Thursday, December 23, 2010

Early Boxing Day Sale at McBrideHouse

With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas coming I decided to start my Boxing Day Sale early!  For those of you not aware of what a Boxing Day Sale is, it is the single biggest shopping day in Canada which is held the day after Christmas. 
Even my newest Skiing Santa Gnome is on sale!
Happy the Snowman is looking for a new home.... he prefers somewhere where he won't melt, but he's open to loosing a little weight!
SOLD!! I never could get a very good picture of this Lion Nutcracker.  If he doesn't sell I think I will wrap him up and put him away with MY Christmas decorations!  He really is quite big and I'm hoping to make some smaller versions of him for my shop next year.
This little snow girl is going to be featured in the CDAA (Canadian Doll Artists Assocation) January Newsletter!  She and her brother are both pretty excited!
Again, this fireplace set is another one of my favourites but never photographed really well.  Hmmm.... I might just have to keep that one too!
 This gold coloured Santa is priced to sell!  I need to make room for my new line of Christmas items that are already in "production"!
Another Father Christmas reduced to go!
SOLD!! And don't forget the non Christmas items are on sale too!  This little frog is the last of a series of animals I did and I personally think he was the cutest!  Some items just are not photogenic and are much cuter in person.
My little red Angel is on sale too!  If she (and most of her fellow felted Christmas friends) don't sell then they will probably be taken off line and reworked into something else.  So if you really like something, act now because they might never be the same again!  

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hmmmm..... Where did Christmas go?

Two days ago the ground was covered in a layer of white fluffy snow.  Every tree branch and blade of grass was painted with white Christmas magic...

See?  Magical!  It feels like Christmas!!  Then yesterday morning I woke up to the below pictures.

Rain!  Not only rain but rain and MORE RAIN!!  We were very lucky where we were and only lost our power for three and a half hours.  A lot of New Brunswick fared far worse than we did and had major flooding.  But that magical snow has been washed away and forecasters are predicting a green Christmas for New Brunswick Canada.  I guess I had better go decorate that Christmas tree sitting in the living room... maybe that will bring back some Christmas spirit.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter Images and A Little Helper.

We have the most beautiful snow these last few days and I just had to share it with you!

And while I was out taking pictures I had a little helper purring steadily by my side.
He was soon distracted by a chickadee but none the less stayed by me purring the whole time!

I've never had such a friendly devoted LOUD cat as my little Frosty!  I can hear him talking as he crosses the yard to meet me and then his purrs are like some loud engine constantly running.  He also LOVES the snow and will catch snowballs that I throw to him.  Who needs a dog when I have a cat like Frosty?!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Too Much?

I don't know... do you think this is too much?

Nahhh... that's the beauty of Christmas decorating... the more the merrier!  Happy Holidays everyone!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Early Morning Snow

A heavy snow falling from a tree onto the roof above my bed woke me last night at 3 am.  As I walked around a silent house the lights suddenly flickered and the entire sky was engulfed in a blue glow... twice.  Apparently a transformer blew causing the sky to light up.  Quite beautiful really, but scary too.
The interruption in power turned on all the Christmas lights and I grabbed my camera and took a shot of the glow of the lights and the branches engulfed in a blanket of snow.  Magical.
The same tree was still glowing at 7 am.  My Charlie Brown tree lights look much better with a blanket of snow!
Then an immature bald eagle landed in a tree above our pond.  Beautiful.  It was a magical morning... except for the slush covered roads!  Ahhh... life in the Maritimes.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa's New Gnome Helpers! Needle Felted Creations now on McBrideHouse.

Gnomes, being the elusive creatures that they are, are slowly being pushed out into mainstream by the expansion of humans into their slowly shrinking forests.
In order for them to maintain their elusive lifestyle they are joining forces with Santa Claus and helping to deliver Christmas presents to the increasing amount of boys and girls.
This is the perfect job for them. They are very quiet and can sneak about the house with nary a sound. The only real problem are house cats, which are the gnomes mortal enemy.
 So please remember to provide your house cat with lots of extra food Christmas Eve so that poor Santa Gnome doesn't have to worry about being eaten!
This particular Santa Gnome is in charge of the more snowy regions of the world, hence the skis. Because of Santa Gnome's love of nature he is very fast on his skis and has helped Santa Claus tremendously in his ability to reach those boys and girls in more remote regions of the world.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stockings Hung by the Fire With Care....

I just started to decorate the house for the holiday season but ran out of energy and daylight before I got any pictures taken.  But it got me thinking about my little fireplace set that I needle felted a while ago.  Have you hung your stockings by the fireplace yet?
This fireplace set not only comes with a fireplace but a Christmas tree and Santa forgot his sack!
I don't know?  Do you think Santa can fit down the chimney?
If he can I sure hope the fire isn't too hot!  Happy decorating everybody!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's Starting to Look a lot Like Christmas!

