Monday, November 29, 2010

Oliver's Christmas outfit

Chelsea and I went to the shops today. For bread and milk. We came back with about ten bags of other stuff! Christmas goodies, toys, santa gifts, hair accessories... oh, and an outfit for Oliver!

He didn't really like it :P

Also finished three more SPuNGieS today. These guys are just too much fun to make!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Abrialii Lavender

This is Abrialii - so named as this is a stunning variety of the lavender flower, matching the colouring on this big panda's belly and head. Abrialii is my latest bear, and is currently available. I must admit I'm a little smitten with her too! She's a lovely big girl, standing in at 22" (57cm) tall. I decided to get some photos of Chelsea with her too, to show just how big she is. At least this time Chelsea decided to cooperate! She was a little distracted by Oliver trying to jump up on the table too though.

Which he is not supposed to be doing! We took him to the vet to get desexed yesterday. He was gone all day, and despite myself I actually missed him! It was nice to be able to get down in the garden and do some weeding without having to deal with him trying to sit in my lap at the same time, but the backyard just seemed a bit empty. Chelsea and I collected him yesterday afternoon, and we were given strict instructions not to let him run around or jump in case he opened up his stitches. That was basically impossible! He was so happy to be home that he was jumping all over the place. He did have a bit of a rest this morning though - and I managed to capture this pic of him, before he came bounding out of his kennel and jumping all over the place again! :P

Then, during Abrialii's photo shoot, he and Chelsea decided it would be a great idea to try and climb the ladder! I think she's a bad influence on him! At least she didn't get very high. And he just stayed at the bottom as a sort of 'look out' I suppose! I really don't know how we're supposed to keep him quiet for another 9 days!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dejan the Bunny

I'm kind of addicted to the luxury mohair at the moment, but felt a need to step away from Panda's for a little while... well, for a day at least!

This little guy is 'Dejan'. He is a patchy cream and chocolate curly mohair bunny, complete with whiskers, bendable ears and a cotton-bud tail.

I was just doing the calculations in my mind then, and realised Chelsea has been incredibly patient with me today. This morning at 9am, Dejan was just a pile of sewn up bunny pieces. And now, 3pm local time, he's finished! Chelsea had a great time unpacking my sewing box while I worked. And I somehow managed to assemble Dejan and keep her away from the really dangerous things - scissors, quick unpicks, sewing needles etc, and the potentially messy things - silk dye, pens, paintbrushes etc. Actually, she's really good now. I think she's watched me sewing so much that she knows what she can and can't touch. If she picks up anything she isn't allowed to have, she hands it straight over to me. Kind of like her version of saying 'this isn't safe mum, put it away!'.

So, after a very productive day, Dejan is now up for adoption and currently listed on bearpile.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More baby toys

To my surprise, my baby toys have been selling reasonably well. Which is great - because I love making them! They're so much different to the bears, allowing a greater sense of freedom in choosing colours and matching ribbons, but still adding a challenge (the last step in creating the SPuNGieS in particular is quite tricky!).

So to celebrate the sales, I've made a few more (now on etsy). I mixed and matched 8 different furs/cotton/ribbon swatches yesterday, and sewed two this afternoon. I don't know which one i like more!

Monday, November 22, 2010


This is my latest panda in what seems like it's been a bit of a panda epidemic lately! Again inspired by the lovely 'Lyric' - this lady is instead made from a gorgeous ginger with dark chocolate tipped mohair in soft, bouncing curls. Going from memory this would have to be up there with the most I've ever paid for a piece of mohair, but the quality is just stunning, and worth every cent! You can find more mohair like this at Gerry's Teddy and Craft. If I'm honest, the prices there are on the higher scale of things, but the variety and the quality are to die for!

Gingersnap has already been snapped up, but here's her bearpile link if you're interested.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Ticking Clock

Lately I've been feeling like time is really starting to get away from me. I'm 31 weeks preg tomorrow, which basically means a new baby in our lives in about 2 months. Possibly earlier depending on my blood pressure. This is a really exciting prospect, but also a really scary one. I think it really hit me when i found this image above. Baby is actually quite big already! He just gets a little longer and a little fatter over the next few weeks...

I think I'm mostly anxious because I've worked hard on Chelsea and have her in a really good routine at the moment. I know when she'll be going down for her sleeps which gives me time to do my crafty stuff. And she sleeps through the night... We'll be going all the way back to square one with a newborn again. Only this time I'll have a toddler as well as a newborn. I know I'll survive, but I think the bears will take a serious backseat.

I have so many ideas I want to get made before baby! It feels like there aren't enough hours in the day sometimes!

And then I look back at photos of Chelsea as a newborn, and I can't wait to have a tiny baby in my arms again. Ah, the conflicted emotions of a pregnant woman! :P

Friday, November 19, 2010

Larue Panda

I managed to snap some shots of Larue on his own this morning, and have popped him on etsy for now (until Jessamine moves off the bearpile front page).

