Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Leftfoot's Departure

One of my July month of softies bears is on it's way to K-Bear in Brooklyn NY, a pretty stark contrast to the mountains and forests of Whistler... anyway, her mate Rightfoot bids a fond farewell through the lid and almost loses his upper body to the Postal Box.
We thought to treat him with a consolation brunch at Milestone's. Here he is bum-ming a ride in Dave's pants.
Poor Rightfoot. He didn't jump out in time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

You Can Tell One's Personality by the Bear Cookies They Make:

Amicable Bear Cookies by MollyChicken.
This baker is a happy camper.

Originally uploaded by Catt Family.
I don't know what to say...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Keep Cool My Babies!

As Conan O'Brien likes to say before he starts his nightly monologue... yeah I've been way tardy with posting. I've noticed that alot of other bloggers are too. Summer does that sort of thing. My lame excuse is I live and work in a resort town and it's a cyclical 'feast or famine' business climate. The feast times are June-early October and late December-early April (totally depends on when the snow arrives or melts). Every other time is called a 'shoulder season', and noone likes those around here, hence we all work our butts off like squirrels saving their acorns for the thinner months ahead, me included. If I'm not sewing for money, I'm assisting Dave on his wedding jobs or managing his book-keeping. Then there's guests and housework, aaaaaaand you get the big picture. I have been thinking of you guys though. Check out the following posts for August 28th and I hope to have new stuff soon.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

People Collect the Darnest Things

... like the stickers that come off of fruit and vegetables. I thought they were there for grocers to avoid having to explain the difference between a Gala and a Granny Smith to some pimply-faced 'whatever' of a teenage cashier. This recently came from a honey dew from Costco and I found a willing participant for my sticker philanthropy. Check out Helen's Fruit Stickers Album and her neat collection. A few of my donations will likely show up on her site this fall.

Happy Birthday to Mona

If you're wondering if I threw acid on her face, she did the third degree burns herself with professional latex make-up for a portfolio shoot with Dave and I. This was a few years ago and she's since graduated from Special FX make-up school and made a little headway in the film industry; emphasis on 'little'. It's exceedingly difficult to find work in this genre at the moment. At any rate, you're a diamond in the rough and we love you!
- XOXO, Joyce and Dave

Pemberton Blues

Dave and I took a bit of time from our way busy schedule to scope out Big Sky Golf Club, just north of Pemberton proper. He's got a gig to do here next week and needed to check it out prior to the client's wedding date. Out of frame to the right, the sky broke out in jesus ray; gold shafts of light from a 'sucker hole' high in the clouds. Mount Currie is in the background, rutted by avalanches old and new.
I just found out the Pony Espresso will close for good sometime on October. There is no tentative plan by the owner to reopen. Its closure pretty much kills my main reason for visiting Pemberton at all, apart from it being a nice town to drive through. I'm very, very sorry to see the Pony and their great baking go.
The fine dining wing of the pony. The tables are set for dinner. Years of floods and renovations have put the whole building off-level. Being there feels much like a visit to a friend's warm and cozy house.
This quaint warning will most likely end up at the Pemberton Museum and archives. The hitching post is in front of the sign.
Poor Dave, looking distraught while we wait quite possibly for our very last order ever at the Pony.

Procrastinating on Flickr

I often surf through the fabulous pics that Flickr kindly hosts for other photographers, pro or not. I had a bit of a brainstorm last night and thought to post my most recent favorite uploads.

This pic proves that bears will eat almost anything and they don't give a rat's ass where it is. I like this guy's moxie though. His/her need to eat is a great metaphore for life; never give up!

Originally uploaded by Markus Irmen.
How ironic is this; a bear with his teddy bear. Imagine if you were the teddy bear. Not so fuzzy n' cute now, huh?

Steve's pictures 001
Originally uploaded by Bushrat Steve.
I used to pose folks like this when I worked at the Sears Portait Studio, except the background forest scenery was totally fake. Somebody get this bear a swimsuit. It really wants to model something... anything.

