we would hit the after Christmas sales and load up on ornaments to fill out the tree faster. Now, however, I'm very selective. 1. Because the tree is pretty full now and 2. the ornament has to have significance for that particular year.

For example: Last year I bought a lovely white frosted glass wedding cake as a reminder of my daughters wedding. Oh, and I can't forget the asparagus ornament! Bill and I discovered our love of steamed asparagus last year too! Okay, so that one is kind of offbeat. It is us! Asparagus. Imagine that! ;o)

Warmest bear hugs on this sunny Pink Wednesday! Aleta

Monday, November 26, 2007

Getting back into the Monday groove.

Whew! What a whirlwind weekend! It was down to the wire but we did enjoy a lovely turkey dinner. It was probably one of the best ever I might add! It's amazing what you can do when you're put to the test. So I had to prepare the stuffing and the turkey in the laundry room while Bill put the sink in the kitchen, it's all good. Bill got the cooktop in and working as I was peeling the potatoes. Twenty minutes before dinner was served, I once again, had a full working kitchen. Yahoozer doozer!!

Friday was spent cleaning and cleaning and cleaning some more. Granite dust and sawdust was everywhere. I will never, and I mean never,
have granite installed in my house ever again. Okay, maybe that's a little harsh. I did afterall, have three bathrooms, a laundryroom and a kitchen done. I don't know why I didn't think it would make that big of a mess. Hand me the idiot stick!

The rest of the weekend was fun and fabulous! Bill's sister was here with her friend and when we all get together we laugh and laugh and laugh hysterically.....over the silliest things! Her visits are always so good for the soul. Here we all are pictured at Multnomah Falls. Dave, Kim, me and Bill. My sweet girlie, Brittany, came along too. (She's the one taking the picture!)

How crazy are we to drive up to the falls when it's only 43 degrees outside? Brrrr! They had all the trails closed because of ice so we were only able to view the falls from the base. It was still a lovely trip even if we all did have Rudolph's red nose by the time we got back to the car! Now that would have been a funny picture!! Ha!

All in all, what started as a wild and wooly week, ended on a high note. I am so blessed to have children and in-laws I thoroughly delight in. Life is truly grand!!

Now it's back to work for me! I'll actually be in the studio all week finishing up bears and other projects. Yay!!

Warmest Monday bear hugs, Aleta

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

At this moment the sky is blue and the sun is shining! I'm sitting here counting my blessings and being ever thankful for my family, friends and health. What I'm trying not to do is to focus on the fact that I do not have a working sink or stovetop and that Bill is still sleeping. I'm thankful for my kitties. The granite guys, being true to their word, were here till almost midnight. 11:26pm to be exact. I'm thankful I have a home. The turkey has to be in the oven at 10am. I'm thankful that Bill is healthy and has a career that pays him well for his talent. Now if only he would put is talent to work, get out of bed, and get my sink hooked up! I'm thankful that my daughter, Brittany, will be bringing green bean casserole for dinner. It may be the only thing we have to eat besides tea rolls. I'm thankful that we have food to eat. Oh but wait! We have leftover pizza too! Green bean casserole, tea rolls and pizza!! It may end up that we don't have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but, we'll all be together and that is indeed something to be thankful for.

Warmest Thanksgiving bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. Oh goodness! I almost forgot! Make sure you blog on over to Q.D.Patooties (over there under bear artist blogs) to view the 1st Annual Thanksgiving Softie Parade. Yours truly designed her first official softie!! :o)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thankful for Pink Wednesday!

This sweet bunny with his pink little nose, ears and ribbon has found a happy place tucked in an antique white linen stocking in the pink guestroom. It's tiny bits of pink, but nonetheless these tiny bits make me smile.

These tiny bits make me smile all the more today. It's been absolutely nuts around here. My house is a complete disaster and there is sawdust and noise everywhere. Oh, and the delivery of the granite has been delayed. Go figure. Ha! It should be here by noon but the leadman on the job said they'll be here till midnight. Oh. But wait! That means pizza all around tonight!! Now there's something else to be thankful for!!!! Pizza!!!

