friendbear.gif (8178 bytes)
bear imageİ 1999 Gae Sharp-Richardson

fcost.gif (144 bytes)ABOUT SALLY  by Tami

fcost.gif (144 bytes) ABOUT TAMI by Gae

fcost.gif (144 bytes) ABOUT GAE by Doris

fcost.gif (144 bytes) ABOUT DORIS by Millie
fcost.gif (144 bytes)ABOUT MILLIE by Nancy fcost.gif (144 bytes)ABOUT NANCY by Vickie
fcost.gif (144 bytes) ABOUT VICKIE by Lizzie fcost.gif (144 bytes) ABOUT LIZZIE by Kelly
fcost.gif (144 bytes) ABOUT KELLY by Linda fcost.gif (144 bytes) ABOUT LINDA by Candi
 fcost.gif (144 bytes) ABOUT CANDI by Nancy fcost.gif (144 bytes)ABOUT NANCY, by Melanie
fcost.gif (144 bytes) About Melanie by Erika fcost.gif (144 bytes) About  Erika by Judi
fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Debi by Priscilla fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Leah by Mary Jo fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Mary Jo by Glennis fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Glennis by Thelma
fcost.gif (144 bytes) About Carol by Debi fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Rebecca by Bonnie fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Bonnie by Michelle fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Michelle by EM

fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Em by Sue

fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Liz by Shelley fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Shelley By Donna fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Julie By Jan
fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Jan by Joy fcost.gif (144 bytes) About Donna by Sharon fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Joy, by Jeanette

An Angel Watches Over You
Submitted by Glennis
An Angel wrote:
Many people will walk in and out or your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head,To handle others, use your heart.
Anger is only one letter short of danger.
If someone betrays you once, it's his fault. If he betrays you twice, it's your fault.
Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.
God Gives every bird it's food, but He does not throw it into it's nest.
He who loses money, loses much; He who loses a friend, loses more; He who loses faith, loses all.
Beautiful young people are acts of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.
The tongue weighs practically nothing,but so few people can hold it.
Friends, you and me ... you brought another friend...and then
there were 3 ... we started our group...
Our circle of friends ... and like the circle ... there's no
beginning ...
there is no end.

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Joyfcost.gif (144 bytes)
By Jeanette

What I learned about Joy. Well, we all know that she is multi-talented. That in itself is an understatement. From the handmade bookmark to the magnets that now adorn my fridge, each and every item was packed with her creativity. She included such things as maps of where she used to live and where she's at now. Just maybe someday I'll actually get there. She shared some of her favorite drinks - Lemon Herbal Teazer Caffeine free tea (will definitely have to try that). Different things were included to tell me of her love for the kitchen and cooking, a wonderful little ceramic Brown Sugar (Bear) Saver - so cute, you put it into your brown sugar to keep it moist - a bookmark with a Kitchen Blessing on it. Another theme was her love of friends, a wonderful zipper pull (that is now on my purse and used daily). A notepad and a Little Book of Hugs were tucked inside. There was a friendship candle. You have to burn the candle and then you find a crystal inside. Such neat, clever gifts. A bookmark with Chat Icons on it representing all of her internet friends which she shares have become like family. She also shared things like a key ring from Ralph's business, which I feel very silly about; didn't realize that he had his own business. Knew it, but didn't know it if you know what I mean.
She sent two of the neatest little gifts, one was Puffy Stickers and I have to admit I'd never seen them before - they are so neat, I love them. And finally, she sent me marbles. We all know Joy has a wonderful sense of humor and this was just the cutest thing ever. They were for the days when I lose mine - they're there to help me out until I recover mine again. So thoughtful Joy! Thanks!!! I truly did love them. Lastly there were two more things, one that I haven't yet been able to utilize and the other I'll always cherish. She made me an hour long tape of her talking to me as she prepared the journal and the Friendship box.
Someday I will find someone with a micro-cassette and be able to hear it and the other was a duplicate copy of many of the pictures that she shared in the journal with everyone. They tell me more than anything else how much she loves. She loves her craft, she loves nature and beauty, what God has created and she has the gift to capture it in pictures, but most of all she loves her family. You can see it in every picture she takes of them, to every reference she makes in the journal. They are her life and it comes across loud and clear. Joy is one very special lady and I'm so very glad that I was the lucky one to receive the Friendship Box from her.

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Janfcost.gif (144 bytes)
By Joy

It is FINALLY my turn!!! After waiting just about a year and a half to join in the circle I could hardly contain myself. I was about 40th on the list!! My my, the box is certainly well travelled LOL! I waited until I had some quiet time to open this delightfully large box. I wanted to and indeed did enjoy every moment of the old and new Friendship Journals. How special you all are. The caring and love just pours out as reading away. My heart was full. It was an experience I will indeed remember my whole life. I have truly found some genuine friendships amongst all of you that will last forever.
I apologize for being tardy in preparing this report. I received the box just after Easter. Then next off to Jeannette at the end of May. I received the Friendship Box from Janice Dikart. Jan doesn’t have the Internet at home so must steal moments at work to read the lounge etc. If anyone wants to chat during the day, her email is on the friendship list.
This box came all the way from New York State near Albany in a little town called Castleton on the Hudson River. Her and her husband Bill have a boat and enjoy cruising up and down the river. Hence she sent me the little green Boyd’s boat. Jan is a busy lady and enjoys her morning cup of coffee as do I so she sent me a package of Chocolate Hazelnut flavored coffee to start the day off just right. Janice? Your desk looks just like mine only mine is bigger so that I can mess it up even worse, LOL! Surrounding her desk are her Furry kids if you know what I mean. They help you don’t they Jan? LOL!

Next is representative of her love of family, community and commitment. Jan and Bill have been volunteers for 20 years to an ambulance service riding as an EMT (Jan) and driver (Bill). For this she enclosed a nightlight with their Ambulance logo on it, a Band-Aid holder made out of plastic canvas with a blue cross, cross-stitched into it, and a luggage tag with an ambulance picture on it. These will come in handy for sure. Jan & Bill feel that this is part of "Gods work" as rendering aid to the sick and injured isn’t always a plus outcome, but there are many gratifying moments experienced. Jan writes "It has helped us become an integral part of our little community" and feels blessed that their children are there with them as well as sharing in the lives of their extended family at the ambulance service.

Jan says she can neither cook, knit nor sew a straight line so feels that being a Medic is God’s gift to her. Bill however IS the cook and he is GOOOOOD!

Next she sent me an acrylic picture frame that most signifies her love for openness such as open windows, open skies, open seas. Since I take a LOT of pictures I will use this for sure. We also have the love of photography in common as Jan says she loves photography. Her kids can attest to the fact that she is a pest when it comes to the camera. Jan included pictures of her family including the grand kids in the journal pages. What a lovely family she has. You can feel how very proud she is of all of them in her words. Family is very important to her. In the journal you will see that Jan included a picture of the Statue of Liberty taken by herself with her little camera. Very good Jan! I would dearly love to go to New York someday. We have several Wowsies who live there enabling us to have some fun visits together.

There will be no problem finding where I would go as Jan sent me a New York State map highlighting where she lives on it. I love maps so this is cool. Also was a postcard of Albany NY, which is 15 minutes north of Jan. Enclosed was one of the new Gold $1 coins with the picture of Sacajawea on it. Now you guys get to make your purses heavy in the states too. Jan works too many jobs. I could only hope for the energy she has. Her part-time evening job is working as a sales clerk at Walmart and FULL time days in the New York State Senate payroll department so she SEES money all the time. LOL! Whewww! That wears me out just thinking about it.

