Monday, November 28, 2005

L'il Bologna Loaf is Growing

Lately he's completely consumed with fidgeting about the stray bits of bamboo all around their habitat. When Bologna Loaf tires of that, he'll chew and wrestle his Mum instead. This furious activity would probably be the human equivalent of the 'terrible twos'. He runs fast too.
Check it Out!


This used to be a 60's era Lionel Feininger 'Sailboats' print until it got gouged during my move to Whistler in 1999. Not one for throwing away stuff, I painted Frankenbear on top of it. He brightens up a dark corner in a downstairs hallway.

Rack O' Logs

I wrangled my ass away from the computer to tackle a log rack kit I ordered from LL Bean a while ago. The original directions called for four short and two long pieces of 2 x 4 lumber to be attached to u-shaped brackets (with 3/4" screws included).
I opted for additional horizontal and knee bracing, and 3" screws. Now I don't have to worry about stacked wood leaning heavily on the balcony windows; neat and tidy.

Old School Heat

I recently saw a TV infomercial for what looked like a keresene soaked wad on a candle wick being sold as the 'perfect, no fail' way to light a fireplace. The actors on it hemmed and hawed trying to light up the old way (see right) and getting their hands messy. Personally, I don't recommend burning anything other than paper and wood in a brick fireplace. Residue from burning petroleum can collect inside the chimney walls and in time, reignite.
A more dramatic shot of kindling exploding into flames.
Believe it or not more than one hundred years ago, soft toys were once stuffed with what's known as excelsior (shaved sawdust). Dave saved me a few bucketfulls from the remnants of chainsawing firewood on the grain. This stuff makes excellent kindling and extremely flammable stuffed animals.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Panda Love

I am so infatuated with the Panda Cam that I have it minimized at the top left of my screen as I blog so as not to miss a thing. In this little vignette, L'il Bologna Loaf resigns himself to nurse after repeated attempts by Big Panda Mum to wrangle him in her lap. He immediately fell asleep into a ball of fur on the floor as soon as he had his fill five minutes later.

Story by K-Bear

I finally got my print in a frame, the one I got as a swap with K-Bear back last summer. I can't say enough of how pleased I am.... Katy's illustrations are superb!

Other People's Bears

What does a person like me buy when I already make wooden bears on my own? I think of this other bear collection as inspiration pieces, a humble homage to bear art and a mild case of eBay obsession.
This guy is one of my favorites, always happy to greet everyone and forever comfortable on his lilly pad.
A hodge-podge of small bears. The majority of bear figurine stances are of this lumbering type.
This guy is about two feet tall, made from one piece of cedar and carved with a 18" chainsaw. The seller lived on Vancouver Island and we made arrangements for the bear to travel to Whistler by Greyhound Bus.
I wish more licence plates could be animal shapes like the ones from way up north. Wimsy is sorely lacking in everyday modern life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

In My Neighbourhood

My craft exploits are a bit thin at the moment so I thought to post this year old pic. The yearling bear is eating whatever it finds just before winter denning. Dave found him/her upon exiting a building in the village and happened to have a camera on him. These are the bears that inspire me to make the ones I do.

Hooked on Panda Cam

I love checking in to see L'il Bologna Loaf's (Tai Shan's) progress. I know this sounds stupid for those who have kids but I find him amazingly infant like. He sleeps a ton, chews his paws and can be quite the fussbudget. Mei, his mum, keeps an eagle eye out on him, which is heartwarming to watch. You can find a link to the cam on the right sidebar.

Buffy & Big Bird

i was doing some web research for a friend on Buffy Sainte-Marie and found this awsome pic on her website. This is the Buffy I grew up with watching Canadian Sesame Street programs.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Another Day...

I'm having one of those days where not much seems to go right, like when a burning log falls too close to the fireplace edge in the middle of the night and the whole upstairs reeks wood smoke by morning, or all the tape rolls in the house are stuck to themselves so you score one side and are left with 6" pieces to the end of the roll... I didn't notice this till I got back late Thursday from the Soo Valley. One of the little neighbourhood darlings left a message on our truck door. At least it's spelled correctly.
Got my badge-a-minit in the mail today and it appears easy enough to use...
Two buttons had to die for every one that made it to this picture. Making these things will take some practise.
I couldn't be bothered to bring a camera with me while collecting wood yesterday... instead I brought back some of that flagger tape that's all the rage these days with alternative gift wrap ideas. These were strewn along a logging road.
To end on a pleasant note, I did get to Dressew in Vancouver last Tuesday and bought some much needed (and not) notions. The fabric selection is kind of *ick* but the notion department downstairs is a delight. Thimble mentions her visit to Dressew with pictures here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Shopping is evil on the credit card

... when it's on eBay. I've wanted this for a while though, and it came up last week at just the right price. I'll be pressing out 1 1/4" pins soon, hopefully by the end of this month for 'Ye Olde Ten Bears Shoppe'.

