Saturday, July 31, 2010

bear mags anyone?

We're moving shortly, and we have a LOT of stuff that doesn't need to move with us. Some of which are bear books, magazines and related items.

I have a couple of photos on my facebook page if you're interested. As I slowly pack more and more STUFF, I'm sure I'll find more and more things that we never use as well... so watch this space! ;)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A special birthday delivery for Chelsea

Yet again, Chelsea's guardian angel from the USA has managed to send us a super cute stuffie... this time a sweet not-so-little giraffe!

I let Chels pull him out of the box.

She decided his nose needed examining.

Then poor Mr Giraffe got side-lined for the seriously interesting squishy stuff that came in the box with him.

After a few attempts at draping the bubble wrap over her head...

...she lost interest, and Mr Giraffe was flipped upside down so his feet could be checked out.

There were quite a few occasions where she gave in to the softness of the giraffe too, and laid her head on him, popped a thumb in her mouth and gave him a special 'Chelsea cuddle'. However these Chelsea cuddles are more like micro cuddles, and very hard to capture on camera! But thank you again Miss Julie - she loves him!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A challenge and a half!

We have an awesome shop about 20mins drive from our house called 'Skinnys' that sell all things skin-related! (which for me means awesome furs!). They had a big pile of offcuts, with some amazing textures and colours. There was a bright lolly-pink piece that would have looked awesome as an insert against Chelsea's lime green pram, but wasn't quite big enough.

In the end, after a long discussion with the sales lady about the potential of making bears from the offcuts, and/or possibly using kangaroo skins (wasn't too sure about that), I decided to go with a beautifully silky cream piece of lambskin.

I am sure you've all felt lambswool before - including how dense they are!? In comparison to the most dense mohair I've ever used, this stuff is probably 10 times thicker! Which has led to some interesting design and sewing issues...

Unless this bear turns out like a masterpiece, I can't see myself doing this again. It is hard work! (and I haven't even sewn it all yet!)

Oh - and I have some offcuts from the offcut if anyone thinks they might be able to use them. I have some pieces of leather and fur intact, and also some loose wool. If you think you might be able to use either the wool, or the skin pieces, or both, send me an email at All I'll need is the cost of the postage - you can have the fur for free. Just don't like to see it go to waste.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chelsea's birthday party

Today we had Chelsea's first birthday party.

It was FULL ON!!! I suppose it was also my first birthday party too - as a mum anyway - so that was eye-opening! All the shopping, and prep work, and running around, and organising... just for 2-3hrs of chaos!

It was fun though. Hard work, and completely exhausting. But fun. This was her all dressed up with her hair in pig-tails before we left. (The pig-tails didn't last!)

Mark got to the park (our house is so tiny we didn't even contemplate having it here) at 7am to make sure he scored the best table area. I had loaded him up with a massive bag of balloons, table clothes, ribbons and streamers the night before. So he spend the morning blowing up masses of pink and purple balloons. The area looked awesome!

As I pushed Chels up to the tables from the car park, her little arms reached up towards the balloons and she shrieked with excitement. I think the whole morning was quite full on for her too though, as she ended up falling asleep about 30sec after we had packed everything up and buckled her into her car seat.

This was the amazing puppy cake a friend of mine from highschool made for Chels. I had contacted her about possibly making her a cake months ago, and her first question was 'what does Chelsea like?'. At that stage she was about 8months old, and didn't really have distinct 'likes' yet. Besides dogs. She has always loved animals - even from a tiny baby of two months or so - but when dogs are around she lights up! So A puppy cake was deemed most appropriate. And i think it turned out beautifully!

After we'd gotten her home for a sleep, it was time to open her MOUNTAIN of presents! I think this was a bit overwhelming for her as well. But she now has a decent stash of cool toys and new clothes to see her through the next few months (well - at least until Christmas anyway!).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Eliza the Grape-Vampire

This is the much awaited 'creepy-eyed grape Kool Aid-dyed bear'. I decided that she needed to be a vampire bear, so she has her tiny little vampire fangs! She's a very sweet vampire though! As you can probably tell from her little felt heart - her name is Eliza.

More sculpted bears to fill the time...

Still waiting for my newest batch of bear joints to arrive - so I can finish my creepy grape Kool Aid dyed bear... So in the meantime I have been sculpting these little dudes. Still not sure what I'm going to do with them! :P

I tried to get a group shot of the three of them on the driveway/common area bit (cause I love the texture look of the surface), but a GIANT baby spotted us.

So after she tried to abduct some of my little bears (and promptly dropped them again!), I decided we needed to find a safer photography background.