Jan loves cats (have 2) and because they are gone a lot they feel cats are best because of their independence and Love to see them when they get home. I too love cats Jan and have one named Triscat. She is extremely special too me … we communicate a lot, LOL! For this she enclosed a black cat Thomas F. Wuzzie pin. He is adorable and we never got that one up here. Thank you so much, it means a lot.
I found that Jan and I share a love of Iris’ as she tells of the love she has for flowers. She included some pressed Daffodils & Hyacinths in a little envelope. They are wonderful. I too press flowers as Nickie (my daughter) and I are trying our hand at preserving them in silica sand. It is working too!!
Jan’s friends are very important and special to her so she signified this with a little Friendship Wishing Bracelet. This one has pink beads in it meaning friendship (different colours have different meanings). It says when all the beads disappear, your wish will come true. How very sweet, ….hmmm 5 beads are gone so far! Also are some friendship stickers … we can always use stickers amongst our WOWsies that is for sure. I have used some already come to think of it.
Well Jan, I had a wonderful time opening the treasures you sent to me. Kind of like a treasure box or a kid on Christmas morning. I know you felt the warmth radiating from it too. This was an awesome experience and I am sure it will be for the rest.
Thanks so much for your kindness. I had a delightful time getting to know you. It sounds like you have a very busy but wonderfully fulfilling life. Take good care of yourself and don’t over do. Just keep enjoying that great family of yours. You have found another friend in me all the way on the Westcoast about 4000 miles away. Isn’t this Circle of friends awesome?

Very BEARY BIG HUGS to you Jan, it was very nice to get to know you. HUGS, Joy

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Donnafcost.gif (144 bytes)
By Sharon
Donna is very proud of her state, Alabama, and I loved received all the information about her state, many interesting places to visit there, one.. Helen Keller's home-Ivy Green. I also have some nice postcards and my own name-Alabama key ring...feeling very special! We have a mutual love of books.. I am thrilled with "In Praise and Celebration of Friendship" by Helen Exley; and an illustrated Teddy Bear Notebook by Juliette Clark; my own Notes and Travel Journal-Anne Geddes, which will accompany me on all my trips.
I received a beautiful bookmark...Faith is an important part of Donna's life, and mine as well..This has Romans 8:28....Love of God and family...this is what life is all about.
Donna's precious cocker spaniels are part of her family..and now I have a darling miniature of one! Donna sent me Priscilla's Mouse Tales-"You brighten a silent night"..so very meaningful to Donna and now to me, also. I am moved and touched by this gift. I have the best tea towel.."if you have good friends, you have almost everything". Our friendships on this board are so dear...Donna loves the art work of Susan Branch and Debbie Mumm..and I have some new S.B. magnets, and a wonderful D.M. magnetic notepad to keep me organized! And one last wonderful cup of coffee magnet...reminding me how truly special
Webspresso is in our "Wowsie" lives! Donna, I feel that we've always known each other...you have a beautiful family. Thank you so much!


fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Juliefcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Jan
First of all, I'm jealous that Julie and her husband have met the Head Bean and have bears with his signature on them. GRRRRRRRR.
OK I feel better now.
I think Julie must be a very friendly outgoing person and definitely a good sport.( Check out the ears on her in the picture that's in the journal ). She is very talented in her artwork, as it shows on the notebook she gave me and in the journal. She loves her kitchen and must have a lot of notes all over it (like mine) as she sent me a refrigerator magnet ( Boyds of course) to use. The delicate glass candle holder with a fragrant candle and lovely doily are signs of a romantic individual who just happens to love Reeses peanut butter cups. Me too.
She sent a lovely wood picture frame that indicated her love of photos all around her especially of her family and friends. I have a new grandaugter who's picture will surely go in this frame. She indicated that she wanted to write a novel someday and I sure hope she does, and I don't know how she knew I needed bookmarks but there they were signifying her faith and love of life. She sure doesn't look old enough to have two teenage sons. I hope someday I can meet this lovely girl from Iowa,even though I'm a "tad" bit older.
The friendship box has crossed endless boundaries of states, countries and hearts all with love and friendship. People like Sally and Tami who love Boyds and are willing to share with others need to be commended. We could only hope and pray that someday the world could be like us.
God bless you all and let us all keep on Boyding. LOL


fcost.gif (144 bytes)About Shelleyfcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Donna
The day the Friendship Box arrived at our home I was excited to see the battered cardboard which bespoke many miles of travel across America! I stashed the unopened box in my bear room/office so I could slowly savor each moment of discovery later in the evening when things were quiet.
This is what I learned about Shelley!
Shelley and her children have been collecting Hallmark ornaments for 10 years. As a token of their collection she sent an ornament entitled 'Sweet Friendship', a resin bear wearing a santa cap sharing a basket of cookies with a little bluebird. Since friendship is the essence of our Friendship circle this little teddy bear ornie is a great symbol of our WOWsie kinship!
She has lots of navy blue accents in her home and tucked navy-check be-ribboned Hastings P. Bearsford in the package. This young fellow has the most expressive face you've ever seen and has become a favorite!
An avid reader, she also sent a darling, small book, "Tea Time Friends", beautifully illustrated by Debbie Mumm. To help me keep my place, she added a Mary's Bears bookmark, commenting on the fact that you just don't get any better than tea, teddy bears, friends, and books! So true Shelley! The simple pleasures in life are the best!
Knowing most all WOWsies share her enjoyment of scented candles, she shared a votive in her favorite scent, Yankee's Macintosh, also one of my favorites, so fresh and crisp. Shelley's kitchen wallpaper is decorated with apples, pears and grapes; sounds yummy, doesn't it?
She's helping me keep up with myself (LOL) with the aid of Boyd's post-it notes which make lists and reminders fun. The 'What's Brewin' phrase makes me want a cuppa tea!
Thomas Kinkade, referred to as the painter of light, is Shelley's favorite artist. His glowing artwork is displayed on a beautiful copper framed magnet "Spring at Stonegate", 'Home is the heart's resting place' which represents Shelley's love and dedication to home and family. Photos of Gary (I recognized him from Rosemont pics), Brandon, Claire and Shelley show us what a fine family this is.
Shelley and I also share a love of cocker spaniels named Molly! We each have one!
Finally, we come to the heart of our dear friend; "shells are my very favorite gift of nature from God. Every shell is like a lovely treasure." says Shelley about the lovely scallop sided jar filled with shells she and Gary gathered from a beautiful beach on Sanibel Island, Florida. The lovely soft shading and exquisite coloring of the shells is unique.
Appropriately named, our Shelley is indeed a lovely treasure and gift from God.

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Liz Moore (by Shelley Williams)fcost.gif (144 bytes)

First of all, I have read this before in others’ reports, and I also have to   say that opening the Friendship box was extremely exciting! It is evident   that the box is well-traveled and has passed through the hands of many  caring friends. This is truly one of the enjoyable projects I have ever participated in. I received the box from Liz Moore, and this is what I  learned about her.
Liz lives in a suburb called Mississauga, just outside of the beautiful city  of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada. She sent me four postcards with pictures  of some of the special landmarks. Niagara Falls looks especially  breathtaking. Liz also sent me a mug that is decorated with the maple leaf  design in the red and white colors of the Canadian flag and has "CANADA"  printed across the bottom edge. I can tell that she is very proud of her Canadian home.
Liz loves to read, and she sent me two bookmarks. The first one has a  printed Bible verse, I Corinthians 13: 4, 7-8, to represent Liz’s special love of the Bible and also of inspirational literature. The other bookmark  has a lovely cloisonne finish with a floral design.
Next, Liz tucked some candles in the box to represent her need to find some   peaceful, relaxing moments in her life - quite a challenge with four-year-old twins! She said that she has had to make a concentrated  effort to learn to relax lately because of her illness. She sent me a  village votive candle called "Angel Kisses" and a six-sided pillar candle  with real flowers pressed into the wax on three sides (I’m sure this will  look very pretty as it burns down in the middle). Candles are a wonderful  way to create a relaxing atmosphere.
Next out of the box, wrapped carefully in tissue, was a little resin "baby"   teddy bear holding a rattle and surrounded by building blocks. Liz said  this represented her love of collecting all kinds of bears, as well as her love for her children.
Liz must be a very practical person. She sent me a combination thermometer  / compass / key-ring, because, as she said, she is always losing things in  the wintertime - especially her keys! Another useful - and really cute -  item that Liz sent to me was a pocket-sized address book with a teddy bear cover. I can certainly use this as well, since I am frequently finding  myself in need of a phone number that I don’t have handy.
Liz and her husband enjoy playing golf. Don’t you know they must have some   incredible golf courses there! She sent me a wooden golf tee to represent her interest in the sport.
Finally, Liz included a dog leash with the name of her local vet printed on  it. She told me that this represents her golden retriever, Bailey, who is  also a very important member of her family.
I really enjoyed receiving these items and learning a little bit about Liz!

