Blog Issue and Big Brown Bear

First of all, thank you to all of you who emailed to let me know about the inappropriate/awful spam that had been left as comments to some of my old blog posts. I obviously haven't been keeping up-to-date with this blog, nor have I been checking the email associated with this account often enough. Unfortunately, my oldest daughter came across some of that material as she was reading through my blog recently. And *then* I checked my email and saw that many of you had emailed to alert me. I should not have been so neglectful.

I tried to go through and delete all that content - if any of you see any more, please let me know. Also, does anyone have ideas how to block comments/offensive garbage like that?



To brighten things up a bit...

As mentioned, my oldest daughter has been reading my blog and told me she wished I still kept this blog going. Not what I expected to hear from my *almost* teenager, but happy to hear she felt that way. I promised her I would try and post a few projects here and there. We're mostly busy with home-renovation projects and sports and school these days. But if she wants me to document a few of the projects we work on from time-to-time, of course, S. No problem.

So, here is an older, but special gift I made for each of our girls for Christmas 2014.

It all started with this Big Brown Bear.

I bought him shortly after finding out I was pregnant with our second daughter. I always wanted a giant stuffed-animal like this when I was a kid. And my plan was to use this bear as a prop to show how much our second daughter grew from month-to-month. 

See, there is happy lil' R at 1-month old being held by her big sister (the now almost-teenager)!

And here they are a month later. My photography skills are hopeless.

And 3 months old...

And then I forgot to take a photo at 4 months. Darn. I remember thinking I'd just take a photo every 6 months...or maybe every year. But I can't find any evidence that I followed through with that :).

Regardless, Big Brown Bear moved with us from apartment to apartment, from Texas back to California, from house to house. He was usually stationed in a reading nook of some type, often to serve as a barrier to electrical outlets - first to obstruct the girls when they were little and then to obstruct our dogs.

He lived his last years in the room where we keep our dogs. And after about a year of having this guy,...remember him?

Yeah, well Brown Bear started to smell a bit, especially his feet (I'm looking at you, Otto!). Eventually, my husband put Brown Bear outside with the intention of "cleaning him off" (?). It wasn't long before we decided to get rid of him (much to our daughters' protests) and then our Big Brown Bear disappeared.


Little did our girls know, I actually cut him apart and salvaged most of his fur and stuffing (except his feet...). I cut his fur into large pieces and laundered them well. I also put his stuffing in a zippered pillowcase and ran that through the washer/dryer a few times. I have enough stuffing for years...

And then I made these three bears for our girls for Christmas, each one a slightly different size and shape. The girls knew immediately that the fur was from Big Brown Bear.

I gave each bear a brown nose like Big Brown Bear. And I used his stuffing, along with a pouch of sand to weight each bear a bit. They range in size from about 12 - 16 inches. They girls love them. And it's a sweet sentimental reminder of their big ole bear.

(On a strange side note, I kept his laundered head. I figured we might use it someday. A last minute Halloween costume? A Cal football game?)


  1. So glad you are blogging again!!! Very excited to see your projects, especially your dolls and doll clothes.

    1. Thanks Laura! Glad there are a few people still reading along :). I won't just be blogging for my daughter(s)...

  2. Love the story of brown bear's transformation!

    1. I hated the thought of throwing him out. Some of the girls' toys I can part with easily, others are harder...

  3. Hi Jill!

    I love the way you 'saved' your big brown bear :-) What a delightful gift for the girls.

    As far as keeping unwanted comments off your blog, what I do is moderate all comments. You will see all the comments, but you alone decide which ones to display on your blog.

    I had to do this when I had a stalker leaving aweful comments about my work. Eventually she went away. It has been years since I've had anything nasty, but I still moderate comments. This way I don't miss any comments, and can respond.

    I hope you are free of this nastiness. I really don't understand what motivates some people.

    Take good care, and good to see you back!



    1. But then that means I'd have to check my email more often? Just kidding :). Thanks, Beth. It's a great suggestion and one that I'll maybe have to try. We'll see if more offensive content reappears. I hope not. I was so sad to find out all those links were there...

  4. Good to see you blogging again! I check your blog once in awhile to see if you have added anything - what a happy surprise. I have just started a the Goldilocks topsy-turvy!

  5. What a beautiful idea for Big Brown Bear!

    Sorry that you had icky comments on your blog, though. I hope it stops!

  6. What a wonderful surprise to see this blog entry. I just made my first doll for my daughter from your book! I checked your blog for some help with the hair (and I did notice the awful comments and wondered why in the world would someone do that to such a sweet blog). Your book is so inspiring and well written. Thank you!

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