Warmest bear hugs on this Pink Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Aleta

Monday, November 19, 2007

10 Things!

It's quiet and calm this morning. The rain is falling gently on the autumn colored leaves that have carpeted the front garden. I'm taking deep relaxing breaths. Oooohhhmmm. Why? Here is a sample of the rest of my week:

1. Unload all the cupboards in the kitchen, master bedroom and two guest baths. Counter tops will be removed on Tuesday making way for new granite on Wednesday. Yes, I do realize that Thursday is Thanksgiving. Bill assures me that we will have a working sink and cooktop by 9am on Thursday morning.

2. Sort through boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations. This will be a great project for me while my kitchen is being ripped apart. Booms and crashes from all areas of the house will disappear from my thoughts as Bing Crosby croons Christmas carols in the background.

3. Take pictures of my Thanksgiving Parade entry and get them to Lisa, pronto! The deadline is tomorrow. Egad! Tomorrow!

4. Prepare the guestrooms for......guests!! Yes, I have guests coming. Cross your fingers that the bathroom sinks will be back in working order.

5. Think hard about entering the TOBY's again this year....or not.

6. Work on a softie design for an upcoming issue of Art Doll Quarterly. Find out from Lisa exactly what constitutes a softie.

7. Design 5 handmade Christmas cards for giving in a card swap.

8. Start December swap project. Deadline: December 1st.

9. Put everything back into cupboards, sorting keepers and donations.

10. DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, deviate from this list and add anything new until next Monday.

I have my list now. Ready, set.......GO!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's all about flexibility.

The best laid plans never seem to go exactly according to plan sometimes. I had planned to finish up two bears, help get the rest of the moulding down, and get a good start on my holiday decorating. Well, I got a little off track.

Friday, Bill's day fell apart (that means no work for the day) so he called on his way home asking if I wanted to go to an estate sale he'd read about in the paper the night before. Two seconds hesitation.....okay!! And off we went. And off went the rest of the weekends plans.

Oh, but look at the wonderful treasures I found!! A fabulous old red and white quilt, perfect for holiday decorating. A sweet white crochet edge table topper. An old wood drum with the original sticks!! You know one of my old bears will be sitting atop that drum for the holidays!! Let's see.....oh, and an old Horsman doll in exceptional condition. Okay, she's missing her hair and she's not dressed, but I think I may have something she can wear. *wink, wink*

One of my favorite new found treasures is a pair of crystal salt and pepper shakers. Even the screw on tops are glass! There's also the silk embroidered doily with pretty violets. That's another weakness of mine.....old silk embroidery work.

I have to dash off. My girlie is coming over to help me drag out all the Christmas decorations. So I'm a little behind. I'm flexible. I just need a few more cups of coffee to catch up!!

Warmest Sunday bear hugs, Aleta

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I love wide mouldings!

It's almost done!! The new baseboard trim is down in the livingroom and diningroom. Only the entry hall is left to do. Yay!! I painted, what I hope to be the last of the trim and baseboard yesterday. Installation finishes tomorrow!! Wahoozer doozer!!

I really don't mind painting trim and baseboard because I know how great it looks once it's done. Crisp white mouldings, they're timeless. For me, the wider (or taller) the better.

So, here you see all the livingroom furnishings piled into the middle of the room. It's a dark picture, I know. Those rooms are so light filled that it's hard to get a good photo....with or without the flash. Even with the shades down! Hey, I've tried.

Next is the before.....then the after. Now see, huge difference!! I love, love, love wide mouldings!!

Tonight we set up the Christmas tree so I can fluff the branches. Yes, it's just another hat I wear......Branch Fluffer. HA! Merry Merry!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pink Wednesday!

Something old, something new, lots of pink! I am a collector of little pink pretty things. Actually, I'm a collector of a lot of pretty little things. Pink, white or otherwise!!

I say it's for the bears, you know. I find these things and say, "Oh, this would look lovely with a bear." Funny thing though, I don't make enough bears to delight in all the treasures meant for them. Ha!