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Emmary, by Suefcost.gif (144 bytes)

A funny thing happened when I received the Friendship Circle Box from Emmary.
It was ten days before Christmas and I had much shopping, decorating, baking and wrapping to do. I was in the middle of planning my mother's 70th Surprise Birthday Party for January 6th. And my part-time job suddenly turned into full-time with all of the year end "stuff" to get out! Needless to say, I was just about out of my mind with all there was to do. Then a knock at the door came and there was "the box". I knew exactly what it was - something that I had been so excited about receiving. I decided to put it away until the "right" time to open it. I finally found that right time a few days later and when I opened it, I was so surprised and thrilled to see what was inside and to read all about Emmary. I could tell that Emmary spent a lot of time thinking about the right things to send me. Everything  represented a part of her, where she lived and the traditions that she grew  up on.

To represent her state of New Mexico, she sent a beautiful tree ornament which she called a "Zia symbol" which looks very much like a cross. I have it hanging on my Christmas tree and I will treasure it always. Also, she sent me a "water vessel" magnet made by a local tribe in her state called the Mescaleros. It is hand painted and, again, very beautiful. I was so thrilled to find a very pretty throw with her favorite things on it, a cat and a bear. As she put it - to keep me warm on those cold Maryland nights. Oh, how I've put it to good use! She also sent a t-shirt from the radio station where she works that says "101 Gold" on it. She was a DJ for many years. One of her favorite characters is "Tigger" and I received an adorable tigger book with a tigger stuffed animal on the front - my 5 year old claimed this one very quick. I also received a cloth hanging 2000 calendar with bears on it in very patriotic colors - Emmary is an Army wife and chose the
colors to represent those who have served our country. I have this hanging in my kitchen waiting for the new year to come! The last of the items were a "Little Spoonful of Chicken Soup for the Soul" with a cute bear bookmark in it, a couple of packets of hot cocoa mix and 2 wonderfully scented Christmas Yankee candles to pass on a little Christmas spirit - this being her favorite holiday in which she shared some of her favorite family traditions with me.

It has been so much fun receiving and enjoying all of the wonderful things that Emmary sent to me and reading all about her. For those who are waiting for the Friendship Circle Box to arrive - it certainly is worth the wait. I know I have taken much more time than I'm supposed to in getting my box together - the holidays and work have put me behind but I am slowly getting it together and hope to have it out by the first of the new year. To Emmary, thank you for taking the time to pick out such wonderful things for me to learn about and enjoy. Happy New Year to all!!!

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Michellefcost.gif (144 bytes)
Something tells me that if Michelle and I were to have met in 'real life', we'd be great friends!! The things she included in the box were wonderful!!
I could 'bearly' wait to open the box last night when I got home, but I had to ... my folks had dinner ready!! ARG!!!!
The first thing I found was a Boyd's Nurse Pin. Michelle's a nurse and told me that she got a late start in her career. The pin will remind me that it's never too late to go after your dreams. I also have the Boyd's post it notes here at the office.
Next...two of my favorite Yankee candles...Home Sweet Home. It reminds me of the apartment back east as I used to burn this scent all the time there.
The book "Just Us Girls" is wonderful!!! I started reading it last night. My place is now marked with the beautiful Thomas Kincade bookmark! I snuggled into bed with Abercrombie, drinking a cup of International Coffee..Swiss Mocha and munching on Peppermint Patties...Michelle..How did you Know????? :):)
She also included a touch of Christmas with a great teddy bear windchime...I can't wait to hang it on the tree.
I have really enjoyed reading the journal and looking at the pictures!! How wonderful to finally put faces to all the names. I have to go and find some pictures of me now! Hang on Abigal!! The box will be on the way soon and it's so worth the wait!!!


fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I Learned About Bonnie by Michellefcost.gif (144 bytes)

To put it short and sweet, the Friendship Box is very touching. The love and effort that everyone puts into the journal and what they send gives me warm fuzzies!!!
I'm not very good at writing but I'll try real hard to convey what I found out about Bonnie. First of all Bonnie is a very crafty person!!! I have to say I wish I had half her talent. She included some of the cutest craft items I've seen in a long time. Homemade items always hold a special place in my heart because it meant that someone took the time to make them especially for you. It meant even more coming from Bonnie because she has 2 small girls and I know they must keep her hopping. I appreciate the fact that she took the extra time and effort to do these for me. She sent me some of the most unique items. One was an ordinary terra cotta flowerpot but she had covered it with Christmas fabric and put some type of glaze over it and it was so cute. It's great for holding Christmas candies on my table, the next craft item was a snowman can. She took a large size coffee can (at least that's what I think it was!) and painted it white and then added its face. It had 2 big eyes, a button nose, a pipe, rosy cheeks, a cute felt hat with bell and a nice plaid scarf. He held court in a special place in my living room! She also took the time to make me some homemade chocolate candies as well as including a candy bar made by Wilson which happens to be her maiden name!
She also enjoys reading, which happens to be a passion of mine! To symbolize this she sent me her favorite magazine, Family Circle and a book called A Basket of Friends, which had cat pictures all through it. She wondered if I liked cats. By now she knows I do, even the expensive ones, rofl!! She also likes Family Circle because of the crafts and recipes. After reading the issue I could see why. Made me want to start crafting again and I may even try one of the recipes. Bonnie, where do you find the time?! I am also enjoying the bookmark with the teddy bears on it. As I said I'm an avid reader and will get a lot of use out of it! Right now I'm making a date to sit and read. I plan on burning the Pansy Petals candle she sent, sipping a cup of one the great cappuccino coffees in a coffee mug with butterflies on it (how did you know I absolutely love butterflies!!!), saving my place with the bookmark and maybe even finish off that chocolate candy bar!
She also included Christmas ornaments because it's her fav time of year, as it is mine! One is a bear ornie and the other a homemade mouse ornie which joined my mouse collection and the other adorned my Boyds tree!
Also in the package was born to shop Boyds post its. This was to represent her love of Boyds, which got us all together in the first place and her love of shopping. Boy would we ever have a great time. She's thrifty and loves to find bargains, who of us don't! She also likes to recycle, hence her choice of making the snowman can! And last, but not least she included a purple light up bear ink pen. This one made me laugh. Every time you write it lights up! I use it especially for my WOWsie stuff!
Bonnie I have to thank you once again for everything. Your items represented someone very warm, caring and thoughtful! Beary big hugs to you!!

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I’ve learned of Rebecca!  fcost.gif (144 bytes)
By Bonnie

First of all I’d like to say Thank you again to Rebecca for all the thoughtful gifts.

