Monday, December 24, 2007

May you all have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy the time spent with your families. From our family to yours, we wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Friday, December 7, 2007


Every year, Christmas seems to come faster and faster. There doesn't seem to be as much time to visit friends or even relatives. Stores are open longer hours and on most holidays. The electronic age has made our lives more complicated, not simpler. Weekends used to be for relaxing - now employers can reach you by cell phone or email! Oh, for the good old days, when stores were closed on Sundays and holidays!

Last week, we had a scare with our grandson, Corson, that left us all shaken. Due to a mixup in communication, Corson was missing for a full hour, before being located with a friend. The police were scouring the neighbourhood, and search and rescue helicopters were searching from the air. Luckily, it ended well, but it certainly puts things in perspective.

Our son is home from Korea for the month of December, and we like to have the house decorated when he arrives. Normally, I decorate the tree by myself, as everyone knows how fussy I am about it. I have hundreds of ornaments, all different, and I am a total control freak about them. But, after everything that happened, I changed my mind this year - our grandson looooves to decorate ANYTHING, so I decided to let him help me, and we had a blast! It took us the whole day and Corson was so excited - every box he opened was a delight. He oohed and aaaahed over every ornament. At first, I had taken some fragile ornaments and put them on the tree before he arrived, but he was very disappointed. So, I held my breath and let him handle the breakable ones and he was so proud of himself - he called them his "precious" ornaments. Not a single one was broken and I think we may have started a new tradition - Corson and Nanny, decorating the tree!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Where on earth does the time go - it's November already! I've been really busy, desperately trying to get some pieces done for the BAO Winter Warmer Online show this weekend and battling a very nasty bug at the same time. Thank goodness for the generosity and understanding of Penny Davis, the owner of the site and I'm very grateful for the extension she gave to so many of us struggling to meet the deadline. I have bigger and better antibiotics, so I hope to feel better by show time.

Normally, I only do bunnies at Easter time, but I decided to make a couple of winter bunnies, and I'm very pleased with them. The first one is a standing bunny pulling a wicker cart full of hand made Xmas goodies (a mini beeswax Santa ornament, a mini chalkware bunny, a mini wooden Xmas ornament with a repro vintage xmas card decorated with glitter, a mini bottle brush tree and a chenille candy cane). The bunny is made of mohair and is hand painted with layers of permanent-heatset paints and it really brings him to life.

The second bunny is a tiny Peter Rabbit (2 3/4") that I made to fit inside the cutest little Peter Rabbit collector tin. I stumbled across it at the market at St Jacobs and knew immediately that I had to make a Peter to go with it. He is also made of mohair, is fully jointed and wears his very own removable jacket.

The last piece is a 5 inch Christmas teddy, with his very own Jack Frost in the Box. The teddy is made of hand-dyed mohair and has been distressed, to make him look vintage. His Santa hat is held on with elastic and can be removed after Christmas. Jack Frost is hand sculpted from Fimo and is mounted in a wooden box.

I hope you have enjoyed a preview of my pieces (you can click on each picture for a larger view) and you can see all the other wonderful bears and animals at , tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m. EST. The show runs a full 24 hours and there are 42 international artists participating. That means loads of teddies, so mark your calendar and come and join in the fun. I'll post a link here, once the show is open - hope to see you there!

Friday, October 12, 2007


I have had so much fun playing hooky from bearmaking and working with old photos and photshop. It makes me sad to see family photos relegated to a box or a drawer. I also love glitter and altered art, so I decided to see if I could come up with a way to get the photos out the boxes and onto a wall or a Christmas tree or anywhere that they would be enjoyed.

I'm really thrilled with the results and have decided to show them off here, on my blog. I'm making 4 different sizes because some photos need a larger format. Three sizes use beveled glass and the last one uses plain glass. The smaller size (2 inches x 1 1/2 inches) is really cute. The look nice on a tree or on a cord as a pendant or with several strung together on a garland. I'm working on two garlands - one of our grandson which includes a new picture of him each year on his birthday, and another with pictures of him with his Papa, because they really have a special bond. They will eventually belong to our grandson, when he is grown and I hope they will have special memories for him.

The mid sizes are 3" x 1 1/2" and 2" x 3" and the larges is an oval 4" x 2". Some are decorated with photo corners and glitter and some are plain. Some have fancy soldering and others are more simply soldered. The variations are endless. I'm hoping to start selling custom made ornaments from customers' own family photos. I have some samples and prices listed in my Etsy Shop:, for anyone who is interested and I can be contacted through my shop. Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2007


Today is such a grey, rainy day - perfect for working on the computer. Where on earth does the time go - it seems that the world is spinning faster and faster these days! I'm trying new things and new selling venues. I decided to open an Etsy shop. It's a unique little selling site for all things "hand made", and it has some fabulous artists selling their goods.