Moscow Zoo
Originally uploaded by dimdim.
These are damn happy polar bears. I've never seen such contentment in any inhabitant in some of the most miserable living conditions in the world.

A Picture Share!
Originally uploaded by jakedobkin.
Bear grafitti. They're not just in the forest anymore.

NYC gay pride parade 2005
Originally uploaded by man0man.
Actually, this is one of the first pics I saw after I used 'bears' for a tag search. Fuzzy and cute but not quite what I was looking for.

Two more from Washington

Dave had to take a pic of this car parked outside of Chico's in Seaview WA. Yeah, it's cute. Upon entering Chico's it was about the same sort of feeling I got when I saw the car; it's 'That 70's Show' all over again.
Here's one more from the Boeing Museum in Tacoma WA. It's true what they said about the Concorde; it's extremely narrow in there. The seats may be deluxe with lots of length-wise leg room but woe to those who have J-Lo width sized asses. A fellow visitor told me this cabin tended to reek of jet fuel when in flight. I guess when you're high on fumes, the tight seating arrangement isn't much of a concern.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

I like to buy stuff

... like William Wegman books on his weimarans. He clearly loves his dogs and it shows. You can't get those kinds of looks by being an uptight, conservative photographer. I know from observing Dave the husband on site at certain weddings when I'm running the video camera in tandem with him.

A posthumous Auntie I Am

A big hello to Jovanna, Lorelei and Darren from Auntie Joyce! Jovanna, who is just shy of 1 year old, has begun walking on her own. I remember when she was a tiny squirt last year and now, ah such a happy handful for momma Lorelei!

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Law as a Polar Bear

Boy, it's hot here in Whistler. I've been timing my errands to coincide with the evening so I avoid that 'ant under a magnifying lens' feeling in the daytime sun. While indoors waiting for sweet lady twilight to bring me relief, I figured out what to do with the current Month of Softies. You haven't met Sugarfoot yet, an ordinary polar bear till I swore her in today as Sheriff of the Coffee Table. You'll have to treat the TV remote within the boundary of these here laws. We don't suffer out of town fools lightly. Go on, 'git.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Change in Subject...

I still would rather not be known as a sewer but I've got to mention what a honey of a machine the Huskystar 224 is. This is the most ergonomically sensible machine I've worked on yet and I'm amazed at the extra efficiency it provides to complete projects. My favorite features are the even thread tension throughout, clear bobbin case (so you can see how much thread is left at any time) and the in-machine needle threader. No more squinting and frustration! Dave the husband says this is the second Husqvarna product we own aside from his 3' chainsaw. I should also mention I got it at the Pfaff Store in Vancouver. Otto, the owner, is a funny old european guy and never seems to sell his machines at full retail price. Everytime I'm in there he's insisting "You can have that for 'xx' amount less okay, yeah? Take it home now yeah?" So I took this floor model home for $475cdn, down from $550.

Update: I changed my mind... yeah I'm a sewer, big time.

One of a Kind

I often will make three or four bears at a time in preparation for future ideas. If the wood is particularly damp even after completion, I'll let it sit inside the house up to a month to dry out further. If the legs warp as a result of absorbing moisture from glue or the body pops out an old knot, it's back to the garage for more whittling.
Here's raw bear again with legs and a more sculpted head. Getting the body to stand at 90 degrees is a bit tricky and it involves brad nailing the legs one at a time till it is balanced on all fours. Then it gets several sandings by hand and orbital sander, and a spritz of compressed air to remove sawdust before going upstairs for paint and varnish.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Bear Making

These bears of mine kind of look neat before their final paint job. I start with cutting out the body with a scroll saw. I cut free form, no jigs or preliminary sketches... I don't use clamps so there's a need to be a bit more careful when holding the wood down with my other hand. After that I whittle the edges down with a utility knife and putty any wide cracks with spackle. The head and ears get extra whittling. That is where the essence of the bear comes through.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A Quickie Thanks

... to The K-Bear for my first ever link on someone else's blogroll. Check out her lovely paintings!