Rebecca is very talented with her hands and has lots of patience! She made me a very nice braided raffia tie with blue bows that is charming. Also there is a wreath she made of dried flowers and berries with a gold heart attached with ribbon that is so creative I have it hanging on my kitchen door. The next homemade gift was a Cross stitched, Home Sweet Home picture. There is a shelf and sitting on this shelf is some miniature houses and some decorative boxes with a Wreath and Duck. If anyone does cross stitch you know how time consuming and patient you have to be to do it. I do cause I used to do it myself and the operative word is USED too!! This means all that much more to me because I know the time that went into stitching this very, very nice gift. Rebecca said she likes to do fun projects and all of these gifts she made me attest to not only her enjoyment out of them but also her Talent too!! I received a Mickey Mouse hat because Disney Land holds a dear spot for Rebecca who used to live near there growing up. I love Mickey Mouse cause he’s Mickey Mouse so I feel I really lucked out Rebecca has a soft spot for him! Rebecca has a love for the Christmas Holiday and this time of year and she passed along to me her favorite box of Christmas Cards.They’re adorable to say the least!!!! They have a picture of a Santa on them and he’s holding a bunch of ???? you guessed it BEAR’S! They are the Best and my family and friends will be enjoying them this year also! (Thanks Again Rebecca!!) Rebecca is a gourmet cook and sent me some of her simple recipes. There is one in there for a cheesecake I can’t wait to try! She has assured me it is VERY VERY simple. Did I mention Rebecca has MS? This woman is truly amazing!!! She doesn’t let anything get her down. She loves to knit and says when her hands can’t do anything else this is what she loves to do. She sent me a very nice Knitting memo pad for my fridge. I also rcvd some very nice flowered note card stationary from Rebecca with an assortment of different and unusual note cards from her personal collection because she still likes to write special notes to those she cares about just because. Along with this she sent me some of her favorite stash of Boyd’s Stationary. To write these cards with she sent me a very special Bear Pen. Actually the Bear Pen had a double purpose as Rebecca loves to keep a Journal so she sent me my own personal Journal to start. She’s encouraged me more than she will ever know to write in this. My Special Friend left me a very touching story about her life and trails of one Christmas that has touched my soul forever. Here is one Strong Courageous Woman! Than next to last is a very cute picture hanging that is an adorable Bear holding a Heart sitting in the grass with Bumblebee buzzing beside his ear and it says I Love Bears, this is all on a piece of slate. I look at this everyday and have to smile cause it makes me think of my Bear Buddy Rebecca. And last but not least is my favorite mug. Rebecca sent me her favorite coffee with her favorite mug, the mug having a picture of sheep on it with the saving Proverbs 17:17 A Friend Loveth at all times…. I call this a God Thing cause when I opened this Friendship Box filled with all these goodies I did so with my two little girls. Meghan is 4 ½ and goes to a church program called Missionettes on wed nights. They do various things here such as crafts, stories, games and memory verse’s to work towards a badge each month. Well when we opened the mug and Meg asked me to read what it said I did so and much to my amusement she started rambling about her mug and it being the Dog Badge!!! Well when I finally calmed down her excitement I realized that this verse Prov 17:17 was her memory verse for the month at Missionettes. So needles to say Meghan and I share this Special Mug from our Friend Rebecca. To say Thank you for all of My special gifts just doesn’t convey how touched and special I feel to have received My Friendship Box from a TRULY Warm and Wonderful Friend named REBECCA. I only hope I can pass along some of the magical feeling you’ve given me from this very special box! Thank you again Rebecca!! Bear Hugs Bonnie

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Carol fcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Debi

First off I must apologize to Carol and the WOWsies for not getting this report in much sooner as there is really no excuse so I won’t make one up! The first thing I (well we..the boys helped, what is it about wrapped boxes that gets a kids attention!) was pull all of it out and look at it, I wanted to go through the journal first but the boys were having none of that. It was wrapped in smiley face paper Smiley was my favorite thing in High school and I still have a fondness for him. We then unwrapped them one by one savoring each. Carol filled the friendship box with so many things that told me about her and spoiled me at the same time so I will mention my favorites. Her family ( a Poky Puppy McD Happy Meal toy), her friends (a handmade basket made by a friend at church) and her business( Miss Gretal Gingerbread YoDollz) are very important to her. Gretal is just too cute and she also made me what is called a moonbaby that she saw at a show and decided she could make those too, it is so cute it has crazy hair! I put a pin back on it and wear it quite often. Mardi Gras Beads were a favorite with Brandon. A few other favorites are Sally Winey Windy Bear, QVC Oliver, Carver’s
Choice Santa Ornie, Tatum and Tami Wuzzie. That box was overflowing!

Thank you Carol for spoiling me if you ask my family they will tell you I am spoiled and don’t have a problem admitting it. Then came time to relax with the journal, it makes you feel as if you have known and cared about these wonderful friends forever. This has been one of the neatest things I have ever had the pleasure of participating in. So much talent, caring and love in there I just can’t wait until it makes the second round. Debi (QoD)

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Glennisfcost.gif (144 bytes)
By Thelma
Let me first say..... the friendship box is a great idea. I want to thank Sally and Tami for helping us all to get to know each other.
Having said that I must tell you my friendship box from Glennis was very special. First off she was nice enough to e-mail me ahead of time so we could "get to know" each other a little before I got the box. I thought that was extra thoughtful of her so I just knew the package was going to give me that "lump in the throat" feeling.
I opened the package and there among all the treasures was this beautiful pink oval box ( like a miniture hat box) with dryed flowers on top. Now being the type person I am I did not open it.....even when it was calling out to me. I went out on the porch swing with my lemonade and read the journal, looked at the album..... all the time that box was saying open me now....
It was such fun to read where the box had been and get a small look into each of your lives. You all are a group of really kind loving people who care for life and for others.


To start off this adventure there was the most delightful story that Glennis had wrote. The story was bound with a maroon ribbon. I truly loved every page. It was about her first Boyds bear, Craxton... and how he talked to her..... guess we all know about those talking bears... isn't that how we all got started? Then there was a delightful story
about 4 Boyds for Mohair bears and an adventure. (A tear jurker...but not for long...) also a story of a family reunion. Glennis said she loved to write... I think she should do a lot more of these stories....
Of course I want to read all of the future stories she writes.
I wrote to Glennis and asked permission to copy her stories and enclose it in the traveling friendship box.  She gave me permission to do so.  I of course am going to keep my special copy from her.  But I will have it copied and enclosed when I send it so everyone else can read Glennis  wonderful stories.
The box was enough of a gift in itself. It showed her love of crafting and the things she finds "charming" . Charming was her word. I think she has a romantic streak in her she didin't mention as well as joy in finding beauty and good in everything.
On the inside of the box there were so many goodies. She enclosed a wonderful cat bookmarker for her love of reading and my love of cats. She enjoys reading Stephen King.
Glennis choice my favorite scent in a Sachet: French Vanilla. It is already in use in my desk drawer so I can enjoy it each time I open the drawer. She shared with me her and her husbands love of music by way of giving me a treble clef pin with Austrian crystals. It had the nicest  saying on the card "Some beauty we see and some we hear.....but the nicest we feel inside."
Then she got down to the necessities ..... a candy bar with a homemade candy bar label. A Boyds candy bar label of course... is there any other kind....<grin>. The name of the candy bar... Bailey's Heart's Desire. And of course I can not forget the candle in Mocha scent. She mentioned that coffee and Webspresso in the morning as well as all her friends have helped her stop smoking since Nov. Let's hear it for Glennis... keep up the good work.
Glennis said she "kind of fancys herself as a gourmet cook. Her kitchen sounds wonderful with gadgets and kitchen tools. The recipe cards she enclosed (with blue rose border) will sure come in handy.
She also sent a note pad with pink roses on it. Now I know she is a mind reader I love flowers and pink is one of my favorite colors.
There is more to tell about Glennis and her joy for life but I will let you read it in the journal.
But the best gift in the whole box was her friendship. As well as the friendship of others that came through so clearly. Thanks for allowing me be part of this wonderful group.

God Bless, Thelma

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Mary Jofcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Glennis
When I first signed up to receive the Friendship Box, it looked as though it would be an eternity before it actually got to my home. I remember thinking that I didn’t KNOW any of these people, but then I realized that that was the thought behind the Friendship Box to begin with; a fun way to get to know one another better and share some things about ourselves! What an awesome project!

Mary Jo doesn’t know that I was tickled pink to find that I would receive the Friendship box from her! At the time I was so very new to collecting (we’re talking weeks), and hers was a name that rang a bell. Her name was pretty prominent on Webspresso, and being really new to the whole experience I thought, "How fun to receive from someone so knowledgeable!" Mary Jo is indeed very knowledgeable about Boyds, and is the author of ü N It III, which is a full reference guide for Boyds Collectors, and I found a copy peeking out of the Friendship Box! Mary Jo said this book represents her love for Boyds, which must be great for this book is truly a labor of love!

Mary Jo has a deep and Christian faith, as represented by a little piano notepad which proudly proclaims "Praise the Lord," and a cross + musical note pin. Although Mary Jo siad the pad represented her love of music, I got a much deeper feeling from it. I think Mary Jo must believe that music is a gift to us from the angels. She said she enjoys all kinds of music, but particularly Christian Contemporary.

Mary Jo loves her "kidlets," Jerrod and Traci. You will find wonderful pictures of them in the journal when your turn comes around (again!). They live on a farm, and raise sunflowers for bird seed. Mary Jo shared a bag of "people" sunflower seeds tied up in sunflower ribbon with a silk sunflower on the front! She’s quite a clever lady! Since M & M crispies are the new favorite candy of Jerrod and Traci, they shared a little bag of them tied up with pink and blue ribbons! The pink and blue ribbons represent Mary Jo’s love of motherhood and her pride in her children.