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jessamine and Larue

Today was rainy and gloomy in 'Sunny Brisbane'. A good day for staying indoors and watching DVDs. I managed to sew these two bear yesterday, and got their limbs jointed, eyes set and noses sewn last night. Today was simply ears, heads jointed, stuffed, shaded and otherwise finished.

This morning I watch Juno while I stuffed (and had a bit of a cry at the end... I always do right at 'some day you'll be back here on your own terms'). Then after Chelsea woke up we watched 'UP' - or rather it played in the background while she danced around the lounge room, scattered her blocks everywhere, crumbled biscuit into the carpet, begged to be picked up, then wriggled to be put down, then picked up, then put down... yet somehow I managed to get these guys done!

The bigger one is Jessamine, and the little panda is Larue. The darker fur looks more red in these pictures, but is actually a lovely dark berry-pink. The lighter mohair is a wispy cream with soft pink tips. Both bears are made of of the same fur, and i thought it would be fun to photograph them together showing how different they can look with different colour placement.

I've currently got Jessamine on bearpile, but ran out of camera battery, and daylight, before I could get photos of Larue. So he'll have to go on sometime tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A real life 'who done it'

This is what my poor husband woke up to this morning (while I enjoyed a little bit of extra sleep!).

Chelsea was still asleep too, so the only one who could have possibly done such an act of destruction is the innocent looking Oliver! It was a really heavy pot too, wedged right in the corner so Chelsea wouldn't bump into it - so we're not sure how Oliver managed to knock it down. But unless we have vandalising possums or destructive fruit bats coming in under the patio at night, it looks like the blame falls on the dog!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Baby Giraffe Trio

I purchased some awesome silky soft giraffe print faux fur a little while ago, and have been trying to decide whether or not to actually make giraffe's out of it, or a giraffe print 'something else'.

I went with giraffes. They are a little cliché for baby toys, but they do work so well. I went with three different designs. One quite girly with pink tartan legs, lace mane and pink tail. One quite bright with rainbow legs, a rainbow assortment of a mane and rich green tail. And one a little more uni-sex in greens, blues, oranges and reds.

These guys are currently available in my etsy store.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bentley the BIG panda

I've enlarged one of my favourite panda patterns and now have a tonne of fun coloured panda's cut out and ready to sew in this new, BIG size!

This is the first creation - Bentley. He ended up standing in at a massive 22". Probably not that big for some bear makers, and at the end of the day I have made bigger - but when you haven't had to stuff a bear this size in a long time, you soon appreciate the extra volume inside those chunky arms, legs and belly!

Bubba number two

When we were going through all of the uncertainty about the gender of bubba number two, I decided to have a 3D scan to see if that would help shed some light! It was an awesome experience, and we got a good look at what appeared to be 'boy bits'. (Then I followed it up with the urine test which also said boy).

Yesterday I took some my family - Mum, little sister, best friend, Dad, step-mum, mother-in-law, Mark and Chelsea, with me to have another 3D scan to see if we could get a good look at his little face (and maybe confirm the gender again).

Bubba didn't want to cooperate! They got me to dance around the room, drink cold water, get down on all fours with my bum in the air, lay on a pregnancy massage table so my belly could hang down... nothing worked! We got these six blurry images. (The package I wanted would have provided over 100 images!). They were very apologetic and didn't charge me very much, but I still felt disappointed. Especially as I'd dragged all my family half way across the city for it! AND - they couldn't get a look at his bottom either! So we've decided to have a girls name picked out as well - just in case!

We did get to see him yawn and suck his fist, and hear his heartbeat. So that was nice. I've labled some of these photos with some text to help you make out what the images show (click on the image to bring it up larger). Each one is taken in quick succession of the previous. It basically just shows him munching on his little fist! Pretty cute really. If you can see it! (

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lucas the Panda

This is Lucas, my latest panda, and the last in the trio of panda's I promised in a posting late last month. He's quite lovely, but I must say I do prefer working in slightly longer piles. So for the next bear, I'm making a 22" fluffy panda like Lyric. Then after that I might make some really colourful pandas... I have some brilliant berry pink mohair that I've got paired with a cream-pink tip mohair as one idea... and some dark and light purple for another idea... bring on the girly panda's I say!

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Weekend

We had a pretty big weekend... so not much bear related got done!

Saturday morning was quite hot so we let Chels have some fun under the hose. She looks so much like a little girl in her swimmers... my tiny baby is definitely gone now!

