Friday, December 3, 2010

Winter’s Beauty in Alaska


I just finished reading some of your posts on winter and viewing your beautiful pictures of what winter looks like in your area. So, I thought I’d join in the fun and share some of Alaska’s winter beauty with you.


These pictures were taken from my deck just moments ago. Yes, I am blessed to live amid such breathtaking splendor.



I’ve just completed a very busy weekend here at the Alaska Juneau Public Market, visiting friends and selling teddy bears. It feels good to take a break from the hustle and bustle of my teddy bear world to appreciate and share the beauty of winter with my blog friends.

Stay warm, from Vicki and the Bears

Friday, November 5, 2010

New Teddy Faces to Share

Hello everybody! I’ve had my nose to the teddy grindstone lately and haven’t spent much time on the computer. I did, however, promise to post some individual pictures of some of my new creations in addition to the group shots on the previous blog.

It looks like today is the day so here are a few teddies that will be available for adoption at Juneau’s Public Market on Thanksgiving weekend.

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I have, for the most part, (at least for now) set aside the hand embroidered noses for handcrafted noses that I make from filo clay. I’m having great fun designing new noses and don’t miss the embroidery floss one bit.

Thank you all for taking the time to stop by. Any suggestions, comments or words of wisdom are most welcome!

Hugs to all, Vicki and the Bears

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Time to Stop and Take a Breath..

Most every year my teddy bears and I participate in Juneau’s own Public Market, held on Thanksgiving weekend. This year the event takes place on Nov. 26, 27, & 28.

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The fur starts to fly around here beginning in July and lasts until I feel like I have enough bears to make things interesting.

Consequently, I have been buried in fur for the past couple of months or so and just came up for air .. so to speak.

The following is a preview of bears who will be participating in this year’s market.

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I’m pretty excited, as always, preparing my booth for the market. I’ll post some individual bear pictures here in the next few days.

Thanks all for stopping by and Happy Fall Days! Vicki and the Bears

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Maximum Wellness


I remember a time when I believed in the magic of teddy bears. The eyes of the teddy bears I made would follow me wherever I went. It always made me smile as I recognized their presence in my life.

Over time the magic left. I forgot that my bears used to watch me walk around. I forgot that they used to play and dance and laugh and giggle and tell teddy stories when I was at work.

I had begun to judge rather than love. I had begun to compare rather than celebrate differences. I had started to think that money was the object. That each bear had a price tag instead of an assignment. And the magic gradually died.

I had forgotten the purpose of my gift. To create loving bears to pass along healing and love to whomever they were lucky enough to be passed on to.

I have recently been working with an old pattern I created back in the early nineties. I call it my Maxwell Pattern, because I designed the teddy bear “Maxwell” as a symbol of “maximum wellness” and my idea was that this bear would be created to help others through their own hard times.

Shortly before I designed and completed Maxwell I had returned come home from six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation for the cancer that threatened to end my life. One of the things that helped me through the ordeal (aside from my loved ones) was my favorite teddy bear “Ben.”


A few days ago I completed a bear and I felt the return of something magical. Because she looked at me. Her eyes followed me and I thought to myself, “I remember when that used to happen all the time.”


Today it happened again when I finished another bear while sitting on the deck in the sunshine. His eyes followed me and I felt my heart open and tears well up in my eyes.


My bears are never going to win prizes or compete for the best in their class. They don’t need to. That is not their purpose. They are average, everyday teddy bears and their purpose is to bring “maximum wellness” to whomever they are lucky enough to be presented to. And my purpose is to simply bring them into the world, so they can complete theirs.

I knew that something happened, something good, something ancient, something familiar when I turned 59; this new/old awareness is part of it and I feel full to the brim!

Thanks for sharing in the magic!

Love and hugs from Vicki and the bears

Sunday, July 18, 2010

59, and Holding

Or maybe that should be “59 and letting go.”