Last, but not least was a tiny book Limoge box, representing Mary Jo’s love of reading, and inside is a penny which represents her belief that there is untold wealth that comes from reading!

In closing, thank you all for having been a part of this wonderful project! Each of you has left a part of you behind. It’s so wonderful to see how the idea was planted, and tended, and now it has grown so immense, much like the sunflower, until it has taken on it’s own personality! The very box that carries the gifts is distinctive! The photo album is a wonder! And the journal… I have so enjoyed learning about Mary Jo, and all of the rest of you! I wonder how long it will take before it can come back?


fcost.gif (144 bytes)WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT LEAH fcost.gif (144 bytes)
By Mary Jo

Getting the box from the Friendship Circle was so exciting & to tell you the   truth, I don't get to the web as much in the summer as in the winter, so I   didn't know anything about Leah until I read her notes in the journal and saw   the gifts from her.

Leah's enthusiasm for life leaps off the pages of the Friendship Circle Box's  journal. She wrote that she is a sophomore at Pittsburg Stage University of  Kansas. She is majoring in Biology right now. She says that she loves to  talk and loves chocolate.   She sent me some hot chocolate & M&M's in her school colors of red & yellow.

Leah also has a soft spot for star gazing. Her grandpa used to do that with  her. The fact that she still enjoys doing that says to me that she has a  deep love for quiet beauty. The fact that she is sentimental about something  her grandpa taught her to enjoy says that her family is very important to  her. She sent me a candle in a pretty star-shaped cup to illustrate her love  of stars. The candle was her favorite fragrance, Midsummers Night. Could  she be a bit of a romantic? (Grin!) Oh, yes ... I think so - because she  also sent me some Freesia body lotion. She says that "a young lady that is  dating always has to smell good". I thought that was cute.

She sent me an adorable bear pin ... the one holding the camera that says   "SMILE!". It would be hard to see her outgoing style of writing and the cute  photos that she enclosed without doing exactly that! Thanks, Leah! Mary Jo

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I Learned About Debi Speice fcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Priscilla

I was so excited when I received Debi’s e-mail that she had shipped the Friendship Circle box to me, I could hardly think of anything else. I began to worry because I knew if it did not come by Friday I would be leaving for a week-long trip to Arkansas and might miss receiving it if it were coming by UPS and would require a signed receipt. As fate would have it, the box came by Priority Mail in time for Ken and me to carefully open each delightful package and share the wonderful moment of sharing the special friendship packages from Debi before I left. Things were so hectic with getting ready for the trip, etc., I just had to keep the Box another week while I was away so that I could enjoy the contents one more time before sending it on. As you receive the Friendship Circle package, you will understand what I mean – you cannot rush, you must take the time needed just for the sheer enjoyment and pleasure you will receive from it.

Debi, who sometimes calls herself "Queen of Duh!" definitely is not. She is extremely witty, creative and very loving of life. Her greatest passion is her family. She also loves collecting sunflowers, Boyds, Dept. 56, birdhouses, Christmas Orns. , Angels, and anything baseball – we all know this from her posts. I think Debi must have known how much I enjoy my early morning coffee and Webspresso because she sent me the greatest Sylvester coffee mug (she and her sons love Looney Tunes). The boys included some hot chocolate packets (one w/rasberry - mmmmm!) which I will save for a special cold, wintry day when I shall enjoy the cocoa and memories of Debi’s sons’ thoughtfulness. Debi shares my love of chocolate – don’t we all. It’s almost un-American not to like chocolate. She included Rolos w/ Sweet Tarts because she likes to follow her chocolate with something sour – sounds fine to me. Brandon, her youngest, added a single Reeses PB mini cup, which is his favorite. He surprised his Mom in parting with it and made me feel very special to have received it – Thanks, Brandon!.

Debi sent a Word Search book which reveals her love of family and time she enjoys with Terrance (13). They compete in trying to see who can finish the same Word Search puzzle first. Several friends have also given me Word Search and Crossword Puzzle books for my retirement days. Think these will all come in handy, especially this winter on cold, dreary inside days. A pack of baseball cards reveals Debi’s love of this sport. Also included was a neat postcard of NM with Clovis listed so I could see where Debi lives. Special thought must have been given to sending some cowboy country stickers representing Texas where I live. I have used these to decorate my packages for Leah.

Other special gifts were a small hand-made quilted heart pillow embellished with lace, rosettes, antique-style buttons and pearls, a wonderful candle in a square tin that read "Friendship plants the seeds – happy moments help them grow". There were some wonderful notecards by Marjolein Bastin and an oval box which contained perhaps my most favorite treasure – a small birdhouse her boys painted for me. Thanks, guys, I love it and plan to use it in a floral arrangement. There was a kitchen towel with birdhouses which is hanging on my "do not use" towel rack in the kitchen. A beautiful Angel Christmas ornament was sent revealing Debi’s creativity which makes me feel very special to be included as a recipient of this gift as this was her last Christmas gifts for her sorority sisters.

To represent Boyd’s she sent the spring Boyd’s pin "Dahlia" and to represent Webspresso a coffee pot and cup pin on a card that says "Everything’s better when shared with a friend". Almost forgot the other chocolate item – a small box of Godiva chocolates which Ken and I devoured immediately.

I hope I have covered everything – Debi just did such a fantastic job. Her gifts could definitely be at the top of the "Can You Top This?" list. VERY, VERY WONDERFUL AND SPECIAL! Thank you, Debi, for sharing

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Erikafcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Judi

As I sat and looked at the outside of the Friendship Box, I thought about how  Boyds, a collectible, has brought us all together. Just one year ago I   decided to use the internet to search for a Liddy Pearl Folkstone as a gift   for my Dad. Vickie and I began corresponding and soon a whole new world   opened up for me. I recently ventured to the Webspresso Lounge and have met   some wonderful new friends.

Now I would like to tell you about Erika and what I have learned about her  through the Friendship Box. Erika did such a beautiful job of wrapping the  gifts, I hated to open them. They were all wrapped with Boyds paper and  delicate pink ribbons. The tissue paper used to line the box is printed with  vividly colored pansies. I waited until after I put my two children to bed,  then slowly opened each gift.

The first gift I opened was a set of sunflower notecards which Erika made.  They represent her creative passion. The sunflower is the state flower of  Kansas. I look forward to using the cards when I write to my friends and  family. The cards are tied together with a blue and white gingham ribbon.  The sunflower theme goes perfectly with the Boyds Spring sunflower and
honeybee theme. Erika also sent packets of flower seeds including  sunflowers, daisies, cosmos and asters. She loves flowers and is an amateur  gardener. My six year old daughter and I will plant the seeds in our flower  bed.

The next gift I opened was a Boyds notepad which says "Life is But a   Dream...." Erika has a great outlook on life. She has had many experiences   in her life -- and focuses on the positive.

To represent Erika's love of Boyds the next package contained "Iris Purple   Passion" floral pin. It's beautiful and my favorite pin. Erika, I will   enjoy wearing it and think of you each time I do. Included with my gifts was   the most current Boyds newsletter. I quickly read the article about the new   floral pins. Gary mentioned that the Iris is also called a "Flag". Erika   loves the Boyds pins and has recently started collecting them.

The final package was large and rectangular. It was a box of Kansas Jayhawk   shortbread cookies! This gift is very important to Erika since she is a die   hard Jayhawk fan! I am going to save these cookies until I can sit down with   a cup of tea and relax and enjoy them.

The friendship Circle is an awesome idea. What a wonderful way to share a  part of yourself with someone else. Erika, thank you for sharing your  special interests and personality with me.
Carol, I am working hard to get the Friendship Box on its way to you soon!

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned About NANCYfcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Melanie
I learned Nancy is a loving, caring, giving, person. And she is as
beautiful outside as she is inside. Nancy filled the friendship box with so
many things that told me about her. She likes special fragrances as she
showed me with the potpourri she enclosed. It's wonderful Nancy. I love it!
Thank you! Because she helps HIV and AIDS patients with their pets through
an organization called PAWS, she enclosed puppy treats and kitty treats. My
children have had the most wonderful time giving them away to all the pets in
our neighborhood. And it has started us thinking about getting another dog
(ours died last summer. He was very old and we still miss him terribly).
She also enclosed a fantastic tee-shirt from her wonderful PAWS organization.
It's beautiful but a bit big so I'm going to send you a check to get a
smaller size. I've been sleeping in the one you sent me. It makes a great
nightshirt! She included one of my favorites too, bath oil beads and fizzing
bath salts. Who diesn't love a long hot soak in the tub after a long hard
day? Thank you, Nancy, for the wonderful things you sent me and the part you
play in PAWS. It's a truely worthwhile organization.