I've decided to start with my brooches etc. and maybe add some small bears later on. I managed to make the shop banner, a superlative feat with my computer skills, LOL! I'm adding a link for those who would like to check it out: Thanks for peeking.

Friday, August 31, 2007


I have been involved in the art world in some capacity for the past 30 years. There isn't much that I haven't tried LOL! I've sold at Craft fairs and now on Ebay, where I love the fact I am in control and I only create what I enjoy.

For the past eleven years I have been a miniature teddy bear artist and even after all these years, I still enjoy it (which surprises me a little). However, the years of hand sewing are taking their tole and it's time to start looking in a new direction.

A few years ago, I stumbled across something that encompassed a lot of my interests, which include photography, old emphemera, playing with photoshop, and finding new uses for old photographs (which too often get shoved in a box) - making ornaments and jewelry. Last week, I decided to have another go at it and I haven't had this much fun in years. I hope you enjoy the pictures of my new jewelry and ornaments, as much as I enjoyed making them. I am listing them tonight on ebay, if you care to take a peek at them. My seller id is: duffyantiques . Thanks for popping by!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


For the past two weeks we have been on holidays. We spent time with our grandson, relished the company of very special friends and we visited some of the more regional landmarks, which is something we don't do very often. We visited the St Jacobs market, which is always a wonderful experience and also visited the Silos, which has a great variety of local crafts.

Then it was on to the Niagara region, with its fruit markets and winerys, as well as the beautiful little town, Niagara-on-the Lake, and last but not least, Niagara Falls. My husband is fascinated with the two sets of falls - he loves to watch the power of it all, as the water goes tumbling over the edge. It really is an incredible site. We stumbled across the extremely efficient bus system this time, with it's all day bus passes, which made the trip even more enjoyable and very easy to navigate from one end of the town to the other!

This was the first time we toured the Butterfly Conservatory, which was the highlight of my visit - I could have spent hours there, photographing the variety of over 2000 brilliantly coloured tropical butterflies. It was quite an experience and I would highly recommend it. The gardens at the conservatory were also lovely and there are many other gardens around town to visit.

The falls were breathtaking as always, even though we have viewed them many, many times. The amount of tourists we see each time we come, always reminds us what an amazing site we have right in our back yard. The photo with the boat is the Canadian Falls or Horseshoe Falls, the larger of the two falls. Enjoy the pictures!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

How Fast They Grow Up!

I can't believe our grandson, Corson, will be starting school this fall - it seems like only yesterday we were waiting for him to start walking. He is only 3 1/2 years old, but he's VERY tall and looks more like 5-6. Two weeks ago, Corson got his first two wheel bike with training wheels. I love the way it came about.

My parents used to collect Canadian Tire money and save it for something special they wanted. After my parents died, we found a stack of it they had saved and my daughter asked for it. That was almost 7 years ago and I thought she had spent it long ago, but she hadn't. Our son-in-law asked what I thought of using it to buy Corson his first bike. We were all touched - it was a great idea and a wonderful way to remember them and include them in such a special occasion, long after they were gone. Corson loves his bike and the fact he is officially a "big boy"!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Why You Should Never Throw Away Your Kids Toys!

I have a little confession to make - I am a pack rat! I have kept quite a few of our kids old Fisher Price toys, from their childhood. My son was even worse than I am - as I was putting things out for a garage sale, when we moved from up north, he was sneaking them back into the house LOL! He liked to keep EVERYTHING and he always took great care of his toys. Many of our friends have rolled their eyes, when they noticed the totes of toys in our basement YEARS after our kids were grown and gone. Well, today I have been redeemed!

Our grandson is extremely active. It's a constant mission to keep him occupied when he's at our house, and we try not to sit him in front of the television. Today, he surprised us with a visit, as it was Papa's birthday and he wanted to play with Papa's tools, as ususal. My husband was on his way to work , so he couldn't surpervise Corson.

My niece and I recently did some re-aranging in our basement, since our move last fall, and I knew just what to surprise Corson with - our son's Fisher Price helecopter, Adventure Van and all the little men that come with it! I must admit, I wasn't sure how he would like them - our wee boy has just about every technical toy on the market - did he even have an imagination? Well, Nanny rules, because his eyes popped open when he saw them and he couldn't get to them fast enough. It was really a treat to see him play with a toy that he had to manually control, not one that controlled him, and in minutes he was making a realistic helicopter sound. So ladies, don't throw out all of your kids toys - someday they will come in handy!

