and the Winner is....

Congrats to "a painter"!
You are the lucky winner of my Buddha Bear Giveaway!

BIG BIG Hugs to everyone who participated, and for the lovely comments... it was you after all, that made the giveaway fun!

Since there was such a nice turn out for the giveaway, I will do another one this summer :)

Stay tuned... I have some new exciting things up my sleeve *teddy bear related* for my Etsy shop update this week! It's hard to keep it a secret :)



Wildflowers and Canopies

For a big city like Chicago, I'm thankful for the many natural areas like the river walks, prairies, savannas, woodlands. I drive by this scenic area a few times a week on the way to the gym, so finally yesterday evening Rob and I did some exploring.

This is a section of Legion Park, behind North Park University. We decided to go this route since it was quieter and non-recreational (no noisy BBQ's or groups of people). The only folks we encountered was a couple paddling silently by on a canoe. Rob wants to get kayaks, but I say canoe-it's more romantic. Besides, how else can I bring sandwiches and other provisions? Soggy backpack is not for me (been there, done that). But I digress. We strolled through native prairie/ meadow abundant with towering grasses, echinacea, wild flowers and daisies.

And said hello to this cute line up of ducks. I kinda like this blurry shot of them too:

Our nature stroll concluded beneath the cool shade of the canopy :)

Hope you had a fun weekend with some outdoorsy delights!
Even though summer just started, doesn't it seem to be flying by? Enjoy every minute of it!


DESTASH Delights!

Come One, Come All! Gather to my Etsy shop for fabulous fabric finds! I'm destashing lots of excellent vintage sewing goods: cotton feedsacks, cotton prints, pom poms and tassel trims, whatever I have in abundance that I can share with you, my special friends. I'm talking yard sale prices folks!

I'll be listing more today and the coming days. So check back daily to see what fresh scores await you!

Have a super Saturday :) xoxo


Bundle Mumble Jumble

Expecting a(nother) severe rain storm. The garden, animals and trees could use the water after this incredible heat wave. The last storm we had knocked out my tallest blue Delphinium (there was only 3 of them), so I've got bamboo sticks supporting the taller plants, just in case. Our bitty Maple tree-whose trunk is the width of my finger- survived, miraculously!

Feeling a bit scattered, perhaps it's the stifling heat. One thing's for sure, my studio needs a total cleaning out. I've got a jumble of materials all over the place, and some jumble has crept to a second room upstairs that used to just be for my industrial sized bags of polyfil.

While I was fishing around upstairs (and nearly crying when I found my beloved 3 cats baby medical records), it reminded me that I've been meaning to make neat little Pengy destash bundles for the shop. I've amassed a TON of fabric & vintage notions that I can't possibly use all of it. So now that I've said it, I guess I'll have to actually do it! :D

Have a Happy Thursday! Stay cool and in the shade :)


A three pipe problem

Around this time last year, I posted about my visit to Gillette's Castle and my deep affection for the Granada Sherlock Holmes series (the DVD complete box set is worth every penny). But it's more than just the weather that's got me thinking about my favorite eccentric detective. We've got the steampunk trend embracing Holmesian fashion and the Sherlock Holmes movie to be released this Christmas. When I heard about the forthcoming movie, I thought "why must they tamper with greatness?"

Guy Ritchie's film stars Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock and Jude Law as Holmes. Oy vey. My brother, who has been a devoted Sherlock fan since childhood (coincidentally he bears a resemblance to Robert Downey Jr) commented "while Downey will put on a quality performance, the screenplay and overall production will only be adequate for the popcorn population, but not for those like us." Judging by the official movie preview I must concur. More James Bond than Arthur Conan Doyle. And what about the trademark aqualine features? Apparently the casting was more concerned with a tight six pack.

Now compare to the brilliant Jeremy Brett, the definitive Sherlock. He deserves a lifetime achievement award for his stunning, complex portrayal- but sadly he died at age 59. My all-time favorite scene from the Granada series:

Brett regarded the detective as "a black-and-white figure moving through a world of color" (sigh). He truly became Sherlock - as his bio outlines, the role became entangled with his real life, however tragically. I hope that the new audiences discover the Granada series starring Brett and the other remarkable cast members. Granada's adaptation captured every detail and mannerisms of the original stories, and in some ways surpassed them. Not an easy task.

Trends may come and go, but there is comfort in knowing that greatness is timeless. Long Live JB.


Father Sun, Mother Moon

Early dawn. Late sunset. Long day. Short night.
Happy Papa's day on this Summer Solstice!

P.S. Don't forget, my eBay auctions for 2 sweet bears are ending tonight! My seller id: pengpengbears


Laws of Nature

Earth 74% covered in water, human body 60% water... Chicago 110% water. The floods have arrived folks. I pray our little Maple tree baby survives. We just planted it 2 days ago. This morning I found a new born bird laying on our patio table. Sadly, she didn't survive. I gently picked her up with a tissue I had in my pocket, and teary eyed I held it's tiny, featherless, fragile body. A short-lived miracle who never saw flight. I returned her to the Earth, and laid a flower over the spot. That is the way of nature. Some make it, some don't. It is just sad to see the ones that don't.

Every evening I do as much landscaping/ gardening as possible, as light + weather permits. Around 9pm the mosquitoes are having a feast of me, so I have to pack it up then. The wheel barrel is nearly full of rain water just from this afternoon. During a heavy rain, the soil compacted / low areas of the yard becomes very obvious. That dark soil square is a new planting experiment, I will discuss later if all goes well!