Happy Pink Wednesday!! Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What's that in the bottom of my pool?

I could hear the wind howling outside as I got up to feed my cats. It was 6am and still dark outside so I flipped the outside lights on in the back garden to see how everything was fairing. No sooner had I turned on the light when a big gust of wind, and I mean a BIG gust of wind literally picked up one of lounge chairs AND my potted palm tree and threw them into the pool!!! I kid you not. It is a scene that keeps playing over and over in my head. Imagine my shock and horror! "OH NO!! WE HAVE A LOUNGE CHAIR AND A PALM TREE IN OUR POOL!!"

All was completely calm again late yesterday afternoon, but not before much damage and destruction had been done around the Portland area. Some people lost their entire homes when trees fell, knocking them completely off their foundations. Mother Nature has officially put us all on notice that it really is November in the Pacific Northwest!!

Today is sunny and absolutely beautiful. Not a cloud do I see. Oh that Mother Nature....she can surely be a wicked one!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Friday, November 9, 2007

Back in the studio...but just for the day.

After a whole host of distractions this week, I'm finally back in the studio....and sewing like a mad woman! I did manage to to get at least one thing accomplished this week. All the new baseboard trim is painted and ready for installation this weekend. That's right my dear blog friends, no fun adventures to the area antique stores for me this weekend. Boo Hoo! (sniff, sniff)

Instead I will be helping to measure lengths of baseboard. Holding it in place. Filling all the little nail holes and then touching up all the paint. I don't mind the work. Especially because I know I'll love the end result!!! I'll try to remember to take some before and after pictures.....

A lovely weekend to you!! Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

In celebration of the color pink!

Today I'm celebrating the color pink! Actually, I think I shall try to post a pink picture every Wednesday until the end of the year. Pink Wednesday!!! Sounds like a cocktail doesn't it?

This little pink composition features an original art piece by one of the loveliest gals you'd ever want to meet, Lisa Kaus. I've talked to Lisa on the phone and purchased cards and other wonderful bits from her, but I finally had the opportunity to meet her in person at Art and Soul this past month. Walking into her booth was like wandering into the most delightful confectionery shop....without calorie guilt!! Yummy, yummy!!! Oh, and before I forget, you simply must visit her blog because she has the most wonderful tiered cake box featured. You simply must see it!! It's supremely divine and I covet one for myself. Only mine must have a crown on top.....but that's another story for another day. Today is Pink Wednesday!

Warmest bear hugs and pink frosted cakes to you!! Aleta

Monday, November 5, 2007

In print! Art Doll Quarterly!

A Silly the winter issue of Art Doll Quarterly!!!!! What a true delight to see Miss Teapot in all her altered art glory gracing part of a page and the table of contents spot. I'm absolutely tickled pink!!

It was Lisa Kaus who actually sent me a note telling me of the call for submissions. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lisa!!

As well as getting me to really think outside the box, Miss Teapot was a lesson in patience. Normally when I design a bear it goes from paper to mohair to bear in a lovely rhythm. I could almost put bears together in my sleep. Not so much with Miss Teapot. Assemblage of mohair to porcelain to wire required waiting for industrial strength glue to dry 24 hours at each stage. It was that lurching forward and stopping again thing. I was not about to rush this stage though and have my lovely Miss Teapot fall apart at the slightest twirl of her frothy lace covered skirt!! Egad!

It was all worth it in the end! I'm very pleased with the way Miss Teapot turned out. I see more altered art bears in my future.....many designs are already drawn up! Now, if I could just find more hours in each day to create all my drawings!!! A wand....I need a magic wand. (sigh)

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. Thank you to Art Doll Quarterly, Michelle Flores and Stampington & Company Magazines for the opportunity to feel all sparkly. :o)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Busy hands, more bears!

