About Me

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Western North Carolina, United States
I am a 62 year old wife and mother of two grown sons, happily living with my darling husband, two dogs and a cat in the beautiful mountains of Western North Carolina. I have moved a lot in my life and, in the process, had more than a few professional incarnations. I have been a midwife with a home-birth practice, waitress, classroom teacher, computer programmer, secretary, bookkeeper, and even a car sales person. I have always loved sewing and managed to use my skills in that area to put a little money in my pocket since I was seven and started making doll clothes for friends in the neighborhood. A little over eleven years ago, a friend drug me to my first bear show to get my mind off a health crisis in the life of my younger son, Seth. I made Mickey with his lady bug, took him to a show and the rest, as they say, is history. Now I am hooked on bears and happily designing and making the furry critters as fast as my little fingers can stitch them up.

My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

18 September 2009

Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Ten Days of Awe

Tonight at sundown, Erev Rosh Hashanah, the Ten Days of Awe begin.  Along with the rest of the world's Jews, I will have until close of the the day on Yom Kippur to consider my faults and failings; confess my sins to G-d; humbly ask for forgiveness from those I have wronged and offer that same forgiveness to those by whom I have been wronged.  It is an awesome and very serious time indeed, these ten days. 

If you are Jewish, I wish you a Happy New Year, Le Shannah Tova.  If you are not Jewish, I beg your indulgence while I disappear from view for the next ten days and contemplate my soul, my sins, and the obligations of my faith.

Shelley, the NCTeddyBearLady

13 September 2009

Up Coming Holiday Season

Here in the mountains, our nights have turned cool and our days, while still warm, no longer have a summery feel to them. Fall is just around the corner. Before we know it, Thanksgiving will come quickly followed by the holiday observances of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. As a maker of handmade goods, I have been preparing for the shopping frenzy that usually accompanies these holiday observances. I am busily cranking out new jewelry designs and am working on a couple of bead knitted pouches in interesting color combinations.

It would be interesting to hear what all of you are doing to prepare for the upcoming holidays. Are you traveling to shows? If so where? Are you doing anything different this year than last? Are your sales up or down? Do you think the economy has recovered enough that you feel confident of the upcoming shopping season? Comments from one and all will be welcome.
Shelley, the NCTeddyBearLady

13 July 2009

13 June 2009

Tag I'm it and so are you!

Tag - you're it, Butterfly Crafts Online, has tagged me in her blog. Now, I get to post in my blog that I have been tagged by Butterfly Crafts Online. After that I am supposed to list seven random facts about myself and tag seven other people with links to their blogs. So here goes with the random facts:

  1. I am a midwife who used to have a home birth practice.
  2. I speak five languages.
  3. I used to date the grandson of the last Sultan of Turkey.
  4. I lived in the medieval town of Horrues in Belgium for fifteen years.
  5. I am not afraid of spiders, no matter how big and hairy or of snakes.
  6. I was in Jerusalem just before the "Six Day War"
  7. I learned to drive at 22 when my father stopped our Volkwagen bus on an uphill grade at a red light in rush hour traffic; shifted into neutral; set the parking brake; got out of the car and walked off leaving me with my sister to figure out how to get the car home.
I chose the following seven blog links totally at random using a google search for handmade crafters. Please take a moment to visit the blogs of each of these very talented artists. Here they are:
  1. http://jewelrybydesiree.blogspot.com
  2. http://leochelleisabella.blogspot.com
  3. http://zoesbagboutique.blogspot.com
  4. http://janallsopp.blogspot.com
  5. http://studio618.blogspot.com
  6. http://nunofakind.blogspot.com
  7. http://macrifotografia.blogspot.com
Shelley, the NCTeddyBearLady

02 June 2009

Paying it Forward With Blog Awards

I am lucky enough that I can share this award with 15 of my blogger friends. To my blogger friends, here are a few rules that need to be followed to accept this award that I am going to present to you. Thank you, each and every one of you for taking the time to write such interesting blogs.
Shelley, the NCTeddyBearLady
  1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. In this case, it would an award from Tamra at With Our Hands.
  2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
  3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. Unfortunately, I can't give it back to the person that gave it to me, but I do get to give it to 15 great bloggers!
Here are the recipients of the award from me, the NCTeddyBearLady.
  1. Teri of the Beaded Branch
  2. Laura of La-De-Da Creations
  3. Marissa of Liberty Doll
  4. Bettina of Glass Dragon Bears
  5. Joy of Catinalife
  6. Larry of Chelsea Lynn Designs
  7. Aunt Franni of Sunny Days
  8. Lori of Risky Beads
  9. Mari of Whimsy by Mari
  10. Juliet of Juliet K Bears
  11. Star of Colt Pixy
  12. Jenn of Ninja Jenn
  13. April of Creative Things
  14. AJ of 3ZArt Land
  15. Linda of ArtFire Artisans

01 June 2009


As I have mentioned before, I am a columnist for HandMadeNews. My first article was on the subject of using Home Shows/Classes to promote both your business and your skills in beading and jewelry making. I have just finished the second of three installments on the subject of dealing with customers. The first was about face-to-face dealings at craft shows, the second is about written communication with customers and the third and final installment will feature a discussion of what to do when a customer is angry with you or the reverse, when you are not happy with something a customer has done. Please take the time to read the most recent. If you have time, please read them all, vote a thumbs up or down as you see fit and finally, if you have time for it, leave me a comment.