So we took up camp in our neighbours front garden! Little bit cheeky - but they have the sweetest little flowers!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tiny Weeny Panda Bear

I was playing around with my polymer clay yesterday afternoon as I needed to make some eyelids for the latest bear I'm working on (the Grape Kool Aid-dyed bear - She's got sparkly pink eyes (a little creepy), grape coloured eyelids and bald ears so far!).

Anyways, while I had the clay out, and Chelsea was sleeping, I thought I'd try making a little mini bear. This little guy was the result. Chels woke up about half way through the process of making it, and got VERY annoyed when I wouldn't let her hold him!

She got to give him a tiny mini cuddle when he was cooked, and all nice and hard!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ordalf the Fairy Bear

This gorgeous young man is Ordalf. He is the finished bear made from the piece of mohair in the blue/green/yellow colours from this Kool Aid post

His wings are his best feature. And unfortunately I can't claim to have made them myself! They were very kindly custom made by Little Wing Faerie Art - an amazing wing-maker I found on etsy. I recommend checking out her store. She usually makes adult wings (which are beyond belief themselves!), but agreed to make me these tiny little ones for a bear. At the time I didn't know which bear - but as I was cutting out Ordalf's pieces from the brightly coloured fur, I knew the wings were meant for him.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A new baby for us

I've been dying to shout this news for months now!!! But have kept it quiet till we could have the 12wk scan.

We had it today, and everything is looking great! This is a not-so-clear photo of our newest little bubba. He/she was wriggling around like it was party time in there, which made the job of the poor technicians rather slow and difficult. Eventually they got to see all the bits they needed to see, after getting me to do some acrobatic moves that rivalled those of the bub, and we got to go home.

Thankfully Mark was able to take the day off work and come with me to keep Chelsea happy, as she decided it was way too boring about 20mins into the hour long session!

So that is my news for today. I'll keep up the bear making as much as possible between now and January, when No. 2 is due, but imagine that the bears will take a backseat once I've got two children under 2 to deal with!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Solaris - the sunset bear

My thumb is basically healed now. Its still a slightly odd shade of bluey-purple, but back to normal size - and with enough movement that I was able to get this sweet, colourful boy finished this morning.

I've named him Solaris (for obvious reasons), which means 'of the sun' in Latin. He is dyed using Cherry, Orange and Mango Kool Aid flavours.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Isn't the human body amazing...

It's a miracle! That puffed up, swollen and painful excuse for a thumb is almost better. I still don't have 100% of my normal movement and dexterity, but I have enough to do some basic tasks that I had TOTALLY taken for granted - ie. sewing!

So, to celebrate - I've sewn up the sunset dyed bear from my rainbow dying with Kool Aid (see posts below). I'm still not quite up to cutting out yet (too much pressure on the joint), but thankfully I'd cut this particular bear out before the rose-thorn incident!

Later on tonight I might even have a go at jointing and stuffing too! Everybody take a moment to give your healthy, functioning hands a great big kiss! They deserve it! ;)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A bear Makers Worst fear...

... yes, I have injured my dominant hand. My right thumb to be exact. (to get this photo, I had to balance the camera in front of me on the desk, hold a paintbrush in my mouth and use it to press down the button to capture the image!)

It was a beautiful day yesterday, so I took Chelsea out to the backyard to have a play. While we were out there I though I might as well do a bit of much needed weeding. After tugging out a particularly stubborn weed, my hand flung into our overgrown rose bush, and a thorn got wedged deep in my thumb. I pulled it out and didn't think anything else of it (apart from the fact that it hurt - a lot!).

3 hours later my thumb was so swollen and sore that I couldn't even bend it. I called the health line for some advice and was told that due to the potential for bacteria and tetanus, and due to the fact that it had swollen so much, I should go to the nearest emergency room asap.

It all seemed so bizarre - all from a stupid rose thorn! So I dragged Chelsea off to our local hospital, explained what had happened (feeling very pathetic showing them my thumb while sick kids and people with more serious injuries were waiting). After about 45mins of waiting I went through, and was given a tetanus booster shot - just in case. They seemed to think it looked ok - but said to keep an eye on it, as it could still get infected, and with the injury being in the joint there was a real possibility of bone infection (woo hoo :P).

Today it's still really puffed up. That hasn't changed. But it doesn't seem as sore. (either that or I've just gotten used to it now!). But it just means that simple things like screwing and unscrewing Chelsea's bottles is nearly impossible. Doing up her buttons is ridiculously hard. Sewing bears is just not even going to happen! Even driving was a bit tricky.

