happy new year!

Here's hoping for a magical 2011...

I celebrated new year's eve with my kids watching Looney Tunes and eating banana splits. It was pretty great. I hope you're celebrating in style like my pal Leroy, pictured above, and that you have a happy and healthy new year!


for babies

I made two Baby Bears and put them in my shop. I'm really excited about this toy. They are made of the nicest fabrics and stuffed with wool. Simple and sweet and perfect for little hands and mouths. And washable!


arthur's first christmas

This is my new nephew Arthur. He's incredibly sweet and adorable and we can see already he's really quite special. His mom (my sister) and dad are pretty special too as a matter of fact. Of all the exciting events of the past year, his birth was by far the most wonderful.

I made him a little Waldorf-inspired baby bear for Christmas and here he is melting my heart by seeming to really like his new toy! It is really fun to have a new baby in the family and it's got me thinking about baby toys again...an interest that seemed to fade now that my own boys are no longer babies. I've made a couple more of these Baby Bears but a little different than Arthur's...his is one of a kind just for him.


almost over

Our show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is almost over already, it closes January 2nd. This show has been such a wonderful experience. I'm so happy to have gotten to know the other artists in the show, we've gotten lots of really good (and thoughtful) reviews, and had some interesting discussions. To read the reviews and see the work of all four artists visit our blog FLOURISH. Contact me if you have questions about pricing and availability of works.

Now that I've had a little break from the intense drawing of a few months ago I'm starting to think about the next drawings...


christmas faces

Our house is looking very festive this year! I've added some real gems to my vintage Christmas collection recently...

The bears for my boys are coming along. The colors are kind of unintentionally Christmas -themed. I've been wanting to make a red bear for Oscar for some time now as it has always been his favorite color. Jude's bear is a really pretty jade green. I really love this new pattern...such a nice big hearty body shape good for playing with.

All the present-making, wrapping and shopping is getting me so excited for Christmas!



He's my new favorite( the newest bear is almost always my favorite). He's got kind of a burly body shape but as you can see from his bow tie he's quite the dandy.

I'm loving the old fashioned googly-looking glass eyes I used for the "brother" bear I posted a little while ago but those are a little tricky...the black pupils are sometimes placed kind of funny making it tough to find a pair that works. These are old china buttons where I've painted on the pupils.

I'm working on two more bears using this new pattern for my boys; my very favorite kind of project!


snow globe...and a present for you!

What a day for a birthday party! Oscar turned five today and we are living in a real world snow globe up here. We have had well over a foot of snow today and it's still falling (and blowing). In true Minnesota spirit, most of Oscars friends made it to the party, and despite missing a few pals the kid had a great day. We made snow globes for a little craft project...so cute! There are several online resources for this project but I found mine on Martha Stewart.

I'm sorry to have been so absent here this past week. Life has been busy with work and family demands. I've been working on a couple toys for a new store opening soon...more on that later.

Etsy has added a new coupon feature so I thought I'd give you dear (and patient) readers a little present. Starting now, enter the code SNOWGLOBE at the time of checkout and receive a ten percent discount on everything in my shop! This will be for a limited time and I'll announce it in the shop on Monday.


moving on

I've put two more bears in my Etsy shop today...probably the last addition to the shop for a little while. I've got other exciting projects to work on most importantly, planning my son's fifth birthday party.

We made these invitations for his little party. The theme: Yetis!

I was looking at this picture of the treats I made for Oscar's class last year for his birthday celebration and noticed something kind of shocking...It has been viewed over 20,000 times!? How did this happen? I think it would be funny if of all the things I've made in my life this is what I was best known for. Actually, they were pretty great.


brother and sister

I just finished up these two sweet bears which I'll be adding to the shop tomorrow morning at 10am (CST). I continue my quest to keep my Etsy shop stocked with an assortment of items between now and Christmas! Somebody special in my shop may be a little bit on sale tomorrow too...

I've been working this morning but I plan to spend the rest of the day relaxing with my family. I hope you are having a a lovely Thanksgiving filled with family and good food!


much, much better

I was having trouble getting good images of these new toys due to lack of sun but then my mom came over with her fancy camera and TA DA! I'd felt okay about the images I was getting with my little point and shoot but I might have to put a nice camera on my Christmas list...

Thanks for your help, mom!

These new toys are in the shop.


let's play!

Three Play Rabbits and three Play Bears. I'll work on getting them in the shop tonight or tomorrow morning. I'm having a hard time getting good pictures of them today as it is really cloudy outside...and icy!

UPDATE: The photos are kind of iffy but the toys are now in the shop!


kind of scattered

I can't believe it is Thursday already, this week has slipped past me. I'm so grateful to everyone who has bought toys from me over the past couple of weeks. It's been really fun, really surprising and quite a thrill. My goal is to try to keep my store stocked from now until Christmas with an assortment of toys. I know I won't be able to make as many things as I'd like to but I'll do my best. I'm open to suggestions about what to make so feel free to let me know if you have a special request...

I've been working away at a new group of play animals but this has been one of those weeks where for a hundred little reasons it's hard to get work done in the studio and despite my best efforts to stay healthy I've managed to catch whatever it is that my kids have been so sick with. Rats.

To top it all off, I have to give an artist talk at the museum tonight. These things make me quite nervous so I'm in a bit of a state today!


new ones

These three will be in the shop this afternoon...play rabbits and bears in the works.


inspiration: Richard Scarry

Nobody draws cuter rabbits than Richard Scarry...or bears or mice or wild boars for that matter. I was thinking about his rabbits when I made two new ones this week. I feel like I should have gotten more done but with two sick kids and a broken sewing machine for much of the week I guess I did alright. The rabbits are almost done now and next week I'll be making more Play Bears and Play Rabbits.

And I got a new sewing machine!!



Look what we woke up to here in Minnesota today! The perfect first snow...nice and sticky for snowballs and plenty of it to play in. The kids are in heaven and I like it too. My husband Benji rode his bike to work today as he will all winter. My hero!


two elves

My interest in all things Christmas has started early this year and feels especially strong. There are just so many Christmas treasures out there to hunt for! I found these little elves yesterday at one of my favorite spots...one for each kid to hang on the tree!


big time

Well...I've been sitting on some pretty big news for a while now. My toys have been featured in Martha Stewart Living's Holiday Gift Guide! I'm obviously really happy and excited about it, but it also makes me kind of anxious. I guess it's just the not knowing what exposure like this will bring...something? Nothing? The magazine has just started going out to subscribers I think. Yikes.

As long as I'm bragging, check out our blog FLOURISH to read a couple really great reviews our show has gotten from the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio. We have also all posted images of our work from the show.


paper robots

mom and kids


new toys in the shop today

Whew! I added a bunch of new toys to the shop today. Here are some pictures of some of the pieces I don't think I've shown you yet:


happy halloween!

photos Mary Daniels

I'd like to thank my kids for requesting such manageable costumes this year and my mom for taking these great photos!



Here are a couple of my favorite pictures from the photo shoot I did today. Also, my art and I are being featured in a local website MNartists.org and I needed to give them a portrait of myself. I rarely say this but... I kind of like this picture of me! It's probably because I'm wearing my favorite hat. The link above is not to the article about my work but rather MNartists homepage. I'll put up the article as soon as it appears on the website.