And who may this be? The mischievous bugger roaming our block. Mystery Cat has been freely using our yard as a litter box. No collar, of course (argh!). No one in the neighborhood has laid claim to this feline. But he appears quite healthy and well fed (and hopefully neutered). I've tried many nontoxic natural cat repellents like citrus peel, coffee grinds, planted lavender. Yet the poo keeps moving from place to place. I turn my back for a minute, and there's a fresh "deposit" in the center of the yard. And I never can catch him in the act! How ironic, after 15 years of taking care of my own cats, that I'd be picking up after this assailant? Such is the way of a nature, I suppose!

Have fun this Father's Day weekend! xoxo


Three Little Bears on eBay tonight!

"Tiny Polka" OOAK with sculpted nose

"Picadilly" OOAK with sculpted nose

"Pink Wasabi" OOAK SOLD

I'll be listing these 3 bears tonight on eBay! 5 day auctions, with buy-it-now options if you don't want to wait :) Auctions end this Sunday night. My eBay seller id: pengpengbears

Happy bidding!!


It's GIVEAWAY Time!!

Okay, I'm trying to stay on top of the Treasuries, since they are time sensitive! Just received a sweet *convo (that's Etsy speak for "conversation") this morning from 5gardenias that my Mini Candy Castle is featured in her curated Treasury aptly titled "the Gnomes Home". What a lovely surprise to start the weekend! BTW, I've been eyeing this item in her shop for a while, it just makes me giggle :)

"The Gnomes Home" Treasury expires June 14th (which means the link will disappear) so be sure to pop by quick and browse the cute Gnome-y items featured!

And now for the anticipated GIVEAWAY!! Yes, I said GIVEAWAY! I need your participation to make it FUN!

One grand prize will be awarded:
An original Peng Peng Buddha Bear! a value of $235!
The Prize is the Buddha Bear pictured RIGHT only (cushion not included).

Here's the deal: You may enter up to THREE times!
1st entry
: leave a comment here on my blog of your favorite item in my Etsy shop.
2nd entry
: mention this Giveaway on Twitter or Facebook with a link back to my blog, and be sure to tell me you did in the comments.
3rd entry:
follow my blog (on the right column).

One lucky winner will be selected from random number generator. Winner will be announced here June 30th! *The Giveaway is open to everyone worldwide, however to keep costs down if winner is from outside of USA they agree to pay for shipping.

Have FuN and pass it along!

Enjoy the weekend :) xoxo


Greetings from Playland

I'm always tickled to see collectors pics and the fun, inventive ways they display their Peng Peng's and other bears. These pics were sent in by Tracy and she's graciously allowed me to share them with you. Above: Buddha Bear with his mushroom house. (that house!)

Here is Mr. Yams "at work" in his circa 1914 toy grocery store (made by the Cass Toy Company).
Glad to see he's earning his keep, lol! It seems fitting that Mr. Yams would be a grocer, sorting yams and such? I think he needs a bow tie now. Meanwhile Ting Ting is doing nothing but riding around on a vintage mohair ducky (and how nicely Ting Ting fits in with the old bears :)

Adorable HUG or what? :) Thanks so much for sharing Tracy!

In Etsy news: (I intended to get this posted sooner, but was so busy with my Little Wunders update) My miniature Gnome was featured in another lovely Treasury this month, curated by LaTouchables Bags and Things. Thanks again Dawn, you're too good to me! Miniature Gnome is still hoping for a forever home, and is available right here.

It's a rainy, cool day here...who would guess I'd need long sleeves in June? Hope it is warmer where you are! Toodles for now. xoxo


Small Faces for Small Spaces

(click to see larger image)

Can you believe these are 1 3/4" diameter? I'm just loving these tiny paintings! The Small Faces series is comprised of miniature imagination portraits, painted totally stream of consciousness.

These original paintings are on primed wood, using artist grade acrylics + sealed with a lovely satin varnish (not too glossy, not too matte). Since they are too small for nails or hardware, each painting will come with easy-to-apply (self stick) small magnet + velcro options for quick display (wall, metal, fabric, wherever you have space for a face!)

Look for these new lovelies this week in my Etsy shop! *Update: some are already up in the shop!

p.s. If you're familiar with the band Small Faces, I salute you! ;o)


Minnie Mouse in the house!

Firstly, thanks so much for all the lovely comments/ response to "Little Wunders" update yesterday! It's been a long while since I made new bears so your kind words have been very encouraging. You guys are "wunderful" indeed!

Now, I'm happy to introduce a very special OOAK creation "Peng Peng's Minnie" ~ inspired by an antique Minnie Mouse doll. Minnie was listed last night on eBay for 5 day auction, ending June 9th. She'd be tickled if you'd visit her! My eBay seller ID is pengpengbears. update: Minnie is adopted, thank you!

My apologies for being a bit tardy with the announced 8pm eBay listing, who would guess it would take me 45 minutes to get my listing going (revisions, missing photos, etc)! So Minnie's auction started about 8:35pm. I'm a bit rusty with the eBay apparently, but hope to do more listings on a regular basis (like I did in my early days of bear making ;).

A beautiful warm day today in Chicago, perhaps we will dine alfresco in the yard tonight! So I better get a jump on cooking that "Old Country Pie" ~ Moosewood recipe, as usual :)

Have an excellent weekend! xoxo


"Little Wunders" New Bears Update this Thursday!

It's been a long while since I had a good ol' fashioned web update!
Come see my new group of bears "Little Wunders"
this Thursday, June 4 @ 12 noon Central

(10am Pacific/ 11am Mountain/ 1pm Eastern)

The update will be happening on my web site shop page.

See you then!