You might remember the gorgeous pink bear from a few weeks ago? The one I finished for a daughter who's mum passed away before she was able to complete the bear for her... well, we got chatting and made the decision to take on ALL of the mum's unfinished bears. One Hundred and Sixty, approximately.
We had a few conversations about how this was going to look - ie. 'Emma's Bears' would be purchasing the unfinished bears to hopefully complete them all - but how do we make sure that the original bear maker got her acknowledgement? After all, this humongous box represents a bloody huge amount of time, and effort and love. A lot of the bears are mostly sewn, some are simply cut out, some just drawn onto fabric, some cut and pinned, some even have stuffed heads, just waiting faces...
We decided that the best way was to name the original bear maker (with approval from her family), and to start a whole new line called 'Collaboration Bears'.
(this shows my attempt at storing the massive box in my sewing room... lol. Organised chaos!)
So this is the write up we will put with each of the completed bear's listings:
- a 'Collaboration Bear' ( Initiated by 'The bear lady at Forbes' - Joan Neowhouse, and completed in remembrance by Emma's Bears following her passing).
This is a whole new range of bears by Emma's Bears. They are an eclectic assortment of bears in all shapes and sizes, and all types of fur, in various states of completion, and cut from patterns and designs that are unknown/unfamiliar to us. We've taken on these initiated teds after their original crafter passed away, and her family were unsure what should happen to all her unfinished work.
A lot of the packets of bear bits have hand-written notes with details about the pattern/design (ie. puppy/ monkey/horse etc), or that one bear might still need paw pads, or the bear's name.
This gorgeous bear was named 'Toby'.
His fur looked very much like mohair, but as I was finishing his sewing I noticed just how soft and shiny it was - and I second guessed myself. Maybe it was a really nice plush fur? So we did a little trick - a 'burn test'. Man-made fibres like those found in faux fur fabrics will melt when put to a flame. Natural fibres like mohair actually burn, disappearing into nothing but dust.
This is exactly what happened when we burnt a few scraps of fur. So I can say with confidence that this bear is made with a lovely rich, soft, distressed dark chocolate mohair.
This was actually the 4th bear I made (photos haven't downloaded in order!). She was pre-named 'Pansy', which also seemed perfect so we kept it.
I haven't worked with a wispy mohair like this in many many years, so it was a little bit of a challenge, but I am pretty happy with her end result.
We gave her a pair of our hand painted glass eyes with our sculptured lids, and a HUGE big embroidered nose. I actually made her on Saturday morning while the kids climbed all over me as we watched 'Lassie' on the TV. (I was personally most chuffed about getting her nose so straight embroidering free-hand while dealing with the boisterous kids! lol)
I just loved the choice of paw pad fabric too - and decided to highlight it by stringing together a mini-bell necklace in a cascade of similar colours. (Pansy is my favourite Collaboration Bear so far!)
I actually just finished this little guy a few hours ago! He too was pre-named 'Pippin', which was perfect. His is made in a lovely traditional gold mohair - and a very tiny 6" design.
Once he had petite black glass eyes and we'd embroidered his little nose, the rest of him just fell into place. He needed no extra accessorizing other than his sweet blue bow. (oh - and some tiny claws! Pippin has a bit of 'small-bear syndrome, so this helps him feel a bit more mighty!)
'Sophie' was the only bear so far not to have a name in her bag - so we selected one that felt right. She is made in a very pretty soft lilac faux fur with slightly darker tips. Her pattern in unlike anything I've ever worked with before... I think the words 'beachball' might have escaped my mouth at some point as her body is literally rounded like a ball! Her arms and legs are short and chunky and her head is massive!
All in all it gives a unique look to this stocky little lady - and combined with a pair of our hand-painted blue/violet glass eyes and a big heart-print hair bow, she really is a lovely bear.
~ * ~
And last for our post here, but certainly not least, is 'Suki Panda', also pre-named. When I spotted the black/white mohair in her bag I just expected a traditional panda bear - but Miss Suki is certainly not traditional.
We've given her large lemon/lime hand painted glass eyes and tied this splash of colour in with a bright yellow satin hair bow and a lemon/lime button-flower pendant.