Promote Your Business with Home Shows/Classes
Minding Your Manners to Business Success, Part I
Minding Your Manners to Better Business, Part II, Written Communication

Thank you all for taking the time to do this for me.
Shelley, the NCTeddyBearLady


Tamra said...

Hi Shelley - I wanted to share with you a blog award you won, from me! You can read about it on my blog at http://withourhandsartfire.blogspot.com/.

Karrie said...

great advice Shelley! Very well written and some wonderful points. I look forward to more!!

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29 May 2009

ArtFire and Free Ride

I copied the following from the blog post of Franni, a Plurk buddy and a wonderful woman. She is working hard to help ArtFire artists get the required 12 new sign ups to get their FreeRide. If you are considering joining, be sure to click on a name below so that you can give credit towards a FreeRide with your membership. Then you can let me know and I will add your name to the list and, who knows, you just might get a FreeRide of your own.

"The FreeRide is back at Artfire. Sign up 12 friends and you AND a friend of your choosing get a free account for life. Since I already have my free ride, I am trying to help my friends. Sign up under one of my friends links and as soon as they verify that you joined under them I will add your name to my list of friends to help.

Register on ArtFire.com smiss00
Register on ArtFire.com Wooleycreek
Register on ArtFire.com Baciscreations
Register on ArtFire.com TheBeadedBranch
Register on ArtFire.com ElegancebyMode
Register on ArtFire.com Lovetostamp
Register on ArtFire.com LaDeDaCreations
Register on ArtFire.com WhimsybyMari
Register on ArtFire.com CreativeCoveJewelryDesigns
Register on ArtFire.com HuckleberryArts
Register on ArtFire.com ChelseaLynnDesigns
Register on ArtFire.com ShadeJewelry
Register on ArtFire.com BirdysKnits
Register on ArtFire.com LiberTeas
Register on ArtFire.com inkwear99
Register on ArtFire.com BeadbugJewelry
Register on ArtFire.com dreamweaversculpts
Register on ArtFire.com Wilmothfarms
Register on ArtFire.com LiciaBeads
Register on ArtFire.com soopajdelux
Register on ArtFire.com Blockheadradio
Register on ArtFire.com AllAboutTheBeads
Register on ArtFire.com handarbeitskram
Register on ArtFire.com DortheaKing
Register on ArtFire.com VintageRain
Register on ArtFire.com Curiosities808
Register on ArtFire.com jennuinecandles
Register on ArtFire.com DontKnowPub

Here are the benefits of becoming a verified user...

* US $12.00 Monthly For life!!!! * No Fees for Sales * Sell Unlimited Items * Make Your Own Categories * Full Community Interaction * Up to 10 Pictures Per Product * Preferred Placement in Searches * Shop Banner * Forums * Custom Studio Design * Google Analytics * Global Shipping Profiles * Social Media Promotion Tool * Social Media Resource Library * Real Time Statistics * Instant Flagging * Categories Displayed Randomly(No Relisting Needed) * Fast, Clear Checkout Process * Fast, Accurate Filtered Site Search * One Button Relist * One Button Vacation * Sales Mode * Education/Training * Green Impact * View Prices in Any Currency * Google Base (Autofeed Every Item) * Kudos * Guilds * Artisan Councils * Artisan Profile with Photo * Market Hub * Site Participation Rewards (Artifacts)
* Automated Markdown Manager
* Rapid Cart * Last but certainly not least, a phone number to call when you need help. (When you call it, a breathing person actually answers and either helps you on the spot or refers you to someone who can and does.)"

26 May 2009

I Have a New Job

I am a columnist for Hand Made News, ArtFire's own on-line newspaper. I have written two articles for them so far under the Business Tips section. The first was published a few weeks ago and the second has just been published today. Please take a moment to follow the link above to read the most recent. If you like what you read, please vote a thumbs up and leave a comment for me. If you really like it and want to read the first article I wrote, here is a link. If you hate either one, please feel free to vote a thumbs down but please let me know why so that I may learn from your suggestions and constructive criticisms.
Shelley, the NCTeddyBearLady

18 May 2009

As many of you who know me personally may know, I have a grandson who lived with us while his father was stationed over seas. Since our son came home and got out of the Army, we have been struggling with several issues. Number one on that list is how to maintain our relationship with the little guy without standing in the way of the big guy as he tries to re-establish a relationship with his son. Trust me, such a thing is definitely NOT easy to do. The current economic situation has complicated this thorny problem, so has the fact that our son's marriage did not survive leaving grandparents with a conundrum.

How do two people with very busy professional lives and very limited funds manage to afford frequent week-end field trips of 500 miles or so? We can't afford hotel or even motel stays, but if we leave on Saturday morning, we don't get there till late afternoon. Then we have just the evening to visit and then must turn around to leave just after breakfast on Sunday. It's not much of a visit. On top of that, it's impossible for us to stay in our son's apartment when we visit. He's recently remarried and his new wife comes to the marriage with a daughter. The apartment was small before he remarried. Adding two more people, no matter how wonderful, to the mix has made it nearly impossible to make room for guests, leaving us very clearly behind the financial 8 ball.

As if the issues surrounding our grandson were not enough, we have others. My husband is a school principal working a full hour, one way, from our home. We live in the mountains where winters can make travel after dark dicey. Add to that the requirement of a principal to attend school events that sometimes keep him at work as late as 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. With a full hour required to drive home and an equal time to return to a job that requires his presence at or before 7:00 a.m., sleep, getting fed and taking care of personal hygiene must be squeezed into a time frame far too small to accommodate them.

Another issue for us is one of aging parents. My father and both my husband's parents live more than a hard two days drive from us. We need to be able to visit but cannot stay with either when we are visiting. Once again, that leaves us with the cost of getting there and back plus the cost of finding accommodations while we are there. Of late, we have been tearing our hair out attempting to find one answer that addresses all these issues. Up until a several weeks ago, we were making no headway. Then our bank made us an offer we just could not refuse. They agreed to refinance our home at a significantly lower interest rate for a much shorter term and manage to lower our monthly payment in the bargain. To add frosting on this cake, they offered to do it with no closing costs beyond an appraisal of our home. In the current economic situation, we worried that our house might have dropped in value. It was a huge and very welcome surprise to learn that just the opposite had occurred. Our house had appreciated in value giving us an opportunity to cash out a small amount in equity.

Our windfall was nowhere near what we needed to put so much as a band-aide on our travel and accommodation costs for any of the three issues mentioned above. It was, however, just exactly enough to put a down payment on a used motor home. The motor home is being sold at a huge loss as a part of an estate sale with the heir agreeing to hold a zero percent loan in return for a down payment that just happens to be exactly the amount of our windfall. The RV has been thoroughly checked out by our mechanic and deemed in exceptionally good condition. We have gotten permission to park the RV for free at a business near my husband's school. Even considering the cost of gas, we figure we will be able to afford to visit our son & grandson, both our parents and have my husband able to stay near his school several nights a week without the $700+ we would have to spend renting even the most humble of abodes. So. . .I'm off to Texas next month to pick it up and drive it back here. I am not looking forward to that long trip but a dear friend has agreed to come along and share the driving. We'll have several days to visit while we make our way back home.
Shelley, the NCTeddyBearLady

04 May 2009


I am working on a tutorial on freeform and/or tubular peyote. I love this stitch and have been asked to teach classes on the subject. I do just that but not all can get to my mountain home in Western North Carolina to take the class. This tutorial is my answer to that. In the next hour or so, I will be posting some pictures intended for use in that tutorial. It would help me if you would look at them and their accompanying instructions & tell me if they are clear enough to be used for the tutorial. Thanks in advance for you time and consideration.
Shelley, the NCTeddyBearLady

Pick up one bead in color #1, skip over one bead in round (working clockwise) and go through next. Repeat four times. To finish row, go through last bead in previous row (turquoise) and first bead in this row (white) all at once. That bead (shown in white) then becomes the last bead of this row.

Work three more identical rows using size 8/0 seed beads. Be especially careful to keep very tension tight for these first several rows.

29 April 2009

Thinking of Ways to Deal with Hard Times

I have several friends, a niece and a son who have lost their jobs in the current economic downturn. We are making room in our home for our son & his wife. Our niece has a place to go until she can find a job and two of our friends have family or friends they can go to until they can find new jobs. Here is the question. What can I do as a member of a community to help my neighbors ride out this storm? I have gotten as far as realizing that if we can all pool our resources, there should be enough to go a round. That is a tall order. In my family, we have a finite list of resources. What can we do when those resources run out. There must be a way to organize things so that all are cared for, but I am not sure where or how to start. Suggestions anyone?
Shelley, the NCTeddyBearLady

28 April 2009

Getting Started Blogging

I have blogged before but this is my first blog about me and not just about my work. This blog has a dual purpose. The first is to give people who know me professionally an opportunity to get to know me better personally. The second is to give me an opportunity to write about that which I love the most about being an artist, teaching others to do what I do.

Shelley, the NCTeddyBearLady, artist, teacher and mentor