I haven’t felt inspired recently to write on the blog, so I just flat haven’t. But today I feel the inspiration returning, so I will share how I feel with you, my teddy bear friends.

Yesterday I turned 59. So, it looks like 60 is just around the corner, if it be my destiny that I live until age 60. These days, I don’t take “anything” for granted, much less that I will be around to celebrate 60.

I seem to have entered a new phase of life that feels very exciting to me. Exciting in a peaceful kind of way. Not in the kind of way that would get one’s adrenaline pumping. I simply feel a shift; a change; a new vision, if you will, about life in general.

I’m not sure anyone could have convinced me that I would feel like this in my late 50’s if they would have spoken to the 20-year old I was at the time.

I feel a little less concerned about day to day trivia; a little less worried about the world in general; a little more grateful for the people in my life; a little more humble; a little less worried about my looks (mind you I said “a little” .. he he); and a little less worried about everybody else.

You see, I am at a place in my life where when you check the boxes, like on a survey or a questionnaire ….. I am on my last two boxes.

There are only two left.

I squandered my youth. Yes, I admit it. I was one of those people who thought youth would last forever. So, I squandered every minute of it, believing I would always be young and able to do whatever I wanted.

And then I turned a corner. And that corner wasn’t gradual for me. It was sudden and scary and I fought it like the plague. Nine years ago I turned 50 and everything changed. I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “how did this happen so fast?”

And now that 60 is staring me in the face, I feel like have graduated to a place where I am more at ease with the process and excited about whatever time I may have “left.”

And, I promise to myself not to squander my last two boxes.

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Bears

Short and sweet, simply to share with you the new bears that have blessed me with their presence here in the past couple of weeks.

This is Chef Michael,

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And, little Estella. Ah, but you met her last time when she was swimming in lace.

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Thanks for stopping by and a blessed Summer Solstice to all.

Hugs, Vicki and the bears

Monday, June 7, 2010

Estella and Lace

Thank you so much to my wonderful friend, Laura, of Dances with Teddy Bears for the lovely lace that I received in the mail on Saturday as a result of “lucky me” winning Laura’s Lace Giveaway!


My most recent creation, Estella, has been waiting patiently (even though it just took a couple of days to get here) for the arrival so she could adorn herself appropriately.

She has since picked out a favorite piece and I made her a little lace collar. And since she’s sitting right here at my desk, I’ll just take her picture so you can see her selection.


I’m not sure who had more fun unraveling the goodies, Estella or me. (Probably me)

Thanks for sharing the fun, Laura.

Love and Hugs, Vicki and Estella

Friday, June 4, 2010

Panda Project (The Final Stage)

A while back I posted a story about a dirty little (well, he was actually rather large, but I like the sound of “dirty little”) Panda bear who came to live with me for a while, just to get cleaned up. If you are interested in the whole story you can click here to read the post

The next stage of development for this lucky bear was her bath. After sitting around and visiting with Woody for about a month, it became necessary to provide her with a new nose and a much needed bath.

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The only way I know to safely wash a bear is to use cold water, Woolite and a terrycloth rag.

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The bear is gently washed by hand, section by section. After each section is washed, I rinse, using the same method but without the Woolite.

After two sessions of wash and dry, and a final brushout, red bow and huge human hug… I am ready to send this guy home!

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Happy trails! Love from Vicki

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ima Clown Bear


Quite a number of years ago, I had the pleasure of restoring a number of Steiff animals and teddy bears for a good friend of mine. My favorite of the lot was an old 1925 Steiff Clown bear. For some reason, he simply captured my heart and I could not forget him.

This is what he looked like before I got my teddy hands on him.

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This is what he looked like afterwards.


He was way out of my reach as far as purchasing him was concerned, so I simply hung on to his picture and just loved him anyway.

A week or so ago, I was in creative mode and one of the bears I decided to make turned out to be a clown. I made her out of sparse mohair and had every intention of putting her up for sale in my Etsy store.