A doe and a kid on our property that we've been watching all fall.  Their coats have filled in and they are looking very healthy for the upcoming winter.  This is one of my favourite things to do is to put out apples and squash for them and to check the game camera to see what has come in the middle of the night. 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Canadian Doll Artist Association Interview

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the wonderful Joy Liddy, the Newsletter Editor for the Canadian Doll Artist Association, to do a feature and interview with me and my felted Santas for their November issue.  As you can imagine I said yes, and was very excited to be included with other such wonderful doll artists.  Below is my interview!  It was an exciting day and I'm still walking on Cloud 9!  
Bella McBride
A Fabulous Felter of Santas

Tell us a little about yourself. Hi!  I'm Bella.... the girl next door, a former botanist, lover Bella's Santaof all things pink, caretaker of two cats, one husband and too many felted creations to count.  I love the smell of old books and the written word.  I am a work in progress, an animal lover, a lover of nature, passionate and fiercely loyal.  I have expensive taste but am very careful with my money, I need my solitude, I am a terrible speller, I am extremely resourceful and I am really good at finding lost items. 

Tell us a little about where you live. I was born and raised in the same small community that I live in now in southern New Brunswick, Canada.  I am very fortunate to live in such a beautiful part of the world with my entire family living only a few minutes from me.

Bella's SantaHow Long Have You Been Making Dolls? I started down this path of making Santas, gnomes and other little creatures just a few years ago.... and haven't stopped since!

Why did you start making Santas? In my early 20's  I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and over the years I have fought this tooth and nail and have struggled to find a proper balance. Because of this, working outside my home became more and more difficult so I needed a way to supplement our income, and give myself a creative outlet.  I've always wanted to have my own business and finally decided that time passes no matter what, so why not give it a try!   And as to why Santas?  Who doesn't love Santa Claus?  Everybody needs a Santa Claus, right?

What do you enjoy about making Santas? I love the challenge of coming up with new ideas and trying to translate that into the raw wool.  It's amazing just how many different styles of Santas one can come up with!  Each of them is unique and takes on its  own personality.  I also love to write little stories to go along with each listing when I sell them.  Sometimes I get carried away with their descriptions but I think it adds magic and life to each of them.

Bella Snowman SantaWhat type of media do you use? I make my Santas  from a technique called needle felting. This involves poking and prodding different colours of wool with a very sharp barbed needle until you reach the perfect shape. It literally takes thousands of pokes, hours and hours and sometimes days to reach just the right one-of-a-kind soft sculpture.

Why did you delve into the designing side of doll making? I just sort of fell into it.  My mother-in-law gave me a felting needle and some wool and the rest is history!  I'm entirely self taught and I've never been very good at following directions or colouring inside the lines so the designing side of it just came naturally.

Bella SantaWhat tips would you give to those looking to designing their own? Whatever medium you are using, let the medium tell you where it wants to go.  Don't follow a picture but let the medium work as it wants to.  Sometimes it will come out exactly the way you see it, sometimes it will come out different but better than you expected.  You will only get frustrated if you try to force it into something it does not want to become.

What challenges have you had to overcome in your doll-making career? The toughest challenge is that my fibromyalgia affects my doll-making career in a number of ways.  One of the ways is that my hands get really sore and I have to really limit my amount of time needle felting.  The other thing is that I get extremely tired very quickly so doing any kind of show to sell my work is just about impossible.  I sell online but do miss the personal contact that comes with selling in a show.  However, if it weren't for my health problems then I probably would never have started needle felting in the first place!

Bella SantaWhat are your goals as a doll maker? To continue learning and to continue having fun!

What recognition have you received over the years? The best recognition is a sale!  The fact that I live in a remote area and am able to connect with people all over the world through my work is the best recognition I could receive.

Where has you career as a doll maker taken you both professionally and personally? Professionally it has allowed me to start that business that I have always wanted to start and personally it makes me just plain happy!  I'm my very happiest when I'm creating! 

Bella SantaWhat has influenced you? I come from a long line of resourceful and artistic women and creating is simply in my blood.  I feel a drive to create something from nothing and that challenge also really influences me.

What words of advice would you give to us? Don't do this unless you love it... and stop doing it if it's not fun anymore.  If this happens don't be afraid to stop and try something new.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Needle Felted Angel Flying to Australia!

I had a custom order for a wonderful customer in Australia.  She wanted a cream and gold Angel and having only ever done one other Angel before I was a little nervous to try it again.
Between rain drops yesterday I managed to get a few pictures of her.  I thought she really blended in well with the brown leaves and red berries.
I gave her wings a quilted look and no, it's just the picture that makes the lines look so crooked!
After a lot of nervousness I listed her and waited to see if she was what the customer wanted.  Whew!  She loved her and she's now flying her way to Australia!  Safe flight my little one!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's All About the Pink! More Needle Felted Santas Have Arrived!

Pink... sigh.... my happy colour!   I dyed a batch of wool to just the perfect shade of pink and chaos ensued!  I just couldn't stop myself from making more and more pink Christmas items!  Below are the results of a pink felting frenzy!  This little Snow woman is dressed in her lovely pink cloak ready to met her boyfriend
 Grandfather Christmas looking very regal with his staff.
A Santa loaded up with presents and a tree.
A fun little Elf or Santa... either way he is Fat... sorry, make that Fluffy!
 A special order Santa made for a woman who's entire house is filled with pink items... including a pink microwave!
The newest addition to the pink family of Santas.  He has his own pastel presents behind him to help him stand.
See!  I couldn't stop myself!!  I love pink!!