So be warned - rose bushes are dangerous!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mr Fighter (the fighter fish) has a girlfriend

Mark, Chelsea and I went to a local pet shop this morning to find Mr Fighter a girlfriend. We chose a massive shop about 20mins drive away, and we were all in pet-shop heaven! We pushed Chelsea's pram up to the windows with the puppies and kittens, and showed her the baby birds. We did a few laps of the fish area - complete with EVERY kind of aquatic life you could possibly want! There was even a massive blue starfish stuck to the wall of one of the display tanks. The variety of fighter fish colours and tail types was incredible too. (I know where I'll be going next time!).

We found a sweet little female fighter fish and took her home. I floated the bag in the top of Mr Fighters tank for half an hour while the two of them got acquainted.

When I let her out, she successfully hid from him for about 10mins, before deciding to brave a meeting. It was actually really sweet watching the two of them say hello. Mr Fighter seemed genuinely shy! :P (He is now stalking her around the tank with his flares up - but hasn't attacked her yet. Just seems to be telling her that the warm spot near the heater is his. She has been banished to the cold bottom of the tank :P)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kool Aid dyeing again

So, in a burst of enthusiasm and energy tonight, I decided to dye that new piece of white mohair I ordered (see last post) with my huge assortment of Kool Aid sachets. Miss Chelsea, rather obligingly had a 2 hour sleep this afternoon (a sleep this length is VERY rare!), so I had managed to draw three bears out on the mohair, and cut them into the separate sections ready for dying. The fourth piece was just the left over fur without any patterns drawn yet.

I mixed up a sachet of 'Grape' (purple) Kool Aid, but was a little disappointed by how dark it was. When I tested a bit by painting it onto a scrap piece of fur it came out a dull murky black - then washed right out. I decided painting this one onto the mohair wasn't going to work, so gathered up the leftover piece of mohair (with no bear drawn up in case it went horribly wrong!) to boil it instead.

This is just after two sachets of 'grape' had been mixed through and a sprinkling of salt for good luck (and to act as a fixative - not that I think it needed it!). The colour is still an awful, dull grey.

This is after the fur has boiled for about 20mins or so. You can see how the fur pile has soaked up the purple colour leaving the water a mid-blue tone. Only the mohair took the colour though which was interesting. The backing has remained a pale purple - almost white really.

And this is the fur rinsed (no colour came out). It is actually really pretty. And I think due to the fur being squished into my pot - some bits have gone a deep purple, while other bits have more of a blue tone to them. Looking forward to using this piece now.


This one was done with 'Lemon-Lime' (green), 'Pina-Pineapple' (yellow), and 'Berry Blue' (blue). I mixed each sachet with about 100mls of water, stirred it up with a paintbrush till all the particles had dissolved, then painted the colour onto the damp mohair (which I had laying on a wad of newspaper to soak up any excess colour). The three sachets of colour were JUST enough for this size of fur (just over a 1/8m). I left this one sit for about an hour before rinsing. It really doesn't seem to make any difference if you rinse after 5mins or 55mins though - as soon as that colour hits the fur, its usually permanent (except for the grape one though it seems)!


This is my favourite piece. I dyed this one with 'Cherry' (deep red), 'Orange' (Orange), and 'Mango' (brilliant yellow). The colours are so much like a sunset, and they've all blended really well. I used the same process with this piece as I did above (mixing the sachets in water and painting them on), but sprinked this piece with salt and let it sit for half an hour to see if the colours would be brighter. It didn't appear to make any difference! Also, as this piece of mohair was a little larger - the 3 sachets weren't enough to dye the whole piece. So I left some area's white. I actually think this will work when I go to assemble the bear, as it will allow some break up of the rather intense colouring.


This last piece was dyed with 'Pink Lemonade' (pink) and 'Ice blue raspberry lemonade' (blue). These two colours had more of a pastel look to them, so I thought I'd use them together. Again, the same preparation was used, and again the 2 sachets were not enough to dye the whole piece, so white areas were left. I am really excited to see how the spotty look transfers to a finished bear as well as I tend to stick mostly to the stripes! This piece got no salt, and was rinsed about 5mins after I finished painting it. It looks to be just as bright as the other pieces I left sit for a lot longer. The real test will be what they all look like dry tomorrow!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Super Speedy Mohair

I decided (at 1:30pm yesterday afternoon), that I should order some more white mohair to use my new stash of Kool Aid sachets on. And that If I purchased it then and there, I could use it as a last minute business expense before the new financial year.

I didn't expect to see the fur for at least a few more days - but discovered a package from Gerry's waiting for me out the front of my house this morning! Not even 24hrs later! How is that for speedy delivery!!!