After the photo shoot today, I noticed that one of her arms was quite loosely jointed. Too loose to present her for sale and although I could have taken her apart and repaired the arm, it occurred to me that this bear was adopting me and that was her way of telling me she wasn’t going anywhere.

Teddies have a way of choosing us. I don’t know how that works. It’s a look, a feeling, one of those phenomenon that can’t be explained. But I believe they choose us, we don’t choose them.

Llittle Ima had this one in the bag from the beginning, much to my surprise. And I couldn’t be happier, loose little arm and all.

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Thanks for sharing the teddy love. Hugs from Vicki and Ima!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy May Day!

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I remember when I was a child, I loved the first day of May, because it was May Day. We would make little May baskets and fill them with tiny candies and ribbons. We would then chase down the object of our affection and a few best friends, give them a May basket and hope for a kiss in return.

What a sweet way to welcome this beautiful Month.

Today I was going to work in the garden, however it is a bit chilly. I read a post on Facebook this morning from someone who said they were busy working on bears and it made me jealous. That was my clue… I want to work on bears today and leave the gardening to another day. So rather than make little May baskets and chase down my friends for hopeful kisses, I’ll simply cut out a few hopeful teddy bears and enjoy the day.

The bears on the photo are some of my most recent creations. From left to right there is Mojo, Caramel, William, Humphries, Gloria, Brett and Miss Gray.

Happy Merry Month of May to all my friends on the blog. Hugs from Vicki and the Bears

Monday, April 5, 2010

Aviator Bear

Well, it’s been a week or so since Aviator Bear was presented to his new owner, so I feel safe in introducing him on the blog.

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Aviator was a custom order, made from sand colored mohair; he has hazel green eyes, a nose molded from Filo clay and Filo trapunto paws. His aviator jacket is made from my husband’s old motorcycle jacket; cleaned and conditioned; it looks as good as new. Aviator wears a satin scarf and is lightly airbrushed around his eyes, ears and muzzle.

I feel that he was well received in his new home, as his owner came by with cupcakes and pictures a few days ago.

Hugs to you from Vicki and Aviator Bear

Friday, April 2, 2010

Homespun Mercantile First Friday

We’re on our way to Homespun Mercantile in the Airport Shopping Center here in Juneau to celebrate First Friday Open House with our Mom, Vicki Peres, as featured artist.

From left to right we are Scooter, James, George, Honey and Spring.

Please join us from 4-7 on Friday, April 2, 2010.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Panda Project

009 She arrived in a white plastic garbage bag about six weeks ago. A large, very dirty, sooty, stuffed Panda with big sad eyes. The request from her owner was, “Can you bring her back to life? She belonged to my grandson and he is about to become a father. I would like to give him back his childhood bear as a gift to his about to arrive child.” I assured her, as I gingerly touched the bear, that I could, in fact, bring this particular bruin back to life in time for her great-grandson’s arrival.

Panda has remained in her plastic bag for over a month now, as I waited for the day inspiration and energy would compel me to remove her dirty self from the bag and see what I could do.

The day has arrived, and that would be today.  First I brought out the Dyson and placed 019rubber gloves on my hands. Oh, I know…. I just don’t like touching things that I don’t know where they have been. I know our friend Panda has been in a garage, but I don’t know who or what was in the garage with her, and by the looks of her, it wasn’t all that pleasant.

Next I vacuumed away most of the loose cobwebs (really), dirt, sawdust, and there is even some paint on her that I’ll have to deal with later. Having gone as far013 as I could with the Dyson, I pulled her out of doors onto my deck and started brushing her with my specialized teddy bear cat brush.  As I brushed, her person029ality began to emerge through her big sad teddy bear Panda eyes. Now that she is “surface-clean” she can, at least, come into the house without her plastic bag.

I decided to let her absorb the energy of the bear house and visit a bit with Woody before we begin the next stage of our restoration project.


