Friday, August 31, 2007

A celebration! And a giveaway!

I'm celebrating seven years of bear design!! Goodness, how the time flies!! It has been a very good year for me professionally with an Industry's Choice Award, two TOBY awards and notice of inclusion in Art Doll Quarterly for a mixed media bear I designed. I couldn't be more thrilled!! Truly. I feel like I've been sprinkled with fairy glitter!!

Celebrations aren't much fun unless they're shared. So, I'm hosting a giveaway!! Seven years of Silly Bears!, seven lucky recipients!!! All you have to do is post a message on this blog entry and your name will be entered in the drawing. Six pretty things and one Grand Prize, a Truly Silly! bear will be given away. YAY!! Isn't this fun?!!! The drawing date will be Friday, September 21st.

I'll post a picture of the Grand Prize bear as soon as I'm finished with her. Silly me forgot to place an order for those itty bitty cotter pins!! Oh, you're just going to be tickled PINK!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Pretty Pictures

Peeking in to post a few pretty pictures I took at the Oregon City Antique Faire last weekend. I'm up to my eyelashes in mohair this week. Can you believe it, I'm actually in my studio all week!! All decorating projects are on hold until the weekend.

Oh!! I also have a little something special planned on Friday so do peek in if you have a chance.

Happy Wednesday!!! Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, August 27, 2007

A plate of brownies?

Give the girl a gold star and a plate of brownies!! I've finally managed to list a couple of bears on my website!! Yahoozer doozer!! Nellie Nettlebriar is, of course, one of my traditonal bears. Jeepers Creepers is a Truly Silly! bear. Oddly sweet and oh so quirky is he!!

What is that you're whispering in my ear? The other two? Oh, they're going to my October show here in Portland. Now you know I have to have something to show there too!!

It was quite the busy weekend! My mom came to visit for a few days. It's always a good time with my mom!! I helped my daughter and her hubby with their garage sale.....and made a few pennies myself too. More fun! Then on Sunday we went to the Oregon City Antique Fair. That was fun too!! There were loads of people shopping. Yay for the vendors!! I didn't bring home as many treasures as I usually do. I think the little voice inside my head was saying, "Whoa horsey! How many little bear dresses do you really need?" And, "Remember, the more you buy, the more you have to move when it comes time to move the studio!" Oh, sometimes that little voice is such a bother!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Yesterday's Post Today!

I'm not as behind as it would appear. I'm actually right on track with some projects!! Even the bears are nearly finished and ready for posting!! I know, I know. Finally!! It's been a really productive week in spite of my master bedroom painting detour.

Here are a few of my latest treasures. As I mentioned before, I finally found a petite chandelier for one of the guestrooms. Yay!! Another project almost done!! Isn't it funny how you can hunt and hunt for a particular item for months and not find it and then all in one day you find three of the same item?! That's what happened with our big clam shell hunt. Nothing for months and then three in one day!! The first one we found was $69.00. Be bought it. The second was $32.00. We bought it too. The last one was $19.00 and it was full of other shells. Now why couldn't we have found the last one first and stopped there. Oiy!!

Other great deals included the dressform, a fabulously large mirror and lots of paper ephemera for my art charms. My favorite items though were artist made from paper and odd bits. The first is the paper purse made by Martha Kohley. It's pictured hanging on an old wood picture frame in the second picture. Is that cool or what? My second favorite item isn't pictured. It's a tall paper crown made by Cindy Dockins. One of my bears has already spirited it away. I'm sure it will probably show up in another post along the way!

Don't forget, if you're in the Portland area, the Oregon City Antique Faire is on Sunday!!

Warmest bear hugs for a lovely weekend!! Aleta

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Willow Nest!!

This past Saturday was the Willow Nest summer event. Oh my, my, my!! The lovelies and the pretties were in great supply!! All my favorite vendors were there including Martha Kohley, Vintage Trifles; Cindy Dockins, Tarte; Carrie Harman and her gal pals from Adorn; Randy, Madison Park; and of course, Linda and Ludmil Marcov. Fabulous, fabulous people!! Oh, and someone new to Willow Nest.....Joe and Jermonne, Barn House. I signed up on their mailing list.....they have great style, amazing stuff and great prices!! They'll also be presenting goodies during Monticello's Fall Premier Show, September 14th - September 30th. The link to Monticello is over there to the left under Lovely Places to Shop. If you're in the Portland, Oregon area, this is a must stop and peek in destination!! The next Willow Nest event is September 22nd!!! Mark your calendars!!

Sunday I spent helping my son take down wallpaper borders. Ugh! What a messy, messy job!! The first two rooms went lickety split. We were on a roll and feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. Give the dynamic duo a Gold Star!! The master bedroom border, however, was just awful. It came off in little itty bitty shreds. ACK! What a nightmare!! The bright side though, it's all down. Next we set a date to take the actual wallpaper down. Thank goodness it's just one wall!! I have a sneaking suspicion that it may come off in itty bitty shreds too. Bleck!! Hey Bee, wanna help?!! Justin makes peanut butter toast for lunch!! :o) Is he cool or what?