Numo the Hedgehog

Originally uploaded by
One of my Flickr friends has recently acquired the cutest pet I've ever seen. Behold Numo's sweet little face!

November Month of Softies

I've recycled my scrap bits into ten tote bags with a Chief-Ten-Bears label I won't use again (and that makes them special!)... Anyway, I will mail out a tote to the first ten folks who link my blog on their craft, art, photography, creative writing blog. No racy or political blogs please. First come first serve and all countries are welcome. Only those who make the first ten will be contacted. Email both your blog and snail mail addresses to

December 16 Update: Only 2 totes left for grabs!
Check it Out!
The label turned out a bit more gay than I had intended. The headress should have been more Native American, not mardi gras ho.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Window of Opportunity

One of our last trips back to Soo Valley for this season and deep into the business of chopping more wood. The snowline is creeping ominously down. Colder days ahead, Matey.
This is where I run off for a bathroom break while I'm here. I joke to myself about what an opportune moment this would it be for a bear to stumble upon me. This thought makes me finish fast and zip up while running back to the road.
Pushing them closer to the truck is fun, oh yeah. Looks like I took a dump in my jeans. I don't often get to see my own ass.
The rounds look quite neat on their own.
The forest faeries can find their own seating; these are taken.
And to think I used to be a city girl with a starbucks cup in one hand and a leopard print tote in another.
What a difference a day makes. Aw hell... back for another gruelling day and it snowed last night. Our chopping trips are numbered. Everything we pull out of here till spring thaw leans heavily on good luck. It's too difficult to find decent logs in the snow, and too f@^%ing cold either.
This fir round was left behind near the road by someone who has a longer chainsaw than us. Judging from the rings, I figure that tree was about 300 years old and if chopped up would provide less than a day's worth of heat at home. I'm sure someone with the right gear will snag it.
Not all the logs are accessible. That's when Nibbles the F250 is employed to drag them out onto the road. I think the cable has a 8,000 lb tow capacity. I'm standing 20 feet away just in case it snaps in two.
These shorter days catch us finishing up at night fall. Dave's sawing rounds by the lights at Nibbles' rear end. I took this pic while sitting on the tailgate.
Ugh, here we are the following morning. I'm too tired to shoo Dave away from snapping a pic of me wiping the tables with my elbows. Our favorite place in Whistler for brunch is a hole in the wall called Gaitor's, not known as Gator's Restaurant, just Gaitor's. Small towns run that way.

Got to think about what I'm going to do for this November Month of Sofites. Ta ta!

A Fun Game

Chomp Champ provides idle fun with lots of bear action, that is if you choose the bear character at the top second from left. He growls, chews and slurps through all those burgers. Love it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Reclaim Your Childhood at eBay

I had several tea sets in all sorts as a child; plastic, wood, stoneware... and met the fate of most toys ever played with by children. Lost, utterly and totally. I fulfilled my desire to have a complete set last summer and bought this mint 30-year old set made of fine porcelain. God, is it tiny. I can't put my pinky finger through the cup handles. Cute as a button though.

Head of the Pack

She's one of the first bears I made and it's almost a year since I started this little enterprise of mine. Apart from a dusting now and then, Momma is very undemanding.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Fall Ennui

Night subtly merges into day and vice versa in Whistler during this time of year... plus it's been raining non-stop for almost a week so far. What a schlep it is to get motivated. At. All.

What to do, what to do. Three bears awaiting to be painted stare at me with hollow eyes. I watch wispy steam curls rise from the cup of coffee. It reminds me of the time I accidentally cleaned a paint brush in coffee and took a sip of dirty paint water. The fireplace pops and snaps behind me, running low on wood. Dishes in the sink. Dave's running out of clean t-shirts. I wish it would stop raining for one friggin' day... thank goodness ennui doesn't cause cancer, 'cuz I'd be terminal for sure.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bears in Business

Originally uploaded by Kaija.
As various shops closed and moved on, the Great Bear Center downsized itself to a primary function...

great bear!
Originally uploaded by 12by0. an oil-change garage. The bear mechanics take their coffee break in the overgrown berry bushes behind the building.

Haines, Alaska
Originally uploaded by adactio.
Bear-ittos Eatery will give a 15% discount on take-out meals if you provide a small cooler to put it in. You do have to arrive there on all fours with the carrying handle in your mouth though.

the place
Originally uploaded by a0h.
After you pass by this sign there is another one nearby insisting that all visitors must enjoy the park very, very quietly.