Woody, as you know, was rescued from the tideflats way back in the 90’s. I figured if anyone one of the bears was suitable to share hope and survival stories, it would be Woody. Tomorrow, perhaps, Panda will get her new face. Her nose, if you can tell from the pictures, is quite flattened out. Probably from many hugs in her previous life. Now I need to prepare her for more hugs to come.

Stay tuned! Hugs and love from Vicki

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Saving Face with Facebook

OK, I know.... I feel a little weird, but I'm back on Facebook. I miss my friends on there, even though I don't spend too much time on board. Oh my, I'll give it another go and just quit trying to do everything perfectly... he he

I have two new bears to post, however, they are both custom orders and their recipients have not received them yet. I best wait until the bears are delivered before I post their pictures on the blog.

Working in my greenhouse and gardening (well, cleaning up last Fall's mess, have kept me busy these days. I have a stack of mohair here in my closet that is calling to me. Maybe tomorrow.

Just wanted to touch base. Love and hugs, Vicki

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Restoring Peace and Sanity to My Life


In an effort to cut down on the stress in my life, I ended my relationship with Facebook. I just sort of skipped “Facebook Town” without even an apology or an explanation. I left flat all my 30+ friends and just disappeared. I felt slightly bad for an instant. But here’s the jist of it…. I just don’t have time.

What happens is, I dabble a bit here, I dabble a bit there, I try to get a footprint in some other area… and I never really arrive anywhere at all. I just sort of appear and disappear and stress out and frankly, I would just rather make bears and change my house around.

So, I decided to end my account with Facebook as I ended my account with My Space a few months ago.

Another part of the reason, is that I just don’t want to sort of kind of belong somewhere. And I felt like I sorta kinda belonged on Facebook but I never really got it. And it seemed like it was getting out of hand. It’s like, if I am going to be your friend on Facebook, or anywhere else, for that matter… I want to really be your friend. I want to look at your pictures and get to know you. I found that I just didn’t have time to do that to my satisfaction in that arena.

I want to keep up on my blog and my website and my Etsy store. I have found lovely friends here on the blog and trust me…. I won’t just disappear from here without an announcement. I feel committed to my blog, even if I can’t post as often as I would like.

The internet is an amazing phenomenon. And it is so packed full of “things to do” places to meet people and it goes on and on….. it can be very stressful. And at this stage of the game in my life, I want as little stress as is absolutely possible.

So, to those of you who read my blog and whom I have abandoned on Facebook, do not dismay. I am here, alive, well, happy, and a little less stressed, with hopefully more time to read “your”  blog posts and keep up with you here. Thanks for stopping by.

Love and hugs, Vicki and the Bears

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bear Arrival!

Announcing the arrival of…. ta da…

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Packer born on 2/20/2010

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Belle born on 2/24/2010

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Biskit born on 2/23/2010

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And here’s a couple who moved out to Homespun Mercantile last week.

Lex and Griswald!

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Ha, it looks like we’ve been working on bears at the teddy bear house. And now it’s time to share the joy!

Happy Hugs from Vicki and the Bears!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So, What Did you do in Florida??

I’m so glad you asked.

We had an overnight in Seattle and had a delicious Italian dinner with my lovely daughter and her family.


The next day we flew to Miami and drove to Orlando the following day. We stayed at the Blue Heron. It was beautiful.

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We visited Epcot at Disney World!

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Took a ride in a hot air balloon.

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Rode the carousel (of course)!


Hubby rode a Harley!

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We ate at the House of Blues.

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We went to NASA !!!

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Then we drove back to Miami and visited South Beach.


..went to a “LIVE” NBA Basketball Game! The Miami Heat played the Cleveland Cavaliers… it was AWESOME .


Then we drove to the Keyes. I loved the Keyes the best.


And stayed in a lovely hotel called the Chelsea House.


…visited the Southernmost point in the United States.


And returned home, tired and happy.

Love from Vicki and the bears (and the hubby)