Tomorrow I'll post pictures of my Willow Nest treasures!! I finally found just the right petite chandelier for the yellow, green and pink guestroom!! Yahoo!! Right now though, I'm scheduled for some time in the studio. Have a grand day!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. The second picture and the last picture of the two fancy hens are the brilliant work of Cindy Dockins. She has the most wonderfully whimsical and romantic style!!! Cindy, get that blog started already!! ;o)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

An unexpected detour.

Try as I might, to finish those four bears, I keep getting detoured!! What now?? I'm painting the master bedroom!!! I know, I know. You're thinking I'm a raving ADD lunatic. Well, perhaps I am. I have no less than seven projects I'm working on all at once. Okay, not at once, at once. But, they're all in various stages of completion. Notice I said completion. That's the positive vibe here!!

Why am I painting the master bedroom? The long and short of it: Ordered new mattress. Same old fashioned brass bed frame since 1984. (Not the same mattress though.....eeeew.) Oooooh, pretty canopy bed frame in the store. Wanted a canopy bed since I was a little girl. An all grown up canopy!! It's being delivered on Tuesday. Aack!! Bedroom color is all wrong for the new bed. Psssst. New bed=new bedding=wrong wall color. I know, you're rolling your eyes at this point. It's okay. I would be too. Ha!!

A painting I will go, a painting I will go.....hi, ho the dairy-o....a painting I will go. Warmest spa blue bear hugs, Aleta

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

It's my 40 something spectacular birthday today!! Actually, I'm 46 today!! After painting miles of new door and baseboard trim, I'm going to spend the rest of the day in the back garden.....weeding and deadheading!!! I think perhaps I'll indulge in a swim and a Lemon Drop martini too!! Life is grand!! I'm am so very blessed!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. Hi Mom and Bee!! Thank you for the birthday wishes this morning!! You girlies are the BEST!! (My mom actually sang the Happy Birthday song on my cell phone!! Is she cool or what?!!)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Treasures galore!

Oh, the delicious fun one can get into going to faires and estate sales!! Here are a couple of snaps of my latest treasures from this past weekend. If you've been reading my blog for awhile I think you've learned by now that I buy most everything in the same color palette: shades of pink and shades of ivory to white!! Yummy!! I do bend a little when it comes to a lovely shade of lilac though. Tarnished silver is another fav!!

The 1st Annual Rolling Rock Farm faire was much smaller than I'd imagined it would be. However, some of my favorite people where there and brought lovely things for me to find. Linda Marcov, from Willow Nest was there and so was Randy, from Madison Park. Pssst.....Randy is opening his own shop in Sellwood in November!! Sellwood: Stars Antique Malls, Justin & Burkes, Caprial's Cafe, Coco & Toulouse Go Shopping. Sellwood is a spend the day shopping trip!! I'm just tickled (what else but pink!!) that Randy will join in the fun there!!!

Okay, now onto those two lovable, but rather rough around the edges, bears!! Bill and I found them at an estate sale on Saturday. The Aurora antique faire was a bit of a disappointment. Can you believe there were absolutely no pink and white booths there?!!! Not one bit of eye candy!!! So, we were off to go estate saling!! The two bears were laying on a table side by side. I could not believe that no one had snapped them up already!!! We arrived late in the afternoon for goodness sakes!! Well, perhaps not everyone in the world loves motley old bears like I do. They had tape across their chests with prices of $75.00 and $95.00. Bill, always looking for a bargain, asked if they'd take less. How much less? $125 for both? SOLD!!! Wahooo!!!!

From the little bit I do know about old bears, and with a little investigative work I did when I got home, I found these bears to have been made in the 1920's. Their eyes are handpainted glass rather than the older shoebutton eyes. They are most likely German made. Are they Steiff? Unless they had the button in their ear I couldn't say for sure. It matters not to me anyway!! I love them!!! I also love that I found the two of them together. That seems to be how I find pairs. I wonder why that is? A little something to ponder while I work today!!

The sun is shining brightly here in Portland!! It's a great day to finish a panda nose!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Friday, August 10, 2007

Nix the panda noses!

I was playing around with Photoshop this morning, making some of my color photos into black and white photos. Don't you just love black and white photos? Yes, I know, I'm supposed to be in the studio working on bears. Here's the thing though.....I seem to be uninterested in working today. Perhaps it's because I was having so much trouble yesterday with a certain panda's nose! Yes, that's it!!

Certainly it can't be because later this afternoon I'll be going to an antique faire. It's a new antique faire....the 1st annual Antiques & Art at Rolling Rock Farm. Doesn't that sound intriguing? Some of my favorite vendors will be there!!