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Candifcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Nancy

I knew the box was coming because Candi had e-mailed me about it's arrival. I tore into the box right away. She had packed a nice greeting card with thoughtful words. I
wanted to read the journal first, so I would have an idea of who Candi is, etc. She has a wonderful husband who is a talented photographer and a darling baby! She included some family photos in the journal and the album. What a beautiful family they make!
Next I started unwrapping all of the packages in white and pink tissue sealed with darling stickers. It's so funny how we "bear people" have so much in common! Chocolate for one! Packed along with the packages were Hershey's miniature easter chocolates! Yum! She also sent a chocolate "Winnie the Pooh" picture card! Needless to say, I love Pooh especially Eeyore! Next I opened a "Winnie
the Pooh" holiday ornament. Well, besides the love for Pooh & Friends, I love xmas ornaments! It was obvious she enjoys the holiday season as much as me. She also let me know for each gift she had given me, she also had one herself. That made the gifts even more special. She sent me some of her favorite coffee which I have already enjoyed. It was hazelnut creme. Yum! Also packed in the box were potpourri and a gingerbread scented candle that was made in Texas where she is from!
The final few items included in the package were----a hand designed picture frame of silk and satin ribbons, rosettes and golden charms. Her husband is a photographer and their home is filled with pictures and frames. I love all kinds of frames and have pictures all over the apartment. I put a picture of me and my sweetie Evan in the frame and it proudly sits on our bedroom dresser. A Boyds bearwear pin, Bailey...tea
time. Not only do I love coffee, but flavored and herbal teas as well. Last, but certainly not least---Candi gave me a wooden picket fence window box that she painted. It is gorgeous. I've never seen anything like it. It's slate blue with pearlized painted vine and roses. It will hold a few of my favorite Boyds plush. Although----a few of them have been taking turns sitting in the box!

In closing, I have learned that Candi is not only a creative and artistic person, but a loving and devoted wife, mother and friend. When I look at the things she sent, it's a constant reminder that someone out there is sharing the same thing with me. That is one of the greatest gifts of all. Thank you so much for sharing you with me!

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Melaniefcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Erika
I was so excited when I arrived home to find a package waiting for me at the door. The outside of the box was creatively decorated (inside too) with Boyd's sticker, paw prints, sayings, etc. I quickly grabbed my scissors to see what was inside. Carefully wrapped in colorful tissue were several surprises.
The first thing I learned about Melanie was that she is not only a collector of Boyd's but also of Beanie Babies. The cutest little bear named "Curly" had come to live with me! I promised Melanie that I would take very good care of him!
Something else Melanie and I share is our love of Christmas. I was given the cutest Carver's Choice Santa pin to add to my collection. The pencil behind his ear represents Melanie's love of writing. He is the perfect addition to my collection!
Melanie and I both share a love for a long, hot bath. To help relax after a long day... a grapefruit aroma bath bomb! I can't wait to give this a try!
A beautiful potpourri basket has already found the perfect spot in my home. I will always think of Melanie when I see it, and all of our friends at Webspresso.
Movies! Melanie loves movies, and thoughtfully sent me a special movie treat --- Cracker Jacks! I love caramel corn! I can't wait to rent some movies and enjoy this tasty treat!
Melanie has a beautiful family, and two adorable children. They are her "Treasures"!
Being a part of the Friendship Circle and reading all of the journal entries has been such a rewarding experience. There are so many talented and creative friends in our circle! It is truely extrordinary that our love of Boyd's has brought us together.
lots of hugz,
ps.... Judi, the package is on its way to you!

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Linda fcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Candi

How exciting!! The box finally made it's way to the Carminati house (the second one, if you want to get technical :-) And we couldn't wait to tear into it. I ran to the kitchen to get the scissors while my one year old happily beat the box with his little chubby hands :-) He has lots of experience opening Boyd's packages from the mail :-) He can tell how excited mommy is so he gets just as excited :-) Anyway! We got it open and both enjoyed emptying it :-) He took all the tissue paper out and "helped" find all the goodies :-)

I have to tell you, Linda is a cheater! heehee She typed her journal entry and glued it into the book :-) So obviously she is a smart cookie :-) I should have done Nancy a favor and done the same thing! My hand writing is just terrible :-) Anyway! I can tell that Linda is very proud of her family :-) She has three kids (and her daughter is the same age as me :-)
Another thing we have in common is husbands who never manage to get their picture taken :-) She says hers is always taking the pictures :-) We have the same prob here in our home :-)

And of course we have the same LOVE for cute little fuzzy BOYDS!! :-) She sent me an adorable little guy named Smokie Mountberg :-) He is soo cute! He's the little white bear that looks like humbolt. He has a little studded collar! ;-) He couldn't have been a more perfect addition to my collection, since a friend just gave me Blackstone (same style but obviously black :-) about a month ago :-) I've been thinking Blackstone needed a friend and now those two are just inseparable! Smokie even had his own designer (Boyd's wear :-) sweater when he arrived :-) Too cute! :-)

She also sent me a delicious CHOCOLATE candy bar!! Besides Boyd's that's my other weakness! :-) Don't worry though :-) I shared half with Kobi :-) (it wasn't easy though :-) heehee
She also sent a cute little sticky note pad with Celeste the Angel Rabbit on it ;-) I too have this piece and think she is very special :-) It's Linda's favorite resin piece :-)
I think we were destined to hook up, cause she has yet another thing in common with me :-) Unfortunately...Allergies! Yuck! I know mine sure make me miserable :-) That's why her favorite scented candle is a refreshing lemon-lime!! And you betcha, she sent me one :-) I love candles so it's already half burnt! It is very clean smelling..I love it :-)
And do you believe there is still one more thing I learned we have in common?? It's true! We are both coupon clippers :-) lol Hey! You gotta "save" extra $$$ for Boyd's SOMEHOW! :-)
It was really wonderful learning about Linda (and everyone else) and her favorite things :-) What a wonderful group of people we have here :-) I can't wait for that journal to come back around again!! (will it ever??? heehee) Thank you for sharing yourselves with us :-)

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Kellyfcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Linda

I really enjoyed learning about Kelly. The dish towel that I received goes right along with this years Boyds Bee theme. It says Honey Hill Bee Keep. Kelly says that her kitchen is apples & bears, she must have a delicious smelling kitchen for apples have the very best aroma. The candle & body lotion are very nice. They tell me that you are a flowery type romantic person.I could say more, but I wouldn't want to embarrass Kelly or myself. LOL. The Bearly Santa pin that I received tells me not only of your love for Christmas, but of your love of giving. I had to look him up in Joanne's oPINions book, to be sure who he was. You are a very generous person not only at Christmas but all year long. I will cherish the pin, as he is new to my pin collection. There is note paper & envelopes that I have found extremely helpful. They tell me that you, like me now correspond with other Boyds BearLUVers. You not only have a hugh giving nature, but you are a crafter too. Such a talent. Butterflys are special to my family & I thank you from the bottom of my heart. There was a green bow tied around 1 of the packages that now resides on my plush Betty Biscuit, just incase a boy Boyds dog were to find its way to our house. Betty says thank you for dressing me up. Last but not least, a definate large part of Kelly's life is her Jewelry store. I am sure it keeps her very busy & she wears the best of accessories... I love the earrings. A huge Boyds Bear hug to you & to all BoydsLUVers. Linda

fcost.gif (144 bytes)What I learned about Lizziefcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Kelly

I was really thrilled to receive the Friendship Box from Lizzie on Monday. The first thing I did was open the journal because I wanted to read all about the wonderful ladies before me.

