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