And then there's the Aurora antique faire tomorrow. Oh, and then there are birthday celebrations on Sunday!! How can one expect this silly blonde chick to stay focused on stitching a panda nose that really doesn't want to cooperate when there are so many other fun and lovely things to do this weekend? I ask you. Could you stay focused on stitching teddy bear noses?

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Charmed, I'm sure!

Okay now. Don't laugh at my first soldering attempts!! Sally Jean said I should keep them for my trunk show. Trunk show, as in looking back and laughing at my first attempts, kind of trunk show!! Heehee! It's kind of like looking at the first bear I made. I love it because it's the first bear I made, however, the poor dear doesn't hide the fact that it looks like a poodle rather than a bear!!

The two largest charms have copies of original collage art I did the night before Sally Jean's class. I'm glad I had the good sense to copy the originals rather than use them in my first attempts at soldering. Occassionally I do have a rather brilliant idea!! Ha!

Moving on to bears now. See.....I am working on bears and not just playing with silver solder!! A rather motley crew, aren't they? I hope to have the two pandas ready for airbrushing tomorrow. We'll see. I'm really trying very hard to stay focused.....

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Monday, August 6, 2007

I'm working.....really, I am!!

Oh, where to begin? I know....the beginning. Well, I don't have pictures for the beginning so I'll start at the end and work backwards. Confused yet? Ha!

Yesterday was the Lake Oswego Antique Faire. You know I had to go. It is work related afterall. (wink, wink!) The weather was miserably misty. Not at all normal for August. It didn't seem to deter avid antique junkies though!! The faire opened at 8am and, by 8:30 people were hauling their treasures to their vehicles!!

Have you noticed that I always take pictures of the pink and white vendor booths? Imagine that!! My favorite booth was Adorn. It's three gal pals joining their talents to present painted furniture and decorative accessories. Pretty, pretty stuff!! I walked away with that lovely pink walk shelf for my studio. An otherwise rather plain shelf, the added rosette wreath in cream adds just the right detail without going over the top. Love it!!

Another "gotta have it", the old architectural pillars. Funny story about those. The pillars stand over six feet tall and are 13 inches across!! We didn't bring the truck. We should know by now.....always bring the truck when going to an antique faire. We had a full agenda for the day with no time to drive back to our home to get the truck. Well, where there's a Bill, there's a way. So here we were, riding down the freeway with two very large pillars sticking out of my car trunk. They were securely tied down, but still......all the way home I thought always bring the truck.

Now for the beginning. The beginning being last Friday. The beginning with no pictures. I took a soldering class with thirteen other ladies in the studio of Sally Jean Alexander!!! Sally Jean Alexander, the author of Pretty Little Things.....the Queen of Art Charms.....I know you know who I'm talking about!! She's listed over there to the left under Lovely Places to Shop. Yes, that Sally Jean!!

Oh my gosh!! Oh my gosh!! You can't possibly know how nervous I was that morning. Me just being silly, I suppose. Once inside Sally Jean's studio I forgot all about being nervous. Just looking around her beautiful creamy white and robin egg blue studio put me right at ease. And Sally Jean herself? The most lovely person you'd ever want to meet. Truly. She was so gracious to open her studio and teach her craft to thirteen other women without a clue. The class was called "Soldering for Virgins". The nice thing one in the class had ever soldered before so we were all on even footing and worked about the same pace. There was no weird female competition!! Imagine!! It was just the best time!!!

So, there you have it. I am working.....really, I am!! I'm just working outside my own studio. Ahhhh...but wait till you see what I have coming in the next few weeks!!!! (Insert a big grin here!)

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

Friday, August 3, 2007

A very big gopher!!

Not really! Just a very long ditch straight through the middle of our front yard. It's a sewer line. I know.....eewwwww. Well, hey, it's just the latest distraction around here. As if I needed any more!!! Now I have to put on my landscape designer hat and come up with a plan. Oiy!! Add it to the list!!

One really great thing to come out of this mess is that the company doing the work gave us a great rate for removing some old dead juniper bushes and overgrown periwinkle. There is always a silver lining to be found!!

Warmest bear hugs, Aleta

P.S. I won't be posting the picnic pictures from the Portland Paws event. The best picture of the bunch showed only the backsides of Paws members....dressed of course, but their backsides nontheless. Not the most flattering picture, I'm afraid. I didn't think the members would appreciate the rear view shot regardless of how pretty everything else looked. Sorry. :o(

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I was Gnomed!!

I was watering the gardens in the back when a flash of white caught my eye. I reached down to pull out what I thought was a mushroom only to discover.....I'd been Gnomed!! Knowing where there's one gnome there are more, I went on a gnome hunt!!! There were three more hiding among the sedum, roses and hydrangeas!!! Who could have done the dasterdly deed? My children, of course!! The little pranksters!!! I hope they like gnomes........
Warmest bear hugs, Aleta