From yards of mohair, to parts and pieces. This is what I do while watching evening television! For two or three nights I'll draw my patterns onto mohair. The next few nights are spent cutting them all out. Evening television.....a great use of time!! Who knew?! ha!
The next step is to trim the mohair away from the seams with the electric razor. Oh boy, what a mess that makes! Bits of mohair fluff cover me and everything else in a four foot radius. Then begins the job of pinning and sewing, pinning and sewing. It's actually one of my favorite steps because I turn the music up really, really loud and just work away.
And what do I listen to? Lately it's Amy Winehouse and Rihanna. Although, I have to say, yesterday I spent a lot more time dancing around than I actually did working!!
Warmest bear hugs and a lovely weekend to you!! Aleta

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Goodbye Boo!...Hello Merry Merry!

I'm busily tying up loose ends today and putting away my Halloween decorations as well. I can't believe I'm almost caught up's details! There are so many of them, aren't there?

Before I pack away Halloween though, I wanted to share a picture of this beautiful doll made by Mica Garbarino, Garboodles. Talk about details!! This dolls face is simply exquisite!! With her pumpkin pal she's one of many favorite artist treats I bought myself this year.

Out with the with the Merry Merry!! I'll be in full holiday mode all next week. Until then, I'm carefully packing away boos and ghouls, giving the house a thorough cleaning, and doing a little interior painting. Not to worry, I'm finding time for bears too!!

Warmest November (November?) bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat?

Why treat, of course!! But today only!! One name will be drawn at 11pm PST from all the notes posted today on this blog entry. Just for fun, name your favorite costume as a child!!

My favorite was Casper the Friendly Ghost. I don't know why really. Actually, I don't think it was my favorite. It's just one I remember the most. I really wanted to be Wendy the Witch but my mom came home with a Casper costume. (Insert haughty eyeroll here.) We had just headed out the door all ready for trick or treating and I tripped and fell, bashing my nose into the concrete. I swear, those eye holes never did match any childs eyes just right. Needless to say, Casper's ghostly white garb became spotted with red and I was crying hysterically. My mom ended the trick or treating right then and there. I'd barely made it out the front door!!! Now wasn't that a cheery Halloween memory? Hee!!

Favorite costume, or most memorable? Post it today and win a treat!!

Warmest Halloween bear hugs, Aleta

And the winner is: fribbles!!!!

Thank you everyone for posting on this Halloween 2007!! fribbles, I'll contact you in the morning. I'm off to slumberland. Good night.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A delightful weekend, indeed!

It started Friday afternoon when my mom called to ask if she could come for a weekend visit. Okay! We always have a great time when mom comes over. She's fun and silly and moves at lightening speed. One would never guess she's 66!!

Saturday Bill and I went to the Antique Expo. Mom went shopping. She likes to shop......for shoes. She bought three pairs of shoes. Bill and I bought a farm table, a cabinet with four lead glass windows, a dresser, two old painted cupboards, a sweet little round table, and other assorted pretties. I think we all had a magnificent time shopping for what we like best to shop for!!

I couldn't get a picture of all the furnishings quick enough. Bill already has them packed into the garage with cloth covers for safe keeping. Just know that all the furnishings are wonderfully shabby and chippy and they'll make their debut most likely in late spring. In the meantime, I did take a quick picture of the small items I bought over the weekend. Lovely antique dresses, soft old pillowcases, bits of millinery, a silver baby brush, two reams of old crepe paper, a fabulous wood frame......and other assorted delights!!

Did you know that if you click on the pictures I post, it makes them larger? I just discovered this little bit of information. You probably already knew, didn't you? I'm not always the brightest bulb in the chandelier!

Sunday Bill and I went to a party for our friends Linda and Ludmil Marcov, Willow Nest. Let me tell you, they really know how to throw a most wonderful party!! Their spirit is so welcoming and true. You feel it the moment you enter their beautiful home. They make you feel like the most important person on the planet when you're talking with them. Love, love, love them!!

As for today......I have a gallery opening in just a short bit!! The bear pictured above is just a little sneak peek of the four traditional bears being listed. Cross your fingers my website likes me today and posts everything without a hitch!!

Skipping off to make a pot of tea....