In reading Lizzie's letter to me I found her to be a very eloquent writer. Her true passion is writing. She sent to me a bear journal so that I can place my favorite thoughts, poems or stories that are special to me in it.  When she is not writing she is buying, buying, buying books! She has an extensive collection of pictured children's books. I guess it goes with the territory of being a school teacher. I have not met one yet that did not love to read. She stated that her paycheck goes to BOOKS & BOYDS (B&B).

She also sent to me two handmade bookmarks from paper that was from Italy with cat stamps from various countries along with a rock that she and her husband had found in Utah when they were vacationing. She also sent to me a anthurium magnet from Maui. I get a real sense that she loves to travel and see the world. She feel like life is a true adventure and we should all take the ride.

She feels very strong about her Chinese heritage as she also sent to me a beautiful red envelope with a special trinket and ancient coin to share her celebration of Chinese New Year's with me. She has been studying about her ancestors and is into genealogy just like Sally. Maybe they can help each other out.

She also has a strong belief in the spiritual beings. Angles are a true love of hers and she shared that with me with a Boyd's Believe in Angels pin. I will wear this always as I to believe that we all have special angels looking over us.

She also has a strong passion for CATS!!!!. She had her oldest cat Small Grey write me a wonderful haiku poem about the wonders of cats, being that they sleep all day and decide to play all night. I do know this feeling.

Last but not least she sent me some Boyd's Life is a Picnic post-it notes as she feel that you should take each day as they come. Sometimes you just have to sit down on a blanket eat, eat eat and watch the world as it happens.

Lizzie, I am truly blessed to have been touched by you. We have more in common than you know.
Love, hugs and much friendship my special friend.

fcost.gif (144 bytes)WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT VICKIE fcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Lizzie

I have to admit that when Vickie told me the box was on its way to me, I was both excited and nervous. I was excited because I was anxious to read the journal and see what things Vickie would include for me that would tell her story. I was a bit nervous because I would have to reveal some things about myself and wasn't sure what I would be comfortable sharing. Well, any self-imposed fears I might have had just flew out the window when I opened the box.
I immediately started to read Vickie's letter to me. Her mounted photo in the journal with the gold inked decorative border, her handwriting, her lovely decorations and stickers on each page displayed her talent for creativity and her love for making beautiful things. I was honored that she took such time to create this work of art in the form of her journal entry.
I deliberately waited to open the gifts she sent me. Each item was wrapped and be-ribboned so exquisitely, I just wanted to look at them. So look at them I did. An hour or two later, I opened each one slowly. The first one I opened was a lacy tissue-packed bag with soft, soft hand knitted little sweaters. My mouth fell open as I fingered them and marveled at her craft.
The sweaters are nautical pullovers with a turtleneck: navy blue with white trim and white with navy trim. Exactly what bears and hares need on cold, windy days on their sailboat in the San Francisco Bay! Vickie loves the nautical bears and some time ago had told me about the nautical room she was creating for her bears in her house. She knew that I too love the nautical them for the Boyds bears so this gift to me is very touching. She also thoughtfully included a sachet of ocean mist scented salts enhancing the nautical theme. Vickie is attentive to details.
Then I opened a box that contained a perfect red apple that is hand turned on a lathe. It is scented softly and stained a clear red that allows the wood grain to show through. It is really pretty. Vickie loves apples and decorates her kitchen with apples. Apples are a wholesome and very nurturing symbol, I think. You know, like apple pie and moms. Vickie is a proud mother of grown children (her picture shows a glamorous, very youthful and beautiful woman) and I think apples are befitting for her loving nature.
I next gazed at a box decorated with Mary Engelbreit paper. Vickie also affixed gold wood stars on the box so that the box was a medley of Christmas paper, sandcastles with a quote from Thoreau (one of my favorites), and the raised gold stars. Inside the box was the Boyds rabbit Elizabeth - a sweet, sweet white rabbit that I didn't have. The rabbit wore a hand knitted sweater with the name "LIZ". Vickie made this for me and I am profoundly touched, Vickie. Words can't begin to express how I felt opening the gifts you lovingly and creatively made.
Lastly, I opened a box that contained a bracelet Vickie made with tiny glass beads. The tiny beads are in different blues: azure, lapis, indigo, silvery cobalt, translucent pewter. Yes, the colors are really that majestic! She had wanted to make some Navajo designs and so she designed this bracelet and used black leather for the soft flexible band from an old jacket of hers. Vickie appreciates quite a lot of the same things I do: the southwest motifs, nautical themes and bears, bracelets and beaded jewelry!
To sum it all, Vickie is a very creative and artistic woman! She's got talent to Da Max as we say in Hawaii! I see her as an organized and efficient woman - she plans and likes to be prepared. Her home is probably decorated beautifully with rich and quality things and I'll bet when she has guests over, the dinner parties are lavishly prepared! She exudes hospitality, good taste and manners! I am so flattered and humbled to be in her company and make her friendship. Thank you, Vickie, from the depths of my heart.

fcost.gif (144 bytes)WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT NANCYfcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Vickie

First.. I want to express how grateful I am to be a part of such a wonderful circle of friends!! I have not only learned about Nancy.. but about everyone in the friendship circle that came before her. Tami and Sally have truly created an unforgettable sharing
experience for all of us!
When I received the "box" I started to understand why Doris waited to open it... I just wanted to make it last as long as possible! I waited maybe a whole 5 minutes..LOL....Patience is not a virtue of mine.
The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was the wonderful aroma of a Hazelnut Coffee Yankee Candle. Nancy also included Buttercream and a Kiwi candles... but I have to say that the Hazelnut Coffee is "to die for"... I will definitely have to have more of them. Her house must smell wonderful!!
Nancy has a great love of family.. she included a darling hand decorated picture frame from her son "Scooter" and in the journal there is a picture of her and Dave at a NASCAR race... one of their passions.... and also a picture of her daughter Nicki.... It is obvious that she is very proud of her family!!
There were two flower seed packets........she must love flowers and the outdoors very much! I only started gardening last year... but I can't wait to plant these!! The weather has been so warm here in Texas... maybe I won't have to wait much longer! Yes.. Nancy.. I am sure they will grow here.... and I will think of you with every bloom!
She also included hand made recipe cards made by a dear friend of hers.. they are so cute with little teddies on them... she says that she is not real creative in the kitchen.. we must have that in common...LOL! I intend to use them to copy some of those wonderful recipes on this site.
Nancy's favorite time of year is winter... so she sent note paper with winter scenes on it that came from her favorite retailer... It is almost too pretty to write on.

"Life is short... eat dessert first!" ... Nancy must truly have learned to live in the moment!! The Boyds Auntie Cocoa pin she sent me says it all!! It expresses her love of Boyds and chocolate... I absolutely adore the folkstone angels... so I really love this gift. She also sent some packets of her favorite cocoa mix for me to enjoy. I might add that they smell wonderful too!!
Nancy said that she is just getting into crafts and she owes me a homemade gift in the future... She pays such attention to detail that I am sure she will be great at anything she tries!!
I once read ...."Share the gift of who you are... it is why you came to be" Thank you Nancy for sharing with me...

fcost.gif (144 bytes)WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT MILLIE fcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Nancy

I'm not a very good story teller but I'll give this a shot. When the box arrived I must say I was really touched. The whole little idea has grown into such a wonderful sharing experience I was a bit overwhelmed. I've heard so much about the "Famous Millie". She truly has a wonderful relationship with her husband. One I can truly envy. She sent me an issue of Bear Tails and Trails. I was delighted. I had been wanting to subscribe and had just not gotten around to it. I'm sure I will now. Its a wonderful publication. She doesn't think she's creative, but you certainly wouldn't hear that from me. She not only has a wonderful relationship with her hubby but she has 2 children she adores and is blessed with two grandsons and SURPRISE another one coming in June. How exciting. Her most favorite time is the time she spends with them. She loves her life! She is busier now then she was before retirement and it seems she likes it like that. She sent beautiful post cards that I'm going to frame. One showing her love for flowers, and the other of a favorite place of hers Chicago. That's where she grew up. She also loves England, she's been there and hopes to go back again. I don't want to spoil it for you so I won't tell everything on the list you'll have to wait until it's your turn to read the journal. I will tell you she loves her kitties, to read and to do puzzles. She does volunteer work, another way to tell you she is a very sharing, caring person. I'm very lucky to have met her in our circle. I hope you all have as much fun with this as I have. Vickie it's on the way! Hugs Nancy

fcost.gif (144 bytes)WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT DORISfcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Millie

What I Learned about Doris

Even though I don't know it for sure, I'm pretty sure that Patience is one of Doris' virtues (at least I hope so) because she really is a neat lady, and I hope she will forgive my lateness in posting this.