I think the pictures say it all, and Corson was a very sad boy when he had to leave, but the toys will be waiting for him another day, along with lots more items. So Neal, if you read this, Corson is waving to you to say "thanks for your toys", Uncle Neal!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


My husband, Neil, has always loved roses in a garden. When we moved to our current house last summer, it was obvious that the garden needed a really good overhaul. There was only one spot that was obvious for planting the roses, and it meant digging up a virtual hedge of evening primroses. So, this spring we did just that, and went on our hunt for the "perfect" rose bushes.

I love the pastel roses and miniature roses and he likes the brighter, bolder ones - why can't we just agree on one thing LOL! (although I seem to have managed quite a few pastel ones). Anyway, after hitting the local nurseries and much deliberation, we finally added the first of our roses to the garden and they seem really happy. Once they have matured, the bushes at the back will be as tall as 3-4 feet and those in front will will remain smaller. I've added a few pictures and I hope they brighten your day - I'm sure there will be more to come in the future.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Mark Your Calendar- 1st Bear Artists Online Show

The very first online bear show for Bear-Artists-Online will be taking place on June 30th, so mark the date on your calendar. Over 100 bears and critters will be waiting to welcome you. Forty talented bear artists from around the world have produced the very best of bears and critters for you to enjoy.

Opening Time: Midnight 29th June through to Midnight 30th, Great Britain time - an entire 24 hour showtime to allow for collectors in differing time zones to be able to access the show at a reasonable time for them! For those of us in North America, using Eastern Standard time, that means the show starts at Friday, 7:00 p.m. EST, June 29th and running through to 7:00 p.m EST, June 30th. It will be three hours earlier for those of you on the west coast using Pacific Standard time.

How to Purchase during the show: Simply visit and click on the link to the show pages, there you will find a list of all the Bear Artists taking part - just click on any name and you will be taken to the artists online show booth. When you find the perfect bear for you just use the direct email link provided to contact the artist and purchase your bear! The artists will be hovering around their computers all day ready and waiting to hear from you. All transactions are direct with the individual artist so you will have the opportunity to talk to them, ask questions or maybe even commission a bear.

I'm really excited about this new opportunity and I'm delighted to include a preview of the five pieces I created for the show. You can view a larger image by clicking on the individual pictures. If you wish to see a preview of other bears that will be included in the upcoming show, check out the Bear Artist Online website now and click on the "Summer Show" banner.

Violet the Bunny is 5 inches long and comes with her own reproduction antique postcard, decorated with glitter. Violet is made of German mohair and hand painted with many layers of heat-set paint, to give her a realistic look. She is jointed at the head only.

Gemma and her Purse is a set. Gemma is 5 1/2 inches tall and is made from hand-dyed, German Shulte mohair. She wears her smocked dress, decorated with embroidered red roses, to match her vintage reproduction purse.

Liam II is a wonderful little sailor boy, who stands 5 1/2 inches tall and is proud to be named after his grandfather. He is fully jointed, made of German Shulte mohair and he wears a hand made button with a picture of his grandfather, on his sailor suit.

Henrietta the duck and Gabrielle the Goose are miniature working toys, made from German mohair. Henrietta is 2 1/2 inches long and Gabrielle is 3 1/2 inches long. Their bodies are wired for durability and their wings are wired for posing. When pushed forward, the feet simulate a walking motion.

All of my toys are stuffed with excelsior and weighted with steel shot. I hope you have a chance to drop in and visit the show. We'd love to see you there.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Grand Gardens

Last week my hubby was on holidays and we had the opportunity to take a day trip to visit some very special friends. We have known each other for 29 years and have shared a myriad of memories. We raised our children in the same small town and spent Christmas together for over 17 years. Our little group included four families and none of us had relatives living nearby, so we formed our own family. Our children felt like they had four sets of parents. Friends like these are rare indeed and even though we all live in different parts of the country, we stay in touch and treasure all of them.

The funny thing is, my friend and I were never gardeners when our kids
were small - no time, I guess. Now we both love to garden and my friend's garden was picked for their local garden tour this year! It's a wonderful place that has such a peaceful, calm feeling. She has a fountain surrounded by lavender and an incredible variety of plants AND a "blue bottle tree", that I just love. It's made from copper tubing and looks like a tree, and is covered with hanging blue bottles - it's spectacular, especially with the lights on at night.

My garden is small now, because I have trouble maintaining a large
space with my arthritis. However, I laugh at just how many different plants I've managed to cram into my tiny space. Oh well, once it matures, there certainly won't be any room for weeds LOL! My lupines are the only thing blooming so far, but we have roses and delphiniums that are just about ready. My trilliums are gone, boo hoo, but my lilac is blooming along with the northern azalea bush, and the jack-in-the-pulpits have survived the move - yeaaaah! We have a ton of landscaping to do in the back yard, but I do enjoy a nap on our lounger. Enjoy the pictures.