From childhood, hand crafts have always been a part of my life. I do not remember many teddy bears growing up, but the few I did have made an impression on me. My husband and I have been married for 42 years and are proud parents of a daughter and grandparents of a grand-daughter and grand-son. We live in my native Colorado, with our three cats, Molly, Zoe and Indy.
My journey as a teddy bear maker
Being completely self-taught, I have the freedom to design original patterns and accessories. Today things made by hand are rare. They represent a love of craftsmanship, inspired by a tradition of artistry, handed down over generations. Every stitch, every detail represents a passion and a love to create something one of a kind.
The attention to detail and having an eye for what is beautiful and unique makes a piece special. I love to add small details to each original piece to give it a “unique” character. My goal is to bring a tradition of quality of good taste to all the bears and animals I create.
Because Carolyn has a history with Ovarian Cancer, Warm Heart Bears supports Ovarian Cancer Research. You can read more about Carolyn’s experience below.
Each September, and throughout the year, we try to Give Back by creating special teal bears. A portion of their adoption fee is given to the Ovarian Cancer Research. I hope you will consider supporting Ovarian Cancer Research in some way. Your adoption of one of our special bears would be one way you could help many people.
We also try to support other types of cancer research throughout the year. If you would like to see bears created in a special color, please let me know and I will be happy to include them in the Warm Heart Bears family.
An Artist's Journey
An Artist’s Journey – Hope is the one thing that can get us through the darkest times
I am definitely a writer, but I must share with you from a very recent life changing experience.
I have been in menopause for quite a while now, and was gaining weight (oh not good). The more I read about the subject, the more I thought I understood about weight gain and various other things. Well the weight continued to pile on the upper abdomen, and was quite rapid over a couple of months. I must have gained 25 to 30 pounds. This did not seem right, but what do I know – I have never been in menopause before!
I began a weight loss program to lose this weight, and the better I ate the more I gained! Now what in the world is going on?? I thought my age and the hormone changes was causing the difficulty of the weight loss.
The other things I was experiencing was swelling in my ankles and general water retention. I did have some shortness of breath – but this was supposed to be part of menopause also – right.
Finally, I thought it might be good to have a physical to see what was going on. So the first thing the doctor asked me was “Do you think you are Pregnant?” Well, I said, I don’t think so.. . . but this lead to a pregnancy test in the doctor’s office. Which of course came up negative. She seemed kind of concerned about the swelling in my ankles as it was pretty bad!
So she sent me, the same day, for an ultrasound of my abdomen. Which lead to an immediate CT scan of the same area. WELL. Live and learn – they found a large cyst that they thought was attached to an ovary! This all happened on a Tuesday; two days later I saw a specialist and was scheduled for major surgery the next Monday, less than a week later!
Needless to say it was a very frightening week and after lots of prayer I checked in for my surgery. Upon waking – half coherent mind you – I was told that the cyst initially tested as not cancerous! Prayers answered! I needed to wait a couple of weeks to get the results of continued testing.
So needless to say I wasn’t thrilled with having to wait for the final results, but as determined to heal and feel better. Once I got home I realized that I had lost 25 pounds really fast and began feeling better each day. I do not recommend this method of weight loss by the way!
After the first two week wait, and another couple of weeks wait, as they discussed the “cyst” at the tumor board (I don’t like the sound of this); I finally got the results. Well. . . after fearing all of my life that I would get cancer it has happened. I was told they found a small amount of cancer cells in a cyst the size of a basketball! My diagnosis is Stage One High Risk Ovarian Cancer. I must begin three rounds of chemotherapy with a possibility of 3 more rounds for a total of 6! I was pretty shocked to say the least but there have been a few positives in this. First, I went to the doctor at the right time and did not wait any longer. Things moved pretty fast from there and the tumor was removed. Second, the diagnosis of Stage One, I am told, is very rare. Most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are usually stage 4 or 5 as it is a silent killer of women. I will write another post on this later.
I am very thankful that things have happened as they have. If I could share anything from this experience. . . when you detect even the slightest change in your body, please – please have it checked! Have you had a life changing experience that you never would have believed would happen to you?
Update: December 31, 2013
Since my cancer diagnosis in September, I have gone through chemotherapy and have finished! Have been done since the end of October and had just one wish for Christmas. I just wanted my hair back! I know that seems like a minor thing, but you do not realize how much your hair helps and means to you until you loose it!Well, it did start to grow back just a few days before Christmas.
I know I have a long road ahead to get my health back, but I am so very thankful for life I have been given. My family and friends mean more to me than I can say and want to thank them for their continuing support.I think we all wish for things and realize that we are not in control of our lives! Only God can truly “direct our steps.” I go into this new year realizing I am totally in the palm of His hand! The Bears and I wish you all a very Happy New Year!
About the Bears
Warm Heart Bears are made from traditional bear crafting techniques that have been mastered during more than two decades of bear making.
From the design process to the finished product, each bear and animal is completely created by hand using our own original patterns. Sourcing fabrics and accessories – some made by hand, photographing, packing and posting, correspondence and web design are all handled by Carolyn.
Along with bears, animals and dolls are created from time to time and they are all identified by a heartfelt attention to fine details that create a unique character.
Every stitch, every detail represents a passion and a love to create something one of a kind. These teddy bears are filled with hope and love, crafted from the heart, especially for you.
In 2020 we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Warm Heart Bears. You can see all the special bears created for this special event on the Anniversary Collection page.
We hope you will enjoy meeting the bears, animals and dolls. May they “Warm your Heart” for many years to come.
Over the years, several Warm Heart Bears and Animals have received excellence awards. Some competitions are judged by the collectors and being chosen as a favorite is the highest compliment one can receive.
There are so many talented artists who create wonderful bears and friends. Congratulations goes to all of you who have entered competitions. You are all winners, as you had the courage to enter one of your creations! Please keep creating your special bears and friends, as your work continues to challenge and inspire me.