As I wrote Sally earlier, I was overwhelmed by my precedessors' talent and creativity--and Doris certainly was a shining example. First of all, each package was wrapped with great originality and care, making it a delight to open. One of the best gifts was a sch------ (couldn't spell it if my life depended on it and couldn't find it in the dictionary)--a handmade scissor cut picture that is truly beautiful. Fortunately, she also made a copy for the book so you all can enjoy it too.

Doris is a loving wife and mother of two sons--of whom she can be justifiably proud, judging by the photos she sent, who hopes to retire to a hot, sunny clime with her husband and family dog.

She also has a wonderful ability to make you feel comfy, cozy and loved, with a wonderfully scented candle and delicious chocolate. It was great to sit down with a good book and enjoy the delicious fragrance and taste simultaneously! And, no, I didn't share the chocolate with Harry! Love only goes so far!

She shared her love of Boyds with two very special items--a handmade bookmark (which I am using and will always treasure) and a doily to put under a special resin piece.

The explaining notes were exactly what I would have expected from her--warm, comnfortable and caring. I've come to know her through emails and through her very knowledgable postings on the boards, but this was a special way to get to know a lovely lady even better. Thank you for sharing yourself with me, Doris.

fcost.gif (144 bytes)WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT GAE fcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Doris

January 25, 1999
Here are the wonderful things I learned about Gae Sharp-Richardson from the Webspresso Friendship Circle Bag.

Some people call her "The Bear Lady" and her bear designing career began in the '80's when she first put these particular creative talents to work by designing and making a bear for her own collection. She refers to this "career" as an "exciting adventure" and I am certainly excited to receive a set of Bear Note Cards, which Gae autographed. (I'm very glad people call her "The Bear Lady" and not "Ms. Bubba", "Elvis' Mom" or "The 'Old' Crow Creator" since she did design all those favorites an more! LOL) She is an extremely gifted and creative artist.

Gae is also a warm, gentle and lovely person. Her appreciation of beautiful things and nature was apparent in the hand made items she crafted for me. She especially enjoys starting with something others might consider junk and turning it into a treasure. One that she gave to me is a "Shardware" pin - a broken shard of pottery excavated by Gae and her son on a pretend archeology expedition and turned into a unique piece of jewelry. What a treasure! She made even the box it was in. You'll learn more about it in the "journal" when it is your turn.

Gae also turned a fragment of beach glass that she and her husband had found on the bank of the Cedar River last summer into a precious little green glass angel with golden wings. Angels are a strong symbol to Gae who believes her Dad is her own personal guardian angel. Another very very special treasure.

This exceptionally talented lady also has a sense of humor and likes to find rocks with shapes that inspire her to use lots of imagination and a little paint to make them into something fun. She and her daughter found a rock with a funny hole in it that looked like a mouth and my new "gossip rock" was born. I just love the whimsical gossip rock lady ~ she's probably talking about the cute posts we all leave on Webspresso!

I didn't know where Gae is from, but she told me that it is Iowa and that Iowans experience cold winters. I'm sure the weather doesn't get her down, since she came up with an idea to decorate her front yard with 100 penguins after the first snow fall! That proved to be a bit impractical, so instead her good friend Cathy came over and spent a fun day painting 50 penguin clothespins and making at least part of Gae's dream come true. I also now know that Gae is a wife and a mother and likes to spend time with her family.

All the exciting handmade gifts were contained inside a plain paper mache craftbox decorated with black letters reading "Webspresso Friendship Circle 1999" and "to Doris from Gae Sharp-Richardson". Gae said she likes surprises and opening packages! It was tied with a length of jute and had red crimped paper accents, just like the package of Bear Note Cards and it made me think that it was a good representation of Gae herself… What you see on the outside is just a tiny hint of all the extraordinary uniqueness, beauty, gentle kindness and love on the inside. She says in the Journal (oh, did I mention all the darling illustrations and doodles she put on her pages!!!) that her goal in life is to see the good in all people she comes in contact with and to go one step further and recognize their potential to be more than a "rock" or a broken piece of glass". She considers each of us to be "one of God's treasures ~ people of worth".

I know you are all excited waiting for your turn to receive this special Friendship box and read what Sally, Tami, and Gae (and I, very soon) have written to tell you about ourselves. This project is one of the nicest things I've ever had the privilege of participating in and I feel beary beary blessed that while Boyds may have brought us together, it is the warm gentle beauty within Gae and within each of us that is making us friends.

fcost.gif (144 bytes)WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT TAMIfcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Gae
This is what I know about Tami because of the Friendship Circle gifts she gave to me.
Tami loves Boyds! This is evident by the exclamation mark that she uses when she says she loves Boyds! The Folkstone Angels are expecially important to Tami but she also is beginning to get interested in the plush. Her excitement and love of the Boyds products has brought her to a wonderful place called "the internet" where she has made alot of friends who share her passion. Tami gave me a pad of Boyds Post It notes to represent her "love for Boyds!"
Two of the gifts were vanilla scented - a candle and some truly delicious hand cream (because she likes to pamper herself). I love the smell of vanilla because it reminds me of my Grandmother baking cookies. I can tell that Tami's family and home are important to her. She enjoys scrapbooking and studing her geneolgy. I wonder if Vanilla reminds her of her Grandmother too?
Tami likes to keep in touch with her family and friends the old fashion way - with a hand made card sent through the mail. Tami gave me some of her note cards. They are very sweet. They were tied together with raffia straw and a cinnamon stick. Mmmmmmmm --- Cinnamon reminds me of my Grandmother too. :o)
The note cards weren't the only hand made gift I found in my Friendship Circle bag. Tami loves to do crafts. She painted two mini wooden candle holders and tied them with pretty pink ribbons with pink taper candles. She didn't say that she made it - but there was also a bookmark (because she likes to read) with a matching pink ribbon. Because of the flowers and pink and softness of the colors - I think that Tami is probably a gentle and down to earth person. We both share a love for camping and decorating.
What I expecially like about this friendship bag is that we put in gifts that represent ourselves. When I look at these things now - I think of Tami. And how she gave of herself to a perfect stranger. Thank you for reminding me of some wonderful fragrance memories of my past and for creating some new memories for tomorrow.
Gae Sharp-Richardson
P.S. Oops --- almost forgot about the little box of chocolate. Yummy!! --- it was empty a long time ago.

fcost.gif (144 bytes)WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT SALLYfcost.gif (144 bytes)
by Tami

I feel from visiting her website often that I've gotten to know her a little, but after receiving the friendship bag from her yesterday, I feel that I know her much more. I learned that we've definitely got some things in common, but yet we have our differences of course, too. It would sure be a boring world if we all liked everything the same.
First of all, I know that she has a great appreciation of beautiful things. She loves the color copper and has copper throughout her house. Sounds wonderful! She loves shoes and candles. I'm sure that she is always dressed so hip and that her house always smells wonderful.......the candle sure did!
I think she must feel a great reverence for Christmas and our Savior. She sent a Boyds Christmas Carver's Choice ornie and also a star that she made which was on her Christmas tree. It is very beautiful and will be on my tree next year.
I think Sally must be a great "bargain shopper", because there was really quite a lot in that bag for $10. She also wrote that she loves a good bargain. So, I'm assuming she loves to shop also, as most of us do.
I've learned from receiving her bag, reading her journal entry and visiting her site that she truly loves giving and making people feel good. I think she must be a good friend to many people.
I also learned that she loves train rides and planning for them also. Wow! She also loves Boyds........imagine that! When we were first putting this idea together, she really wanted to make sure that we all used our creativity and especially, that no one got their feelings hurt in any way. That is why there is a $10 limit placed on it. I think that is great. She is a very warm and kind person with many great qualities about her that we are still probably not even aware of. She is a good friend to us all. It was fun receiving the bag and being able to keep all the goodies inside, but most of all it was just nice to learn a little more about her. I hope the rest of you have as good an experience as I did.


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