The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 11 No. 13 - December 29, 2010


Jolie Bell creates Banana Buddies

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Jolie Bell sold her Banana Buddies at the holiday bazaar
at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in early December.

HOLMES BEACH – Jolie Bell says her monkeys are more fun than a barrel of people.

Bell hand knits her Banana Buddies, each with a distinct personality, message and name and sells them to friends and in local shops. You'll find Oopsie Daisy, Hula Tahlulah, Dandy, Coco Puff, Hot Lips and Frenchy among her many offerings.

"I made some for my grandchildren, and I had so much fun making them that I just kept going," Bell explained.

"I've made 59 so far and have 120 names. They span all ages. They are not just for kids.

"I start with a basic monkey pattern and then adjust it to suit the name and personality. I fix them up with hair and accessories and each one has a message."

For example, Ruby Rose comes with the message, "I like banana cream pie, sand castles and swingin' music. If you take me home, I promise not to get into any mischief (ha ha)."

'Each one takes 12 to 15 hours to make," Bell said. "My husband and I take a lot of road trips, and I make them while we're traveling. Alaska was a 14-monkey trip and Ohio was a five-monkey trip."

Banana Buddies can be found in Three Island Monkeys (of course), Chapae, Restless Natives, Back Alley, Sun and Surf and the Artists Guild gift shop at the Sun House restaurant or can be purchased from Bell by calling 778-5397.

Bell also has made another of her popular calendars for 2011. Each month of the calendar includes a photograph with Bell's hand-drawn embellishments, a meaningful quote, a description of what's in the photo and credits for the author and photographer.

The calendars are $12.50 and can be found in local shops or by calling Bell.

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