SPECIAL TOPIC: Creating Wilde & Woolly Bears as a Keepsake
by Terry Spear http://www.terryspear.com/

For twenty years, I've been creating Wilde & Woolly Bears, personalized teddy bears that have won awards including Best of Show, Best Dressed, and Most Unique Bears. http://terryspear.tripod.com/celticbears/

They've found homes all over the world as far away as Australia, China, Russia, and Switzerland. What got me started?

First, I took home economics in junior high school. Neither my mother nor grandmother sewed, so I was the very first one in the family to learn. For years, I did needlework, cross-stitched and embroidered so many pillowcases, pictures, wall hangings, rug hookings, quilts, that I needed another outlet. My folks had begun a business where they created doll carriages for doll collectors. But they didn't want to invest in dolls to display with the carriages. So knowing I'd been making cloth bunnies and dolls, they asked if I could create an old-fashioned teddy bear. At the time, there were no patterns for them.

I designed my first, and sold out at the Dallas Trade Center, began winning awards at Doll and Teddy Bear Shows, and got recognition with features in magazines including the Texas Monthly, Texas Co-Op Monthly, The MacNeill Galley, and Teddy Bear Review and newspapers. Plus the bears were in a movie called The International Teddy Bear Connection by Spectral Vision Films.

So what started out as just a fun way to create using some skills I'd honed over the years, became a business. Who would have ever thought a home economics course would have brought me fame and fortune? Not really there, but it's been a lot of fun. And because I embroidered and cross stitched, I began to personalize bears paws for special occasions. I'm also big into genealogy, and so the Celtic Clan bears were born because of my own Scottish and Irish roots.

And always needing to create something new, I began making bears for author’s books based on their covers or on a character in the book. I still need to come up with a bear in wolf suit for my own book, the Heart of the Wolf!! http://www.terryspear.com/id21.html


For Cold Nights and Hot Dates--Mouth Watering Beef Stroganoff
by Terry Spear

4 oz fresh mushrooms
1 large onion
1 1/2 pounds beef round steak
(I use sirloin steak because it's so tender)
1 c water
1 tablespoon instant beef bouillion granules
1 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c water
1 c sour cream

Cut up onion, steak, and mushrooms. Add to 1 c water in large frying pan. Add beef bouillion granules (can subsititute 2 beef bouillion cubes) and the rest of the seasonings. Cook until meat, onions and mushrooms are tender.

Mix cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and once it's a liquid paste, add to the straganoff mix. Cook over low until the sauce begins to thicken, then add sour cream. Once the sour cream is heated, erve over hot wide, curly noodles.

For a more healthy diet, use whole grain noodles. Also, a 1/4 cup of red wine can be added for a little different taste.

The best thing is it's quick, a great meal all in one, and leftovers are as delicious as the original meal! And my heroine actually serves this meal to her hero in Betrayal of the Wolf, sequel to Heart of the Wolf! "Giving new meaning to the term alpha male."

Makes 4 (3/4 cup) servings


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