Then we had my brother's wedding. I did a reading and was a little nervous about it - but I survived. In my infinite wisdom I decided to wear the highest pair of stilettos I've ever worn in my life - to a garden wedding. So I had to quickly learn how to manage the whole 'sinking into the ground as I walked' problem. The shoes were off by the reception though! And pretty much stayed off for the rest of the night! :P

Then Sunday morning, in another incredibly foolish move, we decided to walk Brisbane's new Gateway bridge (one of the main bridges that joins the northside to the southside over the brisbane river. We took Oliver too. He took one look at the bridge and decided to hitch a ride in the carrier basket under Chelsea's pram! After a little bit of walking I think it got a bit boring under there for him though and he came out again. He did really well - and so did Chels. As you can see she did quite a bit of the walking herself!

So a big weekend, but lots of fun! More bears to come this week though ;).

Saturday, November 6, 2010


I was feeling like a bit of a break from sewing bears yesterday. I don't know if other bear makers get that way as well, but when I've managed to pop out 3 bears in a week, I get a little restless.

I'd purchased an awesome big plush blanket in my travels that I had intended to turn into something... and decided now was as good a time as any to chop it up and see what happened.

Firstly I made a sheep. I didn't really think through the design very well though - I just did a quick sketch and went from there.

It was a bit of a disaster. It looked more like a blimp with ears than a sheep! (So Chelsea has adopted him!)

Later in the day I decided to try a little harder at the design aspect. And drew up what looked like a cute, and slightly different way to make a lamb. I think I underestimated how long it would take to cut out all the little bits and assemble the lamb though. Even though it really is the simplest of designs! I started at about 8pm, and wasn't finished till 11pm! (and I've got my brother's wedding today where I'm doing a reading, so hopefully I can stay awake for it!)

They are pretty sweet though, but did end up a little more like my SPuNGieS than I thought they would. I'm going to pop them in my etsy and MadeIt stores when I get back from getting my hair done for the wedding. This will be my first trip to a hairdresser in about 11months! I am SOOOO looking forward to it!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Brinjal is another word/name for eggplant according to wikipedia. Seemed like a good name to give this latest bear of mine...

... meet Brinjal the Bear. He is made out of a stunning, and very OOAK piece of hand-dyed mohair from Debs Bears. I've matched the purple mohair with a piece I hand-dyed myself back in May during some experiments with using foodstuffs as dye. (this bit was dyed with tea - so not terribly exotic!)

I made Brinjal in the opposite order to my normal bears as well - finishing his head before I'd even sewn his body and limbs (the was simply due to chelsea sleep time restrictions, not by choice). And so because of this I think I got a little excited trying some new things for his face. I wanted to give the embroidered effect of a highlight on his nose. Then decided the nose needed to be edged - but not fully. Then decided that this same thread needed to be continued onto his pulled toes... anyway the end result is a very unique big bear. But quite a stunning one too. His serious look and big size make him quite imposing in person!

Chelsea's Room

I think I might have posted some photos a while back, just after we moved into our new home, of Chelsea's room. Very conveniently painted in a stunning shade of lavender with a darker purple feature wall.

I'd been searching around for something complementary, feminine, and not too babyish to decorate the feature wall with. I wanted it to be something she could grow with without being too embarrassed to have friends around when she's older.

I discovered some wall sticker designs and decided that was the way to go. After quite a few weeks of short listing designs, I ended up going with these guys from etsy - Surface Inspired.
I chose a design that started from the top of the wall and cascaded down, as I know how 'busy' Chelsea's little fingers can get when she's curious and didn't want the sticker picked off as soon as I stuck it on.

This was the stickers as they arrived. The instructions said to lay them flat for a few hours before applying. I had no surface that was safe from being trampled on by Chelsea's busy feet either - so decided they could flatten out while blue tacked to the wall.

This morning I got to work sticking them up. First the branches. I will admit I underestimated how tricky it would be - but still managed to do it! And I did it all by myself, while keeping an eye on a destructive 15month old!

Then Chels needed a sleep, so after that we cut all the flowers and birds into their individual components and started applying them. Once I got the hang of it it wasn't too bad. Just incredibly time consuming. I think the whole application probably took about 4 hours.

But how awesome does that look!!!!

...and this was the free 'tester' sticker - I think it looks pretty sweet in the entrance to the bear studio too. :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Some of you might remember this bear... Acorn. I made her while experimenting with different shapes to get different looks a while back. Anyway, I mention this particular bear, as she was part of something very new for me - a swap! I was contacted by a lovely collector who was already looking after another of my bears, who asked if I would be happy to swap Acorn for a sketch of Oliver. After seeing her work I was very excited to have a piece of her art in exchange for a piece of mine.

The sketch arrived this morning. I'd only just woken up (the postman was very early today!), and Mark hadn't yet left for work, so he got to check it out when I opened it. I think it is fair to say that we are both blown away by it! It's stunning!

I am sure that Janie would be happy to take any commissioned orders as well if you have a beloved doggy you'd like immortalised!