Warmest Monday bear hugs, Aleta

Saturday, October 27, 2007

1350 Antique Booths!

....and my three cats are weary at the whole idea of it. Ha! Yep, today is Antique Expo weekend here in Portland. Wahoozer doozer!! It's the last big antique show of the year and I'm ready!! I have my walking shoes, my tracking device (that would be my cell phone in case I get lost in the throngs of people), and a cash machine (that would be dear husband, Bill). :o)

Oh, what delightful goodies await me on this weekend before Halloween? Lots of treats, I'm sure!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. The dainty little tabby on the left is Gracie. The orangecicle is Max. Mr. Fancypants birman on the right is Walker. Black, orange and's Halloween at my house all year long! ;o)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Putting things in a safe place.

While cleaning and rearranging my studio I found a packet of pictures I'd long forgotten about because I put them in a safe place. Well, I've just gone and done the same darned thing again!! I put the found packet in a safe place only to forget where the safe place is!!!

Please. Someone out there, tell me you've done the same thing.

Still looking for that packet of pictures......warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, October 22, 2007

Shades of White

After our meeting with the real estate agent Saturday morning, Bill and I decided a little antique retail therapy was in order. Okay, maybe it was more of a me thing that a we thing. Ha! Hey, we'd just been handed a to-do list if we wanted top dollar in a sagging real estate market.

My next two months may be spent picking out granite, painting miles of 7 inch baseboard, and packing up the soul of my home. The reason I say "may" is that we don't have a sales figure yet. There are comps to run, which won't be an easy task because there haven't been any sales in this neighborhood in three years. Save for three families, one of which is us, most everyone who lives in this community has lived here since it was established almost 20 years ago. Anyway, all this yada yada yada isn't nearly as much fun to talk about as antique retail therapy!

White. I love shades of white. White goes with everything and can look quite modern or exceptionally soft and romantic. Of course, I go for the soft and romantic. The more ruffles and swirly details the better. These are just some of the lovely shades of white I found this weekend at Monticello Antique Marketplace and Stars Antiques. It's a calm pallete of pretties at a time when calm is most welcome and needed as my mind is racing a million miles per hour. With visions of my dream house, the holidays looming and the many projects that will need to be done......shades of calming white are most welcome.

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Friday, October 19, 2007

My brilliant idea!

I had this brilliant idea to rearrange my studio. Well, several days later I'm still working on this brilliant idea. Moving one big cabinet full of stuff, led to moving another big cabinet full of stuff and so on and so forth. There is a method to this madness though. I will now have two separate desks. One for bear design and one for my paper, paint and glue projects!! Yippety Skippety!!

Keep in mind, the balance of this project needs to be completed by 10am tomorrow morning. A real estate agent will be coming to tell us how quickly, or not!, our house will sell and how much we should realistically expect. This in turn will be the deciding factor whether we proceed to buy our dreamhouse. But more on that later......

In the meantime, I wanted to share a little bit of autumn color at my house. In summer this little shrub is bright lime green with rosey red edges. Look at the spectacular color now!! Planted en masse they'd really be stunning!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A most lovely surprise!

Never did I imagine I would receive such a lovely surprise in my mail yesterday. It was a thank you gift carefully wrapped in pretty yellow tissue and tied with soft, pink fuzzy ribbon. I carefully unwrapped my gift and simply could not believe my eyes. A handmade tabletop quilt!!!! Yellow and pink with lace inserts and a sawtooth edge!!! Oh my!!! You could have knocked me over with a feather!! What a treasure.....and all mine!!

If only you could see the detail in this most marvelous quilt. Each corner exact. Each sawtooth, perfect. The textural element of the lace. All hand tied with pink floss. It's a work of art!!! Oh my gosh, you should see the itty bitty hand stitching on the back. It's simply stunning!! I'm absolutely over the moon!!

This most glorious gift given with such a generous spirit. For now, it is topping the desk in one of my guestrooms. It looks as if it were made just for this desk, doesn't it?!!

I believe there are Earth Angels. Theresa, you are one of them. Thank you so very, very much.

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta