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sewzanne Raccoon Creek Bears
New Jersey
Posts: 151

Hi- I thought I should tell you a bit about myself, too, since I've asked so many questions!!  I'm 42 years old. I've been married to my husband Pete for 19 years. We have an 18 year old daughter who is headed off to the University of the Arts in a few weeks. She wants to study illustration and she is very talented- she won a Presidential scholarship(proud mom bragging!). Our son is 12 - he is a Boy Scout and an all around nice kid. I was supposed to be a chemistry teacher but we moved a couple of times when we were first married, and by the time we were settled, we had Meg!
                                                                                                                I have been a stay at home mom, but I kept busy being room mother, Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout leader, and Sunday School teacher. I have a big garden- not vegetables- just plants all over the place!- and I love to cook and bake. I've always done a lot of crafts, especially knitting, and have just started making bears. It's very addictive! Ihave gotten some great tips reading these boards.  I don't have a digital camera though; the only time I have been able to post photos was when we borrowed one for our daughter's graduation. I love reading all your stories- it seems like we are all neighbors in a great big teddy bear development.
       Right now I work part time at a coffee shop ( like that "S" word place:D) and try to find extra time to work on bears. I have to say that the bears are winning out over the weeds that need pulling, much to the dismay of my actual neighbors. If only we could invent a way to insert an extra hour in the day like inserting an extra gusset in a pattern!:)
  Keep those posts coming!----- Suzanne

Laura Lynn Teddy Bear Academy
Nicholasville, KY
Posts: 3,653

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Hayley thank you for starting this thread! 
I've been waiting to even read it until I had some time...
(as I've been pretty good at not spending TOO much time on the computer lately bear_grin 
I've loved reading each and every post... it really feels like we all know eachother better.

I'm 40 years old this past March.  I'm remarried and have a great 17 year old
daughter from my 1st marriage.  I seem to like and do a little bit of everything...

As a kid I've ALWAYS loved animals and doing craft stuff.  2 of my first jobs were in pet stores...

I was a self taught photographer for a long time (looong before ditital) 
Although I would photograph kids... I preferred to photograph pets and hot rods :D



I met my (current) hubby thru the aqaurium hobby.  I've loved tropical fish since I was 10.
When we got married, we kept 25 aquariums in our small 3 bedroom home (NO basement!)
We were both on the board of directors of our local aquarium club
(Greater Chicago Cichlid Association)

We spent our honeymoon traveling down the Amazon river in the Brazilian jungle...
and went back again 2 years later... (INCREDIBLE!!!!  It was like being IN
the Discover Channel!)


Although we still love the hobby, we've cut back to 2 tanks and haven't gone to the
jungle in a while...

Cause we added 3 whippet dogs to our family!

Since we decided to stay home more... we got our toy.. a 2002 Trans Am!


Yes, this is our actual car... I took the photo :)

We go to car shows and also play at the drag race track....


And we also love going to the pro races too.  They recently built the incredible
Route 66 raceway which houses both a NASCAR track and an NHRA strip... so we
get to go to the pro races 3 x's a year locally.  We've also recently started
taking a small trip out of the state to a different NASCAR race every year.

It's nice... cause my husband loves collecting diecast model cranes (the machines)
and of course I love teddy bears - both making and collecting...
we've backed off a bit on the tropical fish... so the car and racing is still a hobby that we share together!

I know I'm forgetting some stuff.... but you're probably bored by now LOL!

rufnut Rufnut Teddy's
Victoria Australia
Posts: 2,725

Great topic Hayley, and thanks to everyone for sharing their stories.   Judi I especially enjoyed yours, you make me want to take up dancing and get myself in shape. My hubby and I would like to take up Rock and Roll dancing when we can have the kids looked after whilst we do it.   

Laura Lynn, love your car too, my hubby is crazy about drag racing too, unfortunately they have killed the competition here in Australia for us poor drag racing fanatics.

Well I didn’t consider my life that interesting, but here goes anyway.

I will be  40 later this year, I was born in Melbourne Australia and have lived here all my life.  I have been married to my wonderful husband for 12 years, and have two children, a 10 year old son and a 6 year old daughter, both at school now.

I have a Diploma in Banking and Finance,  and my current full time profession is Business Systems Analyst for one of the worlds most well known earthmoving Manufacturers. This company has given me many opportunities to travel, especially to   Bangkok, America on many occasions and also every state here in Australia.  My full time job pays for all the bills, but keeps me away from bearmaking, can’t win them all.

My favorite sports are swimming, netball, horse riding and bike riding, all I which I no longer have much time to do.   I have owned and ridden horses on and off for the past 20 odd years.   I also have two wonderful border collies, which I adore, I have shown them both in confirmation shows, and in obedience, I am a qualified dog obedience instructor, now taking a break from being heavily involved for the past 7 years.  My other crafts are knitting, sewing, crocheting, scrap booking and cross stitch.  My other interests include cartooning I love to draw, and also animation art collecting.

I love to cook only when I am motivated to it, and it doesn’t depend on everyone eating each night and pushed for time.  I love making desserts when I have plenty of time and not pushed to do it in a hurry.

That’s me in a nutshell.

Just Us Bears Just Us Bears
Posts: 940

Oh WOW you girls!!! I haven't been able to get near the computer for two days and I was SO hoping some more of you would have replied to this thread. What a lovely surprise! So many wonderful stories and talents! I have loved reading each and every one of them and learning a little more about you all. Thank you all so much for sharing...and for those of you who are being shy or think you are boring.....please try! You are all such wonderful've made my day!:D

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,361

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Woo woo . . . Judi and Laura . . . you girls rock!!  Judi, I am in awe of your dancing form - - very, very nice.  When my girls started taking dance at a very young age, I just started, too, in an adult jazz class.  Great fun, but I'm too old, stiff, and achey now.  Everybody has really, really interesting stories . . . thanks so much for sharing with us. 

I have a BA in Medical Technology and worked in that field for eons until "retiring" in 1992.  I've always had an interest in artsy/craftsy pursuits, so concentrated on that for awhile.  Paul and I published a children's book in 1993 which focuses on taking care of the environment.  It's called "Tex R Masaur:  The Beginning" and its history and a few of my illustrations are featured on my website.  After that, I spent several years attending craft fairs/shows with my eclectic collection of creations.  Then came my life crisis and the discovery of teddy bears in 1997. . . yahoo!! 

Paul and I have been married 41 years this coming October and have two daughters, Sherry and Pam, one married and one not.  No grandchildren, but lots of grandpets!  I LOOOOOVVVVE animals of all kinds and used to play the piano fairly well, but with no practicing, it's gone to pot!  I used to participate in community theater productions, but that, too, is not in my life anymore . . . gotta make those bears!!  Isn't it interesting the way we move on to different phases of our lives?

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

It IS interesting, Sue Ann.  As are all these wonderful stories.  What a great collection of experience, talent, wisdom, travel, and hobbies we've got here on this board.  I figure it's time for me to throw my little hat into the ring.

I am California -- San Francisco Bay Area -- born and raised; grew up in Silicon Valley and spent a lot of my life there.  It's become something bigger than I ever thought it could be, and stopped feeling like home.

I spent my college years at UCLA, all four of them as a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority -- which I loved, and from which I retain most of my very best girlfriends -- and graduated with a BA in Psychology.  I had hopes to become a Clinical Psychologist and worked for a while with developmentally disabled kids in an after-school rec program, but my management-consultant boyfriend was called to Europe by his firm (formerly Andersen Consulting) and boom -- I was engaged and living in Zurich, Switzerland.  We spent almost two years there and returned to California, settling in San Francisco after our wedding and honeymoon.

After a year of temp work, several job offers leading down career paths that didn't interest me, some informational interviewing, and lots of research, I decided that this corporate America thing just didn't "fit" me, and took a job as a teacher's aide at my former elementary school to "try on" the educational field.  I loved it and applied to UCLA's Teacher Education Lab, and was delighted to join the full time ranks there as a grad student in the early 90's.  I graduated with my master's degree in Education and a multiple subject teaching credential... and one month later gave birth to my first son, Toby.  We figured it would take years to get pregnant because that was what we were seeing in all our friends.  It took about ten minutes. 

Being "mommy" was, at my heart, REALLY the career I had always wanted most, so I decided to stay home with my son, and we soon decided to have another.

Things took a sour note when hubby found work and the gym more compelling than family life, though, and after a rough few years and a separation in 1999, life took me down an entirely different path.  On my way to washing clean of too much superficiality, too many labels, and just plain too much disposable income (seriously; I swear, it can warp some people), I found both my inner earth-mama-hippie-goddess (sorta; My version shaves her armpits and wears black mascara, still) and my soulmate.  On the internet.  I'll tell THAT story another time.

Meeting Tim, my marriage and family therapist of a husband, led me to Chico -- a warm and wonderful community that really and truly IS a community.

When my financial circumstances changed and the time came for me to find an income source a year or so ago, I had already serendipitously found bearmaking, just on a total whim.  I figured I might as well give it a shot and worked really hard to be as "business-minded" with it as possible, since it's something I need to take seriously as it supplants OTHER income-producing work.  I've been very lucky, very well received.  And truly love this little world of bearmakers and bearmaking.  I feel like it's where I've always belonged.  I am giddy, and grateful, every day of my life for it.

Now, I'm raising three sons (9, 11, and 15) and my husband (53, to my 39, but I'm far wiser, of course.)  We have four cats, three dogs, an eyelash gecko that eats babyfood, and a ball python named Bindi.  We enjoy movies, musicals and live theater (we're seeing STOMP tomorrow!), and reading books at Barnes & Noble while sipping coffee/soda/water. 


I can play a bit of piano but the piano is way off key and my playing is out of practice.  My son Noah hopes to be a great drummer someday but for now settles for being a fabulous yo-yo-er (Chico is the yo-yo capital of the US, really) and a budding magician.  Toby, my middle son, is practically a genius with an IQ that astounds.  He loves video games and reading.  And more reading.  And reading.  And can build just about anything -- seriously -- with Lego.  The other day he built a motorized contraption that would taunt and tantalize the new kittens by keeping in perpetual motion a bit of string with some fur at its end.  And Zack, our oldest (and Tim's son from his own first marraige), wrestles competitively during the school year, and wrestles with getting up at a reasonable hour the rest of the year!  Teenagers!


I have two half-sisters (one from dad's first marriage, one from mom's) who live in Wisconsin, but I never lived with them and don't know them well, which is unfortunate.  My one full-blood sister lives in Washington, DC, and is a Naval JAG lawyer.  Her husband, Joel, is in the Secret Service.  They are one scary power couple.

My folks still live in the house I was born into, in Silicon Valley, and I love them to pieces.  They were just here this week for a visit and left today.  I miss them already.

That's me!

SueAnn Past Time Bears
Double Oak, Texas
Posts: 21,361

SueAnn Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Great story with great pictures, Shelli!!

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Well, I have nothing exciting to tell in comparison to all of these life stories..... guess I better get LIVING!!!

I'm 35, married almost 5 years to an engineer (if any of you are married to an engineer you know how challenging THAT can be.... very smart but no common sense and has to analyze everything to DEATH!). No children but a 13 mos. old Wheaten Terrier... that's enough!

I became a christian in '91, have experienced many trials including a divorce in '97 after just two years of marriage and triumphs including a mission trip to Jamaica - it's not all tourist land - and directing a children's choir. I play guitar and sing... just enough to teach kids...!:lol:

I've been a healthy insulin-dependent diabetic since the age of 12. I'm an only child and have a wonderfully close relationship with my parents who just spent the weekend with us at our cabin in the woods.

I've lived in many places in New England.... including Wellesley, MA, Eileen! In fact, my husband's parents live there!! NH is home as I was born and raised here.

I've been a bear artist for 5 years, a collector for 35 years and into crafts all of my adult life. The two were bound to come together sooner or later! I was a regional training manager for a huge retail corporation for 12 years until 2003. I finally got burned out traveling all over hiring/training new managers and opening new stores and not being able to ever enjoy the holidays cause I worked too many hours. I've worked at a quilt shop and a florist since 'retiring' from my management career and now enjoy making bears my full time occupation!

When I'm not into bears I enjoy reading, quilting, photography (nature shots mostly) and antiquing. I'm a pretty quiet person and, as an only child, learned to entertain myself quite well! I do love to 'chat' when given the chance as you all know!

I'm a member of the I HATE TO COOK CLUB. Mind you baking is different than cooking. I love to bake!!!! Picked some wild Maine blueberries this weekend and have plans for some muffins in the morning!! Maybe a pie too....

If I could live anywhere in the world it would be on the west coast of Ireland................ oh, guess that wasn't your question, Hayley!!:rolleyes:

Well, that's about it!

bearsbybeesley bears by beesley TM
Tofield Alberta Canada
Posts: 6,818

What a beautiful family you have Shelli. Yes it is funny how ones life evolves and where it takes you. My life in my mind is very boring however has had it's moments.

I grew up in a small town called Ponoka Alberta. I actually lived 5 houses down the street from my Hubby Garnet and I absolutely could not stand him growing up. Our family had a great deal of illness to deal with over those early years from meningitis to encephalitis, Heart attacks and coma for my oldest brother. But at that time we survived somehow.

I had wonderful but extremely strict parents. I was 16-17 and going through that hippy faze when I started dating Garnet. Mom and Dad hated it as he was 21. Needless to say we married and had 3 wonderful sons within 5 years and one little one that went to heaven.

I have worked most of our married life for a Canadian Bank and worked up from a Teller in a branch to a Human Resources Manager in their Head Office. I lost my Dad at 55 to a heart attack and my Mom at 60 to enphysema. My very close brother Bryce was killed in a motorcycle accident at 46 years of age. I still have my older brother Wayne who was the young fellow in a coma at the age of 10 for one entire year. He is fine today thank God.

We live on a acreage in the country which is 13 acre large and have 4 wonderful dogs aged 4-14 whom we love and treat like our own kids. I also have 2 love birds and a aquarium full of puffer fish.

I love making teddy bears now that I can not work and don not know where my life would be without them. I am probably the most inactive person I know of. Anyway we have 5 grandchildren whom we love and a 32 year marriage which like all have had it's trials and tribulations.

I apologize for the long wind but that is me.

Hugs Louise


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