Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sunset in Juneau

The sunset last evening was so incredible I just had to try to capture some of it on my camera. Note that I'm a novice photographer and most of my photos are of teddy bears.
However, I just had to try to share the beauty of the moment with you.
Teddy Hugs, Vicki

Friday, February 20, 2009

Website Up!

I did it!
I sat here and worked and redid and rethought and tried again and deleted the whole darn thing and started over and I finally, last night, hit the button that said "PUBLISH" and Ta Da, my website is ready for viewing!

It's basic, simple and hopefully easy to navigate.
It's a start and I can work on the fluff as I learn more.

I'm jazzed! So check it out at and let me know what you think! The url is http://www.customteddys.com/. So you should be able to click and it will bring you there!

Thanks for your encouragement! Onward and upward, hugs to all, Vicki and the Bears

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Of Love and Teddies !

This past Valentine's Day, my husband and I celebrated six years of marriage. The traditional symbol for the sixth anniversary is "wood," which reminded me of Woody, a teddy bear that came to live with me almost 18 years ago. I wrote this back in 1994, and now it's time to share it with you, so this is his story....

The Story of Woody

My friend Robin found Woody washed up on the beach by the Juneau airport flats in the summer of 1994 while out walking with her sweetie, Mark. Woody had been washed up by the tide and had come to rest beside a rotten, gray piece of driftwood. Robin gingerly picked Woody up by the ear while her partner skeptically inspected him and suggested that she place him right back where she found him -- that he was of no use to anybody and was full of sand fleas and dirt. So Robin placed Woody back where he was found, and she and her partner walked away.

Woody's resting place, revisited

The next day at work Robin told me about this bear she had found on the beach. I couldn't believe that she had just left him there and suggested (demanded) that she take me out there on our lunch hour. So we frantically drove the ten miles to the airport, walked/ran to the end of the trail and found Woody, still there, covered with mud, dirt and sand fleas, just as he was the day before when Robin and Mark had pronounced him useless and left him in the grass. I picked him up by the ear with my thumb and forefinger and inspected him as the water dripped out of his padless feet. I knew I couldn't put him back by that piece of driftwood and explained to Robin that we were taking him back. I placed him in the plastic bag we had brought for the occasion and we raced back to work, carrying Woody in the trunk, lest he create a mess of seaweed and saltwater in the back of the car.

After work I brought Woody home, ran him a bath and soaked him good in soap and warm water. I didn't think he'd mind one more waterlogged experience if I promised him it would be his last for a very long time. After he dried for three days in the July sun and all the sand fleas had either gone to rest permanently inside his form-stuffed body or crawled safely away, I brought him indoors for the final set of repairs. His shoe button eyes were still perfectly in place, but his ears were askew and he was minus a nose and mouth. After a few hours of thread, wool, a stiff comb and TLC, Woody came to life. He looked around his new home and was greeted by the dozens of other bears peering intently at the newcomer, eagerly awaiting the "arrival" of their new friend.

I don't know all of Woody's story. I wonder by what means he ended up on a rocky, grassy, muddy beach, next to a trail often walked by my friend Robin. I wonder who he loved in his other life and all of the aventures he has had in his past. I wonder who tucked him in at night; or threw him away. I wonder if he fell out of a boat; or out of a garbage can. The answers to these questions are Woody's secrets and although I may never know all of his story, his adventures will be told for years to come as the bears all gather around a circle in the middle of my living room on the nights I'm away, or fast asleep, and listen to Woody tell of his adventures and the miracle that brought him to our warm, safe, happy teddy bear family.

Woody today sitting in his chair with his friends.

Love to all, Vicki and the bears

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Of Teddies and Kitties

In our house live two humans, two kitties, and hundreds of teddy bears. The two kitties are Pontus and Katrina, a couple of pound-cats that were gracious enough to allow us to adopt them.

Pontus (white chest) and Katrina
A challenge I face in my world of teddy bear creation, is to keep the cats OFF the teddy bear fur when I am cutting out bears. Katrina is the biggest culprit, because she is the more curious of the two and is always on hand whenever a human opens the closet and extracts something of interest from within its confines. This curiousity also extends to today's teddy bear photo session, as she could not refrain from wanting to participate by jumping into the photo tent.

This NEVER happened....
No, I'm not going to smile...

One of my favorite materials for making teddy bears is a fuzzy fleece-type material that I found in the local fabric shop. It makes really wonderful, soft, fuzzy teddy bears and I love the way it feels. Unfortunately, our felines also love the way it feels.
I am well aware that many people have allergies to kitties and I do my very best to keep my teddy fur away from the cats.
Last evening I thought that maybe if I made the kitties a bed from some of this fuzzy-fleecy type material, it would perhaps keep them off my teddy projects. So, I extracted some sage-green fuzzy fleece from the closet and wrapped it around a pre-made cat pad just to see if it would generate any interest.

Hum.... I Love it!!
It's MINE, keep off!
So, it appears that my next project is to sew together two kitty beds. Perhaps there will be less fighting over ownership of the fuzzy fleecy-type teddy bear material stashed in the closet.
One can only hope!
Take care, Vicki and the Kitties (and the bears)

Friday, February 6, 2009

From The Outside Looking In?

Or..... From The Inside Looking Out?

My most recent creation, Maxielle, listed now on Etsy or Bearpile.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February Stillness

While looking out my kitchen window this morning, I commented to my husband how beautiful and still it was outside.

One of the reasons I enjoy being "on the blog" is that I get to see where you live and learn a little bit about your neck of the woods. Today, I thought I would share with you a little bit about mine.

This is the view from our deck. Although many days here in Southeast Alaska are cloudy and overcast, the beauty on a bright day is so spectacular as to take your breath away.

I invited three brave teddy souls to pose on the deck railing today. Sourdough, Glitter and Mr. Brown all encouraged me to finish with the photo session quickly as, "it's cold out here!"

I look forward to sharing pictures with you of Spring and Summer in Alaska, however, according to Mr. Groundhog, we still have six more weeks to wait. In the meantime, teddy bear projects and future websites will keep me busy until then.
Thanks for checking in with me!

Vicki and the Bears